This morning the European Broadcasting Union have announced the pots for the 2019 semifinal allocation draw. Six pots have yet again been created, with a couple of changes in comparison to last year. Furthermore, they revealed that one country has asked to be placed in the second semifinal.
The six pots
The 36 countries taking part in the semifinals have been divided over six different pots. These pots are often based on voting patterns, diaspora and so on to make sure countries with strong bonds are potentially split over the semifinals, such as the Scandinavian countries or the former USSR participants.
Pot 1: Ex-Yugoslavia
The first pots consists of five former Yugoslav countries: Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro and North Macedonia. The final country in this pot is their neighbour, Albania. It’s one of the more standard pots EBU create, as it’s been the same group for a couple of years now.
Pot 2: The Scandinavians and their friends
Strictly speaking, Scandinavia consists of Norway, Sweden and Denmark. In a broader sense, people often include Iceland and Finland. All five countries feature in Pot 2 of Monday’s allocation draw. Last year, Ireland were added to this pot as a loyal friend of the other five. This year, EBU have however opted to add Estonia instead, separating them from the other Baltic nations.
Pot 3: Ex-USSR
The third geographically pot that’s easy to create for the EBU is the one with former Soviet Union countries. Russia, Ukraine and Belarus obviously feature there. The other three are the Caucasus nations of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia. In terms of ex-USSR countries, these six enjoy the strongest bonds in Eurovision. The Baltic nations as well as Moldova all enjoy stronger bonds with at least one other country.
Pot 4: Duos?
Pot 4 is a bit of an odd one. We find two logical duos in that pot. Australia and Ireland, as two English speaking countries, as well as the Baltic brothers of Lithuania and Latvia. They are joined by Poland and last year’s Eurovision hosts Portugal, who return to the semis.
Pot 5: Central Europe and the Benelux
Pot 5 consists of four countries geographically in Central Europe. Austria and Switzerland are there, together with Hungary and the Czech Republic. The Benelux duo of The Netherlands and Belgium will also be in the fifth pot.
Pot 6: Strong bonds
As we said previously, Moldova could easily be in the ex-USSR pot. They however enjoy incredibly strong bonds with Romania and should therefore be in a pot together with them. The unity between Romania and Moldova is similar to that between Greece and Cyprus, who are also in this pot. Cyprus are being kept together with their island brothers of Malta in this pot. The final country is San Marino.
|Pot 1||Pot 2||Pot 3||Pot 4||Pot 5||Pot 6|
Switzerland in semi 2
SRF, the Swiss broadcaster for the Eurovision Song Contest, has asked to participate in the second semifinal. As always, the EBU Reference Group have discussed the issue. They have decided to approve the request. Switzerland will therefore take part in Thursday’s show.
Semifinal allocation draw
This Monday, 28th January, Tel Aviv will host the Allocation Draw of the Eurovision Song Contest 2019. The Host City Insignia Exchange will then also take place, as Lisbon will officially hand over the hosting duties and the keys to Eurovision to Tel Aviv. The location for the festive event is the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Assi Azar and Lucy Ayoub, two of the hosts in May, will also host the event on Monday.
The ceremony will commence at 17:00 CET this Monday. Stay tuned to ESCXTRA.com to find out in which semifinal your country will take part! Below, you can see last year’s ceremony in Lisbon.