March 20th, the draw for the running order of the 2012 Eurovision Song
Contest was made. In January the semi-finalists had been allocated to the
first and second semi-finals and which half of the semi they would perform,
but the running order draw is only made after all entries have been
might disagree, the position in the running order can have a major impact on
a song's chances of success,
and history has shown that a late draw tends to
have an advantage, especially since televoting was introduced to the
Eurovision Song Contest, back in 1997. With that in mind, it is no surprise
to find that the five countries that drew the wildcards and were then able
to determine their own position in the draw, all chose late positions. Below
you can find a summary of the draw.
draw for the first Semi-Final:
11. San Marino
draw for the second Semi-Final:
2. FYR Macedonia
17. Bosnia &
draw for the
automatically qualified for the final.
01. United Kingdom
19. Spain (wildcard)
drawing wildcards decided their own position in the draw.
MONTENEGRO This is Montenegro's fourth entry as an independent
country, but remarkably, it's the third time they have opened the
show. In 2008 and in 2009 they missed out on qualifying and indeed
Montenegro has never made the final in its own right. Only five of the
twelve songs performed first have qualified, which is slightly below
average. On a slightly positive side, Montenegro's left-field song
probably benefits from being first on stage.
ICELAND After three failures from 2005 to 2007, Iceland is attempting to qualify for
the final for the fifth year in a row. However #2 in the draw is a
poor position. Five songs performed second have made the final
since 2004. Russia in 2010 and Austria in 2011 prove that you can
qualify with a ballad from #2, and while this is a tough draw for Jonsi
& Greta Salóme, but it's far from an impossible task.
GREECE The first up-tempo song in this year's contest will come
from Greece, a country that has never failed to qualify for the final,
since the contest expanded in 2004. #3 in the running order is the
worst possible place to be drawn and only two of the twelve songs
performed third in the semis have qualified; Turkey in 2008 and Israel
in 2010. If there's any any good news for Greece it is that their pop-dance
song has ballads at either side of it.
LATVIA Three of seven Latvian songs performed in the semis made it
through to the final, but in the last three years, Latvia has failed
badly. Early betting odds suggest that won't change, as
Latvia have the longest odds to qualify of any country. Five songs performed 5th made
the final, but among those that didn't is Latvia's 2004 entry and last
yea, Armenia lost its 100% record, with this draw. All things
considered, it's difficult to see Latvia in the final in May.
ALBANIA Three of seven Albanian entries have made it through from
the semi, but Rona Nisliu has a tough job to make it to the Saturday
night show as #5 is another draw position with a poor record. Only
Latvia in 2005 and Sweden in 2009 have qualified from #5 and last year
Turkey lost its 100% record after drawing this position. Also in 2011,
another dramatic entry from Albania, failed to qualify after getting
an early draw.
ROMANIA Romanian entries have a 100% qualification record,
although this is the first time that one of their songs is performed
in the first half of the running order. Exactly half of the songs
performed at #6 in the draw have qualified, which is slightly better
than average. Romania's pop-dance song is likely to come after an ad
break and while this is far from a great draw, it's slightly undone
the disadvantage of performing in the first half of the semi.
SWITZERLAND The Swiss will be hoping for a third success in the
semi-final, after making it through to the final in 2005 and 2011.
This is the seveth time that Switzerland performs in the first half of
the draw, compared with only once in the second half. This is another
position with a 50/50 record in terms of qualification but having the
only rock song in the first half of the draw is probably an advantage.
BELGIUM Only one of Belgium's seven semi-finalists has qualified
for the final. That came in 2010, when Tom Dice spectacularly changed
Belgian fortunes by not only making it through, but actually winning
the semi, from #10 in the draw. #8 is another draw position with a
50/50 record and coming after Romania's dance-pop and Switzerland's
rock entries, may help Belgium's gentle ballad, although Finaland
coming after it may not be such good news.
FINLAND Four of seven Finnish entries have qualified from the
semi-final, but on the two occasions they performed in the first half
of the draw in 2004 and 2010, they failed to make it. Five of the
twelve songs performed at #9 have qualified, which is lower than
average and Finland's chances are probably not helped by coming after
another female sung ballad, which is something of a disappointment
after drawing the wildcard.
ISRAEL Four of seven Israeli entries have made it through the
Eurovision semi-finals, but they have also had some high profile
failures, the biggest of which came last year, when 1998 winner Dana
International failed to make it to the final in Dusseldorf. #10 is the
first draw position with a better than 50/50 record and Israel
qualified from this draw in 2009. Izabo's pop-rock song is a good
contrast to the two ballads that come before it, so all in all, a good
SAN MARINO Like Israel, San Marino would have hoped for a later
position, when they were allocated to the second half of the draw.
