The line-up for the Semi-Finals of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) has been decided by a draw, broadcast live online and on BBC Two, as a part of the traditional Host City Handover Ceremony.
At the ceremony, Stefano Lo Russo, Mayor of Turin, representing last year’s Host City, passed on the Eurovision Insignia to the Mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson, marking the official handing over to the new Eurovision Song Contest Host City.
Liverpool is hosting the 67th Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of last year’s winner Ukraine.
The event, at the city’s St George’s Hall, was organized by the BBC and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and presented by British TV hosts AJ Odudu and Rylan Clark.
An allocation draw was then held to determine in which Semi-Final each participating broadcaster will perform in the hope of qualifying for the Grand Final.
31 of the 37 participating broadcasters were allocated to perform in either Semi-Final 1 or Semi-Final 2 (15 in Semi-Final 1, 16 in Semi-Final 2). They had been divided into 5 pots, based on historical voting patterns as calculated by the Contest's official voting partner digame.*
10 countries from each Semi-Final will progress to join 6 pre-qualified countries in the Grand Final on Saturday 16 May.
France, Germany, Spain, Italy, hosts the United Kingdom (the ‘Big Five') and last year’s winner Ukraine, automatically qualify for the Grand Final, however they are each required to broadcast and vote in one of the Semi-Finals.
A draw was also held to decide the 3 countries who will vote in Semi-Final 1 (France, Germany, Italy) and the 3 who will vote in the second Semi-Final (Spain, Ukraine, United Kingdom).
The ceremony was overseen by the Eurovision Song Contest’s Executive Supervisor Martin Österdahl.
Earlier today the official branding and slogan for the Contest, designed to represent millions of hearts beating as one and “United by Music”, was revealed by the BBC and EBU.
“This Allocation Draw marks the beginning of a very special year for the Eurovision Song Contest,” said Martin Österdahl, the ESC’s Executive Supervisor.
“As the United Kingdom prepares to host on behalf of Ukraine, the unique circumstances of this year’s competition demonstrate the power of the Eurovision Song Contest to bring audiences across Europe and beyond together and be ‘United by Music’.
“We can’t wait to welcome all this year’s participating artists and delegations to the City of Pop for the 67th Eurovision Song Contest this May”
Martin Green CBE, BBC Managing Director, ESC 2023 said: “The Handover and Allocation Draw is always an exciting moment in the Eurovision calendar and this year was no exception. I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to kick things off in such style! The drama of the draw created a real buzz and atmosphere at St. George’s Hall in Liverpool and the anticipation for the main Contest in May is now truly building.
“Tonight was just the beginning of what is set to be an incredibly special and unforgettable 2023 Eurovision season, the year that the UK is united with Ukraine to bring a spectacular and unique Contest to viewers.”
Mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson, added: "The Insignia Exchange is an exciting landmark moment in Liverpool's Eurovision journey.
"With just months to go, our team is working hard behind the scenes to make this an unforgettable event which will do the UK and Ukraine proud. From schools and community programmes, a fan village, volunteering initiatives, a cultural festival and a EuroClub - there is a huge amount to do but this is something we excel at here in Liverpool. We can't wait to welcome everyone in May and treat them to an incredible and unforgettable Eurovision experience."
The 2023 Eurovision Song Contest will take place on 9, 11 and 13 May at the Liverpool Arena in the north-west of England. For more information, visit Eurovision.tv
This year’s line up in alphabetical order, together with the participating EBU Member or Associate, is as follows:
Czech Republic (CT)
Switzerland (SRG SSR)
San Marino (RTV)
The Handover Ceremony and Semi-Final allocation draw were broadcast live on BBC 2, BBC iPlayer and the official YouTube channel.
For further information visit Eurovision.tv and the official social media channels Twitter: @Eurovision, Instagram: @eurovision, Facebook: @EurovisionSongContest, TikTok @Eurovision
*Since 2004 digame has been the official voting partner of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and responsible for the centralized televoting via telephone, SMS, MHP and for the official Eurovision App, which has been developed by digame mobile. Drawing from different pots is a method practiced by the Eurovision Song Contest.