What are every country’s chances of qualifying for the Final, based on statistics?

Earlier today, the EBU has published the running order for both semi finals of Eurovision 2017. Even though we all know very well 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 and the performances! 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 2010-2016, when the competition rules were more or less the same as they are now – two semi finals, 10 qualifiers per semi final, 50% jury votes + 50% televotes. 2008 and 2009 haven’t been taken into this research, due to the fact that nine of the ten qualifiers were selected through televoting only, and the 10th qualifier was chosen by the juries.

Here is what the stats tell us, with the statistics per running order to follow:

Semi Final 1:

01. Sweden – 80% qualification record

This is the first time ever that Sweden is opening one of the semi finals. Their earliest draw from 2010 was in 2014 when Sanna Nielsen performed in the 4th position, and qualified for the final. In the last seven years, only two songs that opened semi 1 managed to qualify – Moldova in 2010 and Armenia in 2014. Whilst Sweden’s qualification record is one of the best ones, running order 01 in the first semi final isn’t such a great spot.

02. Georgia – 71.43% qualification record

Same as for Sweden, this is Georgia’s earliest running order position. The previous earliest draw was in 2014 (spot 04) when Mariko & The Shin finished last in their semi final. The first of the two times that Georgia failed to qualify, they were performing right after Sweden (2012), and the second time they failed, they had the same running order position as Sweden (04 in 2014). Will Sweden still be a bad omen to Georgia?

03. Australia – 100% qualification record

Position 02 is not the worst running order position one can get anymore! It is 03! In the last seven years, only four songs managed to qualify from this running order position (two from each of the semi finals). This is only the second time that Australia needs to go through the semi final, and last year they qualified easily, from position number 10.

04. Albania – 42.86% qualification record

This will be the first time that Albania is performing under number 04 in the semi final. Only two songs from this running order position in semi final 1 managed to qualify in the last seven years – Sweden in 2014 and Hungary last year in Stockholm – both being power ballads. Looking good after all for Lindita?

05. Belgium – 57.14% qualification record

Belgium has qualified three times in the last four years, and scored top 10 results in the last two years. Loic Nottet had a slightly earlier draw than Blanche in 2014 and qualified for the Grand Final. In last year’s Contest, Belgium was performing right after Albania in semi 2, and whilst Albania failed, Belgium qualified for the Final. Apart from this, four songs out of seven performing 5th in the first semi have made it to the Final. Looking good for Blanche!

06. Montenegro – 40% qualification record

Montenegro has taken part in the first semi final each and every time. Knez was performing slightly earlier than Slavko will this year, and he managed to qualify for the Final in 2015. Position number 06 is the best position you can get if you are in the first half of the show, as 10 out of 14 songs have made it from this running order position, and all the ones that failed were ballads. Also, in 2015 we had the same run of countries as this year – Belgium followed by Montenegro, and then Finland, and both Belgium and Montenegro qualified…

07. Finland – 42.86% qualification record

… while Finland failed to make it. Finland has never had a running order position higher than 10 (from 2010 until today). Every time Finland qualified, they were in a different semi final to Montenegro, and in the same semi final as Bulgaria (semi 2 this year). But still, six songs out of seven have made it to the final from position 07 in the first semi final!

08. Azerbaijan – 100% qualification record

Wherever Azerbaijan performed over the years, they qualified for the Grand Final. They had this exact running order position in 2014, when Dilara Kazimova finished 9th in her semi final and qualified.

09. Portugal – 20% qualification record

The only time Portugal qualified in the last seven years was in 2010, when they were in the second half of the first semi final, and it was the only time they were not in the same semi final as Azerbaijan. 09 is as far as the producers could have put Portugal as they were drawn to perform in the first half. Still, 50% of the songs performing in this running order position have made it to the final.

10. Greece – 85.71% qualification record

The first time Greece didn’t qualify was last year in Stockholm, with Argo. Greece were already drawn first in the second half of the first semi final in 2013, when Koza Mostra and Agathon finished 2nd in the semi and qualified. Also, 9 out of 14 songs in this running order position have made it to the final, so it’s looking good for Demy!

11. Poland – 60% qualification record

Since their comeback in 2014, Poland made it to the Final every year, but were in the second semi final every time. Also, whenever they qualified, they were in the same semi final as Slovenia was (same as this year). On the other hand, spot 11 in semi final 1 is the worst running order position for countries performing in the second half of the semi final, as only 2 songs out of 7 qualified – Belarus in 2013 and Cyprus last year.

12. Moldova – 71.43% qualification record

Moldova have had this exact running order position in 2013 when Aliona Moon brought her country to the Grand Final. The first time SunStroke Project represented their country, they were also in semi final 1 (opening the show), and they qualified. The only song to fail to qualify from this running order position was Senit back in 2011 for San Marino. Looking very good for Moldova!

