Our Predictions: 2017 Semifinal 2

It’s not often that we both have the same qualification picks. Even though we often appear to be of the same mind, you don’t know how much we agonized separately to narrow this potentially epic Semifinal down to just 10. We then agonized together because looking through historical voting data is no fun by yourself.

Jen:

  • Austria
  • Romania
  • Netherlands
  • Hungary
  • Denmark
  • Croatia
  • Belarus
  • Bulgaria
  • Estonia
  • Israel
Chris:

  • Austria
  • Romania
  • Netherlands
  • Hungary
  • Denmark
  • Croatia
  • Belarus
  • Bulgaria
  • Estonia
  • Israel

Serbia: Tijana Bogićević – “In Too Deep”

Jen – NQ. Confidence: Medium.
Chris – NQ. Confidence: Medium.

As Serbia worked on its staging this week, we realized that “In Too Deep” is saddled with a poor vocal arrangement, which makes the song sound muddy and hurts the overall impression. We have a feeling this is going to play as a bit of throat-clearing before the show kicks off in earnest with Austria.

Austria: Nathan Trent – “Running On Air”

Jen – Q. Confidence: Medium.
Chris – Q. Confidence: Medium.

A decent song elevated by a charming performer and a fun staging. To think we were worried. Nathan’s gonna swim like a champion.

Macedonia: Jana Burčeska – “Dance Alone”

Jen – NQ. Confidence: Medium.
Chris – NQ. Confidence: Medium.

We love this song, but we hate the way Macedonia staged it. Shi from escgo! sums the problem up nicely. With any luck, this will go through instead of Netherlands, but we’re not holding our breath.

Malta: Claudia Faniello – “Breathlessly”

Jen – NQ. Confidence: Low.
Chris – NQ. Confidence: Medium.

Look, a lot of artists at Eurovision this year have plastered their mugs all over the video backdrop. But does anyone look more conceited than Claudia when doing it?

Romania: Ilinca featuring Alex Florea – “Yodel It!”

Jen – Q. Confidence: Low.
Chris – Q. Confidence: Low.

We expect this to qualify, but something has been bothering us about the staging for “Yodel It!” Romania’s key selling point is Ilinca and her yodeling. Yet in the camera clips we’ve seen, they cut away from her when she is yodeling. Granted, Alex is the more charismatic of the two singers, but the song is called “Yodel It!” It’s like Romania is missing the point of its own song.

Netherlands: OG3NE – “Light and Shadow”

Jen – Q. Confidence: Low.
Chris – Q. Confidence: Low.

If the results of the first Semi are any indication, there isn’t a lot of patience for dated crap like this. Still, it’s hard to pick against it when the Vol sisters are singing well.

Hungary: Joci Pápai – “Origo”

Jen – Q. Confidence: High.
Chris – Q. Confidence: High.

We’ve been listening to the ESC Insight podcast, and on Sunday’s episodeMonty Moncrieff and Ewan Spence discussed how the staging for “Origo” tells a Romeo and Juliet story. And gosh darn it if Joci and dancer Alexandra aren’t telling that story better than the song in this Semi actually inspired by Romeo and Juliet.

Denmark: Anja – “Where I Am”

Jen – Q. Confidence: Medium.
Chris – Q. Confidence: Low.

Anja is a singer to be reckoned with. Even if the song isn’t the best, she is gonna drag it to the Final through sheer force of will.

Ireland: Brendan Murray – “Dying to Try”

Jen – NQ. Confidence: Medium.
Chris – NQ. Confidence: High.

Stop watching “Dying to Try” if you experience the following: nausea, stomach pain, suicidal thoughts, or ringing in your ears. Call your doctor immediately. Do not watch “Dying to Try” if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, have been pregnant before, have never been pregnant, or have boy parts.

San Marino: Valentina Monetta & Jimmie Wilson – “Spirit of the Night”

Jen – NQ. Confidence: Medium.
Chris – NQ. Confidence: Medium.

We like that San Marino decided to give “Spirit of the Night” a disco club atmosphere. If we were in a disco club it would be fun. Here, it just looks like an unfocused mess.

Croatia: Jacques Houdek – “My Friend”

Jen – Q. Confidence: Low.
Chris – Q. Confidence: Medium.

Do you even realize how hard it is to switch from pop voice to opera voice like that? Yes, the song is insane and the staging is even more insane, but like Cesar before him, Jacques rises above it all.

