In just three days time, Eurovision host broadcaster ORF will stage the all important semi-final allocation draw inside the Vienna Rathaus (City Hall). Today it’s been confirmed that Andi Knoll, the man once rumoured to host this year’s contest, will co-host the draw alongside Kati Bellowitsch. The starting time is at 13:25 CET and you can watch it unfold live on Eurovision.tv.
Host Insignia Handover Ceremony
Before we get to all this, however, we start the day with the Host Insignia Handover Ceremony at 12:00 CET. The Mayor of Copenhagen will officially hand over the keys to Michael Haupl, the Mayor of Vienna, at City Hall. A grand ceremony will then take place in the presence of ORF’s General Director Alexander Wabretz and Jon Ola Sand, EBU Executive Supervisor for the Eurovision Song Contest. Alexander Wabretz and the Mayor of Vienna will then begin a second countdown on the Eurovision Countdown Tower in Rathausplatz, this time ticking down the days towards the First Semi-Final.
Semi-Final Allocation Draw
33 countries will be divided into 5 groups based on past voting patterns, usually involving those that tend to award points to each other. 16 countries will compete in the First Semi-Final, with the other 17 in the Second Semi-Final.
After each country is randomly assigned a semi-final, a second random draw will determine whether the country will perform in the first half or the second half of the show.
The final part of the allocation draw will randomly allocate the Big 5 (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) and host country Austria to the semi-final where its viewers will vote.
Update: Due to a request from broadcaster ARD and approved by the Reference Group, Germany has now been allocated to vote in the Second Semi-Final. So three countries will vote in the First Semi-Final, with the other two joining Germany in the Second Semi-Final.
The full running order of the two semi-finals will once again be decided by the producers when all the songs are confirmed. This year’s 60th contest will take place at Vienna’s Wiener Stadthalle, with the First Semi-Final on 19 May, the Second Semi-Final on 21 May and the Grand Final on 23 May.