Mark your calendars and make sure you’ll be near an Internet connection: On January 29 Lisbon City Hall will play host to the Eurovision 2018 semi-final allocation draw. The ceremony starts at 13:00 CET.

Sílvia Alberto and Filomena Cautela — one half of this year’s fierce foursome of hosts — will lead the proceedings.

The first part of the draw assigns the pre-qualified countries (Big 5 nations France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom + host country Portugal) to vote in one of the two semi-finals.

Then it’s time to assign the other countries to a semi-final, with each of the countries drawn from different pots. The precise running order will later be revealed by the show’s producers, once all songs have been submitted in March.

The countries are grouped into pots based on historic voting patterns. This is to help ensure each semi-final is not dominated by countries that may all vote for each other by default. The countries that share a pot are essentially split into the two different semis to prevent a “bloc” vote.

Semi-Final “Draw Pots”

There aren’t too many changes from last year’s pots. Pot one remains the Balkan region plus Switzerland. In pot 2 are the Nordics, with Ireland replacing Estonia. Pot 3 contains eastern Europe, with Ukraine re-taking their usual spot here from Israel.

Pot 4 takes a journey from Hungary in the north to Cyprus in the south. Pot 5 contains a number of “leftover”, perhaps Western-leaning countries (with Israel replacing host nation Portugal). Pot 6 contains the three Baltic nations and the remaining north-western countries.

Pot 1

Albania
Croatia
FYR Macedonia
Montenegro
Serbia
Slovenia
Switzerland

Pot 2

Denmark
Finland
Norway
Iceland
Ireland
Sweden

Pot 3

Armenia
Azerbaijan
Belarus
Georgia
Russia
Ukraine

Pot 4

Bulgaria
Cyprus
Greece
Hungary
Moldova
Romania

Pot 5

Australia
Austria
Czech Republic
Israel
Malta
San Marino

Pot 6

Belgium
Estonia
Latvia
Lithuania
The Netherlands
Poland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read more Portugal Eurovision news here

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UgniusFairwhyRobyn GallagherJoe Recent comment authors
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Ugnius
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Ugnius

This Ireland-Estonia replacement is incredibly stupid. In pot 6, there are three countries – Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, which constantly get lots of televoting points from Ireland due to the huge diaspora. Also, Estonia gives much more points to the Nordic countries than to the Baltic. Lastly, there is no point in having all three Baltic countries in the same pot because two (if not three) of them will end up in the same semi-final in any case.

Fair
Guest
Fair

People are always saying that Greece & Cyprus and Romania & Moldova exchange 12 points… And these countries are also booed during the voting at the stadiums… Did anybody boo Denmark and Finland that gave 12 points to Sweden last year? NO! Did anybody boo the top marks which where given to Finland in 2011 only from Nordic countries? Did anybody say something about the eleventh place that Serbia got by the televotes in 2016? They got all the 12 points from all the Ex-Yugoslav countries and Switzerland plus 4 points from Austria and Italy. If Greece had sent that… Read more »

Fair
Guest
Fair

*only from Cyprus

Joe
Guest
Joe

BREAKING: the rumors appear to be true – looks like Yulia is singing for Russia:
https://eurovoix.com/2018/01/12/russia-yulia-samoilova-two-songs-prepared-lisbon/

why
Guest
why

If EBU decides running order, it should decide this allocation too. This draw is useless, because last year Greece and Cyprus were in the same semifinal. So it is not working.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

The EBU doesn’t decide the running order. The show producers decide it, but the host country’s act is decided by random draw and the EBU has final veto in case anything dodgy has been done. To date, a veto has not been necessary.

Interesting point on Greece and Cyprus. Cyprus comfortably qualified in 5th place and would have still made it without Greece’s 18 points. But Greece would not have qualified without the 24 they got from Cyprus. But both countries didn’t exactly take home good results in the grand final, fizzling out down the bottom end of the scoreboard.

why
Guest
why

But other 2 countries could have been in their place.
Is not so much comfort they did not do well in the final.
Is sad they ruined other countries chances.

Fair
Guest
Fair

Australia finished 15th in the televoting and 2nd with the juries.. So you think that Greece and Cyprus stole spots from other countries, for example, Finland or Georgia? Greece finished 9th in both juries and televoting, so no one can blame their qualification.

Ugnius
Guest
Ugnius

Everyone can. Greece had 24 points from Cyprus as always. Had Cyprus been in semifinal 2, Greece would have had 24 points less and with 91 point, it would have placed 12th and Georgia would have qualified instead.

Fair
Guest
Fair

You forget that another country would replace Cyprus… One of the following: Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary. Especially the first two always vote for Greece and Greece would still qualify for the final.

Ugnius
Guest
Ugnius

In the Grand Final Hungary gave to Greece 0 points (jury ranked it 22nd and televoters 21st) and Romania gave just 1 point (while jury ranked it 20th) so I don’t understand why it should have been different in the semi-final

Fair
Guest
Fair

Back in 2015 Greece was in the same semi-final with Romania and Hungary. These countries awarded points to Greece in the semi-final but not in the final. The same thing would have happened in 2017…

Ugnius
Guest
Ugnius

Well, in 2015 Hungarian jury ranked Greece 11th, while this year only 22nd. Romanian jury ranked Greece 13th (this year it’s 20th). So, they loved Greek 2015 entry much more than their 2017 entry, the same would have been in the semis

Fair
Guest
Fair

You forget that another country would replace Cyprus… One of the following: Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary. Especially the first two always vote for Greece and Greece would still qualify for the final.

why
Guest
why

I understand Cyprus was in the final anyway, but Greece.
Bottom line, this allocation draw does not work as it should.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

An alternative idea would be to have different semi finals per “bloc region”.
Maybe for the 2020s?
Opinions, comments, debates…?

