Eurovision 2014: Running order for semi-finals

The running order for this year’s two semi-finals has been decided by producers. You can find them here.

The first semi-final starts with hot favourite Armenia and concludes with another market fancy, Hungary. The second semi-final begins with Malta and for the the second year running, ends with Romania.

In due course, I will be looking in more depth at what this means for various chances of winning, being placed or qualifying from each semi. But do give us your initial thoughts below.

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64 comments to Eurovision 2014: Running order for semi-finals

  • eurovicious

    This is really gonna test the “4 out of the last 6 qualify” rule, given the presence of San Marino, Portugal, Belarus, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Moldova and all three friendless ex-Yu countries in the final 6 of the two semis. I think this makes Switzerland and Macedonia likely qualifiers from SF2 and Netherlands, Moldova and maybe San Marino(!) from SF1.

  • john kef

    The producers obviously try to help the countries that don’t have a good qualifying record( San Marino, Portugal, Netherlands, Montenegro SF-1 and Macedonia, Switzerland, Slovenia SF-2).

    Greece is after the break, closer than ever to not-qualify. Romania second straight year performing last.

    Armenia is very difficult now to win the semi. Hungary is a value bet. Netherlands has value at a Top-3 finishing and Montenegro is a 95% qualifier for me.

  • Is it possible that by giving Armenia the first slot, makes it look better to give them a later spot in the finals? (After they draw 1st/2nd half)

  • AlexanderS

    Yes, I also believe the intention was to test the favourites and make the results closer, thus having less predictable semis. No need to worry – in the final the producers will once again give the best spots to those same favourites that are being pushed aside a little in the semis now.

    • eurovicious

      Thanks for posting this Boki. It’s tough picking 5 qualifiers from this shower, let alone 10. That San Marino-Portugal-Netherlands-Montenegro stretch near the end is a complete toilet break, what a funny way to end the show. I think they do want to give countries who don’t usually qualify a chance to get through, cos they’re frit of even more countries dropping out. But it’s hard to imagine many people picking up the phone for those 4 songs. If Monetta could only make 11th with Crisalide, it’s hard to see her scraping 10th with this, especially as a lot of the fan goodwill she had from last year has dissipated since the song came out. Portugal and Montenegro are in languages none of the other countries voting in the semi speak. And the Dutch song, while I like it, is beyond low-key – it’s outright soporific. And they’ve only qualified twice in a decade.

      Azerbaijan kinda slays everything in this semi the way Birds did in SF1 last year. It’s exquisite. Estonia and Ukraine come over really well in the lineup too, and Latvia, but the risk there is that the live performance is a shambles (in the bad way rather than the endearing way). I see a certain strategy in them putting Azerbaijan then Ukraine on right after Russia.

    • eurovicious

      I know it almost never qualifies, but am I mad for thinking Slovenia does what Ireland does but better and with a later draw? It’s a song with broad appeal and Tinkara plays an instrument during it too – that’s always good for jury (and also why I think Switzerland is quite likely to qualify).

      I love My Slowianie, but watching this, I’m thinking: NQ. Too edgy and outside-the-box, a relatively early draw, and in a language no other country in the semi speaks. Plus all but three of the other Slavic countries (Belarus, Slovenia and Macedonia) are in the other semi. Basically it’s this year’s Igranka, but not as good and without the huge built-in regional and diaspora vote that Igranka benefited from. It’s anathema to juries too, despite the good vocals.

      I wouldn’t rule out 5 qualifiers out of the last 6 (everything but Jizzcake).

      The mix of countries in this semi and the fact most of the ex-USSR countries are in the other semi also augurs relatively well for Austria, I think. If that doesn’t get jury, there’s a problem. There’s an issue with it being a “queer” act but it not being “fun” – people loved Verka, Dana International and Sestre, but Rise Like A Phoenix isn’t an upbeat caper, it’s all about showcasing Conchita as a serious artist and vocalist. Its closest parallel in that regard is Moltiva, which was also expressly queer in its presentation, arguably far more so. Unlike Verka/Sestre/DQ, you don’t immediately know Conchita is a drag queen because none of the visual signifiers are there – she looks and sounds like a biological woman with a beard. People won’t be sure what she is. Will they still vote for her? It’s the acid test…

  • Heyy

    The second semi in particular is becoming even more hard to predict!

