ESC Pulse Article: Eurovision 2018 Semi 2 Predictions

Olá! It’s that time of year again. The second 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.

John was in the arena for the jury rehearsal, and Kylie is making her 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) 🇳🇴 Norway 🇳🇴

Alexander Rybak – “That’s How You Write A Song”. Photo credit: Andres Putting (EBU)

Kylie: Yes

Step 1: Watch the show, and sing it all day long. Step 2: Just roll with it. And that’s how we might end up in Oslo next year.

John: Yes

Yeah yeah, Rybak. Although, with the feeling of Fuego from last night still fresh in my memory, this did feel like a slight comedown.

02) 🇷🇴 Romania 🇷🇴

The Humans – “Goodbye”. Photo credit: Andres Putting (EBU)

Kylie: No

My fear is that after the happiness-bomb that is our opening song, this is going to come across as rather alienating with all the mannequins.

John: No

We’ve already had one Bergendahlisation and I think there may be room in this dramatic year for at least one more. I agree about the staging but this is a nice song, well performed.

03) 🇷🇸 Serbia 🇷🇸

Sanja Ilić & Balkanika – “Nova deca”. Photo credit: Andres Putting (EBU)

Kylie: No

It may well be that 2018 will not be a good year for our traditional ethno ballads. I don’t think this is going to be an exception, and *spoiler alert* we could well end up seeing a Second Great Ex-Yu Wipeout this year.

John: Yes

Going to stick my neck out and say that one ex-Yu country will make it, and I’m currently leaning towards this one. The flautist is my spirit animal, by the way.

04) 🇸🇲 San Marino 🇸🇲

Jessika feat. Jenifer Brening – “Who We Are”. Photo credit: Andres Putting (EBU)

Kylie: No

God bless those robots though. I want one of those robots.

John: No

It seems out of reach right now, but of all the surprises we’ve had so far, San Marino qualifying would be the most gobsmackingly glorious thing.

05) 🇩🇰 Denmark 🇩🇰

Rasmussen – “Higher Ground”. Photo credit: Thomas Hanses (EBU)

Kylie: Yes

Plus point: it has a visual USP/meme potential. Minus point: it’s vocally flat. I really struggled to make my mind up over whether it would reach the final or not. I think maybe in this first half it’s got just enough legs to do it.

John: Yes

I think this one will resonate with the public. It was one of the few early rehearsals to give me what I call “Eurovision goosebumps”.

06) 🇷🇺 Russia 🇷🇺

Julia Samoylova – “I Won’t Break”. Photo credit: Andres Putting (EBU)

Kylie: No

I’m going full-on balls-to-the-wall (or whatever the female version would be) with this prediction. After Semi 1, I mulled over the possibility of Russia failing this year, and I came to realise that out of the ex-Soviet entries in this semi, it’s got the least reason to vote for it. Not a guaranteed factor in NQ but it’s an argument worth making. Moldova is more fun and exciting, Ukraine is more catchy and has the draw, Latvia has more jury appeal. If we’re including Rybak in that bloc, then that goes without saying, really. Let’s see if this risk I’m taking pays off.

John: No

Semi final 1 taught me that truly anything is possible at Eurovision, and even though something in the back of my head is telling me that Julia will still be able to pull through to the final, I’m predicting Russia to miss out. Who would have thought we’d be saying this not long ago?

07) 🇲🇩 Moldova 🇲🇩

DoReDoS – “My Lucky Day”. Photo credit: Andres Putting (EBU)

Kylie: Yes

More like Moldov-yaaaaass.

John: Yes

Such a bundle of fun. DoReDos are pure entertainment, and with an ingenious staging involving a comedy wall, I think Europe are going to love this.

08) 🇳🇱 The Netherlands 🇳🇱

Waylon – “Outlaw In ‘Em”. Photo credit: Thomas Hanses (EBU)

Kylie: Yes

I really struggled to be objective in trying to make this prediction because the staging makes me irrationally angry, so I’ve pretty much predicted the opposite of what I ACTUALLY want to predict in order to avoid making a total prat of myself, if that makes sense. I’d say more, but I don’t want to piss off the Dutch fans by devolving into an expletive-heavy rant.

John: No

Well personally I think they’ve blown it, but as always I am more than happy to be proven wrong.

