ESC Pulse Article: Eurovision 2019 Semi 1 Predictions

Shalom! 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…

1: 🇨🇾 Cyprus 🇨🇾

Tamta – “Replay” (Photo by: Thomas Hanses/EBU)

Kylie: Yes

There’s no reason why not, really.

John: Yes

Yeah yeah, fire. Tomata (sic) should sail through – it looks and sounds professional, and her two home countries are voting.

2: 🇲🇪 Montenegro 🇲🇪

D mol – “Heaven” (Photo by: Andres Putting/EBU)

Kylie: No

Do I NEED to explain why?

John: No

Idea for Montevizija 2020 – each member of D mol gets a solo track. The revamp of Heaven was a minor miracle, but they’ll need another major one to qualify.

3: 🇫🇮 Finland 🇫🇮

Darude feat. Sebastian Rejman – “Look Away” (Photo by: Thomas Hanses/EBU)

Kylie: No

I personally don’t mind this, but from what I saw there’s a sad case of Empty Stage Syndrome and I’ve said before that sadly this will fall into the same “failed Eurodance megastar” category as DJ Bobo and Cascada.

John: No

It’s the wrong trousers, Gromit…

4: 🇵🇱 Poland 🇵🇱

Tulia – “Fire of Love (Pali się)” (Photo by: Andres Putting/EBU)

Kylie: No

This is looking pretty nifty from what we’ve seen. I really like the colour scheme here, and I like how they went for a nice mix of modern and traditional visuals in a way that compliments each other. But in the end, I went against my personal liking out of fear that this might be a bit too niche.

John: No

Poland will definitely stand out for being unique and powerful. Will that be a vote winner – I don’t know. I’m sceptical at the moment. Knowing what I know from last year the diaspora isn’t always enough.

5: 🇸🇮 Slovenia 🇸🇮

Zala Kralj & Gašper Šantl – “Sebi” (Photo by: Thomas Hanses/EBU)

Kylie: Yes

OK, I’m taking a HUGE gamble on this. I’ve got a horrible feeling that people won’t get this, but I try to split my predictions evenly between the halves, although this is the first half prediction I’m by far the least confident on. Keep hope alive, I guess? This was my tenth pick and I’m still second guessing myself a lot. This semi is so difficult, argh!

John: No

Norma John and Claudia Pascoal say hi, unfortunately, so I can’t get too excited about the prospect of Slovenia qualifying right now, even though they probably should.

6: 🇨🇿 Czech Republic 🇨🇿

Lake Malawi – “Friend of a Friend” (Photo by: Andres Putting)

Kylie: Yes

Give them credit, they’ve put together another well-done package here. I can see this getting jury support.

John: Yes

I’ll actually be surprised if this doesn’t qualify. It’s got that likeability factor on stage.

7: 🇭🇺 Hungary 🇭🇺

Joci Pápai – “Az én apám” (Photo by: Thomas Hanses/EBU)

Kylie: Yes

One of the most stunning LED backdrops of the year for me. Add in the authenticity hook for viewers and I think this is relatively comfortable.

John: Yes

This had better qualify. It’s so heartfelt and so real.

8: 🇧🇾 Belarus 🇧🇾

ZENA – “Like It” (Photo by: Andres Putting/EBU)

Kylie: No

I don’t see how it’s going to get the 100 or so points needed here. There was a lot of praise for her jury rehearsal but I remember Switzerland last year.

John: No

Zena gives it her all and it’s a cool little pop song. But in this ruthless semi-final, I really don’t think it’s going to be enough.

9: 🇷🇸 Serbia 🇷🇸

Nevena Božović – “Kruna” (Photo by: Thomas Hanses/EBU)

Kylie: Yes

OMFG, that sparkle tornado! She better get redemption!

John: Yes

This was one of my favourite rehearsal clips. It just looks and sounds so good and I think that even though it won’t be easy, this time around Nevena should make it to the final.

10: 🇧🇪 Belgium 🇧🇪

Eliot – “Wake Up” (Photo by: Andres Putting/EBU)

Kylie: Yes

Big gamble #2. In the context of this running order, there is a big risk that this could get memory-holed. To give everyone insight into my predictions logic, I had two second-half qualification spots remaining and it was between this, Georgia and Estonia. It was not easy to work out, I’ll say as much! I’m well aware that this is a SUPER risky call for me to make but I have faith that Belgium will pull it out of the bag. Remember two years ago? Feel free to laugh at me if I’m wrong, though.

