We’ve spent countless hours combing over the recorded tracks, national finals, rehearsals, comments, bloggers, news, and past voting histories. Here’s how we piece it together.
Semifinal 1. May 22, 2012
Montenegro: Rambo Amadeus – “Euro neuro”
Jen says: NQ. Rambo may pick up some support from juries and from Balkan fans, where he is known. But the performance is sloppy and his sound is just too niche to achieve the big points, even from the neighbors. Bottom 3.
Chris says: NQ. Three minutes of your life you will never get back. Read a magazine article instead.
Jen says: Q. This song has drama going for it, experienced, telegenic artists, and a beautiful presentation. It will do well with both the jury and the televote.
Chris says: Q. Here’s where the show really begins, with a memorable hook and a striking staging that promises to stick with viewers for the rest of the evening.
Jen says: Q. Greece is likely to suffer from jury support, but it’ll get 12 points from Cyprus and its faithful diaspora. Despite the mediocre song, the Greek staging and Eleftheria’s sex appeal will see them through.
Chris says: NQ. It’s a terrible song and I don’t think Cyprus and all the ex-pats in the world are going to send it to the final.
Latvia: Anmary – “Beautiful Song”
Jen says: NQ. It’s a pleasant tune with a silly lyric, competently sung. But it just doesn’t stand out.
Chris says: NQ. I can’t explain it, but this strikes me as a quintessential Semifinal song.
Albania: Rona Nishliu – “Suus”
Jen says: Q. Rona has a tendency to go sharp, which personally puts me off. I have her just squeaking into the Final because I think juries will like her power. The minimalist staging is effective.
Chris says: NQ. Too shouty, no melody.
Romania: Mandinga – “Zaleilah”
Jen says: Q. Romania’s catchy, joyful song will do very well in the televote.
Chris says: Q. “Zaleilah” is fun and charming, and after two forgettable pop numbers and a tuneless dirge, it’s just going to seem even more bright and festive.
Switzerland: Sinplus – “Unbreakable”
Jen says: NQ. Sinplus has done well in rehearsals, but something about the song itself makes me wonder if it can drive the votes.
Chris says: NQ. I think Sinplus should move on to the Final. But I also think Compact Disco is going to steal all of their thunder.
Belgium: Iris – “Would you?”
Jen says: NQ. Iris has made this more of a competition than I would have believed a couple of weeks ago. Personal preference is driving this one.
Chris says: NQ. “Would you?” just lacks the it factor that makes people pick up the phone. It’s all very pleasant, but it’s also all very unmemorable.
Jen says: NQ. She’s done well in rehearsals, but I feel in my gut that Finland lacks the “so what” factor.
Chris says: Q. I’m not a fan, but I bet its simplicity and earnestness will see “När Jag Blundar” through.
Israel: Izabo – “Time”
Jen says: Q. “Time” may not be to everyone’s liking, but I hope they’ll get some support from their voting allies. I also want to believe they’ll get help from the juries.
Chris says: Q. A good time will be had by all. I think it’s as much fun as “Zaleilah,” actually.
Jen says: NQ. Um, no. Enjoy now. Bottom 3.
Chris says: NQ. I heard Mark Zuckerberg played this at his wedding.
Cyprus: Ivi Adamou – “La La Love”
Jen says: NQ. I think she’s going to botch the vocal, and the juries will have none of it. To make matters worse, the presentation doesn’t fit the song. (Note: I wrote this before the jury rehearsal, and it turns out she has botched the vocal in the run-through)
Chris says: NQ. She can’t dance and she can barely sing. The song is kind of catchy, but only in an annoying earwormy sort of way. Pass.
Jen says: Q. Soluna has been drama-free for months.
Chris says: Q. Everything “Would you?” wants to be, “Should Have Known Better” is.
Jen says: Q. The Babushki will win the televote but juries will not go for it, thus preventing the overall win. Likely Top 3, and Top 5 for sure.
Chris says: Q. They are adorable Russian grandmothers! Are you going to break an adorable Russian grandmother’s heart? I think not.
Jen says: Q. Hungary has put together a solid performance that supports a good song. I think they’ll squeak in.
Chris says: Q. The question I have is whether or not this has an immediate impact. Songs you grow to love are not a good fit with Eurovision. But I have a feeling Compact Disco’s professionalism will win out. (Watch Csaba Walkó sing flat and make me look like a fool.)
Austria: Trackshittaz – “Woki Mit Deim Popo”
Jen says: NQ. Austria was always going to need a lot of support in the televote. But with the tacky staging, I question how well this will do with the Tuesday night audience. Juries will put this in the Bottom 5.
Chris says: Q. If Austria goes through and Greece does not, I am going to look like a genius. This pick was made more with wishful thinking and less with well-reasoned logic, obviously.
Moldova: Pasha Parfeny – “Lautar”
Jen says: Q. I’m not crazy about Moldova’s staging, but Pasha is charismatic and there are some cute moments in the choreography. They’ll be helped by the late draw.
Chris says: Q. I’ve picked the last six songs on the night to go through to the final, which is pur wahnsinn. I don’t know, I just have a feeling that there is a lot of amateurness and tweeness at the start of the show, and a lot of just plain fun at the end. Plus Pasha looks like the best parts of Colin Ferrell and Edward Norton rolled into one dreamy Moldovan package.
Ireland: Jedward – “Waterline”
Jen says: Q. Whether or not they are good on Tuesday, the Jeds have too much in their favor to not qualify. Great draw, great staging concept, and great fans.
Chris says: Q. As automatic as an adorable Russian grandmother.