The Eurovision Song Contest began in earnest on Monday, as Vienna, Austria received the ESC Insignia, designating it as the official host of the 2015 Contest. The ceremony also included the allocation of semi-final assignments for the 39 countries competing this year.
The Big Five—France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom—along with host country Austria get to bypass the semi-finals, though each were assigned a semi-final in which to participate. Austria, France, and Spain will participate in the first semi-final on Tuesday, May 19 while Germany1, Italy, and United Kingdom will vote in the second semi-final on Thursday, May 21. Ten finalists from each semi-final will join the six auto-qualifiers in the Grand Final on Saturday, May 23.
In the drawing held in Vienna, the remaining 33 participants were randomly assigned placement in one half of each semi-final. Here is how the assignments shook out:
First Eurovision Semi-Final[table “20” not found /]
Second Eurovision Semi-Final[table “21” not found /]
Here are some interesting tidbits to watch out for:
- The “Warrior”s from Malta and Georgia have been separated, so they may or may not do battle in the final.
- Romania and Moldova are both in the first semi-final, so that’s 12 free points for each other.
- The first semi-final is mostly Eastern and Central Europe, which may make things tricky for the Netherlands, Denmark, and Belgium.
- While the second semi-final has powerhouses like Azerbaijan and Sweden, there are a lot of entrants who have struggled in the Contest in recent years. At least two countries from this semi-final will benefit from this setup.
- By special request ↵