First Half or Second Half? What Does It Mean for This Year’s Big 5?

The draw has now taken place for the Big 5 nations which determines which half of the Grand Final they will perform. For those who need a reminder, the Big 5 consists of France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, and these nations do not have to compete in the semi-finals, but instead are automatically qualified to the final. They are joined by host nation The Netherlands this year, who have already been allocated spot 23 in the Final.

In a regular year, the draw for the Big 5 may not be that important, but this year, with two of the nations hot favourites to take the trophy home, the draw is proving to be significantly more important. Why, you ask? It is considered that drawing in the second half gives you more chance to win. This isn’t necessarily true, and we’ve seen winners perform from the first half, but the reasoning behind the statement is that if you perform closer to the end of the show, your chances of being remembered increase. With that said, today’s draw proved to be important, with both France and Italy at the top of the odds. Let’s have a look at the Big 5 draw…

United Kingdom – 1st Half

The United Kingdom are serving up a catchy upbeat number this year with James Newman and his song Embers, but unfortunately, drawing first half might prove to be an issue for them. While they weren’t, and still aren’t in a position to win, the nation may still find themselves in a precarious position in the final. Judging by the song, it feels likely that we will see the United Kingdom as an opening number this year, which is great to get the party started, but unfortunately not great when it comes to voting.

Spain – 1st Half

Spain is coming into this year’s competition even less hyped than the United Kingdom, and I would argue that the draw matters least to Spain this year. I am sure they would have liked a second half draw, as do most nations, but the performance on its own is struggling to hold up, and thus I don’t believe a certain position will help or hinder them. They will receive what they receive, and I don’t think we will be seeing Spain in a high position this year, which is certainly a shame.

Germany – 2nd Half

Similar to Spain, I don’t know if draw will really affect the results of Germany this year. The song is niche, and is currently struggling to really impress on the Eurovision stage. The performance has the potential to be memorable, but it remains to be seen whether it will be remembered for the right reasons. Second half is good for Germany, but I don’t think it will ultimately help them achieve more points.

Italy – 2nd Half

Italy would have been banking on a second half draw, and luckily for them, they achieved it. This may be the song that closes the Grand Final, and it would be a memorable way to finish the show. The song is unique in the field (yes, it’s different to Finland as well), and it’s well staged and performed. If it is placed towards the end of the show by the producers, Italy will remain one of the hottest threats to take out the trophy. I think their televote score will be high regardless, but an end of show position would only help that.

France – 2nd Half

France is also one of the strongest favourites this year, and a second half draw is also very favourable to them. To keep things interesting until the end, producers could put these two near each other, making it more difficult to call who will actually win this year. France has more jury potential, so if Italy tops the televote, and France the jury vote, who will win overall? We could see a Jamala style win where someone who tops neither of the votes comes through to win, but either way, both France and Italy drawing second half makes for an interesting final.

Who do you think will win this year? A Big 5 candidate, or will we see a semi-finalist come through for the win? This is perhaps one of the most open competitions we have seen in a while, so we would love to hear your thoughts!