ESC Pulse Article: ESC 2016 Semi 2 Predictions

Hej! The jury rehearsal for the second semi-final has come and gone, Kylie was there to witness it while Nicolas and Sara had to rely on videos and blogs from home. Will that show a difference in opinions and predictions between the three of us? Let’s find out…

Before we start, let’s have some quick comments about the first semi results:

Kylie: I don’t want to talk about it. At least my friends were happy, but, yeah… At least I wasn’t the only one in that press centre who was upset.

Nicolas: My god, for a split second I thought Malta wasn’t going to qualify, but then my heart was broken as Iceland was not announced last. But in general, I was very happy and, let’s not forget, for once I’m in the lead on ESC Pulse! I had 9 qualifiers right compared to Kylie and Sara’s 8! But.. I doubt I’ll keep that title after semi 2…

Sara: Iceland should’ve qualified! Go Austriaaaa!!!!! Just reminding people, by the way, that my predictions are based on a big load of statistics! So don’t blame me if I’m wrong!

Also, as there won’t be a podcast for predicting semi 2 (as we have quite a sick baby with us right now…) both Nicolas and I will actually try and predict the exact placing of every country on here instead!



Justs – “Heartbeat”. Image courtesy of EBU.

Kylie: Yes. Talk about a jury performance! I just hope my heart doesn’t get broken again after Tuesday…

Nicolas: Yes. Though I’m not too fond of the song, there’s no denying he hits all the notes plus he’s very passionate. Should sail through! Will be 4th.

Sara: Yes. I don’t think this will do as well as people say it will. The staging is weak and boring and he’s pretty boring as a performer too… 6th.



Michał Szpak – “Color Of Your Life”. Image courtesy of EBU.

Kylie: Yes. He kind of fluffed up the jury performance but I’ve always thought of this as more of a televote song, and I think it can get through on that basis.

Nicolas: Yes. Like Kylie said, televoting will save him, though I secretly hope he misses out. Will be 9th.

Sara: Yes. I think the juries will really like this, as long as he doesn’t make any mistakes and there are a lot of Polish people around Europe, so who knows. 4th!



Rykka – “The Last Of Our Kind”. Image courtesy of EBU.

Kylie: No. It’s just so weak compared to the two songs before and the one after it, and don’t get me started on her clown wig hair…

Nicolas: No. WHY did she decide to go for the curly hair? Anyway, it’s not like straight hair would’ve saved this. I think this year might have the interesting result of having the same last places in the semis as last year: Finland and Switzerland. 18th.

Sara: No. Just curling her hair is already putting her down five places. Bad decisions all around! 18th.



Hovi Star – “Made Of Stars”. Image courtesy of EBU.

Kylie: Yes. Dark horse alert! I’m so sorry Nicolas for dismissing you in the review, you were right! The staging just looks so lovely and it’s very well sung, and it has THE pyro curtain of the year.

Nicolas: Yes. HAH, Kylie! At least I like that you aren’t trying to talk your way out of it. I had the feeling from the moment the final version got released that that would just wow everyone. The pyro rain will however not seem as impressive to viewers, I feel, because of Switzerland using it literally 3 minutes before. I do feel it’s one of tose that would do better in the final than in the semi, partly because of the draw. 8th.

Sara: No. I think it comes too early in the draw and too close to Poland to really have an impact. There’s nothing about this song that stands out (besides his sparkly clothes!!!). The backdrop has been done a million times before in this competition. 12th.



IVAN – “Help You Fly”. Image courtesy of EBU.

Kylie: No. I dunno, I just feel that between Israel and Serbia, this seems a bit trying too hard. I’m not confident about that statement though.

Nicolas: No. I really want this to qualify and I think that if someone like Mr Zelmerlöw (I don’t feel like going to copy the weird ‘a’, okay?!) had performed this with this staging, it’d be a definite top 10, but IVAN is still just as charisma-free as an overused toilet brush (or as Rykka’s hair, for that matter). Televoters will save this from the very bottom though. 13th.

Sara: No. He’s just too weird as a person and it will put people off. It’s a cool performance but I don’t see anybody voting for this. 13th



Sanja Vučić ZAA – “Goodbye (Shelter)”. Image courtesy of EBU.

Kylie: Yes. Juries will love it and it’s not too dark or uncomfortable for the public to appreciate in my opinion.

