Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Eurovision: 1st Semi Final Expectations

After a very professional and attractive performance, Cyprus' Eleni has leapt from almost nowhere to become the favourite to win. She has produced really good rehearsal performances every time and is exciting to watch. Israel's Netta hasn't been quite on point when it mattered. At the last dress rehearsal the Eurovision Juries will have made their assessments and awarded points for the first Semi Final so those performances will have had an influence on who gets through.

I don't think anyone had doubted that Israel will get through, nor Cyprus, and I am expecting Netta to turn things around at the Final as I just reckon she will prove a lot more popular across the board. I am quite surprised that a quite old sort of Beyonce pop song has attracted so much punters' money and with acts going up and down like yo-yos this week everything could still turn out very differently to how the money suggests today.

Norway and Estonia are currently the only other two acts seen as having a chance of winning. Estonia is another Semi Final 1 contestant and I am confident that the opera track will get through safely. I still see that as the main contender of the four. Norway's entry is cheerful, well-presented and professionally sung but I just don't see a song that tells us how to write a song will make it. A good Top 5 candidate but not the No.1.

France, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Sweden have all been decidedly average so far. The Czech Republic is the one of these four that I can see making it. The others, competent as they may be simply don't inspire. Both Czech Republic and Bulgaria should also be safely through Semi Final 1 tonight.

After these acts, it is rather a collection of also-rans at the moment. Italy have a very impressive song with powerful lyrics but I don't think enough people will get it. Moldova should get through semi Final 1 and entertain us once more with their slightly naughty performance. they're my third contender to win at the moment but still low in most people's estimation at a massive 70-1!

Finland have stayed virtually static around the bottom of the Top 10 ever since things started. That is an achievement of sorts as plenty of acts much better fancied have fallen past them. Unfortunately, several have also improved over the weeks and it shows. I just reckon that Saara Aalto will put on a really great effort tonight and will ensure Finland get enough votes for effort alone to get through. She may be a winner but the track isn't.

Australia have almost fallen off the ladder as Jessica really never managed to bring the power and excitement that her video had. Such a shame as that was a good song and she seemed so enthusiastic at the start and we all thought she would be a major contender. Luckily, Semi Final 2 has so many terrible acts that Australia will make the Final with no problem so Jessica will have one last chance to change our minds. She will have one chance too to get the Juries on board and I have a feeling she will deliver. I don't write her off but, at 120-1 as I write, that would be one hell of a mighty recovery! As its stands, she'll be coming about where our Lucy Jones finished last year.

Greece have also disappointed massively and may even struggle to qualify. Little Lithuania, like Finland, appear to have held steady whilst all around were going up and down. I think they'll get through and I still see them as a long shot to grab people's hearts on the night.

Belgium, Belarus and Austria will be battling to get one of the last two or three places in the first Semi. None have made any impression on me at all and I am none too sure that one or more of them might even fall to countries like Ireland or even Azerbaijan. These two are way out in the odds but I'd never write either country off in Eurovision.

So my predictions at this stage as to who will get through are:

Israel | Cyprus | Estonia | Bulgaria | Czech Republic | Finland

Lithuania | Greece

Struggling - 2 to succeed from:
Ireland | Azerbaijan | Belarus | Austria | Belgium

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