Tuesday night was a triumph for the bookies, who correctly placed nine out of ten qualifiers. Tonight gives them a chance to go one better, as another 18 songs compete for ten places in Saturday’s final.
There has been just a little shifting in the top ten to qualify, notably with Belarus edging above Norway in the past day. However, both are still – just – within the top ten.
Bulgaria and Romania both enjoy the top two favourite positions to qualify and to win the semifinal at this point. Both offer only a miniscule return on a successful stake right now, making them almost dead certs with the bookmakers.
Bookies’ current rankings
The full standing before tonight’s semifinal is as follows:
- FYR Macedonia
- San Marino
If the bookies are right, then there will be no ex-Yugoslav countries in Saturday’s show. The last time this happened was in 2013. Can Croatia, Serbia and FYR Macedonia defy the odds and represent the region in the final after all? Closest to that goal right now seems to be Croatia, though lagging behind current tenth favourite to qualify, Norway.
Records you don’t want to break
FYR Macedonia will be hoping to avoid the extra frustration of missing the final for five years in a row. This would match Belgium’s record of five consecutive failures, but fall short of Netherlands’ eight semifinal disappointments back-to-back from 2005 to 2012.
Likewise, Ireland will want to upset the bookies by avoiding a fourth consecutive semifinal failure, with Switzerland and Belarus hoping to make it after two recent failed attempts.
Which are your ten picks for the top tonight? How do they measure up against the bookies’ tables?