A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Tobson takes a guess: Semi 1

It's here - the night of the first semi where eight hopefuls will have their dreams crushed and their ESC voyage will find an early end.

Also ten finalists will make their first important impression on the televoting audience at home and maybe take a first important step towards a top placing.

Usually when predicting the semi finals I tell you what ten songs will make it and why, but this year I thought I'd turn the whole thing around. I will tell you what eight songs will be out instead. And why.

The eight songs making their exit tonight will be these ones (in some sort of random order perhaps):

Feels like the most obvious non-qualifier of the night. Not unpleasant but lacking in both profile and - according to rehearsal reports - vocal perfection. Random dancing cosmonaut on stage just adds the final touch to this failure.

Moody introverted rock could be the perfect thing for Eurovision but this package would be in desperate need of a chorus. Or a hook. Or anything to make it memorable.

The only thing making me doubt the upcoming Greek failure is that Greece never failed in a semi final before. Sometime their luck must end. And there is nothing in this entry that would deserve a spot in the final.

I wish this wouldn't happen but it will. This will be too anonymous and easily forgotten coming as first song of the night. The usual non-promotion that the local record companies specialise in hasn't helped either. Too bad.

Don't laugh too hard at Serhat, he is likely to land one of San Marino's best showings to date. But an 11th place is not enough to make it to the final.

Just like Greece, Bosnia never missed out in a semi. I have a feeling either this one or Croatia will lose out tonight. It could very well be the other way around but I would prefer it like this.

Iceland or Estonia. I have a strong feeling one of them will lose out. And then I think Iceland will suffer in the battle of the screens - Russia will out-project everybody else and Iceland can't really afford that.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and predict that also Azerbaijan fails for the first time. News reports suggest Samra sang really badly at last night's jury final, and the Land of Fire was really close to getting eliminated already last year. It will be very revealing to see what jurors vote for this despite all the sick notes.

If Europe agrees with me that these are the eight songs we are sending home tonight, then my list of qualifiers would be (in order of appearance): Hungary, Croatia, Netherlands, Armenia, Russia, Czech republic, Cyprus, Austria, Estonia, Malta.

It doesn't seem altogether right - Netherlands, Estonia, Croatia and Austria are surely under threat - but I will run with this, while secretly hoping for Serhat to make the cut.


  1. Agree mostly, but I will say that Azerbaijan is not going out on a limb. Your out on a limb prediction is Iceland. It has impressed massively in rehearsals and is sailing up the odds. In terms of stage show, it differs itself enough from Russia stand on it's own 2 feet.

  2. Iceland out though? That's quite a risky call, but I admire your bravery. :)

    I'd say Estonia is more likely to fail than Iceland. The latter does in my opinion have a distinctive look with the darkness and the mystical elements if you compare it to Russia, so I don't think they cancel each other out.

    I'm the most on the fence about Croatia. Not really convinced with the staging, it's very early in the running and Nina is quite a static performer. Is the song really going to catch enough mass support in order for it to qualify?
    I guess we'll see.

    Here are my prediction of qualifiers in some kind of order:
    The Netherlands
    Czech Rebublic