    The first two slots have definetely hurt Malta and Israel, and from core qualifiers, theyre down to borderline. Although I especially expect Malta to do well with juries, I think the televoting will push them way down…

    Norway and Romania given two stellar spots, they should cruise through without any problems, with Norway possibly winning the semi.

    Slovenia and Austria also have increased their chances of qualification, and I expect Conchita to crack to Top 4 of the semi.

    Belarus and Georgia are still doomed, and despite all the hype, Idont think Macedonia will make it, the juries will trash it and sowill its low voting power…. with a great song in 2012 and all its ex-Yu buddies, it only just scraped through at 9th.

    Poland’s slot between 2 low tempo songs have definetely given them a push, and now I can expect them to qualify.

    Greece will qualify anyway, and I cant not notice the mistake to put Finland and Ireland preceding eachother…. they seem to cancel each other out. Though I still think Ireland to qualify at around 5th place.

    Finally, Lithuania and Switzerland. I dont find Lithuania’s draw to be spectacular, but I think it will scrape through. Switzerland, however, im still unsure of… its draw will surely help them, but the fact remains that the song is boring and has no voting power…

    So, after that analysis, I predict these to qualify:

    Greece
    Norway
    Ireland
    Poland
    Romania
    Israel
    Austria
    Slovenia
    Finland
    Lithuania

    Malta and Switzerland are also contenders, playing it out with Slovenia and Poland.

    So, thats my opinion, tell me what you think! I love to hear your ideas!

  • Personally, I don’t think the starting slots have that much of an influence on the outcome of the TOP 10 qualifiers.

    Only the entries that are already borderliners, can be helped slightly be a better or a worse than normal starting grid. Hence the slightly, almost negligible, influence of the DR-Producer’s running order choice.

    What I can also see in the running orders, is, again, the necessity of creating some variation in the choice. Opening and ending with big shows/great acts/up-tempo songs. In both semi finals this is the case with the first (or first two) entries that needs to perform at the start and at the end.

    Based on the running order of semi final 1, I could make only a few changes (one or two spots) in the final outcome. I think it could be like this:
    01 – BELGIUM (Great, exactly in the middle, between two rather big acts. Still, this will go through from every spot)
    02 – HUNGARY (I have to put Hungary slightly higher now, because they come after two slow-tempo, intimate, understated entries)
    03 – ARMENIA (No worries about Armenia here. For them the 1st slot can be seen as a pimp slot too. Semi final is too small to say “1st slot is bad”)
    04 – Ukraine (In the centre. Best up-tempo after Hungary. Stands out between the Azeri and BE)
    05 – Estonia (I’m still convinced she sang LIVE in Estonia. Good power-entry. Vocals can be bit shaky with this Loreen-esque performance)
    06 – Sweden (Goes through on overall package. But will have slightly less impact compared to Belgium)
    07 – Azerbaijan (Most understated entry ever from the Azeri. But lacks a kind of climax…or “Ooomph”-factor)
    08 – Russia (Yes, will have disadvantage from negativity among non-Russian jurors. But I think semi final is too small to let it sink completely. Remember, they have that Greek choreographer)

    Now it becomes trickier:
    I’d say 9th and 10th spot for two of the following countries:
    00 – Moldova (Tacky performance, though I had this as the favourite to win the Moldovan final. And, the singer has got good vocals)
    00 – Portugal (Some trash entry needs to go through. Look to Belarus from last year. Good WC Football anthem too :-))
    00 – NETHERLANDS (NL right before Montenegro? I think it will slightly eat away points from both)
    00 – MONTENEGRO (Montenegro right after NL? I think it will slightly eat away points from both)

    I think with the new ranking system (televoters TOP 16 rank combined with the TOP 16 jury rank), Montenegro and Netherlands have a slight advantage over Moldova and Portugal. They are the safer entries. Allthough on the other hand one might say that Montenegro and Netherlands could slightly “share their points”…..

