Eurovision 2022: Semi-Final 2 Qualifiers Predictions

Event: Eurovision 2022  Category: Eurovision  Published: Thu 12th May 2022 06:59

Predicting 9 of the 10 qualifiers of the first semi was a decent result, predicting the qualifiers of the second semi though is much harder. Aside from the obvious qualifiers, it doesn't feel like much separates the rest of the pack. Any advantageous feature of a song or its staging, no matter how small, could really make the difference between making it to the final or heading home.

In this article I'll be going through all 18 acts and giving my opinions on who I believe they will or will not qualify. I was lucky enough to be able to watch the rehearsals live and feel that a number of performances for this semi are incorrectly priced.

I'm going to be upfront, I love this song. The chorus and guitar riffs in particular remind me of glam rock bands from the 80s, it's probably the song I've listened to the most. The lyrics are a bit cringe emo and the lead singer's live vocals are weak and shaky, aside from that it's great. Despite the weaknesses, the song is fun and The Rasmus is a fairly well known band so they may be boosted by name recognition.

Prediction: Don't know how it got in my blood - Q

If camp Eurofanwank could be represented by a single human being, it would be Michael Ben David. "I.M" is the usual message of defiant fabulousness in the face of a judgemental world. To be fair, Michael takes a mediocre song and squeezes every drop of value out of it, it's a decent show. I have concerns about the running order slot, the overt campness in more conservative parts of Europe and finally, the quality of the song itself (though his vocals are good).

Prediction: You might not think it's bad, but it Israeli - NQ

Another song I don't particularly 'get'. Every other person says this is a work of genius despite nobody quite fully understanding what the song is even about. In Corpore Sano is fairly monotone so I don't know why it should get particular jury favour so it should be relying on the meme factor to get it through. Honestly, I feel this is another shock 'Albania' NQ, but I'll go with the masses and say that the innate weirdness of this gets it through to the final.

Prediction: What is the secret to Konstrakta's healthy stats, no idea - Q

Nadir's song "Fade To Black" strikes me as a track masquerading as quality and delivering very little. I find the song itself featureless and forgettable. I also feel the tone clashes with Sheldon Riley of Australia who is at least a little more memorable. Azerbaijan are further hampered by having the wackiness of Georgia directly after them. Azerbaijan will be leaning heavily on juries to pull them through - and in fairness, the qualifiers of the first semi were jury-centric so it stands a chance.

Prediction: I'm nuuumb to this - Q

"Oh my god, they're so wacky! Look at those goggles! Wait, is that a diorama box on his chest? This is insane!" is pretty much what Georgia is hoping will distract viewers from repetitive lyrics over a repetitive riff. Not to mention there is barely any singing until 1 minute and 15 seconds into the song. How can juries reward this? Wackiness is all well and good, but even Latvia and Moldova had a song in there somewhere.

Prediction: Lock them out - NQ

I watched the rehearsals and honestly, Malta instantly caught my attention for the right reasons. It feels like so many songs in Eurovision are so centered around proving some kind of point, that they forget to be pleasant to listen to and entertaining to watch - after a while of this I just want a bit of simple joy, and that's what Malta brings. It's very High School Musical but I'm not sure that matters. Emma uses the stage well and is grinning from ear to ear throughout. Uplifting gospel vocals, gold lighting, this would never be eliminated in an X Factor live show. At 2.16 to qualify, I reckon it's worth sticking a few quid down.

Prediction: This isn't Out Of Sight - Q

San Marino
Talk about throwing the kitchen sink at your staging...which is lucky because the song itself is pretty poor, the "All I need is love" parts are weak and repetitive. Finland do much better in the rock n' roll stakes. If Achille Lauro didn't finish this song riding a mechanical bull wearing a cowboy hat, I don't see how this would qualify on the song's limited merits. Given the weakness of the semi though, I guess viewers will at least remember this over a few others.

Prediction: Bull - Q

A heartfelt, atmospheric and likely autobiographical song with a slight Lin-Manuel Miranda lyric structure at the beginning. Sheldon can certainly hold a tune. The song lacks a consistent structure but it's still able to keep you engaged for the full 3 minutes. I'm a little concerned about the diamond veil which may create an emotional disconnect with viewers but the juries should reward the vocals to make up for any shortfall.

