Romania's Cezar will close the second semi final. Photo:
Radio Sweden's Eurovision Blog

Semis running order announced!

So, just as I thought, SVT announced the running order for the semi-finals on Maundy Thursday. Good to get it out of the way before the Easter break. This is the first time since the very first contest in 1956 that no draw has decided the running order in the Eurovision Song Contest, and that the producers themselves decided in which order the songs would be performed.

They didn't get complete control though, there was a draw to split countries that tend to vote for each other into the different semis, and then to decided whether they would be in the first and second half of the semis.

But this is how SVT's Christer Björkman and Martin Österdahl decided it would be...

First Semi-Final

  1. Austria
  2. Estonia
  3. Slovenia
  4. Croatia
  5. Denmark
  6. Russia
  7. Ukraine
  8. The Netherlands
  9. Montenegro
  10. Lithuania
  11. Belarus
  12. Moldova
  13. Ireland
  14. Cyprus
  15. Belgium
  16. Serbia

Second Semi-Final

  1. Latvia
  2. San Marino
  3. F.Y.R. Macedonia
  4. Azerbaijan
  5. Finland
  6. Malta
  7. Bulgaria
  8. Iceland
  9. Greece
  10. Israel
  11. Armenia
  12. Hungary
  13. Norway
  14. Albania
  15. Georgia
  16. Switzerland
  17. Romania

A very quick analysis is that SVT have consequently tried to split up ballads and uptempo songs, and male and female singers. Austria and Latvia kick off the semis, both are competently performed and won't scare viewers away. The scariest song this year, Romania's "It's my life", is out last in the second semi, the chances of tv viewers switching channels at that stage of the show is hopefully rather low.

So who wins, and who loses with this running order? Slovenia will be pleased, they come after a couple of slowish songs in the first semi and will really stick out. Belgium get a good draw towards the end of Semi 1, coming straight after Cyprus. The second semi is more difficult to find any real winners and losers. I'll have to sit during the weekend and play the songs in the correct running order, and then see who has been given a helping hand by SVT.

Speaking to, Christer Björkman says there were many criteria when choosing the running order, the most important of which was tempo.

"It's a problem if there are several songs in a row with the same temperament", he says, "whether they are ballads or up tempo. Viewers' interest disappears".

That wasn't easy in the first half of the first semi final, he says, as it is dominated by ballads.

"I think we solved it well with the limits that there were", Christer Björkman added.

But why end the semis with Serbia and Romania? Because SVT wanted to go out with a bang, he says.

"They felt like natural songs to end the shows with, the have the right mood. It's tricky to end with ballads, an ending with speed and energy feels better. The closing songs are very Eurovision, they are really full of joy", Christer Björkman told SVT.

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