Albania

Semi Final Two – Running Order Confirmed – Initial Thoughts

Eurovision 2013 Logo - "We Are One"

Eurovision 2013 Logo – “We Are One”

Earlier today the running order for the two Semi Finals of Eurovision 2013 were completed. Semi Final Two, that will take place on Thursday May 16th, is now available. The running order has been decided as follows by the SVT Production team and then approved by the EBU Executive Supervisor Jon Ola Sand and the Reference Group.

  1. Latvia
  2. San Marino
  3. F.Y.R. Macedonia
  4. Azerbaijan
  5. Finland
  6. Malta
  7. Bulgaria
  8. Iceland
  9. Greece
  10. Israel
  11. Armenia
  12. Hungary
  13. Norway
  14. Albania
  15. Georgia
  16. Switzerland
  17. Romania

Semi Final 1 was by all means a good running order considering the high number of ballads in the first half of the draw however there have been some odd choices made in Semi Final 2 and one cannot feel that San Marino has drawn the short straw as one finds it hard to see the thought process behind their placing. However let’s start with the opening act.

(YouTube Video Courtesy of Eurovision)

Latvia will open the second Semi Final and this is a great choice. PeR and their song “Here we go” will have the audience on their feet with this high energy song. Expect many Latvian’s to make the trip to Malmo this year for Eurovision and also expect this to energize the assembled crowd. Now Irish Book Makers Paddy Power have Latvia at 100/1 to win Semi Final 2 and to finish last. Well for one I think this is highly unlikely and I would have Latvia qualifying for the final and with ease. This is a pop anthem and the group know how to sell a song on stage so expect this to go big in the hall and disappoint many a book maker.

(YouTube Video Courtesy of Eurovision)

The dreaded number 2 place goes to San Marino. This has to be the strangest choice that has been made in the Semi Final draws. After a huge opening to the show you then really should not play your trump card straight up next. San Marino is one of the contest favorites this year and has garnered a lot of media attention as it features returning artist Valentina Monetta accompanied by Ralph Siegel. The song is unique due to its dramatic change in pace, tempo and styles and is one that everyone wants to see. So why would you put it on second? As Latvia is the power dance track SVT may have been better going for Iceland to perform in second place as that would have been a more stark contrast to Latvia. One finds it hard to explain this placing. However the betting odds have San Marino at 6/1 (4th place) to win the Semi Final – so San Marino will just have to ensure that the staging is perfect and make the final the hard way – which we are sure they will!

(YouTube Video Courtesy of Eurovision)

FYR Macedonia are fighting 2 battles here. Not only are they following one of the contest favorites and then followed by Azerbaijan who have their 100% record intact for Eurovision qualification – they are battling a bewildered International public who firmly liked their original song “Imperija” that was a true contender in many people’s eyes. For reasons not yet fully known and understood the song was replaced with `”Pred da se razdeni”. Overlooking these facts this is a draw that I think FYR Macedonia may find hard to qualify from – despite me loving Esma who is one of this year’s true legends at the contest, the betting odds have the song at 80/1 to win the Semi Final and with no Balkan neighbours in this semi final with them (how did that happen) I fear for FYR Macedonia making the final.

(YouTube Video Courtesy of Eurovision)

There is very little to say about Azerbaijan except welcome to the Grand Final again. This is a strong ballad from a great singer and with a good draw like this, there is no fear of them not making the final. Also worth mentioning is that with no Turkey in the contest this year – the huge Turkish Diaspora across Europe will be supporting Azerbaijan so it would not surprise me if we were back in Baku again next year.

(YouTube Video Courtesy of KristaSiegfridsVEVO)

Finland will make their “Marriage Proposal” from number 5. This is high energy fun and coming after a ballad it will grab the attention of the television viewer and audience in the hall. Currently at 12/1 to win Semi Final 2 – I think this is highly underrated and will score higher. Krista has an energy that will come across on tv like a tornado. “I Do” believe that this will qualify with ease from number 5.

