The betting odds to win the first semi-final remain largely unchanged since we last checked in on April 2. Denmark is still in the lead, with Russia, Ukraine, and The Netherlands trailing behind. These are all beautiful ballads sung by excellent vocalists, so it makes sense that they are the bookies’ favorites. The only change among the top 10 is that Serbia’s Moje 3 has passed Belarus’ Alyona Lanskaya.

These rankings represent an average across 10 of Europe’s leading betting agencies. For the ease of presentation, we’ve only listed odds from two agencies: Bet365 and Skybet.

1. Denmark: 7/4, 7/4
2. Russia: 3, 3
3. Ukraine: 4, 7/2
4. Netherlands: 7, 7
5. Serbia: 14, 14
6. Belarus: 12, 12
7. Ireland: 22, 22
8. Estonia: 22, 22
9. Austria: 33, 33
10. Moldova: 33, 33
11.Lithuania: 50, 50
12. Cyprus: 66, 100
13. Slovenia: 100, 100
14. Montenegro: 80, 125
15. Belgium: 100, 100
16. Croatia: 100, 100

Both Serbia and Belarus are overrated, as their songs are outdated, generic pop. I’m surprised by Belarus’ high ranking. Just because Alexander Rybak appeared in the music video  doesn’t mean “Solayoh” is a winner! It’s more of a borderline qualifier. The country right underneath, Ireland, should definitely be higher. Eurovision in Concert is evidence that Ryan Dolan CAN sing live. A strong live performance combined with an already strong song should make Ireland a top 5 contender to win the first semi-final. Estonia, Austria, and Moldova are all “safe ballads”. I can definitely see Austria and Moldova qualifying, but I’m not as confident about Estonia as the bookies are.

The countries that the bookies currently predict will be eliminated are Lithuania, Cyprus, Slovenia, Montenegro, Belgium, and Croatia. Between our last update and this one, Cyprus, Slovenia and Montenegro have moved up while Croatia has sunk to last place. That makes sense. The performance is stale, forgettable, and boring.

Lithuania is currently 11th most likely to win this semi. Its entry is very similar to Switzerland’s last year, which wound up in 11th in the first semi. I don’t know why Cyprus has moved up, unless the bookies think that the juries might bump its score up a bit. I honestly don’t see it getting many public votes, as it’s a boring ballad (even if some members of the Wiwi Jury loved it). I’m surprised that the bookies think Slovenia will fail to qualify. It’s a fresh, modern song that will probably fare well in the tele-voting. Montenegro is also being underrated, but I agree with the bookies that it’ll probably fail to qualify. A modern rap and dubstep song is probably too much for the Eurovision demographic at this point, and the juries won’t dig it either.

And that brings me to the dark horse of Semi-Final 1: Belgium. At first, the Belgian entry was mocked as generic and terribly performed by Roberto Bellarosa. However, the updated version of “Love Kills”  and Roberto’s improved performance at Eurovision in Concert mean that the Belgian entry is gaining momentum. Will the momentum be enough for Belgium to qualify? Probably not, but at least they’re trying…

Alexander Green is a correspondent for WiwiBloggs.com. He divides his time between North Carolina and Bulgaria. 

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DEX
DEX
7 years ago

Ooo i think Serbia is not overrated,excellent vocals ,beautifull girls,catchy song.When audience get tired by similar ballads,Moje3 will strike!And as we can see a lots of young fans all over the globe,i think younger generation vote more by sms.Eldery generation do not have a will to vote.But jury will also vote for great vocals,hopfully!

Samo
7 years ago

I actually think Moldova has a great song!!!!! Romanian version is much better than English one. Estonia’s revamped version is great as well. I think we have to stop being pessimistic about all these national language ballads and see that the juries will love it and so will everyone in Eastern Europe and beyond.

Mark
Mark
7 years ago

The song should include a feel good factor and should make you smile and sing a little bit with it… and that one is: MALTA

Samo
7 years ago

Gravity + Sand Landy from 2011 = WINNER!
What If + Russian Grannies backing vocals = WINNER!
Solayoh + Alexander Rybak playing violin = WINNER!

Otherwise Denmark and the Netherlands are seriously gonna dominate!

mickey
mickey
7 years ago

…at the level of many…is Denmark[put lat year winner stage presentation and this year Denmark-to many simmilar things],really fresh…Serbia!!!!

Z24
Z24
7 years ago

@Anthony Well, being a Super-neighbour like Serbia and signing on the last spot will give you an advantage.

Sure the song’s decent, but no way it’s at the level of many.

Anthony
Anthony
7 years ago

Every year, there seems to be an entry that is completely unfancied by the bookies, which eventually ends up doing well on the big night itself. So it might explain why the bookies are putting their faith onto Belarus this year.

And I don’t think Serbia is overrated at all. I can see this as a definite qualifier this year.

Sally
Sally
7 years ago

Montenegro is awful! I realy hope I won’t have to listen it twice if it get’s to final.

Melissa J
7 years ago

I hope Belarus doesn’t qualify, if only for the fact that I was promised Alexander Rybak featured in a music video and I got him for 2 seconds at the end.

eurana
eurana
7 years ago

I think Belgium is getting higher and higher until May. Others songs in his semi final , not.

Z24
Z24
7 years ago

Figners crossed with Montenegro like all of you. I’m confident it will eat Lithuania’s points. Lithuania’s song is destined to flop in the scoreboard. it’s not slow, but it isn’t fast paced, which makes it an awñward lump between the other two floor stompers. If they make a great live, Montenegro will pass. They’re in my top 10. Remind me why Russia’s on the top, with that cookie-cutter, boring ballad that goes nowhere. The Four songs I disregarded are the last 4 in the running order. Cyprus will be forgotten, Serbia will qualify for their chap attempt, Belgium will get… Read more »

Peter M
7 years ago

I still believe Montenegro can still do it. ‘Igranka’ is the most lively and energetic track at this year’s Eurovision Contest, the video is breathtaking, sexy and eye-catching, and most importantly, it’s not one you can easily forget.

Word on the ground is that Who See, Nina and the gang at RTCG are planning a real show stopper for their semi-final performance.

If they can carry it off, Montenegro could conceivably make a Eurovision final for the very first time, then we’d definitely have some fun and cheeky visuals

Joyces
Joyces
7 years ago

Finally I found the instrumental version from Anouks song on youtube, maybe anyone would like to hear it?
put your headphone up for this one…
http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=Il-gzTLRgR0

Alex
Alex
7 years ago

Why would the momentum -not- be enough for Belgium to qualify? They’ve got second-last draw in the semifinal, for God’s sake! I’d agree Serbia is overrated – most obnoxious song of the contest for me – but SVT basically gave them a spot in the final with their placement. Why??? Ireland, however, is also overrated. The song needs less Ryan and more time dedicated to epic synth hooks. I’m crossing my fingers that Montenegro will qualify. SVT kind of screwed them over with their draw – first in the second half of the semifinal. I swear, Montenegro has the worst… Read more »

Wouter
Wouter
7 years ago

I would switch Moldova with Belgium… then the 10 finalists are perfect for me =) Still can’t believe that Anouk is doing so great with the bookmakers =) Will I finally hear a ’12 points goes to…. THE NETHERLANDS’?? after 8 long long long years? I really hope so.

Sally
Sally
7 years ago

I don’t think that serbia is overrated. Girls have beautiful voices and they are improving choreography. There will be a lot of acting on scene and they deserve to be in top 3. I’m just waiting to see when will you judge Serbia.
P.S. I agree with you that Belarus is way too overrated and that Slovenia should be at better place.