As I work myself up to looking at the increasingly daunting set of National Finals, we’ve got a bit more general news out of Malmö.
They’ve drawn which countries will end up in each semi-final, and which half of their semi-final they will be in. The more I think about it, the fairer that seems. While I see the point of critics of SVT’s decision to choose the running order, Eurovision is a TV show, so anything to make it a better-flowing show must be a good thing.
To take some of the power out of the producers, having a random draw to see which half of the semi-final you end up is does make sense. It’s always exaggerated how much a songs chances are affected by how late in the show they are – a crude scatter graph of running order vs scoreboard position was enough to convince me there’s no significant correlation. So at least SVT can’t be accused of putting their favoured tracks near the end, or their power to do so is restricted if their favourites are drawn for the first half. People just need to get over their conspiracy theories anyway!
So here are the results – countries are listed in alphabetical order in their drawn half:
Semi-Final 1 – first half: Austria, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Netherlands, Russia, Slovenia, Ukraine.
Semi-Final 1 – second half: Belarus, Belgium, Cyprus, Ireland, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia
Semi-Final 2 – first half: Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Finland, FYR Macedonia, Iceland, Latvia, Malta, San Marino
Semi-Final 2 – second half: Albania, Armenia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Norway, Romania, Switzerland.
Of the auto-qualifiers, Italy, Sweden and United Kingdom are voting in Semi 1. France, Germany and Spain will vote in Semi 2.
Personally I think it would be pointless to speculate much on what effect that will have, especially given my feelings that running order has no discernible effect on the scores. Even if you did believe it, there must then be a big difference to performing 1st to performing 8th, or between 9th and 17th, and this running order won’t be determined for a long while.
The logo and slogan were also unveiled today. Here’s a banner with Malmö’s butterfly motif:
I must say the colour scheme is a bit gloomy, and makes the butterfly look a bit like a recycled moth. I’m sure the dark watercolour background might end up looking pretty awesome with some swirl CGI clouds, in the same way as Oslo’s boring-looking bubbles were a bit of a revelation in the end. I absolutely loved what they did with the concept, the intro video, and the country introductions with the country outlines etc.
The white version is a bit prettier, I like that. Also pretty awesome to see the Swedish flag in the Eurovision logo finally!
The slogan has potential, “We are one”. Could mean countless things, and hope it’s a hint of great ideas to come in the show. We’ve already got the fan’s ‘mosh pit’, and many vague aspirational messages about what SVT want to do with Eurovision this year. Very tantalising!
Who’s that presenter going to be though? I’m still holding out for dear Måns Zelmerlöw. Make it happen, Sweden!