(YouTube Video Courtesy of Eurovision)

Malta go searching for Jeremy’s love interest from number 6. This is for me one of the strong contenders for Eurovision this year for a number of reasons which I will go into when we are reviewing all the entries over the coming weeks. Malta’s song is a unique entry this year and I believe that it would qualify from any position. Coming after the Katy Perry inspired “Marry me” and before Bulgaria’s remix of their 2007 entry, I think Malta stand a good chance of qualifying and will probably hamper Bulgaria’s chance of making the Grand Final. Bulgaria are currently 40/1 while Malta are at 20/1 – to win the Semi Final. Malta is a good bet at those odds!

(YouTube Video Courtesy of Eurovision)

As I mentioned Bulgaria will perform from position 7 and I fear that this will not be a lucky number for them this time around as the song has had a very lack luster reaction from fan sites across Europe. Next up in position 8 is one of the few big ballads of the night from Iceland. Probably the last song before a commercial break in the Semi Final and coming after an up tempo song that is currently not grabbing the public’s attention, we have the gentle ballad from Iceland. Again the book makers Paddy Power have Iceland at 40/1 to win the Semi Final. Highly underrated at those odds and with such a simple melody this song is sure to qualify.

(YouTube Video Courtesy of Eurovision)

Next up is Greece. Now this could be the first song after the commercial break in the Semi Final. Again Greece have their 100% record of qualifying for the Grand Final intact but this year their entry “Alcohol is Free” is what I would call the “Marmite Song” of the contest. People seem to either love or loath the song passionately with no in between ground. Can a song that splits people’s opinions so clearly qualify? Well according to Paddy Power this is the 6th favorite to win Semi Final 2 with odds of 7/1. Personally I don’t see it but with this potentially good draw following a ballad and potentially the first song in the second half of the show, this could sneak into the final.

(YouTube Video Courtesy of Ueul)

10th place goes to Israel. Well as a ballad it will stand out from the frantic Greek entry before it. Depending on how people react to Greece could either see Israel as a quality Eurovision Song or a dated ballad. This is hard to call. The betting odds have Israel in 9th place which is somewhat vulnerable. This could go either way and with being mid table – might hinder Israel’s chances.

(YouTube Video Courtesy of Eurovision)

The Betting public like this one as Armenia are currently joint 4th to win Semi Final 2 at 6/1. The song has the Black Sabbath connection and has received a well needed remixing but to have such short odds seems a little over optimistic. There will be the media attention around their return to Eurovision after their absence from last year and they will stand out since following a ballad, but I am questioning if this song will qualify.

(YouTube Video Courtesy of Eurovision)

Now we get interesting. Hungary start from 12th place. In the betting odds they are currently joint 1oth to qualify at odds of 20/1.  Following Armenia’s light rock song, Hungary seems to be more quirky than it was when we heard it at the A-Dal Final. Like the betting I am on the fence with this song and the running order will play second to how this genre of song is going to be presented on the large Eurovision stage. Judgement will be reserved until we see it in rehearsals as the A-Dal performance was lacking that connection with the tv audience. What also does not help is that it is followed by the overwhelming favorite for Eurovision this year – Norway.

(YouTube Video Courtesy of Sasho Sasha)

There is no point in second guessing if Norway will qualify for the Grand final. They would qualify even if they sang after the televoting lines closed. This  is the overwhelming favorite to win Eurovision completely. The betting odds from Paddy Power for Norway to win Semi Final 2 are 6/4. No fear of Norway pulling a “Stella” this year.

The last 4 song could not be so different and will finish off this semi final with something for everyone’s musical tastes.

(YouTube Video Courtesy of Eurovision)

The betting says that Albania are 66/1 to win Semi Final 2 – Well this is a song that one will compare with Armenia as they are both rock acts but for me Adrian Lulgjuraj & Bledar Sejko and their song “Identitet” – following its Swedish remix – has become a more interesting rock song and I can see it in the final. A later placing will give it an advantage over Armenia and other borderline qualifiers. Albania will be happy with their 14th place in the running order.