Norway: JOWST feat. Aleksander Walmann – “Grab the Moment”

Jen – NQ. Confidence: Low.
Chris – NQ. Confidence: Low.

“Grab the Moment” is a cool song and we hope that voters watching tonight agree. But we’re afraid it’s going to get lost in the shuffle.

Switzerland: Timebelle – “Apollo”

Jen – NQ. Confidence: High.
Chris – NQ. Confidence: High.

The Barbara Dex Award competition is going to be fierce this year, but at least Switzerland is in with a chance to win something in Kyiv.

Belarus: NAVI – “Historyja majho žyccia”

Jen – Q. Confidence: Medium.
Chris – Q. Confidence: Medium.

Belarus should sail right through the Final, so long as they don’t crash into the Forbidden Desert.

Bulgaria: Kristian Kostov – “Beautiful Mess”

Jen – Q. Confidence: High.
Chris – Q. Confidence: High.

Kristian is the youngest competitor at this year’s Eurovision, but he is one of the most mature performers. He will qualify with ease.

Lithuania: Fusedmarc – “Rain of Revolution”

Jen – NQ. Confidence: High.
Chris – NQ. Confidence: High.

This is the week where we envy the folks in the press room, but we also recognize that to pay for that privilege, they are forced to listen to songs like “Rain of Revolution” again and again. Their ordeal will be over soon.

Estonia: Koit Toome and Laura – “Verona”

Jen – Q. Confidence: Medium.
Chris – Q. Confidence: Low.

Falstaff wishes he ate that much ham.

Israel: IMRI – “I Feel Alive”

Jen – Q. Confidence: Low.
Chris – Q. Confidence: Low.

The song and the staging are fun, IMRI is eye candy and has drawn a good slot, and… well, the vocal may be a bit dodgy. No matter: the plusses outweigh the negatives.

5 thoughts on “Our Predictions: 2017 Semifinal 2

  1. Well, let me have another whack at this:

    Serbia
    Austria
    Romania
    Netherlands
    Hungary
    Switzerland
    Belarus
    Bulgaria
    Estonia
    Israel

    Let it be said that I have far less confidence regarding most of these picks than the ones I made for the first Semi. The first half of Semi 2 in particular is full of songs that could easily swing both ways depending on unforseen factors.

    That being said, our picks are still highly similar, which gives me confidence. Some key differences:

    1) I realise that I am in the vast minority on this, but I really enjoy “In too deep”, and I feel it might be able to make an impression on voters, enough to lead it into the final.

    2) I do not believe there is room for both Denmark and the Netherlands in the final. Both essentially occupy the same niche: vanilla pop ballad elevated by outstanding vocal performance. However, O’G3NE have the familial shtick going for them, their performance is more impressive by default (3 voices harmonizing>>>a single lead vocal), and their song has a touch more weight and depth (just a smidgen, really) by being about their mother, which ties in nicely with their staging (her silhouette appears at one point, if I read correctly on Wiwibloggs). I think this will oust Anja and her slinky but otherwise forgettable number.

    3) I feel Croatia is far too much a wildcard. “Apollo” is safe, pretty and has a good chorus. I’m feeling it’ll slip by.

    • Wondering if Switzerland was hurt by the juries. “Apollo” was never our cup of tea, but we thought Timebelle did a nice job with it last night.

      • Indeed. Miruna sang well, much better than a lot of the other acts. But I think their staging hurt them the most, honestly. It didn’t feel connected to the song and the dress was hideous. The juries probably didn’t like it, but I don’t think the viewers did either.

  2. So we have a competition! My prediction for Semi 2 is as follows:

    Austria,
    Belarus,
    Bulgaria,
    Croatia,
    Denmark,
    Estonia,
    Hungary,
    Israel,
    Norway,
    The Netherlands.

    I don’t believe in Romania, at all. It is such a mess! I know it will qualify, and I will regret leaving it out, but I just do not believe in them. Croatia is just as cheesy, but at least Jacques is coherent in his cheesiness.

    If Romania qualifies, it will probably be at the expense of Belarus, who apparently sounded poor in the jury show, but I wish Naviband. If I could vote tonight, my vote would go out to them.

    • Naviband seem to have a certain something that makes you forgive their vocal shakiness. It’s the Milan Stankovic effect!

Comments are closed.