So, we have it – now we know which countries will be taking part in which semi-final in May in the Wiener Stadthalle! So after watching today’s events, why not have a nice digest of the outcome as we analyse what the draw might have produced. Buckle up – as Petra Mede would say – as we delve into today’s proceedings!
So, first up – the visual graphics that kicked things off – on the livestream anyway! Everyone had thought that the little orbs that made this year’s logo (as displayed in the image at the top of this article) would be lit up according to the participating country’s flag. Instead, we were treated a very modern-contemporary visual, with the orbs moving in almost a wave pattern in varying colours, but mostly red and orange/green. Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing more of such visuals as they provide the tone for the rest of the show…what do you think? Let us know what you think at the end of the article.
The allocation draw – coupled with the Insignia handover ceremony – was held in the rather swank Wiener Rathaus – better known as the Vienna City Hall to you and me. Our glamorous hosts, Andi Knoll and Kati Bellowitsch, also had dressed to impress, and it’s fair to say that this isn’t the last that we’ll be seeing of the two (as we all know, Andi will commentate for Austria over the course of the Eurovision, with Kati also being the Austrian spokesperson, along with hosting press conferences over the course of rehearsals. Both of them will also host the Eurovision show that’s to be broadcast in Eurovision Week on ORF, so you’d think they’ll be very busy!). Before the start of the allocation, ORF director Kathrin Zechner gave a touching speech about the slogan of this year’s Contest and that we should – like last year – try to ‘Build Bridges with people’ and share the building on their official website….how subtle, Kathrin. How subtle 😉
Getting to the actual results now. So after the allocation draw, this is how things stand:
I doubt there’s much to say about the Big 6 and their respective semi-finals in which they’ll vote in…other than the fact that Germany always seems to vote in the second semi-final….like, come on ARD, leave it to chance, it’ll make for really interesting voting!
Now, we shall move to the semi-finals – or, more precisely, the first semi-final. If you can’t read the picture, the countries taking part in Semi-Final 1 are:
- FYR Macedonia
- The Netherlands
The first semi-final has, at this moment in time, the most amount of selected songs, which means I can actually give you more of an accurate analysis on the musical quality and not focus hugely on the political side of things. With five songs already chosen, this semi-final is proving to be very modern and contemporary. Luckily, all the selected songs don’t sound a lot like each other and are quite individual, so any fear of the songs cancelling each other out will be non-existent, for now. I’d say it would be hard to help pick ten qualifiers from this semi-final!
Looking at the political side of it, there are a couple of prolific voting blocs present here; the Netherlands and Belgium, Romania and Moldova and really, most of the ex-Soviet states with…….well, each other. However, in contrast, it’s possible that countries like FYR Macedonia or possibly Finland might not be able to make it due to the lack of support from Scandinavian and Balkan ‘brothers’ like Norway, Serbia and Sweden… Other than that; c’est ça for the first semi-final!
Moving onto the second semi-final, the countries that have been allocated into Semi-Final 2 are:
- Czech Republic
- San Marino
As you can tell, most of the countries beginning with a certain letter are all in this semi-final. However, with only Malta’s song selected for this particular semi, we can really only the political side of this….awkward
Looking at the 17 countries, one can already pick out the voting patterns that will occur between certain countries – i.e. Slovenia and Montenegro; Norway, Sweden and Iceland; Azerbaijan and Malta. If previous years have taught us anything, it would be to expect the expected. I wouldn’t be surprised if Norway and Sweden would score each other highly, as the so-called ‘Scandinavian Bloc’ will kick into effect. On the other hand, if they don’t pick a strong song, I’d be fearful of qualification, but after to listening to the majority of songs in the Norwegian Melodi Grand Prix, I wouldn’t be too worried. As for countries that are in trouble for a lack of “voting neighbours” – a term I disdain, but have to use – possibly Portugal and Cyprus might be in trouble, because Spain – a Big 6 country – is voting in the other semi-final, and Greece was allocated into the other semi-final. However, we cannot jump to proper conclusions until we have all the songs, so if you check back here in March, when the full running order will be released, we can go further into detail with you on the musical side!
So, for now that shall do! So what do you think of the results of the allocation draw? Were the right countries allocated in the right semi-finals, in your opinion? Or do you think some countries should have been in the other semi-final? And how well do you think the countries with selected songs will do in their respective semi-finals? Feel free to let us know what you think by commenting below!