Our Predictions: 2018 Semifinal One

In predicting the results for Semifinal One we can plausibly argue the case for everyone except Macedonia. By the time you read this, we will have reviewed and revised our lists several times and we still won’t be quite satisfied with them. Now that we’ve set our picks in stone, we look forward to laughing at them later tonight.

This year, our son asked if he could make picks with us (although he declined to give us his confidence levels). Watch him go 10 for 10.

Jen:

  • Azerbaijan
  • Czech Republic
  • Israel
  • Estonia
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Greece
  • Finland
  • Armenia
  • Cyprus
Chris:

  • Azerbaijan
  • Czech Republic
  • Israel
  • Estonia
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Greece
  • Finland
  • Armenia
  • Cyprus
Kieran:

  • Azerbaijan
  • Czech Republic
  • Israel
  • Estonia
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Armenia
  • Switzerland
  • Ireland
  • Cyprus

Azerbaijan: Aisel – “X My Heart”

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

Everything about Azerbaijan’s performance looks solid and professional.

Iceland: Ari Ólafsson – “Our Choice”

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

We have long posited that the audience for the first Semi is more conservative than the ones for the other shows. So it’s possible that Ari, with his anthemic ballad and big high note, is in with a chance. But “Our Choice” is really old fashioned, even for the most fuddy of duddies. We also worry that Ireland, who comes along later in the show, will steal whatever thunder Iceland would have.

Albania: Eugent Bushpepa – “Mall”

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

Although Eugent is a terrific singer, Albania is giving us a Festivali i Këngës staging, not a Eurovision staging.

Belgium: Sennek – “A Matter of Time”

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

It pains us to say that Sennek’s performance isn’t landing with us. Her styling is incomplete and the staging appears to lack any unifying moment. We’re not sure she will pack the wallop she will need to get votes.

Czech Republic: Mikolas Josef – “Lie to Me”

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

A little back injury isn’t going to be enough to slow Mikolas down. Well, technically, yes, it will slow him down physically. But you know what we mean.

Lithuania: Ieva Zasimauskaitė – “When We’re Old”

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

We predicted good things for Ieva back in 2016, so we feel bad for not backing her up here. In truth, we agonized about this pick, ultimately ruling her out for flashier songs that appear in the second half.

Israel: Netta Barzilai – “Toy”

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

Despite some fans’ concerns during the rehearsals, Netta should have no problem making it to the Final.

Belarus: Alekseev – “Forever”

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

We figure if naked Ivan and his wolves didn’t qualify, then how could Alekseev and this rose-colored nightmare?

Estonia: Elina Nechayeva – “La Forza”

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

As we said when we reviewed “La Forza,” a pop opera song like this is designed to get out of the Semifinals. Unless (or even if) Elina struggles with her vocals, she should make it out of the Semi with ease.

Bulgaria: Equinox – “Bones”

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

Bulgaria is bringing drama and visual moments we can grab onto. Plus Vlado Mihailov looks like the headmaster of Durmstrang.

Macedonia: Eye Cue – “Lost and Found”

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

They got the “lost” part right.

Croatia: Franka – “Crazy”

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

“Crazy” has been largely under the radar, but Franka has been delivering strong live vocal performances. Such is the folly of reviewing recorded versions of songs.

Austria: Cesár Sampson – “Nobody But You”

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

Our feelings about Austria are similar to our feelings about Belgium. We want to root for “Nobody But You,” but the staging isn’t clicking with us.

Greece: Gianna Terzi – “Oneiro mou”

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

As Wesley Snipes once told us, “Always bet on Greece.”

Finland: Saara Aalto – “Monsters”

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

Even if “Monsters” has the potential to go off the rails, we think that Saara Aalto will benefit from the fact that the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Estonia are voting in this Semi. That said, by no means do we think her spot in the Final is safe. She needs her fans to show up.

Armenia: Sevak Khanagyan – “Qami”

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

Sevak is a solid, charismatic performer, even through his song is a bit staid. Since there is a dearth of male vocalists who are likely qualifiers in this heat, we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Switzerland: ZiBBZ – “Stones”

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

As with Albania, we wonder if Switzerland’s concert staging is going to play better in the hall than in living rooms.

Ireland: Ryan O’Shaughnessy – “Together”

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

Ireland’s music video in miniature is lovely, so we would not be surprised if they made it out of the Semifinal. Two out of three of us wouldn’t count on it, though.

Cyprus: Eleni Foureira – “Fuego”

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

Eleni is quite possibly the sexiest creature to have ever crossed the Eurovision stage. Also, her hair has hypnotic powers. Look what it has done to Eurofans on Twitter.

4 thoughts on “Our Predictions: 2018 Semifinal One”

  1. It has never been more difficult to make predictions, so here goes nothing:
    Azerbaijan
    Czech Republic
    Lithuania
    Israel
    Estonia
    Bulgaria
    Austria
    Finland
    Armenia
    Cyprus

    1. This is one tough semi. We could flip coins on almost everything. Good luck with your picks!

      1. 8/10. Not bad. And you might as well leave Kieran to do the remaining predictions. I mean, Ireland! Whew!

        1. Well done! Can’t fault you for picking Azerbaijan. I think they broke a lot of people’s brackets. Kieran is lording over us the fact he picked Ireland and we didn’t! (Never mind that Switzerland pick…)

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