A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Semi 2: Tobson top ten

I will admit it and say it openly: prediction went so-so this Tuesday. I got seven out of ten qualifiers right, which isn't really any greater sign of having the Midas touch.

But in my defence, I still think that the results will prove very tight once revealed and that there might have been pretty close margins between who made it and who didn't.

It's the same for semi 2, perhaps on an even larger scale this time. One little positive thing could suddenly be decisive in making one song break through to the audience while another one fails. And the ballads and duets are likely to eat each other.

I also review all the songs for EILE Magazine and made my pick already yesterday. Having cold feet about one or two already but here goes. Tonight's ten qualifiers are (in an almost random order):

Because Måns is sensational, the song is in a league of its own tonight and, as predicted earlier, this is one of the top contenders for overall victory comes Saturday.

Being bold and different and thinking outside the box paid off for Belgium and should do the same for Latvia. Wonderfully odd and divisive. Not everyone's cup of tea and I love it when somebody dares not to be.

The audience will find themselves longing for something upbeat and reasonably contemporary by the end of the song presentation and then Slovenia brings relief. Catchy and with distinctive hooks, both musically and visually.

This is the dramatic duet that will blow all other similar attempts out of the water. Stylish, suggestive and with a very accessible chorus. Hard cheese for the others, especially the Czech republic. This is where all their potential points will wander.

Just like Denmarks packet-full-of-sunshine-formula suddenly stopped working, there will come a day when Europe no longer wants this type of Balkan ballad. But that day is not today, this will surely make it to the final without making any bigger splash there.

Among the ballads this one will stand out by being sparse, modest and sensitively performed by a male solo singer. And it might trigger severe nostalgia among the people who loved the Backstreet Boys back in the day.

Also a male ballad but without anything sparse or modest about it. Just like Azerbaijan last year, it could prove a little too demanding to do really well but if it doesn't make it to the final the expression "shock non-qualifier" will gain new frightening dimensions.

I had some harsh comments about this one in my preview review and I still partially stand by my critique. But Israel comes dancing onto stage after seven songs that are relatively slow and similar. It can't go wrong. Welcome back to the final, Israel.

One of my personal favourites that I hope I share with the juries at least. Reportedly, Molly has been shying away from the cameras during rehearsal which is clearly not a good thing. But I cross my fingers very hard for this one to go through.

This one is the one I am the least sure of and finds itself among my ten qualifiers mainly because Iceland always seem to sneak in somehow. This is safe and inoffensive but one day also that formula will fail.

That means that my seven non-qualifiers tonight are: Poland, Switzerland, Czech republic, Portugal, Malta, San Marino and Lithuania.

I would gladly have Lithuania in the final but I think it is too light-weight to be remembered by the end of the show. I would gladly have Poland in the final, but ultimately the song in itself isn't dynamic enough to make people pay attention to yet another ballad. I would gladly have Portugal but I see that isn't going to happen.

But what I want most of all is a change of pace for the second semi final and a qualification sequence that will allow excitement to build up. That and Ireland in the final would make my night complete.


  1. Sweden, Azerbaijan, Slovenia, Norway, Latvia, Israel, Cyprus, Montenegro, Poland, Lithuania

    Bring it on.