13. Iceland – 71.43% qualification record

The two times Iceland failed to qualify for the Grand Final were the two years the Czech Republic was in the competition, and they were in a different semi final to Slovenia. Only three songs from this running order position have made it to the final in the last seven years, the last one being Ireland in 2013. Portugal in 2014, Denmark in 2015 and Estonia in 2016 have all failed from this position.

14. Czech Republic – 50% qualification record

This is the latest the Czech Republic were ever drawn to perform (including their participations in 2008 and 2009)! The previous one was 10th last year, when it was also the first time ever that they made it to the final. It was also the only time they were performing ahead of Cyprus, which is the same as this year. The only song from semi final 1 position 14 not to make it to the final was Cyprus in 2013, so it’s looking good for Martina!

15. Cyprus – 66.67% qualification record

Cyprus have already performed in slot number 15, but in the second semi final in 2015, when John Karayiannis brought his country to the final in Vienna. Also, Cyprus only qualified when they were later in the running order than Greece, which is also the case this year. The two songs that failed to qualify for the final from the very same running order position were FYR Macedonia in 2010 and Montenegro last year.

16. Armenia – 83.33% qualification record

This is the latest draw Armenia has ever had in a semi final. The only time they didn’t qualify was in 2011 when they performed 4th and none of the first five acts have made it. On the other hand, only three songs out of seven have made it to the final from this running order position in semi 1, the last one being Georgia in 2015 when it was also the last song performed. If we look at the third last acts, still only three songs qualified in semi 1 – the latest one being Albania in 2015.

17. Slovenia – 42.86% qualification record

The only times Slovenia qualified for the Grand Final was when they were in semi final 2, and late in the draw. They were also second-to-last to perform in 2015 when Maraaya qualified for the Final by finishing 5th in their semi. In all three occasions Slovenia qualified, they were in the same semi final as both Ireland and Israel, which is not the case this year. Only one song that was performed second-to-last failed to qualify from semi 1, and that was Bosnia & Herzegovina last year in Stockholm, so it’s looking good for Omar Naber!

18. Latvia – 28.57% qualification record

This is the first time that Latvia is closing the show. They were performing third-to-last in 2011 when Musiqq finished 17th their semi final. However, there is not a single song to fail to qualify from position 18 in any of the two semi finals! If we look at the last songs performed in semi final 1, the only one that ever failed was Serbia in 2013 with Moje 3, which eventually came 11th in the semi final. Looking very good for Triana Park!

Semi Final 2:

01. Serbia – 83.33% qualification record

Serbia has already opened semi final 2 back in 2012, when Zeljko Joksimovic qualified for the final by finishing 2nd in his semi. The only time Serbia failed to qualify was when they closed the semi final. The one time Serbia failed to qualify was also the only time they were in the same semi final as Austria, who are performing right after Serbia this year. Five out of seven songs to open semi final two have qualified for the Final, so it’s looking good for Tijana after all.

02. Austria – 60% qualification record

When Austria came back to the Contest in 2011, Nadine Beiler performed under this exact same running order position, and brought Austria to the Final. The second time they qualified for the final, in 2014, they were once again in semi final 2. Four songs out of seven have qualified from this running order position in semi 2, so Nathan Trent shouldn’t have problems qualifying.

03. Russia – 100% qualification record

This is the first time ever that Russia is taking part in the second semi final! Even though they were never performing 3rd, they had an ealier draw than this – they performed 2nd in 2010, and managed to qualify for the Grand Final. However, Russia has got the worst running order position one could get, as there were only two songs to qualify from this particular position – Israel in 2010 and Norway in 2014. Is Yulia in trouble after all (if she makes it to Kiev, that is…)?

04. FYR Macedonia – 14.29% qualification record

FYR Macedonia only qualified in 2012, when they also had an early draw in semi final 2 (that time they performed 2nd). That one time was also the only time they were in the same semi final as Croatia, which is also the case this time. There were only two songs in the last seven years not to make it to the final from this position – Belgium in 2011 and Georgia in 2014. Despite the poor qualification record of FYR Macedonia, Jana should thus have no troubles qualifying this year.

05. Malta – 57.14% qualification record

Only two years ago, Malta had this exact same running order, and then Amber failed to bring Malta to the Eurovision final. Together with running order 03, this is the worst draw in the second semi final, as only two songs in the last seven years qualified – Finland in 2013 and Poland in 2014 – both uptempo. Not looking good for Claudia…

06. Romania – 100% qualification record

Romania managed to qualify for the Grand Final every time they took part in the Contest. Mandinga have performed 6th in 2012, in the first semi final. Looking at semi final two, this is (together with 01) the best running order position one could hope for, as in the last four years every single act from this running order position in semi 2 have qualified for the Final. Ilinca and Alex will most probably be yodeling in the final this year!

07. The Netherlands – 42.86% qualification record

The Dutch have qualified for the final three times in the last seven years – every time from the first semi final. Also, only three songs have made it to the final from this position in semi final 2, the last one being in 2012. Are the three sisters in trouble?

