Some delegations will be very happy this morning; others will not. We’ll get to that in a moment.
First, it is important to remember that this is a running order rather than a ‘draw’: with the exception of hosts Portugal, all the slots for this weekend’s Grand Final were producer-assigned. Granted, each entry ‘drew’ either the first or second half, but that still gives the production team a range of 13 slots from which to choose for each entry. And a great deal of scope, in terms of which entries to put adjacent to one another.
Let’s jump right in.
If they are awake, the Irish, Cypriot, Dutch, Israeli and Hungarian delegations should be very pleased. They are in one of the two prime ranges (21st to 25th) and there is a good amount of contrast between the genres, artists, and stagings. Our hunch is that Ireland and Cyprus–who will repeat their order of performance, though Italy will close the Grand Final – were both in the top three of the Tuesday’s Semi Final.
The other prime range is usually 7-11. Portugal randomly drew 8th, so the new range could be 6-11 or 7-12th. It seems likelier that Estonia did better than Albania: they have neighbours and a few friends in the Scandinavian bloc, plus Elina Netsayeva might have done well with the russosphere. Albania struggles to qualify in most years and had a terrible draw in semi-final one. That means that either Norway or Serbia did well in the second semi-final. Our hunch is that would be Norway.
France (13th), Czech Republic (14th), Denmark (15th) and Australia (16th) have OK draws. Finland (17th), Bulgaria (18th), Moldova (19th) and Sweden (20th) are similarly positioned.
Spain (second) and Slovenia (third) have been buried in the first half. Italy’s been sort of buried in the second half (last/26th); Lithuania (4th) and Austria (5th) in the first half. None of these should be thrilled.
Time To Rest
The first semi-finalists–assuming they haven’t done a lot of appearances yesterday or today as part of their promotional campaigns–all have had two days off from rehearsals. Tonight’s qualifiers aren’t as lucky. Keep an ear on Ukraine, Australia, Hungary, Moldova, and Norway. Ukraine goes from closer to opener, which did not go well for Israel in 2017. Expect the cleverer of these to rest their voices partially or entirely during the first and third rehearsals for the Grand Final, which start in less than 12 hours!