Eurovision Semi Final 1

It’s finally here!! I’ve tried to shut myself off from the social media side of Eurovision this year to avoid any confirmation bias. That’s not to say I haven’t had the songs on repeat now for the last few months, my neighbours must wonder why I keep shouting “I’m a golden boy” at the top of my voice.

The one lesson I learn from last year was to not get drunk on the Saturday and put all your profit from both semi-finals on a man in a dress NOT winning Eurovision. I honestly didn’t think we’d gone back to 1998, I also couldn’t see how Austria could win the show, when they failed with Nadine Beiler in 2011.

This year we have Australia joining the party… I suppose it only makes sense as they all live over here anyway.

That’s enough of my life story anyway, how am I going to attempt to earn some money this year? My best bets for semi-final 1 are below.

[symple_heading type=”h2″ title=”Worst Song… EVER!” margin_top=”20px;” margin_bottom=”20px” text_align=”left”]

I’ve watch Eurovision for many years now but I would like to extend a special congratulations to Finland for entering the worst song in the history of the competition. The only thing to be thankful of is that it doesn’t evenlast the full three minutes.

Other than the length of time that it’s on for, here is what else is wrong with it;

1. It’s in a language that nobody speaks, I don’t mean Finnish as even people from Finland would struggle understand what is being said.

2. If the juries vote for this song then they shouldn’t be on the show. Not only is it an awful song, it’s awful to watch. The key is in the name EuroVISON SONG Contest.

3. Their main voting allies, namely Sweden and Norway are not in this semi-final, so they cannot vote for them. Denmark haven’t given them points historically, so I see no reason for that to change. That leaves them with Estonia as a ‘friend’, and I don’t even think they’ll be getting more than six points from them. Or to put that in basic terms, I cannot see the public voting for it.

4. They are draw in the first half of the show and directly before and advertisement break.By the time all the Eastern European’s who will be watching this have topped up their vodka, Finland will be forgotten about.

5. The last point is one I don’t want to touch on too much either way, as I have limited experience of it. All the performers in this song are mentally ‘challenged’. At first I didn’t realise this and just generally thought “what the f**k am I listening to”. I’m not sure how/if this will be pointed out much in the show and I’m not sure if it will gather sympathy votes. My gut feeling however is that if people do notice it, they won’t automatically pick up the phone and vote for it, when it comes down to it the best songs usually rise to the top in Eurovision.

Everything about this song point to it not qualifying for the final, however it’s sixth favourite to win the whole thing. If that happens then the world truly has gone mad, even after Eurovision was set back almost twenty years last year. I have to take it on, I just cannot see how it can be odds-on to qualify, I’m even going to go as far as saying that this is my NAP of this years competition.

[symple_box color=”green” text_align=”center” width=”100%” float=”none”]
Back Finland NOT To Qualify at 2.10 – Betfair Sportsbook[/symple_box]

[symple_heading type=”h2″ title=”Can Mother Russia Win This?” margin_top=”20px;” margin_bottom=”20px” text_align=”left”]

It’s a question that I’m not going to answer yet, instead I’m going to offer a small bit of ‘political’ theory.

Last year in Britian, we were bombarded with images of ‘nasty’ Russian soldiers apparently trying to restore The Soviet Union. There was a lot of talk, on my Twitter timeline at least, about how this would affect voting in Eurovision. As you can tell I only follow very highbrow subjects. Anyway, the opinion seemed to be split by your political persuasion. The left, were saying that they’d get no vote, Ukraine would pick them all up and could even win it due to ‘the war’. The people on the ‘right’, were generally saying the opposite, with the belief that our media over here like to ‘hype’ most things to the maximum, especially those at The BBC. That lead to the belief that most of Eastern Europe didn’t really care that much about a corner of Ukraine. My personal view, was more in line with those from the right, but I also highlighted that I didn’t think the song was good enough and that would be the biggest obstacle.

As it turned out the twins exceeded expectation and finished seventh, with Ukraine in sixth. I personally think that shows most of Europe are happy to support and vote for Russia if they have a song they like. Something which The BBC need to take note of when they’re choosing our selection.

This years entry is one that I’ve been singing along to for a number of weeks now, I think it’s a wonderfully uplifing song in a year full of dark moodiness.

Polina has big vocals, good looks and the song has catchy tune. I can see the juries voting for this and it should pick up good votes in a very ‘Eastern’ semi-final. It’s a certain qualifier for the final, the bigger question is can ‘A Million Voices’ win the whole thing? I cannot see it finishing out of the Top Five, however it may be a bit of a push to beat Sweden to the title.

