It is time to complete the Saturday lineup with the final ten songs and the question is always if predicting the second semi is easier than the first. Can you look at what worked on Tuesday night and make some waterproof conclusions on what works or not this specific year?
No. You can't. Sorry.
Thursday night has different jurors. Different viewers. And a completely new set of coicidences.
We have for instance no idea what songs advanced because the viewers loved them or the juries loved them and who just scraped by in a lucky accident because of a solid average.
Worth noticing is however that the mid-tempo songs didn't eat each other's points the way I would have thought and if there's anything the final is beginning to lack a bit, then it is tempo and beats. But the people voting tonight won't necessarily know that and even if they knew I'm not sure they'd care.
Eight acts will leave the show tonight and I think it will be the following:
Loud and without a melody, pretty much what was Albania's downfall on Tuesday. Michael does what he can but no. The Israeli qualification streak ends here.
Emma is well known in the host country and it is sad she won't make it to the final. But if Maltese tv felt the need to go shopping for an entry elsewhere, why did they settle for this very bleak ditty? Who would stand up and cheer for this?
Another good singer with very little to work with. The song is competent but never takes off and goes nowhere.
Very much like Latvia, this has caught the attention and liking of many a Eurovision fan. It has a pretty nice instrumental thingy and a compellingly gay atmosphere but it never rises beyond being endearingly rubbish. This year's Slavko (or was that Albania?).
This is where I'd hope to be wrong. I'd love a piece of slightly trashy 80's pop in the final but Ireland rarely knows how to row this sort of boat into the harbour. Strong "Et Cetera" vibes here. The Austria of this semi final.
I thought this would be a qualifier and with a solid performance it still has its chances - the juries are never averse to a strong voice - but I put my finger in the air and feel the time for the big updated comeback of the Balkan ballad isn't here yet.
An early fave of mine that I still ugly dance to in my kitchen but it has grown off me ever so slightly and I doubt the visual choices of the band will convince the average voter. I'd love to be wrong but I don't think I will be.
Look, I don't want to have to do this. If it was up to me I'd leave out impeccably produced but anonymous Azerbaijan or overly theatrical Australia. It could just as well be Finland missing the mark, leaning too much on routine instead of connecting with the audience. It could be Belgium sounding slightly too aggressive. Stefan is a great singer but Estonia going all "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" comes very much out of the blue. I think people will enjoy it but not vote for it enough.
This would mean my final ten qualifiers are: Finland, Serbia, Azerbaijan, San Marino, Australia, Cyprus, Poland, Belgium, Sweden and Czech republic. (Personally, I'd gladly swap Azerbaijan and Australia for Georgia and Ireland but I don't see that happening.)
You agree? You disagree? I'll spend the semi final on Twitter, feel free to join the conversation there.