Eurovision 2018 semi-final allocation draw: Which countries sing when?


The Eurovision 2018 semi-final allocation draw took place on January 29, live from Lisbon. Once again, the allocation draw determines two key aspects of the semi-finals for this year’s contest.

The draw first assigns the Big Five countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK) and host country Portugal to vote in a specific semi-final. The second part of the draw then assigns the remaining 37 countries to perform in a semi-final, and in which half.

The running order of the shows from there then will be determined by host broadcaster RTP, once all songs are submitted in March.

Today’s draw was hosted by two of our hosts for the contest itself in May. Filomena Cautela and Silvia Alberto handled proceedings and gave us a taste of what to expect for the shows itself. You can see all the results of today’s draw below:

Big Five and Portugal

First Semi-Final (May 8)

  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom

Second Semi-Final (May 10)

    • France
    • Germany
    • Italy

(RAI asked the EBU for permission to vote in the second semi-final)

Eurovision 2018 Semi-Finals: Allocation Draw

First Semi-Final (May 8)

First Half

  • Belarus
  • Bulgaria
  • Lithuania
  • Albania
  • Czech Republic
  • Belgium
  • Iceland
  • Azerbaijan
  • Israel
  • Estonia

Second Half

  • Switzerland
  • Finland
  • Austria
  • Ireland
  • Armenia
  • Cyprus
  • Croatia
  • Greece
  • FYR Macedonia

Second Semi-Final (May 10)

First Half

  • Russia
  • Serbia
  • Denmark
  • Romania
  • Australia
  • Norway
  • Moldova
  • San Marino
  • The Netherlands

Second Half

  • Montenegro
  • Sweden
  • Hungary
  • Malta
  • Latvia
  • Georgia
  • Poland
  • Slovenia
  • Ukraine

There’s a number of things of note in the draw. Russia perform for the first time ever in the second semi-final — where they’re joined by Ukraine.

Australia continue to draw the first half of their respective semi-finals, something they’ve done ever since joining the semi’s in 2016. Iceland, meanwhile, will hope that drawing the first half of the first semi-final is good news: the last time they performed in the first half also is the last time they qualified (in 2014).

Even with the pots, there’s still some close neighbours together. The United Kingdom vote in Ireland’s semi-final (as well as Saara Aalto and Finland). Serbia and Montenegro, as well as Romania and Moldova also sit together in the second semi-final.

Denmark, Norway and Sweden also are present in the second semi-final. On the other hand, we sense that there won’t be too much love with Armenia and Azerbaijan both drawn in the first semi-final.

The draw works by first diving the countries up in to specific pots. This was done earlier in the month, with a goal to curb regional “bloc” voting.

As a brief summary, Pot One contains the Balkan countries and Switzerland. Pot Two has the Nordics and Ireland while Pot Three contains all Eastern European countries. Pot Four travels down from Hungary through to Cyprus. Pot Five is a number of leftover, more Western-leaning countries, and finally Pot Six contains the three Baltics, Belgium, Netherlands and Poland.

That’s the draw then — are you happy with where your country is set to perform? Let us know all your thoughts in the comments section below!

Read more Eurovision 2018 news here