ESC2012: Semi-Final Predictions

Hello Dear Readers!

We are one week from first semi-final!  Rehearsals have kicked off in Baku and things look like they’re going to be awesome!  As I said in my previous post, due to timing issues, I broke my rule of avoiding ESC songs so that I can see them fresh on the night.  Oh well, now I am doing the opposite, as they seem to be the only music that makes my ears happy as of late.

It’s time for my final, pre-Contest predictions – these are based on listening to the songs, considering history, reading internet chatter, and consulting the bookmakers (betting odds).

Predictions for Semi-Final One:

Greece – it makes sense that the Greeks will move through, they always.  They have a decent song with a hot beat.  Despite its resemblance to My Number One, I don’t see this song achieving any higher than Top Ten.

Cyprus – aside from having the second most views on the official YouTube channel (which indicates either a lot of folks are choosing to listen to it or there’s an incredibly devout few who listen to it on repeat), this song is trending well, is significantly better than its two neighbors in the running order (San Marino & Denmark) in terms of composition, lyrics, and performance.

Iceland – quite possibly the strongest ballad this year, it’s a well-done, epic composition that is performed passionately.  I think Iceland will surprise many people this year.

Romania – fun, catchy song with a pretty lady in skimpy clothing leading the way.  This has Top Ten written all over it.

Denmark – it’s a pleasant entry that will collect votes from those bored by the ballads and turned-off by the dance tunes.  It also seems to have a lot of pleasant web chatter around it.

Russia – the most watched video, by a lot.  Clearly, though, this gimmick will not win.  It’s popular because the six ladies are so adorable not because it’s contribution to the music world.

Ireland – while we’re on the topic of gimmicks, this is one that has outlived its usefulness.  Last year they had an electrifying and entertaining entry.  This year, they try to bring an entry that requires them to actually sing, I expect this one to limp into the Final and flounder.

Hungary – a pop rock song that people can easily sing along to.  I don’t expect it to make much impact in the Final, but at least it will be there.

Switzerland – see Hungary

Moldova – the last one to get in, I think, will be Moldova.  It’s just quirky enough to charm juries and fans.  It does not seem to have a lot of buzz, but I think it will be hard to ignore once it’s performed on stage.

Predictions for Semi-Final Two:

Sweden – The bookmakers’ favorite and one that often lands near the top of a lot of fans’ lists.  She passionately performs this song and gives the Swedes a strong chance of claiming victory number four.

Serbia – Joksimović is a Contest hero and will move through to the Final based on his name alone.  I do not think he will claim that much coveted winner’s trophy, but I think that he will get Serbia back to the Top Ten.

Norway – For a song that combines a hot guy with a cool choreography and a fast-paced club tune, it has very little traction across the internet.  The prevailing theories seem to think that it will serve the purpose of syphoning votes from Sweden and opening doors for another country to win.

Turkey – I said it before and I will say it again, Turks around Europe will not let this one fail like last year’s song.  This holds especially true since The Netherlands, Germany, France, and Georgia are all voting in this semi-final.

Slovenia – a bit of a sleeper, this song seems to be fairly popular across the Internet.  I expect it to qualify then flounder in the Final.

Belarus – bloggers seem to have a lot of faith in this song.  Since its primary competition is Hungary and Switzerland, it will probably win that race and finish ahead of those two.

Bosnia & Herzegovina – again, like Slovenia, this song seems to be getting a lot of love from bloggers and bookies, alike.  I just don’t see it (I like the song, though, I think it is a bit boring).

Croatia – This song, which I think is better than BiH and Slovenia, seems to have little popularity on the Internet.  I disagree and expect Croatia to sneak into the Final.

Ukraine – It’s hard to bet against Ukraine to finish outside the Top Ten, let alone not qualify for the Final.  While I think that this song will easily make the cut on Thursday night, I don’t have the same faith that it will succeed in reaching the Top Ten.

Slovakia – Like Croatia, I don’t quite understand the lack of buzz around this song.  Surely it is the strongest Slovakian entry to date and stands alone in its style.  I couldn’t imagine it not qualifying for the Final.

Predictions for the Automatic Qualifiers:

All six songs seem to have a lot of support, particularly from the bookies.  Interestingly enough, the UK seems to have the most fan support while Spain and Italy both are receiving a lot of attention from the bookies.  I think Spain has a real chance to win, but the other are just not quite the right style for this year.  France was a popular choice when the entry was first released.  While I love the song, and think that Anggun will be amazing, I don’t think it has enough to win this year.  Same goes with the Azerbaijani song.

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