    What do you think?

    • eurovicious

      Montenegro doesn’t have an advantage over Moldova(!). This is the semi with most of the former ex-USSR countries so Moldova can get votes from Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Latvia and Estonia. Add to which the song is in English. Montenegro, by contrast, not only doesn’t have a single ex-Yu country to rely on in this semi, even the major Yugo diaspora countries (Austria/Switzerland/Germany) are in the other semi – and it’s in a foreign language to boot. It’s in a comparable situation to Cyprus 2013.

      Oh, and if the awful Mother beats the exquisite Start A Fire in 2014, we have serious problems.

      • I think Montenegro are just going to qualify on merit.

      • Hehe, one aspect you tend to forget: The build-in strength each audiovisual total package (song, vocals, camera). That’s why I agree with Ben Cook here. I think Montenegro is hugely underestimated. And it’s, in the range of borderline qualifier, a stiff competitor for Netherlands, Moldova and Portugal.

        Latvia? I don’t believe in this piece of….. Yeah, uhm, what is it actually?

        • eurovicious

          Hey, Latvia is more singalong and feelgood than Montenegro, and has amateurish underdog charm – it’s the madcap campfire song with built-in meme potential…

          Bet you a Snickers that Monteneggers doesn’t qualify. I love me some Balkan ballads but the sudden ending harms it inestimably IMO.

          • Still, Latvia looks way too messy for me. Malta, for me, comes across as much more “professional singalong and feelgood” than Latvia. I wanna bet a €10,- with you that Latvia will not qualify ;-).

  • Rob4

    i feel you may be underrating Albania Gert

    • I’m afraid….that I am not underrating Albania. The song itself….is rather…..uncomfortable to listen at. It has a melody that is guranateed “un-whistable”.

      And her Shakira-esque voice, used for such an entry (I preferred Rona Nishliu singing this), already made it for me quite an underwhelming experience when I first heard it. Then I saw the live performance, and I heard the final studio version and I definately said: Certain non-qualifier at this stage.

      Also don’t forget that Albania is in the 1st half of the 1st semi final, right after the break.. It’s just not the entry that makes me feel warm OR cold. And such an “in-between”-feeling is killing for good results in Eurovision.

      • Guildo Horn Forever

        I freaking love the Albanian entry! It’s been my guilty obsession. Adored the original Greek language version. It’s the only song that will ever remind me of ‘One Night in Bangkok’, ‘Kiss From a Rose’, Céline Dion, Cat Stephens AND Tori Amos’s ‘Cornflake Girl’!!

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=l30HPHvpxso

        But I’m not so keen on the English language version, though. Such a shame Hersiana felt and succumbed to that pressure, I feel.

        Still, the video Albania has produced is stellar in its incoherence and amateurishness. Like a 5 lek version of ‘Once Upon a Time’ with Albania’s chunky answer to Ginnifer Goodwin playing Mary Margaret.

  • eurovicious

    Has anyone looked at Oddschecker today? Armenia is at evens, exactly, across the board. What on earth is going on? A self-fulfilling favouritism feeding frenzy? Armenians betting on their own song to make it look like more of a favourite? This is as daft as the Ella Henderson situation.

    • I’m puzzled too. It’s clearly going to do well but I just don’t think it’s interesting enough to win. It just kinda plods along for the first 2 minutes and then as soon as it gets going it just ends.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      I really, really like the Armenian song. It excites me, just as ‘I Feed You My Love did last year. But, yeah, I don’t understand the even money quote either. It’s not perfect slice.

      For me, it’s still the Hungarian song that is the best quality, best produced song in the competition. And an exciting, catchy number in its own right.

      The odds disparity between these two still surprises me.