This is close to the #12 draw that saw Senit miss out in 2011 and San
Marino will hope for "third time lucky" as their two
previous entries have failed to qualify. Despite being in the middle
of he running order #11 has a poor record with only three qualifiers,
and for the most recent of those you have to go back to 2008.
CYPRUS The third Meditteranean country in a row, two
qualifications in seven attempts is the Cypriot semi-final record.
Only four of the twelve songs performed at #12 has made the final,
since the contest expanded in 2004, Yohanna won her semi-final in 2009
from this draw. Until we know the new Sanmarinese entry on Thursday
it's hard to fully judge this draw, but after being drawn in the
second half, Cyprus would probably have hoped for better.
DENMARK After the spectacular failure of "Drama Queen"
in 2007, every Danish entry for the last four years has qualified for
the final, giving them and overall five and two record. Despite the
unlucky connotations, #13 is actually a great draw in the semi-finals,
with eight of the twelve songs qualiying and it would be nine if the
jury hadn't replaced Macedonia with Finland in 2009. The only minor
downside to this draw, is what comes next......
RUSSIA With a 100% qualification record and the amount of
international media attention on their group of grannies, it really
didn't matter where Russia were drawn, as they are virually guaranteed
finalists. They ended up getting #14 which has a fantastic record in
terms of qualification, with an eleven out of twelve record, only
spoilt by the Polish entry in 2004.
HUNGARY Three successes and two failures is Hungary's record in
Eurovision semi-finals and remarkably, this is the fourth time they've
been drawn at #14. Nox in 2005 and Kati Wolf in 2011 both qualified,
but Csézy came last in her semi-final in 2008. Eight of the twelve
songs performed at #15 have qualified from the semi and coming between
what are the closest things to novelty acts in this show, may helped
Compact Disco's earnest ballad stand out.
AUSTRIA Austria's in and out record at Eurovision means that
they've only competed in three semi-finals, missing out in 2005 and
2007, but returning in 2011 and making the final. For a late position
in the running order, #16 only has a 50/50 success rate and last year
Portugal and Belarus failed. The record of songs performed third to
last is also 50/50. This is a good draw for Austria, but more to do
with whats on either side of them, than the starting position.
MOLDOVA Five of Moldova's six semi-finalists have gradulated to
the big night, with 2008 being a miss. Seven of the twelve songs
performed in the semi at #17 have qualified, and only one song
performed second to last (Austria in 2007) has failed to make it.
Based on history, Moldova already has one foot in the final, but if
there is a disadvantage to this draw, it's more to do with the songs
that bookend their entry, possibly over-shadowing them.
IRELAND RTE's Head of Delgation, Julian Vignoles is facing the
long journey back to Dublin with a smile on his face, having drawn the
all important wildcard in this section of the draw. For the second
year in a row, Jedward will perform last in their semi. This should
help boost Ireland's 50/50 qualification record from the semi-final.
Nine of the twelve songs performed last have qualified, with Iceland's
Sylvia Night in 2006 and the Dutch Toppers in 2009 being two notable
exceptions. Make no mistake, this is a great draw for Ireland.
SERBIA Two countries that contested the 2004 and 2005 together,
now open the 2012 semis with separate enties, however the independent
Eurovision records of Montenegro and Serbia couldn't be much
different. While Monenegro is still waiting for its first final
appearance, three of the four Serbian entries have qualified and they
won the contest in 2007. Five of twelve show-openers have qualified
for the final and Jeljko Joksimovic won the 2004 semi-final.
FYR MACEDONIA Between 2004 and 2007, Macedonia had a 100%
qualification record, but since voting moved from 100% televoting to
50/50 televote/jury mix, no Macedonia song has made the final. This is
the first time that a Macedonian entry will be performed in the first
half of the running order and while five songs have qualified from #2,
being sandwitched between the more memorable entries from Serbia and
Netherlands, may be a challenge.
NETHERLANDS The first Eurovision semi-final in 2004, saw the Dutch
qualify for the final, but since then, their record is seven
consecutive semi-final failures. This is the second year in a row that
the Dutch have drawn #3 and the omens are not good as 3JS finished
last in the 2011 semi. Third in the running order in the semi-final is
a historically bad draw, with only two successes from televe entries
and once again the Dutch have a tough job to make the final.
MALTA The Maltese haven't performed in the first half of the
Eurovision semi-final since 2008, but Julie & Ludwig made the
final in Istanbul, the first of only two Maltese semi-finalists, to do
so. Five of twelve songs performed at #5 have qualified and despite
being early in the running order, but being surrounded by other songs
which are low in the rankings, is some compensation.
BELARUS Like Malta, Belarus has qualifed from the semi-final on
only two occasions and their most successful entry, performed by
Koldun in 2007, actually made it through after being drawn as early as
#4 in the semi. However as this is another drawn position with a
record of only two successes and ten failures, its hard to see
anything good in this draw, from a Belarusian perspective.
