Our Predictions: 2014 Semifinal 1

We are almost of one mind this year with our predictions. We match on nine out of our 10 picks, and we both admit we could easily be wrong about Moldova. This year, we’ve added a confidence rating to each of our predictions to cover our butts on Russia.

What say you? Do you disagree? Let us know in the comments!

Jen:

  • Armenia
  • Estonia
  • Sweden
  • Iceland
  • Azerbaijan
  • Ukraine
  • Belgium
  • Netherlands
  • Montenegro
  • Hungary
Chris:

  • Armenia
  • Estonia
  • Sweden
  • Iceland
  • Azerbaijan
  • Ukraine
  • Belgium
  • Moldova
  • Netherlands
  • Hungary

Armenia: Aram Mp3 – “Not Alone”

Jen – Q. Confidence: High. When evaluating Aram Mp3’s Eurovision prospects, qualification isn’t the question at hand.

Chris – Q. Confidence: High. Aram Mp3 is the odds leader going in and he does not look like a choke artist.

Latvia: Aarzemnieki – “Cake to Bake”

Jen – NQ. Confidence: Medium.  Second isn’t necessarily a bad draw in the Semis, but it’s a tough lift to expect this amateur act will remain charming after 14 other songs.

Chris – NQ. Confidence: Medium. Charmingly amateurish is still amateurish.

Estonia: Tanja – “Amazing”

Jen – Q. Confidence: Medium. Viewers will be amazed by Tanja.

Chris – Q. Confidence: Medium. The “just let the woman sing” choreography is really what “Amazing” has going for it, and I think it’s enough to see Estonia through.

Sweden: Sanna Nielsen – “Undo”

Jen – Q. Confidence: High. Sweden’s song is immediate, and the staging is professional.

Chris – Q. Confidence: High. Sanna is battling Aram at the top of the bookies’ leader board, and even though this song is leaving me cold now, I don’t see it missing out on a Saturday performance.

Iceland: Pollapönk – “No Prejudice”

Jen – Q. Confidence: Medium Low. Pollapönk’s kid-friendly act will play.

Chris – Q. Confidence: Medium. Pollapönk know who they are and what they are doing, and I bet the televoters are going to get it too.

Albania: Hersi Matmuja – “One Night’s Anger”

Jen –  NQ. Confidence: High. Much as I like Hersi, there’s just not enough here to capture viewer interest.

Chris – NQ. Confidence: High. Albania’s cold streak is going to continue. I don’t even hate it, I just won’t remember it at the end of the night.

Russia: Tolmachevy Twins – “Shine”

Jen – NQ. Confidence: Low. Russia has a lot of traditional voting allies in this semi, but I can envision a lot of those votes evaporating this week. Add to the mix a poor first half draw, and I’ve got them short of qualifying.

Chris – NQ. Confidence: Low. I struggled to decide whether or not to pick “Shine” to go through. I don’t think it will qualify, but given the number of traditional voting allies in this Semi, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if it does.

Azerbaijan: Dilara Kazimova – “Start a Fire”

Jen – Q. Confidence: High. A no brainer.

Chris – Q. Confidence: High. It’s a small, intimate song, and so long as Dilara can deliver that intimacy on a gigantic stage with a trapeze artist swinging around her, Azerbaijan is as good as through.

Ukraine: Maria Yaremchuck – “Tick-Tock”

Jen – Q. Confidence: High. Ukraine has put together one of the most creative stagings in the contest. She’s through.

Chris – Q. Confidence: High. I don’t think much of this song, but I figure Ukraine will get a lot of votes of support.

Belgium: Axel Hirsoux – “Mother”

Jen – Q. Confidence: Low. Word is the jury performance didn’t go well for Axel but it may not matter. I don’t think Belgium’s strategic path to qualification necessitated tons of jury support.

Chris – Q. Confidence: Medium. It’s such schmaltz, and there is a market for such schmaltz. Plus, Ruslana loves it and is Europe going to argue with her?

Moldova: Cristina Scarlat – “Wild Soul”

Jen – NQ. Confidence: Low. I found 8 of 10 picks fairly easy. My last two were between Belgium, Moldova and Montenegro. Moldova landed on the outside because of the dark staging and because the song is no bloody good. The wig reveal is a sign of desperation.

Chris – Q. Confidence: Low. Nine of my 10 picks were easy. The last one came down to this and Russia. Picking this to qualify is making me think twice about picking Russia to not qualify. On the other hand, what the heck: why not “Wild Soul?”

