Lisbon 2018: Who would have qualified with the old system?

After re-calculating the results of saturday’s Grand Final in the 2009 style, ESCXTRA is now ready to show you the results of the semi-finals too! Are there changes in the qualifiers? Do we have the same semi-final winners? Scroll down to find out!

Why 2009?

Just like in our previous article, we had to calculate the results in the 2009 system (used between 2009 and 2012). Indeed, the 2013-2015 system required the full rankings of the televote, which the EBU will apparently not publish this year. However, with each televote’s top 10, we can calculate the 2009 results.
How does this work? It’s quite simple: the televote and the jury give points to their Top 10 songs, and the points are added to create a national ranking. The 10 songs that get the most points make up the Top 10. Ties are resolved by giving the higher rank to the song that has the most televote points out of the tying songs.
One last thing: the following results, just like those of the final, were calculated in the full 2009 style. This means that:

  • the jury points have been re-calculated in the “old way” (since the way they are calculated changed this year)
  • The made-up televote points from San Marino are discarded. San Marino’s points are the points of their jury only, calculated in the same way they would have been calculated in 2009

The first semi-final: battle for the qualification

Here are the results for the first semi-final:

Not much seems to change here. The qualifiers remain the same and the only change in the Top 10 is Ireland and Estonia swapping places. However, Finland’s qualification becomes far, far more fragile. There is indeed a 3-way tie for the 10th place, the last qualification slot.
The tie-breaking rule in this cas was introduced in 2009 (it is the famous rule that would have changed the 1991 winner): if there is a tie, the higher rank goes to the song that received points from the highest number of countries. In the old system, Azerbaijan received points from 7 countries, Armenia from 8, and Finland from 11.
The surprise here is Armenia’s rise from 15th to 11th place. This is mainly due to other songs falling, and to a better results with the former jury system.
Indeed, Switzerland and Belgium both lacked support from the televote, hence getting even lower.

The second semi-final: Viszlát Magyarország

And now, the surprising results of the second semi-final:

If you didn’t understand the title of this part, you surely understand it now. Hungary would not have qualified in the 2009 system. This is mainly due to the low support from the juries, and a televote support that is nationaly weaker than expected: Hungary received a few points (1 to 6 usually) from a lot of televotes. And once you add the jury points, Hungary usually doesn’t get any additional points, and falls from the top 10 of each country.
Why does Latvia jumps in 10th place, then? Why not Romania (which is 11th in the actual results)? The reason is similar: Romania scored better with juries than with the televote, but that’s coming from a lot of countries that only gave Romania low jury points. With a weak jury support and no support from the televote, Romania didn’t get any points from these countries in the old system. Latvia, however, had a lot of good scores from juries (7s, 8s and 10s), which was enough to still get points even with almost no popular support.
The rest of the changes are only swapping between countries in the Top 10, due to big differences between jury and televote support (Denmark beating Australia because of a stronger televote support, same for Serbia/Slovenia, while The Netherlands beat Ukraine with a stronger jury support). The old system slightly reinforced the stronger support each time, but as you can see, the gap between swapping countries is very small.

What do you think? Which system is the best? Did you want Latvia or Hungary to qualify? How do you feel about Finland almost not qualifying? Tell us more on the comments below or on social media at @escxtra!


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