Sixteen countries will compete in Semi-Final 2 of Eurovision 2023. But only ten can advance to the grand final. Among those expected to make it through are Austria’s Teya & Salena — queens of the chaos bop — and Slovenia’s Joker Out, among the most charismatic bands we’ve seen in a long time. But as we move down the list of participants much still seems up in the air.

As fans assess the odds and lay their bets, we thought we’d catch up with Patrick Flynn, Politics Analyst at Smarkets and a Eurovision betting expert. Below is his take on the chances of qualification for each of the Semi-Final 2 participants.

Visit the Smarkets Eurovision 2023: Semi-final 2 qualifiers market.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Eurovision 2023: Semi-final 2 odds preview

Denmark

53% chance of qualification

The second semi-final is a much more open affair than the first and subsequently much harder to predict. In semi-final one, there are six songs given a 90% or higher chance of qualifying in the markets, whereas there is just one in this heat. So what better way to kick off a wide-open contest than with a 50/50 qualification shot?

On paper, Denmark is up against it here. Reiley is first in the running order with only Iceland in the way of major televote allies. However, ‘Breaking My Heart’ is a solid contemporary pop song in a Charlie Puth-meets-K-pop vein with a clear target audience. The decision to place it as the show opener may also suggest Eurovision producers are confident in the quality of the stage show Denmark has planned.

An under-discussed factor that could help Reiley qualify is his huge TikTok following (10.7m, particularly concentrated in South Korea). With the Rest of the World voting this year for the first time, could Reiley advertise his semi-final participation and ask his followers to register their credit card (assuming most of them are old enough to have one) to vote for him? 

If even 0.1% of them did it and voted 10 times, Denmark would probably pick up the 12 Rest of the World points pretty easily.

Armenia

89% chance of qualification

I initially had Armenia down as a likely non-qualifier when the running orders were revealed but Brunette has impressed vocally in the pre-party season and is doing well in terms of fan metrics. However, I’m really not sold on this as the second most-likely qualifier, especially from second in the running order.

Romania

14% chance of qualification

Romania looks like a quintessential early running order semi-final casualty. Non-qualifier for me.

Estonia

63% chance of qualification

The markets seem to be underestimating the effect of running order across the two semi-finals. Televoters are much more susceptible to running order impact than jurors so, in a televote-only affair, the draw will have a larger impact than we are used to.

As I said in my semi-final one article, an average of just two songs from the first five have been televote qualifiers in recent years. Odds imply an expected 2.9 of the first five will qualify from semi-final two, which feels too high. For me, Estonia is more likely to fall on the wrong side of the qualification line and the final may be a bridge too far for Alika.

Belgium

70% chance of qualification

Belgium is perfectly positioned in the running order given its first-half draw. It’s the first crowd-pleaser of the night, following four slow or mid-tempo entries, and in all likelihood will bring the first act to an end and lead us into the break.

Gustaph’s support will likely skew quite heavily towards Western Europe/Australia, and I expect he will fare well with middle-aged women, particularly those who came of age at the height of Boy George and Erasure. 

Of the British people outside the Eurovision bubble I’ve shown the recap video to, ‘Because of You’ is universally liked in a way I haven’t seen since Keiino in 2019. To be clear, this is anecdotal and I’m not for a moment suggesting Belgium is going to win the televote in the final (or even come close), but I thought it was something worth noting.

Belgium can’t rely on Western Europe/Australia alone to qualify in this semi-final (semi-final one would have been more fertile ground), but we should still be seeing Gustaph again.

Cyprus

84% chance of qualification

Cyprus could not have asked for a better group of countries to be paired with. Their three biggest voting allies – Greece, Armenia and Albania – are all in this semi-final. In addition, Cyprus can probably rely on San Marino’s constructed televote (created based on some combination of ‘similar countries’). 

The last time San Marino, Cyprus and Greece were in the same semi-final, San Marino’s televote gave 12 points to Greece and 10 to Cyprus. The cherry on the cake is Andrew Lambrou being Australian, with his home country also participating in this heat.

We haven’t seen a full live performance of the song yet, which necessitates some caution, but ‘Break a Broken Heart’ is an accessible and radio-friendly pop song with an attractive performer in an open semi-final and some very favourable voting allies. A Cyprus semi-final win is well within the realms of possibility.

Iceland

29% chance of qualification

Iceland looks like a pretty comfortable non-qualifier to me, and I think 29% is too high. I can’t see it being enough people’s favourite and I don’t see where Iceland’s points are going to come from.

