Over the past six weeks the Wiwi Jury—our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals—has been busy writing reviews and coming up with our preferred rankings. But now it’s time for us to predict who we think will qualify, rather than who we want to qualify. We polled our 19 jurors, who hail from the UK, US, Croatia, Romania, Hungary, Finland, Austria, Australia and beyond. After hours of cat-fighting we can now present our predictions. The percentage represents the percentage of our jurors who think the act will qualify for the final. 0% means none of us think they’re going through…Please note that in instances where countries received the same percentages we have listed them in running order, not preference.
You can see the percentages below along with a few of our collective thoughts. You can click on the song title to see read our entire review.
Predicted to qualify…
1. Armenia: Aram Mp3 – Not Alone 100%
Aram Mp3 brings a good dub-step number packed full of emotion. It ignores politics and instead calls on people in difficult situations to remember that they are not alone. It’s a powerful statement, and one that deserves a spot in the final.
2. Sweden: Sanna Nielsen – Undo 100%
The bookies are going wild over this, but some have suggested that there are parallels with 2010 when Anna Bergendahl failed to make the final. Yes, Sweden does not have a lot of Scandinavian friends to count on besides Iceland in its semi-final. Fortunately Sanna Nielsen has one of the strongest Swedish songs of the decade and probably comes second only to Loreen in terms of song quality. ‘Undo’ should appeal to a broad spectrum of voters. Stylists have re-worked Sanna’s look and she no longer looks 40.
3. Russia: Tolmachevy Sisters – Shine 100%
Given the escalating violence and bloodshed in Ukraine, Europeans may want to punish Russia for its annexation of Crimea, especially in former Soviet Republics who may worry that they will be the next to fall prey to Putin. That said, we are still confidant that Russia will reach the final, but they do have an uphill battle to crack the top 10. The performance is so unique that people might vote for the song just because of its staging.
4. Azerbaijan: Dilara Kazimova – Start a fire 100%
Azerbaijan is another “qualify by name” country. However, like Ukraine they always bring a quality entry. While their rumored methods aren’t as crystal clear as other nations, that doesn’t negate the fact that Azerbaijan tries very hard each year, and reaps the benefits. Dilara can sing all day long, the song has a beautiful instrumental, and don’t let all the “top 37” lists fool you, Dilara will do well in televoting too.
5. Ukraine: Mariya Yaremchuk – Tick Tock 100%
While Ukraine could be considered a “qualify by name” nation, that shouldn’t distract you from the fact that they bring quality in one form or another each year, and deserve their constant presence in the final. Mariya is a great vocalist, her show oozes a guilty pleasure quality, and it’s just a complete package. We also love her dress, which is made of curtains.
6. Hungary: András Kállay-Saunders – Running 100%
Unique theme with danceable backing. András has a perfect voice and a powerful and sensual personality. His dancers tell the story perfectly. Hungary has choosen wisely again.
7. Moldova: Cristina Scarlat – Wild Soul 80%
Moldova tend to qualify quietly and under the radar. Cristina is completely underrated and she’ll easily slip through the net and into the Grand Final. ‘Wild Soul’ is nothing but memorable and Cristina has a great voice – both key ingredients that should lock her into the psyche of televoters and juries alike.
8. Estonia: Tanja – Amazing 80%
There must be at least one true euro dance song in the grand final and this is a very good one. Tanja sings amazingly and the choreography looks great. We are sure that it will get enough votes from juries and televote to get to the final, and maybe place well there.
9. Belgium: Axel Hirsoux – Mother 70%
This is 2014’s ‘Suus’. Destined to divide critics and split them down the middle. Axel’s vocals will win over the juries with ease, even if the televote may not be that strong. The Netherlands are also voting in this semi-final, which never hurts Belgium’s chances of qualification.
10. Montenegro: Sergej Cetkovic – Moj Svijet 60%
Beautiful ballad from Montenegro. Finally they send something without madness and we think voters will be grateful for that.
Predicted to go home…
11. The Netherlands: The Common Linnets – Calm after the storm 40%
There’s people who will vote for Montenegro and there’s people who will vote for The Netherlands. They are both beautiful ballads, but still very different. We think that Montenegro has better chances to get to the final as people might forget The Netherlands more easily and their performance is quite forgettable compared to Montenegro’s.
12. San Marino: Valentina Monetta – Maybe (Forse) 30%
We really wish Valentina the best but if Crisalide wasn’t good enough for the final, Maybe probably won’t be either.
13. Portugal: Suzy – Quero Ser Tua 30%
This song is good for a summer party but not for Eurovision. After the first verse it becomes a bit too repetitive. We are glad they’re back but they need a better song than this.
14. Albania: Hersi – One Night’s Anger 10%
Hersi is great singer, but the song is just way too forgettable. Juries might appreciate it a bit, but it doesn’t have a chance to get that many televotes.
15. Latvia: Aarzemnieki – Cake to bake 0%
It’s a cute song but can’t compete with Armenia, Sweden or Hungary. They don’t take the competition seriously enough. It might get some sympathy votes, but not enough to reach the grand final.
16. Iceland: Pollapönk – No Prejudice 0%
The message is very important, but their performance is messy and there’s not enough kids to get them to the final. Juries won’t appreciate the song at all, so this would need lots of televotes to get to the grand final.