And the possible Eurovision 2021 winners are … my top 10 picks for semi-finals 1 & 2

Go_A (Ukraine) go through rehearsal paces on 9 May)

In one of the many wonderful scenes that make up 1965’s The Sound of Music, the nuns muse at great musical length in one scene about how exactly you solve a problem like Maria; it seems like an impossible thing to fix, far beyond the reach of even, it seems, God’s anointed.

Similarly, and yes this is going somewhere, trying to determine how the professional juries and good people of Audience Europe (they contribute 50% each of the final vote tally) will vote in The Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals can feel like a mission impossible, with the self destruct message “This message will self destruct in five seconds” ringing in your ears as you try to divine which songs and artists will appeal and which will manifestly not.

And yet, each year with songs that I subjectively regard as good and bad on the table for selection, there’s a tricky dance between what I like, and in some cases love – I’m looking at you Go_A and The Roop! – and what other people, mostly in Europe but partly in Australia, will like and whether we shall ever have a meeting of the minds.

To be honest, anything over 50% correlation is a great victory (the choices are less Nostradamus predictive than what I like) so with that very much in mind, but impelled to pick anyway for #reasons, here are my picks for which songs and artists will get to call the Eurovision grand final on Saturday 22nd May home …

SEMI-FINAL 1 (Tuesday, 18 May)

  1. LITHUANIA: “Discoteque” by The Roop

2. AZERBAIJAN: “Mata Hari” by Efendi

3. ROMANIA: “Amnesia” by ROXEN

4. MALTA: “Je Me Casse” by Destiny

5. SWEDEN: “Voices” by Tusse

6. CYPRUS: El Diablo” by Elena Tsagrinou

7. UKRAINE: “Shum” by Go_A

8. RUSSIA: “Russian Women” by Manizha

9. SLOVENIA: “Amen” by Ana Soklič

10. AUSTRALIA: “Technicolour” by Montaigne

SEMI-FINAL 2 (Thursday 20 May)

  1. SAN MARINO: “Adrenalina” by Senhit

2. PORTUGAL: “Love is on My Side” by The Black Mamba

3. SWITZERLAND: “Tout l’Univers” by Gjon’s Tears

4. LATVIA: “The Moon is Rising” by Samanta Tīna

5. BULGARIA: “Growing Up Is Getting Old” by Victoria

6. ICELAND: “10 Years” by Daði og Gagnamagnið

7. AUSTRIA: “Amen” by Vincent Bueno

8. CZECH REPUBLIC: “Omaga” by Benny Cristo

9. FINLAND: “Dark Side” by Blind Channel

10. GREECE: “Let’s Dance” by Stefania

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