Adrian Kavanagh, 29th March 2016 – updated 8th April
After some delay, SVT, the Swedish host broadcaster for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, finally announced the running order allocations for this year’s two semi-final contests at 7am on Friday 8th April. While the semi-final allocation draw in January did determine which half of the semi-finals the 18 countries in Semi Final 1 and the 19 countries in Semi Final 2 would perform in, the host broadcasters (as has been the case since the last time Sweden hosted the contest in 2013) get to determine the exact position in the running order that each country/act will perform in. (The same rule applies also for Eurovision Finals, although there was a draw this year to determine the position that the hosts, Sweden, would be performing in (and Sweden drew the 9th position in the Final running order).
The running orders are:
Semi Final 1: 1. Finland, 2. Greece, 3. Moldova, 4. Hungary, 5. Croatia, 6. The Netherlands, 7. Armenia, 8. San Marino, 9. Russia, 10. Czech Republic, 11. Cyprus, 12. Austria, 13. Estonia, 14. Azerbaijan, 15. Montenegro, 16. Iceland, 17. Bosnia and Herzegovina, 18. Malta
Semi Final 2: 1. Latvia, 2. Poland, 3. Switzerland, 4. Israel, 5. Belarus, 6. Serbia, 7. Ireland, 8. FYR Macedonia, 9. Lithuania, 10. Australia, 11. Slovenia, 12. Romania, 13. Bulgaria, 14. Denmark, 15. Ukraine, 16. Norway, 17. Georgia, 18. Albania, 19. Belgium
However, with Romania having been disqualified on 22nd April 2016 the Semi Final 2 running order now reads as follows: 1. Latvia, 2. Poland, 3. Switzerland, 4. Israel, 5. Belarus, 6. Serbia, 7. Ireland, 8. FYR Macedonia, 9. Lithuania, 10. Australia, 11. Slovenia, 12. Bulgaria, 13. Denmark, 14. Ukraine, 15. Norway, 16. Georgia, 17. Albania, 18. Belgium
Figure 1: Average points per position in the running order at Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals between 2008 and 2015
While it is claimed that this helps make for a better/more balanced show, there is some controversy associated with this approach given that statistics suggest that certain positions in the Eurovision running order can help/hinder an act’s chances of qualifying out of a semi-final and/or doing well in a Eurovision Final. This is evident from a study of the Eurovision Semi Final voting statistics in Figure 1 above.