I only got 7 out of 10 right this time, but it was such a finely-balanced semi-final that it would have been tough to do an awful lot better. Having said that, my cogitations about which one out of Slovenia and Croatia would 'kill' the other now look a bit silly, as neither made it through! I must say I'm mildly baffled as to why the Balkan bloc vote preferred Bosnia to both of them, but perhaps Bosnia's favourable draw was a factor. Lithuania's even more favourable draw may also explain that country's qualification, which I didn't see coming at all. Estonia's success, on the other hand, isn't at all difficult to understand, and it's so nice to see a country that stuck religiously to the English language during its golden Eurovision years now prospering with a ballad sung entirely in Estonian.
The one country I had pencilled in to qualify that I'm delighted to be proved wrong about is Georgia - it was an absolute dog's breakfast of an entry, but it stuck out like a sore thumb and I just couldn't see past it.
One thing tonight's show brought home to me is the limited use that the YouTube videos of the rehearsals are, because they don't give you the whole picture. I had been extremely impressed by what I'd seen of the Serbian rehearsals, but it just doesn't work as well on screen as I thought it would - there's too much in long-shot. By way of contrast, Ukraine and Turkey are two examples of songs that I personally don't think are that great, but which really leaped out of the screen tonight. In particular, Turkey is such a distinctive and quirky entry that I think it now goes into the final as a real contender - if not for outright victory, then perhaps for a top three finish.
A couple of final thoughts -
1) Could someone please tell Scott Mills that Herzegovina is not pronounced with an 'ee' sound before the 'a'?
2) How can the Yes campaign in the independence referendum even dream of launching themselves on the Friday of Eurovision week? There aren't enough hours in the day for such excitement.