Today, the draw that determines which countries will get to take part in which of the two Semi-Finals of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Stockholm. The ceremony will be streamed live on Eurovision.tv from 11:15 CET.
The Semi-Final Allocation Draw will be hosted by SVT hosts Alexandra Pascalidou and Jovan Radomir. Pascalidou was the Greek commentator to the Eurovision Song Contest in 2005, when Greece won the contest with Helena Paparizou's My Number One. She hosted one of the Swedish national selection semi-finals in the same year. Radomir presented the Swedish points in 2004 and 2006, and wrote the English lyrics for Serbia's 2007 Eurovision Song Contest winning song Molitva.
The first part of the draw will determine which of the six pre-qualified countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and host country Sweden) will have to broadcast and vote in which Semi-Final. The first Semi-Final will have 18 participants and the second will have 19. Another draw will then decide in which half of the respective Semi-Finals each country will perform. The exact running order will be determined by the producers of the show at a later date.
From each Semi-Final, ten countries will proceed to the Grand Final on 14th May, joining the six pre-qualified countries. In total, 26 countries will be represented in the Grand Final.
At the request of German broadcaster ARD, and following approval from the Reference Group, the governing body of the Eurovision Song Contest, Germany will broadcast and vote in the second Semi-Final on 12th May. Israel will compete in the second Semi-Final since the first Semi-Final clashes with the country's memorial day.
The allocation draw pots
The 37 Semi-Finalists have been allocated into 6 pots, based on historical voting patterns as calculated by the contest's official televoting partner Digame. Drawing from different pots helps to reduce the chance of so-called neighbour voting and increases suspense in the Semi-Finals.
From Vienna to Stockholm
During the ceremony, Vienna, last year's host city, will formally hand over the Host City Insignia to its successor Stockholm. Dr. Andreas Mailath-Pokorny, Executive City Councillor for Cultural Affairs of the City of Vienna will present the Host City Insignia to Stockholm's Mayor, Ms. Karin Wanngård.
The artwork and slogan for the Contest will also be unveiled during the ceremony today. The Eurovision.tv team will be giving you a sneak peak behind the scenes from the Semi-Final Allocation Draw. Don't miss it!