We all know that the thing that matters the most, which will either bring the countries to the Grand Final in Eurovision, or eliminate them in the semi finals, are the songs! However, based on the statistics from the past years, I managed to find some interesting facts about “when” or “how” does each of the countries qualify for the Final – based on either their running orders, singing before or after a certain country, being with a certain country in the same semi final, etc…
The statistics I used in this research are from 2010-2014, when the competition rules were more or less the same as in 2015 – two semi finals, 10 qualifiers per semi final, 50% jury votes + 50% televotes. 2008 and 2009 haven’t been taken into this research as much as the other years, because of the rule that the 10th placed song is not necessarily qualifying. 2008 and 2009 have been counted only in cases of countries where not enough data have been collected from 2010-2014 (ie. Czech Republic).
Here is what the stats tell us, with the statistics per running order to follow:
Semi Final 1:
01. Moldova – Moldova was the opener of the first semi final back in 2010, with “Runaway” – an upbeat song, which ended up qualifying for the Grand Final as 10th in the semi. The only other time they were drawn in the first half they have also qualified as the 10th placed (“So Lucky” in 2011). They failed one time in the past 5 years, and that was last year in Copenhagen.
02. Armenia – Armenia has had the same running order position (however, in the second semi final) in 2010, when Eva Rivas sang for her motherland. She came 6th in her semi. They were in the contest four times in the past years, and failed to qualify once – in 2011 with Emmy’s “Boom Boom”, when they performed 4th.
03. Belgium – the first half of a semi final didn’t bring much luck to Belgium so far, as the only two times they have qualified they have been performing in the second half – 10th in 2010, where Tom Dice won the semi, and 15th in 2013, where Roberto Bellarosa qualified as 5th. The only two times Belgium qualified in the past 5 years was when they were in the same semi final as Serbia!
04. The Netherlands – This is the second time in five years that Belgium and The Netherlands are going to be performing back-to-back, and in these running order positions, as in 2011 The Netherlands performed 3rd, and Belgium as 4th. But none of the two qualified. The Netherlands have taken part three times in semi final 2 in the past five years – all three times failing to qualify, and twice in semi 1 – both times qualified. It could happen that they will just ‘Walk Along’ to the Final again from semi 1…
05. Finland – This is going to be the third time since 2010 that Finland is going to be performing 5th. In 2010 when they were represented by a group (Kuunkuiskaajat), they just missed out from the final. The only time they have been drawn in the second half of their semi was in 2011, but even they they were the 10th ones to perform (out of 18). The first half of the semi brought them a qualification two out of four times.
06. Greece – Now Greece has a 100% record in qualifying for the Grand Final. They have been drawn as early as 3rd in 2012, and they have also closed their semi in 2011. Three out of five times they finished in the top 2, and their worst result in a semi final is 7th. The only time they sent a slower song (2011 – “Watch My Dance”), they won their semi final.
07. Estonia – In the previous five years, Estonia was drawn either in the first three acts, or one of the last ones, never “in the middle”, and they have qualified three out of five times. They only managed to qualify once from the first semi – in 2013, when it was also the case that the Macedonian entry was the next one.
08. Macedonia – It is going to be the first time for Macedonia to perform 8th. The only time they qualified was in 2012 with Kaliopi, and that was the only time they had another ex-Yugoslav act (Serbia) performing back-to-back with Macedonia. It is Serbia once again who will perform right after the Macedonian entrant, so it might bring them luck. Also, in the past five years, they were in the same semi final with Greece four times – the only time they weren’t, they qualified.
09. Serbia – After a year’s break, Serbia is back, and is once again drawn in the second half of the semi final. They only qualified for the Grand Final when they performed in the first half in the past five years. The only time Serbia was drawn in the second half was in 2013, when they closed the semi with Moje 3, and failed to qualify.
10. Hungary – Even though Hungary was always drawn in the second half, this is Hungary’s earliest draw. The last four entrants for Hungary (as they didn’t take part in 2010) have all qualified for the final, placing from 3rd (last year) to 10th (2012) in the semi.
11. Belarus – Alyona Lanskaya had the exact same running order position back in 2013, and she has qualified for the Grand Final as 7th in her semi. Belarus has always qualified from these “middle running order positions”, while the ones they didn’t qualify from were either at the start of the show, or at the end of it.
