Ukraine, Spain, Slovenia, Lithuania, Austria, Estonia, Norway, Portugal, United Kingdom, Serbia, Germany, Albania, France, Czech Republic, Denmark, Australia, Finland, Bulgaria, Moldova, Sweden, Hungary, Israel, The Netherlands, Ireland, Cyprus, Italy.
Now for the 17 countries which failed to reach the final, but will still vote tomorrow night:
OUT: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Croatia, F.Y.R. Macedonia, Georgia, Greece, Iceland, Latvia, Malta, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Switzerland.
N.B. Any use of "Tuesday" throughout this post means Tuesday 8 May 2018. Any use of "Thursday" or "last night" means Thursday 10 May 2018. Any use of "tomorrow" means Saturday 12 May 2018.
Now let's look at some country groups:
Baltic States (Ex USSR)IN: Estonia, Lithuania. OUT: Latvia.
I'm overjoyed Estonia and Lithuania qualified Tuesday evening. Elina Nechayeva representing Estonia is an extremely talented singer to be able to sing high pitched like she does. Also I thought Lithuania's "When We're Old" is a beautiful ballad, which deserves to be in the final. I was so keen to see Estonia and Lithuania in the final that I voted for both of them Tuesday evening. I'm not surprised, and I'm certainly not disappointed that Latvia is out. Although Laura Rizzotto's "Funny Girl" was quite a nice ballad, and well sung live last night, I felt borderline about whether or not this middle of the road song should qualify, which is why it only ended up on my "Wouldn't mind qualifying" list last night. That now means Estonia and Lithuania are sure to award each other 12 jury points and 12 televoting points tomorrow night. Although Latvia failed to qualify, it will still be able to award high jury and televoting points to both Estonia and Lithuania tomorrow night.
BeneluxIN: The Netherlands. OUT: Belgium. (Luxembourg didn't enter yet again)
Belgium failed to qualify Tuesday evening. To be honest, when I first saw the preview video of "A Matter Of Time", I didn't like it as much as Belgium's 2017 entry, and I still wasn't overly keen on Sennek's live performance Tuesday evening. Hence Belgium ended up on my "Wouldn't mind qualifying" list Tuesday evening; I wouldn't have minded if it had qualified, but I wasn't desperate to see it in the final, and am certainly not disappointed it was eliminated. I'm a bit two-minded about The Netherlands being in the final. Although "Outlaw In 'Em" was one of my lesser-liked entries among the preview videos for the second semi-final, I liked last night's live performance a bit better; and thus it ended up on my "Wouldn't mind qualifying" list. Nonetheless, once the first nine qualifiers had been announced, I would rather the tenth slot had gone to Montenegro or Poland (both of which I had a much greater desire to qualify than The Netherlands). The upshot of this is, Belgium will still be able to give 12 jury points and 12 televoting points to The Netherlands tomorrow night, but who will The Netherlands give their high points to now that they can't vote for Belgium?
Nordic areaIN: Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden. OUT: Iceland.
The Nordic area did well this year, with four of the five Nordic countries qualifying to the final. I'm glad Denmark, Finland and Norway all reached the final this year. Finland's entry ended up among the countries I most wanted to qualify Tuesday evening, whereas Denmark and Norway were two of the songs I most wanted to qualify last night (I would have voted for Denmark and Norway if the UK had been voting last night). On the other hand, I'm disappointed with Sweden's entry this year; I think "Dance You Off" is somewhat poor quality compared to their entries of the last few years. That's why Sweden ended up on my "Prefer not to qualify" list last night; I'd sooner a country I had a greater desire to see in the final have the place Sweden took. It's a pity Iceland failed to qualify, because I really liked "Our Choice" when I watched the international webcast of Söngvakeppnin 2018 Grand Final from the UK, and I still liked it performed at the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 First Semi-Final on Tuesday evening (so much so, I ended up voting for Iceland that evening). Anyway, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden will now be able to exchange high jury and televoting points between each other, and Iceland will still be able to give its top jury and televoting points to Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.
Greece and CyprusIN: Cyprus. OUT: Greece.
I'm glad Cyprus qualified for the final. Although I wasn't overly keen on "Fuego" when watching its preview video, I liked it better performed live Tuesday evening, which is why I ended up voting for Cyprus on Tuesday evening. I'm disappointed Greece failed to qualify; although I wasn't overly keen on "Oniro Mou" in the preview video, I liked it sung live Tuesday evening, hence I also voted for Greece on Tuesday evening. That now means Greece will almost certainly give its 12 jury points and 12 televoting points to Cyprus (especially as Cyprus is now the bookies' favourite to win), but who will Cyprus give its two 12s to? It can't give either its 12 jury points or 12 televoting points to Greece now.
Former YugoslaviaIN: Serbia, Slovenia. OUT: Croatia, F.Y.R. Macedonia, Montenegro. (Bosnia & Herzegovina didn't enter this year).
This has been a year of mixed fortunes for the former Yugoslavia, with two of the five ex-Yugoslav countries taking part this year reaching the final. I'm appalled and disgusted Slovenia qualified as "Hvala, ne!" was one of my least-liked songs last night, which is why Slovenia ended up on my "Definitely don't want to qualify" list. The only other ex-Yugoslav qualifier is Serbia. I thought "Nova Deca" was very much a middle-of-the-road contender in last night's semi-final, which is why Serbia ended up on my "Wouldn't mind qualifying" list. I'm gutted and deeply upset that Montenegro didn't reach the final, as their entry "Inje" was a beautiful Balkan ballad. I thought it was one of the best songs, and thus one of the entries I most wanted to qualify, in last night's semi-final. Had the UK been voting last night, I would definitely have voted for Montenegro. I don't mind Croatia having not qualified, I thought "Crazy" was very much a middle of the road contender in Tuesday's semi-final, which is why it ended up on my "Wouldn't mind qualifying" list that night. I wouldn't have minded if Croatia had qualified, but I wasn't particularly keen to see it there. F.Y.R. Macedonia's "Lost And Found" was, in my opinion, an even weaker song, which ended up on my "Prefer not to qualify" list Tuesday evening, so it's just as well it didn't reach the final. The upshot of this is, Serbia and Slovenia will be able to award each other 12 jury points and 12 televoting points tomorrow night, and Croatia, F.Y.R. Macedonia and Montenegro will be able to award their top jury and televoting points to Serbia and Slovenia.
Founding SevenBy this I mean the seven countries which appeared in the very first Eurovision Song Contest in Lugano in 1956:
IN: France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands. OUT: Belgium, Switzerland. (Luxembourg didn't enter yet again)
As I said earlier, I didn't mind The Netherlands reaching the final, but it's a pity that happened at the expense of other countries which I had a greater desire to see in the final but failed to qualify. I didn't mind Belgium failing to qualify as I didn't like "A Matter Of Time" as much as their 2017 entry. Thank goodness Switzerland failed to qualify, because their entry was one of my most disliked entries in the first semi-final on Tuesday evening, which is why Switzerland ended up on my "Definitely don't want to qualify" list that night. 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. Over half of the countries I wanted to qualify are in, but most of the countries I least wanted (Czech Republic, Hungary, Israel, Slovenia) have slipped through against my wishes. I still think Armenia and Greece deserved the places Czech Republic and Israel took on Tuesday evening, and that Poland and Montenegro deserved the places Hungary and Slovenia took last night.