So another year is all over. Soon you’ll get a podcast with all the team waxing lyrical about everything that happened, but I wanted to take the time to write in words about my very first time attending Eurovision as accredited press. Sadly I wasn’t able to be joined by my loyal colleagues Sara and Nicolas, so it was quite daunting to have to do all the hard work on my own…
So here we are, we’re very nearly at the final hurdle, and soon we will know who is the winner of ESC 2015. It’s been a hell of a journey so far, and we’ve got one thing left to do…
But first, let’s talk about Semi 2…
Kylie: Oh boy! I’m sad about Iceland not making it, but HELL YES NORWAY!!!
Nicolas: I’m really happy with the results! I was ecstatic when Montenegro qualified, and even more so when it was Latvia being called out! I’m also glad Israel managed to end their streak of bad results!
Sara: Pretty predictable, except for Iceland, I was really upset about that.. She was way too nervous and it was so sad because she was such a princess and deserved to qualify. ❤ Justice for Iceland!
Let’s talk about the automatic finalists!
Kylie: Having actually seen what they look like on TV – France looks better than expected, they probably won’t do really well with that crappy draw but mid-table would be fair. Germany looks amazing and I hope it does well. Spain is… interesting, I feel it comes across as a bunch of fluff after Romania and especially before Hungary. Italy looks BORING and I feel they’re an underwhelming close to the show, I think viewers will be fatigued by the time they come on, I still stand by my earlier prediction that they may flop in the televote. And the UK… well we didn’t balls up the jury rehearsal which is a plus, I hope that’s enough to stop us finishing really badly. Australia feels too slick and plastic after Cyprus and Belgium just leaves them for dust.
Nicolas: France seems so good! That one took me by surprise! It’s the only rehearsal video that gave me goosebumps. The UK is… well, the UK. Clueless. Germany is nice, nice staging, nice voice, but nice doesn’t win Eurovision. Surprise last place? Spain just feels like a completely wrong performance for an atmospheric song like this, really sad, it’s too kitsch. Italy is just being Italy, classy, pompous and giving the impression they’ve already won. Will that work though, I don’t know.. I never got the love for Australia, and I do think they should win the Barbara Dex award this year. Austria could be a surprise lower top 10 candidate.
Sara: Poor France.. Getting drawn second with such a beautiful staging and song, they were screwed over. Maybe I should vote for them. And the UK… What is this crap? Why on earth did they give her such a massive battery pack and hide it in the most stupid way possible. Poor girl, possibly affects her voice and dance moves. It’s as cheesy as Eurovision can get, but I think it’ll get a better result than people expect. Germany is really nothing special. I like the song, I like Ann Sophie, I just don’t like the performance. I kind of hope it’ll be forgotten but then again, I said that last year, and Elaiza did better than expected. Spain looks pretty cool. She sounds good but I heard that in the jury rehearsal she didn’t sound too great. I’m pissed that the Spanish fanboys ruin my statistics, because now apparently Spain is going to get fourth place according to my stats, like every other year. And everyone knows that’s not going to happen. Italy is Italy. Congratulations. Australia can go suck a nut! It ruins Belgium and I hope Guy Sebastian falls on his face in the middle of his performance! Austria.. well, it’s the most plain, boring, forgettable song I’ve heard in my entire life. If it does well, it’s just because it’s the host country.
So, who do we think is winning this year?
Kylie: I’m still expecting it to be Sweden, with about 290 points roughly, with Russia and Belgium being 2nd and 3rd in any order.
Nicolas: Sweden. Said it back on the 28th February, and I still stand by that. It’ll win with a landslide and afterwards people will say that it was so obvious.
Sara: Since both Kylie and Nicolas say Sweden, I’ll be different and say Russia. With Sweden second and Italy third.
Any last words?
Kylie: Heia Norge, Bonne Chance Belgique and καλή τύχη Κύπρος!
Nicolas: Bonne chance, Loïc! Succes, Loïc! Viel Glück, Loïc! ❤
Sara: Go Belgique! I love you, Loïc and no matter what happens tonight, I’ll still love you!
Let’s talk about the results of Semi 1 first…
Kylie: I’m pretty happy with the results really, a bit sad that some of the songs I like didn’t make it but no real heartbreaks last night. Oh, and FAO Nicolas: I TOLD YOU SO!!!
Nicolas: Of course I’m really happy about those results!!!!! I was SO nervous and so convinced that Belgium wouldn’t qualify especially coming in tenth. I was so sure it was going to be Finland! But I’m really satisfied with the results!
Sara: I’m really happy because my three favorite songs qualified! Woop for Finland having been judged on their musical merit!
