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Andalublue
28th May 2012, 19:28
I noticed a few reports and more than a few posters here claiming that Engelbert Humperdinck was handicapped on Saturday because he had to sing first. The statements were made as if it goes without saying that it is worse to sing early on in the contest than late on. I wondered if this was true, so I checked. It's not very clear, but I don't think that there is enough evidence to say singing first is bad.

Since 1956 it appears that the best position to perform is at Number 17. Seven countries have won the contest singing 17th. It seems the positions you dan't want are positions 2, 16, 21, 25 and 26. No country has ever won from those positions.

Comparing first against last positions shows that it's better to sing last - 6 countries have won singing last. Only 3 have won singing first (Teach In, Brotherhood of Man, Herreys). Having said that, since the contest increased in size from c.18 countries up to the late-80s, to 25 or 26 since the early-90s, the benefit of singing last seems to have disappeared. Now it appears that it is very difficult to win singing last; no one has done it since 1989. It definitely seems that in modern ESC Festivals position 17 or the second-to-last singing positions are the two to give the best chance of success. Since 1995 4 countries have won from 17th and 3 from second-to-last.



Of course, what all this could mean is that singing position has no bearing on a country's likely success.

Most successful draw positions (number of wins in brackets):

17th (7)
Last and 3rd from last (6 each)
8th & 14th (5 each)
3rd, 9th, 20th and 2nd last (4 each)

Least successful draw positions:

2nd, 16th, 21st, 25th, 26th (0)
4th, 6th, 7th, 23rd (1)

I separated out the 3rd from last, 2nd from last, and last position results to cut out distortions according to different numbers of competing nations through the years.

RomanFromRussia
28th May 2012, 20:01
Since 2010 the best position is position which was performed by Romania last year

In 2009 Romania performed 22nd, in 2010 Germany, which performed 22nd too, won
In 2010 Romania performed 19th, in 2011 Azerbaijan, which performed 19th too, won
In 2011 Romania performed 17th, in 2012 Sweden, which performed 17th too, won
So in 2012 Romania performed 14th:D

FilipFromSweden
28th May 2012, 20:40
Yeah, i really think 17th is a real super startningnumber :D not just because Loreen won it. Also Molitva and Hard Rock Hallelulejah had it.
I must say i don't know but i really think so. Azerbaijan had a killer number in 2010 and it still ended 5th, maybe because they were starting as nr 1? I really thought they was going to win. But it only ended up 5th.

FilipFromSweden
28th May 2012, 20:41
Since 2010 the best position is position which was performed by Romania last year

In 2009 Romania performed 22nd, in 2010 Germany, which performed 22nd too, won
In 2010 Romania performed 19th, in 2011 Azerbaijan, which performed 19th too, won
In 2011 Romania performed 17th, in 2012 Sweden, which performed 17th too, won
So in 2012 Romania performed 14th:D

Romania is always to fast :(

Andalublue
28th May 2012, 20:46
Romania is always to fast :(

You mean they don't eat?

Andalublue
28th May 2012, 20:48
Yeah, i really think 17th is a real super startningnumber :D not just because Loreen won it. Also Molitva and Hard Rock Hallelulejah had it.
I must say i don't know but i really think so. Azerbaijan had a killer number in 2010 and it still ended 5th, maybe because they were starting as nr 1? I really thought they was going to win. But it only ended up 5th.
Well, as I think I proved, going first is not a disadvantage.

EurovisionSmile
28th May 2012, 22:19
Being first and having a terribly boring song, yes, I suppose that's fatal :?

dezbee2008
28th May 2012, 22:41
Since 2010 the best position is position which was performed by Romania last year

In 2009 Romania performed 22nd, in 2010 Germany, which performed 22nd too, won
In 2010 Romania performed 19th, in 2011 Azerbaijan, which performed 19th too, won
In 2011 Romania performed 17th, in 2012 Sweden, which performed 17th too, won
So in 2012 Romania performed 14th:D

and in 2013, whoever gets number 14 will win Eurovision... We should just ask Romania who will win next year...

doctormalisimo
29th May 2012, 01:39
Being first and having a terribly boring song, yes, I suppose that's fatal :?

Yes! Having a ballad and the opening draw doesnt seem to end well (at least for Paradise Oskar and Engelbert anyway)

Andalublue
29th May 2012, 10:31
Yes! Having a ballad and the opening draw doesnt seem to end well (at least for Paradise Oskar and Engelbert anyway)

Neither Engelbert nor Oscar would have won even singing 17th.

Yamarus
29th May 2012, 11:25
If a song is a clear favourite, I think it would win in any position. The point margin may differ though (I feel that if Russia had performed later, in Serbia's place for example, they'd have finished closer to Sweden).

But it's otherwise clear that opening the show is hard if your song is nothing special. Unremarkable songs may do relatively well with a late draw, and go totally unnoticed with an early one. Look at Lithuania 2012's placing in the semi: 3rd! It's not half as bad as many members on this board say it is, but "Love is Blind" is indeed not an amazing track.

