Eurovision 2018: The First Semi-final countries’ qualifying history

Eurovision 2018: The First Semi-final countries’ qualifying history

A few weeks ago, the 43 entries for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest to be held  in Lisbon on 8, 10 and 12 May were gathered. According to the competing  method of the last few years,at the beginning of the year, a draw took place, which divided the countries into groups for two semi-finals.

Which countries are favorites for another qualification and who are more likely to leave the contest early?

We will now examine the first semi-final which managed to accumulate a very good level of songs in comparison with the second one. However, out of 19 entries in the first semifinals, only the first 10 entries will be able to get the ticket to Saturday’s final.

The contestants of the first semifinal are:

First Half

  • Albania
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Estonia
  • Iceland
  • Israel
  • Belarus
  • Lithuania
  • Czech republic

Second Half

  • Armenia
  • Austria
  • Switzerland
  • Greece
  • Ireland
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Finland

Countries with a long history of qualification

It is well known that some countries in the Eurovision are voted regardless of song, and for this reason their qualification history is very long.


The country has been participating in the Eurovision contest  since 2008 and each year it is among the 10 semifinal countries that take the ticket to the big final. Until 2013, the country is in first place with its best place the victory of  2011. However, even when the country did not seem to have a strong participation such as 2014 and 2016, it managed to get through the  semifinal with great comfort. Azerbaijan is voted from many countries every year, with Georgia, Russia and Ukraine first, but they are not in this year’s first semifinal. However, the chances of the country remaining outside the final are minimal.


Armenia has been participating in the institution since 2006 and has only once failed to qualify το the final, in 2011. Armenia receives many votes every year from both the Eastern Block and the Balkan countries, the greatest powers in the institution. Greece and Cyprus are among the countries that support it, and as we will see below, this support is being done by both sides.


With the sole exception of the unfortunate moment in 2016, Greece  has managed to get to the final each year, even when the result in the final was not as good as it has been in recent years. Among the countries that firmly support Greece, we find Cyprus, Albania, Armenia and Bulgaria in this semifinal.

Countries with a moderate percentage of qualification

In this group, we identify countries that, despite all alliances, are not always able to qualify to the final.


The country made its debut  in the institution in 1973 and already counts 3 wins in its assets. However, since 2004, he has not been able to qualify to the final 6 times, while another 8 times the country has got the qualifying ticket.


Austria is one of the first countries to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest, with a few breaks. Without stable alliances, the country has managed to get the ticket from the semi-final  4 times, while others has been limited to the semi-final.

Emerging forces


With only 5 qualifications  and 8 exclusions, the country certainly can not take anything for granted. However, the country seems to be rising in power as it has made very good appearances in the last few years and is ranked first in the final score table.


A country whose qualifying percentage is very small, having managed to get to the final only 3 times but also three times in the top five of the final. After two years of abstention, in 2014 and 2015, Bulgaria returned very strong and seems to desperately want the prize for the first time.


Since 2004 Cyprus has managed to qualify to the final 6 times and 6 have been eliminated. In recent years Cyprus has managed to reach the final without having a good position in the big final. Apart from Greece, Cyprus is voted in countries such as Armenia, Bulgaria, Croatia and Slovenia.

Finally, according to the qualification history of recent years, countries such as Estonia, Finland or Croatia can pass  to the final while countries such as FYROM, Switzerland, Albania, Ireland, Iceland will hardly be able to make the big step to Saturday’s final.

Fotis Kourouvanis

One thought on “Eurovision 2018: The First Semi-final countries’ qualifying history

  1. The fact that it is even possible to predict among voting blocks who will progress is so sad. It used to be all about the best song , music and performance. Now it is all about which country has the most friends. I still watch every year in the hope things may change soon but I doubt it. I will still always support my country and watch every year but it will never have the same enjoyment fir me again while it is judged so unfairly

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