After last night’s semi-final we finally got the announcement of the running order and to say it turned some heads would be an understatement.
Always speculated and scrutinised the running order can make or break your chances to win. So how does the running order this year affect the contest? Who has had their chances suddenly increase or decrease? We had a look and gave our thoughts!
Entries 1-7: 🇨🇾🇦🇱🇮🇱🇧🇪🇷🇺🇲🇹🇵🇹
The biggest surprise from the get go was to see Cyprus handed the opening spot. Often maligned as a position that is impossible to win from, seeing a bookie and fan favourite given this spot was a surprise. Everyone expected a high energy track to open, just not ‘El Diablo’.
Albania being handed the ‘Death Spot’ for a 2nd consecutive contest also raised some disapproving eyebrows. Whilst Malta’s very early inclusion was the source of slight surprise with many expecting Destiny to receive a later slot in the first half. How this will affect her lofty chances will undoubtedly be scrutinised in the lead up to the contest.
Russia, Israel, Belgium and Portugal fill the remaining spots for this section. Their positioning isn’t favourable but the contrast in the their song styles could help them stand out. The last winner from this early in the contest was Turkey in 2003 who performed 4th.
Entries 8-13: 🇷🇸🇬🇧🇬🇷🇨🇭🇮🇸🇪🇸
Hurricane’s bombastic slavic pop display will perform 8th contrasting greatly from Portugal before it. This could work in Serbia’s favour as their performance may leave a more lasting impression on the voters at home. They are followed by the UK which may struggle, feeling relatively forgettable sandwiched between Serbia, and Greece’s green screen madness.
Two massive fan favourites Switzerland and Iceland follow these tracks and their spot is pretty favourable. They stand out from each other and at the almost mid point of the show they have pretty decent real-estate. Måns Zelmerlöw, Conchita Wurst, Duncan Laurence and Salvador Sobral all won from similar positions so hopes will be high for these tracks.
Entries 14-20 🇲🇩🇩🇪🇫🇮🇧🇬🇱🇹🇺🇦🇫🇷
This section is JAM PACKED. Moldova will open but with the quality of high energy tracks this year and being bang in the middle I don’t hold massive expectations for it. The weirdest pair of the contest then follows with Germany into Finland. Clearly someone at the EBU was having a laugh combining these polar opposite songs. They will however stand out from each other, which may play well for Jendrik’s hopes.
Bulgaria’s sombre beauty would stand out anywhere in the order but 17th will certainly make some doubters take note. Lithuania may fall victim however, their contrast from Bulgaria may seem favourable but when followed by the chaotic energy of Ukraine it will be a tough slot. The section concludes with Barbara Pravi and ‘Voila’ and I would expect her to be very happy with this positioning as it really increases her already high chances of Paris 2022.
The close is an incredible mix of songs. Italy will think that 24th will finally be their winning opportunity as it proves incredibly beneficial to be in this position. Måneskin already stand out and this late slot makes them hard to ignore. San Marino will close and after their semi-final performance I can’t think of a better way. An incredible crowd pleaser and fan favourite, this positioning will undoubtedly help their tele-vote scores. Sweden probably gets the worst ever luck being drawn between these two titans. 25th is normally prime position but not this year i’m afraid, Tusse will be drowned out I fear.
Clearly the same EBU exec that chuckled at combining Jendrik and Blind Channel was in charge here as they made ‘Efentix’ become a reality in the running order. Normally fantastic positions, and historically winning positions I fear both these tracks will succumb to the quality around them and become quite forgettable. I worry our hosts, The Netherlands will fall victim to this as well but the change in tone and feel may also work for them. It remains very hard to call how they will do.
So who will win?
Who out of all the acts does this benefit most? This year remains the most unpredictable year in recent memory and making that decision remains very difficult.
France, Italy and Ukraine will be very happy with their draw. Switzerland and Iceland may have enough to make it over the finish line and who knows San Marino may even steal the show. Songs like Cyprus and Malta do now face an uphill battle and if they were to pull off a victory it would be incredible.
So what do you think of the running order? is you favourite still on course to win? Who do you think will come out on top? Tell us your thoughts!
(Photo Credit EBU / Andres Putting)