Thursday, May 08, 2014

Ireland and Israel fall at the first hurdle. Somehow Poland and Belarus get more votes and make the final.

With the second Semi Final done and dusted things ought to settle down and we can get a better view of who is likely to get those key votes on Saturday.

There have been some big changes. The Netherlands have continued to see their odds drop and are now level with the once out-on-its-own-favourite Armenia. Austria have pushed past several to join a leading foursome with Sweden making up that square.

Next there is a quite a morass of nations: Ukraine, UK, Hungary, Denmark with Greece coming back to join them having been well out of the running before.

Norway is very much on its own occupying that marginal area on the edge of the Top 10.

After that there are Azerbaijan, Spain and Romania with decent songs and artists and they are either going to leap up into the Top 5 or be forgotten: no half-way houses for them like Norway.

On the right hand side of the scoreboard at the moment are definite losers: Belarus, Iceland, France, Poland, Italy and Russia will be battling to avoid nul points. To these add San Marino, Germany and Switzerland who'll get a few votes but will still lose.

Lastly we're left with the four interesting entries that you can never quite be sure of. Like The Netherlands and Austria prior to the public getting to see or hear them, they're not predicted to come anywhere noticeable but one bit of magic publicity or performance could change that. These are Malta, with a fine, resounding sort of Mumford number; Finland with a jolly boy band with nothing to lose and the chance of a mini 1D career to go for; Montenegro, one of the few genuinely serious singers who has a good song, sung naturally in his own language which sounds so much better than the broken English and odd phrases of so many others and Slovenia who have a catchy little number and a flute that might appeal to more than their current betting odds indicate.

Failing to get through the 2nd Semi Final were Israel, Ireland, both a little surprising although they were not performing well and three which, quite frankly, had dreadful songs and deserved to go: Lithuania, Macedonia and Georgia. Poland and Belarus should have joined them.

There will be more changes at the top as the six automatic qualifiers have not had the exposure of the Semi Finals and mere glimpses of their tracks played to fill space from time to time. I believe UK, Denmark and Spain will benefit considerably once people start to see and hear them and they will impact strongly on the Top 10 positions. Germany and Italy are right hand side of the scoreboard certainties and France may join the battle for bottom.

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