Statistical Predictions for the Eurovision 2021 Semi-Finals!

The 2021 Eurovision Song Contest rehearsals are set to start tomorrow morning with Lithuania hitting the stage as the opening act of the first Semi-Final. Every year, before the start of the rehearsals, betting odds are the main source of quantitative information used by Eurovision fans to make predictions about which countries will qualify for the Grand Final.

This year, just for fun, ESCBubble decided to make its own statistical predictions looking at historical data from the last 10 Eurovision Song Contests.

The statistical model used to make our predictions takes into account a variety of factors including:

  • Song popularity (derived from YouTube views, adjusted for country population);
  • Position in the running order;
  • Historical qualification rate of the country;
  • Popularity of the entries performed right before and after;
  • Language.

We used a Gradient Boosting Classifier to make our predictions and calculate the probability that each song qualifies for the Grand Final from Semi-Finals 1 and 2.

Based on our model, here is what the numbers say:

Semi-Final 1

Country Artist Song Probability
1 Azerbaijan Efendi “Mata Hari” 93%
2 Malta Destiny “Je me casse” 90%
3 Russia Manizha “Russian Woman” 89%
4 Croatia Albina “Tick-Tock” 81%
5 Ukraine Go_A “Shum” (Шум) 80%
6 Sweden Tusse “Voices” 79%
7 Romania Roxen “Amnesia” 78%
8 Cyprus Elena Tsagrinou “El diablo” 76%
9 Norway Tix “Fallen Angel” 60%
10 Israel Eden Alene “Set Me Free” 55%
11 Lithuania The Roop “Discoteque” 54%
12 Australia Montaigne “Technicolour” 53%
13 Belgium Hooverphonic “The Wrong Place” 43%
14 Slovenia Ana Soklič “Amen” 43%
15 Ireland Lesley Roy “Maps” 18%
16 North Macedonia Vasil “Here I Stand” 4%

It comes as no surprise that Azerbaijan and Malta have excellent chances of qualifying on May 18th. Both countries have favourable slots in the running order, placed towards the end of the show and are among the most popular songs so far, this year. As a reminder, we are not predicting the rankings of the semi-finals, but rather looking at what songs have the best chances of qualifying.

Ukraine, Sweden and Romania all have great historical records in terms of qualification rate. All three entries have good chances of qualifying for the Final this year, again. Ukraine is one of the two countries still perfect in its attempts to reach the Grand Final and the model does not see that changing this year.

Semi-Final 1 is the stronger one of the two in this year’s contest. The model tends to agree with that as three very strong entries could battle it out for the last spot available for the Grand Final. Indeed, Israel, Lithuania and Australia are neck and neck in terms of probabilities of moving on to the Final. Will we see Australia’s first ever non-qualifying entry this year? The model tends to think so, but the answer will come on May 18th.

Semi-Final 2 

Country Artist Song Probability
1 Serbia Hurricane “Loco Loco” 94%
2 Switzerland Gjon’s Tears “Tout l’Univers” 89%
3 Moldova Natalia Gordienko “Sugar” 85%
4 Finland Blind Channel “Dark Side” 80%
5 Iceland Daði og Gagnamagnið “10 Years” 76%
6 Latvia Samanta Tīna “The Moon Is Rising” 66%
7 Greece Stefania “Last Dance” 59%
8 San Marino Senhit “Adrenalina” 57%
9 Austria Vincent Bueno “Amen” 53%
10 Poland Rafał “The Ride” 50%
11 Georgia Tornike Kipiani “You” 48%
12 Bulgaria Victoria “Growing Up Is Getting Old” 46%
13 Czech Republic Benny Cristo “Omaga” 42%
14 Albania Anxhela Peristeri “Karma” 41%
15 Denmark Fyr & Flamme “Øve os på hinanden” 34%
16 Portugal The Black Mamba “Love Is on My Side” 32%
17 Estonia Uku Suviste “The Lucky One” 3%

In Semi-Final 2, Serbia and Switzerland are the two entries with the best chance of qualification. While, Switzerland is considered to be one of the front runners to win the contest, Serbia’s high popularity score provides Hurricane with a great a chance of qualification.

Daði Freyr, who is back for Iceland this year with a song that some fans may consider weaker than his entry from last year, still has a decent chance of making it to the Final. Also, San Marino will be looking for its 3rd qualification ever in the contest after Valentina Monetta in 2014 and Serhat in 2019. Senhit, with her song “Adrenalina”, makes a strong case for San Marino this year and the odds are on her side.

Finally, for the last few places available for the Grand Final, this arguably weaker Semi-Final could give the opportunity for surprise entries to make their way to the Final. It will be very interesting to see how things play out on May 20th.

What do you think about these predictions? Feel free to let us know in the comments below or on our social media pages.

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