Today the organisers of Eurovision, the EBU, made the draw for the two semi-finals and to decide the berths in the final of the automatic qualifiers (the so-called Big 5). Here it is. Over the forthcoming weeks before the big event, I will be posting some in-depth thoughts on what I think is an important factor in a song’s chances.
But in the meantime, we’d like to ask for your opinions. Our 2011 Eurovision analysis has become a collaborative exercise over the last month. We always welcome your views and the debate they provoke. We’d love to have your help in picking out the potential ramifications.
Here are five quick, initial thoughts to get us started:
1. France’s draw of 11 saw it immediately drift out from favouritism on Betfair. I wrote in my original article on its chances that this was the kind of song that needed a late draw to shine, and Amaury Vassili must be disappointed not to be in the second half of the final, and to be on immediately before the jazzy Italian entry too. The win market will be wide open as a result.
2. The UK can’t complain with 14. It really does help to be drawn late, especially for the ballads or midtempo songs which might fade from memory more quickly, but Blue have a jury-friendly song and are in the second half of the show. A later draw would have helped even more.
3. The same with Germany. This is not a song I see scoring very highly with televoters anyway. After last year’s perfect draw (chosen by the German Head of Delegation when they were given the ‘wildcard’) with the catchy ‘Satellite’, it is going to be slightly more difficult for Lena from a decent but less spectacular draw of 16 with the not-so-immediate ‘Taken By A Stranger’.
4. The first semi-final is enormously skewed in the sense that almost all the big guns and favourites are on early: Norway (2nd to perform), Armenia (4), Turkey (5), Serbia (6) and Russia (7). The second half of the draw is very weak with the exception of Azerbaijan (18), and this boosts the chances for qualification of songs that may otherwise struggle such as Greece (19), the last to perform.
5. The second semi-final looks a bit more straightforward to me. Bosnia (1) should be in no danger, and is a good number to open the show. Sweden (8) should make it through easily too. Romania (14), Estonia (15), and Denmark (18) will be very happy with what they have got, as will Jedward for Ireland (19) who get the perfect draw at the end.
As I said, you can expect further analysis of the draw in the coming weeks, as well as further posts on the chances of individual countries. If you’d like to be notified as soon as we publish, please do sign up for notifications of new posts by one of the means at the top of this page (Twitter, email, RSS). In the meantime, please tell us – what do you think are the main implications of the draw?