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Malmö 2024: Producers to get more “choice” in deciding Grand Final running order

16 April 2024 at 15:00 CEST
The 68th Eurovision Song Contest introduces a change in how the Grand Final running order is decided. Artists can draw a performance in the First Half, in the Second Half, or there's now a brand-new third option!
Malmö Arena stage renders - Eurovision Song Contest 2024

In March it was revealed that some major changes would be introduced in Malmö to make the Eurovision Song Contest even more exciting. Following the announcement of the “Big 5” performing their songs in full in the Semi-Finals and that fans can vote as soon as the first artist takes to the stage in the Grand Final, we now have another big change to reveal!

In recent years, the qualifying countries from the Semi-Finals and the Big 5 have chosen which half of the Grand Final they will perform at random. The producers of the show then decided where in the First Half (songs 1 to 13) or Second Half (songs 14 to 26) of the Grand Final those acts would perform. 

The Eurovision 2023 winner Loreen attending the winner’s press conference at Liverpool Arena Sarah Louise Bennett / EBU

This year a new “Producer’s Choice” category will be introduced.

Host broadcaster SVT has revealed that 25 of the 26 artists in the Grand Final (Sweden has already drawn position 1) will be able to pick First Half, Second Half or Producer’s Choice in a random draw.

This means that if an artist pulls out Producer’s Choice in the random draw – the show producers will be able to place that song anywhere in either the First or the Second Half of the running order.

The change means there will now be 6 places to pick in the First Half of the running order, 6 places that can be chosen in the Second Half and 13 Producer’s Choice places.

The reason for the change is to give producers of the show even more of an opportunity to make all songs in the Grand Final stand out and create the most exciting running order possible. 

Christer Björkman, this year’s Contest Producer, explains more about the reasons for the change: 

“It's all about creating the best TV show possible and giving all artists a chance to shine. In previous years, with just the First Half and Second Half draws you might find many ballads ended up in the same part of the show or many favourites were drawn to perform in the same half. Adding the flexibility of Producer’s Choice gives me the ability to create an even better flow of different tempos and an even more thrilling Grand Final.”

The Big 5 will be picking either First Half, Second Half or Producer’s Choice after their second Rehearsal on Saturday 4 May, live during a Reddit AMA. 

Then each of the 10 qualifiers from the First Semi-Final on Tuesday 7 May will draw one of those three options from the bowl immediately after the show LIVE on the Official Eurovision Song Contest TikTok channel.

The 10 qualifying artists from the Second Semi-Final will draw from the remaining options live on TikTok after the show finishes on Thursday 9 May. 

When all the 25 options are chosen, producers will compile the running order for the Grand Final of the 68th Eurovision Song Contest in the early hours of Friday 10 May. It will then be revealed on the Contest’s website and social media channels.

The last time we saw such a change to how the running order was determined, we can again look to Malmö – in 2013.

Before 2013, the running order of the Grand Final had been decided via a random draw. But in 2013, host broadcaster SVT instigated a change in the process, with a view to creating a more entertaining evening of television for viewers watching at home. 

The alteration to the running order draw meant that artists could draw a performance in either the First Half of the Grand Final or the Second Half, with producers of the show then working to compile a running order that they deemed to be the most exciting for viewers, separating songs in similar genres, for example. A producer-led running order also enabled logistics involving staging, lighting and props to be taken into consideration.

This format has remained in place every year since, with the introduction of the Producer's Choice element in 2024 the first major change in over a decade. 

The running order positions of the last 10 Eurovision winners

2023: 🇸🇪 Sweden, 9th
2022: 🇺🇦 Ukraine, 12th
2021: 🇮🇹 Italy, 24th
2019: 🇳🇱 Netherlands, 12th
2018: 🇮🇱 Israel, 22nd
2017: 🇵🇹 Portugal, 11th
2016: 🇺🇦 Ukraine, 21st
2015: 🇸🇪 Sweden, 10th
2014: 🇦🇹 Austria, 11th
2013: 🇩🇰 Denmark, 18th

You can listen to all 37 songs of Eurovision 2024 via your favourite streaming service or watch the music videos on our YouTube channel.

The Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Malmö, Sweden on Tuesday 7 May (First Semi-Final), Thursday 9 May (Second Semi-Final) and Saturday 11 May (Grand Final) 2024.

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