PREDICTIONS: Eurovision Song Contest Semi 2 starring Daði og Gagnamagnið, Stefania and Ben and Tan

WHEN?: 14/5/2020 (now cancelled, although the BBC is planning a Eurovision moment for the night of what would have been the final, 16/5/20)

WHERE?: Rotterdam Ahoy, Rotterdam

Coronavirus has caused the cancellation of the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time in its 65-year history but we’re not letting it spoil our fun and, because we know the 41 songs which would have participated, we’re predicting who would’ve made the final here from Semi 2.

  • Who would’ve been through and who would’ve been on the 1st plane out of Rotterdam? Read on for our semi 2 predictions 

The BBC has promised ‘a Eurovision moment’ for final night on 16/5/20 and let’s hope it features some of the contestants featured below who have had their hopes of representing their country dashed. Read on for our thoughts on the 18 entries who would have been vying for 10 final slots. Last year we correctly predicted 9 of the 10 qualifiers from semi 2.

(Drawn in 1st half) AUSTRIA Vincent Bueno Alive (Vincent Bueno, David Yang, Felix van Guns, Artur Aigner) PREDICTION: Qualifier

‘There is a hidden hero in all of us,’ sings Austrian-Filipino singer Bueno during this uptempo, Bruno Mars middle-of-the-road number. We’re reminded of last year’s well-fancied Swiss entry for a number of reasons. Vincent makes a welcome return in 2021.

CZECH REPUBLIC Benny Cristo Kemama (Osama Verse-Atile, Ben Cristóvão, Charles Sarpong, Rudy Ray) PREDICTION: Qualifier

Cristo’s father is from Angola while his mother is from the Czech Republic. Diversity is a great strength of Eurovision and while this reminds of summer and is not without both tune and rhythm it might have struggled to make the final in a stronger semi.

ESTONIA: Uku Suviste What Love Is (Uku Suviste, Sharon Vaughn) PREDICTION: non-qualifier

Co-writer Vaughn had more success with the Greek entry this year (see below) and indeed with previous entries Scream and Waterline. Suviste was runner-up in 2019’s Estonian Eurovision qualifier Eesti Laul with Pretty Little Liar, has a pleasingly deep voice and interacts with a backing video as Måns Zelmerlöw did when winning with Heroes in 2015 but this just falls a little flat.

GREECE Stefania Supergirl (Dimitris Kontopoulos, Arcade, Sharon Vaughn) PREDICTION: Qualifier

Co-writer Vaughn has Eurovision history as does Kontopoulos with Scream, Work Your Magic and Shady Lady. He also co-wrote the Moldovan entry (see below) but it’s this 17-year-old Greek/Dutch singer that we have the highest hopes for. She returns in 2021, finished 8th as part of a Dutch girl group in 2016 Junior Eurovision and bosses this uptempo, Eastern-sounding hit. The video (see above) is great too.

ICELAND Daði og Gagnamagnið Think About Things (Daði Freyr Pétursson) PREDICTION: Qualifier

One of the acts we’d most like to see return in 2021 is Daði (pictured and video above) although it’s looking unlikely. Think About Things was written for his child and its simplicity is matched by both its catchiness, quirkiness and charm. The video is funny and was one of the first we fell in love with in this Eurovision crop.  The indie-sensibility and formation dancing is particularly fresh and this is one of the entries that we would have expected to give Little Big a run for their money.

MOLDOVA Natalia Gordienko Prison (Dimitris Kontopoulos, Philipp Kirkorov, Sharon Vaughn) PREDICTION: non-qualifier

This is Gordienko’s second stab at representing her country in Eurovision and we’d be surprised to see her doing better than the 20th she managed in 2006. She has an impressive vocal but it’s a dull song and ‘I can’t escape from this Prison’ is a sentiment listeners will share after three minutes here. Those wondering who bought up all of IKEA’s illuminated chairs will have their question answered by the national final performance.

POLAND Alicia Empires (Patryk Kumór, Dominic Buczkowski-Wojtaszek, Laurell Barker, Frazer Mac) PREDICTION: non-qualifier

We spent the entirety of the national final-winning performance worrying whether Alicia was wearing a skin-coloured blouse or was about to be victim of a Janet Jackson-type reveal. The delivery of The Voice of Poland 2019 is torturous and we’ve written down ‘slow’ and ‘quiet’ as descriptions of the song.

SAN MARINO Senhit Freaky! (Gianluigi Fazio, Henrik Steen Hansen, Nanna Bottos) PREDICTION: Qualifier

Senhit would have made a return to Eurovision nine years after failing to make the final. This is bags of fun, boasts string stabs, is very 70s disco and is easily the country’s best ever Eurovision entry. They made the final in 2014 and 2019, where they finished 19th.

