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Semi-Final running orders revealed

30 March 2021 at 12:00 CEST
Eurovision 2020 Semi-Final Allocation Draw pots Stijn Smulders
The running orders of the two Semi-Final shows have been decided by the producers at Host Broadcasters NPO/NOS/AVROTROS, and approved by Martin Österdahl, the Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Running orders of the Eurovision Song Contest Semi-Finals

First Semi-Final (Tuesday 18 May)

The running order of the First Semi-Final EBU

  1. 🇱🇹 Lithuania
  2. 🇸🇮 Slovenia
  3. 🇷🇺 Russia
  4. 🇸🇪 Sweden
  5. 🇦🇺 Australia
  6. 🇲🇰 North Macedonia
  7. 🇮🇪 Ireland
  8. 🇨🇾 Cyprus
  9. 🇳🇴 Norway
  10. 🇭🇷 Croatia
  11. 🇧🇪 Belgium
  12. 🇮🇱 Israel
  13. 🇷🇴 Romania
  14. 🇦🇿 Azerbaijan
  15. 🇺🇦 Ukraine
  16. 🇲🇹 Malta

Second Semi-Final (Thursday 20 May)

The running order of the Second Semi-Final EBU

  1. 🇸🇲 San Marino
  2. 🇪🇪 Estonia
  3. 🇨🇿 Czech Republic
  4. 🇬🇷 Greece
  5. 🇦🇹 Austria
  6. 🇵🇱 Poland
  7. 🇲🇩 Moldova
  8. 🇮🇸 Iceland
  9. 🇷🇸 Serbia
  10. 🇬🇪 Georgia
  11. 🇦🇱 Albania
  12. 🇵🇹 Portugal
  13. 🇧🇬 Bulgaria
  14. 🇫🇮 Finland
  15. 🇱🇻 Latvia
  16. 🇨🇭 Switzerland
  17. 🇩🇰 Denmark

Grand Final (Saturday 22 May)

From each Semi-Final, 10 countries will qualify for the Grand Final on Saturday 22 May. They will join the Netherlands (our hosts), and fellow automatic qualifiers, the ‘Big Five’: France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom.

🇳🇱 The Netherlands (hosts)
🇫🇷 France
🇩🇪 Germany
🇮🇹 Italy
🇪🇸 Spain
🇬🇧 United Kingdom

A total of 26 countries will compete in the Grand Final.

How is the running order decided?

In advance of the Contest, competing countries are allocated different pots and then randomly assigned an appearance in either the first or second Semi-Final. They are then randomly drawn into either the first or second half of the Semi-Final they'd just been placed into.

This system has been used since Malmö 2013, and ensures that while there's still a fair element of randomness in the competition, it's less likely that two or more songs performed successively will be similar.

The intention behind moving away from an entirely randomised draw is to craft a more entertaining, better paced show, that allows different styles of song their space to shine.

The Semi-Final allocation draw for this Contest took place at Stadhuis Rotterdam in January 2020. It was originally intended to be used for the cancelled 2020 Contest, and remains in place for the 2021 Contest.

After each Semi-Final, successful qualifiers will randomly draw from 'a hat' whether they'll perform in the first or second half of the Grand Final. The full running order for the Grand Final will be confirmed by producers in the wee hours of Friday 21 May, after both Semi-Finals are complete.