Draw positions for the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest Final

Adrian Kavanagh, 7th May 2014 – post will be updated on morning after Semi Final 2

As discussed in The Eurovision Handbook 2014, and as also detailed on some of the posts on this site, the position a song is performed in at a Eurovision final and semi-final can have a bearing on that song’s prospects, with the general rule of thumb being that a latter performance position is the most advantageous.

Figure: Average number of points won from different positions in the running order at recent Eurovision Finals

Figure: Average number of points won from different positions in the running order at recent Eurovision Finals

9th May:  In the early hours of this morning, the Danish TV producers (DR), who are producing this year’s show, decided on the running order for this year’s Final and it is:

1. Ukraine, 2. Belarus, 3. Azerbaijan, 4. Iceland, 5. Norway, 6. Romania, 7. Armenia, 8. Montenegro, 9. Poland, 10. Greece, 11. Austria, 12. Germany, 13. Sweden, 14. France, 15. Russia, 16. Italy, 17. Slovenia, 18. Finland, 19. Spain, 20. Switzerland, 21. Hungary, 22. Malta, 23. Denmark (drawn earlier), 24. The Netherlands, 25. San Marino, 26. United Kingdom

A few thoughts on this:

  • In my opinion, the big winners arising from this running order decision (out of the countries who would figure amongst the main contenders for this year’s contest) are Sweden (although may not be helped by being on directly after the ad-break), Denmark, Austria, The Netherlands and Hungary.
  • Ruslana (Ukraine) won while performing from 10th position in 2004 (and Sertab Erener (Turkey) won from 4th position in 2003), but since then all of the winners have come from the 17-24 performance positions (see Table 1 below). With most of the contest favourites drawn for the first half of the Final, only Denmark, Hungary and The Netherlands (out of the favourites)  have got performance positions within these 17-24 performance slots.
  • The running order decision seems to have done as much as is possible to help two of the favourites, Sweden and Austria, giving these almost as late a performance position as possible (especially in the case of Sweden, who are the latest in the running order out of the “First Half acts”) that they could get in the first half of the Final.
  • The United Kingdom, who I considered to be a strong outside bet for the contest, have not done well in this running order decision, getting the same No. 26 (last) position in the running order that Ryan Dolan received last year. The evidence, from the four Finals in which 26 countries have taken part (2003, 2011, 2012 and 2013) suggests that the last position would seem to be too late in the running order of a very long final to help an entry hold the interest of what, by then, will be a rather tired Eurovision audience. On the other hand, they will not face the problems Ireland had in 2013 of being scheduled a few songs after a cluster of most of (apart from Russia) the contest favourites in that year’s Final.
  • If I am to be cynical, there seems to be a political dimension to this running order decision. A number of Denmark’s neighbours have done very well in the running order decision (especially Sweden, Germany and Finland, but maybe not Norway). The running order decision seems to have favoured the Western European finalists more so than those from Eastern Europe and also seems to have “punished” countries such as Belarus, Azerbaijan and Russia. Nearly all of (or all of, if you classify Slovenia and Hungary as Western European states) of the plum performance positions in the running order – those between No.17 and No.24 have been given to Western finalists (although the draw for first or second half Final positions, in fairness, left most of the Former Soviet states in the first half of the draw with the exception of Russia). Belarus have got the worst position in the running order that a Eurovision finalist can get – the “cursed No.2 draw” position and the next worst position to get statistically has been allocated to Azerbaijan. Russia has almost got as early a running order position as they could have received, given that the Tolmachevy Sisters drew to appear in the Second Half of the Final. The only eastern state that seems to have got a break from the running order decision is Greece, as the No.10 running order position is statistically as good a position as one can hope to get in the first half of a Eurovision Final running order.
  • I may be overtly cynical in suggesting that political concerns/interests may have consciously/subconsciously shaped the running order decision, but leaving decisions on the running order to the host TV producers will always leave things open to such claims/accusations. For the sake of transparency, the European Broadcasting Union needs to revert back to the traditional approach of having a draw for positions in the running orders of the Eurovision semi-finals and finals, otherwise claims of bias towards/against certain entries and certain countries cab be levelled against the contest organisers.
  • This may not seem to impact Ireland, given that we are no longer in contention for this year’s contest, but the semi-final running order was also decided by DR, the host/Danish TV producers. The No.9 position in the running order was not a good one to get and should it be shown that we narrowly missed out on the Final (we won’t know until after Saturday’s Final) then it could be claimed that this so-so position in the running order may have cost us a place in the Final. (Against that, the excellent positions in the semi-final running orders that Ireland enjoyed in the previous three contests did play a role in helping us make the final, as was especially the case in 2011 and 2013.)

