Running orders are particularly hard to draw, not just in Eurovision but in any competition. Organisers need to balance variety with style, while also considering that there is a show to run. In the context of Eurovision, running orders can also help or hinder you and your competition.
Why are running orders so important?
As mentioned, running orders can put you in good stead or ruin your chances depending on where you fall and what the songs on either side of you. If a song requires a big bombastic moment, putting it next to other high-energy songs will do little to make the impact the delegation hoped for. Similarly, if a song is stripped back, having a string of emotional ballads will make it harder to stand out.
But it isn’t just the delegations that should be kept in focus – the viewer also takes precedence. Think back to 2012, when Englebert Humperdinck kicked off the grand final -with a pared back and intimate love song. Eurovision is a collection of music, by all means, but many switch off the first song if it’s deemed to be tiring or a “buzzkiller”. For a television producer, it’s a logistical nightmare – which in part – helped to inform the change to a producer-led running order from 2013.
Semi-Final Two: A potential running order
With this in mind, this is my (personal) attempt to create a running order for the second semi-final for Eurovision 2022. Semi-final 2 is a harder show to predict how the show could go, with the possibility of using the “sawtooth method” – which I used in my predictions for Semi-Final One. This means that in a running order, an upbeat track is usually followed by a more downbeat offering, alternating until the end of the show. So, how would I go about it?
#1 Finland – “Jezebel”
Kicking off the show requires a song with a raw energy to get the crowd going. With the hard rock aesthetic and big name, Finland’s “Jezebel” would be the perfect song to get the show going. It might not appeal to everyone, especially those hoping for an easier start to the show. But with the potential such bombastic staging, I could not see anyone else opening the show.
#2 Malta – “I Am What I Am”
Following the “sawtooth method”, we can now look for a more relaxed, radio-friendly song that carries on the energy in a more downtempo mood. Initially, I had put Australia in this position but after Emma Muscat released her new song for Eurovision – “I Am What I Am”, this was the perfect fit. Both songs have an empowering message with a colourful staging. In addition, after the predominantly male band of The Rasmus, a single female singer would also help to balance the artists.
#3 Azerbaijan – “Fade to Black”
As I mentioned in the prediction for the first semi-final, performing in position #3 can go one of two ways, depending on what is on either side of who is performing. After two high-energy songs, Azerbaijan would help to break up the intensity with a slower build, growing to a massive climax at the end of the song. The vocal gymnastics would set it apart from the previous two songs and could offer darker ideas for staging.
#4 Cyprus – “Ela”
Semi-Final Two is distinctively English-heavy, with very little use of other languages. However, the first half of the second semi-final does contain within it some linguistic diversity. Cyprus would be a suitable song to introduce new languages into the show and, after three relatively commercial songs – Cyprus would also add some cultural influences into proceedings.
#5 San Marino – “Stripper”
Carrying on wit the linguistic diversity, the perfect blend of English and Italian in San Marino’s “Stripper” could help Achille Lauro’s chances of standing out in the semi-final. Sufficiently placed away from the other rock song in the half – “Jezebel”, San Marino would help to get the crowd up and running again. As well as this, following the pristine nature of Cyprus, a glam-rock inspired chaotic performance would be exactly what we need, and could serve as a talking point in the show.
#6 Australia – “Not The Same”
After the potential chaos of San Marino and a commercial break, it would only be fair to take the tone down once again and using the “sawtooth method”, Australia would be the perfect song to feed into this. Sheldon Riley’s vocal capabilities would shine following San Marino and the polished performance would help take the viewing audience back down to earth. Visually however, it would continue the glam style brought in from Achille Lauro, but again – in a polished manner.
#7 Georgia – “Lock Me In”
With three songs left in the first half of the second semi-final, it would be fine to bring out the remaining band – Georgia’s Circus Mircus. After the lyrical weight of “Not the Same”, Georgia’s offering of “Lock Me In” would be the perfect palate cleanser. As well as this, the possibility of upbeat and colourful staging could help to bolster its chances, coupling well with the song’s zany sound.
#8 Israel – “I.M.”
Following the unpredictability of Georgia, I believe Israel would be a great way to carry on the modern sound of the show. In addition, the zany staging could be elevated further by Michael Ben David as he celebrates all things individual. Israel is able to get staging right for its songs, so there’s no doubt in my mind that KAN could organise a good show that could give Israel a shot at qualifying in such an unpredictable semi-final.
