We are all very excited – semi-final 1 of Eurovision 2021 will be held tomorrow at 21:00 CET.
16 countries will compete in semi-final 1 for only 10 spots in the final.
In this post, I will try to predict the 10 qualifiers of semi-final 1.
Before we dive into the unknown, I just want to clarify:
#1. This post isn’t about personal taste, but only prediction.
#2. I appreciate all of the 39 songs this year, even if I will criticise them.
#3. This semi-final is a blood-bath, reducing the list to only 10 conutries was almost impossible.
#4. The prediction is based on the full live rehearsals which I watched the last few days.
Let’s start to review the countries according to the running order:
THE ROOP – Discoteque
The song is catchy, a great opening act for Eurovision 2021 and semi-final 1 as well.
They will stand out among others with yellow clothes, memorable dance movements, and more.
Lithuania is one of the few countries in semi-final 1 with a male lead-singer.
The live performance at Eurovision will be similar to the one from the national final, but visually it is even better (especially the use of led screen).
Saying that, Lithuania is a certain qualifier and gets a green card.
Ana Soklič – Amen
Slovenia brings a power-ballad, performed by the amazing singer Ana Soklič.
It is one of the only ballads in this semi-final. Ana has a distinctive voice with impressive volume and wide range.
Whether you’ll like it or not, the song is catchy – it has an enormous chorus. Including gospel choir as backing singers. The stage is quite simple, but it goes hand in hand with the universal message of the song. In rehearsals, we weren’t surprised to hear an accurate and exciting vocal performance.
For me, the song is one of the best songs of Eurovision 2021. However, some people found it out-dated or too religious. In my opinion, Slovenia will get support from jury voting. However, I am not sure about the televoting. Performing in the 2nd spot isn’t a good thing.
I believe that Slovenia can either qualify or not, therefore Slovenia gets the yellow card.
Manizha – Russian Woman
Russia is represented by Manizha. It is a rap song with folklore-ethnic influences.
The song has a brave message: Manizha talks about the difficulties of being a Russian woman. She doesn\t hide any criticism of society, but at the same time she is proud of her-self.
It’s a women-empowerment song with cultural character.
Manizha is charismatic, she might not have the best voice in the semi-final but in this case the other things are more important. The staging elevates the value of the song: there is an expression for the different nationalists in Russia, the led screen is being used wisely.
Even though I’m not a big fan of the song, I can see a lot of people will support it.
Saying that, Russia is a certain qualifier and gets a green card.
Tusse – Voices
After many years, Sweden sends a ballad to Eurovision. The song has a unique message: it tells the story of refugees that want to be seen. The song calls on others to be aware of the refugees’ pain and difficulties. However, I found Tusse’s voice as lack of power, and not always accurate.
We have to recall that Tusse had minor surgery on his vocal chords ahead of rehearsals.
In rehearsals, I was disappointed with the vocal performance. I have nothing bad to say on the staging, but the use of flickering lights could have made us blind.
I hope Tusse will improve his vocals before the live show.
However, let’s not forget that Sweden is a powerhouse that almost always qualifies.
In my opinion, the song will receive the majority of the points from jury voting.
I’m almost sure Sweden will not miss the grand final, but if there is a year when Sweden is in danger, 2021 is the year.
I believe that Sweden can either qualify or not, therefore Sweden gets the yellow card .
Montaigne – Technicolour
Once again, Australia is taking a risk in Eurovision, and I really appreciate it!
Listening to the song, you will be taken on a journey. The melody changes all the time, and Montaigne stretches her vocal abilities.
However, I recognize 2 things that may affect qualifying:
First of all, the song was divisive, to begin with, in the sense that it’s not for everyone’s taste (I like the song). Second of all, following the Covid-19 restrictions, Montaigne won’t be present in Rotterdam, but will perform remotely. Viewers will watch “live-on-tape” performance that was recorded back in March 2021. I’m not sure if watching a performance that was recorded on a different stage will help. I’m even afraid that it will make people judge it differently and unfairly.
Saying that, Australia won’t qualify and gets a red card.
Vasil – Here I Stand
It’s a Disney ballad, some of us may find it a little bit dated or kistchy. Vasil shows his vocal abilities here, and ha has a beautiful voice. However, I think that song isn’t catchy and its peak comes too late.
The staging is overloaded, with too many elements for a simple song.
Unfortunately, I can’t see the song advance for the grand-final. In fact, it is a contender to end-up in the last place, just because it is OK and will struggle to carry away voters.
Saying that, North Macedonia won’t qualify and gets a red card.
Lesley Roy – Maps
Ireland brings us a song that shows the beauty of string instruments. It is a self-empowerment song that follows the message of : “Be yourself, be brave enough to go through your journey, the right way will be founded”. The staging is unique with tons of creativity. However, Lesley struggled to perform it properly. Maybe running, walking and singing at the same time isn’t an easy challenge.