[symple_heading type=”h2″ title=”What Have Hungary Done?” margin_top=”20px;” margin_bottom=”20px” text_align=”left”]

I feel so let down… after Kati Wolf with the ultimate ‘break-up’ song “What About My Dreams?“, Compact Disco and Kallay Saunders in the last few years I thought Hungary would be sending another catchy tune to their neighbours. Alas it wasn’t to be and we’ve been left with a song that ZZZzzz…

I’m sure that the juries will lap it up, I’m not however sure that the public will. It just comes across as a bit creepy with the slow walking and stares to camera, a tree appears in the background, it’s all very ‘Mormon’.

My initial, thought was to lay it in the ‘To Qualify’ market. However I think Finland is a better lay, so would rather increase my stakes on that. The way I’m going to oppose Hungary, is by backing two against them.

The first one is Macedonia. I think this is a fantastic modern song, the type that Hungary ironically used to send. There are some issues around how it sounds when it’s sung live, but I find the staging captivating, if only the backing singers took their sunglasses off instead of trying to look gangster their chances would be improved. Amazingly they’ve also managed to find the only three black men in the world who can’t dance.

That may sound like I shouldn’t back this song to qualify, but in a tight semi-final I can see it doing well with the public when compared to Finland and Hungary. If the juries go for it as it is something slightly different, then I defiantly think it will qualify.

[symple_box color=”green” text_align=”center” width=”100%” float=”none”]
Back Macedonia To Qualify at 2.5x – Betfair Exchange[/symple_box]

The other song I want to back To Qualify is Denmark. There’s been a few on social media who have slagged this song of, which seems apt for a song by Anti Social Media. This reminds me massively of Iceland’s entry last year, a band playing instruments, having fun and putting on a solid performance.

I don’t see how Finland and Hungary can be ahead of this in the betting. This is a great song, I can see it being liked by all types of people, from all different nations. The juries should like it’s performed well, it will look good in the final and the staging is simple but effective.

[symple_box color=”green” text_align=”center” width=”100%” float=”none”]
Back Denmark To Qualify at 1.9x – Betfair Exchange[/symple_box]

Everyone like to try and predict the ten qualifiers from each semi-final… So here’s mine for tonight;

  • Russia
  • Albania
  • Macedonia
  • The Netherlands
  • Denmark
  • Belarus
  • Georgia
  • Greece
  • Serbia
  • Estonia

The last thing for me to say is check out these websites; and

Both of these sites offer some excellent views and commentaries on the show.


  1. I agree with Finland but don’t agree with backing Macedonia – the ancient Greek background with the Afro-hipster-gangsters behind Daniel don’t do it for me. The whole thing appears rather cheap and random. In the absence of trees, the “leaves” look like fish food floating about and the visuals could be something out of Windows95. I think Macedonia who were borderline in terms of voting allies needed strong staging to make it but that’s not what we saw.

  2. Nice review. I agree with mostly everything you said except that Serbia could qualify. Damn, I just hate that song! Even Moldova’s song is better despite yhe fact Eduard can’t really sing.

    • I really don’t get all the ‘hatred’ for Serbia… I was listening to it on Sunday and thought wow, how have I not picked up on this before?

      However one thing I will say is that this year I seem to be completely opposite to the market in terms of ‘taste’ in this semi… maybe it’s the early signs of an impending midlife crisis

  3. By the way I share your experience of last year. I won in the semis and then I bet against Austria most of my winnings. We all know what happened 😀

  4. Dana International is a man in a dress? ugh, won’t bother reading the rest after such an introduction

    • It’s a shame that you were offended so much by that… but we all can’t have the same opinions on genetic makeups

      FWIW I liked Ding Dong in 2011

  5. Great write up. I couldn’t agree more with your views and have already gone in for the 2.0 available for Finland NOT to qualify and the 1.90 for Denmark to qualify. I also don’t quite understand the negativity towards this Danish entry. It stands out against the mass of ballads and adds some variety.

    The odds for Russia winning Semi Final 1 are a little too short for me though and backed it each way for the main competition at 44/1 when I first heard it.

    I can’t see past Sweden for the win, mainly down to with the staging, which I think will stick in the memory – especially for those seeing it for the first time. I think the bookie’s are right with their Top 5, even if they don’t finish in that exact order, I can’t see much troubling Sweden, Italy, Russia, Estonia and Australia.

    For what it’s worth, my dark horse for a Top 10 finish is Cyprus – and 1.33 for it to qualify on Thursday seems too big to me.

    Good luck.

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