The first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 is just a few hours away, and so it’s time for us in the escgo! team to predict the first 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: It might be entirely meaningless, considering the fact it is only a 15-song semi and there’s some chance I will spectacularly fail in my prediction after spending little to no time with this year’s songs, but this prediction is probably the one I tortured myself the least when trying to make decisions. I had seven countries that I was sure would make it and put three more in my borderline category (Serbia, Portugal and Croatia, in case you’re wondering). Because this is how math works, this was all I needed for a total of 10 qualifiers.
Martin: A 15-song semi-final is a tricky one to call, especially one where there seem to be a few obvious non-qualifiers (hi, Latvia – I adore you, but you know…). In a bigger semi, I would have serious doubts about the likes of Czechia to connect with the audience, but surely they can make it over the line in such a strong field. Norway up front feels a bit wobblier than it ought to – I wouldn’t be shocked if we later find out they only qualified in 8th or 9th – and I’ve included Portugal purely because it’s a televote-only semi and that ought to work in their favour, but I wouldn’t be sad to be mistaken. My biggest call here is Moldova as NQ – the whole act somehow feels a little bit tired this time round, so I thought I’d go out on a limb there. Probably wrong though.
Felix: This year, I decided to experiment with my predictions. Will I perform better or worse without having watched any rehearsal clip or photos? Without having heard anything about the rehearsals so far? Or does it even matter? We will see. So I’ve let my gut feeling play a bigger role, and avoided any in-depth analysis or considerations this year. I included a few surprises like Ireland and Portugal because I think there are audiences for those. Moldova is probably borderline. Finland will win, Netherlands might just about miss qualification, and I fear that my beloved Latvia will clearly be out.
Who do you agree with and what do you think will be the big shocks tonight? Let us know in the comments!