Draw joy for Spain & Germany; despair for the UK

Mar 20, 2012 by

And so the dust slowly settles on today’s draws and our first reaction is, why on earth did the head of the Spanish delegation choose 19 after winning the wildcard? Anything from 20 or higher would surely have been better, but having recommended 50s Spain e/w, beggars can’t be choosers and we’ll happily settle for that in the greater scheme of things.
The UK’s winning chances look to have gone up in smoke after drawing the 1 slot. Yes, we know the UK won from the 1 slot in 1976, but that was 36 years ago and the ESC is a whole different entity now.
It’s not great news for France or Italy either, drawn in 9 and 10, but very decent for Germany who pulled out the 20 slot, so the telegenic Roman Lob singing his somewhat maudlin Jamie Cullum-penned tune, ‘Standing Still’, will follow what we consider the most powerful and evocative solo female ballad in this year’s contest – Pastora Soler belting out ‘Quedate conmigo’.
Germany certainly looks a shade of value at 22-1 with BlueSq e/w first 4, while Spain, widely-available at 20-1 e/w first 4, still looks on the big side to us.
As for the semis, it’s a case of the luck of the Irish for the second year running, as Jedward will get to perform from the pimp slot in semi-final 1. This has certainly made Ireland look like sure-fire qualifiers. Denmark is in 13, squeezed between Ivi Adamou’s upbeat pop tune ‘La, la love’ in 12, and the singing grannies in 14. If nothing else Soluna’s stellar vocals and the musicality of her tune will surely shine compared to the lesser live singing ability of Ivi and the dreadful Buranovskiye Babushki.
We can see Russia being an enormous hit with televoters, guaranteed to be trending on Twitter, but it will surely be ranked at the bottom of the pile among juries.
In semi 2, Norway’s Tooji in slot 16 appears to have landed a better draw than Scandinavian rival Loreen singing for Sweden, who is drawn 11. But it still looks a decent draw for Sweden given it follows on from two slow, solo female ballads in Slovenia and Croatia, and is followed by the dreadful Georgian entry.
We will give the two semi-finals greater analysis once we have some high street odds to play with. For now, here’s the draws in full:

semi 1 – 1st half:

1 Montenegro
2 Iceland
3 Greece
4 Latvia
5 Albania
6 Romania
7 Switzerland
8 Belgium
9 Finland

2nd half:

10 Israel
11 San Marino
12 Cyprus
13 Denmark
14 Russia
15 Hungary
16 Austria
17 Moldova
18 Ireland

semi final 2 – 1st half:

1 Serbia
2 Macedonia
3 Netherlands
4 Malta
5 Belarus
6 Portugal
7 Ukraine
8 Bulgaria

2nd half:

9 Slovenia
10 Croatia
11 Sweden
12 Georgia
13 Turkey
14 Estonia
15 Slovakia
16 Norway
17 Bosnia
18 Lithuania

Final:

UK – 1
France – 9
Italy – 10
Azerbaijan – 13
Spain – 19
Germany – 20

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