John: No

Funnily enough, I’ve narrowed it down to the same three songs for my last qualifier! I feel for Eliot, I think he’s going to struggle, bless him. But I would be happy to see Belgium qualify. And I quite like the staging, it reminds me of the French entry from 1990.

11: 🇬🇪 Georgia 🇬🇪

Oto Nemsadze – “Keep on Going” (Photo by: Thomas Hanses/EBU)

Kylie: No

OK, I’m aware that a lot of fans and press are now raving about this. However, I fear that this could be very much like Malta last year: another entry that got lots of praise in rehearsals and was tipped to qualify but really failed to click with viewers in the end. Being in between two comparatively light songs doesn’t help.

John: Yes

There always has to be at least one bold call, and this is mine. Remember the lady in the gold dress at the Georgian final? I think the power of this performance will make more people than just her bop to it. Equally, this could also finish last. Nothing would surprise me.

12: 🇦🇺 Australia 🇦🇺

Kate Miller-Heidke – “Zero Gravity” (Photo by: Andres Putting/EBU)

Kylie: Yes

Who’s not going to vote for the floating space fairy?

John: Yes

She looks like a beautiful fairytale princess. I’m confident that enough people will love this to get it through, whether they be jurors or televoters.

13: 🇮🇸 Iceland 🇮🇸

Hatari – “Hatrið mun sigra” (Photo by: Thomas Hanses/EBU)

Kylie: Yes

It’s the biggest talking point in the semi, I don’t see how this doesn’t make it. In regards to the semi, I’d imagine it would get a similar voting breakdown as the Babushki did in their semi in 2012: top 2 in televote and around 4-7th with juries.

John: Yes

This will divide Europe, but it’s always the divisive songs that make it. And we all want Iceland back in the final after 4 years out, don’t we?

14: 🇪🇪 Estonia 🇪🇪

Victor Crone – “Storm” (Photo by: Andres Putting/EBU)

Kylie: Yes

Despite my misgivings about this (I’m still convinced the juries will do their best to snuff it), I found that I couldn’t fully count this out due to my number crunching when working out my predictions. To go back to my dilemma in my Belgium prediction earlier, I was talking with one of my good punter friends when trying to decide between the three songs and he said something along the lines of: “which of those three do you think the teenage girls and housewives are going to swoon over?”. Good point.

John: No

I’m writing this before the dress rehearsal having not heard news of a single successful run-through for this song. To be fair I had made my peace with the prospect of this not qualifying some time ago, but I’m certainly not feeling too confident at the moment. If, and it’s a big if, Estonia do qualify, I think this would make a great opener for the final.

15: 🇵🇹 Portugal 🇵🇹

Conan Osiris – “Telemóveis” (Photo by: Thomas Hanses/EBU)

Kylie: No

This HURTS to write this. I fear that the casuals will just not get it. I want to be proved wrong here.

John: Yes

Keep the faith, hope never dies – oh wait those songs didn’t qualify… I’m scared. I’m lighting candles and chanting as we speak.

16: 🇬🇷 Greece 🇬🇷

Katerine Duska – “Better Love” (Photo by: Andres Putting/EBU)

Kylie: Yes

This is one of the few I feel very confident in calling in this crazy second half.

John: Yes

Greece have nothing to worry about this year. It’s one of the strongest songs of the night.

17: 🇸🇲 San Marino 🇸🇲

Serhat – “Say Na Na Na” (Photo by: Thomas Hanses/EBU)

Kylie: No

Sigh… I’d LOVE to be proved wrong but sadly I think #Serhat4Saturday is a long shot in my opinion.

John: Yes

I still have faith, I still believe in chasing rainbows…

So there you have it! The team agree on seven qualifiers: Cyprus, Czech Republic, Hungary, Serbia, Australia, Iceland and Greece. Kylie picked Slovenia, Belgium and Estonia for her final three spots while John picked Georgia, Portugal and San Marino instead.

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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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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