Prediction: Hopefully Not The Same result as last year - Q

Watching Cyprus' rehearsal, I really feel that they got everything wrong. The song for starters really doesn't stand out in any way, it couldn't be more generic if it tried. It's pleasant I suppose but there's just nothing about it. Furthermore, Cyprus's staging is static, Andromache doesn't move at all from her spot in a song that could do with livening up a bit. I don't see juries paying much attention to this, and in a semi with a quite a few unusual acts, televoters may not be too fussed either.

Prediction: Needs to be Ela-vated more - NQ

"That's Rich" feels like an anthem appealing to rebellious 13 year old girls. The usual "I don't need you to validate me" message we've heard many times in Eurovision. Admittedly I can't lie and say it's not a fun 3 minutes, I'd sooner listen to this than a few of the songs that might be considered 'quality' in this semi. Again I see juries giving only a sprinkle of points, televoters likely to be more generous.

Prediction: Qualifies? That's rich! - NQ

North Macedonia
No. Just No. This song is driftwood to the nth degree. Andrea has shown shaky vocals in many performances I've seen. The staging for the most part is dark, made worse by Andrea's dark outfit. She looks very alone on stage without any props or dancers. "Circles" never really goes anywhere, the way the song progresses isn't particularly satisfying. The 'To Qualify' odds have her in last place, that definitely seems achievable.

Prediction: I've made up my mind already - NQ

Estonia brings us a country song with some serious Avicii "Hey Brother" vibes. The good news is, that's a decent song too. Estonia is lucky enough to be in a running order slot surrounded by two mediocre songs. The "Hey sing your heart out boy" section and "why? why? why?" refrain both work well, however, the "I Hope" repeated chorus is most certainly the weakest part of this song. It doesn't matter, easy qualifier.

Prediction: Hope and glory - Q

Like many songs in this semi, Romania's 2022 offering is another I seriously struggle to recall not long after it finishes. It feels like the thing you'd hear on the beachside bar TV in Lanzarote in 1994, very outdated. WRS is also fishing from the same gay pond as Michael Ben David, but doesn't do it quite so well. I also noted a few shaky vocals, which doesn't help a song that is already unlikely to catch the eyes of the juries.

Prediction: Llamame un taxi - NQ

While this track is certainly on the upper end of the quality list, and Ochman sings is very well, I've never rated "River" as highly as the market. It starts off very beautifully with the piano but it loses the heart and feels a bit generic the moment the beat kicks in. Juries and televoters will rightly reward Ochman's voice, could have done without the various on-screen graphics though, really takes you out of the song!

Prediction: Good, but don't let River carry you away - Q

Another woman singing an unmemorable song in the dark? At least Vladana is wearing something memorable albeit memorable for the wrong reasons. "Breathe", like many other tracks in this semi, goes nowhere and you get the feeling she's just there to do a job, sing her whatever-song and get off stage. Doesn't help for televoters that aside from a change of costume, Vladana and North Macedonia's Andrea look pretty similar in the dark lighting.

Prediction: Norfolk council want their christmas lights back - NQ

Yep, you guessed it, another generic, unmemorable song - I don't feel the hook in the chorus is particularly catchy. The studio version better than the live version we've seen. When compiling my list of qualifiers, I was basically trying to decide whether I thought San Marino or Belgium would get the last available slot. Belgium is likely to do well with juries, but there are a few decent jury songs in this semi. Doing surprisingly well on our Spotify stats though...

Prediction: Wish I could miss this - NQ

One of the few songs I've downloaded this year and the only song in this semi worth any serious attention in the outright, Cornelia makes up part of the army battling to topple monolithic Ukraine from its seemingly insurmountable position of dominance. Whether "Hold Me Closer" wins this semi is another matter though, Poland may challenge on the jury side, but this feels more accessible to televoters in my opinion and it's televote-friendly songs that I feel are lacking more in this semi.

Prediction: Nothing to regret - Q

Czech Republic
We Are Domi seems relaxed and confident on stage and "Lights Off" is catchy enough. Staging-wise it's visually arresting, it seems like they've utilised every light in the arena during the chorus, it looks good. Vocally it's not an easy song to sing and the "Where are you now?" section is a tough note to hold. Performing in the pimp slot gives the Czech Republic an additional advantage and they should qualify comfortably.

Prediction: Czeching in on the final - Q

I have very little confidence in my predictions today, so many songs are borderline. Anyway, the full list of my qualifiers are: Finland, Serbia, Azerbaijan, Malta, San Marino, Australia, Estonia, Poland, Sweden, Czech Republic. Good luck with your bets!