12. Russia – The only time Russia was drawn in the second half of their semi final was in 2012, when the Babushki have won their semi final. Another interesting information is that after hosting the event in 2009, Russia has always taken part in the first semi final – same as it will be this year!
13. Denmark – After 2012 and 2013 where Denmark performed right before Russia, now it’s time to perform right after them. Soluna Samay had the exact same running order position in 2012, which brought her and Denmark to the Grand Final, as 9th in the semi, which is also their worst result in a semi final in the past five years.
14. Albania – When Albania was followed by Romania in 2012 (same as it will be this year), they scored their best ever result in a semi final – 2nd place! However, the running order 14 in 2013 has not just brought them a non qualification, it also brought them Albania’s worst result in a semi final – 15th.
15. Romania – After closing the semi final for two years in a row, Romania is now going to be the second last to perform. Their best result in a semi is with the running order 15 – 2nd place (however, that was when they were the last ones on). Their worst qualification result is 5th in the semi from 2013 – also when they were the last ones on.
16. Georgia – Now Georgia has never closed the semi final so far, but both times they were one of the last three to perform – they qualified (in 2013 they qualified as 10th, and in 2010 they qualified as 3rd).
Semi Final 2:
01. Lithuania – We all remember the Eastern European Funk guys with glittery shorts opening the semi final in 2010 – they failed to qualify. Last year Vilija was also drawn in the first half, and failed to qualify. The other three times they were in the second half of their semi – Lithuania qualified every time.
02. Ireland – Ireland was drawn in the second half every time since 2010, and they are in the first half now for the first time. Whenever their running order was 10+, they have qualified, but last year Kasey failed from position No. 9, which was their earliest draw.
03. San Marino – This is only the second time in the past five years that San Marino got an early draw. They only qualified last year with “Maybe”, which finished 10th in its semi, when performed 12th. San Marino’s only qualification came the only time they were in the same semi final with Finland and Greece – both of which are once again in the opposite semi.
04. Montenegro – After being drawn in the second half for two years in a row, Montenegro is back in the first half (and even though we all expected running order No. 1 for the fourth time, the producers gave them No. 4). Montenegro only qualified when they sent a solo male singer with a Balkan ballad – same as this year. And also, this will be taking part in the second semi final for the first time ever.
05. Malta – Malta has qualified every time they were in the second semi final, and in the first half, the same running order they have this year. The other times when they were in semi one and second half – they failed.
06. Norway – After taking part in the same semi final as Malta every time in the past five years (except in 2010 when Norway hosted the Contest), it was time for these two countries to perform back-to-back. Whenever Norway performed in the second semi final, they have qualified. The only time they were in semi 1 – they failed (“Haba Haba” in 2011).
07. Portugal – Portugal has only qualified once in the past five years, and that was in 2010 with “Ha dias assim”, and that was when they performed in between two other Balkan countries (Greece and Macedonia). They were in the first half of their semi final only once, in 2012, when Filipa Sousa unfortunately failed to qualify for the Final.
08. Czech Republic – In the two semi finals system, obviously, we haven’t got any data for the Czech Republic from 2010-2014 as they didn’t take part. In both 2008 and 2009 the Czech Republic performed in the first half of the semi final – in 2008 also with the same running order position as this year. That year they achieved their best result – 18th in the semi (2nd last). This year there are only 17 songs in the semi!
09. Israel – Israel hasn’t had luck in the last four years, as their results in the semis were between 13th and 15th places. However, the last time they qualified was also the last time they sent a male soloist to the Contest – Harel Skaat in 2010!
10. Latvia – Is this going to be the year when the record holder in the most non-qualifications in a row will finally qualify? Latvia was drawn four times in the past five years in the first half of their semi final, where they finished last in their semi twice. The only time they got drawn in the second half was in 2011, when Musiqq finished 17th (third last) from the running order 17. Then again, this is Latvia’s first “middle” draw, because they were usually within the opening acts, or third last.
11. Azerbaijan – This is going to be the second time that Azerbaijan is performing right after Latvia – the first time being in 2010. Azerbaijan has never failed to qualify for the final, and this is only the second time they were drawn to perform in the second half.
12. Iceland – After being drawn in the first half of their semi final for three years in a row, Iceland is back in the second half. They have qualified every time, but scored much better results in their semis when performing in the second half – 3rd in 2010 when they closed the semi, and 4th in 2011 when they were performing 14th. In the past three years they were placed 8th twice, and 6th once.
