New research suggests both have their advantages, and either is far preferable than being stuck in the middle. That's the conclusion of a study of the effects of position order on preference, just published in the journal Psychological Science.
-- “First and Last Competitors Have the Edge”
All's not lost, however, if you find yourself stuck in the middle. “Unlike the wine samples in this study, dancers auditioning for a chorus line differ in their abilities and training. So it's entirely possible a virtuoso in the middle of the pack could stand out,” says the piece.
In other words, wherever you are in the line, kick ass.