Greece

69% chance of qualification

Like Cyprus, Greece couldn’t have asked for a better semi-final. With Cyprus, Albania, San Marino and his father’s country of Denmark voting, Victor Vernicos has been given a huge boost in terms of qualification chances. If this was a Danish or Icelandic entry I wouldn’t give it much hope of qualifying, but Greece’s allies may push it through.

Poland

57% chance of qualification

I’m highly ambivalent about Poland. ‘Solo’ would probably qualify in studio form, but the live outings have come under scrutiny for Blanka’s vocal performance. Furthermore, the Polish diaspora has historically demonstrated their eagerness to help deliver some strong televote scores (see 2016), but the diaspora can just as easily keep their phones firmly in their pockets if they don’t like the song or artist selection (see 2021).

It’s hard to know whether knowledge of the somewhat controversial circumstances around Blanka’s selection is confined to the Eurovision fandom or whether this also spreads to the diaspora. If the latter is the case, a diasporic injection of televote points is not a foregone conclusion.

The vocal execution of ‘Solo’ at the Polish national final is likely to be fairly similar to what we see at Eurovision. After all, this was a competitive performance in a TV studio not merely a risk-free pre-party outing. Blanka will probably get some vocal assistance in Liverpool, but she may end up missing out if the performance is more or less the same as we’ve seen.

Slovenia

79% chance of qualification

‘Carpe Diem’ was my pick to close this semi-final, but Joker Out have instead been drawn quite early in the second half. The song is strong and the band is charming and likeable, with live performances eclipsing the studio recording. Slovenia ought to be qualifying and I wouldn’t rule this out from hitting the semi-final top three if the stage show is strong.

Georgia

74% chance of qualification

Despite a decent initial reception, Georgia’s momentum seems to have completely vanished over the last month or so. There is staging potential and Iru’s live vocals are excellent, but I’m not sure it’s going to reach the heady heights of the scoreboard. I fear this may elicit fairly warm reactions from viewers but not connect enough for them to vote for it.

San Marino

14% chance of qualification

I don’t have a whole lot to say about San Marino. There are stronger entries in the same genre in this semi-final so they don’t have much of a USP. A fairly safe non-qualifier.

Austria

96% chance of qualification

Austria is the odds-on favourite to win this semi-final, but I’d probably make it more like 50/50.

It’s a bit of a Eurovision cliché nowadays, but ‘Who the Hell Is Edgar?’ is an entry that will live or die on its staging, and I’ve been racking my brains over the last few weeks thinking about how the Austrian team is going to present it. If Teya and Salena want to be in with a chance of winning the whole contest, a delicate balance will need to be struck.

This ranks alongside Finland and Spain as one of the most exciting songs of this year’s contest as a catchy, playful hit which also carries a satirical, self-referential commentary on songwriting and the music industry. This latter aspect, if communicated well, could see Austria rewarded by jurors sympathetic to the song’s message. If not, jury members may merely interpret the entry as a novelty song and end up ranking it down.

I feel the same excitement for Austria’s staging as I did with Serbia last year and I can’t wait to see what they come up with. If the graphics used at the London Eurovision Party are anything to go by, we could be in for a treat.

Albania

38% chance of qualification

Albania’s semi-final televote results are remarkably consistent, falling in the ninth–12th range on each of their last six outings. It’s pretty likely we’ll see the same thing here. I’ve got Albina and Family below the qualification threshold right now, but this could easily sneak through in one of the last two spots.

Lithuania

84% chance of qualification

Lithuania has strong diaspora support, is second last in the running order and Monika Linkytė is a strong singer with a warm, accessible ballad that could pick up some support as an oasis of calm amongst the chaos. With all that in mind, this ought to be higher than an 84% qualification chance.

Once the juries are reintroduced in the final, Lithuania could be a decent outside shout to make the top ten, carried by a potentially strong jury showing and a diaspora-driven televote score.

Australia

88% chance of qualification

Australia has been granted a golden ticket with the so-called ‘pimp slot’ and should be a pretty safe qualifier. Some have suggested Australia is the main challenger to Austria in this semi-final, but I’m not convinced that the Dad-rock genre (I use that affectionately!) has wide enough crossover with Eurovision audiences and Australia’s historic televote pull is pretty non-existent.

With that said, Voyager are competent performers and have a quirky charm to them, which should garner some support. If others stumble, you can’t rule them out completely.

Predicted qualifiers (in descending order of likelihood)

Austria, Cyprus, Australia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Armenia, Georgia, Belgium, Greece, Denmark.

