Semi Final Draw Completed – Initial Ananlysis of Semi Final 1

Initial Semi Final Draw for Eurovision 2013

Initial Semi Final Draw for Eurovision 2013

Earlier today the running order for the two Semi Finals of Eurovision 2013 were completed. Semi Final 1, that will take place on Tuesday May 14th, is now available. The running order has been decided as follows by the SVT Production team and then approved by the EBU Executive Supervisor Jon Ola Sand and the Reference Group.

Semi Final 1

  1. Austria
  2. Estonia
  3. Slovenia
  4. Croatia
  5. Denmark
  6. Russia
  7. Ukraine
  8. The Netherlands
  9. Montenegro
  10. Lithuania
  11. Belarus
  12. Moldova
  13. Ireland
  14. Cyprus
  15. Belgium
  16. Serbia

Firstly this had to have been a political minefield for the Production Team. No country wants to be drawn in the dreaded #2 position or placed beside the betting favorites for the contest. So what are our first thoughts on the running order.

(YouTube Video Courtesy of Eurovision)

To begin with one cannot hide the fact that it will be a rather slower opening to Semi Final 1 that people would have thought with Austria and Estonia opening proceedings. Austria maybe a more Mid Tempo song but SVT were limited with the countries that had been drawn in the first half of Semi Final 1. Estonia might have hoped to be the last song before the commercial break which will probably be after song 8. However Austria must be happy with opening the contest and then being followed by a slower ballad.

(YouTube Video Courtesy of Eurovision)

Slovenia – whom is not scoring well with the book makers must be happy with getting a third place draw as it is the first dance track song that will grace the Eurovision stage this year. With a good staging and “vocals” then Slovenia must see their chances of qualifying having increased a little however is public support there for the song? Maybe from their 3 Balkan neighbours but further afield this may not be the case. 


(YouTube Video Courtesy of Eurovision)

Croatia now stands out much more as it will be the first male act in this Semi Final. They also are lucky that they come before the betting favorite to win the Semi Final – Denmark. This is where the draw gets difficult as Denmark, Russia, Ukraine and The Netherlands all perform back to back. In the betting odds these are the Top 4 in this Semi Final according to Paddy Power Bookmakers. Unconfirmed as of yet but one might expect a commercial break in the show after Ukraine.


(YouTube Video Courtesy of Eurovision)

If this is the case then it will certainly help the Netherlands to stand out more. With Russia and the Ukraine back to back this will create a lull in the pace of the show. Might this see them lose impact in their staging? I think Ukraine will fare better from this position as the song is somewhat more contemporary than Russia and they always put on a visual performance.

As for Denmark – I think there is no problem where this song will perform as it such a firm favorite at present to make the final across fan and betting sites.

(YouTube Video Courtesy of Eurovision)

The Second half of the draw. Again we are just assuming that song 9 Montenegro maybe the opening act of part 2 of the Semi final. This song will now just explode onto the Eurovision Stage as it is the first truly dance track of the contest. If you like or dislike rap and dub step at Eurovision, you will not be able to escape this song and it will probably be the first song in the semi final that will put the SVT lighting and camera effects to best use as the song will awaken the audience and give them a chance to get up and seriously dance in the arena which may transfer to the television audience. With Montenegro least expected to qualify according to the bookmakers I think odds of 66/1 are unfounded. This could be the best chance Montenegro has had to make to the final in recent years.

(YouTube Video Courtesy of Eurovision)

Lithuania find themselves sandwiched between 2 dance tracks (Montenegro and Belarus) and this could be problematic for them. Lithuania will certainly need “Something” from Andrius if they are not to get lost. Their mid tempo song might suffer and miss out on the final. Belarus gets a chance to make the final as Alyona’s “Solayoh” will have the chance to be the big summer hit that they want it to be following Lithuania. With a large standing audience in the hall in Malmo, the energy will certainly be waiting to erupt which puts Belarus in a good position for the Grand Final.

(YouTube Video Courtesy of Eurovision)

Moldova come in at number 12 and this is the best they could have hoped for. In a semi final full of ballads in the first half of the show they will be more distinctive coming after Belarus as you could not get two more contrasting songs. Moldova is currently 10th in the betting odds to qualify so this draw will suit them. So who follows Moldova?

(YouTube Video Courtesy of Ryan Dolan )

Ireland draw unlucky number 13 however I think that this is a good draw for Ryan Dolan. He is sandwiched in between 2 stunning females – Aliona and Despina from Cyprus – and more importantly in between 2 ballads that are not expected to score highly according to Book Makers. So Ireland with it’s up tempo Celtic infused dance track has now got to stand out even more and will certainly build on the energy generated by Montenegro and Belarus before them. A good draw for Ireland and should see them into the final. Currently 8th with the Irish Book Makers to win the Semi Final this is a good draw.

