Unlike the first semi-final, with outcomes almost compatible with alternative systems/analyses, there are some contrasting outcomes that could be gleaned from the second-semifinal. The ordinals and the composite scores would feature a different 10th placer and shut one eventual finalist out.
Officially at 11th place was Serbia (Tijana Bogićević). It turned out she got some support from the juries as she ranked 10th there and barely missed the final cut with an 11th place televote ranking. But it turns out televote was weaker than the rank indicates if you examine ordinals, as ordinals show it was actually 14th–this indicate that her ranking was shored up by high scores from her ex-Yugoslav bloc mates but other televoters are not that into her. If we use the 2013-2015 composite system, she would end up in 13th place instead.
After two consecutive last place semifinal finishes, Switzerland (Timebelle) finally rose from the doldrums and finished a more respectable 12th. ranking 10th with the televote and 11th with the juries. But the jury ordinals would’ve placed it 8th, and its overall ordinals would’ve made it qualify to the final instead of Denmark (Anja Nissen). A similar story if we use the composite system as it would’ve been one of the 10 finalists instead of Denmark. It turns out it suffered a case of the Ryan Dolan Conundrum with the juries.
Ireland (Brendan Murray) had a respectable finish by ranking officially 13th overall, with 12th place showings in both juries and televotes. If we employ ordinals and the composite system, though, it could’ve knocked on Top Ten’s door and place 11th.
Surprisingly polarizing the juries and televote was Estonia (Koit Toome and Laura). Based on jury points it was second to last, but the ordinals reveal that it suffered a case of the Ryan Dolan Conundrum as it actually was 15th based on ordinals. Still, the juries seem to not get the “anti-chemistry” between the pair (which was actually what the song requires) and were probably turned off by Koit’s stoic faces when Laura sang some solo lines. Well, at least it got the love from the public as it finished sixth with them. If we base it on ordinal and the composite system, instead of ranking 14th this entry could’ve ranked 12th.
On the flip side, a surprising jury darling was Malta (Claudia Faniello). It ranked 8th with the juries, but that is not enough to offset its horribly dead last place with the televote (nil points). Sure, her consistently strong vocal chops deserve credit, but it’s not enough to elevate the mediocrity of the ballad, which is what is reflected by the televote results. In fact, her last place showing in the televote would’ve cancelled out the jury points she earned if we employed the composite point system, and she would end up 17th overall using that system.
There are qualifiers who polarized the juries and televotes severely in this round. First, let’s discuss two jury darlings, Austria (Nathan Trent) and Denmark (Anja Nissen). Austria ranked 4th with the juries and Denmark was 5th, but with televote, the former was 14th and the latter was 16th, with a measly 5 points. Even if we employ the ordinals and the composite score system, Austria’s place in the final remains secure as actually based on ordinals it fared a bit better in the televote in 12th place. Unfortunately in the case of Denmark, it would’ve been eliminated and ranked 12th using the ordinals system and 14th using the composite system–just like Malta, its low televote rank would’ve siphoned off significant amount of jury points, and as mentioned above, qualifying in its stead would be Switzerland.
Now, major televote darlings that didn’t fare well with the juries were Romania (Ilinca & Alex Florea) and Croatia (Jacques Houdek). Romania was a huge 3rd in televote and that helped offset its 15th place showing with the jury. Croatia ranked 5th with the televote and 13th with the juries. As demonstrated also in the final, televote points played a more crucial part in deciding placements in this year’s contest.
Now, let’s spare a thought for the entry that placed last: San Marino (Valentina Monetta & Jimmie Wilson). It got nil points from the juries, and thanks to Ralph Siegel fans in Germany it at least garnered 1 measly point from the televote, helping it outrank Malta here. Yes, no one expected this entry to qualify but to be dead last? Lager louts from Ireland and Norway plus token points from ex-USSR countries Belarus, Estonia, and Ukraine helped shore up Lithuania (Fusedmarc)‘s fortunes a bit, but I’d rather have Valentina’s retro-disco cheese over Fusedmarc’s strident wailing. At least I get some amusement when Danish comic artist Humon pointed out that lead singer Viktorija Ivanovskaja resembles a children’s book character called Little My (the latter pronounced “mee” with the lips rounded) from the Swedish book series Moomins. It’s unfortunate that San Marino experienced its worst finish thus far, and now this country is threatening to quit Eurovision altogether.