One final thing I want to say to readers is to remember that odds are not prescriptive, and you should take note of the uncertainty they provide. The distinction between tenth and eleventh place in the qualification odds is essentially an arbitrary one, and does not suggest that the betting markets are predicting the top ten will all qualify. Mathematically, it’s extremely unlikely that the ten most likely qualifiers will all make it through, so keep that in mind before writing any song off entirely or assuming that a song with a 75% qualification chance is safely through. Remember that a 75% qualification chance also means there is a 25% chance it won’t qualify — if songs with a 75% chance qualified every time, the odds would be inaccurate!

Patrick Flynn is a Politics Analyst at Smarkets. You can follow him on Twitter @patrickjfl.

56 Comments
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MrBrightside
MrBrightside
1 year ago

I’m so sick hearing over and over about a mythical Polish diaspora voting like crazy for Polish entries. In 00’s Poland struggled so hard to qualify even though only televoters were voting back then (in 2005-2011 only Isis Gee in 2008 qualified from 10th place). Putting Michal Szpak as an example is kind of silly. Almost every country gave him points back in 2016. But of course it was Polish diaspora voting from Israel or Azerbaijan…

Wojtek
Wojtek
1 year ago
Reply to  MrBrightside

its disrespectfull from tham to polish artists

Zanoni
Zanoni
1 year ago

This one’s a little tougher to decide how to vote than SF1. Austria is my #3 but should be safe unless something goes terribly wrong. So my votes will likely be split between Georgia, Armenia, and Estonia. Ratios— who knows?

Max
Max
1 year ago

Well, if a country picks up votes only from a handful of countries and those being 10s and 12s, I strongly believe it has something to do with cultural-geographic links (look at Serbia‘s usual scores) or with diasporas (look at Albania‘s usual scores).

Don
Don
1 year ago

What some people seem to forget is that Alika beat songs such as Venom and Monsters in the Eesti laul televote. There’s no doubt that such a quality song such as Bridges and such an experienced vocalist such as Alika will qualify.

Héctor
Héctor
1 year ago

Well, this one is the weaker SF but, usually the waker SFs are the harder to predict as anything can happen. Also, last year the weaker SF ended up being a bloodbath as a lot entries were elevated by their live performances and everything was leveled. As I see it now (though there are still rehearsals ahead): 100% – Armenia 85% – Georgia 80% – Slovenia 75% – Cyprus 75% – Lithuania (Ruta Mur should be here for the win but I guess Monyka is qualifying too) 65% – Austria (their live performance might not live up to the hype…)… Read more »

Jofty
Jofty
1 year ago
Reply to  Héctor

I like San Marino too, but expect Albania and Romania to finish in front of them

Chris
Chris
1 year ago

I think this will be the trickiest results of all 3 nights because it’s really hard to predict who will go through. Nevertheless all of these songs will end up low in the scoreboard on the final night. Except maybe Armenia. And Austria. Maybe.

Jofty
Jofty
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris

Will be interesting though if some positions are turned around with the introduction of…..the juries

Jo.
Jo.
1 year ago

everybody seems so confident about Belgium qualifying, I honestly think Denmark, Poland and Albania have better chances

Jofty
Jofty
1 year ago
Reply to  Jo.

I am starting to worry that Belgium’s staging may alienate parts of the Televote

Don
Don
1 year ago

If Bridges could beat songs such as Venom and Monsters in the televote, I have no doubt that they’ll qualify.

Mark
Mark
1 year ago

Australia isn’t dad rock, it’s mainstream

Malachy Grapes
Malachy Grapes
1 year ago

This latter aspect, if communicated well, could see Austria rewarded by jurors sympathetic to the song’s message. If not, jury members may merely interpret the entry as a novelty song and end up ranking it down”

Sorry, I didn’t get this part. If I were a ESC juror, I’d have read the lyrics and listened to the songs several times much before the shows. I’d be shocked if any juror votes for/against Austria without knowing what the hell is their song about (pun intended).

Bernard
Bernard
1 year ago

Has anyone noticed that “…… wanna be a soldier, soldier” and “now I’m better solo, solo” are using the same hook with the different melody? Which one do you PERSONALLY find catchier, if any? 😀

Colin
Colin
1 year ago
Reply to  Bernard

Hooks use a similar rhythm indeed! Never noticed it! 🙂 Both are catchy, at least in that part of the song. I wonder if Remo sung Solo would Poland be a certain qualifier from “an easier semi”. Thoughts?

