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Editorial: Our preview of Semi-Final One of Eurovision 2015!

So guys, this is it! Eurovision 2015 starts in just over 24  hours and by the end of the show on Saturday, we know who will be triumphant and go on to host the 61st edition of the Eurovision Song Contest! However, before we even get to the Final on Saturday, we have to go through two strong semi-finals to find out which twenty countries will accompany the Big 6 and Australia..well, now, we’ll be offering you who we think will qualify from Semi-Final 1, along with the results of a poll we had created in the great Eurovision group ‘Eurovision Debate’. So who’s going to qualify, in our opinions?


Okay, so we are planning to do an editorial for each show like this and it will consist of:

  • The results of a poll we published in the Facebook group ‘Eurovision Debate’ in which we asked the members to vote for the ten countries they think SHOULD qualify to the Grand Final – they normally are the best group at telling which country will win, so it’s fair to say we could rely on them!
  • Our own predictions as to who will qualify for the Final on Saturday, along with a couple of words explaining why.
  • We’ll then give you some interesting facts and statistics about each show. This could range from betting odds to notable people on a certain country’s jury, to a country’s staging! Whatever interesting things we know about the show, we’ll be sure to tell you!

Does that make sense, guys? If so, let’s proceed with the first part of the article – the results of the Eurovision Debate poll!

EUROVISION DEBATE POLL – WHO DO THE FANS THINK WILL QUALIFY?

Just to give a little bit of context – we posted this poll in the Facebook group ‘Eurovision Debate’ on Friday morning, giving the fans a good 3 days in which to vote. We also posted the poll for Semi-Final 2 at the same time and, to be honest, a lot more people decided to vote in the Semi-Final 2 poll than they did in Semi-Final 1. However, that doesn’t change the fact that we have a result! Here are the scores in full, taken at Monday 18th May at 17:00 GMT:

1. Belgium – 32 votes                                   2. Russia – 29 votes

= Estonia – 29 votes                                                 4. Romania – 22 votes

= Albania – 22 votes                                      = The Netherlands – 22 votes

= Greece – 22 votes                                          = Serbia – 20 votes

9. Belarus – 17 votes                                     = FYR Macedonia – 17 votes

11. Georgia – 15 votes                                        12. Armenia – 14 votes

= Finland  – 14 votes                                           14. Denmark – 13 votes

15. Hungary – 11 votes                                            16. Moldova – 7 votes

Semi-Final 1 has come across as being very undecided, with several ties within the top 10 – especially the four-way-tie for fourth place between Romania, Albania, Greece and the Netherlands. What’s most surprising is that major favourite Georgia only just missed out in making it into the top 10, getting just two votes less than FYR Macedonia – which surprisingly made it into the top 10 – a fluke maybe? Moldova managed to make just under a third of their neighbour’s  – Romania’s – votes; to some people, it’s not surprising. So will this be the result on Tuesday? We’ll just have to wait and see..

OUR PREDICTIONS – WHO DO WE THINK WILL QUALIFY (in no particular order)?

Rory – For me, the first semi-final isn’t as strong as I’d hope it to be, basing that purely on rehearsals – it’s been very hit and miss with a few countries. Nevertheless, these are the ten countries I think will qualify on Tuesday:

Belgium – Easily my favourite of the entire competition, but fans have taken to it quite strongly, as have the press! And with such an intricate performance, I have a feeling this might be one to look out for!
Hungary – Despite having such a sensitive topic, the song is very uplifting and informative at the same time..and if it doesn’t strike a chord with the first-time-listeners, well then it’s gonna flop: BIG TIME!
Georgia – I’m really quite astounded at how much fans aren’t supporting Nina – especially the punters too! The song is loud, in your face and aggressive, but for a voice like Nina’s, that’s needed!
Russia – Although it isn’t exactly my favourite of the competition, Polina has really proven to be a very strong vocalist in rehearsals, and it is a whole deal better than the sh*t the Tolmachevy Sisters came out with last year.
The Netherlands – Yeah yeah, we had the whole Dressgate Part II with Trijntje’s attire on Day 1 of rehearsals, but this shouldn’t take away the fact that Trijntje kills it onstage with her vocals! It might be a borderline non-qualifier, but it all comes down to the final performance!
Greece – Purely because they’ve never missed a final so far, and I expect that this year shall be no different, even though I personally feel like they don’t deserve to!
Estonia – It’s 100% going to be a sure qualifier, there’s no doubt about it. I mean, come on Elina’s vocals and Stig’s indifference – it’s a perfect combination!
Albania – Pretty much the same with Estonia, Elhaida has really got the vocal capability to work it onstage thanks to being on the Voice of Italy – and the high notes – qualification is in the bag!
Belarus – Having a vocalist/violin duo has never really been done like this before at Eurovision – it’s a borderline qualifier, whereby people have to either get it instantly, or Belarus hasn’t got a chance!
Finland – Seriously, even though people literally loathe the 1:30 song, I have a feeling that Europe will take pity on PKN, purely because they’re mentally disabled. They won’t have a hope in hell of winning, but qualification, I can almost sense it!