Another example that comes to mind is Spain 2010. Early draw but "lucky them", they get to perform again and finish in a very respectable place for such a bad entry.

Anca
29th May 2012, 12:23
I don't think so. True Eurovision fans watch all the performances, I mean, I didn't miss anyone. And you could hear all the screams when Loreen was on stage, she was clearly the favorite, it wouldn't be any different if she opened the show.

Andalublue
29th May 2012, 13:17
Another example that comes to mind is Spain 2010. Early draw but "lucky them", they get to perform again and finish in a very respectable place for such a bad entry.

I think Spain 2010 did well because it was a very different style of song to all the others. Musical theatre-style songs are a rarity, but musical theatre is very popular. Also, the performance was excellent and the singer had a great voice. I don't think singing twice did it any harm, but was not the reason for its reasonable performance. It was only fair that they performed again due to the demonstration.

Andalublue
29th May 2012, 13:20
I don't think so. True Eurovision fans watch all the performances, I mean, I didn't miss anyone. And you could hear all the screams when Loreen was on stage, she was clearly the favorite, it wouldn't be any different if she opened the show.

True Eurovision fans make up about 0.5% of the voters, maximum. I think the fact that singing last is no longer an advantage, if fact a disadvantage, suggests that ordinary viewers are bored by the time song 25 or 26 comes on. They've gone to make tea or feed the dog or switch over to the news. They come back for the voting.

Haustor
29th May 2012, 14:09
I think that for some songs it can work well to go first. I have a feeling that Denmark 2012 would have done much better going first than being surounded by Romania, Greece and Sweden.

CC92
30th May 2012, 06:26
For songs like Da da dam or Love will set ya free, maybe it is. Most winning entries would have won from any position though. :p

Yamarus
31st May 2012, 21:29
For songs like Da da dam or Love will set ya free, maybe it is. Most winning entries would have won from any position though. :p

Yes, when there's a clear favourite (like most years), the draw may (perhaps) impact on the margin but not on the final result. Look at 2003, a very close year. The Top 3 performed in three different "acts": Turkey at the beginning (4th), Russia in the middle (11th) and Belgium at the end (22nd).

Maybe the succession of songs is more important? A streak of ballads may bore the audience, same with up-tempo songs. I remember Estonia 2011 performed after no less than three or four relatively similar songs, and ended up at the very bottom. But one can never say if the draw is really responsible...

Matt
31st May 2012, 21:53
Maybe the succession of songs is more important? A streak of ballads may bore the audience, same with up-tempo songs. I remember Estonia 2011 performed after no less than three or four relatively similar songs, and ended up at the very bottom. But one can never say if the draw is really responsible...

I think that's unrelated. Estonia already flopped in the Semis and only (and barely) made it due to the juries help.

As I mentioned before there is a minor advantage as some folks don't turn on the TV until halfway through the show and some of us have a short term memory :D. But in the great scheme of things it isn't that big of a deal. As a matter of fact I was hoping for an early draw for Sweden just to prove the point that a good song can have any draw and still can win the contest by a landslide.

Then there is always the question if it could have an impact on the rest of the ranking and we will never know for sure but as I pointed out before, in 2009 the bottom 2 of that year were the last two songs performed.

Filip
31st May 2012, 23:41
Since 2010 the best position is position which was performed by Romania last year

In 2009 Romania performed 22nd, in 2010 Germany, which performed 22nd too, won
In 2010 Romania performed 19th, in 2011 Azerbaijan, which performed 19th too, won
In 2011 Romania performed 17th, in 2012 Sweden, which performed 17th too, won
So in 2012 Romania performed 14th:D

That is kind of scary! :o

EscTurkey
14th June 2012, 00:49
Yeah, i really think 17th is a real super startningnumber :D not just because Loreen won it. Also Molitva and Hard Rock Hallelulejah had it.
I must say i don't know but i really think so. Azerbaijan had a killer number in 2010 and it still ended 5th, maybe because they were starting as nr 1? I really thought they was going to win. But it only ended up 5th.

Maybe they would. In the semifinal, they won the televoting, overtaking Turkey.
And in the mixed results of the semifinal they were 2nd and Romania was 4th.
I still wonder which place it would get if it had a good rank.

Kicker
14th June 2012, 18:46
Nah, I'm sure that Azerbiajan wouldn't have won: Lena would have won anyway, no matter when she had to sing... Also I think Safura's performence at the final wasn't very well and that is also a big point in Eurovision - I remember me saying "Oh, she really doesn't sings well today..." back then... I think it wouldn't have made a difference if she would have sung later...
(But I still don't get why songs like "Always" just ended up 3rd and something like "Running Scared" won :?)

alca
17th June 2012, 12:06
I do believe that starting order is important. Of course that is not enough. If you have a great song then you're gonna win no matter what (eg Turkey 2003 singing at #4). But if you have a mediocre song then the position will give you a little boost. Totally not enough to win but it can help you finish a few places up.