3 Countries Beat The Odds in the Eurovision Semi Finals

This past Tuesday and Thursday, the renowned Eurovision Song Contest hosted its first and second Semi Finals. A total of 31 countries (15 in Semi Final 1 and 16 in Semi Final 2) competed for one of 20 places in Saturday’s Grand Final. Several fan favorites including Croatia, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Ireland made it safely through to the next round, but there were also a few surprises. 

Teya Dora performing “Ramonda” for Serbia

The website Eurovision World hosts the betting odds for the contest. While the predictions are never 100% accurate, it’s usually safe to assume that a country with a 70% chance or higher of qualifying in the Semi Final will make it to the Grand Final. Yet this was not the case this year. In the first Semi Final on Tuesday, two countries that were not predicted to qualify ended up making the cut. Serbia was a borderline potential qualifier with their song “Ramonda” by Teya Dora, coming in 11 out of 15 in the odds with a 50% chance of qualifying. Slovenia’s “Veronika” by Raiven was only one spot below Serbia (12 out of 15) but with significantly lower odds: 37%. These two countries beat out other borderline qualifier Australia’s “One Milkali (One Blood)” by Electric Fields (10 out of 15 with a 52% chance) and, more surprisingly, Poland’s “The Tower” by Luna, which was 8 out of 15 with a massive 82% chance of qualifying.

Raiven performing “Veronika” for Slovenia

The biggest shock, however, came in Semi Final 2. Latvia’s “Hollow” by Dons, which came in dead last in the odds at 16 out of 16 with a mere 15% chance of qualifying, qualified over Belgium’s “Before the Party’s Over” by Mustii, which was 10 out of 16 with a decent 70% chance. Some fans, such as Justine I. in the Facebook group “Eurovision Song Contest – Fans Club,” suspected that Belgium might be a “shock NQ” (unexpected non-qualifier), while others (such as Lukas S. in the same group) were certain that Mustii, who was the first artist to be announced for the 2024 contest, would make it through. Reactions to Dons’s odds-defying placement have been largely positive, especially after so many fans were hugely disappointed when Latvia’s act last year, Sudden Lights, did not qualify for the Grand Final.

Dons performing “Hollow” for Latvia

The Grand Final will occur this Saturday at 21:00 CEST / 3:00 PM EST. Viewers in the United States can tune in to the live broadcast on Peacock, while residents of the participating countries can watch on YouTube or via their national broadcaster. At the moment, the bookmakers have predicted Croatia’s victory with a 44% chance; however, clearly the odds are not always reliable, so the actual results are still anyone’s guess.

The above photos were originally shared by the official Eurovision Song Contest social media channels.

About Gabby Bibus

Gabby has been obsessed with anime since she was just 9 years old, and is proud to say she has watched over 200 different series. But that’s not even her biggest claim to fame: she also lives on a farm with over 80 goats! Although anime and animals are her two favorite things in the world, she also loves music, books, and movies. Her day job is a middle school ESL teacher, and she is also a staff member at the New Jersey Renaissance Faire.

View all posts by Gabby Bibus

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