  • Shai

    I fear that placing Malta,Israel and Norway after each other, means that one of them may miss out and I am afraid it will be Israel, for reasons that have nothing to do with the song.
    And if this will happen, it will be a shame as based on the song itself,the Israeli song quite deserve to qualify.

    • eurovicious

      I hope Malta miss out. They completely copied that Gary Barlow song and cheesed it up, as Malta does with everything. Europe’s musical nadir, that island is. They should import some good Arabic pop from darn sarf.

      • Heyy

        Your comment disgusts me as a Maltese national. Its because of the bogus mentality of people like you that Malta keeps being sidelined from every issue concerning Europe nowadays, just because we are a small island nation of 400,000. For your information, Malta hasnt been an Arabic state for over a thousand years, and today we are a predominantly European nation, although our language does have some Arabic traits. I think that it is completely unfair that you just labelled Malta like that, as we have so much to offer, both culturally and our music scene…. Just to mention that one of the current top tenors is Maltese.
        Even if you dont like the song, it doesnt mean that its copied, cheesy etc. One of the top fanwanks this year is completely unoriginal (sorry Romania). Coming Home was written in July 2011, so it cant be copied 100%… similar likely, but not copied.
        Bottom line, please think before posting a comment labelling Malta’s music as Arab rubbish, especially when its not true. You can easily offend someone else with your prejudiced opinions.

        • eurovicious

          I think you’ve misunderstood, I wasn’t saying Malta’s music was “Arab rubbish”, I was saying Arabic pop is a lot better than Maltese pop music, which is distinctly Western European and has a dated sound. It was a flippant comment suggesting Malta could look for new influences in its music scene. The problem is a small coterie of composers and acts dominates Maltese popular music and the Maltese Eurovision selection – we see all the same names every year with the same, very conservative sounds. I know what I’m talking about, I’ve watched the Maltese selection pretty much every year since about 2008, including all of the songs from the 7 semifinals in 2009. Maltese music needs invigorating. I agree with you on Miracle. And I’m not the first to point out the strong similarity between the Maltese entry and the Gary Barlow single – this was brought to my attention by someone else.

          Did you literally just see the words “Malta” and “Arabic” in the same comment and have a kneejerk reaction “he’s calling Malta Arabic, we can’t stand for that!”? Your reaction tells me a lot more about your own thought process than it does about my original comment. Malta’s linguistic and cultural Arabic heritage is nothing to be ashamed of or distanced from, no more so than its Italian or British heritage.

          • Heyy

            I completely get your point. The problem is, us Maltese are constantly labelled as Europe’s trash can, and people think we are lazy, ignorant Arab offshoot, which is something we cannot stand , especially with tbe huge influx of African immigrants, and Europe not giving a shit about us and Italy.

            Im sorry I may have thrown my anger all on you, but its just a sensitive topic here in Malta 🙂

            No hard feelings 🙂

        • Chris Bellis

          Heyy – I don’t think EV meant to insult Malta. I think he was saying that Malta’s entries have stayed the same for years (bit like the UK entries) and need to get up to date. Ditto UK, Switzerland, San Marino and several others. So many entries sound like the hotel cabaret – competent, but not exciting.

        • Personally, I think Malta has a unique, happy, heart-felt country-entry. Pure as a standalone song, it has every chance of qualifying. And, compared to last year, Malta could again be in this field of “true happy underrated gems”. If the performance and vocals are very well, then I think Malta will qualify again.

          Also, for such a small island, other micro-states, like San Marino, being hyped every year by fans, could learn from them. Not to mention Monaco, Luxembourg and Andorra, who gave up like the dog with his tail between his legs. Go Malta :-).

  • Chris Bellis

    So Romania has a very good slot, but the staging doesn’t seem as good as the couple’s previous effort. Hope they sort that out as I had a brainstorm and actually put money on them. Never drink while you are betting….