Ok, that out of the way now… as per usual we will go through the songs of Semi 2 and give a Yes or No answer in regards to whether they will qualify or not, and give a short comment as to our reasoning for our answers.
Nicolas: This is such a hard semi-final to predict! Anyone (but San Marino) could qualify! I can’t call it! Also, just warning people, Sara’s really grumpy!
Sara: I’m not grumpy! I just have a massive headache. Might be from Bojana’s screaming, to be honest.
Kylie: Yes. A very cute opener to the semi and they’ve got plenty of friends, so no problems there.
Nicolas: Yes. Cute opener indeed, very bright, very fun, though a bit contrived. Considering who votes in this semi, it won’t have too much trouble.
Sara: Yes. It’s the most uptempo song and it just makes everyone feel happy.
Kylie: Yes. Molly was nervous tonight but I feel juries will see it through, it’s a very authentic performance.
Nicolas: Yes. This is one of three songs that I come back to every time when it comes to whether it’ll qualify or not.. I feel that in the end, it’ll get enough jury votes as it’s different to every other ballad in this semi, it’s way less ‘showing off vocals’ and much more intimate.
Sara: No. She doesn’t sound amazing and it gets forgotten very easily because of this bad draw. Her voice and song are nothing special.
3) San Marino
Kylie: No. They’ve staged it as best they could but sadly they’re pretty much the most certain non-qualifier out of the bunch. Their jury performance was also bad, I feel for those two.
Nicolas: I’m going to let Michele decide on this one. What do you think, Michele? “……………. No”
Sara: No. It’s simply the weakest song of the semi. Also, Anita doesn’t sound the best, to be honest…
Kylie: Yes. It’s a visually stunning performance and Knez knocked it out of the park tonight. Call it the Željko Effect.
Nicolas: No. I’m really sad that I have to say no, but even though Knez is such an amazing vocalist, he does not have a face that works on camera and I also fail to see who would vote for this in this semi-final.
Sara: No. Knez is too creepy-looking for anyone to vote for. The song is okay, but he ruins it.
Kylie: No. It sounds weak thanks to them ditching the backing singers and I think this will do surprisingly badly in the televote. I remember Nicolas saying all the way back in November that it would be a shock NQ and I said he was talking rubbish… Nicolas you were right, I’m sorry.
Nicolas: No. I can see this slipping into the final with jury help, but I do stick by what I said back in November. It’s simply not powerful enough.
Sara: Yes. The song has nice instrumentation and she sounds really good. I think it’s strong enough to qualify in this semi.
Kylie: Yes. Well, duh! Heia Norge!!!
Nicolas: Yes. I can’t see this fail, but I can’t see it challenging anyone for the win either.
Sara: Yes. I think this one is really obvious.
Kylie: No. It just doesn’t leave much of an impression at all, I think it’ll be bottom 3 of the televote.
Nicolas: No. It grew on me with the way she performs it live, she gives it her all and she looks really charming on camera. However it just doesn’t leave a lasting impression at all…
Sara: No. It’s just a bad song and everyone will forget about it, getting drinks during this one. I just don’t like it, especially after she wanted to go sing it twice in the jury rehearsal, wha wha go cry to your mommy about it.
8) Czech Republic
Kylie: No. I sincerely hope I’m proved wrong here, but I feel it’s been badly memory-holed by Israel coming after it, they sounded great tonight though, so I hope they got a good jury score at least.
Nicolas: No. Like Kylie, I really hope I’m wrong on this one, but I can’t see it happening…
Sara: No. It’s boring, the shoe throwing will put people off, it’s stupid and… it’s Czech Republic, what do you expect.
Kylie: Yes. It’s a very well done performance, well shot, lots of fun. The final NEEDS more fun songs!
Nicolas: No. I’m just scared juries will collectively put this last considering he has the worst vocals of the night…
Sara: Yes. It’s a breath of fresh air after the 25,000 slow songs. He’s not the best singer but televoting won’t care. It’s fun. Eurovision needs fun. And if Serbia can make it, this can make it.
Kylie: Yes. Visually great, it’s a breath of fresh air, looks like Latvia is making a long-awaited return to the final!
Nicolas: Yes. I always go from yes to no and back again on this one. Is it too avant-garde to make it among all these other ballads? I hope not…
Sara: Yes. She hits every note perfectly, no mistakes, good backing vocals, nice staging. Everything that leads to a qualification.
Kylie: Yes. I still LOATHE the dancers and I feel it suffers coming after Latvia, but I see no reason why it shouldn’t make it.
