Michela will be the very first singer to perform at the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest finals, competition organisers have decreed.
The 18-year-old Gozitan singer will open proceedings in Tel Aviv on Saturday evening, with Albania and the Czech Republic performing second and third respectively.
Contest organisers arbitrarily decide the running order of songs, saying that they seek to balance out acts.
"To come to a decision, the producers look at the genre of music, whether a song is performed by a solo singer or group, the use of props, the tempo of the song and various other aspects of each act," the Eurovision Song Contest official website explains.
Michela secured Malta a spot in the Eurovision final for the first time in three years, in a nerve-wracking semi-final which saw judges leave it to the very end to call out Malta’s name.
“Yesterday was one incredible performance and going through to the finals made it all even better,” the teen performer tweeted on Friday.
Is performing first a good or bad thing?
The evidence is mixed. Viewers will only cast their votes once they have heard all 26 performers, and research into memory recall suggests being first - or last - comes with an advantage.
Multiple studies have shown that people tend to remember the first and last items in a sequence and are more likely to forget items in the middle of a group – the so-called primacy and recency effect.
That could mean that voters will find it easier to remember Michela - and Malta - when they come to vote towards the end of the show.
That said, Eurovision history suggests being the first to perform is bad news.
None of the contest's winners over the past twenty years were the first to perform, and songs performed in the second half of the show are statistically more likely to win the Eurovision.
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