A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Friday, May 22, 2015

ESC 2015: the final running order

A eurovision producer's nightmare? Let me try to explain. Like Oslo 1996 - when you have one single up-tempo, happy, chart-friendly hit in an endless row of ballad and it gets drawn to perform as number two.

Or in Düsseldorf, where the final lineup was really good until hasard decided to put basically all favourites together in the first half of the show without spreading them out the slightest.

To avoid things like these, there was a change of rules in 2013. The draw was reduced to deciding what half of the show you perform in, then the host producer gets to sequence the running order instead.

But what does it help? Out of the 27 songs in the final - I'm repeating myself but TWENTY-SEVEN? Who thought that was a good idea? Did nobody watch the horror that was the 2007 semi final? - only eight are uptempo. And seven of them are drawn in the first half. After the commercial break in the middle all songs but Georgia will be ballads or mid-tempo offerings.

The running order:
01. Slovenia, 02. France, 03. Israel, 04. Estonia, 05. United Kingdom, 06. Armenia, 07. Lithuania, 08. Serbia, 09. Norway, 10. Sweden, 11. Cyprus, 12. Australia, 13. Belgium, 14. Austria, 15. Greece, 16. Montenegro, 17. Germany, 18. Poland, 19. Latvia, 20. Romania, 21. Spain, 22. Hungary, 23. Georgia, 24. Azerbaijan, 25. Russia, 26. Albania, 27. Italy.

What does this mean, then? It means that most people that are not hardcore ESC fans or didn't hear the songs several times already will have a very long evening. A very very long evening where most of the songs in the second half will turn into one big heap of similarity, regardless if your song is good or not.

What strikes me is how this running order probably hugely diminishes the chances of both Russia and Italy - they are still convincing but the average viewer will be very tired  when they come on and will have a harder time to give yet another ballad a chance. I won't count them out just yet but it isn't doing them any favours.

My guess is that the songs in the first half will find themselves with an advantage and I find it likely one of them is our winner. Estonia. Sweden. Australia. Belgium. Anything is possible.


  1. The running "mid-tempo-ballad" order will make it even more difficult to stay awake and watch live at the 03.30am mark...

  2. I don't think Russia would suffer from any spot, certainly not 25th
    I have the feeling EBU wants it to win

    1. That's interesting. I'd be pretty sure the EBU does NOT want Russia to win. They would have to juggle politics a lot if so, and that's one thing they don't like doing a lot.

  3. beware the easy going entries.. they get all fired away in the first half to heat people up and get them in a mood. lets see if theyll stick to it afterwards. ive always been impressed, though, how later spots tend to do better. people seem to keep paying attention. i myself rather experience the first ones more intensely i have a feeling. slovenia is a nice starter.. no bothering and builds up after a calm kick-off .. nice intro