The second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 is just a few hours away, and so it’s time for us in the escgo! team to predict the next ten qualifiers for the grand final on Saturday.
You can see the choices of Shi, Martin and Felix in the table below – followed by a brief summary of their views!
Shi: Oh, it’s that time again. It’s also the kind of semi where I only manage to get my list down to 11 qualifiers, while also thinking most of the remaining songs are also plausible choices. At the end, someone had to go, and I ended picking Moldova as the odd one out. There’s no diplomatic way to say this, but if most of my reasons to keep this in have nothing to do with the song, singer and performance, that’s not good enough. I like the song well enough, but there was never anything about this song that made it stand out, especially with quite a few other uptempo songs on offer. I also have a feeling that Natalia will be happy to see the back of Kirkorov as soon as possible, although who knows how he’ll react to one of his artists not qualifying (despite it being his own fault, really).
Shi’s favourites: My favorite song in this semi remains the Swiss song, despite our very clear differences in artistic approach. As a song, it’s one of the most beautiful compositions in recent memory and even if it doesn’t win, it deserves to do well. I’m also crossing fingers for my guilty pleasure, Serbia – and I still suspect that it will be one of this or Moldova to make it through.
Martin: For an unpredictable semi, we’ve ended up with quite similar picks, haven’t we? Unlike semi 1, I haven’t seen any of the full reherasals of these songs, so I’m relying on 40-second clips and what my fellow bloggers have said. As such, I am desperately worried that Austria is a case of press centre groupthink – but so many people seem to think it that I’ll put it in my list anyway. A bit like the Cyp/Cro/Isr/Aze bloodbath in semi 1, it feels like there can’t quite be room for all of Moldova, Serbia and Albania, so unlike Shi, I’m going to rely on Kirkorov’s tactics (and an Albanian diaspora boost) to ultimately trump the Hurricane girls.
Martin’s favourites: My Gerbear sorter from a few weeks ago tells me that my personal favourite here is Greece, which is a surprise to me now. Maybe those dodgy rehearsals have worn away some of its charm. Next up is Denmark, but like with “Verona”, it’s not really about qualification for me – it’s just glorious that it’s there at all. For diversity in the final, I’d be sad to lose Albania though.
Felix: When you already had a hard time to narrow down to 11 qualifiers, you also still have the incredibly hard task to cut one more song. And for me, that was Albania. A dramatic lady in the wind machine just happened with Serbia – in threefold magnitude – not long before Anxhela hits the stage, and wailing women didn’t always work for Albania before. Something had to go from my Q list – and so I picked Anxhela. Czech Republic is another borderline candidate which I removed while narrowing down. On the other side, I might be terribly wrong about Denmark (I fear), and Finland (I hope!). And Portugal, which would be a nice surprise, isn’t safe either. Hence “surprise”. This semi is such a tough one to call, but what I’m rather sure about is Latvia and Georgia finishing at or near the bottom, and Switzerland at or near the highest heights.
Felix’s favourites: Switzerland reached me only short before the rehearsals began, but wow, do I get this one now. Denmark has been my #1 of 2021 since long, but loses a bit due to the studio version. Austria would be my third favourite. Goosebumps alert!
Who do you agree with and what do you think will be the big shocks tonight? Let us know in the comments!