Eurovision 2022: Semi-Final 1 Qualifiers Predictions

Event: Eurovision 2022  Category: Eurovision  Published: Tue 10th May 2022 07:10

So here we are, the business-end of a very long process. The semi-final 'To Qualify' markets are often the appetiser of the profits yet to come. You can play it safe and bet on the certain-qualifiers, or put wisdom and taste to the test by backing and laying the countries teetering around what you believe to be the 8th-12th place positions.

In this article I'll be going through all 17 acts and giving my opinions on why I believe they will or will not qualify. In any semi there are always songs that nobody doubts will proceed to the finals, but the task becomes a little more tricky this year in particular with so many mediocre songs.

Shall I start with a controversial one? Albania open the show with what I feel is song featuring a bunch of different ideas, none of which fulfill what they aim to deliver. The chief ingredients appear to be screaming, aggressively chanted words and the odd ethno-dance-break thrown in just because. I can't quite work out the structure of this song. While Wiwibloggs had originally hyped up Ronela as the 'SLAY QUEEN' champion, she was knocked off her perch by Spain's Chanel and continues to rank second behind her in those stakes. Even so, she has a lot of fans in the Euro-commentary world, however I don't see why the juries would particularly reward this, or why it should get a particularly high televote above others competing in this semi.

Albania currently trades at 1.46 to qualify, the 1st slot running order isn't a huge deal but not what any act wants either.

Prediction: No Sekret this song is mediocre - NQ

Extolling the virtues of eating greens and being environmentally conscious, Latvia's Eat Your Salad plays like a song you'd find in some cheesy educational programme aimed at children, as opposed to the biggest music platform in the world. The boys know how to put on a show and it is a fun performance, but I feel they lose their USP later in the semi by Moldova whose song is more catchy and more wacky. While they may get a decent televote, I don't see a reason for juries to go for this.

Prediction: You may well eat your greens on this one - NQ

Sporting the finest example of a bowl-cut I've seen in a while, Monika Liu sings a classy, 70's inspired track. It's the first song of the semi I actually enjoy listening to - however I am bearish on its chances. It's one of the songs that, in my mind, is competing with Iceland and Switzerland for the last 3 available spaces to qualify. If I had to guess, I'd say this comes 11th, but really, there isn't much at all between the three.

Prediction: Trying not to get sentimental, but - NQ

With a scratchy Louis Armstrong style, Marius Bear sings "Boys Do Cry". An inoffensive song that flows easily through your mind, the kind of thing you'd hear live in the background of a classy, dimly lit bar somewhere. This song isn't doing well on either the app stats, rehearsal stats or Spotify stats so will almost certainly be an incorrect prediction, but I feel that this list needs a solo male somewhere and are we really going to have 5 non-qualifiers at the start of the show? The truth is I feel that of Lithuania, Iceland and Switzerland, Switzerland's song is the hardest one to sing and for that reason, I'm wondering if the juries will give him just the boost he needs to qualify.

Prediction: Bear with this song - Q

Honestly this a bit embarrassing. It's basically a 6th form group that accidentally found themselves on the Eurovision stage. The vocals haven't been great in any performance and you get the impression they're just going through the motions, waiting for it to be over so they can leave. Many people rightly have Slovenia as a last place finisher, and at a massive 8.2 to qualify, it stands a fantastic chance of achieving that feat.

Prediction: Disko's right back to Slovenia - NQ

Needs no introduction, the current Outright market leader and highly likely to win the televote in the semi. I believe even without the war this song would qualify and it's one of the few songs I've downloaded this year. The flute-solo reminds me of Sunstroke Project's "Runaway" or "Hey Mamma" with the sax solo repeating in those. Eurovision audiences seem to enjoy that kind of thing. Given we don't know how juries will respond to this track in the current political climate, I'm not touching the Semi Final 1 Winner market but if we were to ignore current events, there's fantastic value to be had for those brave enough to oppose this.

Prediction: Slava Ukraini on Tuesday night - Q

The first song off the mark in this year's Eurovision, soon to be one of the first songs out of the competition. Aging rockers doing what aging rockers like to do. To be fair to the guys, their live performances in the rehearsals have actually elevated the song slightly, but overall it's quite tame for rock n' roll with no major guitar riffs or indeed any of the ingredients that create popular rock songs. It also happens to be sandwiched between what I consider the two major players in this semi.

Prediction: Insert obvious joke about not being in the safety zone - NQ

Not a particularly easy song to sing but you could listen to this live and think you were listening to the studio version. Sung entirely in Dutch, the message is immediately obvious. While I seriously doubt this song wins Eurovision, it has the makings of a respectable Top 10 finish in my view, especially with a favourable running order slot. Juries should reward this and there is evidence to suggest that televoters quite like it too.

