Editorials & Opinion

XTRA Opinion: Our running order for semifinal 1

Tonight, we will finally see what the running order for the first semi of the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 would have looked like. However, like in previous years, we’ve also given this a go ourselves. Below you can find our train of thoughts and the running order we would have chosen!

No “Euro Neuro”…

Opening the show is a big task and when you’re producing the show, you really want something that makes an impact here. You want something powerful enough to keep viewers interested. That also means it needs to be a relatively okay song, otherwise you start off with a bit of downer. Just think about “Euro Neuro”, the Montenegrin entry in 2012. How many people will have turned off after that?

That is why you want something upbeat, interesting and captivating. So we will go with The Mamas for Sweden as our opener. After that, we often see songs that aren’t expected to make a huge impact. In 2019, D Mol and Sarah McTernan were given the #2 slot. Looking at this first half, we therefore only see one option: Belarus. To make sure we spread the genders evenly as well, we will then opt for North Macedonia as third song of the night.

Keeping the variety

It’s important to show the variety in the songs in this first half the best way you can. So when North Macedonia are done, we want to shake things up by throwing in a whole lot of energy: Ireland‘s Lesley Roy will make sure we’re all fully focused for the rest of the show. After that, Slovenia will be another nice change of pace before we go to a favourite.

It then is a perfect moment to see how well The Roop can actually score. After Ireland’s pop rock and Slovenia’s very Slovenian ballad, the indie pop is a nice change and a unique entry, so Lithuania get #6. After them, you need a step – either make it even weirder or take it easy. With Australia’s staging and Russia’s song, you will definitely make it interesting no matter what you do.

To build towards Russia, we now opt for Australia as #7. The song is a good change of pace, but the performance would have been interesting enough to keep the show in a flow. Russia‘s Little Big would then close the first half.

Female domination

It’s a good thing to have Russia at the end of the first half, as we only have two male vocalists in the second half with Croatia and Cyprus. The biggest task is to make sure the show doesn’t get too monotonous.

It’s fair to say that, with Russia and Australia, you’re getting two fairly outspoken entries, so it may be good to take a step back and find something a bit more expected here. So we opt for Belgium as #9.

Before opting for another man, we want one more female entry. Both Australia and Belgium are rather serious entries, so we want something a bit more light hearted now. #10 therefore is perfect for Israel.

Rather ‘out there’

A lot of the songs in this semi are really out there. It’s hard to forget them, which is also why you need to treat the others with care and respect. The first of those is Cyprus, who get the #11 slot after Israel. We now want to build slowly towards the less end of the show, so #12 is a perfect slot for Malta, a gospel pop effort that sure would’ve had a staging in which every detail was planned. After them, it’s time for something perhaps less accessible, but very ethnic: Ukraine.

Let’s move on to #14. “Solovey” will sure raise a few roofs – and questions – in Europe, so you still want to keep your viewers in. There’s no better way than to make a complete change by the most understated entry of the year: Romania. For #15, we then want to opt for Norway.

As we had a non-English song at #13, we could now do with another, besdies, we’ve had four ladies in a row. That makes #16 a great slot to shine for Croatia. The show would sure end with a bang after “Divlji Vetre”, as it would have been Azerbaijan. The totally hysterical power delivered by Efendi would make a great end to any Eurovision show – just look at Serhat last year.

The full order

Below you can see the full ESCXTRA.com running order for the first semifinal of the Eurovision Song Contest 2020, if it had taken place. Tonight we will see what the EBU have come up with, but first, check out ours below!

  1. Sweden: The Mamas – Move
  2. Belarus: VAL – Da Vidna
  3. North Macedonia: Vasil – You
  4. Ireland: Lesley Roy – The Story Of My Life
  5. Slovenia: Ana Soklič – Voda
  6. Lithuania: The Roop – On Fire
  7. Australia: Montaigne – Don’t Break Me
  8. Russia: Little Big – UNO
  9. Belgium: Hooverphonic – Release Me
  10. Israel: Eden Alene – Feker Libi
  11. Cyprus: Sandro – Running
  12. Malta: Destiny – All Of My Love
  13. Ukraine: Go_A – Solovey
  14. Romania: Roxen – Alcohol You
  15. Norway: Ulrikke – Attention
  16. Croatia: Damir Kedžo – Divlji Vetre
  17. Azerbaijan: Efendi – Cleopatra

What do you think about the ESCXTRA Running order? What would you keep and what would you change? Let us know!

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