Nicolas: Yes. If there’s a massive shock non-qualifier in this semi, it’ll be Azerbaijan. But I’m not gutsy enough to actually make that prediction. :p
Sara: Yes. Azerbaijan qualifies with anything so why not this too?
Kylie: No. I am so so so SO sorry Sara, I sincerely hope I’m proved wrong but I’ve got a horrible feeling that she’ll be the shock NQ, she did well tonight though.
Nicolas: Yes. I know a lot of people are now predicting this to fail, but I think this has really strong televoting appeal.
Sara: Yes. Screw everyone! She’s a fairytale princess and every fairytale princess gets their way. And her way is to qualify. So she will. Also, she doesn’t sound that bad, she hit the notes that mattered, so all the haters can get glitterbombed! Suck it!
Kylie: Yes. Well, DUH!!! Semi-winner and still the obvious winner of the final. The reception in the arena was HUGE!
Nicolas: Yes. No doubt about this. Winning Eurovision.
Sara: Yes. He’s handsome, he’s got a good song and he’s Swedish.
Kylie: No. It’s suffers a lot coming after Sweden and I feel it’s kinda anonymous. The uber noisy jet streams also really drowned her out at the last chorus.
Sara: No. This is the most insignificant entry of the year (even though I quite like it). Coming after those four songs and before these three songs it’s just a death trap. She won’t qualify and yeah.
Kylie: Yes. SERIOUS dark horse, there’s no way this ain’t top 10 in the final!
Sara: No. Even though it’s sparkly I don’t think anything that special about this song. It’s a pee break in my opinion and he looks funny.
Kylie: Yes. Solid performance and I see no reason why it shouldn’t make it.
Sara: Yes. Sounds good. The violinist is good. It’s a popular song, so there’s no reason why it shouldn’t qualify (besides the fact that it’s Slovenia). Justice for Ula!
Kylie: No. I’m probably gonna slip up on my predictions with this one, but I just kinda feel this will be a jury fave that doesn’t make it.
Sara: Yes. She’s a good singer and she’s in a wheelchair. Good job, Poland. Oh, and it’s pink. Good job, Poland.
Due to some issues with our recording, our Semi 1 predictions will be in text form!
As per our usual prediction, we give each song a Yes or No answer over whether they will qualify and we give a short answer as to our reasoning for the answer we gave.
Kylie: No. Even though it looks good, I think juries will kill it. It’s a really tough one but I’m stick my neck out despite it being a borderliner, I wouldn’t be surprised if it did qualify after all.
Nicolas: No. I feel that juries will deliberately put this last because of the act. Televoters might save them from last place, though. Oh, and Romania of course.
Sara: No. This might come last in the semi-final, it might not even get high points from Romania because he’s Ukrainian.
Kylie: Yes. It’s basically a rallying call to their diaspora, even though their jury performance as a bit wobbly, I think their televoting diaspora will see them through.
Nicolas: Yes. I don’t even think juries will mark it down (apart from possibly the Netherlands and Belgium, targeting that same diaspora in a negative way) because of how surprisingly good it sounds live. I agree that diaspora will help this qualify.
Sara: Yes. I actually think it sounds kinda nice and it’s purple and pretty.
Kylie: Yes. It looks great and sounds great, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t qualify!
Nicolas: No (laughs). I will only believe we are in the final when I see the envelope with our flag on screen. I just can’t imagine the East voting for us, it’s too sterile, too marketed towards Northern and Western Europe.
Sara: Yes. He is amazing and cute and it should do very well. It’s very Sia-like and she’s liked in Eastern Europe, so there’s no reason why they shouldn’t like him. This is a definite qualifier and if it’s not, I’ll cry myself to sleep.
4) The Netherlands
Kylie: No. It sounded really good but visually I really don’t think it is up to scratch.
Nicolas: No. As Kylie said it doesn’t look good. I even disagree on it sounding good. Her jury rehearsal was possibly her worst runthrough so far.
Sara: Yes. I don’t why, but I just said “yes” based on my predictions system! (For people that don’t know my system: I take statistics from views, likes, dislikes, comments on certain Youtube videos as well as the odds, charts, fanpolls etc.)
Kylie: No. It’s another difficult choice and I think it’s borderline but I have a bad feeling that juries will knock it back, even though it looks good.
Nicolas: Yes. I don’t see juries marking it down that badly, seeing as their rankings are published, how do you think that would make them look if they collectively put Finland last? Also, I can easily see this doing really well with televoters.
Sara: Yes. I agree with Nicolas that juries wouldn’t dare put it last, and if every jury has it in the middle, it’s a good thing with this new ranking system, because televoters will put it high. Those together give it a qualifying result.