Well, that’s who I think will qualify..how about you, Lauren?

Lauren – Well Rory, these are my qualifiers:

Belgium: I personally think that this one is completely average, but it’s certainly not the worst this year, and a lot of people seem to really like it. In fact, I’d be surprised if it didn’t qualify.

Armenia: The idea of taking an artist from each continent is really interesting, and the song itself is good too – I think it’ll definitely qualify, but I don’t know how well it’ll do in the final.

Finland: Okay, so Aina mun pitää is one of the most ear-splittingly worst things I’ve ever heard, but this one will probably qualify, mainly because people don’t want to come across as assholes.

Serbia: Beauty Never Lies is a very positive song, all about loving and accepting yourself. I’m sure that people are going to love this one.

Belarus: Aside from being one of my personal favourites this year, Time is one of those songs that just has an inexplicable charm to it. It’s the sort of thing people are gonna go crazy for.

Hungary: Everyone likes a song about world peace, right? Especially the hippies. Okay, so most of the songs this year have a positive theme to them – Love yourself! Be yourself! End war! And Wars For Nothing is no exception. It’s a nice sounding song that the public are gonna like.

Denmark: This one sounds kind of similar to Iceland’s entry last year, Pollaponk’s No Prejudice. That one obviously qualified, so I don’t see why this one shouldn’t – which is a pretty good song in its’ own right.

Georgia: This song is powerful and intense. I’d be shocked if it didn’t qualify, and the theme of the song (female empowerment) will definitely appeal to many people.

FYR Macedonia: Many songs this year are ballads, and in truth, it’s quite boring. Autumn Leaves is an exception, though – it’s a lovely song, but it’ll only qualify with an exceptional performance.

Albania: I’m Alive is basically guaranteed to qualify for a multitude of reasons, but the catchy song itself is one of the reasons. Yeah, Albania’s probably going to qualify.

How about you, Reece?

Reece – Here are who I think are going to qualify:

Estonia – Always going to qualify, the staging is clever and somewhat unusual (but in a good way), and I believe their voices go well together. A potential winner.

Russia – The lyrics are cliché, but Polina has a very strong voice, and the song is on the whole far from poor. Will sail through and could reach the top five.

Albania – I don’t see much in this one, but fans have responded warmly to Elhaida. The bland grey graphics on stage don’t help, but they will reach the final regardless.

Georgia – Nina has decent stage presence, and the song is powerful and loud. After last year’s limp showing, it’s back to the final for the Georgians.

Belgium – Contemporary and quirky, Belgium have upped their game significantly, and the public should vote for this enough to see it progress.

Romania – They always qualify, and this year’s entry-with-a-message will continue Romania’s superb track record, even if most people will pop out the room for a cup of tea when they are on.

Belarus – A bit disappointing in rehearsals, but the upbeat nature of the tune may well be enough. In the final, mid-table is most likely.

Greece – Again, another country that always go through and could send any old thing if they wanted. Impressive vocals, but a drab song. Result? The final, and a weak push for the top half.

The Netherlands – Some find it annoying, others summery and pleasant. Another strong female vocalist, and just the right amount of support means the Dutch ought to be in the final.

Denmark – No idea why so many don’t like ‘The Way You Are.’ Yes, it isn’t Denmark’s strongest by any means, but the somewhat sweet, catchy chorus may sway the public and jury. It’ll be close (with Armenia and Hungary), but I say Denmark in the final.

Finally, I’ll let Lewis share his opinions!

Lewis No opinions yet, but I’ll add them in due course!

