Tomorrow the 62nd edition of the Eurovision Song Contest will officially commence. Eighteen countries will compete against each other to qualify for the grand final this Saturday. Only ten out of the eighteen songs will make it. Here are my absolute final thoughts about the first semi-final.

I still think this is the hardest semi-final of the two because I think there are a lot of countries that are almost definite qualifiers because of their Eurovision-history. I’m thinking of Sweden, Azerbaijan, Australia, Armenia and Greece. These five countries are usually very successful at Eurovision and are always a threat to other countries, no matter how the song or performance turns out to be. I think Australia is the only country of those five that isn’t sure of qualifying this year, because of the weakness of the song. But the four other countries have pretty decent songs as well, so there’s no doubt that they will qualify.

In this semi-final, we also have a lot of outsider-countries that have really proven themselves and have come to the Eurovision Song Contest with great songs. I’m thinking of Belgium, Portugal, Poland and Finland. These countries are never certain of qualifying, but this year they have managed to become popular and likely to be successful. I think with the live performance, Belgium is the weakest one of those four. But I still think that a lot of people will vote for it, because it’s a nice song.

Actually, in this semi-final there’s hardly any song that is bad. I think Slovenia and Czech Republic have the least shot at qualifying but I still don’t hate their songs. They both have sent great singers and performers and I can see why they would still receive some votes, whether it is from the public or the juries.

Then we still have Albania, Georgia, Cyprus, Iceland, Latvia, Moldova and Montenegro. I think every one of these countries has the possibility of qualifying. Montenegro probably has the lowest chance because the juries will destroy this song, but the televoters could love it and vote for it like crazy. Albania and Georgia have more serious songs, with a message, something that has always been popular at Eurovision, especially in a combination with killer vocals. Cyprus, Iceland, Latvia and Moldova have more modern songs, that are great for a dance party. What I’m trying to say is, everyone that loves music will find something that he or she can appreciate in this semi-final. It’s very diverse and apparently that’s what we should be celebrating.

Now about the qualifiers. As I already said, there are four countries that will go through to the final, no matter what happens. Those are: Sweden, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Greece. These four countries have great songs too. I’m not that convinced about Azerbaijan because that’s not really my style, but I appreciate the performance. And Greece’s song is too flat for me, and the live vocals don’t impress me but then again the performance and staging does. About Australia, I can’t imagine Australia not qualifying but I don’t think they really deserve to this year, because the song just isn’t good enough.

My personal favourite, Portugal, is a definite qualifier as well. He is now second in the bookmakers’ ranking and I’m so excited to watch him perform in Kyiv. Finland has really made an impression during the rehearsals so I actually think that they will qualify. Poland will probably qualify as well, the singer is very popular amongst Eurovision-fans and her vocals are great as well. Belgium has become a border qualifier right now. I think the rehearsals have really disappointed a lot of people so I’m not sure at all about Belgium qualifying. For me, they don’t really deserve to because I feel that there are better performances and songs in this semi-final.

So right now these are the qualifiers, in my opinion:

Sweden – Azerbaijan – Australia – Armenia – Greece – Portugal – Poland – Finland

For the last two spots it will be a tight race between Belgium, Moldova, Cyprus and Latvia. I don’t think Albania, Georgia, Montenegro, Iceland, Czech Republic and Slovenia will qualify if I take everything, including the bookmakers’ ranking, in consideration. I would really be suprised if any of these countries does qualify, but as you may know in the Eurovision Song Contest everything is possible.

So that were the countries that I believe will qualify, but right now I should also show my top 10 of countries that I WANT to see again in the final.

  1. Portugal
  2. Moldova
  3. Finland
  4. Sweden
  5. Armenia
  6. Cyprus
  7. Greece
  8. Latvia
  9. Azerbaijan
  10. Albania

I was really doubting about my final place in the final because I do love Belgium’s song. I just don’t think that the performance that I have seen in the rehearsals, deserves to be in the final of the Eurovision Song Contest. The song is great and probably in the top 5 of songs we have this year, but the live performance is something that everyone wants to see and that’s what people usually vote for. So I have chosen for Albania, although I don’t really like that song, I just think that the performance and live vocals are perfect and that effort should be rewarded, in my opinion.