San Marino: Valentina Monetta – “Maybe (Forse)”

Jen – NQ. Confidence: High. The song is too old fashioned, and audiences have no patience for that anymore.

Chris – NQ. Confidence: High. It’s the old adage about doing the same thing over and over again expecting to get a different result when the votes are tallied.

Portugal: Suzy – “Quero Ser Tua”

Jen – NQ. Confidence: Medium. Some folks enjoy this song’s vivacious spirit. I am not one of those folks.

Chris – NQ. Confidence: High. You do you, Portugal. We’re going to do something else for the next three minutes.

Netherlands: The Common Linnets – “Calm After the Storm”

Jen – Q. Confidence: Medium. By most accounts, Ilse and Waylon are confident, assured performers. Bona fide jury bait.

Chris – Q. Confidence: Medium. I can’t tell if my opinion on this is wishful thinking or not. My hunch is that the juries are going to eat this one up like appetizers at the Bluebird.

Montenegro: Sergej Ćetković – “Moj Svijet”

Jen – Q. Confidence: Low. Montenegro lacks voting allies in this semi, but Sergej has a plum draw and has been singing well. Among the songs for which I have low confidence, this is musically the best one.

Chris – NQ. Confidence: Medium. It’s a good song with a bad ending and now inexplicable staging. I thought Montenegro had a shot at qualifying this year, but they might have blown it.

Hungary: Kállay-Saunders András – “Running”

Jen – Q. Confidence: High. Strong song, strong staging. We will be seeing Hungary on Saturday night.

Chris – Q. Confidence: High. Another resident of the top of the bookies’ table, there is no doubt in my mind András is going straight to the Final.

3 thoughts on “Our Predictions: 2014 Semifinal 1

  1. Okay, if I could have it my way:

    Armenia: Q. This should be an easy gig, even if I still think the song takes too long to really get going.

    Latvia: Q. My 10 points for this semi. It’s not likely to do that well, but there’s always hope…

    Estonia: NQ. Sheesh. Germany tried the “Euphoria” ripoff last year and got creamed for it, what makes you think you’ll do better, Estonia? Also, Bulgaria tried the “dance song with one performer on stage” in 2012 and failed.

    Sweden: Q. I don’t really like the song, but there are enough worse songs in this semi that it slips by. Of course, public opinion on this will likely be better.

    Iceland: Q. There are far too few songs in this year’s lineup that are both fun and memorable. Even the musical wonkiness probably won’t hurt too much here.

    Albania: NQ. Uh…are you actually singing to the tune we’re hearing, Hersi? Because it sure doesn’t sound like it…

    Russia: NQ. Not too bloodly likely to happen, not with six other ex-Soviets voting here, but one can hope, especially for this bland, calculated piece of Eurovision tripe.

    Azerbaijan: Q. Yes, it will qualify, though it really shouldn’t, seeing as how it’s a bland, de-powered retread of 2012’s “When the Music Dies”. With a singularly misleading title, because if this song lacks anything, it’s a spark.

    Ukraine: Q. This should make it through easily enough, and unlike Russia and Azerbaijan, it doesn’t fill me with contempt for song authors from countries that sail through the semis every time and have therefore stopped trying altogether.

    Belgium: Q. Wow, picking ten to qualify here is not easy. I really don’t like this song – I don’t get it, period – but in this weak a semi, it will sail it.

    Moldova: NQ. Nope. Don’t like it. It’s not bad, per se, but something is missing. A melody, perhaps?

    San Marino: NQ. Much as I sympathize with the little republic, I’ve changed my mind on this one. The intro is lovely, everything else is been-there-done-that.

    Portugal: NQ. At least I hope so. Battling it out with Albania for last place in this semi if song quality is anything to go by. If I wanted accordion in my dance music, I’d go back to the summer of 2012 in Germany and just listen to “Ai se eu ti pego” on repeat again.

    Netherlands: Q. Jury bait? Yes. Great song? Also yes. My favourite from this semi (which admittedly isn’t that difficult this year).

    Montenegro: Q. Much as they’ve apparently botched the staging, this should still be plain sailing.

    Hungary: Q. Duh. Unless the whole of Europe, including the juries, suddenly develop a case of amusia and start listening to the lyrics, in which case all bets are off.

    • Well, knock me down with a Sammarinese Euro coin. Still, my switching from San Marino to Azerbaijan didn’t change my 8/10 (I missed the boat on Russia and San Marino, instead including Latvia and Belgium).

  2. 8/10

    Didn’t think Russia or the Netherlands would get it. Put in Portugal and Estonia instead.

Comments are closed.