Drawn in quarters: initial thoughts on the 2016 draw

In our previous article we considered what sorts of outcomes from the semi-final allocation draw might impact this year’s Contest. Now that we know whether each semi-finallist will perform in either the first or second semi-final. And whether they will perform in the first or second half of the draw.

Bear in mind, the producers will decide the performance order within each half, at a later date.

Semi-final One – 18 entries

First half: Armenia, Croatia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Moldova, Netherlands, Russia, San Marino

Second half: Austria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia & Hercegovina, Cyprus, Czech Republic,  Estonia,  Iceland, Malta, Montenegro

Also voting in this semi-final: France, Spain, and Sweden.

Semi-final Two – 19 entries

First half: Australia, Belarus, , Ireland, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Poland, Serbia, Switzerland

Second half: Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Georgia, Norway, Romania, Slovenia, Ukraine.

Also voting in this semi-final: Germany, Italy,  and United Kingdom.

Israel was previously allocated this semi-final; they drew the first half.

Key pot splits

Balkan: Split somewhat evenly, though Albania, Macedonia, Slovenia and Serbia are all in the second semi-final. Excellent for Albania; good for Serbia and Macedonia.

Ex-Soviet: Split evenly; with Russia in the first semi-final alongside Armenia and Azerbaijan. Belarus, Georgia and Ukraine in the other semi-final.

Scandiplus: Sweden voting in the first semi-final helps its three bloc colleagues, Estonia, Iceland and Finland. Estonia and Finland will also help each other a bit.

Pairsplus: Cyprus and Greece in the first semi-final gives them both a potential 12 point boost for qualification.

Miscellaneous: Ireland, Poland and Lithuania are all in the second semi-final is great news for Poland and Lithuania, not so much for Ireland or the other entries. Poland could well start with 20 points, thanks to the Polish diaspora in these two countries; Lithuania could get 10 or 12 from Ireland. UK voting in this semi-final might help Ireland a bit.

Holy Roman: Romania and Moldova are in different semi-finals–whew!


Aside from what’s mentioned pot-wise, we can’t be sure the countries drawn into the second half of each semi-final have an advantage. Some will be late in the performance order; others in the lumpy middle around songs 10 or 11. But there’s one extra song in the second semi-final, so those in the first one have a 3% better chance of qualification.

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