Analysing The Running Order for 2016 Junior Eurovision Song Contest

Adrian Kavanagh, 15th November 2016

The running order for Sunday afternoon’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest was made yesterday evening in Valetta, with a draw made to determine what half of the running order the different countries/acts would perform in being followed by a running order allocation by the show producers. Hosts, Malta, drew their own position in the running order (5th position). Ireland’s Zena Donnelly drew to perform in first position in the Final.

Ireland's Zena Donnelly will open the 2016 Junior Eurovision Song Contest Final

Ireland’s Zena Donnelly will open the 2016 Junior Eurovision Song Contest Final (Photo @ TG4)

Georgia drew to perform last on the night. The running order for each of the 17 countries/acts performing on Saturday night is outlined here, with a brief discussion of how acts previously performing in that position have fare in previous contests.

It is worth noting that this will be the first ever Junior Eurovision Song Contest to be solely decided on the basis of a jury vote, so the impact of the running order may be less significant than would be the case if this contest was partly/totally based on the public vote/televote.  

  1. Ireland – Zena Donnelly with Bríce Ar Bhríce: This is not an especially good draw to get, based on the results won by the acts that have performed in this position in the running order since the first Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2003. No country has ever won Junior Eurovision while performing first on the night or even finished in the Top 3, while only two acts have finished in the Top 5 of the contest when performing first on the night. In terms of the average amount of points won by acts performing from this draw position since 2003, this position in the running order would be statistically the 10th best draw position to get. Effectively a draw position that usually results in a mid-table position. On a more positive note, over the past two contests both Belarus and Serbia achieved 7th placed finishes from this position in the running order. This is Ireland’s second appearance at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, following on Aimee Banks’ debut at the 2015 contest in Sofia, where she finished in 12th place.
  2. Armenia – Anahit and Mary with Tarber: In (senior) Eurovision, the second position in the Final running order is statistically the worst position you can hope (not) to get. But this is not the case in Junior Eurovision, where performing 2nd on the night has often been a pretty good position results wise. This draw position has seen one winner and two other Top 3 finishes (and one other Top 5 finish) since 2003 (Bulgaria finished in 2nd place from this running order position in last year’s Final, while also winning the televote.) In terms of the average amount of points won by acts performing from this draw position since 2003, this position in the running order would be statistically the 8th best draw position to get. A pretty good position in the running order, so, for an act that could be dark horses in this contest. Armenia will be appearing at Junior Eurovision for the 10th time in Sofia. The country has an excellent record in terms of contest results, having won Junior Eurovision on one occasion (2010) and finished in the Top 3 on five other occasions (including Betty’s 3rd Place finish in Valetta in 2014 and Mika’s 2nd place finish in Sofia last year). In terms of the average number of points won across different contests, Armenia would rank as the most successful country in the contest. 
  3. Albania – Klesta Qehaja with Besoj: As with the second position in the running order, getting to perform third on the night at (senior) Eurovision is usually a pretty bad draw position/position in the running order to get – proving to be the the second worst draw position to get in a Eurovision Final and actually the worst position to get in a Eurovision semi-final. This is not the case with Junior Eurovision, although no act has yet won the contest from this position in the running order. Three acts have finished in the Top 3 while performing third on the night in past Junior Eurovision contests (including Slovenia’s Lina at the 2015 contest). In terms of the average amount of points won by acts performing from this draw position since 2003, this position in the running order would be statistically the 13th best draw position to get. This will be Albania’s third participation in Junior Eurovision. Having finished in 12th/last position in 2012, Mishela Rapo went on to achieve a 5th placed finish in the 2015 contest in Sofia.
  4. Russia – The Water of Life Project with Water of Life: In terms of the number of times that acts have finished in the Top 5, this is one of the better positions in the running order to get, with six acts having finished in the Top 5 from this position in the running order since 2003. While two of these acts have finished in the Top 3, this position in the running order has yet to produce a Junior Eurovision Song Contest winner. In terms of the average amount of points won by acts performing from this draw position since 2003, this position in the running order would be statistically the 14th best draw position to get. Russia are one of the most successful countries at Junior Eurovision, although to date only one Russian act has won the contest – the Tolmachevy Sisters in 2006 (who went on to represent Russia at the 2014 Eurovision Final). This will be Russia’s 12th appearance at Junior Eurovision and Russia has finished in the Top 5 on seven of the eleven occasions that they have competed at the contest to date (including three Top 3 finishes, including the Tolmachevy Sisters). 
