“The results will be announced in a random order.” That is the standard fare of any Eurovision semi-final. Some are quick to be announced and are rather uncontroversial (see: Russia every year), while others are held until the end in order to build massive amounts of suspense. What we saw Tuesday night was Belgium’s name being called last, and last night Israel being announced last as well.

BelgiumQualifying

A former darling of the bookies turned cautious tale of avant-garde staging and choppy live vocals was in serious jeopardy of not qualifying, as was Azerbaijan, who was called quite late. What are the chances, then, of a song with a shaky chance of making it to the final, qualifying at the very last second? It’s low, and it could be a coincidence.

Or, to quote The Incredibles…

Last year’s second semi-final had a similar situation. While the qualifiers of the second semi-final were being announced, the last spot was really focused on between Ireland, Israel, and the eventual winner, Austria. All three were considered likely to qualify, but were not stand-out favorites. Yet, when Austria was announced, a huge amount of tension was relieved. During last year’s first semi-final, three favorites to win – Hungary, Russia, and Armenia – were announced almost immediately. No suspense, no friction, just a matter of fact “You qualified! But that was practically guaranteed!”

In 2011, a similar thing happened with Sweden (who were trying to recuperate from a humiliating non-qualification in 2010), and Ireland in 2012 (there’s no way a golden ticket is that circumstantial), and Albania and Iceland in 2010. While we don’t know the results of this year’s semi-finals yet, we can only speculate. If these were truly random, then songs very likely to qualify would also be announced very late on, but alas they don’t.

It’s nearly impossible for all of these to be coincidences. Eurovision cannot go on claiming that the order is random when in reality it is being manipulated for drama and views. But the question is why? Y’all already have the audience. What need is there to fudge with the truth?

Is it a play with the bookies? A gimmick to drive numbers? Who knows, but the point is, it’s a little too suspicious for it be “random”.

33 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
criticca
criticca
6 years ago

The announcement of Latvia and Israel was really tense. I haven’t felt this tense since The Netherlands qualified in 2013!!

Daniel
Daniel
6 years ago

forgot to write that it was Sweden who went through to the finals as the last country from the semifinal 2

Daniel
Daniel
6 years ago

its not random. even ebu say its not. random. For exemple in eurovision 2011 went further in the competition who last country, then said Jon Ola Sand, head of the Eurovision song contest,,, then said Jon Ola Sand, head of the Eurovision song contest, it was planned. swedish article http://www.aftonbladet.se/nojesbladet/melodifestivalen/article13019153.ab

Johnny
Johnny
6 years ago

Love you guys!but get that annoying blonde girl out of the panel,those remarks about monika´s legs gurl please.
Love from Sweden

Max
Max
6 years ago

It’s done on purpose by the organisation. Sietse Bakker (EBU) told that they waited announcing ‘The Netherlands’ in 2013 when Anouk participated. Because the Dutch so wanted to be in the final! 🙂 I think it’s quite amazing how they did ‘the enveloppes’ this year.

Thiefo
6 years ago

Of course is not random…. but I honestly don’t mind, it’s a truth we all know, even if we never speak of it, hah. Besides, it would be a little too cruel to say “And now here’s the list of qualifiers in a strategically decided order, designed to make you suffer :)”

Ajit
Ajit
6 years ago

Yeah I was wondering how the article could’ve forgotten Netherlands 2013

Maybe they should change the wording. Instead of a “random order”, the qualifiers would be announced in “no logical order”.

Charles
Charles
6 years ago

Even if it’s random, it’s still a very scripted section of this whole thing.It was clearly intentional to leave Israel this year as the last one … the only uptempo bs in the whole ocean of slow songs and after years of not going to the final, it made perfect sense “let’s say Israel as the last one”. Even the crowd was there waiting intentionally for that particular word “Israel” … the same way they did in 2008 for Portugal, and in 2013 for The Netherlands and Greece. But here is what Greece 2013 and Israel 2015 share in common,… Read more »

Mario My Vision of Gay Love
Mario My Vision of Gay Love
6 years ago

Now i rememember when they had announced Anouk as last 10th qualifier…That was really nerve breaking as we were not sure at all if Holland would get called at all..

SJ
SJ
6 years ago

For me best annoucement was in 2010, when in second semifinal we had to see who is 10 th gualifiers. One spot is left, and we had Sweden, Denmark and Croatia, all 3 countries was in TOP 10 in betting odds, and we had some article that they that some music industry expert said that Sweden will be the winner of 2010 contest. Many viewers think that Sweden will go to final, but envelope opened and we saw Denmark.

Gilho Ahn
Gilho Ahn
6 years ago

I’ll never forget the 2004 semi-final. Both Greece (where I live) and Cyprus (Greece’s sibling country) were the two last to be announced and went on to achieve 3rd and 5th position in the Grand Final. I remember the Greek announcer saying that things were grim for both Greece and Cyprus to qualify, but in the end she was jubilant. Oh, the memories…

Pablo
Pablo
6 years ago

Of course it’s never “completely random”, but who doesn’t love that growing suspense towards the end? 😀

Wiwi guys, you are also in the esc-bubble, and of course us hardcore fans seek for indicators to point at the actual result, but hey, lets just painfully wait for another 36 hrs.. probably it is very likely that in Belgium’s case they will score high and Israel was the other scenario: the one who waited for 5 years. It’s probably TV-script formula: we all love to get emotional at the end. 😉

Alex
Alex
6 years ago

@Oostenrijk: You must remember differently from me, because all I remember about Iceland 2014 is how negatively many fans saw the entry. Just look at the Wiwi Jury reviews. While those reviews don’t always reflect upon what fans generally think, for Iceland’s case it was pretty accurate. I think the majority of fans would’ve preferred to have seen Estonia be the last to qualify that year. I have to agree with David’s comment… as a mathematician myself, it’s very hard for me to take a claim of non-randomness seriously unless there’s an actual statistical argument made. And even then, the… Read more »

D
D
6 years ago

I think most countries are announced randomly, but for some the organisers choose when they’ll be announced just for suspense. Like the Netherlands in 2013.

