ESC Pulse Article: Eurovision 2019 Semi 2 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: 🇦🇲 Armenia 🇦🇲

Srbuk – “Walking Out” (Photo by: Andres Putting/EBU)

Kylie: Yes

Oof… Empty Stage Syndrome much? This is one I’m very skittish on, this can definitely go either way. But I went for a ‘yes’ on the idea that she might get some jury support.

John: No

Shall we start with a bold prediction? Quite often in Eurovision one of the semifinal openers finishes 11th. As this semifinal is proving to be surprisingly tough I think there’s a chance this song will join that unfortunate list. Although I appreciate that predicting Armenia to fail to qualify for the second year in a row is risky, and possibly foolish!

2: 🇮🇪 Ireland 🇮🇪

Sarah McTernan – “22” (Photo by: Thomas Hanses/EBU)

Kylie: No

Can’t see it. Sorry.

John: No

It’s just too big of an ask. I wish there was some possibility, but it’s very remote.

3: 🇲🇩 Moldova 🇲🇩

Anna Odobescu – “Stay” (Photo by: Andres Putting/EBU)

Kylie: No

Because sometimes you just can’t polish a doo-doo no matter how hard you try.

John: No

Don’t be surprised if Moldova makes it over the line though. When you walk into my dream, all I see is snow right there…

4: 🇨🇭 Switzerland 🇨🇭

Luca Hänni – “She Got Me” (Photo by: Thomas Hanses/EBU)

Kylie: Yes

Not to give too much away at this stage, but I think they have reasons to be hopeful this year.

John: Yes

Apparently, they smashed their jury rehearsal and the crowd went crazy for them. For once I think Switzerland can be quite confident!

5: 🇱🇻 Latvia 🇱🇻

Carousel – “That Night” (Photo by: Andres Putting/EBU)

Kylie: No

If it was totally up to me this would be qualifying but in reality land, I don’t see how it does, unfortunately.

John: No

We already found out on Tuesday night that there isn’t room for all the niche songs in the final. Which is a pity.

6: 🇷🇴 Romania 🇷🇴

Ester Peony – “On a Sunday” (Photo by: Thomas Hanses/EBU)

Kylie: No

Too dark and off-putting. But then again I said the same about Azerbaijan two years ago, so what do I know? I could still see this sneaking in 10th.

John: No

Not confident about this prediction. I think it’s another 11th or 12th, but then again apart from last year Romania always tend to sneak over the line.

7: 🇩🇰 Denmark 🇩🇰

Leonora – “Love is Forever” (Photo by: Andres Putting/EBU)

Kylie: Yes

Famous last words, but I still can’t see this failing. However, it’s going to be another bloody close semi, I reckon!

John: Yes

It’s so freaking cute! Really don’t want to let go of this song.

8: 🇸🇪 Sweden 🇸🇪

John Lundvik – “Too Late For Love” (Photo by: Thomas Hanses/EBU)

Kylie: Yes


John: Yes

Is it? It is.

9: 🇦🇹 Austria 🇦🇹

PÆNDA – “Limits” (Photo by: Andres Putting/EBU)

Kylie: No

I’m scared. Georgia proved the other day that staging can only pimp a song so much. I can see the juries pushing this big time, but I fear that it will be sunk by the televote.

John: No

I have sadly come to the same conclusion. This may be the masterpiece that goes unappreciated in its time, like Hungary. It’s really close though, I couldn’t choose between this song and the one that comes directly after it.

10: 🇭🇷 Croatia 🇭🇷

Roko – “The Dream” (Photo by: Thomas Hanses/EBU)

Kylie: No

I freaking love this new fallen angel staging, it’s so kitsch in the best way possible. But sadly I think this is DOA. Thanks for the fun at least.

John: Yes

Can’t believe I’m saying this, but Roko’s FLAWLESS vocal in the jury rehearsal, the Houdek effect and the fact that #Serhat4Saturday actually happened, has led to a drastic change of prediction from me for Croatia!

11: 🇲🇹 Malta 🇲🇹

Michela – “Chameleon” (Photo by: Andres Putting/EBU)

Kylie: Yes

Malta does have a reputation of getting disproportionately favourable jury scores, but I do think that this will actually get an audience on board this year.