(YouTube Video Courtesy of Eurovision)

Cyprus have a stylish singer this year in Despina and despite not having Greece in their Semi Final to count on votes – this draw could be good for the Island. Nicely placed away from the main ballads in the first half of the semi final and with Despina’s poise – this late draw for Cyprus has to improve her chances of qualifying for the Grand Final. Again the Book Makers do not rate the song at 66/1 – but one gets the feeling that a simple performance will now stand out for them.

(YouTube Video Courtesy of Eurovision)

Closing off the show we have Belgium and Serbia. Serbia have to be feeling lucky. Their song has not received high praise like most of their other entrants from fan websites. However performing last in the semi final that contains 3 other Balkan states, they must fancy their chances of making the Grand Final. However the one stumbling block for them could be Belgium. Roberto Bellarosa may not have the most instant song in the contest but his remixed version of his song “Love Kills” is gaining popularity and comes across as a more credible song when compared against Serbia –  and this may sway Juries to give it the edge over Serbia. However will Serbia scrape through with the assistance of diaspora? Personally I think Belgium could cause an upset here as Serbia are currently 6th to qualify in the betting odds which I find surprising!

(YouTube Video Courtesy of Eurovision)

So there you have it. Semi Final 1 will start off relatively slowly put will gather pace as it shifts gear in the second half of the contest. One has to wonder how Estonia felt being told that they had been given the number 2 position and if there was a lengthy discussion between the Reference Group when SVT submitted their proposed running order?

Who do you think has benefited and lost out in this running order. Remember that the commercial breaks in the show have not yet been confirmed and this may again throw another dimension into how songs will play out.

We will have another point of view from our friend Keith Mills from AllKindsof Everything later in the week

Stay Tuned for our “Semi Final 1 – Voting Poll” that will be opening shortly.

Author/Website co-Founder and Editor in Chief – Garrett Mulhall

Source, Paddy Power and Eurovision Ireland

12 replies »

  1. Oh God…don’t tell me that the abysmal heart-shaped flags are coming back! I thought we had dispensed with that obnoxious, juvenile nonsense a few years ago.
    Shame on you SVT graphics department…

  2. Good draw for Ireland, really hoping Ryan qualifies, I actually like the song (though did prefer Aimee) and would like to see it do well.

  3. You need to check your facts.
    The dreaded slot 2 is for the final.No one has ever won from that slot.
    The semi’s are a different story-If you check the results of the semi’s you will find out that 50% of songs, in slot 2 have qualified. That slot is not so dead:
    2012-Macedonia and Iceland both qualified from slot 2
    2011-Austria qualified from slot 2
    2010-Russia and Armenia qualified from slot 2
    2008-Israel and Sweden qualified from slot 2

    That is 7 out of 14=50%.
    Sure there are slots which are more fortunate,but slot 2 is not the worst.There are worse than that one.

    • I think the point Shai is that no country wants to be placed in position 2 as if you look at statistics for the contest since 1956 – there has been no winner and any favorites have suffered from the placing. The fact that this was not a random draw will draw a lot of speculation as to what the Production team think of teh songs that they have placed in the #2 slot

      • Why compare draws and chances to win from 1956 to 2013, whereas the voting systems were different ?
        I don’t think the order of appearance played a significant role when only jurys voted. For me they do play a significant role only for televoters, and so have they been playing a role since 1999 essentially, and slightly less since the return of the juries.

      • @Eurovisionireland

        The facts for the final support the dreaded #2 slot. The facts with regard the semifinals, makes it a myth.
        People need to separate facts from myth.
        I don’t want to speculate about what the production team think about the chances of the song to qualify, but there is chance that the 2 songs thy placed on the #2 slot have increased their chances to qualify as they sounds different from what comes before and after them.

        I have to say that the running order of both semi finals,is not as bad as people tend to think. It has some minus points and a lot positive points but in general it is better constructed than a one we may get from a random draw. Even a random draw get a lot of negative reactions.

        • I think that with this being the first year of this move to arrange the running order Shai – and it may change next year for all we know – a lot of emphasis has been placed on the running order as it is not up to chance. Melodifestivalen always tend to put what they believe to be the favorites or most talked of acts at #1 and then last. This is widely written about – hence the discussion on the topic.

          A good comparison would be that in 1996 Gina G for the Uk came 3rd in the non broadcast semi final – and was not far off being top. But in the final getting the #2 slot certainly hampered the votes by the same jury members on the night – and her performance on the night was classed as being better than what had been in rehearsals and in the UK National final.

          It will be something that we will be asking the EBU at their Yearly Press Conference at Eurovision

Tell Us What You Think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s