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2018 Grand Final Running Order Written by on May 11, 2018 | 7 Comments

As in recent years, the production team burned the midnight oil to give us the running order for Saturday’s Grand Final. John Egan gives us an overview of the order and what it might portend for our 2018 overall results.

Some delegations will be very happy this morning; others will not.  We’ll get to that in a moment.

First, it is important to remember that this is a running order rather than a ‘draw’: with the exception of hosts Portugal, all the slots for this weekend’s Grand Final were producer-assigned. Granted, each entry ‘drew’ either the first or second half, but that still gives the production team a range of 13 slots from which to choose for each entry. And a great deal of scope, in terms of which entries to put adjacent to one another.

Let’s jump right in.

If they are awake, the Irish, Cypriot, Dutch, Israeli and Hungarian delegations should be very pleased. They are in one of the two prime ranges (21st to 25th) and there is a good amount of contrast between the genres, artists, and stagings. Our hunch is that Ireland and Cyprus–who will repeat their order of performance, though Italy will close the Grand Final – were both in the top three of the Tuesday’s Semi Final.

The other prime range is usually 7-11. Portugal randomly drew 8th, so the new range could be 6-11 or 7-12th. It seems likelier that Estonia did better than Albania: they have neighbours and a few friends in the Scandinavian bloc, plus Elina Netsayeva might have done well with the russosphere. Albania struggles to qualify in most years and had a terrible draw in semi-final one. That means that either Norway or Serbia did well in the second semi-final. Our hunch is that would be Norway.

France (13th), Czech Republic (14th), Denmark (15th) and Australia (16th) have OK draws.  Finland (17th), Bulgaria (18th), Moldova (19th) and Sweden (20th) are similarly positioned.

Spain (second) and Slovenia (third) have been buried in the first half. Italy’s been sort of buried in the second half (last/26th); Lithuania (4th) and Austria (5th) in the first half. None of these should be thrilled.

Time To Rest

The first semi-finalists–assuming they haven’t done a lot of appearances yesterday or today as part of their promotional campaigns–all have had two days off from rehearsals. Tonight’s qualifiers aren’t as lucky. Keep an ear on Ukraine, Australia, Hungary, Moldova, and Norway. Ukraine goes from closer to opener, which did not go well for Israel in 2017. Expect the cleverer of these to rest their voices partially or entirely during the first and third rehearsals for the Grand Final, which start in less than 12 hours!

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7 responses to “2018 Grand Final Running Order”

  1. Mark says:

    I’d say that Germany and France have better positions than Estonia and Norway. Also I see Ireland as a sacrificial lamb to Cyprus and not a song which performed particular well in its semi. Czech Rep., Denmark and Australia are in a danger zone.

  2. Shai says:

    Jury final will make the difference, this year more than ever. It will show which song stands out and which song suffer from this running order.

    This year, I don’t think we will have a runaway winner. It’s going to be a tight vote till the end. Good for the competition, not so good for people with a weak heart😀

    Spain from slot 2 – I think Bjorkman doesn’t like the song.
    U.K. – reasonable place in the running order, but Bjorkman is saying to them, you are on your own.

    2nd half of the final – no time to breath or go to the toilet.

    Italy will close the final and not the semi final.

  3. Seán T says:

    I’ve love to think that Ireland came in the top 3 in the semi but unless we’ve topped the jury vote I cannot see how we did this. I do feel that the song is very western and dancing will put off some of the ex-USSR juries. (I wonder what happens under the exponential model where 1 juror ranks a song first and 4 others rank it below 20th). We’ve a history of underperforming in the finals and I cannot see how this might change.

  4. Ben says:

    What nonsense. How can 25th be a good draw and 26th bad? Last time Italy were last they won the televote.

  5. Ben says:

    And there have been plenty of winners from 17 to 20 so how can they be just ok?

  6. Danny62 says:

    So is it true that those deciding the running order know the results of the semi-finals? This is implied several times in the article, but I’ve never been able to get a straight answer to that question.

  7. John Egan says:

    Thanks everyone for your comments.
    Mark: that’s fair comment. But this is a year with a lot of ambiguity, and rather than lots of waffle I’ve tried to offer some sense of direction of travel. it could be more clustering is being trialled this year–three mini-sequences to create an overall show. We’ll know tomorrow.
    Shai: the em dashes mean the semi-final reference was not related to Italy. Italy was an “aside’
    Seán: Also fair comment. We will know after the results how the exponential model was applied. But we will be out whooping it up and not looking at numbers for several days
    Ben: Italy is the only entry to get a top 5 in the televote performing 26th under the two semi-final system. France was 10th last year. Big 5 countries have little data to inform where they go. Grande Amore also rocked the televote and had little jury love in Sanremo that year. So it’s data, not nonsense. We have had one second half winner in 2016 under the current system. When slots were randomly assigned things were different.
    Danny: they have all the data from the semi-finals. For the Big 5 and hosts, they can look at things like streaming, betting odds or other outside data.

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