SERBIA Hurricane Hasta la vista (See you later) (Nemanja Antonić, Kosana Stojić, Sanja Vučić) PREDICTION: Qualifier

Hurricane is a three-strong girl group containing co-writer Vučić who finished 18th for Serbia in 2016. This is R&B that starts off sounding very Destiny’s Child/Little Mix and while the impression is retro, without appearing to know it’s retro, we think this would make the final also.

(Drawn in 2nd half) ALBANIA Arilena Ara Fall From The Sky (Michael Blue, Robert Stevenson, Sam Schummer, Darko Dimitrov, Lazar Cvetkovski) PREDICTION: Qualifier

Dimitrov is a co-writer of last year’s North Macedonia entry Proud  which won the jury vote and finished 7th overall. This is a reworked version of the song which won Albania’s national final and it is sung impressively by this 21-year-old X Factor Albania winner.

ARMENIA Athena Manoukian Chains On You (Athena Manoukian, DJ Paco) PREDICTION: non-qualifier

This Greek/Armenian singer-songwriter performs a mix of ethnic dub with sparse beats that sounds Rihanna-ish although that may have much to do with the repetition of the word ‘Diamonds’. Its live performance is unexpectedly camp with a throne, glitter and four young male backing dancers with jackets and without shirts.

BULGARIA Victoria Tears Getting Sober (Borislav Milanov, Cornelia Wiebols, Lukas Oscar Janisch, Victoria Georgieva) PREDICTION: Qualifier

Co-writer Milanov also worked on the entries for Malta and Germany this year although this is the most likely to triumph and was the favourite to win before the contest’s coronavirus cancellation. Bulgaria’s previous best was 2nd in 2017 with Beautiful Mess by Kristian Kostov and we can see why this was so well fancied. It’s memorably melodic and the 22-year-old singer songwriter internally selected returns next year. It’s gentle for the most part, reminds of Adele and does rouse itself into something more anthemic before its finish.

DENMARK Ben & Tan Yes (Emil Rosendal Lei, Jimmy Jansson, Linnea Deb) PREDICTION: Qualifier

Co-writer Jansson wrote six of this year’s 28 Melodifestivalen entries and not for the first time Denmark is content to rely on a contribution from neighbours Sweden for its Eurovision songwriting. The song is a mixture of folk with a dash of Ed Sheeran performed well by two acts who met through X Factor Denmark in 2019.

FINLAND Aksel Looking Back (Joonas Angeria, Whitney Phillips, Connor McDonough, Riley McDonough, Toby McDonough) PREDICTION: non-qualifier

Aksel was runner up in 2017’s The Voice Of Finland and his is a pleasant vocal lacking a charismatic performance of a song whose charms struggle to make themselves obvious despite repeat listens.

GEORGIA Tornike Kipiani Take Me As I Am (Tornike Kipiani, Aleko Berdzenishvili) PREDICTION: non-qualifier

One of the odder entries this year. Kipiani returns in 2021 and let’s hope he brings with him something more enticing than this strange, moody song with an angry performance. He won X Factor Georgia in 2014 and if rock truly is his genre it’s usually one that finds an appreciation in the contest.

LATVIA Samanta Tina Still Breathing (Samanta Tīna, Aminata Savadogo) PREDICTION: non-qualifier

Co-writer Aminata finished an impressive sixth in 2015 with Love Injected and this is similarly idiosyncratic with farting bass beats parping intermittently. This was performer Tina’s sixth attempt at representing either Latvia or Lithuania at Eurovision. The live performance is remarkable for including female backing singers in what appear to be swimsuits and strange masked headgear.

PORTUGAL Elisa Medo de sentir (Afraid Of Feeling) (Marta Carvalho) PREDICTION: non-qualifier

The Festival da Canção 2020 winner is laboured and downbeat and not one of the best adverts for the reinvented Portuguese national selection show which has received an injection of credibility thanks to its recent contest win.

SWITZERLAND Gjon’s Tears Repondez-moi (Answer Me) (Goon Muharremaj, Xavier Michel, Alizé Oswald, Jeroen Swinnen) PREDICTION: Qualifier

Gjon sings impressively in French with a memorable falsetto and is a 21-year-old Swiss singer and songwriter of Kosovar-Albanian descent. It was doing surprisingly well with the bookmakers although we didn’t think it would do as well for him as his 2011 Albanians Got Talent appearance when, aged just 12, he finished third.

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