Prediction: Netherlands themselves a spot in the final, geddit?? - Q

Honestly, prior to the rehearsals, I had Zdob si Zdub & Advahov Brothers "Trenuletul" a firm no qualifier. It's mainly been from watching the crowd reaction in the jury rehearsals that I've changed my mind. Obviously cheers do not necessarily mean votes, but it's at least some sort of indicator. As mentioned earlier, I think Moldova do steal Latvia's wacky thunder, couple that with a big cheer and a later slot and they may just sneak their way into the final.

Prediction: Stays? Or leaves on the line? - Q

Simple, understated, gorgeous. MARO and her fellow vocalists deliver a no frills track that, despite the slowness, should capture the attention of viewers. There is a small hiccup though, in that for the first time in all the performances I've seen, the group did mess up their vocals during the Jury Show, the worst possible moment. Portugal's odds drifted on the back of that but I'm still fairly confident we'll be hearing this in the final.

Prediction: Nothing more that I can say - Q

The word that comes to mind listening to Mia Dimsic's "Guilty Pleasure" is 'pedestrian'. Perfectly pleasant but pedestrian. This is a song you might hear being largely ignored on a live music night in a semi-deserted pub. The staging doesn't make up the shortfall and isn't particularly engaging. I don't see audiences or jurors leaping at the chance to vote for this. You'll almost certainly forget about it before all the acts of the night have finished performing.

Prediction: In this real life there's no way - NQ

Aging rockers doing what aging rockers do again. The first minute does a great job of losing the audience by having the lead singer play a slow version of the rest of the track on the piano. Unfortunately, swapping a fairly boring song on the piano for a fairly boring song on electric guitars isn't a winning move in my book. Denmark feature near the bottom of pretty much every measure we have, even with the fairly low-standard competition this year, it's unlikely they'll qualify.

Prediction: Are their suitcases reddi? - NQ

The only electronic dance track in this semi, it's been hugely popular around Europe with some excellent stats coming from outside Austria itself. Pia's vocals are the major concern and they drifted from odds-on, out to 2.25 and then back to odds-on over the course of the rehearsals. The studio version of the song is a lot of fun, but juries will surely be punishing those vocals - this DJ/singer duo are relying almost entirely on the televote to get them over the line.

Prediction: You say goodbye and I say Halo - Q

If audiences can focus on this song past the first minute, they'll see and hear more than just another trio singing a twee song on guitars but a very authentic track that slowly builds into a very beautiful song. The question in my mind is if it makes enough waves, if it has enough oomph to get it over the line. Much as I enjoy this song, I have serious doubts whether or not they make it over the line, though their stats are within range of qualification so it's still a possibility.

Prediction: Maybe play Ja Ja Ding Dong instead? - Q

I'm not nearly as enthusiastic about this song as others appear to be after rehearsals. I find the long notes become irritating and the song generally rather repetitive. Nevertheless, the Eurovision community have collectively decided this is a work of pure genius - its stats have risen higher than the vast majority of other songs in the semis. This was always a qualifier anyway, but I shan't go against the wisdom of the crowds on this one.

Prediction: Go Greece lightning - Q

You only need to look at a photograph of Norway's act this year to guess they'll be qualifying. Subwoolfer's "Give That Wolf A Banana" is energetic and fun to watch with a funky dance routine. Obviously the lyrics and premise are supposed to be meme-worthy, but I'm not sure it achieved the mark there. Either way, with the distinct look and sound, it does re-inject a bit of life into proceedings after two fairly slow songs in succession.

Prediction: Norway this doesn't qualify - Q

Breaking her way out of Toilet Paper Land while singing "Snap" makes for an interesting visual spectacle that assists in recovering the shortfall created by a rather boring song. It feels rather paint-by-numbers with nothing particularly new or different to offer, which is saying something for such a poor group of songs in this semi. A favourable running order slot though means that most observers see this qualifying perhaps around 7th or 8th place.

Prediction: 1-2, you'll go through - Q

So there you have it, my qualifiers are: Switzerland, Ukraine, Netherlands, Moldova, Portugal, Austria, Iceland, Greece, Norway and Armenia. I've taken quite a few risks here with this one and to be honest, have ignored or outright defied the stats we're getting in to make these calls, so am not expecting anything close to a perfect 10. Should be a fun semi!


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