A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Tobson takes a guess: semi 1 in Kyiv

Time again for the hardest, yet one of the most enjoyable, things about Eurovision week. Yes, my children, it is prediction time. And to make things even worse, we have two semi finals that feel remarkably even. The result tonight could look like it had been drawn out of a hat.

Also we have no idea what factors will play a role. I would like to think that what happens tonight is that the ten songs people like the most proceed to the final but other things could matter too. Like diaspora votes. Were the Poles in exiles exceptionally happy last year or are they a new tower of power in the televote? And how much will traditionally good starting positions influence viewers and jurors, if at all?

I'm taking a deep breath and decide not to overthink but to predict with my gut feeling as major guidline. If that is anything to go by, these are the eight countries that will leave us tonight:

Slavko is making a brave effort, representing a not particularly LGBTQ-friendly country with this compilation of various items from gay history. He would deserve a medal but the song does not deliver and will fall through.

It almost turned into a national trait that Albania enters a big voice in a slightly chaotic soundscape and here they go again. Not really bad but far too pompous. This concept usually doesn't work and it won't work tonight either.

Like a really classy, late 70's or early 80's album track by some really warm and likeable female star with a real sense of music. I like it very much but very much doubt it will stand a chance. Unless the juries have gone bananas over it.

Another big voice with a decent but slightly boring song that gets overly shouty in the end. Could have been a contender for 9th place tonight with a more favourable starting position, but people are not likely to remember it as a favourite at the end of the presentation.

Suddenly a very old-fashioned ballad enters the stage and the audience is left to wonder if it possibly just came in through the wrong door and never was supposed to be there in the first place. People have mentioned late starting position and nice staging but nah - too little, too late to impress.

People who look too deep into their statistics say Latvia must go through because they sing last. Just because it is unusal doesn't mean it can't happen. And after rather a large dose of moody electropop in this semi, I doubt Triana Park are about to impress anyone easily.

I have no idea how it all went so wrong. Iceland was supposed to be a contender and Svala is a fantastic performer, but I fear this is just too cold and distanced to break through to people. Another one that could possibly be rescued by the juries but it doesn't look promising.

The trickiest one. Polish diaspora were on fire with their phones last year. Will they be again? And will the juries counterbalance that and keep this song down on purpose? Very much against the spirit of the contest, if so. If Poland gets through, then Greece and Australia can start biting their nails.

This prediction means my ten qualifiers are (in order of appearance): Sweden, Australia, Belgium, Finland, Azerbaijan, Portugal, Greece, Moldova, Cyprus and Armenia. I largely stand by that, but only five of my qualifiers feel absolutely sure: if Portugal, Azerbaijan, Finland, Sweden or Armenia lose out, the universe is broken.


  1. I predicted Czech instead of Belgium, but otherwise I'm with you.

  2. The universe is broken, then. But congratulations on your nine. If ANYONE in the world claims to have ten, please let me know, as they must be lying. :-)

    1. If you take a moment to study Finland's placings through the years, you will find it indeed and truly is. 😄 I am very pleased with nine, let's see if I can top that in semi 2...