ESC Pulse Article: Eurovision 2018 Semi 1 Predictions

Olá! It’s that time of year again. The first jury rehearsal has been done and dusted, and now it’s time to bite the bullet and try and deduct who’s going to be getting a flight home tomorrow.

Neither of the team saw the TV feed and are making their predictions based on rehearsal footage and word from reliable sources on the ground. Will that affect their accuracy in picking our ten qualifiers? Let’s find out…

01) 🇦🇿 Azerbaijan 🇦🇿

Aisel – “X My Heart”. Photo credit: Thomas Hanses (EBU)

Kylie: No

This is a very risky prediction that is based purely on the “no more than 5 from the top” rule, I may well be wrong and it may well qualify in the end but I personally just feel there are five songs in this first half that have a stronger case for qualifying, and also there are one or two entries later on that could very well steal votes from them.

John: No

Trust me to really enjoy an Azeri entry for the first time in a while and potentially see them stay in the semis for the first time ever. However, if they do get through, which is very possible, I will be scared to see who they knock out in the process!

02) 🇮🇸 Iceland 🇮🇸

Ari Ólafsson – “Our Choice”. Photo credit: Thomas Hanses (EBU)

Kylie: No

Obvious. Ari should win this year’s Mr. Congeniality though, bless his little cotton socks.

John: No

I agree, Ari is a terrific person and the song is sweet, but you all know what’s coming, I don’t have to explain here.

03) 🇦🇱 Albania 🇦🇱

Eugent Bushpepa – “Mall”. Photo credit: Thomas Hanses (EBU)

Kylie: No

I really hope I’m wrong here, it looks and sounds really good but I just worry…

John: No

And on to the first of several moments that will break my heart tonight. In a weaker year Eugent would sail through, but the odds seem so heavily stacked against Albania that I’m pessimistic. If the miracle does happen though, I will be elated for Eugent.

04) 🇧🇪 Belgium 🇧🇪

Sennek – “A Matter Of Time”. Photo credit: Thomas Hanses (EBU)

Kylie: No

Sigh… I want to be wrong, I really do, but it just doesn’t seem to be coming together on stage, and in a semi like this, if you slip up, that’s you gone.

John: Yes

I have a feeling that the strength of the song will be enough to see this through. I can see a similar story to what happened to Belgium last year – what might not have worked in rehearsal worked a treat on the night. By the way, if they do get through, EBU, don’t leave them until last AGAIN!

05) 🇨🇿 Czech Republic 🇨🇿

Mikolas Josef – “Lie To Me”. Photo credit: Thomas Hanses (EBU)

Kylie: Yes

He should get major brownie points just for being able to get on stage in the first place, back injuries are no laughing matter!

John: Yes

I’m so glad for Czech Republic that they’ve found a song that’s generally seen as a surefire qualifier. Rehearsals have obviously been shaky, but it’s the first big contender.

06) 🇱🇹 Lithuania 🇱🇹

Ieva Zasimauskaitė – “When We’re Old”. Photo credit: Andres Putting (EBU)

Kylie: Yes

I won’t say too much just yet until the semi is done, but I’ve got a really good feeling about this one…

John: Yes

This song is one of the main reasons why I am terrified about this ruthless semifinal. This song is so beautiful and heartfelt that I can’t even bear the thought of it being left out. Why do I always fall in love with borderline qualifiers??

07) 🇮🇱 Israel 🇮🇱

Netta – “Toy”. Photo credit: Andres Putting (EBU)

Kylie: Yes

I can’t see how it can’t qualify, but I don’t think this is the semi winner.

John: Yes

I have briefly entertained the thought of this being a shock non-qualifier, but I don’t think that’s very realistic on reflection. One of the big hitters.

08) 🇧🇾 Belarus 🇧🇾

Alekseev – “Forever”. Photo credit: Andres Putting (EBU)

Kylie: No

*shields eyes* No no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no nooooope.

John: No

Objectively I’ve never seen this as a qualifier. Personally I find the staging concept horrific. Just no.

09) 🇪🇪 Estonia 🇪🇪

Elina Nechayeva – “La forza”. Photo credit: Andres Putting (EBU)

Kylie: Yes

I’m still really scared about its potential jury score, but it should have a strong enough televote to see it through surely?

John: Yes

Oh this has to get through. For first time viewers this will be a ‘wow’ moment. Don’t do a Verona on me!

