The 2017 Semi-Final results: a review

As we await clarification about the dates (hopefully identical to 2017), city (hopefully Lisbon), and venue (hopefully MEO Arena) for 2018, we’ve drilled down a bit into the fortunes of this year’s semi-finalists.

There were 18 songs competing in each semi-final and half of the pre-qualified countries’ juries and public also voted in each. Therefore, when crunching numbers from the semi-finals, the maximum component score for each delegation is 240 points: 20 delegations (you cannot vote for yourself) times 12 points. Or a maximum of 480 points when combining both score components.

Semi-Final One

Portugal clearly won the televote for 197 points, receiving points from every country and 82 per cent of the televote points on offer: their lowest televote score was 4 points. Amar Pelos Dois  earned douze points from 9 countries and an average televote score of 9.85 points per delegation–in other words, close to 10 points, meaning an average ranking of 2nd across all countries.

Salvador’s Sobral jury support was in relative terms a bit weaker than his televote support, with a lower score. Portugal’s 173 total jury points relfects 72 per cent of the maximum jury score available. While every jury gave points to Portugal: the Italian and Montenegrin juries awarded them “only” 4 points each. Seven juries awarded Amar Pelos Dois the maximum twelve points.

Aside from Portugal, there was significant agreement between the public and juries: six entries (Moldova, Sweden, Cyprus, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Greece) were in both top 10 lists. But the rankings were mostly rather different, save Portugal:

Place Televoting Points Jury Points   Place Combined Points
1  Portugal 197  Portugal 173 1  Portugal 370
2  Moldova 180  Australia 139 2  Moldova 291
3  Belgium 125  Sweden 124 3  Sweden 227
4  Sweden 103  Moldova 111 4  Belgium 165
5  Cyprus 103  Azerbaijan 87 5  Cyprus 164
6  Poland 69  Armenia 87 6  Australia 160
7  Armenia 65  Czechia 81 7  Armenia 152
8  Azerbaijan 63  Georgia 62 8  Azerbaijan 150
9  Greece 54  Greece 61 9  Poland 119
10  Finland 51  Cyprus 61 10  Greece 115
11  Montenegro 39  Poland 50 11  Georgia 99
12  Albania 38  Finland 41 12  Finland 92
13  Georgia 37  Belgium 40 13  Czechia 83
14  Iceland 31  Albania 38 14  Albania 76
15  Australia 21  Iceland 29 15  Iceland 60
16  Slovenia 20  Montenegro 17 16  Montenegro 56
17  Latvia 20  Slovenia 16 17  Slovenia 36
18  Czechia 2  Latvia 1 18  Latvia 21


Source: Wikipedia

  • Moldova was 2nd with the public and 4th with the juries (2nd overall)
  • Sweden was 4th with the public and 3rd with the juries (3rd overall).
  • Cyprus was 5th with the public and 10th with the juries (5th overall)
  • Armenia was 7th with the public and 6th with juries (7th overall)
  • Azerbaijan was 8th with the public and 5th with juries (8th overall)
  • Greece was 9th with both the public and juries (10th overall)

We were also required two tie-breaks for this semi-final. Good pals and friendly neighbours Azerbaijan and Armenia had the same juries score: 87 points. Both received a single douze points, so it came down to how many countries awarded jury points to Skeletons versus Fly With Me. Therefore Azerbaijan is ranked ahead of Armenia because Dihaj earned points from 15 countries; Artsvik earned points from 14 countries. Cyprus and Sweden both earned 103 televote points, but Sweden’s two douze points trumped Cyprus’s one.

Many fans were shocked when Finland did not qualify from Semi-Final One. Blackbird was only 10th with televoters and 12th with juries. Norma John’s combined score was only 12th highest. Because it’s the aggregate scores that determines the final ordinal rankings—not the two ordinal rankings themselves—Finland did not qualify.

Semi-Final Two

Bulgaria’s second semi-final victory was also wholly unambiguous. Beautiful Mess rocked the televote for 208 points, receiving points from every country and 87 per cent of the televote points on offer, for an average televote score of 10.4 points. Kristian Kostov received douze points from nine countries’s televoters.

