This year’s second semi final will be a much more entertaining one than the first semi, with only three ballads in the running. I also think that this one should be easier to predict the outcome from.
Austria, Greece and Norway are the only three from this semifinal that are in the bookmaker’s top-10. In the other end of the list, Georgia, FYR Macedonia and Belarus are the ones with the least good chances of advancing to the final.
As I’ve written before, i think that among this semi final’s entries, Greece, Israel, Norway and Romania are the ones that could gain a top-5 position and possibly win the Eurovision title. With their lucky starting number (13 and 15 out of 15), Greece and Romania are the safest qualifiers tonight. But as there are only 5 countries that will be eliminated, I think the chances are good for Israel and Norway as well, even though they have the two least good starting positions (2 and 3).
The Austrian entry has got a lot of publicity since they selected drag queen Conchita Würst to represent the country. The song is actually quite okay, and Conchita sings it well. But her extraordinary appearance might be a little too freaky for the average European TV viewer to make them vote for it. And for the gay part of the audience, who has shown deep affection for Conchita, I think that they have found other favourites.
When Dana International won the contest in 1998, she was very extraordinary: The song was the only disco song, she was the first transsexual to sing in Eurovision, and she was the first entrant to advocate gay rights the way she did it. Today, more or less all the participants are pro-gay rights, and Conchita is not the only one to appeal to the gay audience.
Still, her song and melody should be good enough to go through to the final.
Finland should manage to go through with the only rock song of the semi. Poland, Malta and Ireland should also be safe. The last one is a little more open. Slovenia should be the strongest entry left, but with few Balkan countries to help, I think it might fall through. With the good starting position, I’ll hold Switzerland as the favourite for the last spot.
This means that I believe in the following ten countries to qualify (from very likely to less likely): Greece, Romania, Israel, Norway, Finland, Malta, Austria, Poland, Ireland and Switzerland.