Eurovision 2021 - SF2 preview
Thursday 20th May - Semi Final Two preview
- Switzerland, Bulgaria, San Marino, Finland, Iceland, Greece and Serbia all to qualify, 0.51/1 Coral (can be acca'd up on the same bet slip on their site
- We are also waiting on Greece and Serbia to qualify in certain specials put up before SF1.
The second of the Eurovision semi-finals takes place in Rotterdam this evening (8pm GMT) and excitement levels have reached fever pitch with Flo Rida's presence on stage, alongside Senhit for San Marino, now confirmed.
Adrenalina is a very catchy track and is finally coming into line price wise. I think San Marino are a banker to progress and would also include Switzerland, Bulgaria, Finland, Iceland, Greece and Serbia in the list of countries expected to qualify tonight. You can perm all seven to qualify in an accumulator which pays 0.51/1 with Coral.
The trickiest of those songs to get through could be Serbia, who have been handed stall nine for Loco Loco, but there aren't many girl groups at the competition and Hurricane's entry is upbeat, catchy and may still stand out.
This does look the weaker of the two semi finals and, beyond those seven aforementioned countries, it looks wide open for the final three qualification spots. Based on the studio tracks I quite like Czech Republic's entry, Omaga, which has a sound of 'Calvin Harris' to it, but it hasn't always come across great in rehearsals, so I'd like to see the performance live on stage. They are 7/2 to qualify, which would have to be a worry.
Denmark have a plum draw. Their track feels quite dated but, like Latvia, being on so late in the running order counts in their favour. Albania, Georgia and Moldova are all drawn in the middle order, around Serbia, and could be some of those sweating on that last spot if Hurricane makes more of an impression on jurors and televoters.
Iceland have returned a Covid-positive test in their camp, so will not be performing live at the semi final tonight - a live performance recorded from rehearsals will be aired instead. Iceland were one of the favourites to win last year's competition (with this act), prior to it being cancelled due to Covid, though, and their hardcore support should lift this year's fresh entry through on the televote alone, even if putting forward a pre-recorded entry might not be ideal in terms of the jury scoring.
Another of the Scandi entries, Finland, is really interesting. Away from Eurovision I'd say this is one of the songs I'd most enjoy listening to personally and fans of Linkin Park will absolutely love this entry. Along with Italy, they add some quality rock to the competition, so I'd like to see them in the final for a bit of a contrast from the other types of song we'll be hearing on Saturday.
Essentially, tonight's semi will be interesting for a couple of reasons - firstly, seeing Flo Rida appearing for San Marino alongside Senhit and guessing how popular the song has fared on the televote. We of course won't know the results of the televote until after the Grand Final has been run, but their position in the running order for the Final, should they qualify, could give us a good idea of how they have fared.
Secondly, it's interesting due to the fact Switzerland and Bulgaria are two of the big hitters in the outright market, with the former coming in for significant market support in the last 24 hours with their entry Tout l'univers, an emotional song which could score well with the juries.
Bulgaria's entry, Growing Up Is Getting Old has gathered some real momentum since the live rehearsals began too and commands respect for a nation which have sent quality entries in the shape of If Love Was A Crime (2016, fourth), Beautiful Mess (2017, second) and Bones (2018, 14th, deserved better) in recent competitions. The Balkan nation could also score well with the juries.
In terms of bets, I advised some qualification specials in my semi final one preview, in which we are waiting on Greece and Serbia to progress tonight.
I've just had an accumulator on those aforementioned to qualify countries with Coral, too, but the odds aren't fantastic and this isn't a semi I want many more bets on.
Most importantly, I want to see San Marino smash their performance tonight with a pyro party and head into the Final on Saturday full of momentum to give us a good run for our money with the ante posts.
For what it is worth, my 10 qualifiers, if pushed, would be: Switzerland, San Marino, Bulgaria, Iceland, Finland, Greece, Serbia, Estonia, Czech Republic and Moldova, though my final three picks are pure pinsticker efforts and it would come as no surprise if Denmark and Latvia exploited good draws to sneak through at the expense of any of the last three.
Portugal are 1/5 to qualify but it is just not a song that interests me, personally.