So another 10 countries made it through in which all of the favourites made it. But the bookies got it wrong with San Marino who didn't make it through. Valentina got a huge boost by fans for whatever reason but I never felt that San Marino was safely in the finals as most voters would have only heard the song once and in my opinion it isn't strong enough to make an immediate impression. I also didn't like the sudden change in key and tempo, it's one of my pet peeves in music.
This semifinal lacked the impact the first semifinal had but it had an interesting mix of tracks.
Here is a rough ranking of the performances for me.
Norway - Hands down my favourite of the night, but it does need a bit of tweaking.
Azerbaijan - it was decent, good all round. If a guy is going to win this year I'd bet on him.
Finland - I like the energy, it's a guilty pleasure.
Georgia - Slightly disappointed with the performance, hopefully they improve their vocals in the finals but still sung well.
Malta - it's ok, sounds better than I thought.
Greece - I think I'm starting to like it, just for the "Greekness" of it.
Israel - She sings well, bar the highest notes, but the song didn't work for me.
Iceland - To be quite honest I don't get the love for it, he is a good singer but the song is very boring.
San Marino - it's a nice enough song but I didn't get the sudden love for it.
Bulgaria - I was disappointed with the performance because the tune didn't work but I still applaud them for bringing something different.
Macedonia - it didn't work, I didn't like the song but the reason it's here is because I have a secret crush for Esma!
Latvia - better than I remember but still too bland.
Albania - Simply because I can't remember the tune but I remember they were rockers.
Armenia - I just don't like it.
Switzerland - I can't remember the song sadly, all I remember is the "adorable" 95 year old playing the double bass.
Romania - I'm really sorry but I just don't like it.
Hungary - There's a charm about it but it's too repetitive.
Which is why I was shocked how Hungary made it through since they aren't powerhouses either.
My predictions were:
Azerbaijan, Finland, Malta, Iceland, Greece, Norway, Georgia, Romania, Israel, Armenia
I didn't think San Marino would make it through. Israel was the iffy one for me but I thought the jury would save her. Whilst Armenia solely based on the countries past performance at Eurovision.
So my two shock finalists are Lithuania from Semi 1 and Hungary from Semi 2.
After the two semis the bookies have the Top 5 (in order) as
Denmark, Norway, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Russia
Netherlands, Germany, Georgia and Italy come in close.
I'd be pretty happy with that result if we can just take Russia out of that equation, the other 8 would be a good Top 8.
And we now know the running order. To my knowledge finalists drew out whether they were in the first or second half but the order is decided by the producers of the show.
France is leading us off, I fear they might be at the bottom then. Among the first 13 acts (assuming the interval is right in the middle) I fear France, Spain and Estonia will fade into obscurity by the end. Whilst I don't like the guys in this half I think each of them will manage to attract their respective voters. Russia, Germany and Netherlands are the contenders to look out for and Anouk will be closing the first half, I just wonder if watching "Birds" on TV will have the same quality as watching live on listening to the CD, I'm worried it won't translate. Moldova, Finland and Belarus should manage to stay in the minds of their voters as they have a strong enough gimmick.
Bonnie Tyler is 15th and coming right after Romania, I don't know if that's a good or bad thing. The host is at 16th which is a decent place to be I think. The big guns are all very close to the end, Denmark at 18th, Azerbaijan at 20th, Ukraine 22nd and Norway 24th. These 4 bookies favourites will be wedged by Iceland, Greece and Italy which could spell disaster for these three however I think they are strong enough with their supporters to come out unscathed. Hungary starts us off this onslaught but I think they will be forgotten by the end. Georgia is at 25th which is a good spot to be in whilst weirdly Ireland closes us off. I would have expected a bigger song to be put here.
I'm thinking Spain's early performance and rather forgettable song might spell disaster for them in the finals (I think they're OK though) but we'll see.
I'm supporting Anouk, Robin Stjernberg, Emmelie de Forest, Farid Mammadov and Margaret Berger but of course I'll also cheer for Bonnie!
See you on Saturday.