It’s the event that truly starts to shape Eurovision 2020. On Tuesday, January 28, the semi-final allocation draw will take place at Rotterdam’s City Hall. And now the EBU has confirmed the pots the semi-finalists will be drawn from.
It’s a big event for two vitally important reasons. Tel Aviv officially hands over the host city insignia to Rotterdam, and we’ll get to see who will be performing and voting in which semi-final.
Tuesday’s event will be hosted by the three hosts of Eurovision 2020 — Chantal Janzen, Edsilia Rombley and Jan Smit. It will give Eurovision fans their first look at what we might be expecting for Rotterdam in May.
What happens at the semi-final allocation draw?
The first part of the draw assigns the pre-qualified countries (Big 5 nations France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom and host country The Netherlands) to vote in one of the two semi-finals.
This is followed by the semi-final allocation draw. And ahead of this part of the draw, the EBU has released the five pots which the countries will be selected from. Countries are grouped into pots based on historic voting patterns, as calculated by Eurovision’s televoting partner Digame.
The pots can also be used when calculating a “fake” jury or televote score if something prevents the usual result being used. This happened in Tel Aviv when the Belarus jury was dismissed ahead of the grand final.
Countries that share a pot are essentially split evenly between the two different semis to help ensure each semi-final is not dominated by countries that may all vote for each other by default.
Allocating the semi-final halves now also lets delegations start planning for Rotterdam. Countries will know how early they’ll have to be in the Netherlands for their rehearsals and how much they’ll need to budget for accommodation and other expenses. Rehearsals for the first half of the first semi-final general start three days before those in the second half of the second semi.
The full running order of Eurovision 2020 will be decided later in the year once all the competing songs have been selected. The running order will be decided by the Dutch producers of the show, with a final veto by the EBU.
Eurovision 2020 Semi-Final Allocation Draw Pots
The one big change this year is the number of pots has reduced from six to five. And it’s meant some new positions as the countries that were in Pot Six now all have new homes.
Pot One is mostly serving Balkan realness, but Switzerland returns to the pot, while its neighbour Austria also has a place. The Nordic nations can be found in Pot Two, along with Baltic neighbour Estonia. After a few years of pot-shuffling, Australia now has a home amongst its Nordic friends.
Pot Three is the usual collection of Eastern European countries, including Russia. But this year Moldova also has a place in this pot. This means that Moldova and Romania are no longer in the same pot.
Romania can be found in Pot Four, along with other countries in the general south-eastern region, along with Portugal and San Marino. Returning country Bulgaria also has a space in this pot. The rest of the countries have a place in Pot Five, including 2019 host Israel.
The semi-final allocation draw will take place on Tuesday 28 January from 16:10 CET. You will be able to watch the live-stream here:
What do you think of the allocation draw pots? Do you think this could help or hinder certain countries? Let us know all your thoughts down below.
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