TV PREVIEW: Eurovision Song Contest 2018 semi final 2 starring Jessica Mauboy

WHEN?: 10/5/18

WHERE?: Altice Arena, Lisbon, Portugal

Semi 1 is the appetiser for a much stronger semi 2 where we find the first three of four potential winners.

  • Who’s through and who’s on the 1st plane out of Lisbon? Read on for our semi 2 predictions

France, Germany and Italy vote in this second semi final which we, despite its size, think will be tougher to get out of than Tuesday’s 1st.

Rehearsals started Sunday, we’re updating our semi 1 predictions to reflect them as they progress, and here’s our thoughts on the 18 semi 2 entries vying for 10 final slots.

  1. NORWAY Alexander Rybak That’s How You Write A Song PREDICTION: Qualifier

2009’s runaway winner returns with a song that we weren’t sure Norway would select in its Melodi Grand Prix because it seems a little too self-congratulatory. As it turns out, it was well performed and enthusiastically received. It’s divided fans but includes the trademark Rybak fiddle as well as a lyrical nod to the 2013 Eurovision interval act Love, Love, Peace, Peace. Potential winner.

2. ROMANIA The Humans Goodbye PREDICTION: Qualifier

Like the Netherlands, this is a competent entry unlikely to generate much love in the run-up to the main event but classy enough to do well while there. It’s a little too middle-of-the-road for our ears but it’s certainly accomplished.

3. SERBIA Sanja Ilic and Balkanika Nova Deca

Let there be kettle drums! Aimless New Age folk struggling to find its tune.

4. SAN MARINO Jessika feat Jenifer Brening Who We Are

Rap is one of the more difficult styles to land well at Eurovision and this is unlikely to change that perception.

5. DENMARK Rasmussen Higher Ground PREDICTION: Qualifier

A ginger Viking with a song that wouldn’t sound out of place in Game Of Thrones. That it would appear to have been submitted but not selected for Sweden’s Eurovision selection show Melodifestivalen should not be to its detriment. Eurovision’s a different ball game and this could well finish top 10.

6. RUSSIA Yulia Samoylova I Won’t Break

Russia withdrew last year after Samoylova was denied entry to Ukraine. We keep thinking the verses are about to burst into the chorus of Rihanna’s Diamonds but the actual hook is far less fun. There always seems to be baggage with Russian entries but especially more so this year. Samoylova has not capitalised on the extra time afforded her to find a particularly memorable song. The odd mountain staging means we now can’t see this making the final.

7. MOLDOVA DoReDos My Lucky Day PREDICTION: Qualifier

Turbo folk of a kind that we only listen to at Eurovision. A simple lyric and a tremendously poppy song that we love. Lots of ‘Number 1’s and ‘Number 2’s in the chorus. Continuing a simple numerical lyrical theme shared with the fine entries from both Norway and Germany this year. Co-writer Philipp Kirkorov has competed for Russia and written for Belarus (Work Your Magic) and Ukraine (Shady Lady).

8. NETHERLANDS Waylon Outlaw In ‘Em PREDICTION: Qualifier

Very Bon Jovi. Were Terry Wogan still with us, we’d suspect he’d have a sneaking regard for this 1. Not a song likely to get much appreciation from the die-hard fans in the run-up to the contest but finding its welcome with open arms from the broader TV audience at the actual event.

9. AUSTRALIA Jessica Mauboy We Got Love PREDICTION: Qualifier

Jessica’s (pictured above) already performed as a Eurovision interval act and this is one of our favourites. Could have been written as the theme for the country’s recent gay marriage vote. Uptempo and exactly the right sort of sentiment for Eurovision. Not winning but doing very well.

10. GEORGIA Iriao Sheni Gulistvis

Proving simplicity is not always elegant.

11. POLAND Gromee ft Lukas Meijer Light Me Up 

It’s the techno break which lifts this out out of the ordinary. Pleasant fare but struggling to qualify. This is the song we see benefitting from Russia’s mounting misfortune. However, our final switch is to pull this for Hungary.

12. MALTA Christabelle Taboo

Swedish co-writer Thomas G:son won Eurovision in 2012 when Loreen sang his Euphoria. This is his 14th Eurovision entry for his 7th country since Listen To Your Heartbeat placed 5th in 2001. Unfortunately those statistics are far more memorable than this song.

13. HUNGARY AWS Viszlat Nyar PREDICTION: Qualifier

Balls-out rock isn’t a genre we’re much a fan of but this is done well and we appreciate it. Could sneak into the final if this wasn’t a tougher semi than the 1st. If Albania made it from Semi 1, then so can this.

14. LATVIA Laura Rizzotto Funny Girl

Quirky Paloma Faith-light which is done better by Croatia and Switzerland in the 1st semi.

15. SWEDEN Benjamin Ingrosso Dance You Off PREDICTION: Qualifier

Memorably staged and very Justin Timberlake. We weren’t surprised this won Melodifestivalen. Although it wouldn’t have been our choice there, we see this as one of a number of potential Eurovision winners in this year’s crop.

16. MONTENEGRO Vanja Radovanovic Inje PREDICTION: Qualifier

An anthemic and moody Balkan ballad which translates into Frost in English. Reminds of the quite wonderful Zeljko Joksimovic. We can see this surprising a lot of people. Dark horse winner?

17. SLOVENIA Lea Sirk Hvala, ne!

‘Thanks, no’ is the inauspicious translation of this rather stern song in Slovene but we actually rather like it in a sparse, electro kind of way.

18. UKRAINE Melovin Under the Ladder PREDICTION: Qualifier

A catchy and anthemic Western sound that is far from what we expected and more Coldplay than you might imagine. Another dark horse to do rather well.

  • Picture via Facebook courtesy Jessica Mauboy. Link to watch here. Semi 1 predictions and final predictions. Are our predictions way off? Let us know in the comments below.
  • Enjoyed this preview? Follow its author on Twitter @NeilDurham, email neildurham3@gmail.com and check us out on Instagram and Facebook

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