Nicolas: Yes. If I were more daring, I’d say it’s top 5 in the final, but I need to see the performance first. But from what I’ve seen, it’s a perfect staging and her voice is outstanding. Great job, Serbia! 2nd in the semi!

Sara: Yes. I think this a really strong entry and a really good performance. She sounds spot on all the time and she’s a very likeable person. 5th.



Nicky Byrne – “Sunlight”. Image courtesy of EBU.

Kylie: No. Being between two Balkan vocal powerhouses is very bad news for them. It just feels like a bit of fluff between two very substantial pieces of work. And yes, the fact that they’ve got a red backdrop for a song called freaking SUNLIGHT still makes me irrationally irritated.

Nicolas: No. I don’t think he’s chanceless just based on songs, as it’s very much in the vein of what Denmark would’ve sent between 2008 and 2011, but Nicky just can’t make it work. 15th.

Sara: No. This is just weak… Ireland doesn’t know how to stage their entries anymore. It’s so boring and the song lacks that certain je-ne-sais-quoi. 14th.


F.Y.R. Macedonia

Kaliopi – “Dona”. Image courtesy of EBU.

Kylie: Yes. I’m not 100% confident about this, but I’ve got a feeling that she might’ve done just enough to make it.

Nicolas: No. Though like Kylie said, not 100% sure either. I feel like this will narrowly miss out. In 2012 they only barely qualified with a much stronger song, so I feel like they might just miss out this time around. 11th.

Sara: No. It doesn’t appeal to juries nor televoting. Just too old-fashioned and her voice is something that you need to get used to and first time listeners won’t get the chance to do that and won’t enjoy it. But since they have a few friends in this semi they will get 11th anyway!



Donny Montell – “I’ve Been Waiting For This Night”. Image courtesy of EBU.

Kylie: No. I don’t know why, but today I got a hunch that this is going to fall short. I know they’ve got plenty of support in this semi, but something just doesn’t feel right here.

Nicolas: Yes. It won’t be as high as I first thought as I think the staging really fails to grab people’s attention. But Lithuania literally has all of its friends so I think it’ll manage to make it, though very narrowly! 10th.

Sara: Yes. I think this is the only song of its kind in this semi: a single male singing a real uptempo dance track. He’s a seasoned performer and I think if the camera shots are right he could impress quite a few viewers. 8th.



Dami Im – “Sound Of Silence”. Image courtesy of EBU.

Kylie: Yes. Unfortunately…

Nicolas: Yes. No reason why this wouldn’t qualify. 3rd

Sara: Yes. She’s obviously one of the best singers in the competition this year and I feel like her performance will look really cool on screen (even though I haven’t seen it yet). 2nd.



ManuElla – “Blue And Red”. Image courtesy of EBU.

Kylie: No. I don’t get the random acrobat and its running order position doesn’t really help.

Nicolas: No. This is the ultimate pee break material. 17th.

Sara: No. This song is too weak. Europeans don’t usually like country/pop songs like this. There’s a reason why Taylor Swift only really became popular in Europe after her change of style. And coming between Australia and Bulgaria will make her forgettable. 17th.



Poli Genova – “If Love Was A Crime”. Image courtesy of EBU.

Kylie: Yes. It’s a really good pop song and people will appreciate that, it’s really enjoyable in my opinion

Nicolas: Yes. It should make it easily, but somehow I’m scared that if we have an Iceland 2.0 in this semi, it might be this… But loyal listeners will know that that’s just the pessimist in me talking, though I won’t let that part of me overrule the reasonable side of me! 5th.

Sara: Yes. I think a lot of the casual viewers will really like this song and relate to it. It’s extremely catchy and everybody will be singing it all night whether they know Bulgarian or not. 3rd.



Lighthouse X – “Soldiers Of Love”. Image courtesy of EBU.

Kylie: No. If they couldn’t qualify with the same schtick last year, what reason is there for them to do it this year?

Nicolas: No. Middle of the road things used to make it in Eurovision, but what statistics about this new voting system taught me is that the middle of the road songs are the ones that suffer the most from this. Juries might have this as qualifying, but televoters will forget about this completely. 14th

Sara: Yes. Just because I have faith in my Danish men, just like I had faith in them in DMGP! You’ll all see! 10th.



Jamala – “1944”. Image courtesy of EBU.

Kylie: Yes. It stands out in its semi and will be well-liked enough on both sides of the coin that they will be safely through.