    • eurovicious

      Stick to the Red Bull while betting Chris x…

      • Chris Bellis

        Nice link – I like a bit of Balkan. As i was browsing youtube after your link I came across this (all over Bulgarian music channels when I was there recently) and I felt sorry that Turkey is not entering eurovision this year. At least I think she’s Turkish.

  • Keley

    To what extent to people think the EBU hints at juries as to who to favour (if at all)? I just honestly can’t imagine the organisers being remotely impressed if Poland fails to qualify after working so hard to get them back, and with a huge local hit no less – it’d be a disaster. But their entry is definitely not in line with what juries have gone for up to now – the cynic in me thinks that the vested interest of the EBU in Poland getting a decent result this year means that we may well see them getting a better jury score than otherwise would be expected. Or am I just overly cynical?

    • I think you are a bit too cynical :-). Eurovision is more about demographics than politics IMO. And Eurovision is not comparable to a president’s election.

      Eurovision is still entertainment. In my opinion, the true winner always wins. But everyone who believes that the EBU has a stake in the victories of Norway in 2009, Germany in 2010, Sweden in 2012 and Denmark in 2013 (and to a lesser extend even Azerbaijan in 2011), is seriously seeing ghosts or is having some kind of twisted Cold War-esque vision.

      Let’s stay a bit focussed here. Yes, there are aspects of Eurovision — the producer-decided-running-order for instance — that are a bit wishy-washy. But on the other hand, the 100% televoting-era with random-draw-running-order was being felt wishy-washy too. In the end…….Eurovision stays the same….and only some small aspects are changing according to today’s trends.

      That’s all.

    • eurovicious

      You’re not overly cynical. But you’re assuming the EBU has a clue. It’s worth remembering Poland also hasn’t had to put a huge amount of effort into this, they just picked an existing hit and sent it.

    • AlexanderS

      No, you are not cynical, in fact believing in the opposite is a bit naive. We’re talking about millions of euro every year. If any of you were operating with such amounts (i.e. CEOs of big companies) you’d know that things are never left to pure chance.
      And it was exactly EBU who persuaded TVP to select a big local hit. That was their valuable advice, TVP did their job, now EBU will do theirs.

      • eurovicious

        Yeah, but what other big company running a multi-million euro event would choose as its “executive supervisor” not an experienced executive or events manager who’s worked their way up a career ladder, but a career narcissist hired from a fansite at age 22 who publishes naff self-help books? http://www.howtolivewow.com/ The EBU isn’t a normal organisation.

        • Guildo Horn Forever

          In fairness, the website seems harmless enough, not a total bunch of arse.

          Though I did have to giggedy giggle at its heavy use of the WOW logo everywhere. I kept on being reminded of that joke about butt cheeks.

          • eurovicious

            It’s pretty arrogant and self-aggrandising for someone to come out with a entire self-help concept at the age of 27, telling you how to live your life to the max – especially someone who owes his status to chance and unearned confidence and who’s never faced any real hardship in life. His PR abilities are poor too, as evidenced by Gavin’s interview with him last year, his answers were a disaster from start to finish. I work with a lot of PR people in my job who could run rings around him – the fact the EBU has him in charge of the event and not a real PR/events expert, of which there are more than enough, speaks volumes.

          • Guildo Horn Forever

            I haven’t seen / heard / read Gavin’s (Gavster’s?) interview with him, ev.

            Would it be more fitting for him to have produced an entire chancer’s or bullshiter’s guide to life? The kind of book that Piers Morgan or Jonathan Ross could produce?

          • JTL

            Sietse Bakker isn’t in charge of the ESC and he isn’t executive supervisor of ESC. Jon Ola Sand is. Bakker is just event supervisor of ESC.

  • John taylor

    Hey, you wouldn’t be the first. I still think Italy’s result the year they came back was bonkers and blatant appeasement! Or maybe it was just the piano! Come to think, I hope Valentina plays the piano in her semi, could give her the jury boost she needs!

  • I have been rewatching the performance from Tanja during Eesti Laul 2014: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDeoEaxCKDE

    Some people are saying that Tanja was playbacking. I have been analyzing again and again and I came to the conclusion that she is nót playbacking.