PORTUGAL Three of eight the Portuguese semi-final songs since 2004
have made the final, but all three songs, in 2008, 2009 and 2010 were
performed in the second half of the running order. On a positive side,
the songs performed at #6 have a 50/50 record and in a semi-final full
of ballads Portugal has a better chance of standing out being between
four up-tempo songs although it is likely to come after an ad
UKRAINE Ukrainian entries have competed in six semi-finals and
they all qualified with ease and while the draw is not totally
irrelevant, as Armenia and Turkey showed last yeare, an early draw can
kill the best of Eurovision records. Coming after a ballad and getting
a position in the running order with a 50/50 qualification record is
probably as good as it could get for Ukraine, once they were drawn in
the first half of the semi-final.
BULGARIA Since entering the contest for the first time in 2005,
Bulgaria has only qualified on one occasion, and that was when they
opened the toughest of all semi-finals in 2007. In the years since
then, Bulgaria has been draw in the middle order and that trend
continues in 2012. Despite getting the advantage of a wildcard and
getting a position with a 50/50 qualification record, Bulgaria cannot
be pleaseed to be drawn after a similar uptemp song from
SLOVENIA Two successes in eight semi-finals is Slovenia's
Eurovision record since the contest expanded in 2004 and for the fifth
successive year, they have been drawn in the middle order. Slovenia
was originally drawn in the second half of semi two, but following the
withdrawal of Armenia, they have moved into the first half. To makk a
bad draw even worse, they now find themselves right bside another
Balkan ballad from Croatia.
CROATIA Four of seven entries from Croatia have made it through the
Eurovision semi-finals, but they they failed to progress in the last
two years. #10 in the running order may have a 50/50 success rate but
having been draw in the second half, Croatia would probably been
hoping for something better than having another Balkan ballad before
it and the favourite to win the sem-final, just after it.
SWEDEN The Swedish 100% qualification record was lost in 2010,
when Anna Bergedahl just missed out, in Oslo, but they returned to
form in 2011, bit their best result of the century. #11 is not an
especially good place to be drawn., with only three qualifiers from 12
entries and Swedden will have he sixth female solo singer in a row,
although it comes after two ballads. While a failure to qualify would
be a shock, this is not an especially good draw for the Swedes.
GEORGIA Since making its Eurovision debut in 2004, Georgia has
qualified almost effortlessly for the every final, generally
performing close to the middle of the running order. #12 in the draw
is another rather anonymous position, with a below average
qualification record and Georgia comes in the middle of three rather
zany stage performances. Again, when they were originally drawn in the
second half, Georgia would probably have hoped for a better spot.
TURKEY After fter five consecutive qualification, Turkish 100%
qualification record was dented in Dusseldorf in 2011, when the group
Yüksek Sadakat only finished 13th. This a reasonable draw for Turkey
as eight of the twelve songs performed in this slot have qualified and
despite coming after the contest favourite, Turket uptempo cabaret
song comes before a ballad.
ESTONIA From 2004 to to 2008, Estonia failed to make the final,
but two of their last three entries have made it to Saturday night,
both after having reasonably late draws. Having a non-English ballad
in in the semi-final has always been a challenge and with several
Balkan ballads there was a danger that Estonia could have been lost,
but between Turkey and Slovakia is a reasonable contrast and no
position in the running order has a better record than #14
SLOVAKIA Since returning to the Eurovision Song Contest in 2009,
Slovakia has sent three entries, but is still waiting to make it out
of the semi-final. The good new here is that for the first time since
coming back, Slovakia will be performing in the second half of the
running order and coming after a ballad will make their rock track a
good contrast for voters. Two thirds of the songs performed at #15
have qualified, so all the omens are good.
NORWAY Three successes and two failures is Norway's Eurovision
record in semi-finals and last year, Stella Mwangi's failure to make
the final was one of the apparent shocks. In contrast to 2011's early
draw, this year Norway is late in the running order and while #16 only
has a 50/50 qualification record, the contrast to the songs that come
before and after Norway, may be an advantage.
BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA Six appearances in the semi-finals and six
qualifications is Bosnia's almost unequalled record of success. This
year thre was some concern that with so many Balkan ballads in this
semi-final, Bosnia's run could come to an end, but with Serbia,
Croatia and Slovenia all performing before it, Bosnia looks like it
has the advantage as it has drawn the position with the best
qualification record in the running order.