Jofty
Jofty
1 year ago
Reply to  Colin

Or Gustaph

Anonymous91
Anonymous91
1 year ago
Reply to  Bernard

same composer Mikolaj Trybulec 😉

The Voice of Reason
The Voice of Reason
1 year ago

See, I REALLY dont get why Greece’s generic song is SO high, whereas Iceland and some songs closer to the bottom are catchier and more memorable for me, and so it’s strange that there is SUCH a difference in odds?!

Anonymous91
Anonymous91
1 year ago

maybe Victor’s super rich family made a lot of bets on his entry in the odds

but tbh Greece is more authentic than Cyprus for example

Iceland is dull, a Sia wannabe and a very bad wannabe at that, that jokey song OK would’ve at least been a fun moment i still think

San Marino is underrated for me in odds, same as Albania (the former, for san marino standards it feels like such a normal entry)

Whoisit!
Whoisit!
1 year ago
Reply to  Anonymous91

Toxic vibesss

MattDK
MattDK
1 year ago

Very simple. Greece has all their friends in this semi. 12 points guarenteed from Cyprus. 8-12 points guarenteed from Albania, 8-12 points guarenteed from San Marino and since he’s half Danish he’ll get a decent amount of points from Denmark. That’s already 35+ points guarenteed and historically that’s 75% of the needed televote points in a competetive year and 85% in a non competitive year. There is no way Greece isn’t going through. On the other side Iceland’s only ‘guarenteed points’ are from Denmark.

Colin
Colin
1 year ago

Sure, the running order sadly matters even more with 100% televoting, but for those who want to keep hoping for countires placed in the first third, here are some reassuring news: – In 2018s semi 2, Norway won the semi of 18 countries from the opening spot (3rd in the televote), and Denmark won the televote from the 5th place. – In 2008s semi 2, which was (almost) entirely televote-based, 4 out of first 6 in the r.o. qualified, including 2nd and 3rd placed. One of them was a jury wildcard, but others qualified solely on televote. Both of these… Read more »

Bernard
Bernard
1 year ago

Blanca’s song is like the Blue Cheese. First you are shocked/baffled/surprised/put off by its look and taste. That’s the only impression you are left with, unless you try it again. Then you’ll realise how good and likeable it is. I am worried that Blanca’s first and only performance will not be enough for people to appreciate it.

Jofty
Jofty
1 year ago
Reply to  Bernard

I would say the opposite but hey ho

Rambo Amadeus
Rambo Amadeus
1 year ago

I don’t think it will actually happen, but Cyprus’ plastic pop winning the semi-final would be up there with the Russian grannies finishing 2nd as one of the most hilariously ridiculous results in ESC history, sorry…

Sam
Sam
1 year ago

Spain as an exciting, catchy, playful hit?
I mean, the performance will draw the jurors attention, but the song is totally forgettable and to many it will be a bit unpleasant as in most countries across Europe people are not familiar at all to the flamenco sounds.

Rambo Amadeus
Rambo Amadeus
1 year ago
Reply to  Sam

It’s only “totally forgettable” to inexperienced and obtuse listeners like you, thankfully not everyone is just like you…

Anhel
Anhel
1 year ago
Reply to  Sam

They were saying Austria is catchy and playful, while both Austria and Spain are exciting entries to them (source: reading comprehension).

Jofty
Jofty
1 year ago
Reply to  Sam

A word of caution to our younger viewers; Spain submitted a “flamenco” entry in 1984 and got…..sorry, zero points

Rambo Amadeus
Rambo Amadeus
1 year ago
Reply to  Jofty

It was Munich 1983 actually, and that Spanish entry is easily still one of the greatest songs ever entered into ESC, for me at least.

Jofty
Jofty
1 year ago
Reply to  Rambo Amadeus

Oh was it? Sorry, I am on the naughty step

Anonymous91
Anonymous91
1 year ago

Greece, Poland, San Marino, Albania to qualify here hopefully

Ralf
Ralf
1 year ago

Voyager being dad rock? The most stupid thing i have heard . Their sound is very contemporary so is their image. I am sure they will finish on the left hand of the scoreboard.

The Voice of Reason
The Voice of Reason
1 year ago
Reply to  Ralf

Same here!

Mark dowd
Mark dowd
1 year ago

Greece and Denmark have major question marks over them…. I’d promote classy Alika and Estonia over them….she oozes quality and even in an all televote semi, I think she will make it. And get jury love in the final.

