Eurovision 2021 semi-final 2: predictions and hopes

After the build up and excitement of the first Eurovision semi-final, the second semi-final seems to come up almost at a rush and a surprise, with barely any time to digest the delight, surprise and disappointment of who did or didn’t qualify for the final. But 2021’s second semi-final is shaping up to be an intriguing one, with a lot of close calls on who might qualify or not (but with some very safe bets too!) As with semi-final one, a number of my friends predicted who the thought would go through (not necessarily who they wanted). These are the results – and my comments on whether I agreed!

So this time there were 7 friends who made the prediction, with a lot of consensus on some, and very little consensus on the others!

The (predicted) qualifiers

There was quite a bit of agreement on who the qualifiers would be. All seven of us predicted these same 6 qualifiers:

  • San Marino, Greece, Iceland, Serbia, Bulgaria and Switzerland

I don’t think many people would argue with these six. We’ve got a couple of contenders to win Eurovision in this group (Iceland, Bulgaria and Switzerland) plus two potential grand final top 10 finishers (San Marino and Greece). Serbia might be the only risky one, but I think given their performances in rehearsals and a solid voter base, they should be safe. (And yes, we have Flo Rida on the Eurovision stage supporting Senhit and San Marino).

Iceland will sail through despite them sadly missing all the live shows now following one member of the band testing positive for Covid-19 – luckily they can use their performance from the second rehearsal so unlike Australia it’s very close to what it would have been (minus live crowd). Such a terrible shame that they won’t be able to experience the live crowd – and they still could win the whole thing!

The next three qualifiers had agreement of 4 out of 7 of us – quite a drop in consensus and shows how wide open the remaining qualification places are!

  • Moldova, Albania, and Finland

A solo female bop, a solo female ethno-power ballad and a “violent pop”/hard rock band. I think Finland’s violent pop will go through given it is alone in its genre in this semi and is a powerful live performance (though not my own cup of tea). Albania I think will get through – dramatic staging and powerful vocal elevates this from what we’ve seen previously of it. On Moldova, I think I disagree, though it is a borderline. I don’t think the staging is novel enough nor her vocal strong enough, and Serbia immediately follows in running order which I think will overshadow “Sugar”. Moldova does tend to overperform so I wouldn’t be shocked if she did qualify after all.

Chaos now! With just one qualification spot left, we actually have four songs with three votes each… So take your pick really from this group!

  • Austria, Portugal, Latvia, Denmark

So no real consensus but if I were to say who I think was qualifying, based on rehearsals and jury show performance, I think we would be looking at Austria and Portugal who I think could qualify from strength of votes from juries. That said, Denmark could pull a big televote to outweigh that. I think two of these four will qualify, with Moldova (or maybe Albania) as the non-qualifier from the group further above. Sadly, after all these years of Samanta T─źna trying to get to the contest, I don’t think she will see the grand final (and her jury show performance was her worst vocal run through of the song).

The (predicted) non-qualifiers

Well there’s not many left really given lack of consensus on who will qualify… But these are the songs with least votes, and seemingly doomed not to qualify. Numbers in brackets are how many people voted for each entry.

  • Estonia (1), Czech Republic (1), Poland (2) and Georgia (0)

I think we have called this right on the definite non-qualifiers. Poor Georgia looks doomed – a sweet song, but it will hold little televote appeal. Poland’s “The Ride” is one of those rides that ends in a car crash… Estonia will get the middles aged mum and gay man vote and is vocally strong, but is totally overshadowed by San Marino which precedes it in the running order (and it’s in the dreaded second slot). And finally, the Czech Republic – I love “omaga” and Benny Cristo is possibly the sweetest and most engaging artist at this year’s contest, but it’s just not translating to the Rotterdam stage – the staging is basic and Benny’s vocals haven’t quite been there. I can’t see it qualifying, much as I would like it to.

Not long to go – another exciting semi-final beckons. Do let me know who your predictions and/or hopes to qualify are!

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