08. Hungary – 100% qualification record

The only time Hungary was drawn in semi 2 was in 2013, when ByeAlex made it to the final from position 12. Four songs have made it to the final from this particular position. The ones which failed were Bulgaria in 2012, Czech Republic in 2015 and FYR Macedonia last year. Looking good for Joci!

09. Denmark – 66.67% qualification record

This is as far as the producers could have put Denmark as they were drawn to perform in the first half of the second semi. Both times the Danes were drawn in the first half (2010 and 2013), they finished in the top 5, and won the Contest respectively. However, Denmark qualified only when they were in the same semi final as Sweden, which is not the case this year. Also, only three songs qualified for the final from this position, two of them in the last two years.

10. Ireland – 57.14% qualification record

This will be the fourth consecutive year that Ireland is in the second semi final, but the last time they made it to the final was when they were in semi 1. Also, performing right after Denmark back in 2011 brought luck to the Irish, and that is also the case this year. Four songs performing in this slot have made it to the Final, three of them in the last three years. Are we going to hear “Dying To Try” in the Final as well? The stats say we might just do.

11. San Marino – 16.67% qualification record

The first time Valentina Monetta was representing San Marino she had this running order position, but in semi 1, and she finished 14th in her semi. Also, when San Marino performed right after Ireland, we didn’t see any of the two countries in the Final. Position 11 in the second semi is, as I mentioned before, the worst running order position in the second half of this semi. It’s once again not looking good for Valentina and San Marino…

12. Croatia – 20% qualification record

Croatia last performed right after San Marino in 2011, when both countries failed to qualify for the final. The only time Croatia qualified for the Final was also the only time they were not in the same semi final as Lithuania (and they are in the same semi final once again this year). Four songs out of seven have qualified for the final from this position. The ones who failed were Israel in 2011, Georgia in 2012 and Iceland in 2015. The statistics are not on Jacques’ side…

13. Norway – 66.67% qualification record

Norway have had this exact same running order position in 2013, when Margaret Berger qualified for the final, and eventually finished in the top five. The only two songs which failed to qualify from this position were Bulgaria in 2010, and Denmark last year in Stockholm. Together with the high qualification record of Norway, Jowst should be ‘grabbing the moment’ in the final as well.

14. Switzerland – 28.57% qualification record

This is the fifth consecutive year that Switzerland is drawn to take part in the second semi final. And this is the first time ever that Estonia and Switzerland are in the same semi final. The Swiss had this exact running order position two years ago, but it didn’t bring any luck to Melanie Rene, as she finished dead last in the semi. That was only one of the two times a song from this position failed to qualify, the other one being Albania in 2013.

15. Belarus – 42.86% qualification record

Every time Belarus managed to qualify for the final, they were drawn in the second half of their semi final. Also, from this running order position four songs have made it to the final out of seven, with the last one making it is Cyprus two years ago (last year Norway failed from this position).

16. Bulgaria – 20% qualification record

Since 2010, Bulgaria was never in the first semi final, and thus is the first time that Bulgaria and Russia will be in the same semi. This is also the latest draw Bulgaria has ever had in the semis. Four out of six songs which performed under this running order position have made it to the final, with the exceptions being Belarus in 2011 and Switzerland in 2013. Looking rather good for Kristian.

17. Lithuania – 71.43% qualification record

Lithuania already had the running order position 17, but in the first semi final in 2011, when Evelina Sasenko qualified for the final. Also, every time Lithuania qualified for the final, they were in the same semi final as Portugal, which is not the case this year. Only three songs qualified for the final from this position in semi 2, the last one being Poland in 2015, when this was the last song of the semi. If we look at the third-to-last songs in the second semis, two songs failed to make it – Croatia in 2010 and Latvia in 2011. Average chances to Fusedmarc through statistics.

18. Estonia – 57.14% qualification record

The Estonians have already had this running order position, but back in 2009. Whenever Estonia was in a different semi final to Denmark, Estonia failed to qualify. Looking at the running order position, every song performed 18th has always qualified for the final. However, if we look at the qualification rate of the second-to-last songs in semi 2, only 4 of them made it, last time it was Slovenia in 2016.

19. Israel – 42.86% qualification rate

This is the first time that Israel is closing the semi final, and the latest draw they had until now was number 12. Every time Israel qualified, they were drawn in the first part of the semi final they took part in. Still, not a single song performed 19 failed to make it to the final, and also – every single song that closed semi final 2 always made it to the finals. Looking very good for Imri!

Conclusion:

Based on all of these facts, and based on the qualification records from the past seven years, we can say that the five best running order positions are 06, 12, 14, 18 and 19, whilst the acts drawn to perform in positions 03 and 11 will struggle to qualify the most.

This is all statistics only – as I said at the very start, what really matters is the songs and performances. But one thing is for sure – we are ahead of a very exciting edition of the Eurovision Song Contest!

Until the Contest takes place – let us know which are your favorites in both semi finals, as well your favorite of the six direct finalists, by voting in our polls here:

Semi Final 1:

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Semi Final 2:

picture polls

Final:

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