Devito
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark dowd

Alika’s downfall may be her being Russian. Now, we can all act tolerant and such, but the general public may become a bit irritated that Russians participate in Eurovision. It may have an influence on her not to qualify. Especially knowing that broadcasters’ commentators tend to bold sensitive facts. I remember the LRT commentator outlining S10’s mental illness right before her performance. Believe it or not, people were influenced to vote for the Netherlands. Thus, that’s why I tend to watch ESC on YouTube whenever I can. There are no additional commentators with their subjective justice. Sadly, this year, I… Read more »

The Voice of Reason
The Voice of Reason
1 year ago
Reply to  Devito

As someone who followed Alika since the beginning, I had NO idea she was Russian. Will audiences know unless they are told by their commentator?

Devito
1 year ago

That’s exactly what I think. If some commentators felt the need to point out that S10 has bipolar disorder, what says some of them won’t use Russian nationality as a trigger button? Especially since this edition is being organized on behalf of Ukraine and its people. Contextually speaking, I think the LRT commentator is very likely to point out that Alika Milova is of Russian ancestry.

mi7kel
mi7kel
1 year ago

I believe that in a show with 15 and 16 performances in each semifinal you are giving too much power and thought to running order.

John
John
1 year ago

Every year the same thing about diaspora in Lithuania, it seems u don’t know what else to say. How a tiny country with nearly 3 million pop, always gets high punctuation, it seems that if it gets some points (let’s say a joke and say it gets from Albania 12 points, u gonna say yeah cus of diaspora even if there are only 3 Lithuanians living). Juts let’s not pretend that a rich country like Germany has more diaspora than Lithuania but don’t gets that much love in televote. But yeah from now I’m plenty sure that Lithuanians just leave… Read more »

Catriona
Catriona
1 year ago

Voyager are dad rock? Never heard someone say that before. Their music is pretty contemporary and it’s definitely not rock, it’s metal.

Desmondo19
Desmondo19
1 year ago
Reply to  Catriona

Always had an issue with the term ‘dad rock’. It’s not inclusive and doesn’t encompass fan base diversity. Voyager are experienced performers and one of their very fine guitarists is a woman!

Anonymous91
Anonymous91
1 year ago
Reply to  Catriona

same dad rock as Intelligent Music Project 😉

Azimuth
Azimuth
1 year ago

Where are Icelan’s votes coming from? From Denmark?

I’m more confident about Iceland than Cyprus, TBH. Diljá is vocally on point and if Cyprus is not good enough, she will grab more jury points.

Not as confident about Denmark either. Don’t expect 14 year old girls to vote actively.

Jonas
Jonas
1 year ago
Reply to  Azimuth

There are no juries for the semi-finals this year. Televote only, a result of last year’s shenanigans.

Anonymous91
Anonymous91
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonas

there are juries in the semi finals though

Monday 8th is the first semi jury show

Wednesday 10th is the second semi jury show

MadProfessor
MadProfessor
1 year ago
Reply to  Anonymous91

They are called “Back up Juries” for a reason. Their points will not count unless something goes terribly wrong with televote.

But in the final its gonna be 50-50

Louden Sproul
Louden Sproul
1 year ago
Reply to  Azimuth

Public has a far stronger preference to male singers than the Fandom.

Lil Krumpy
1 year ago
Reply to  Azimuth

I feel like teenge girls will rather go for Joker Out instead.

Jonas
Jonas
1 year ago

How does Cyprus have its three biggest supporters in the same semi-final? I thought that’s what pots are for.

Where do San Marino’s votes come from? They’ve never actually had a televote, so what is it based on? I’ve never understood what this vote is “constructed” from.

yaremturkiye
yaremturkiye
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonas

in case you missed it, the draw was done randomly so Cyprus just got lucky, no need to be bitter, smile for a change.

KT.
KT.
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonas

I think Cyprus deserves to qualify based on the song’s own merit and regardless of supporters in their semi. The Eastern and Scandi blocks also support each other so I think it’s unnecessary to only talk about one country getting a push from “allies”. At least they send very well-produced entries.

Jonas
Jonas
1 year ago
Reply to  KT.

I’m just replying to what’s said in the article, not trying to make a point about any one country.

Amar pelos dois
Amar pelos dois
1 year ago
Reply to  KT.

Cyprus could get high votes from Australia, Denmark and Greece.

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonas

I do believe that we have had to use constructed votes in the past due to voting regularities but these have usually been used to replace a jury vote.

Should be the same process though. Each country is assigned to a geopolitical region and the votes of the remaining countries are averaged out and that is used as the voting points for the country with the constructed vote.

San Marino’s televote in this SF will probably be made up of the likes of Greece, Albania, Cyprus and Italy (if they vote in this SF, I forget).