PREVIEW: Eurovision Song Contest semi-final 2

WHEN: 8pm (UK time) 12/5 (link below)

WHERE: BBC4 (link below) and Stockholm’s Ericsson Globe

We’ve revised our predictions with the 1st week of rehearsals over for the semi-finalists – and it’s two in and two out.

  • Who’s through and who’s on the first plane out of Stockholm? Read on for our semi 2 predictions

  1. LATVIA Justs Heartbeat PREDICTION: Qualifier

Latvia did well with something contemporary last year (6th) and we’re as cool about this as we were about that. We’ll happily concede that this is a grower (not always great for Eurovision) and we now have it shading Slovenia out of the final at the end of the first week of rehearsals.

2. POLAND Michal Szpak Colour Of My Life

Rousing and anthemic but it’ll have to go some to qualify from the dreaded runner-up slot.

3. SWITZERLAND Rykka The Last Of Our Kind

Another of this year’s very Western-sounding songs albeit with a rather thin female vocal that wouldn’t have been out of place in a Dawson’s Creek episode.

4. ISRAEL Hovi Star Made Of Stars PREDICTION: Qualifier

Hovi has a very Eurovision look and stands out with his piano-led grower in what is a challenging opening to the 2nd semi. It has the feel of a dark horse about it especially if sung with the passion Hovi looks like he can muster. Early rehearsal praise for this makes it 1 to watch.

5. BELARUS Ivan Help You Fly

One of the less memorable rock entries.

6. SERBIA Sanja Vučić Goodbye PREDICTION: Qualifier

Borderline qualifier. Angsty with a touch of the pan pipes. Sounds like a song waiting for the acceptable moment to break into a screech. Much better live than in the studio.

7. IRELAND Nicky Byrne Sunlight PREDICTION: Qualifier

Yes, it’s a Westlife member you’ve forgotten singing a song that is everything the new Zayn Malik album isn’t. Typical boyband member goes solo fare. Sailing all the way to the final and probably struggling to finish top 10 there. Early reports that this might struggle.

8. MACEDONIA Kaliopi Dona PREDICTION: Qualifier

It’s a performance the juries are going to love of a song that really doesn’t deserve such treatment. Kaliopi pulled the same trick in 2012 when she finished 13th with Crno i Belo. Nul points to anyone mentioning a kebab.

9. LITHUANIA Donny Martell I’ve Been Waiting For This Night PREDICTION: Qualifier

Donny finished 14th in 2012 and we don’t mind saying we’ve a soft spot for this despite its rather cliched lyric.

10. AUSTRALIA Dani Im Sound Of Silence PREDICTION: Qualifier

If the rumours of an Asiavision show to rival Eurovision are correct, this could be Australia’s 2nd and last appearance here. Sound Of Silence is suitably moody but we’d like more of a tune. Quite probably top 5 and with a great performance it could go all the way however.

11. SLOVENIA ManuElla Blue And Red

Remember the Wiktoria song which almost won Melodifestivalen this year? This is very similar and, although it’s not a style we particularly enjoy, we wouldn’t be surprised if this made Saturday’s final.

12. ROMANIA Ovidiu Anton Moment Of Silence (PREDICTION: Qualifier until disqualification)

The contest’s WTF moment (or rather it would’ve been if Romania weren’t disqualified for not paying their EBU subs). Once again Romania have treated us to something that is visually arresting, musically memorable and likely to figure strongly in any highlights package. Although one probably wouldn’t want to bump into Ovidiu and his chums on a dark Bucharest night. Sounding like a James Bond theme tune with heavy rock influences.

13. BULGARIA Poli Genova If Love Was A Crime PREDICTION: Qualifier

Poli finished 12th in the second semi in Dusseldorf in 2011 but this is written by Swedes, very modern-sounding pop and should prove her passport to Saturday night’s show. Bulgaria have only made the final once in nine appearances but we’d be surprised if this did better than that showing (5th).

14. DENMARK Lighthouse X Soldiers Of Love

Take That B-side alert.

15. UKRAINE Jamala 1944

Let’s skirt over the politics that this entry inevitably stirs up and concentrate instead on the song … Next!

16. NORWAY Agnete Icebreaker PREDICTION: Qualifier

Where Croatia’s water-themed entry from semi 1 managed to create something beautiful from familiar ingredients, this is all sounding rather clinical and precise.

17. GEORGIA Nika Kocharov & Young Georgian Lolita Midnight Gold

The rock song we’re rooting for from the semis which manages to sound both fresh and Britpop while boasting the strangest lyrics. Oddball video too. Could quite mark the point in the contest where no-one’s quite sure what just happened.

18. ALBANIA Eneda Tarifa Fairytale

Forgettable.

19. BELGIUM Laura Tesoro What’s The Pressure? PREDICTION: Qualifier

Beginning like so much of a rip off of Queen’s Another One Bites The Dust and then only slightly managing to morph into something else, this plumb draw should be just enough to see it through if the juries don’t do for it.

  • Link to Saturday’s night’s final. Who’s winning? Join us on this site for our final predictions immediately after Thursday’s second semi. Picture via Facebook courtesy Hovi Star.
  • Enjoyed this preview? Follow its author on Twitter @NeilDurham

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