Editorials & Opinion

XTRA Opinion: Our running order for semifinal 1

Every now and then, we all dream of being part of the producing team behind the Eurovision Song Contest. One of those jobs is to come up with a running order for the contests. Why not dream? Time for us to make our own running orders! Today, it’s time for the first semifinal. Like last year, Miki and Nick decided to sit together and come up with our own running order.

A strong opener

When kicking things off, you need to look at the opener first of all. Looking at the past few openers, it’s fair to say that you want a happy opener or at least an uptempo tune. There have been strong openers, such as Robin Bengtsson’s “I Can’t Go On” and semifinal winner “That’s How You Write A Song” by Alexander Rybak, but also non-qualifiers like “I Want Your Love” or “X My Heart”. That is why we’re also opening with an uptempo tune: Finland.

Pop and something different

The first half has a couple of remarkable entries. Just think of Poland’s Tulia or the Slovenian entry “Sebi”. It’s a vast contrast with the efforts Cyprus and Belarus are delivering. It will therefore be key to give every song the chances it deserves. That’s why, after Finland’s opener, we’re opting for Montenegro’s D Mol. Their entry “Heaven” is perfect to follow “Look Away” and to precede “Like It” by ZENA from Belarus.

After these three, it’s time for a proper power ballad and thankfully, we only have one choice there, so it’s Serbia in fourth. After them, “Friend of a Friend” by Lake Malawi is the next song to go on stage. The light hearted entry they’re delivering makes a perfect pair with Hungary’s dramatic entry “Az Én Apám”.

The ethnic effort from Joci Pápai and the other real ethno effort from Poland need to be separated from each other to make them both stand out. So, after Hungary, we go for the pop entry “Replay” from Cyprus. The understated Slovenian entry will follow that, before closing the half with the ehtnic power from Poland.

Male dominance

The second half is full of male vocalists. Only Kate Miller-Heidke and Katerine Duska provide a female effort here. Besides, this half contains the more surprising entries from Iceland, Portugal and to some extent Australia and San Marino. Plenty to think about.

After Poland, however, we want something more accessible to open the half, so here we have Estonia. It’s then time for a little more of a surprising effort with Portugal. Conan Osíris wouldn’t benefit from going later in the show, so #11 is a perfect spot for them.

We then want a bit of fun, so on #12 we get San Marino. “Say Na Na Na” will stand out after “Telemóveis”. After three consecutive male artists, we now want a female, so it’s time for Australia’s Kate Miller-Heidke and her popera entry “Zero Gravity”. After that, we still have Belgium, Georgia, Greece and Iceland to close the semifinal with.

We’re going with Georgia as #14. It’s not the most remarkable entry in this half and will stand out from being treated as such. It’s however not the loudest song, as that is certainly Iceland’s Hatari. We don’t want to close the show on the note of ‘hate will prevail’, so instead they’re going in #16. Meaning we have #15 and #17 left for Greece and Belgium. Both are pop efforts, but one is rated much higher than the other.

Following Hatari, we must have a strong contrast. The strongest of the two contrasts is Katerine Duska. That is why we’re letting Greece close the show on #17, with Eliot taking #15.

The full order

Below you can find the full running order like we at ESCXTRA.com would have for the first semifinal in Tel Aviv:

  1. Finland
  2. Montenegro
  3. Belarus
  4. Serbia
  5. Czech Republic
  6. Hungary
  7. Cyprus
  8. Slovenia
  9. Poland
  10. Estonia
  11. Portugal
  12. San Marino
  13. Australia
  14. Georgia
  15. Belgium
  16. Iceland
  17. Greece

We’re expecting the running order sometime within the next ten days. More about that can be found right here.

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