Oostenrijk
Oostenrijk
6 years ago

Last year Iceland and Austria, fans were dying to have them in the final, were announced last. Iceland is Denmark’s bestie. So this really got me suspicious, like the Golden Ticket for Turkey in Baku.

This year, the fans were dying for Belgium and Israel, and they got them through as last.

That’s no coincidence, but I guess responsible for the drama is not the host broadcaster but the EBU. Jon Ola sends the qualifiers to the announcement desk, so it’s up to him to decide the announcement order.

David Thielen
6 years ago

I had a Math professor who said that if you torture numbers enough, they’ll tell you anything. You can pick some results to fit a theory, but I don’t think that makes the theory true. For every sample that supports this theory, there;s another example that doesn’t.

Shi
Shi
6 years ago

I always assumed that their meaning of “random” is “not by the order in which they actually placed”.

Fatima
Fatima
6 years ago

Chris, the point is that a lie is being told. They say ‘random order’ when it is about as random as my left buttock. Far worse this year has been the fake applause sound coming across on television. We’re not getting a sense of how the audience are reacting to the money moments, just vague waves of generic cheering at key moments. That level of manipulation is unacceptable.

Otna
Otna
6 years ago

@Chris Of course that’s what they’re doing and there’s nothing wrong with doing that, but to claim it is in ‘random order’ is a little ridiculous. If they reworded it to be “in no particular order”, then they’d be doing nothing wrong at all.

Chris
Chris
6 years ago

So just so we’re clear, a television show produced for entertainment, MIGHT be reading the qualifiers for its final in a specific order to maximise tension, suspense, and drama for its viewers?

Oh! The manipulation and horror. Whatever will those tricksters at the EBU think up next? :-p

Milla
Milla
6 years ago

Loreen was not announced among the last. Just saying. Israel as I understand has been popular with press and fans. I think some announcements are for the excitement in the arena. Nothing else.

Miquel
Miquel
6 years ago

I don’t think it has to be with the bookies, ’cause this years reveal takes the last minutes of the show with no time to a significant change in odds.
I think it’s more something about TV drama and expectations

AndersP
AndersP
6 years ago

It’s random because it doesn’t reflect their ranking. Of course they choose to build suspense, it’s a TV show, they want the audience to end the announcement with a sense of excitement, not anti-climax.

San
San
6 years ago

A very good point! It not only makes sense, but looking back to the previous years it looks just logical.

Besides, Latvia was announced second last. We will see if she is the dark horse of (possible) winner of 2015.

Graph
Graph
6 years ago

One statistical problem with this analysis may be that it focuses on the last callout vs the previous nine as a group. Although everybody has the same chance of any single callout, everyone has a higher chance of being somewhere in #’s 1-9 than #10. Also, there are not enough super-favorites to make it likely that one of them would get the 10th callout, or even one of the last two callouts versus the other eight.

TS
TS
6 years ago

The order is random in that sense that it doesn’t mean that the country qualified first is the one with the most votes. At the first semi finals years ago they had 10 envelopes and the presenters were choosing randomly one after the other. Guess that was not enough suspense, so they changed it in how it is today. I think it is OK and legitimate. It’s like the order of the presentation of the votes in the grand final, that isn’t chosen randomly neither. Alphabetical order would destroy the suspense totally, cause, for example if Norway qualifies in the… Read more »

Otna
Otna
6 years ago

It’s definitely not ‘random’. I like it how it used to be done without technology, whereby it was actually completely random, but now they do it in the order that most promotes suspense.

@blondboybc That’s a nice idea but then when you get to the bottom of the list, the last country or countries could become completely obvious and there would be no suspense with the last ones.

SpirK
SpirK
6 years ago

Supertrolling. How can Iceland be announced 6 times last from the 7 they have qualified?

Alex
Alex
6 years ago

I think it’s random… there is always drama for the last contestant because it’s the last contestant. But I don’t think anyone was surprised when Greece was announced last in 2013, for instance.

You could actually statistically check how random it is, actually.

Steven
Steven
6 years ago

Another example: in the first semi of last year’s ESF, The Netherlands were only called as second-to-last country. Apparently there are already rumours that Belgium would have won the first semi, which would explain why we were called last on Tuesday. But maybe that’s wishful thinking 😉

blondboybc
blondboybc
6 years ago

Instead of announcing the finalists in some random order, they should seriously consider doing it in alphabetical order, and thereby remain above suspicion or manipulation? Si?

Josh
Josh
6 years ago

They announced Norway right about in the middle, so they didn’t save the best for last…..

Eris
Eris
6 years ago

They were more likely trolling israel since they haven’t qualified since 2010.