It was last night, 1:20 in Central Europe, when the EBU released the running order for the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021!
Here’s what it looks like – scroll down to read our team members’ comments:
— Eurovision Song Contest (@Eurovision) May 20, 2021
And in pure text:
- United Kingdom
- The Netherlands
- San Marino
Shi: Oh, look, we have some BFFs here! Israel and Belgium get to stay together in the final too, only with their order being reversed, and same goes with Bulgaria and Finland. No need to change a winning formula, or something. Elsewhere, the Lithuania/Ukraine/France sequence is the oddest one for me. I don’t think Ukraine will be impacted by having Lithuania before it, even though I’m not sure that the combination works musically – judging by the last few days, Ukraine had a much bigger reaction. France after Ukraine, though, is a different story. Half of the countries in the final are yet to witness Ukraine, and with how it’s structured, by the time people catch their breath, France will be halfway done. More than that, the two are the most intense songs in the lineup and and it’s a lot to take in in six minutes.
The audience will get into a better mood with the Azerbaijan ethno, followed by the slower tempo of Norway. Netherlands will help the show shift gears again and – understandably – get the audience going, just in time for Italy, which demands huge audience reaction to work to its fullest effect.
Martin: There’s some fun thematic bunching here. Russian and Maltese female empowerment anthems followed by a bunch of men telling us about a woman. Back-to-back middle fingers from Germany and Finland. And as Shi said, two of the favourites – Ukraine/France – both with structures that get more and more intense as they go on. I’m a little surprised to see Iceland, Germany and Lithuania in relatively close proximity since they didn’t have to be. The same applies for the (I use the phrase with tongue in cheek somewhat) “real music” entries from Hooverphonic and The Black Mamba. And given that “Bad Romance” was trending on Twitter after the first semi-final, it’s odd that the EBU would want to open with a song as deeply unoriginal as “El diablo”.
The positioning of Iceland between two songs with big props makes some sense, though – in light of the production delays in the first semi in particular, the three minutes of Iceland on screen in the arena gives them ample time to get Blas’s moon into place and remove Gjon’s structure (so to speak). And the Senhit and Flo Show to close? Perfect.
Felix: So where do we begin, with Cyprus? With Cyprus. Okay. I would have preferred that around 5th/6th, and have Serbia open the show instead. Albania on 2 is an obvious one. Russia can be happy about their spot, Malta less so, coming right after Russia. Portugal works quite well afterwards. Fast forward to one of the big favourites: Switzerland on 11 kinda fits, and it will work well for Gjon to be up after three up-tempo numbers of so-so quality. Other recent entries that won from 11th position: “Amar pelos dois” and “Rise like a Phoenix”. So yep. Just leaving that there.
Also leaving: Me, after Switzerland, to enjoy an extended break from TV during Iceland (which I really won’t get the 23928th time I watch it), Spain, Moldova, Germany and Finland (my last place). Then, Bulgaria has an excellent draw there. Which can’t be said about Ukraine, which loses a bit of its effect right after Lithuania, I think. Not sure how to judge France’s draw. More obvious: Efentix got recognized in the running order, as Norway comes right after Azerbaijan. But why Sweden is on 25 is beyond me. Weird running order, in large parts.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below, and take a look at the recap for Saturday – in the running order!