The song is good, but for me the performance isn’t good enough.
Saying that, Ireland won’t qualify and gets a red card.
Elena Tsagrinou – El Diablo
Cyprus brought us a pop-hit this year that can definitely be heard at parties, digital platforms and more. Elena is a good vocalist. Watching rehearsals, we were impressed by her vocal abilities.
The staging concept is successful, there is a wise use of led, the dancers give energy that you can’t deny. It seems that Cyprus is in the right direction (even though some fans criticized the originality of the song). I can see both jury and the public go after the song.
Saying that, Cyprus is a certain qualifier and gets a green card.
TIX – Fallen Angel
It’s a personal song, and I’m really happy that talented artists like TIX get a chance in Eurovision. It’s a love song that some of us might find kistchy or cheasy. My main problem here is the disconnect between the stage and the song. In rehearsals, TIX didn’t have any vocal difficulties.
However, the staging was too much. The song is well written, but at some point it is repetitive.
Predicting Norway’s fate this year is one of the hardest things.
I’m afraid that the running order won’t be in his favour. On the other hand, TIX is one of the only male lead singers to perform in semi-final 1, and he is the last male to perform in running order.
I believe that Norway can either qualify or not, therefore Norway gets the yellow card .
Albina – Tick-Tock
Hooverphonic – The Wrong Place
It’s the only dark and mysterious song in that semi-final. I would have even called it a soft rock song.
The song shouts “quality and art”, and that isn’t a surprise when Hooverphonic is in charge.
I had a lot of fears before rehearsals, but I must confess that this time Belgium has done a wonderful job with staging. Geike gave an excellent vocal performance. The staging had dark vibes, but it remained accessible. In rehearsals, I felt like watching a live concert.
In addition, I think the song has a strong jury appeal. So all we need here is a non-low score from the public vote and this is my only concern.
I believe that Belgium can either qualify or not, therefore Belgium gets the yellow card.
Eden Alene – Set Me Free
It’s a dance-pop song with influences of soul music. One of the strengths of the song is Eden herself.
In most of the runs, Eden has sone the whistles at the end of the song. The staging concept is nice, but I believe it has a place for improvement – for example the camera angles. The biggest competition for Eden will be Croatia (they have songs with a similar vibe, similar staging concept and more).
But if you ask me, I find Israel more impactful. I even believe it can get almost equal support from the public and jury. However, it is possible that other countries will get more support and Israel might not qualify.
I believe that Israel can either qualify or not, therefore Israel gets the yellow card.
Roxen – Amnesia
It’s a personal song with a very important message: Love yourself, don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it. The song is one of my favorites this year. But the live performance wasn’t good enough: Roxen struggled to give a good vocal performance. A lot went on stage: walking, running, dancers that distracted the attention from Roxen. Although the song is excellent, I believe that those things may hurt qualifiying.
Saying that, Romania won’t qualify and gets a red card.
Samira Efendi – Mata Hari
It’s the only ethnic-pop song in the semi-final. Many viewers had some criticism about the lack of dance movements in the performance. I believe that led screen effects and especially the good singing will be enough. The song is energetic and being an ethnic-pop in an advantage.
In my opinion, the song will receive the majority of its support from the public vote.
Is there a chance for non-qualifying? Unfortunately, yes, when Ukraine and Malta come right after.
I believe that Azerbiajan can either qualify or not, therefore Azerbiajan gets the yellow card.
Go_A – Shum (ШУМ)
It may be the bop of the year! With a spectacular white voice, superb staging and a lot of uniqueness, Ukraine will end-up in a high place. So no questions here –
Saying that, Ukraine is a certain qualifier and gets a green card.
Destiny – Je Me Casse
Malta was blessed to be represented by Destiny! The visuals were improved during rehearsals, Destiny was excellent vocally, the song has a great message of women-empowerment.
Being an early contender to win, there is no doubt here:
Saying that, Malta is a certain qualifier and gets a green card.
However, we have to mention 10 countries. Let’s recall again the 3 groups we’ve created in prediction so far:
Border Line qualifiers / Non Qualifiers:
Certain Non qualifiers:
But it looks like I can’t avoid reducing the list to only 10 countries, so here it is:
Sweden – jury voting will help it out, and let’s not forget about their record in the contest.
Belgium – we can’t have a semi-final without a surprise qualifier, right?
Israel – I beliebe that her charisma, good vocals and personality will help[
Azerbaijan – ethnic pop lovers will support it, and let’s not forget the friendly vote: Ukraine, Russia, Israel and maybe others as well
Norway – I believe that the public will help it qualify, even having an appeal for young people watching the show.
Remark: Croatia could easily enter the list instead of one of the last 5 countries in the list.
You can find all the relevant information on our Eurovision 2021 homepage: