To date, no country has ever won the Eurovision Song Contest final performing from the second position in the running order. Amongst fans and pundits, the number two position has become the dreaded place in the running order and has become the 'kiss of death' for many songs throughout the contest's history.

The running order draw is always awaited with bated breath, every country wants the more desirable positions near the end of the running order where it is hoped their song will be fresh in the minds of the voters - especially important since the dawn of the televoting era.

Historically, the Eurovision Song Contest has, in fact been won by songs performing early in the draw. For example, the Netherlands won in 1975 performing first, the number one position was lucky for the United Kingdom in 1976 and Sweden clinched their second victory in 1984 from the opening slot. Also, countries that have drawn the third position have produced four victories. And the fourth spot in the running order is no longer considered ill-fated since Sertab Erener scored a narrow win for Turkey in 2003.

Although other positions have failed to produce winners, 16th, 21st, 25th and 26th have all doomed countries to failure (in all fairness, the 26th spot has only been used twice in the history of the contest) but it is the second position that strikes terror into the national delegations and is considered 'unlucky'. Performing at #2 in this Eurovision age means that potentially, twenty-four songs will follow you before the phone lines are opened.

Bosnia and Herzegovina's Dino Merlin in 2011, the most recent performer to score well from the number two position

The United Kingdom has had the honour of being second up to bat the most times with a grand total of six (1965, 1974, 1996, 2002, 2005 and 2008). These early showings have yielded varied results. Kathy Kirby, Olivia Newton-John and Jessica Garlick all acheived top five placings and Gina G got a respectable eighth. On the other hand, Javine finished in the bottom four in 2005 and Andy Abraham ended up joint last in 2008.

Kathy Kirby performing 'I Belong' for the United Kingdom in 1965 from second in the running order

The example of the UK shows that drawing the second spot does not mean automatic failure and that with a good song and a strong performance, the top five is acheivable, even from the earliest places in the running order. The nearest that any country has come to victory from the dreaded draw was the UK's second place in 1965 but in the modern era, Turkey's third place in 1997 and the UK's joint-third place in 2002 are the closest.

Turkey's Sebnem Paker peforming 'Dinle' from that dreaded spot in 1997

How many years will it take for the winner to take the prize from the second spot in the running order? We'll just have to wait and see...

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