LITHUANIA Lithuanian entries have competed in seven semi finals
and since 2005, there has been a general trend. Every time Lithuania
performs in the second half of the running order they qualify and
every time they perform in the first half, they fail. Therefore
Lithuanians most have been pleased to be drawn i the latter half of
semi two back in January and now they have the icing on he cake of
performing last after getting a wildcard.
understand what are good and bad draws in the final we have looked
back at the votes for every song that has competed in the final since
the contest expanded in 2004. On average a song gets 20% of the
availabe votes, the available votes being 12 pts multiplied by every
country voting, minus one, as you cannot vote for youself.
can see on the graph. positions that are late in the draw, tend to do
a lot better. The best draw is #22, followed by #18. The worst
position is #2, followed by #4. The black trend line indicates the
advantage of a late draw compared to performing early in the running
UNITED KINGDOM Since the contest expanded in 2004, only one song
that opened the show has finished in the Top 5 and Azerbaijan's
"Drip Drop" was actually the the pre-contest favourite in
2010. Three Eurovision winners have come from #1 in the draw;
"Dinge Dong" for the Netherlands in 1975, "Save All
Your Kisses For Me" for the U.K. in 1976 and most recently
"Diggi-Loo Diggi-Ley" for Sweden in 1984. On the other two
occasions that the U.K. entry opened the show "Looking High,
High, High" came 2nd in 1960 and in 1963 "Say Wonderful
Things" came 4th. One thing that stand out is that in general
uptempo songs have done a lot better than ballads when performed
first. Since 2004 songs drawn at #1 have averaged 16% of the available
votes and this is not a particularly good draw for the U.K.'s
FRANCE Since 2004 no song performed at #9 has finished higher than
7th, a result achieved by Albania in 2004 and Greece in 2011, but
interestingly both songs had performed much better in the semi-final.
The average vote of songs performed at #9 since 2004 is only 13% of
the maximum, which is very low. While this may be somewhat
disheartening for French hopes, when you look at the songs that have
won from this draw ("Refrain" for Switzerland in 1956,
"Un Premier Amour" for France in 1962, "Merci
Cherie" for Austria in 1966 and "Ne Partez Pas Sans
Moi" in 1988), all had French titles, however this year's French
entry has an English title. On the other occasions France drew #9,
"Printemps" came 4th in 1961, "Humanahum" came 3rd
in 1981 and "Le Dernier Qui A Parle" came 2nd in 1991. All
things considered, this is not a good draw for France.
ITALY #10 has been a very mix bag of a draw since 2004. Ukraine's
"Wild Dance" won in Istanbul and Russia's "Never Let
You Go" came 2nd in 2006, but no song formed 9th in the last four
years has made the Top 10, however thanks to Ruslana and Dima Bilan,
the songs performed at #10 have averaged a very strong 25% of the
available votes. Apart from 2004, only one winner has come from this
draw; Isreal's "Hallelujah" in 1979. On the only previous
occasion that Italy drew #10 "Chi Sara' Con Te" sung by
Massimo Ranieri finished down in 13th place in 1973. This cannot be
considered a good draw for Italy, but it Ukraine proved that a highly
rated song can win from #10. However it has to be said that France and
Italy being drawn back to back, is doing neither song any favours.
AZERBAIJAN Since 2004 only "Lejla" from
Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2006 has managed to finish in the Top 5. However
going back furtherin Eurovision history, we find back to back winner
for Norway in 1985 (La Det Swinge) and Belgium in 1986 (J'Aime La
Vie). If you go back to 1960, the French winner (Tom Pillibi) was also
performed at #13, but that year it was the last song in the
running order. Since 2004, the songs performed at #13 have achieved
18% of the maximum points, slighly lower than average. With only four
previous entries, it's no surprise to see than Azerbaijan has never
performed at #13, although "Always" finished 3rd in 2009
from the nearby #11 draw.
SPAIN If there was to be an award for drawing the wildcard, then
it would go to Spain, as this is the third time in four years that
they have won the right to choose their own draw position. This may
appear to be an unusual position for the Spanish head of delegation to
choose, until year realise that it was #19 that gave Azerbaijan
victory in 2011 and Greece in 2005. If you go further back, to 1990,
it was also the position of Italy's winning entry "Insieme
1992". Despite two victories, on average the entries performed at
#19 have only achieved 20% of the maximum vote. On the two occasions
that Spain has previously performed at #19, they have done very well,
"Su Cancion" finished 2nd in 1979 and in 1991 "Bailar
Pegados" came 4th and both songs came very close to winning. This
is a great draw for Spain's ballad.
GERMANY In 2009 "Fairyytale" got the greatest result in
Eurovision history, winning for Norway after being performed at #20
bringing the average vote share since to 24% of the maximum. There
were three other winner performed at #20; "Si La Vie Est
Cadeau" for Luxembourg in 1983, "Hold Me Now" for
Ireland in 1987 and "Everybody" for Estonia in 2002. This
will be the first time that Germany has performed at #20, although
both German winners in 1982 and and 2010 came from late in the running
order. This is quite a good draw for Germany, although perhaps coming
after Spain's powerhoue ballad, may be a mixed blessing.