  5. Malta – Christina Magrin with Parachute: This is Junior Eurovision’s equivalent of the 2nd draw position/running order position in (senior) Eurovision – this has statistically been the worst position in the contest running order since 2003. No act has won the contest from this position in the running order, with only one Top 3 finish being recorded by Junior Eurovision acts performing 5th on the night. In terms of the average amount of points won by acts performing from this draw position since 2003, this position in the running order would be statistically the 17th best (i.e. the worst) running-order position to get. Malta appear at Junior Eurovision for the 12th occasion at Sofia. The country has finished in the Top 5 on four different occasions, but has achieved notable success in the last two years. Gaia Cauchi won the contest in Kyiv in 2013 and Destiny Chukunyere achieved a second win for Malta last year in Sofia, while Fredrica Falzon finished in 4th place on home soil in Valetta in 2014. 
  6. Bulgaria – Lidia Ganeva with Magical Day (Вълшебен ден): This position in the contest running order has produced one winner down through the years, as well as one other Top 3 finish (Ukraine’s Sofia Tarasova finished 2nd in 2013 from this draw position) and one other Top 5 finish. In terms of the average amount of points won by acts performing from this draw position since 2003, this position in the running order would be statistically the 7th best draw position to get. (Statistically this is the best position in the running order (just ahead of 2nd) that acts performing in the first half of the show could hope to get.) This will be Bulgaria’s 6th appearance at Junior Eurovision. The country’s best result at the contest came in 2014, when Krisia, Hasan and Ibrahim finished in second place (but actually won the televote) with “Planet Of The Children”.
  7. Macedonia – Martija Stanojkovic with Love Will Lead Our Way (Ljubovta ne vodi): One act has won Junior Eurovision from this position in the running order, while two other acts, performing 7th on the night, have finished in the Top 3 and one other act has finished in the Top 5. In terms of the average amount of points won by acts performing from this draw position since 2003, this position in the running order would be statistically the 11th best draw position to get. Macedonia will be appearing at Junior Eurovision for the 12th time in Sofia. The country has yet to win or achieve a Top 3 finish in the contest, but two Macedonian acts have finished in the Top 5. 
  8. Poland – Olivia Wieczorek with Nie zapomnij: After the fifth position in the running order, this is the next worst position statistically to perform from at the Junior Eurovision contest. No act has won the contest while performing from this position in the running order, while only one act performing from this position in the running order has finished in the Top 3. In terms of the average amount of points won by acts performing from this draw position since 2003, this position in the running order would be statistically the 16th best draw position (out of 17) to get. This will be the third time that Poland has appeared at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, but it also marks Poland’s first appearance in the contest since the second ever contest in 2004. Poland achieved little in the way of success in that country’s first two appearances – finishing in last position in 2003 and in 2004, winning just 3 points in both of these contests. Olivia will surely improve on this record in Valetta. 
  9. Belarus – Alexander Minyonok with Musyka moih pobed (Music is my only way): The middle position in the contest running order is statistically a relatively good position in the running order to get. In the past, one act has won the contest from this position in the running order, while three other acts have finished in the Top 3. In terms of the average amount of points won by acts performing from this draw position since 2003, this position in the running order would be statistically the 5th best position to get. In some ways, Belarus are probably the “Ireland” of Junior Eurovision. Belarus have appeared at every contest to date (debuting at Junior Eurovision the year before their first ever appearance at (Senior) Eurovision in 2004) and Valetta will mark the country’s 14th appearance at the contest. Belarus are one of only three countries – the others being Georgia and Malta – to have won the contest on more than one occasion, while acts from Belarus have finished in the Top 3 on 5 occasions (including their two contest winners) and finished in the Top 5 on 8 occasions (including a 4th place finish in the 2015 Final).  
  10. Ukraine – Sofia Rol with Planet Craves For Love: As with the 9th position in the running order, one act has won Junior Eurovision from this position in the running order, while three other acts (performing 10th on the night) have finished in the Top 3. In terms of the average amount of points won by acts performing from this draw position since 2003, this position in the running order would be statistically the 9th best position in the running order to get. Ukraine have enjoyed a good degree of success at Junior Eurovision, but especially over the 2012-2013 period, which saw Anastasiya Pertryk winning the contest in 2012 and Sofia Tarasova finishing second on home soil in 2013. In all, Ukraine have won the contest on one occasion (2012) and finished in the Top 3 on two other occasions. 
