It's a draw!

Now the famous draw is concluded, and, for the people who dont yet know, this is the division of countries between the semi finals:

Semi 1 (Tuesday)
Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Moldova, Montenegro, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Slovenia.
(On top of this, Germany and Spain will broadcast and vote in this semi.)

Semi 2 (Thursday)
Albania, Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, FYR Macedonia, Georgia, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine.
(France, Serbia and the UK will broadcast and vote in this semi.)

What is there to say about this, then? Most clever things have already been written elsewhere, in addition to an impressive amount of rubbish. What is most usual is that everyone clearly over-estimates the importance of this draw. Like every year, when the draw is done.

It is nice and fair and square to divide countries that regularly votes for each other. That makes the whole thing a bit more exciting and unpredictable. Most sites have pointed out in their analysis that Greece and Cyprus are divided, and that Turkey is taken away from loyal voters in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. However, they seem to have missed the fact that France tends to vote for Turkey as well. And that Bulgaria gave ALL their 12-pointers to date to Greece.

But hey, you can't get everything into your analysis, right?

What about Finland, then? How will Finland be affected by this draw? I'd say the answer is: pretty little. Finland will miss points from Sweden (many Finns over there), but at the end of the day, the Finnish luck is usually down to other factors than the neighbourly kindness. There has been a lack of that in the past. For the last two years, Finland scored heavily from neighbours, but look a tiny bit further back. What do you see? Nothing? Bingo - that's the way it has been. Either Finland makes a splash or a crash, and when we crash, the other Nordic remain as unimpressed as everyone else.

"Will Eurovision go back to being a Song Contest now?" is the discussion topic of one major Eurovision site after the draw. Well, it always was.

Don't drop your jaws now, but the problem everyone is trying to solve here - that the countries from the old East are scoring while the West is not - won't disappear after this new formula for the semi finals.

It is easy to do the maths: Georgia sends their most popular singer - Belgium sends a hobby band. Russia sends their hottest, most promising debutants - the Netherlands send a has-been with no record company backing. Turkey sends their best-selling male singer - Spain sends in a boyband that saw its sell-by date years ago. The Ukraine sends a funny comedy song by a comedian with an international reputation - The UK provides an unfunny gag from a school play performed by a group that sold twenty copies ages ago and that everyone forgot about... Need I go on?

Unless there is a huge change in quality and effort from the old, traditional countries, we will see 15-18 "East" countries in the final. No hocus pocus with semi devision will change that. End of story.

But it is nice of the EBU to keep trying.

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