    Like Daniel mentioned with Denmark, I think also Tanja is helped slightly with a subtle synthesized voice phaser, making it ‘look’ like she is playbacking.

    But with the harder dance routines, you can sometimes also hear some slight ‘vocal irregularities’ between Tanja and the backing vocals.

    No, it is not playbacked. And that’s why I had Estonia high in my ranking from the very first time I saw this. This entry is already competitively rehearsed, just like Loreen back in 2012.

    If we get a similar performance from Tanja like we saw during Eesti Laul, slightly helped be a ‘visual climax’ (‘falling firework-rain, ticker-tape, lights), then I think we’re seriously underestimating Estonia here.

    What do you think Dabiel?

    • I think Tanja is a dark horse. Part of why Euphoria worked so well was the lighting and camera-work. These were both dreadful in Eesti Laul. If they get this right in CPH it will be spectacular, because she is nailing the vocals and the moves.

    • Daniel

      Hi Gert,

      My main problem with ‘Amazing’ when it was chosen was the fact it was so obviously a ‘Euphoria’ clone in every way, including presentation.

      I have to admit, however, that it stands out very well in the recap videos, as EV mentioned. One reason being that it’s in a ballad-heavy semi. So I’m becoming more optimistic about its chances in Copenhagen.

  • john kef

    ESC is doing circles. After the first 3-4 years in the semi-finals era EBU realized that because of the televoting and the diaspora votes some countries were qualigying continiously while others couldn’t make it at all so they changed the format and with the double semis the chances got bigger for some countries.

    That way the interest remained high. But in the last few years we have another problem. The same 7-8 countries trying to qualify and never make it. I don’t mean to say that all these countries deserved to qualify but they lost money and interest. EBU was a little late. The balkan countries are off the wagon and i believe some more are going to do the same thing if they won’t make it this year. (Slovenia, Montenegro,

    That would be a disaster for EBU and that’s why they are trying to give a better chance to those countries ”drawing” them at the end of each semi-final. If more than 2 countries deside to withdraw from the contest we ‘re definitely returning to a single semi final

    • Shall I tell you something? And I will speak for my own country Netherlands now: Then continue participating in the contest, no matter how and what. Netherlands had to wait 14 (!!) years for a TOP 10 spot (not even TOP 5) and it was hailed in my qountry as an almost-victory. That’s why I like Eurovision.

      Countries like Serbia, Turkey, and perhaps even Russia when they do not qualify, need to look at themselves first, before pointing fingers at the EBU. It is my honest opinion. Especially the Turkish broadcaster TRT needs to calm down…needs to “calm after the storm” of many many MANY TOP 10 results.

    • eurovicious

      John, excellent summary, I completely agree.

  • We will see. I initially thought the same. But since when are simply, intimately performed ballads are not ‘copies’ of previous ballads?

    I thing being slightly a ‘clone’ or a ‘copycat’ doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s always bad. Televoters and juries forget previous results in Eurovision if you ask me. And once that ‘clone’ or ‘copycat’ is executed, performed perfectly, then I don’t see why Estonia would not do well :-).

    • Somehow it feels less shameless to me than Cascada’s entry. Melodically it’s a completely different song (though it has some structural similarities). And the routine is, if anything, more impressive than Loreen’s.

  • Just as last year, I have completed a strategic write-up with analysis based on the first initial thoughts, and then with later thoughts added after the running order came out.

    Due to its length and formatting, it’s not suitable for copying and pasting here, and will be updated when we all get to rehearsals, but until then, you are welcome to read all my thoughts at this link.

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3010319/2014-SF1-thoughts.rtf

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Man, that’s an epic semi-dissertation!

      And I love your ‘First thoughts’ then ‘Later thoughts’ structure.

      Am in broad agreement with your analyses.