13. Sweden – No. 13 is the latest draw Sweden has got in the past five years. They qualified three times out of four, and they qualified twice as the winners, and once as the runner-ups of the semi final. And after last year’s performance before Iceland, they will be singing right after them this year.
14. Switzerland – Even though their running order number was 12 last year, it was the fourth to last entry to be performed in Copenhagen (the same as it will be this year), which resulted in 4th place for Switzerland in the semi.
15. Cyprus – The last time Cyprus took part (2013), they also performed third last in the semi, same as this year. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out for Despina Olympiou, who finished second-last in her semi final. Both times Cyprus qualified for the final (in 2012 and in 2010), they were in the same semi final as Switzerland, who they are performing straight after this year.
16. Slovenia – Both times Slovenia qualified in the past years was when they had a late draw – in 2011 with Maja Keuc (performed 13th), and last year when Tinkara Kovac also performed second last. Also, both times they qualified, Slovenia performed in the second semi final.
17. Poland – This is the first time Poland has been drawn in the second half, and they will now also close the show. The only time in the past five years when they qualified for the final was last year, when Donatan & Cleo also took part in the second semi final. Whenever the semi final closed with a slower song, the song qualified for the final.
Let’s just give a quick look at the qualification records per running order positions, from 2010 until 2014:
01 Moldova and Lithuania – 50% – 5 qualified out of 10
02 Armenia and Ireland – 60% – 6 qualified out of 10 (both last year’s entries failed – Latvia and Israel)
03 Belgium and San Marino – 30% – 3 qualified out of 10 (every second year only one song qualified – last year it was Norway from semi 2)
04 The Netherlands and Montenegro – 40% – 4 qualified out of 10 (the first time a song from semi 1 in position 4 qualified was last year – Sweden)
05 Finland and Malta – 50% – 5 qualified out of 10 (both songs in this running order position in the pats two years qualified)
06 Greece and Norway – 60% – 6 qualified out of 10
07 Estonia and Portugal – 70% – 7 qualified out of 10 (in the last two years, this position didn’t qualify from semi 2 – Lithuania in 2014, and Bulgaria in 2013)
08 Macedonia and Czech Republic – 80% – 8 qualified out of 10 (both non-qualifiers are from 2012)
09 Serbia and Israel – 30% – 3 qualified out of 10
10 Hungary and Latvia – 50% – 5 qualified out of 10 (two of which were back in 2010)
11 Belarus and Azerbaijan – 30% – 3 qualified out of 10 (both songs in 2013 – Belarus and Armenia, while both songs failed last year – Moldova and Macedonia)
12 Russia and Iceland – 70% – 7 qualified out of 10 (all four songs from the past two years qualified)
13 Denmark and Sweden – 70% – 7 qualified out of 10 (in the past three years, only Portugal failed from this running order position last year)
14 Albania and Switzerland – 80% – 8 qualified out of 10 (the two songs from 2013 qualified – Cyprus and Albania)
15 Romania and Cyprus – 70% – 7 qualified out of 10 (all four from the past two years qualified)
16 Georgia and Slovenia – 44% – 4 qualified out of 9 (none of the two qualified in 2013 – Serbia and Switzerland)
17 Poland – 86% – 6 qualified out of 7 (the only one that failed was Latvia in 2011).
Considering that running orders 16 and 17 are now the show closing songs, let’s just also take a look at the statistics of the last three participating entries in the semis:
third last: Albania and Cyprus – 50% – 5 qualified out of 10 (both qualified last year)
second last: Romania and Slovenia – 90% – 9 qualified out of 10 (the only one that failed was Switzerland in 2013)
last: Georgia and Poland – 90% – 9 qualified out of 10 (the only one that failed was Serbia in 2013)
A quick summary of the running order numbers – performing in the last two spots almost guarantees a qualification, so it’s looking very good for Romania, Slovenia, Georgia and Poland. The running order numbers 08 and 14 are the next best ones, so it should be looking pretty good for Macedonia and the Czech Republic (even though their qualification records so far are very bad), and for Albania and Switzerland. On the other hand running order positions 03, 09 and 11 are the ones with the lowest percentage of qualifications, so Belgium and San Marino, Serbia and Israel, as well as Belarus and Azerbaijan haven’t got the statistics on their side.
This is all statistics only – as I said at the very start, what really matters is the songs. One thing is for sure – we are looking forward to a very exciting Eurovision Song Contest!