Eurovision 2022 semi-final 1: results reaction

So I’m writing this reaction to the Eurovision 2022 semi-final 1 results the day after – I was somewhat quicker with my video (see below) but I’ll list the qualifiers and non-qualifiers here (unlike in my video where I just talked about the surprises). And surprises there were with a couple of unexpected qualifiers that bumped out some fan favourites. Overall though, I don’t think anyone was “robbed” and it’s a good mix of songs, genres and languages that have gone through.

The qualifiers

To summarise, here are the qualifiers (in order of semi-final running order): Lithuania, Switzerland, Ukraine, Netherlands, Moldova, Portugal, Iceland, Greece, Norway and Armenia

The non-qualifiers

Conversely, here are the seven countries who are not progressing to the final: Albania, Latvia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark and Austria

The shocks and surprises

The undoubted BIG shock of the night was the qualification of Switzerland. I think the view was that this just wouldn’t pull in any sort of televote and even a good jury score would not help it. We won’t know the breakdown of votes until after the grand final but I suspect this got a very good jury vote that enabled it to finish in 10th place overall.

Iceland was the next biggest shock – though in the end it didn’t feel like such a big shock as it all seemed to come together within the running order and the staging looked so pretty. Very pleased that it has a place in the final.

The final surprise was Lithuania’s qualification – to my and many people’s delight. Monika has so many fans but there was a general view this might get lost being so early but in the end the class clearly did win through. I had picked it to qualify actually, but I was very nervous about it. SO so pleased for her. And as a real act of class, the first thing she did at end of show was to run over to the boys from Latvia to console them as they didn’t qualify.

Conversely, we lost Albania, Latvia and Austria. I think all three are understandable. Ronela was great in so many ways but the elements just didn’t seem to add up as a slick package and I suspect the juries punished her. Before the live show, I had put her as a qualifier but it was one of my most uncertain – and during show, I think I could see Iceland qualifying in place of Albania,

Austria and Latvia were both wildcards – popular with the fans and (one assumed) potentially with the televote. Austria’s vocals and static staging I thought would hurt them with juries and would be a non-qualifier though the betting odds disagreed with me. In the end my instincts were right! Latvia I think suffered from being so early and other big televote friendly countries absorbing lots of the votes (same issue for Austria). I suspect their jury vote was low. It’s a shame as they have been so much fun and so lovely to other artists and with fans.

So I got 8 out of 10 right in the end – more than the betting odds got right (7 out of 10). I can guarantee I won’t get that much for the second semi-final. If I get 6 right I will be pleased!

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