Tonight’s semifinal will be the most unsurprising ever. All of the songs are possible qualifiers, and I won’t be surprised by any country’s exit.
Armenia and Sweden are according to the bookmakers huge favourites to go through to the final. But they both have the same two problems: They are ballads in a semifinal where there are more slow songs than uptempo ones. And they are both in the beginning of the show. These two factors combined might take the edge off their favourite status, making them somewhat forgettable by the time when the virewers are to vote.
In the other end of the list, Portugal and Latvia are the ones with the least good odds in this semi final. But both of these are up-tempo and very catchy, and although Latvia has the worst starting position – number 2 – they might stand out enough in this company of ballads.
This is why I wouldn’t be surprised by any of the countries advancing to the final, and the same time, not surprised if the favourites fail.
Another interesting aspect, will be to see whether or not the current political situation in Ukraine will affect the voting. There has not been similar present conflicts going on before, that can give an indication on what to expect. But I think that the Russian minority in Ukraine might vote big-time for Russia, although they might be overpowered by the jury.
I’ve never found it this hard to predict a semi final result, and I won’t be surprised if I’ve got 6 wrongs. Anyway – here is my prediction of qualifiers: Armenia, Latvia, Sweden, Iceland, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Belgium, Portugal, Netherlands and Hungary.