Home / News / Eurovision 2018: Semi-Final Running Orders Published

Eurovision 2018: Semi-Final Running Orders Published

The EBU has just published the full running orders for this year’s semi-finals.

We’ll have some analysis in the next day or so, but feel free to add your own thoughts in the comments section below.

About Gavster

ESCtips Owner   I’m a qualified designer and dedicate a lot of my free time to keeping the ESCtips show on the road. My family routes allow me to support the UK, Ireland and Italy.


  1. You think Belgium could be in trouble now Gavin? My…..did they ‘dump’ that way before entries with much more charismatic and vocal power, like Czech Republic, Israel, Estonia and Bulgaria. Also first starting grid in some cases can be an advantage too (Azerbaijan). And then you have Lithuania, between two very different up-tempo songs. This doesn’t look good for Belgium if you ask me :-(. And I’m a fan of the entry.

    Semi-final 2..well Mr Bjorkman clearly gives the favourites of that semi-final a headstart: Norway (perfect start), Netherlands-Australia-combo (both stand out, both are contenders within their respective genres), Sweden (duhh). But also Hungary (after Malta) and Slovenia stand a chance now. What do you think Gavin?

    • Catriona Colville

      Belgium are the first of the big hitters, and after 3 average/poor songs it’ll stand out. I’m not worried about it. Especially with Azerbaijan opening the show, I worry about them qualifying. Finland and Belarus also in trouble.

      Second semi order makes more sense. My thoughts are that Romania are in big trouble now (and I really like that song). Russia also have a terrible draw as well and I still think they are borderline.

  2. Azer slot 1,Bulgaria slot 10 enough said.Bulgaria have a shot at Israel if the staging works i think.Crucial it does though as there are lots of banana skins in the package.Moldova (great) following Russia (terrible),sending them down the memory hole.Could Russia fail?
    Do Belarus have a strong staging concept from their slot?,or are they being killed from both sides?.
    Very strange lumping all the Balkans together in semi 1 as well.
    I think we can take it as given Ukraine must have another great staging.Slovenia and Montenegro look like the producers saying dont blame us we gave you a good slot.
    Fog clearing a bit,but the best songs havent shown their USP yet,or if their staging potential comes through or not.

  3. Mikey from Australia

    Why did they put Norway first?? It might have ruined Rybaks chances 🙁

    Australia in a great spot…

    First half of semi 1 is a bloodbath… And yeah Belgium got the short straw…

    • Norway will breeze through… It was always an obvious showstarter such as Belgium’s Feel the Pressure 2016….

      Wonder if organizers dare repeat the feat in the final?? Depends on sf2 outcome I guess, to an extent.

      • You mean ‘What’s The Pressure’

        Belgium 2016
        Semi: 135 televote points (only 17 less than Jamala who also had a great spot)
        Final: 51 televote points (272 less than Jamala)

        Huge difference between ending the show and starting the show in her case.

        • What’s the Pressure.. Indeed! Thank you. Her tenth spot finish in final was way beyond what many expected going first.

      • Yes. She got a lucky 10th place because the juries put her 5th/6th overall. Televoters only put her 16th in final.

        It get’s really exciting if you look closely at her jury results. She received 130 points from juries in the final. 109 from the countries which were already allowed to vote in her semi and only 21 from the countries which were only allowed to vote in the other semi. Why do you think this happened?

  4. Does anyone know the effect of ad breaks? There is definitely one before Finland to set the stage up

  5. Could someone explain me why Finland’s spot is bad? I’ve seen mulitple reactions already that Finland is in trouble (based on the draw, so besides the already questionable vocals/staging in the national finals). In my logic 15th seems very nice, but I am not experienced so maybe I am missing something here.

    • Sometimes it depends what goes after it and Cyprus will take much of the upbeat support in that half. Finland don’t have enough allies, and as we saw in the national final, Saara isn’t as vocally strong as people think. Plus, given the advert before, it suggest Finland has a big staging prop, so she’s going over-the-top camp again.