Russia

Hungary

Belgium

Estonia

Romania

Greece

Albania

FYR Macedonia

Georgia

The Netherlands

‘STATS & FACTS’ FOR THE FIRST SEMI-FINAL

So, here are some nice stats about what’s happening in the first semi-final:

  • From the latest checking at Oddschecker.com, it’s really a three-horse-race in terms of not just qualifying but in terms of winning the whole thing – Estonia, Russia and Finland are those from Semi-Final 1 that have the greatest chance of winning the entire show with odds at 9/1, 10/1 and 16/1 respectively. The next country that’s in Semi-Final 1 that has a chance of winning would be Belgium, with odds at 50/1.
  • Out of all the countries in the semi-final, FYR Macedonia has the worst track record. If we look back at everybody’s two previous years of qualification for example, FYR Macedonia is the only country that hasn’t qualified for the final, whereas everyone else….well, has. Sorry FYR Macedonia, you gotta just up your game!
  • If you haven’t been watching the rehearsals, be sure to look out for Belgium, Hungary, Russia, Georgia and Estonia. Their staging will definitely boast something to talk about after the show..minimalistic stagings are always pleasant to see instead of all the kitchness!
  • Russia and Romania have the best track record for qualifying from the semi-final. In every showing in Eurovision, both countries have featured in the final since the introduction of the semi-finals back in 2004. In terms of betting odds, Russia, as already mentioned, is now the fifth favourite to win the entire competition with odds at 10/1, and has always been one that’s quite near the favourite’s spot. Romania’s odds, on the other hand are ten times as large as Russia’s (100/1), so if anyone is to bet on Romania winning the show – either be prepared to lose or be prepared to have a huge amount of money coming your way!

Well, I hope that this semi-final will be a great opening to the Eurovision Song Contest and we hope that you will #JoinUs for the result! Best of luck to everybody!

Your views:

Which countries do you think will qualify from the first semi-final?
Which countries do you think will qualify from the first semi-final?

Mette Pedersen from Denmark: I hope Estonia, Macedonia, Armenia, Albania, Romania, Greece, Russia, Denmark, Moldova and Hungary!!

Svana Lístí Agnarsdótir from Iceland: Even though my country Iceland is not in this semifinal, I hope that Estonia and Belgium qualify..and the Netherlands too!

Stephanie Saczawa from Canada: I think Finland and Moldova will definitely be eliminated.

Harriette Minström from Sweden: I’m looking forward to seeing Hungary and Armenia qualify – they will definitely be ones to look out for – I just love their stagings!

So it seems people are very split when it comes to the countries they think will qualify and not – will anyone’s predictions come true? We’ll have to wait and see tomorrow night! In the meantime, we wanna know what you think! Do you think that someone might not be so out of the woods as fans are thinking? Is there gonna be a country that will shock everyone and qualify, even though they were the outsider? Who are you looking to see perform on stage? Feel free to let us know your thoughts by commenting below!!

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Pre-Contest Vote 2015: Greece

Welcome back to the ESC Views’ Pre-Contest Vote 2015! If you haven’t heard about it and how this entire system will work, do go ahead and click this link to take you to the ‘Launch Page’ of the competition. As we take a brief look at each participating nation, the list on that page will grow, allowing you to peruse whichever country you wish at your leisure.

Today is the turn of Greece. Highly successful in the past decade, it will be Maria-Elena Kyriakou with her song ‘One Last Breath’ in the first semi-final next month, after she won a closely-fought national final a few months back. The song is a ballad, and perhaps not one of the strongest this year. While the atmosphere builds up into a rousing final chorus, and Maria-Elena has an impressive voice, there’s just something lacking here to make it truly stick in the heads of many Eurovision fans. Below is the music video.

Our opinions:

Rory – I’m not sure about Greece to be honest. It’s not the worst, but it’s definitely not the best. In any event, I’m sure that we’re not heading to Athens in 2016… Score: 4 points out of 12.

Lewis – A rather classy ballad from Greece this year, it’s well sung but it could get lost in the running order but I can’t see its uniqueness.  Score: 5 points out of 12.

Reece – Not bad, but not one of Greece’s best. Decent voice though – the juries could save it from finishing low-down on the leaderboard. Score: 5 points out of 12.

Lauren – Is it just me, or does this sound a little similar to last year’s winner, Rise Like A Phoenix? Well, I did quite like that one, so it goes without saying that this one’s pretty good.  However, there’s nothing to really distinguish it from the sea of other Eurovision entries, aside from, perhaps, her powerful voice.  Score: 7 points out of 12.

So now you know what we think of the Greek song – what are your thoughts though? Tell us by voting in the poll!

Keep a close eye on ESC Views in the coming weeks as we review all of the other songs competing in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, taking place in Vienna, Austria! Any other opinions – leave a comment down below!

Maria Elena Kyriakou will represent Greece!

Hi guys! Sorry for the HUGE delay for this, but things have to be done at home! So yeah, last week in Greece, five songs competed in a national final that way too longer than it should have been. However, out of all this – Continue reading Maria Elena Kyriakou will represent Greece!