Israel, Poland, Belarus, Austria, Armenia, The Netherlands, Moldova, Hungary, Italy, Denmark, Portugal, Azerbaijan, Croatia, Australia, Greece, Spain, Norway, United Kingdom, Cyprus, Romania, Germany, Ukraine, Belgium, Sweden, Bulgaria, France.
Now for the 16 countries which failed to reach the final, but will still vote tomorrow night:
OUT: Albania, Czech Republic, Estonia, F.Y.R. Macedonia, Finland, Georgia, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, San Marino, Serbia, Slovenia, Switzerland.
N.B. Any use of "Tuesday" throughout this post means Tuesday 9 May 2017. Any use of "Thursday" or "last night" means Thursday 11 May 2017. Any use of "tomorrow" means Saturday 13 May 2017.
Now let's look at some country groups:
Baltic States (Ex USSR)OUT: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania.
How unusual to see all three Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) fail to qualify. Normally at least one of them reaches the final. I am gutted and shocked that Estonia didn't qualify because their entry "Verona" is the one song I most wanted to qualify from the second semi-final last night. It's a very catchy song, which one could easily sing along to, and I thought Koit and Laura sang it really well last night. In fact, if the UK had been voting last night, I would have voted for it. At the other extreme, thank goodness Latvia and Lithuania are both out as I detested their entries and thus they ended up on my "Definitely don't want to qualify" list whilst watching the first and second semi-finals respectively. Of course these countries still have to vote tomorrow night, so they won't be able to exchange their high jury or televoting points with each other. Since Finland is also out they won't be able to vote for Finland either. Most likely they'll give high jury and televoting points to the other ex-USSR countries that are in the final.
BeneluxIN: Belgium, The Netherlands. (Luxembourg didn't enter yet again).
Well done to both Belgium and The Netherlands getting to the final this year, considering that for seven out of the eight years from 2005 to 2012 inclusive neither of them qualified. I'm a bit two-minded about their presence in this year's final though. Although I particularly liked the online preview video of Belgium's "City Lights", and the said track on the CD album, I was disappointed with Blanche's live performance in the first semi-final Tuesday evening, and therefore ended up putting Belgium on my "Wouldn't mind qualifying" list that evening. When the first nine qualifiers had been announced, given that two of my unwanted countries (Armenia and Moldova) had been announced, I would rather the last place had gone to Finland or Slovenia instead of Belgium. Anyway now that Belgium is in the final, I hope Blanche sings better in the final tomorrow night than she did Tuesday evening. As for The Netherlands, I felt borderline about OG3NE's "Lights and Shadows" in the second semi-final, and therefore their entry ended up on my "Wouldn't mind qualifying" list last night. I don't mind The Netherlands having qualified even though it wasn't one the ten I most wanted in the final (it was better to have had The Netherlands in the final instead of Lithuania or San Marino). However when the first eight qualifiers had been announced last night, two of them being Romania and Norway which I didn't want, I would rather the ninth qualifier had been Estonia or Ireland instead of The Netherlands. Anyway good luck to Belgium and The Netherlands in the final; they will still be able to award each other 12 jury points and 12 televoting points tomorrow night.
Nordic areaIN: Denmark, Norway, Sweden. OUT: Finland, Iceland.
I am gutted and deeply upset that Finland failed to qualify as I thought their entry "Blackbird" was one of the best songs in the first semi-final, which is why it was one of the songs I voted for it Tuesday evening. On the other hand I'm appalled and disgusted Norway reached the final, because I thought "Grab The Moment" was one of the worst songs in the second semi-final, and hence on my "Definitely don't want to qualify" list last night. Thank goodness Iceland is out as I detested their song "Paper" in the first semi-final Tuesday evening; in fact the only word which really stood out "Paper" got on my nerves every time I heard it. I'm glad Denmark reached the final because their entry "Where I Am" was one of the songs I most wanted to qualify from the second semi-final last night. As for Sweden, I felt borderline about whether or not I wanted their entry "I Can't Go On" in the final, which is why it ended up on my "Wouldn't mind qualifying" list Tuesday evening, but its presence in the final is acceptable to me. Interestingly the three Nordic countries which qualified for the final (Denmark, Norway, Sweden) are the three which are commonly referred to as Scandinavia. So that means all three will be able to give each other high jury and televoting points tomorrow evening. In addition, Finland and Iceland which failed to qualify will still be able to give high jury and televoting points to Denmark, Norway and Sweden tomorrow evening.
Greece and CyprusIN: Cyprus, Greece.
I'm glad Greece and Cyprus both qualified for the final as both were among the songs I particularly liked, and thus ended up on my "Definitely want to qualify" list in the first semi-final Tuesday evening. So that means Greece and Cyprus will now be able to give each other 12 jury points and 12 televoting points tomorrow evening if they want to. That said, if 2015 is anything to go by, given that Italy's entry is a strong contender to win this year (just like in 2015), maybe Greece and Cyprus will both give their 12 jury points and 12 televoting points to Italy, but even if they do that they'll almost certainly give each other 8 or 10 in jury voting and televoting.
Former YugoslaviaIN: Croatia. OUT: F.Y.R. Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia. (Bosnia & Herzegovina didn't enter this year).
This has been another unlucky year for the former Yugoslavia, with only one of the five ex-Yugoslav countries participating this year reaching the final. I am gutted and deeply upset that Slovenia failed to qualify as I thought their entry "On My Way" was one of the best songs in the first semi-final, which is why it was one of the songs I voted for it Tuesday evening. I'm also disappointed that Serbia didn't qualify, as their entry "In Too Deep" was a good song which was among the entries I most wanted to qualify from the second semi-final last night. However I'm glad Montenegro is out as I didn't think much of their entry "Space", and thus put it on my "Prefer not to qualify" list whilst watching the first semi-final Tuesday evening. As for F.Y.R. Macedonia, I felt borderline about their song "Dance Alone", and therefore put it on my "Wouldn't mind qualifying" list, whilst watching the second semi-final last night. So that means F.Y.R. Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia, plus Albania which is not part of the former Yugoslavia but also failed to qualify, will all be able to give their 12 jury points and 12 televoting points to Croatia tomorrow night, but who will Croatia give any of their points to now? Croatia won't be able give their points to the other ex-Yugoslav countries or Albania. Maybe Croatia might give their 12 jury points and 12 televoting points to Italy (their neighbours across the Adriatic Sea), especially as Italy is so strongly tipped to win this year.
Founding SevenBy this I mean the seven countries which appeared in the very first Eurovision Song Contest in Lugano in 1956:
IN: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands. OUT: Switzerland. (Luxembourg didn't enter yet again).
As I've already said, I didn't mind Belgium and The Netherlands getting to the final, but it's a pity their songs got there at the expense of other songs I had a greater desire to qualify to the final Tuesday and Thursday evening. As for Switzerland, I didn't think much of their entry "Apollo", and therefore it ended up on my "Prefer not to qualify" list in the second semi-final last night, so it's just as well Switzerland didn't get to the final. Of course, France, Germany and Italy automatically qualified for the final as Big Five members.
And FinallyTomorrow evening's Grand Final certainly looks set to be a spectacular one, and I'm really looking forward to it. Most of the countries I wanted to qualify are in, but some of the countries I least wanted (Armenia, Moldova, Norway and Romania) have slipped through against my wishes. I still think Finland and Slovenia deserved the places Armenia and Moldova took on Tuesday evening, and that Estonia and Ireland deserved the places Romania and Norway took last night.