Paxton Predicts: the 2nd Semi-Final

Fresh from correcting guessing seven out of the ten qualifiers from the  first semi-final (be fair, it’s an improvement on last year) it’s time for me to guess who will emerge from then arguably stronger second semi-final on Thursday.

LatviaPeRHere We Go – Here we go, indeed, straight back on the plane to Riga. Somehow, I don’t think PeR will be needed after Thursday night.

San MarinoValentina MonettaCrisalide – Ralph Siegel in good song shock! Herr S and Signora Monetta teamed up last year without success. A firm fan favourite, they will be much more successful this year and can look forward to plenty of points on Saturday.

Macedonia Esma and LozanoPred da se Razdeni – Failure to qualify will mean no former Yugoslav republics in the final at all after the wipe-out on Tuesday. One ethnic song always qualifies and I think this will be the one from this semi.

AzerbaijanFarid MammadovHold Me – The hosts of the 2012 contest seem determined to win again and I wouldn’t be surprised if Farid took the honours on Saturday, but one hurdle at a time.

FinlandKrista SiegfridsMarry Me – Please, no! Surely not! It would be bordering on a travesty if this got through, it might, but stranger things have happened. If the political statement stays in the performance, there is a case for disqualification!

MaltaGianluca Bezzina Tomorrow – The juries might be attracted by the quirkiness of the song but it may not have enough about it to win enough votes from the public.

BulgariaElitsa and StoyanSamo Shampioni – Back for a second go, Elitsa and Stoyan face the possibility of joining an ever growing list of past Eurovision acts to try again and finish up with a worse showing.

IcelandEypor Ingi Gunnlaugsson Eg a Lif – Overall, this will be the most beautifully presented package of the evening. Superb use of the video wall adds atmosphere to a charming ballad. If it doesn’t qualify, SVT may need to find another venue for Saturday, the intake of breath from the audience will be so powerful.

Greece Koza Mostra feat. Agathon IakovidisAlcohol is Free – Some songs don’t need any presentation to win over the listener. Some songs have to try very hard, and this is one of those. If the semi-final was audio only, there would be no possibility of Greece qualifying. As it is, the staging is very entertaining and the viewers will love it in sufficient quantities.  

IsraelMoran Mazor Rak Bishvilo – My heart says this will qualify, my head says my heart may be wrong. It deserves to be there on Saturday and I think it is strong enough even with all the other big ballads up against it.

Armenia DoriansLonely Planet – I know it’s written by who some consider to be a rock legend but sometimes reputation isn’t enough. Sorry Tommi, but how did you let this into the public domain with your name on it?

HungaryByeAlexKedvesem – Hungary’s is a song full of charm and is not an obvious qualifier, but those of us that know a thing or two about these things know it will.

NorwayMargaret BergerI feed You my Love – In some ways, Norway’s song is similar to Slovenia’s which fell by the wayside on Tuesday. On the plus side, this is more instantly likeable and so should face a different fate.

Albania Adrian Lulgjuri and Bledar SejkoIdentitet – I could toss a coin such is my indecisiveness about Albania. I can see many reasons why it will qualify and many why it won’t. I won’t object if my prediction is wrong.

GeorgiaNodi Tatishvili and Sophie GelovaniWaterfall – In some ways, this is a Euro ballad by numbers, even in the presentation. However, there is a reason why the formula is used again and again; because people love it. I certainly do.

SwitzerlandTakasa You and Me – Not many people are predicting the Swiss will make the final, but not many predicted Lithuania. The public will like this more than the juries which, in a semi where only seven will be left behind, could be enough to see it through.

Romania Cezar It’s my Life – Being on last didn’t help Serbia and the concern is that his gestures are over the top by some considerable margin. A lot will depend on how the audience reacts to this.

So, after considering a couple of changes and then sticking with my original choices, here is my list of the lucky ten:
San Marino, Macedonia, Azerbaijan, Iceland, Greece, Israel, Hungary, Norway, Georgia and Switzerland.

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