Analysis of the running order

by Marcus Klier 1,668 views

The draw of the running order for the Eurovision Song Contest 2010 took place today. Let's take a look at the statistics regarding the draw positions.


Number one

It is always seen as an honour to open a show in the Eurovision Song Contest, but it is not always a good sign if you want to do well. The highest position of a country that opened the Eurovision Song Contest in the years of predominant televoting (i.e. since 1998) were fifth places for Croatia and Cyprus in 1998 and 2002 respectively. Only four of the twelve opening entries in this period of time finshed in the top ten of the final, the last one to date was the Spanish entry in 2004.

In the semi finals, the statistics are a bit better. Exaclty half of the eight songs that opened a semi final since 2004 have made it to the final (although Croatia only qualified for the final thianks to the jury wildcard in 2009). The highest place for a song opening a semi final was the fifth place for Bulgaria in 2007.

Number two

The "curse of number two" is one of the most famous phenomens when it comes to the Eurovision Song Contest. So far, no country has ever won from this position and the best result was a second place for the United Kingdom in 1965. Turkey and the United Kingdom finished third and equal third in 1997 and 2002 respectively. The latter is therefore the best result in the years of televoting and one of only two top ten placings at number two achieved in the years of televoting.

In the semi finals, only one country managed to qualify from the semi finals from number two through televoting, which was Israel in 2008. Sweden also qualified from number two in 2008, but only thanks to the jury wildcard.

Number three

A "curse of number three" is mentioned ocassionally, too. However, this draw position was quite successful in the years of jury voting resulting in a series of victories. The highest placing for a song at number three in the years of televoting was Malta's second place in 2005, which also marks one of only three top ten placings from that positions in these years. Furthermore, a song performed at number three finished last in 1999, 2004 (both semi final and final) and 2009 (second semi final) as well as second last in 1998 (final) and 2006 (final).

Second last

According to the statistics, the second last draw position is the one that resulted in a victory on most occassions. In the years of televoting, two winning songs were performed second last: I wanna in 2002 and Believe in 2008. Eight of the twelve songs that were performed second last in a final reached the top ten. Last year however, Finland finished last from this position in the final.

In the semi finals, only two songs that were performed second last did not make it to the final: The Austrian entry in 2007 and the FYR Macedonian entry in 2008. The latter would have still qualified for the final according to the televoting.


In the years of jury voting, the last spot was among the most successful ones. However, the last victory cam in 1989 and since the introduction of televoting, this position has lost popularity. Still, half of the entries performed last in a final since 1998 finished in the top ten. The highest placing was achieved by Denmark in 2001 finishing second.


The running order of the first semi final is as follows:

  1. Moldova
  2. Russia
  3. Estonia
  4. Slovakia
  5. Finland
  6. Latvia
  7. Serbia
  8. Bosnia & Herzegovina
  9. Poland
  10. Belgium
  11. Malta
  12. Albania
  13. Greece
  14. Portugal
  15. FYR Macedonia
  16. Belarus
  17. Iceland

Moldova takes part for the sixth time and will open a Eurovision Song Contest for the first time.

Russia has been taking part since 1994 and it is the first time that the country is drawn second. Russia was also never drawn first and therefore this is the earliest position for the country ever.

Estonia has to perform at number three for the second time. Previously, Kreisiraadio drew that spot in 2008 and finished second last in their semi final.

Belarus will perform second last for the first time. In previous semi finals, the country had always been drawn rather early with the latest position being number nine in 2008.

Iceland will close a Eurovision Song Contest show for the third time already. However, in 1997 Paul Oscar only finished 20th while Silvia Night did not manage to qualify from the semi final in 2006.


The running order of the second semi final is as follows:

  1. Lithuania
  2. Armenia
  3. Israel
  4. Denmark
  5. Switzerland
  6. Sweden
  7. Azerbaijan
  8. Ukraine
  9. Netherlands
  10. Romania
  11. Slovenia
  12. Ireland
  13. Bulgaria
  14. Cyprus
  15. Croatia
  16. Georgia
  17. Turkey

Although this is only their eleventh particpation, it is already the third time that Lithuania will open one of the shows. However, this position did not bring the country an luck so far: Aiste finished 20th in 1999 while Sasha Son came 23rd in the final last year.

Armenia is taking part for the fifth time and has to perform at number two for the first time. However, an early draw position is not a bad sign as André was the first act qulifying from first spot in the semi final in 2006.

Israel is not very lucky for the fourth year in a row following number two in the 2007 semi final, the first semi final in 2008 and the final in 2009. However, the country was the first (and remains the only) to qualify via televoting from a semi final for number two in the draw, so maybe number three will bring them luck this time.

Georgia takes part for the third time and has qualified from the semi finals from an early position in 2007 and from a late position in 2008. Performing second last should therefore not be a bad sign either.

Turkey has been taking part since 1975, but it will be the first time that the country closes the line-up of a Eurovision show. Remarkably, the country's two best placings came from very early positions in the draw, namely number two in 1997 and number four in 2003. However, Turkey has qualified from the semi final every time so far and should not have to worry about it this year either.


The running order of the finalists is a follows:

  • Spain – No. 2
  • Norway – No. 3
  • United Kingdom – No. 12
  • France – No. 18
  • Germany – No. 22

Spain has to perform at number two for the second time. Previously, D'Nash finished 20th in Helsinki. Remarkably, it is the fourth time in six years that a big four country is drawn at number two.

Norway had to perform at number three on various previous ocassions, most recently in 2004, when the country finished last in the final. However, the highest placed song at number three in the years of televoting was a ballad as well, which might be a good sign.