The first semi-final of the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest is almost upon us and fans everywhere are discussing who will emerge from the show on Tuesday night and make it through to Saturday’s final. here are my predictions for the results.
Armenia: Aram Mp3 – Not Alone – The Armenian song has always been among the favourites for overall victory. Can’t see it myself but maybe I’m missing something. It’s pleasant enough but doesn’t fulfil it’s promise to break into something big. It should have enough to qualify.
Latvia: Aarzemnieki – Cake to Bake – The Eurovision audience loves something quirky and this is certainly that. If the public don’t fall for the fun element present in the performance, it will be bye-bye Latvia.
Estonia: Tanja – Amazing – The most ‘amazing’ thing about the Estonia entry is Tanja’s ability to sing while being thrown around the stage. In the course of watching this, the audience might forget there is a song being performed.
Sweden: Sanna Nielsen – Undo – Sanna is one of the best performers in Copenhagen. Undo is one of the best songs of all the 37. Shocks have happened before, but if Sweden fails to qualify, it will be one of the biggest shocks in the history of competition, not just song contest history.
Iceland: Pollapönk – No Prejudice – Pollapönk are competing for the novelty song vote with the Latvians. This could work against them as the vote could be split, or for them, as there is more entertainment value in the performance.
Albania: Hersi – One Night’s Anger – After Iceland, Hersi will be a complete contrast both, musically and visually. The danger is it might get lost in the crowd
Russia: Tolmachevy Sisters – Shine – Politics and music should never mix, but there is a danger that the conflict with Ukraine could affect the votes. That said, there could also be some empathy from their old chums in Eastern Europe. All that aside, the sisters have a song easily strong enough to be needed on Saturday.
Azerbaijan: Dilara Kazimova – Start a Fire – If gentle, classy ballads are your thing, then Azerbaijan is worth waiting for. Not only do they always reach the final, they are nearly always at the top end of the scoreboard. It will be no different this year.
Ukraine: Mariya Yaremchuk – Tick Tock – Ukraine is another country who always reaches the final regardless of the quality of the song. Performance on Saturday is virtually guaranteed.
Belgium: Axel Hirsoux – Mother – Of all the songs in the first semi-final, this one is the hardest to predict the fate of. It genuinely could go either way. It will be loved but the audience or hated. I suspect the juries will have marked it quite generously.
Moldova: Cristina Scarlat – Wild Soul – There is certainly no lack of drama from Cristina. Reports from the rehearsals suggest that vocals could be an issue and that could prove her downfall.
San Marino: Valentina Monetta – Maybe (Forse) – Back for a third go, Valentina was very, very unlucky not to qualify for the final last year. This year, her song isn’t quite as strong (although it’s still very good) but this, of course, is a different year with different competition. She deserves to be in the final but I have a horrible feeling……..
Portugal: Suzy – Quero Ser Tua – The Portuguese song is very likeable and worthy of being in the final – if you like Portuguese music, that is. Those who don’t have a penchant for Portuguese music might not see the appeal of the song is large enough numbers.
The Netherlands: The Common Linnets – Calm After the Storm – Before the first minute is over, you have already heard all that the Dutch song has to offer. It’s nice enough but lacks anything to make it stand out.
Montenegro: Sergej Ćetković – Moj Svijet – No former Yugoslav republics made the final last year and some of them haven’t bothered entering this year for financial reasons. There is a charm about the Montenegrin song that should see it through, as long as the ice-skater doesn’t put the viewers off!
Hungary: András Kállay-Saunders – Running – This is a very brave entry from Hungary, covering a topic that some will consider too heavy for the contest. I disagree. No subject should be out of bounds and this is also a very good song. It doesn’t depend on emotion for it’s appeal and it doesn’t need to.
There are six sure-fire qualifiers; Armenia, Sweden, Russia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine and Hungary. Those making up the numbers will be Latvia, Iceland, Belgium and Montenegro