10) 🇧🇬 Bulgaria 🇧🇬

EQUINOX – “Bones”. Photo credit: Andres Putting (EBU)

Kylie: Yes

Through on jury support. I can understand why others won’t get it, but this is kinda me, I think it’s pretty cool.

John: Yes

People are saying they have no chemistry, I need to see the full performance to judge for myself, but on the basis of a strong song and vocal prowess, this should easily qualify. Although maybe it won’t be the major contender we thought it would be, but time will tell.

11) 🇲🇰 FYR Macedonia 🇲🇰

Eye Cue – “Lost And Found”. Photo credit: Andres Putting (EBU)

Kylie: No

Sigh… As much as I hate to say it, I think this could even be an accidental last place. Also, surely this is our Barbara Dex winner.

John: No

We were all rooting for this, but yet again it’s the staging!

12) 🇭🇷 Croatia 🇭🇷

Franka – “Crazy”. Photo credit: Andres Putting (EBU)

Kylie: Yes

She pretty much carries this song. I have a feeling that juries will get on board with it. Regardless of what happens, this has been quite the turnaround, so kudos.

John: No

It is a very good performance from Franka. But I’m still really struggling to see this song as a qualifier. Will probably be hopelessly wrong!

13) 🇦🇹 Austria 🇦🇹

Cesár Sampson – “Nobody But You”. Photo credit: Andres Putting (EBU)

Kylie: No

Maybe I’m just being pessimistic, I’ve heard good things about this performance and I do agree that this is potential jury bait, but I kinda worry that this is going to be everyone’s 11th place, and in a semi like this it ain’t enough.

John: Yes

Has jury bait written all over it.

14) 🇬🇷 Greece 🇬🇷

Yianna Terzi – “Oniro Mou”. Photo credit: Andres Putting (EBU)

Kylie: No

I’m sticking my neck out here, but I’ve got a feeling that we won’t see both Greece and Armenia qualifying, it’s one or the other for me. And sadly, from what I’m hearing and from what I saw, there isn’t enough of a call to action for this.

John: Yes

I’m finding Greece the most difficult to predict. I’m going to say yes because in spite of everything they managed to scrape through last year, and again I think they’ve done just enough.

15) 🇫🇮 Finland 🇫🇮

Saara Aalto – “Monsters”. Photo credit: Andres Putting (EBU)

Kylie: Yes

I know I’m risking getting burned by Finland once again, but I just have a feeling that things might just line up in their favour this time. Hopefully. Fingers crossed.

John: Yes

I’m going to be a nervous wreck. Please get through, for the love of God, PLEASE GET THROUGH!!

16) 🇦🇲 Armenia 🇦🇲

Sevak Khanagyan – “Qami”. Photo credit: Andres Putting (EBU)

Kylie: Yes

I think it’s got just enough to make it. Diaspora seems to be really on board with this (although I doubt its potential to grab casual televotes) and I think it’s got just enough jury scores to survive. I rate this above Greece because this has more vocal prowess in my opinion.

John: No

I agree with everything Kylie says, and I feel stupid saying no to an Armenian entry, but sometimes in Eurovision the results don’t go the way they should.

17) 🇨🇭 Switzerland 🇨🇭

ZiBBZ – “Stones”. Photo credit: Andres Putting (EBU)

Kylie: No

They’re putting up one hell of a fight, so I must give them that. However, in a semi like this, it’s just missing out in my eyes. I could well be wrong here.

John: No

All this week in Lisbon Zibbz have shown us how talented they are. I would still be majorly shocked if they qualified, however it would be a deserved qualification.

18) 🇮🇪 Ireland 🇮🇪

Ryan O’Shaughnessy – “Together”. Photo credit: Andres Putting (EBU)

Kylie: Yes

I’m a little bit scared about this one, but I think maybe, just maybe, this sneaks through. He’s a really good live singer and they haven’t made a complete dog’s dinner of the staging, so maybe jury-to-the-rescue?

John: No

I really want this to qualify and Ryan certainly deserves to get through. Regretfully I think it’s just too tough a line-up for Ireland to make it. But this is their strongest effort at qualifying in the last five years. Apart from the soapy flakes, but that’s not their fault!

19) 🇨🇾 Cyprus 🇨🇾

Eleni Foureira – “Fuego”. Photo credit: Andres Putting (EBU)

Kylie: Yes

More like Cyp-yaaaaass.

John: Yes

Yeah yeah, fire.

So there you have it! The team agree on seven qualifiers. Who will get the most right? Will both of them be hilariously wrong? We’ll find out later tonight, enjoy the show!


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