  11. Italy – Fiamma Boccia with Cara Mamma – Dear Mom: Based on past contest history, this is a very good position in the running order to get, with two acts having won the contest from this position in the running order (including Italy’s Vincenzo Cantielle in 2014) and with two other acts having finished in the Top 3 from this position (including Armenia in 2015). In terms of the average amount of points won by acts performing from this draw position since 2003, this position in the running order would be statistically the 4th best draw position to get. This is Italy’s 3rd appearance at Junior Eurovision – Vincenzo Cantielle won the 2014 contest in Valetta with “Tu Primo Amore”. Italy finished in 16th place last year, bhis strong position in the running order shoudl see a much stronger finish for italy this year. 
  12. Serbia – Dunja Jeličić with U La La laThis is a really good position in the running order to get. One country has won the contest from this position in the running order, while four other countries (including Armenia in 2014) have finished in the Top 3 while performing at this position in the running order.  In terms of the average amount of points won by acts performing from this draw position since 2003, this position in the running order would be statistically the 2nd best draw position to get.  This is Serbia’s 8th appearance at Junior Eurovision Song Contest (or 9th appearance if the one appearance of Serbia and Montenegro is factored in). Serbia has yet to win the contest, but has finished in the Top 3 on two different occasions.
  13. Israel: Shir & Tim with Follow My Heart: Is 13 unlucky for some? Well this (along with the 14th position) is one of the few later positions in the running order that has yet to see a contest winner, although two acts have finished in the Top 3 from this position in the running order. In terms of the average amount of points won by acts performing from this draw position since 2003, this position in the running order would be statistically the 6th best draw position to get. This will only be Israel’s second appearance at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, having finished in 8th position in their only appearance to date (at the 2012 Final in Amsterdam).  
  14. Australia: Alexa Curtis with We Are: This is the latest position in the contest running order to have yet provided a contest winner, while only one act has finished in the Top 3 while performing from this running order position. In terms of the average amount of points won by acts performing from this draw position since 2003, this position in the running order would be statistically the 12th best draw position to get. This is Australia’s second appearance at Junior Eurovision, following on a 8th place finish for Bella Paige in 2015. Alexa is the first Australian act to have been drawn in the second half of a Eurovision contest. 
  15. The Netherlands: Kisses with Kisses & Dancin’: In statistical terms, this is the best position in the running order that a Junior Eurovision act can hope to get. Three acts have won the contest from this draw position since 2003 (Spain in 2004, Russia in 2006 and Malta in 2015), while one other act performing from this position in the running order has made the Top 3. In terms of the average amount of points won by acts performing from this draw position since 2003, this position in the running order would be statistically the best draw position to get. The act performing in this position will be performing third last on the night – an act performing third last on the night had yet to win the contest up until Destiny’s win in 2015, although three acts had finished in the Top 3 from that position in the running order. The Netherlands (and Belarus) are the only countries to have competed at every Junior Eurovision to date, making this the 13th appearance at Junior Eurovision for The Netherlands. Over the past 12 years, The Netherlands have won the contest on one occasion and finished in the Top 3 on one other occasion. 
  16. Cyprus: George Michaelides with Dancefloor: This is somewhat of a mixed draw for Cyrpus. One act has won the contest while performing in 16th position in the running order, but Albania in 2015 was the only other act has finished in the Top 5 from the running order position. In terms of the average amount of points won by acts performing from this draw position since 2003, this position in the running order would be statistically the 15th best draw position to get. However, the act performing in this position will be performing second last on the night – an act performing second last on the night has won the contest on two occasions (including Malta’s win in 2013) and one other act has finished in the Top 3 from this running order position. This will be the 8th time that Cyprus has appeared at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Cyprus has yet to achieve a Top 5 finish at the contest, but Cyprus has finished in the Top 10 on four occasions. 
  17. Georgia: Mariam Mamadashvili with Mzeo: This position in the running order has produced just one winning act in past contests, although there have only been a relatively small number of contests to date with 17, or more, countries, and, in terms of the average amount of points won by acts performing from this draw position since 2003, this position in the running order would be statistically the 3rd best running order position to get. The act performing in this position will be performing last on the night – an act performing last on the night has won the contest on three (consecutive) occasions (Belarus in 2005, Russia in 2006 and Belarus in 2007) and two other acts have finished in the Top 5 from this running order position. One of the most successful countries in Junior Eurovision history, this is Georgia’s 10th appearance at Junior Eurovision. Georgia has won the contest on two occasions – a record only equalled by Belarus and Malta – and have finished in the Top 3 on one other occasion. 
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