(YouTube Video Courtesy of Eurovision)

By far Semi Final 2 is the more competitive. Up next is another of the contests favorites and it is the power ballad from Georgia. They are 3rd favorite to win Semi Final 2 at 4/1. With Eurovision winning composer Thomas G Son behind the song, this is a classic ballad and after the “Waterfall” of Euphoria type songs now in the charts and National Finals this year – Eurovision may turn to a ballad this year. Performing from  15th place and the last ballad of the night, this will stay in the minds of Juries and the Public. Having missed out on the Grand Final last year that is surely not going to happen to Georgia this year.

(YouTube Video Courtesy of Eurovision)

66/1 to win the Semi Final and I fear that this may actually be correct. Switzerland do benefit from performing second last and that is a good position to qualify from. However the song has not been setting the fan sites alight across Europe. Even the controversy over their name change and uniform wearing on stage has generated a lot of interest in the act, one fears that it maybe due to situation and not necessarily the song. The good draw maybe the saving grace for Switzerland but in this tough Semi Final I fear it maybe an early road trip like in the video back to Bern for the band.

 

(YouTube Video Courtesy of Eurovision013TV)

Well Romania must be counting their stars that they have been given the honor of closing Semi Final 2. This song is now 7th favorite to win Semi Final 2 with Paddy Power at odds of 8/1. This I find somewhat strange as this has to be the closest that we have this year to a novelty song at Eurovision. Now don’t get me wrong – I love a good novelty song like Guildo and Stefan from Germany, The Pirates of the Sea from Latvia or even Dustin The Turkey from Ireland. We all knew what we were getting with these songs. They did “exactly what it said on the tin” – a fun novelty song. However Romania this year sends us a dance track from Cezar but it is packaged up like a Broadway Show from Liberace meeting a Transylvanian Dracula impersonator. One has to ask why did the writers of the song get Cezar to sing the song in such a high register as it all seems out of place. He starts the song off in a lower key and that works so well. The song is a good dance track but loses the impact by changing the register and the staging. I find it hard to see how this is so popular among the betting public.

A tougher Semi Final to predict and is sure to throw up some surprises. A lot will depend on staging for this semi final as that maybe the deal breaker for many songs qualifying or not.

Again we will have our friend Keith Mills from All Kinds of Everything giving us his views on the running order later in the week. We will be opening our “Semi Final 2 Voting Poll 2” and you can have your say on who will make the Grand Final. 

Author/Website Co-Founder and Editor in Chief Garrett Mulhall

Photograph courtesy of Wikipedia – Sources Eurovision.tv and Eurovision Ireland

9 replies »

  1. The Turkish diaspora will rally for Azerbaijan? You mean like they did in 2011, when Turkey weren’t in the final, yet Azerbaijan managed to not get a single point from Germany? It doesn’t work that way.

    • I think that Azerbaijan benefited hugely from no Turkey in the final in 2011. Germany was only one country – look at other places where Turkey would normally score well – the votes went to Azerbaijan. I think that Farid has a great song and chance of winning again.

  2. I will be gutted if San Marino doesn’t make it to the final, I love it. My top 3 favourites. are in this semi final. San Marino, Malta & Hungary.

        • I don’t fear for San Marino. The fans can cling to their superstitions about slot 2 all they want, but the facts don’t back that up; #2 is the BEST possible slot to start from in the first half of the semis (70 percent qualifiers since 2008, when the second semi was introduced). If anything, Finland (and for the other semi, Denmark) have a right to complain, because they got saddled with #5, which at 20 percent has the worst record in that regard.

  3. There are several comments on the net about how the running order is not fair and so on. The random draw will be missed. Bring it back, please. ESC is not reality TV.

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