Nicolas: Yes. I know that back in February I said this might be the shock failure of this year, but no way that this is going to happen. I’m even thinking this will win the semi. 1st!

Sara: Yes. It’s Ukraine. 1st.



Agnete – “Icebreaker”. Image courtesy of EBU.

Kylie: No. You have no idea how much it pains me to say it about my beloved Norway, so I’m just going to leave it at that and go cry…

Nicolas: Yes. I think people are being too harsh here. The song was seen as a definite qualifier at first and just because  the box went away people now think this won’t qualify? Show a bit more faith in the actual song! She sings it really well and I think she’ll still sail through! 6th

Sara: Yes. I think the song appeals to teenage girls (I’m.. sorry, Kylie?) and you either love it or hate it. 9th.



Nika Kocharov & Young Georgian Lolitaz – “Midnight Gold”. Image courtesy of EBU.

Kylie: Yes. Another one that I’m not 100% confident on, but I’ve got a hunch that this might be exciting enough for people to appreciate and it MIGHT just sneak through, although I’m not entirely sure how much of that is my own personal wish…

Nicolas: No. As much as I want this to qualify, I can’t see the niche that this song appeals to pick up the phone to vote enough for this to qualify. And juries will sink it, I feel. 12th.

Sara: No. I think this song only appeals to a very small group of people and those people wouldn’t vote in Eurovision anyway. 16th.



Eneda Tarifa – “Fairytale”. Image courtesy of EBU.

Kylie: No. She really belts it out but it just does nothing and you will forget it by the time Belgium’s postcard comes on.

Nicolas: No. Again, if I were braver, I’d predict this as a shock qualifier, but I’m going to go safe and say that it’ll be completely forgotten between crazy Georgia and fun Belgium. 16th.

Sara: No. The song is lacklustre, lacks any type of real melody. People will be impressed by her voice but will forget her 30 seconds after the song’s over.



Laura Tesoro – “What’s The Pressure”. Image courtesy of EBU.

Kylie: Yes. Not much to say other than that it’s the semi-final closer that we all needed.

Nicolas: Yes. For once I’ll show faith in Belgium! I just feel like there’s too many things going for it to go really wrong in the semi. It’ll fail to do that well in the final, but the fact that it’s the only real fun song in this semi, with good choreography, making people want to dance, makes me quietly confident. 7th.

Sara: Yes. This is a funky song that people will enjoy. She’s really cute and super likeable. 7th.


Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoy the show, and if you agree/disagree with us, or want to make fun of us after the show for our incorrect predictions, hit us with a comment!


ESC Pulse Podcast: Nicolas & Sara Review The 2016 Rehearsals (Part 2)

Nicolas and Sara are not in Stockholm, but it doesn’t mean that they can’t have a say about what they make of the rehearsal footage back home in the States!


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ESC Pulse Podcast: ESC 2016 Review – Semi 2 (part 2)

The fourth of five shows reviewing the songs competing in the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest. In this episode, we look at the songs in the ssecond half of Semi 2.

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Euro Dummies Podcast: National Finals 2016 – Episode #4

Sara is back just in time to discuss the result of Eurosong in Belgium, Ireland’s surprise song, and preview this week’s upcoming NFs in both Belarus and Malta. There’s also our weekly news roundup, and we answer listener’s Twitter questions.




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Euro Dummies Podcast: National Finals 2016 – Episode #3

Nicolas couldn’t stay away for long, and rejoins Kylie and special guest Ciaran to discuss the Belgian songs, plus we pilot a new game. There’s also our weekly news roundup, and we answer listener’s Twitter questions.




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Euro Dummies Podcast: National Finals 2016 – Episode #2

Mother Stork has arrived, so Kylie is joined by a special guest host to discuss the first Belgian show and also discuss some Eurovision New Years Resolutions, as well as our usual new round-up.




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Euro Dummies Article: ESC 2015 Semi 1 Predictions

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.


1) Moldova

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.

2) Armenia

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.

3) Belgium

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.)

5) Finland

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.

6) Greece

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.

7) Estonia

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.

9) Serbia

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.

10) Hungary

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).

11) Belarus

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.

12) Russia

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.

13) Denmark

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?

14) Albania

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.

15) Romania

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.

16) Georgia

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.


Euro Dummies Podcast: ESC 2015 Review – Semi 1 (part 1)

The first of our shows reviewing the songs competing in the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest. In this episode, we look at the songs in the first half of Semi 1.

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