      • Semi-dissertation – ha! Much appreciated. 🙂
        The structure is part of my strategy. I believe that by recording my thoughts as soon as I can after I hear an entry for the first time, I will have a record of what the wider public are likely to think on the night. However, adding my later thoughts have a lot of benefits too. Sometimes the songs might just miss me on the very first listen, and I can include the more usual analyses involving things such as running order, voting allies, relative strength compared to its competition and staging.

        I will be adding rehearsal notes when the time comes. Another write-up like this for the other semi final is on the way.

    • My enormous write up for semi final 2 + voting finalists can be read at this link. 🙂

      https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3010319/2014-SF2-thoughts.rtf

      I have been making minor updates to the write up for SF1 as well, and the same link over on the other preview article will take you to the latest version.

      Updates during rehearsals will be applied to both of these too.

  • Hello Daniel. A question for you, that partially relates to this article: http://www.entertainmentodds.com/eurovision-song-contest/fail-to-prepare-prepare-to-fail/ :

    Who do you think are this year’s “underestimated gems” in the 59th Eurovision Song Contest? Even betting professionals make some mistakes every now and then. So do you think it’s now a bit easier to anticipate on results like the ones from Lithuania, Malta, Hungary and Belgium last year in Malmö?

    I am curious about your answer.

    • Daniel

      Good question Gert. There’s a risk of learning last year’s lessons in a different contest, but Belgium always had one of the better pure pop songs last year, whilst Malta and Hungary offered quiet songs that stood out against the bombast that Eurovision always delivers.

      Which of the outsiders can follow in these footsteps? I have to admit that the Netherlands’ song has really grown on me. It’s easily one of the classier efforts this year, so juries should reward it at the very least.

      Otherwise, rehearsals should tell us more, but in a field like this, there’s definitely room for a few currently unconsidered entries to spring a top ten surprise.

      • Hmmm, Netherlands, could be. Allthough I think songs from Germany, France and Malta belong in the list too. With all these entries we need to see how they look live, on stage.

        Germany’s Elaiza sings this wunderful cinematic feel good theme. I can envision myself being in the famous arthouse movie “Amélie”. I really hope Elaiza will competently rehearse in the final 5 weeks before the Eurovision final.

        Malta brings us such a heartfelt “Mumford & Son’s”-esque entry (“The Cave”, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNy8llTLvuA). Allthough I preferred the 1st studio version, in which I heard a better harmony between male and female lead vocals.

        And why is everyone so…..lacklustre towards France this year? It’s catchy and very contemporary. I kinda like this “Dance-from-France”. Stromae is quite popular right now. Not to mention Guetta.

      • Gert

        Also for your interest Daniel. Way back in November Ilse de Lange (the female lead from The Common Linnets) tweeted http://twitter.com/esfmagazine regarding a tweet ESF Magazine made earlier. It was about a link Mr Crosby had with the Irish entry from 1994:

        25.11.2013, @ESFmagazine:
        ” Waaah @CommonLinnets, @Waylonline, @IlseDeLange?! Schrijft @RobCrosby mee?? Was óók held voor deze ESF-winnaars http://tiny.cc/uji46w ;-). ”

        25.11.2013, @IlseDeLange:
        ” @ESFMagazine @CommonLinnets @waylonline @robcrosbymusic I love this song, remember that moment watching and hearing this one!! ”

        And later via the Twitter Page of @CommonLinnets:
        ” @ESFMagazine @waylonline @IlseDeLange @robcrosbymusic love this song!!! Always have. X Ilse ”

        So I guess inspiration in music comes even from previous Eurovision entries :-).

  • Justin

    Hi Daniel, do we have any of your analyses of entrants to look forward to? I would be very interested in you elaborating on you comments on the podcast on Azerbaijan’s chances.

    • Daniel

      Hi Justin, I’m not planning any more pre-rehearsal articles on individual countries at the moment. As for Azerbaijan, I echo what Eurovicious said in his article and add this: there’s a strong correlation in which countries have given them significant points over recent years; a lot depends on whether there’s a continuation of that.

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