09) 🇦🇺 Australia 🇦🇺

Jessica Mauboy – “We Got Love”. Photo credit: Andres Putting (EBU)

Kylie: Yes

I can’t see how this won’t make it, but yeah, this staging is not good and I hear the jury performance was bad… #EmptyStageSyndrome

John: Yes

Jess got a lot of love from the audience tonight. I honestly don’t see what the problem is with this.

10) 🇬🇪 Georgia 🇬🇪

Ethno-Jazz Band Iriao – “For You”. Photo credit: Andres Putting (EBU)

Kylie: No

I want to be wrong, maybe this can pull an Albania and pleasantly surprise us.

John: Yes

In Semi-final 1 I discovered that miracles really do happen. Buoyed on by this new-found confidence, I think Georgia’s classiness and big finish will shine and get them through.

11) 🇵🇱 Poland 🇵🇱

Gromee feat. Lukas Meijer – “Light Me Up”. Photo credit: Andres Putting (EBU)

Kylie: Yes

Call me foolish, but I’ve learnt the hard way not to underestimate the Polish diaspora…

John: Yes

It’s Poland’s most feelgood entry for quite some time, which I think will persuade a little more than just the diaspora to pick up the phone.

12) 🇲🇹 Malta 🇲🇹

Christabelle – “Taboo”. Photo credit: Andres Putting (EBU)

Kylie: No

I’ve got a bad feeling that this will be Semi 2’s Switzerland: a decent song that is well staged and well performed but still doesn’t have the legs to make it over the line.

John: Yes

I’m having major trouble picking a 10th qualifier, but in the end I’ve gone for Malta because having seen the staging, I think it will impress the juries and public just enough to take them through.

13) 🇭🇺 Hungary 🇭🇺

AWS – “Viszlát nyár”. Photo credit: Andres Putting (EBU)

Kylie: Yes

To me at least, this is kinda like Midnight Gold in the sense that this is TOO EPIC to not succeed. The final needs something different, and if it doesn’t make it, I’ll be a bit sulky.

John: No

Call me stupid, but I’m still really worried the juries are going to sink this. They are brilliant though, and I moshed at the jury show for the first time in my life. Any aches and pains in the morning, blame AWS!

14) 🇱🇻 Latvia 🇱🇻

Laura Rizzotto – “Funny Girl”. Photo credit: Andres Putting (EBU)

Kylie: Yes

Jury save. I might have judged wrongly, but that’s my gut instinct.

John: No

This is similar in style to Croatia, and although I think this is a better song, I think it will suffer the same fate.

15) 🇸🇪 Sweden 🇸🇪

Benjamin Ingrosso – “Dance You Off”. Photo credit: Andres Putting (EBU)

Kylie: Yes

It’s Sweden. Duh.

John: Yes

No comment required. You’ve seen the performance already at Melfest.

16) 🇲🇪 Montenegro 🇲🇪

Vanja Radovanović – “Inje”. Photo credit: Andres Putting (EBU)

Kylie: No

Sigh… It’s a lovely song, but a) sky blue looks horrible in a suit, and b) there’s just no call to action for it in the performance. Now I haz a sad.

John: No

Regretfully it’s a no for now, but I do want to thank Vanja and Montenegro for this song and for bringing back the Balkan ballad.

17) 🇸🇮 Slovenia 🇸🇮

Lea Sirk – “Hvala, ne!”. Photo credit: Andres Putting (EBU)

Kylie: No

I never thought this had much of a prayer to begin with, but with the Barei-esque false stop it just kills any momentum. Don’t you hate it when you’re listening to *insert streaming service here* and the internet cuts out halfway through your favourite song? That’s how it feels to me. It’s an obvious joke, but people will be saying one thing after this: NO, THANK YOU.

John: No

Lea does a great job here, but nah, too niche.

18) 🇺🇦 Ukraine 🇺🇦

MÉLOVIN – “Under The Ladder”. Photo credit: Andres Putting (EBU)

Kylie: Yes

I know I’m biased because it’s my fave, but it’s got a lot going for it: pimp slot, memorable staging, hooky song, great performer. I’m very much looking forward to seeing him rise from his piano coffin, hahaha.

John: Yes

Kylie, you are in for a treat with this! Certain qualifier and possible dark horse.

So there you have it! The team agree on seven qualifiers just like earlier in the week. Who will get the most right? Will both of them be miles off-target? Find out later tonight, enjoy the show!

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Author: Kylie Wilson

Editor-in-chief of ESC Pulse. A British-New Zealander who's an unashamed Norwegophile, has watched Eurovision every year since 1999, and is not afraid to speak her mind and step outside the general consensus.

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