In two hours the remaining 18 perform onstage in Baku and another 8 are eliminated, leaving us with our full array of 26 finalists. This semi is a lot harder to predict than the first, as after the first four obvious qualifiers there are a lot of “ifs, ands or buts”. There are 5 Balkan ex-Yugo entries in this semi, plus a Portuguese fado which is actually composed by a prominent Balkan songwriter. Obviously this thins out the vote for these entries. They can’t all make it through.
First, the obvious qualifiers. Sweden, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine will all make it through, no matter what. Norway seems pretty certain as well, unless Tooji totally whiffs the vocals. Since almost none of the Eurovision press and bloggers totally nailed the qualifiers from the first semi, let’s go to the experts who DID–the much-maligned and scoffed-at betting parlors. They got 10/10.
So if we go by the betting odds, these should be our finalists:
The only change I might swap out is the 11th-place finisher, Macedonia. Kaliopi is a huge star in the Balkan region, and I think she could out perform Bosnia, Belarus or Lithuania. But for the sake of a firm prediction, let’s put Macedonia in Bosnia’s place and call that my prediction. Let’s see how it shakes out in a few hours…