We predicted nine of the 10 semi 1 qualifiers with only our favourite, Finland, being the one we got wrong.
- Read on for reasons including our predictions for Saturday’s 16 qualifiers so far
1st half: ITALY Francesco Gabbani Occidentali’s Karma PREDICTION: Winner
The bookies’ favourite since it won the San Remo Festival earlier this year. Initially we found the monkey gimmick annoying but this is so much fun and, at its least commercial, it sounds like Coldplay. Has there ever been a more surefire winner? Francesco pictured above.
1st half: PORTUGAL: Salvador Sobral Amar Pelos Dois PREDICTION: 2nd to 5th
Classy and a big favourite with the bookies but we think it will fare less well than predicted because, whisper it, it’s a little dull. Salvador has a heart-rending back story and the contest’s biggest fans would love a first Portuguese win. We just can’t see it with this hark back to the 30s but we did love the quirky charm of the semi 1 performance.
1st half: ARMENIA: Artsvik Fly With Me PREDICTION: 6th to 10th
Much better than we were expecting. Eastern sounding with some traditional elements. This has grown on us since we started to listen to the version on the official show album. A flurry of interest at the bookies has seen its odds slashed.
1st half: AZERBAIJAN: Dihaj Skeletons PREDICTION: 16st to 20th
Azerbaijan ramp up the unsettling imagery. The composers of their only Eurovision win with Running Scared in 2011 return here with less success. It’s grown on us in recent weeks and we’re particularly enjoying the eastern melodies.
1st half: MOLDOVA: Sunstroke Project Hey, Mamma 16th to 20th
Horribly dated cheese with a saxophone hook straight out of all the worst songs of the 80s. Qualifying (along with the dire Yodel It! from semi 2) because once heard, never forgotten. Weren’t there a lot of women wearing white in the first semi?
1st half: POLAND: Kasia Moś Flashlight PREDICTION: 21st to 26th
A song we find ourselves wanting to like far more than we actually do. Unmemorable. Nice violin and dramatic drums in the chorus. Kasia’s confidence just edging out the more jittery Albania to make the final we think.
2nd half: SWEDEN: Robin Bengtsson I Can’t Go On PREDICTION: 2nd to 5th
The Swedes picked runner-up Nano, which would have been a far more credible entry than this winner with the international juries in greatest show on earth Melodifestivalen. While we think its Melodifestivalen production actually detracted from it, we can’t see Sweden equalling Ireland’s record number of wins with this predictable Euro stomper.
2nd half: UK: Lucie Jones Never Give Up On You PREDICTION: 6th to 10th
We’ve upgraded our expectations of this having seen Jones excel live onstage in musical Rent. She’s a fabulous live performer, we appreciate the tweaking given to the new version and absolutely adore the 7th Heaven mix. Written by 2013 winner for Denmark Emmelie de Forest. Loving the mirrored staging.
2nd half: AUSTRALIA: Isaiah Don’t Come Easy PREDICTION: 11th to 15th
Australia came ever so close to winning the whole thing at only their second attempt last year. This isn’t in that league but it does sound a lot like Sam Smith and 17-year-old Isaiah’s the winner of last year’s X Factor Australia. Can’t beat a turntable at Eurovision (see The Ark in 2007).
2nd half: BELGIUM: Blanche City Lights PREDICTION: 11th to 15th
17-year-old Blanche has an unusually low voice and co-wrote this catchy slice of Euro electronic dance music. A fan favourite that’s struggled in rehearsals. Didn’t she look terrified in semi 1? Her growing confidence may help this in the final.
2nd half: FRANCE Alma Requiem PREDICTION: 11th to 15th
Co-written by Nazim Khaled, one of the authors of 2016’s French entry J’ai cherché which was much fancied before rehearsals began. This has Eastern influences, is sung in both French and English, and is interesting without being compelling.
2nd half: GREECE: Demy This Is Love PREDICTION: 11th to 15th
Where do all the topless Eurovision dancers go when it’s over? Last year was the first that Greece failed to progress from semi to final and we didn’t expect a 2017 repeat. Uptempo, old school, Eurovision-friendly, dancefloor fodder from Demy.
2nd half: GERMANY Levina Perfect Life PREDICTION: 16th to 20th
Levina is a graduate of King’s College London and we so wanted to enthuse about her entry. But it’s too similar to David Guetta’s Titanium featuring Sia. Feedback from her London Eurovision Party performance was that her singing was a little hoarse.
2nd half: CYPRUS: Hovig Gravity PREDICTION: 16th to 20th
Penned by Swede Thomas G:son, who co-wrote Loreen’s 2012 winner, and was behind many entries for other countries over the years. This isn’t one of his best.
22. UKRAINE O. Torvald Time PREDICTION: 21st to 26th
Heavy rock doesn’t often generate a great deal of Eurovision success and this is no Lordi, who won in Athens in 2006.
2nd half: SPAIN Manuel Navarro Do It For My Lover PREDICTION: 21st to 26th
Manuel has the look of a young Ed Sheeran about him but it’s the pedestrian lyric of this which is letting him down. He may be ‘doing it’ for his lover but, we fear, for no one else.
- Picture via Facebook courtesy Francesco Gabbani. Link to watch here. Read our semi 1 predictions here and semi 2’s here. Are our predictions right? Let us know in the comments below.
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