Carlsberg don’t do Eurovision Semi Final Allocation Draws but if they did… What does the 2022 Eurovision Semi Final Allocation Draw mean for Ireland

Adrian Kavanagh, 25th January 2022

The semi final allocation draw for the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest took place earlier today and it was generally a very good one for Ireland.

Ireland was the last of the 36 countries to be drawn out as part of the Semi Final Allocation draw, but by this stage it was obvious that Ireland would perform in Semi Final 2 and would perform in the second half of that semi final.

Being drawn in the second half of Semi Final 2 is very good news for Ireland for a number of reasons:

  1. It guarantees a “later” position in the running order. Since 2011, the Irish acts that have qualified for the Grand Final (Jedward x 2, Ryan Dolan, Ryan O’Shaughnessy) have all enjoyed late positions in the semi final running order. All the acts that got earlier positions in the running order ultimately failed to progress to the Final (Molly Sterling’s #2 position in the 2015 semi final was particularly unhelpful, particularly as she would be the first of a string of seven consecutive ballad/low tempo songs, performing between positions #2 and #8 in that semi final running order…). As it stands, Ireland will get a position between #10 and #18 in the Semi Final 2 running order, so it is by no means certain that Ireland will get a late/very late position in the running order, but “if you’re not in…”
  2. The United Kingdom will be voting in Ireland’s semi final (along with Spain and Germany) and, almost as important, Italy and France will not be voting in Ireland’s semi final. The United Kingdom has been Ireland’s “best friend” at Eurovision during the 2000s, so it is a big boost that the United Kingdom is voting in this semi final
  3. A number of other “friendly”, or at least fairly “friendly”, countries will be in Ireland’s semi final (and hence voting in this semi final), including Australia, Belgium, Malta, San Marino, Finland and Estonia. In all, seven of Ireland’s nine “best Eurovision friends” (based on televote trends during the 2000s) will be voting in Semi Final 2.
  4. This semi final also includes a number of countries who recent qualification records (over the last decade) are on a par with Ireland’s, or not as good as Ireland’s, including Georgia, San Marino, Czech Republic, North Macedonia and Montenegro, while Romania and Poland have missed out on recent Finals and Australia failed to qualify in 2021.

Almost as important as the countries that Ireland got drawn with in the same semi final are the countries that Ireland has avoided.

Ireland avoided the two “least friendly” of the Big 5 countries – France and Italy – in terms of the Big 5 countries voting in our semi-final, as noted already.

But Ireland also avoided a number of “Contest big hitters” (who, in turn, don’t usually award many Eurovision points to Ireland), including Ukraine, Russia, Greece and Bulgaria. There are also a number of countries in this semi final that have achieved very good results in recent contests, such as Iceland (in turn, the least likely of the Nordic countries to vote for Ireland), Switzerland and Norway, as well as a number of countries that have won the contest in recent years, including The Netherlands, Portugal, Austria and Ukraine, so again it is probably not a bad thing for Ireland to have avoided these countries.

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