Flow
Guest
Flow

I dont understand how people complain. Nordic and eastern blocs vote for each other all the time but people only mention greece, cyprus… Hypocrisy much?

AngieP
Guest
AngieP

Like last year, the countries are separated according to the voting pattern, which in some cases is similar to the geographical proximity of the countries. POT 1: most of the balkan nations (ex Yugoslavian countries) plus Switzerland. POT 2: all Scandinavian countries + Ireland POT 3: all 3 countries in Caucasus, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. So the countries that usually vote for Russia. POT 4: Mediterranean + Hungary, Romania and Moldova, which vote for each other and the mediterranean countries. POT 5: The rest of the Mediterranean + Austria, Australia and Czech Republic. POT 6: The 3 Baltic countries +… Read more »

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

I really hope for fair semi-finals, but why is Ireland with the nordics, and Poland with The Netherlands and Belgium and not with Hungary. And also why is Switzerland there? Pot 1 should be without Switzwerland with 6 countries. Pot 2 would be with Estonia and Latvia, without Ireland, and have 7 countries. Pot 3 should be the exact same pot. Pot 4 should be Mediterraenian, with Malta, San Marino, Greece, Cyrpus, Israel and Bulgaria Pot 5 should be Australia, Austria, The Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and Ireland like the Western pot. Pot 6 should be Central European: Hungary, Poland, Lithuania,… Read more »

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

It’s based on recent voting patterns, not geographic regions.

Ugnius
Guest
Ugnius

But voting patterns are usually based on geographic regions 😀

Timselvision
Guest
Timselvision

The Netherlands and Belgium tend to give some points to Poland every year (due to diaspora also). Also, in recent years, the Baltics have been voting for both Belgium and the Netherlands a lot so I’d say that’s pretty understandable.

Kaz
Guest
Kaz

Switzerland has a high Albanian and Serbian diaspora. So there televote tends to give high points to those countries.

Hada
Guest
Hada

Also, Estonia can’t into Nordic 🙁

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

But it can into benelux xD

Mark
Guest
Mark

Is it just mean or are Pots 1, 2 and 3 generally the same each year and Pots 4, 5 and 6 always a near random shuffle?

PS I’m shocked Australia is with the Nordic countries.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

The pots are nearly identical to last year, mostly because the same countries are in. The changes are a result of Ukraine and Russia being back in the pot system and Portugal being out this year.

The biggest changes happen when there’s a big change to the number of countries participating. In 2013 there were only 30 countries in the pot system and therefore only five pots, not six.

Kaz
Guest
Kaz

Did you mean Ireland is with the nordics?

Stephanie
Guest

The only thing we do know for sure is that the last country left in pot 1 will automatically go to SF1

Kris
Guest
Kris

Opposite…..Switzerland chooses semi-2 by default and hence the last remaining country in pot 1 will be in Semi-2

Rich
Guest
Rich

Who says that when they draw the country out of the pot for the allocation they are in the same semi final anyway. All the pots have 6 in them except for pot 1 which has 7.

Which in my mind is a lot fairer and by grouping the neighbouring countries who tend to vote for each other might even prevent this being able to happen just by being in a different semi final. That’s why it is called “pot luck”.

Let’s hope for a fairer competition.

Mattias Sollerman
Guest
Mattias Sollerman

Sweet. Was afraid they’d put Australia in the Nordic pot.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Why afraid?

Mattias Sollerman
Guest
Mattias Sollerman

Because I wanna vote for them ofc. ^^

Talentina Monetta
Guest
Talentina Monetta

I agree with the comments below, there should be separate pots for Greece/Cyprus and another one for Moldova/Romania, so they will end up in different semis

kitty
Guest
kitty

Why should they be separate???? just so they can have advantage????

Mark
Guest
Mark

Separate so they don’t have a guaranteed 24 points in the semi final.

Niko
Guest
Niko

As a Cypriot myself I definitely feel that Greece and Cyprus should be in separate semi’s why should Sweden and Norway or Romania and Moldova I mean if Greece wasn’t in the same semi last year Finland or another country that DESERVED to qualify could of been in the final so please let this happen

Ronda
Guest
Ronda

Azerbaijan and Armenia, also Cyprus and Greece, Moldova and Romania – those are the most important ones to be separated I think.

Talentina Monetta
Guest
Talentina Monetta

Azerbaijan and Armenia always rank in each other last because they hate each other haha. But I definitely agree with the rest.

Ronda
Guest
Ronda

But that’s why they need to be separated. They are ranking each other last unfairly. They don’t judge the songs, but the flags and they are doing it every year. So with both of them being in the same semi could eventually cause a non-qualification for any of them.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Good. I’d be happy to see some other countries get a chance at the final.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

If Azerbaijan or Armenia miss out on non-qualification due to a margin of less than 24 points, it would mean the song would have been a borderline qualifier and therefore probably not all that great anyway.

Easier to just send a really good song that appeals to voters across Europe.

Aga
Guest
Aga

Catarina Furtado and Daniela Ruah will be the main hosts, they will use Filomena and Sílvia for semis and stuff like this…

Hada
Guest
Hada

And green room

sam
Guest
sam

i really hope cyprus and greece get into separate semis. it’s beyond annoying when all 24 points are exchanged between them. same goes for armenia and azerbaijan, both are some of my favorite countries and ranking eachother last like usual could eventually cause a nonqualification for them. especially this year, it’s looking to be very strong

Sasha
Guest
Sasha

I think they should alter the allocation slightly so if Greece is in 1 then Cyprus and Albania automatically go in 2. Since Albania is in 2, Macedonia and Italy go in 1. And continue strategic placement as necessary with some random allocations.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Just as long as the show is good, then I don’t really care.