Kylie: Yes. What can I say? She completely slayed her jury performance and it looks very nice, no problems qualifying at all!
Nicolas: Yes. I think it’ll sail through to the final but not do well there, it looks and sounds impressive but the song is still very bland. It will get lost with all the other ballads in the final.
Sara: Yes. Greece always qualifies no matter what crap they send. That, and the fact that she sounds and looks good.
Kylie: Yes. Well duh! It was a pretty solid performance tonight.
Nicolas: Yes. Of course it will qualify! It’s an amazing staging, possibly the best of the year. Add Elina’s boo.. uhm, crying to that, and you have a televoting magnet!
Sara: Yes. This will definitely qualify but I don’t think it’s going to do as well as everyone says. It’s going to be that song that is a fan favorite but ‘flops’ in the final.
8) FYR Macedonia
Kylie: No. Oh god, what have you done?! I think this will be last in the televote actually.
Nicolas: No. They had a qualifier on their hands with this song, but they completely destroyed it with the staging. Merj are obviously great singers, but their style does not match the song at all. Same goes for Daniel’s weird moves.
Sara: No. Just because you have Grammy award-winning singers on stage doesn’t mean you’ll qualify. Macedonia needs to learn how to stage entries because this had so much potential. Daniel ruins it with his voice and his awkwardness. This is not an RnB song so stop trying to make it one.
Kylie: No. I’ve got a bad feeling that it will be a fan favourite that won’t make it out of the semi.
Nicolas: Yes. What to say? It’s fabulous! Viewers at home will be waiting for an act like this, they’ll love it! However, in the final it’ll do nothing at all…
Sara: No. People who would vote for this are all in the hall. I don’t think people at home will find this vote-worthy in such a strong semi. The breakdown is just too ridiculous looking with the backing singers/dancers that people would just laugh.
Kylie: Yes. It stands out in its own little way, juries will love it.
Nicolas: Yes. Boggie has a lot to thank the producers for with that amazing draw. She couldn’t have wished for a better moment to perform. People who hated Serbia (and they’ll have as many haters as they’ll have lovers) will be yearning for a beautiful, intimate song like this. Still, she needs to get her facial expressions right.
Sara: No. Juries may really like this but televoters will find her too robotic and boring, so they’ll take a pee break (like I did last night).
Kylie: Yes. It’s a borderliner but I think it’s got enough friends to see them through, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it failed.
Nicolas: No. Biggest. Disappointment. Of the year. This could’ve had such a strong staging! They had a good staging on their hands in the semi, but they’ve just lost that. People will forget about this one.
Sara: No. I’m really disappointed in Belarus this year. Sure, he sounds good but their stage performance has nothing special to make it stand out.
Kylie: Yes. Well, duh!
Nicolas: Yes. Semi-final winner.
Sara: Yes. I think it’ll win the semi. At first I didn’t think it was smart to have a band on stage but Polina has a really good aura around her. She’s beautiful and she has a winner’s face and song.
Kylie: Yes. There’s no reason for juries to mark it down and I think it will get a reasonable televote, so there’s no reason why they shouldn’t qualify in 8th or 9th.
Nicolas: Yes. Simple, it’ll end up in the middle of the televoting rankings and in the middle of the jury rankings. Easy qualification, trouble in the final.
Sara: No. It’s time for Denmark to fail. If you can’t get support from your own country, how do you expect support from other countries?
Kylie: No. Even though Elhaida nailed all her notes tonight, I just feel the staging isn’t interesting enough to get big support. It might be a jury favourite that fails due to lack of televote.
Nicolas: No. Did she even nail all the notes? To me she sounded quite off, to be honest. That, plus the fact that it’s completely anonymous, won’t help at all.
Sara: Yes. While watching an illegal stream thanks to the Armenians (thanks Tamar!) this came across as very strong on screen.
Kylie: Yes. This has no problems at all qualifying.
Nicolas: Yes. Another song targeting their diaspora, but in a less ‘in your face’ way. It’s a very strong melody performed by a band with experience.
Sara: Yes. It’s a sweet song that everyone will go ‘aww’ to. And the diaspora will help it, of course.
Kylie: Yes. God bless Nina, she’s been really sick today but she really did the best she could tonight, she was about 95% there and it looks really great.
Nicolas: Yes. She was so much better than in the first dress rehearsal! This is such an amazing end to a crazy semi-final, televoters will love her!
Sara: Yes. She’s lucky with the draw because everyone will remember this and be singing it all night. She has very striking eyes and a very powerful voice, even though she couldn’t hit all of her notes.