Editorials & Opinion

Analysing the patterns of 14 years of Eurovision semi-final draw allocation pots


Country0809101112131415161718192122Med. Pot
The NetherlandsMMMMMMMMMO2O2O2FO269%

Looking at Rotterdam’s “pot 4”, it may seem that this was just one of two “Other” pots. However, going back to 2008 indicates that there was a clear voting bloc that this pot is designed to separate. There is the obvious regional bloc of Cyprus, Greece and Turkey here. However, the only obvious points exchanges appear between Cyprus and Greece. Indeed, Turkey and Cyprus had never exchanged points until 2004 presumably as a result of the dispute between the nations.

Greece, Cyprus and Turkey all feature highly in Bulgaria‘s voting history tables. There is geographical proximity in play here too, with Bulgaria bordering Greece. Bulgaria also tends to favour entries from North Macedonia, however that link alone is not enough to suggest Bulgaria should be in the Balkan pot instead.

So why were Belgium and The Netherlands nearly always in the Mediterranean pot, despite being located in the total opposite area of the continent? Well, prior to Turkey’s withdrawal, Belgium, in particular, awarded an above average amount of points to Turkey. Furthermore, Armenia was ever-present in this pot between 2010 and 2012, another nation with a significant diaspora community in Belgium. There is also the obvious connection between neighbouring Belgium and The Netherlands too.

This isn’t the strongest of pots, especially with the withdrawal of Turkey, the movement of Armenia to the Soviet pot and the eventual knock-on effect of this that removed the link between this area of Europe with Belgium and The Netherlands. Indeed, only Bulgaria, Greece and Cyprus are now consistent members of this pot. In recent years, Romania, Hungary, Australia, San Marino, Malta, Moldova, Ireland and Portugal have all spent a year or two here to make up the numbers. Nevertheless, Malta and San Marino have spent three consecutive years in this pot which could indicate a permanent new home for the duo.


Country0809101112131415161718192122Other Pot
Czech RepublicO2O2XXXXXOO1O1O1O2OO2100%
San MarinoO2XXO2O2OO1MO1O1O1MMM67%

So this leaves us with the “others”. These nations are present in no notable voting blocs, particularly those that have never been part of one of the four main pots: Andorra, Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia. Often these pots are used to place voting pairs together, although the way half of each pot will meet in the same semi-final often means these pairs are not separated.

Lithuania and Latvia are two of the nations that have been present in an “other” pot on fewer occasions than the rest of this list. Indeed, these two have found themselves filling in in the Nordic pot when members of the core Nordic group have either pre-qualified or been pre-allocated. Interestingly, 2018 was the first year the three Baltic nations have been reunited for the first time since 2014. However, this time it was in an “other” pot instead of inside the Nordic pot. After Estonia‘s brief return to the Nordics, all three Baltics were reunited in an “other pot” once again in 2022. With Australia‘s Nordic ties becoming ever stronger, perhaps a “Baltic” pot will become a permanent fixture?

Another emerging group are the Western European nations with Austria, Switzerland and Czech Republic all finding themselves in the second “other” pot in 2019 and 2022. This year, they’ve been joined by Belgium, The Netherlands and Ireland which indicates a strong geographical grouping should this pot continue in future years.


In conclusion, we have an interesting situation where potentially all six pots do seem to have their own identities. We have the strong groupings amongst the Balkans, Nordics and Soviets and a regenerating Southern European/Mediterranean pot. The two other pots look like they could be focused around the Baltics and the Western European nations in the future assuming the EBU doesn’t choose to reduce the number of pots to five once again.

There are so many interesting patterns to be found here, it will be impossible to cover them all. What patterns do you find interesting? Do you disagree with any country’s location for next week’s semi-final allocation draw in Turin? Let us know in the comments below!

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