  6. Gav? Do you know where the two ad breaks are for semi final #1 and semi final #2?

  7. Eurovisiontales


    -Romania is in trouble I think.
    -I am a bit worried about Greece, performing before Finland which is going to be bonkers cant be great ( but people say theres going to be a break before Finland so its ok I guess )
    -Swirzerland and Ireland will just build up for Cyprus, which is a certain qualifier in my books now.
    No big suprises other than the semi 1 closer ( I think Bjorkman wants Cyprus to do well o:) )

  8. Semi Final 1

    1 Azerbaijan – Amber
    2 Iceland – RED
    3 Albania – RED
    4 Belgium – GREEN
    5 Czech Republic – GREEN
    6 Lithuania – Amber
    7 Israel – GREEN
    8 Belarus – RED
    9 Estonia – GREEN
    10 Bulgaria – GREEN
    11 Macedonia – RED
    12 Croatia – RED
    13 Austria – Amber
    14 Greece – GREEN
    15 Finland – Amber
    16 Armenia – GREEN
    17 Switzerland – RED
    18 Ireland – Amber
    19 Cyprus – GREEN

    Q’s : 8
    A : 5
    NQ : 6

    Semi Final 2

    1 Norway – GREEN
    2 Romania – Amber
    3 Serbia – Amber
    4 San Marino – RED
    5 Denmark – Amber
    6 Russia – GREEN
    7 Moldova – Amber
    8 Netherlands – GREEN
    9 Australia – GREEN
    10 Georgia – Amber
    11 Poland – GREEN
    12 Malta – RED
    13 Hungary – Amber
    14 Latvia – RED
    15 Sweden – GREEN
    16 Montenegro – RED
    17 Slovenia – Amber
    18 Ukraine – GREEN

    Q : 7
    A : 7
    NQ :4

    • Catriona Colville

      Mostly agree here, although I’m surprised that you have Denmark amber and Russia green.

      • Because it Russia, if it was semi 1 it would be Amber as the composition and overall package isn’t very strong but in semi 2 it’s so weak that Russia’s voting strength should be enough to get them over the line.

        I actually love Denmark abd would love it to qualify but in reality I struggle to see it getting enough support from both sides in the first half.

  9. Prediction Outcome Semi Final #2:
    (in order of qualification chances, behind brackets possible placing)

    GREEN ) Australia (1ST – 2ND)
    GREEN ) Sweden (1ST – 2ND)
    GREEN ) The Netherlands (2ND – 3RD)
    GREEN ) Norway (2ND – 4TH)
    GREEN ) Moldova (4TH – 6TH)
    GREEN ) Hungary (5TH – 7TH)
    GREEN ) Ukraine (5TH – 8TH)
    GREEN ) Poland (6TH – 9TH)
    AMBER ) Georgia (8TH – 10TH)
    AMBER ) Latvia (9TH – 11TH)
    AMBER ) Denmark (9TH – 11TH)
    AMBER ) Russia (9TH – 12TH)
    AMBER ) Romania (10TH – 13TH)
    RED ) Serbia (12TH – 15TH)
    RED ) Slovenia (14TH – 16TH)
    RED ) Montenegro (14TH – 17TH)
    RED ) San Marino (17TH – 18TH)
    RED ) Malta (17TH – 18TH)

    Prediction Outcome Semi Final #1:
    (in order of qualification chances, behind brackets possible placing)

    GREEN ) Israel (1ST – 2ND)
    GREEN ) Czech Republic (1ST – 3RD)
    GREEN ) Austria (2ND – 4TH)
    GREEN ) Estonia (3RD – 5TH)
    GREEN ) Belgium (4TH – 6TH)
    GREEN ) Greece (6TH – 8TH)
    GREEN ) Bulgaria (6TH – 8TH)
    GREEN ) Cyprus (6TH – 9TH)
    GREEN ) Armenia (7TH – 10TH)
    AMBER ) Lithuania (9TH – 11TH)
    AMBER ) Azerbaijan (9TH – 11TH)
    AMBER ) Albania (10TH – 12TH)
    AMBER ) Belarus (10TH – 13TH)
    RED ) Ireland (11TH – 15TH)
    RED ) Croatia (13TH – 17TH)
    RED ) Switzerland (15TH – 17TH)
    RED ) Finland (16TH – 18TH)
    RED ) Iceland (17TH – 19TH)
    RED ) F.Y.R.O. Macedonia (17TH – 19TH)

    First Indication Outcome Grand Final:
    (in order of TOP 10 chances, behind brackets possible placing)

    60% ) Spain (7TH – 13TH)
    55% ) France (9TH – 13TH)
    40% ) Germany (12TH – 16TH)
    35% ) United Kingdom (13TH – 18TH)
    25% ) Portugal (16TH – 22ND)
    10% ) Italy (18TH – 24TH)

    • I’m sorry but Belarus isn’t getting anywhere near the final and with the trickyness of the first half neither is Albania (would definitely be Amber if 2nd half imo but it’s definitely 7th at best in the first half so can’t see it making the cut.)

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