Friday, 23 September 2011

So you wish to make your way out of a semi final? - Points

It's a ruthless ESC world and 18 countries are usually left behind in the semi finals - 9 songs from each semi final going home to the wife and children, dog, cat, giraffe... you get the picture - home.

So there have been 12 semi finals contested over an eight year period with a varied number of participants - smallest 17 in 2010 and the biggest semi final in Helsinki with 28. Generally an ESC final will be up to 20 songs over two semi-finals nowadays. The placings after place twenty look like this:
  • 20th - 165.25 points (Four occurrences: 2004-2007)
  • 21st - 72.00 points
  • 22nd - 172.50 points
  • 23rd - 54.67 points (Three occurrences: 2005-2007)
  • 24th - 99.50 points (Two occurrences: 2006-2007)
  • 25th - 110.50 points
  • 26th - 197 points (One occurrence: 2007)
  • 27th - 4 points
  • 28th - 168 points
So where should you be if you want to score well in a semi final?

Long regarded as a decent place to be drawn. In fact until Poland came along this year, no song had ever finished last from the first place in the draw. Well, possibly due to this last place, the average score received from first is 64 points - only six of the 12 semi finals make the final - coming in at 13th place of the 19 spots.

These three are the worst three places to land in a semi final. Six of the twelve last placed songs in semi finals come from these three spots in the draw and no winners have come from here either.

Fifth has had 2 songs reach the final, 2005 and Semi 2 of 2008. An average score of 46.5 has been scored at fifth, making it the 17th of 19 spots in the draw.

Second, long known as the draw of death, has supplied 5 songs to the final (2008 - semi 1 and 2, 2010 - semi 1 and 2, 2011 - semi 2). Sadly 2nd in the draw was home to the last place song in 2005. The remainder are near last placings (2009 - Semi 2, 2011 - Semi 1) and other middle of the road placings. The average score for second in the semi final is 45.5 - the eighteenth place of nineteen places in the draw.

Third is the new semi final doom - no top ten places and three last places (2004, 1st semi of 2009, 2nd semi final of 2011) and a collection of low scorings for the remaining places - best placing 14th in the first semifinals of 2010 and 2011. Average score for third is 36 - 19th of nineteen places in the draw.

Fourth has changed it spots in the semi finals and currently averages 76.58, the 7th most successful place of the draw. Shady Lady won the second semi final in 2008 from fourth place and three songs have progressed to the semi final from this place. The Andorra entry of 2006 is the only entry to finish in last place from fourth, but generally it is either make it or just miss out (11th place - 1st semi finals of 2008 and 2009, 2nd semi final of 2011. 12th - Semi final 2 of 2011).

On six occasions, the semi finalist has graduated to the final from sixth in the draw including the victory by Alexander Rybak, eventual Eurovision song contest winner of ESC 2009. Semi final 1 in 2010 was the only time that sixth has provided a last place, and some near last in appearances in 2005 and the first semi final of 2008. The place in the draw is eleventh most likely spot to make the final; average for sixth is 68.25.

Seventh has not had any semi final winners and they have not had any song come in last either. What it does have is and average of 65.92; the twelfth placed draw. Six occurrences of songs that have made the final - 2005, first semi of 2008, the 2010 and 2011 semi finals.


Six entries of 12 occasions from 8th in the draw have made it through to the final including a first place for Sweden in 2011. Unfortunately, they have had two occasions (2008 - semi 2 and 2009 - semi 1) where the songs came second last (9 and 8 votes respectively) and this brought the average down to 56.17, the 16th most likely place to reach an ESC final.

Ninth isn't so much luckier with an average of 62.41 - 14th most likely to make the final. Five songs have made the final from ninth, but a 20th in 2004, 18th in the 2nd semi final of 2011 and 17th in the 2nd semi of 2008 have worked against this slot in the draw.

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