Kostov’s jury support was nearly identical: 199 points with no jury awarding Beautiful Mess less than 6 points. Nine juries gave Bulgaria their douze points. It’s a remarkably high and consistent result.

Bulgaria’s semi-final total score was 33 points ahead of Portugal’s aggregate score from its semi-final. But that’s an apples (semi-final one competing entries) and oranges (semi-final two competing entries) comparison: until Saturday night there was no opportunity for juries or the public to consider the merits of Amar Pelos Dois and Beautiful Mess. side by side. On the nights that matter most, both juries and televoters from across Europe clearly preferred Amor Pelos Dois.

Aside from Bulgaria, however, there was little agreement between the public and jury rankings: only five other entries (Belarus, Hungary, Israel, Norway and the Netherlands) were in both top 10 lists:

Place Televoting Points Jury Points   Place Combined Points
1  Bulgaria 204  Bulgaria 199 1  Bulgaria 403
2  Hungary 165  Netherlands 149 2  Hungary 231
3  Romania 148  Norway 137 3  Israel 207
4  Israel 132  Austria 115 4  Netherlands 200
5  Croatia 104  Denmark 96 5  Norway 189
6  Estonia 69  Israel 75 6  Romania 174
7  Belarus 55  Hungary 66 7  Austria 147
8  Norway 52  Malta 55 8  Croatia 141
9  Netherlands 51  Belarus 55 9  Belarus 110
10   Switzerland 49  Serbia 53 10  Denmark 101
11  Serbia 45   Switzerland 48 11  Serbia 98
12  Ireland 41  Ireland 45 12   Switzerland 97
13  Macedonia 40  Croatia 37 13  Ireland 86
14  Austria 32  Macedonia 29 14  Estonia 85
15  Lithuania 25  Romania 26 15  Macedonia 69
16  Denmark 5  Lithuania 17 16  Malta 55
17  San Marino 1  Estonia 16 17  Lithuania 42
18  Malta 0  San Marino 0 18  San Marino 1

Source: Wikipedia

  • Hungary was 2nd with the public and 7th with juries for 2nd overall.
  • Israel was 4th with the public and 6th with juries for 3rd overall.
  • The Netherlands with only 9th with the public but 2nd with juries for 4th overall.
  • Norway were 8th with the public and 3rd with the juries 5th overall.
  • Belarus was 7th with the public and 9th with juries for 9th overall.
  • Denmark only scored 5 televote points (16th place) but their 96 jury points (5th place) snuck them in at 10th overall.
  • Estonia were 6th in the televote (69 points) but 17th with juries (16 points): they ended up 14th overall.

And then there was Malta…and San Marino. Breathlessly had a dearth of pan-European support. Claudia Faniello  got  null points in the televote: even 8th place with juries could not lift Breathlessly higher than 16th overall. Meanwhile San Marino got null points from jury support and only one televote point from Germany (the Ralph Siegel effect?). Yikes.

Meanwhile on Saturday Night…

Nine of the top 10 Grand Finalists this year were qualifiers from the two semi-finals: Italy (6th overall) was the only pre-qualified entry in the top 10. Four came from the first semi-final, five from the second.

Australia was 6th in the first semi-final, but managed 9th in the Grand Final—in both instances thanks to massive jury support. This is an anticipated outcome of the aggregate scoring system: a massive score in either component will almost certainly result in a top 10 overall. Last year we saw it for Poland in the televote.

In the second semi-final Norway was 6th and Romania 7th: in the Grand Final Romania finished ahead (in 7th) of Norway (10th). Romania racked up massive televote scores in both the semi-final and Grand Final (148 and 224 points). Norway’s  televote scores (52 versus 29 points) indicate that Grab the Moment didn’t really grab the Eurovision public.

Before 2016 the jury and televote score components were synthesized to create a top 10 from each delegation: songs with skewed support either from juries or the public tended to get flattened scores—sometimes ending up with no points despite massive televote support. This current system treats both the public and jury score components equally.

Next: interesting aspects of the Grand Final results.