Ultimately, as noted above, position in the running order can help/hinder an entry’s chances and the table below shows that most of the winners during the 2000s have come from later positions in the Final running order:

Finals
Year Winning Country Position
2013 Denmark 18
2012 Sweden 17
2011 Azerbaijan 19
2010 Germany 22
2009 Norway 20
2008 Russia 24
2007 Serbia 17
2006 Finland 17
2005 Greece 19
2004 Ukraine 10
2003 Turkey 4
2002 Latvia 23
2001 Estonia 20
2000 Denmark 14

Table 1: Positions in the Eurovision Final running order held by contest winners between 2000-2013

9th May: Following Semi Final 2, at the post-contest press conference the ten qualifiers from that semi final also drew for which half of the semi-final they would be performing in.

After this, we now knew that

  • Belarus, Norway, Romania, Poland, Greece, Austria, Germany, Azerbaijan, Montenegro, Armenia, Ukraine, Sweden and Iceland will perform in the FIRST HALF of the Eurovision Song Contest Final
  • Slovenia, Finland, Switzerland, Malta, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, Spain, San Marino, Russia, Hungary and the Netherlands will perform in the SECOND HALF of the Eurovision Song Contest Final

With practically all of the contest favourites out of Semi Final 2, in addition to most of the favourites from Semi Final 1, now in the first half of the Final running order, leaving only Hungary, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom (as well as Denmark), out of the countries running strongly in the bookie odds, in the second part of the Final. On the basis of a later draw generally tending to help countries in Eurovision Finals, this would seem to have helped those three countries to a quite significant degree.

7th May: We now have 16 confirmed finalists for the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest after Tuesday night’s first semi-final; the six Big Five/Host countries and the ten qualifiers from Semi Final 1. Apart from the hosts Denmark, who have already been drawn to perform in position 23, the Big 5 countries have drawn for whether they will be performing in the first or second half of the Final with most of these (apart from Germany) getting to performing in the second half of the show. Following last night’s semi final, at the post-contest press conference the ten qualifiers also drew for which half of the semi-final they would be performing in. What is interesting here is the fact that most of contest favourites, who qualified out of that semi-final, ended up with a first half of the final draw position – the notable exception here perhaps being Hungary.

So after last night we now know that:

  • Germany, Azerbaijan, Montenegro, Armenia, Ukraine, Sweden and Iceland will perform in the FIRST HALF of the Eurovision Song Contest Final (six qualifiers from Semi Final 2 will also performing in this half of the final)
  • Denmark (performing 23rd on the night), the United Kingdom, Italy, France, Spain, San Marino, Russia, Hungary and the Netherlands will perform in the SECOND HALF of the Eurovision Song Contest Final (four qualifiers from Semi Final 2 will also performing in this half of the final)

 

 

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2 Responses to “Draw positions for the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest Final”

  1. 2014 Eurovision Final prediction: Undo the journey from Malmo to Copenhagen? | Adrian Kavanagh's Blog Says:

    […] Blog posts from Adrian Kavanagh on the Eurovision Song Contest, sports and other entities! « Draw positions for the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest Final […]

  2. 2015 Eurovision Final results estimate: Sweden? Russia? Azerbaijan? Italy? Who Knows? | Adrian Kavanagh's Blog Says:

    […] identified 17 of the 20 qualifiers from this year’s semi finals. Now that we know the running order for the 2015 Eurovision Final I am going to use this to try and tease out who the likely winners will be of the 2015 contest will […]

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