#9 Serbia – “In Corpore Sano”
Closing the first half of the semi-final is the only remaining woman of the half – Serbia’s Konstrakta. It could be an odd choice to close the half with a “weird” song like “In Corpore Sano”. However, I would argue that following the ‘unpredictability’ arc of songs following Georgia and Israel, Serbia could bring the thread to a satisfying close with serious lyrics and a visually enticing performance.
#10 Estonia – “Hope”
Following on from Serbia, Estonia’s Stefan would be a perfect bridge for the running orders of the two halves of the semi-final. The diversity in genre would signal a shift to the second half, as Stefan brings his country elements to the stage – the only country in this show to do so. As well as this, the up-tempo beat of “Hope” would also help to get viewers that had been alienated by Serbia to be brought back in.
#11 North Macedonia – “Circles”
Using the “sawtooth method” once again, North Macedonia would be a perfect antithesis to Estonia. To go from a lone male singer with an up-tempo country banger to a more mid-tempo trap-inspired ballad performed by a lone female would give the viewers some diversity in both genre and gender. Ass well as this, Andrea would be able to show off her vocal prowess in between two relatively easy songs, which could put North Macedonia in good stead.
#12 Czechia – “Lights Off”
Developing the electronic aspect further, ‘Circles’ could lead very easily on into Czechia’s offering for Eurovision 2022 – ‘Lights Off’. Both songs are inspired by the use of synths and snares, but both are sonically sufficiently different to not cancel each other out. It’s also clear from the music video that We Are DOMI have ideas for some intriguing staging and after a potentially pared-back performance from Andrea, it would make the song stand out amongst the crowd.
#13 Montenegro – “Breathe”
Following a string of midtempo and high-intensity bangers, Montenegro’s Balkan ballad would calm the show down and give people a chance to breathe (no pun intended). Vladana’s powerful vocals would carry on the motif of strong female singers, while the depth of her story could be translated beautifully on stage, which could mark the contrast between her and We Are DOMI.
#14 Sweden – “Hold Me Closer”
Now it’s time for the most anticipated performance in the semi-final, Sweden. While typically, Sweden tends not to adapt its staging for the Eurovision stage, Cornelia’s song would carry on the motif of emotional woman feeling loss. Viewers would definitely be in their feels following the performance, but given that Sweden is such a favourite to win the entire Contest, this is the fairest position to give Cornelia. As a result, we can prepare for the end of the show with the final four songs.
#15 Romania – “Llámame”
After a number of powerful female singers, it’s only right to let the men take to the stage again. Breaking the chain of emotional songs, Romania’s “Llámame” would offer a welcome respite and get the audience dancing once again. In addition, the use of Spanish (the only non-English language in the second half) could help to set the song apart from the rest of the competition and with intricate choreography on the cards for WRS, the Latin-inspired song would definitely stand out amongst the rest of the remaining competitors.
#16 Poland – “River”
The final ballad of the evening, Poland’s Ochman would help to stand out as a result of his phenomenal vocal range. “River” demands precise staging and depending on whether Ochman will move on stage (as he didn’t during the national selection), this position could make or break the song’s chances of making it to the final. However, the electronic beats in the composition of “River” are why I put Poland in position #16, as this instrumentation is developed further in the final two songs of the night.
#17 Belgium – “Miss You”
Our penultimate song for the evening would be Jérémie Makiese from Belgium and his effort “Miss You”. There are a lot of elements that could put Belgium anywhere in the second half. However, the high hats and snares indicative of trap are so strong here, coupled with the gospel elements sprinkled throughout would get the audience hyped for the end of the show and with Jérémie’s dynamic vocal range, I would be certain that Belgium would have a good chance of standing out – especially after the preceding ballad from Poland.
#18 Ireland – “That’s Rich”
And just like that, it’s time for the last song from Ireland! Brooke has performed last before – having done so at Eurosong 2022 and ‘That’s Rich’ does offer the sass and charisma you need for a show ender, which leaves a lasting impression on the viewing public. Brooke delivers that in spades and the rock aspects, coupled with some polished staging and dance routines would help to bring out the true energy of the song and bring the show’s competitive element to a very satisfying close – especially with the song’s definitive ending.
Of course, this is just a prediction and not the official running order. Predictions could be wildly off or exact, but any exact placements are just a coincidence.
What do you think of our attempt to pitch a running order for Semi-Final Two? Do you agree with our reasonings? If not, how would you put the running order for the events? As always, let us know what you think by commenting below. As well as this, be sure to follow ‘THAT Eurovision Site’ on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more editorials!
News Source: That Eurovision Site
Photo Source: EBU