John: Yes

There’s a real feeling amongst many that Malta has finally cracked it. Michela is improving in confidence with every rehearsal and this time I really feel like my high hopes for Malta are not misplaced!

12: 🇱🇹 Lithuania 🇱🇹

Jurij Veklenko – “Run With The Lions” (Photo by: Thomas Hanses/EBU)

Kylie: No

Call me stubborn but I have a real hard time fully counting this one out, it could be the shock qualifier of the semi. But it’s seriously up against it and is likely to get crowded out by everything else in this second half. I put ‘no’ just to play it safe.

John: No

I always find Lithuania so hard to predict. In general, they’re a fairly certain qualifier unless their song is really dire (YEAH YEAHHHH), but as I said earlier this semifinal is TOUGH, man. The simplicity and pleasantness of this song will either make or break it.

13: 🇷🇺 Russia 🇷🇺

Sergey Lazarev – “Scream” (Photo by: Andres Putting/EBU)

Kylie: Yes

They should be more worried about what’s going to happen on Saturday in my opinion.

John: Yes

Sergey can SING. All he needs on Thursday night is his voice. But I suppose an intricate staging wouldn’t hurt, huh? One would have to be extremely brave, or foolhardy, to even predict Russia not to qualify!

14: 🇦🇱 Albania 🇦🇱

Jonida Maliqi – “Ktheju tokës” (Photo by: Thomas Hanses/EBU)

Kylie: No

I really wanted this to come through but I fear that outside of diaspora there is no reason for the average viewer to vote for it looking at that performance.

John: Yes

Well, Kruna made it (and deservedly so), so why not this?

15: 🇳🇴 Norway 🇳🇴

KEiiNO – “Spirit in the Sky” (Photo by: Andres Putting/EBU)

Kylie: Yes

I’ve made it clear that it’s impossible for me to be objective due to my great dislike of this. Then recently I had horrible memories of 2011 flooding back of when I was heavily beating the “I think Jedward sucks so they won’t qualify” drum only to have it blow up in my face. So with that in mind, I had a real struggle: do I stick to my guns and naysay this, or do I go completely against my own instincts and rely on the word of the people that I trust? In the end, I “surrendered” my tenth spot. But if my true instinct is right and this flops tonight, then don’t complain if I jump on my soapbox to say “I told you so”!

John: No

I don’t have the foggiest idea of how Europe will respond to this. Fan favourite flop or surprisingly popular with the public? I’m going to be realistic and go for the former, but you just never know. I like the reindeer on the backdrop! Not quite as beautiful as Iceland’s dolphin in 2009 though!

16: 🇳🇱 The Netherlands 🇳🇱

Duncan Laurence – “Arcade” (Photo by: Thomas Hanses/EBU)

Kylie: Yes

Veel succes op zaterdag.

John: Yes

No comment required!

17: 🇲🇰 North Macedonia 🇲🇰

Tamara Todevska – “Proud” (Photo by: Andres Putting/EBU)

Kylie: Yes

You know that feeling when you’ve taken so much time and care to pick a dynamite outfit for the high school prom, and then you show up and find that the Russian exchange student has shown up in the same dress? That’s really unfortunate. But anyway… I feel like this is their time, surely? They’ve really done the best they could here.

John: Yes

I’ve just listened in on a livestream from the press centre, and the vocals here are STUNNING. Come on, this has to get them back into the final…?

18: 🇦🇿 Azerbaijan 🇦🇿

Chingiz – “Truth” (Photo by: Thomas Hanses/EBU)

Kylie: Yes

It’s very much following the Ukraine 2018 model of “bonkers semi closer”. If this draws first half, I wonder what the EBU will pick to open the show out of the two semi closers: this or Serhat?

John: Yes

I have yet to see this “wonderful” staging trick that has the entire press centre agog, so I’m a little sceptical about this being a frontrunner all of a sudden. Ask me again after the show and I may change my mind. But a qualifier? Obviously.

So there you have it! The team agree on 8 qualifiers: Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Malta, Russia, The Netherlands, North Macedonia and Azerbaijan. Kylie picked Armenia and Norway for her final two spots while John picked Croatia and Albania 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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