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Our 5 Tips for Semi Final Two

5. Poland to win the Semi Final - 6.5 with Betway

The Polish song should sail through with a high jury score. It has the attention to detail, staging and the cleanness of Ochman’s vocal which other big hitters in this show don’t get close to replicating. On the televote side the absence of Lithuania means there are loyal voters in Ireland, Germany and the UK, and arguably most importantly there's no Ukraine to sweep up the voters. Ochman is getting more engaging with each performance and with only Sweden to beat at the top of the table this represents value - the margin should be much closer between the two.

4. San Marino to qualify - 2.2 with Bwin

The San Marino entry shouldn’t work and shouldn’t be good enough to qualify. But this is the moment of the first half. The home crowd whip up the arena into a frenzy and it is so unashamedly OTT it seems to make sense. While the San Marino tip is a good one here, there are a couple of things to note - San Marino being a big moment hurts in particular Finland and Georgia. Finland at 3.75 NQ may be an alternative here. Also, if San Marino qualifies then the Italian vote in the final may get split and all of a sudden Mahmood and Blanco might be vulnerable.

3. Czech Republic top 3 - 3.5 with Unibet

Excluding the Achille Lauro show, the moment of the show in the jury performance felt to be ‘Lights Off’, with the nightclub-esque stageshow finally all coming together and the live audience adding so much to this number. Qualifying odds for this have dropped under 1.2 and yet it is behind more lopsided entries such as Australia and Serbia that we don’t expect to get enough combined jury and televote to do well. This number makes sense drawn last and could easily take 3rd here before ending up outside the top 15 in the final. Israel 2017 comes to mind.

2. Serbia not to qualify - 5.25 with Unibet

As an ESC Insight writer it is little surprise that I adore the Serbian entry and everything it stands for. It is insanely popular and especially so amongst those who understand the lyrical content. Countries with diaspora will be giving this 12 points I expect. Others may be giving zeroes. In the jury show while the crowd was loud I didn’t get any special vibes about Konstrakta that show jury appeal. This has always been one for me that qualifies by a thin margin but ends up mid-table in the final where those loyal points remain. However others upping their game push the non-diaspora televote down and this has no guarantees to make it.

1. Belgium not to qualify - 2.63 with Betway

Cyprus and Belgium have gone from being seen as likely qualifiers to borderline cases in the rehearsal period, as both of them bring something just a little too wallpaper in style on stage to bring it home on the televote side of the equation. I go for Belgium here of the two because I really think this struggles to get past second gear for the first minute of the song and by that point you’ve lost people and they are already waiting for Sweden. This would need big jury support to get through and Poland, Australia and Sweden, amongst others, push it down.


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