The 38 countries represented in the Semi-Finals will be drawn from six pots, based on voting patterns of last years. Four pots contain the names of six countries, two pots contain the names of seven countries. Half of the countries will be drawn into the first Semi-Final (on the 12th of May), the other half into the second Semi-Final (on the 14th of May). The countries to be drawn are:
Albania (RTVSH); Andorra (RTVA); Armenia (ARMTV); Azerbaijan (Ictimai TV); Belarus (BTRC); Belgium (RTBF); Bosnia & Herzegovina (BHRT); Bulgaria (BNT); Croatia (HRT); Cyprus (CyBC); Czech Republic (CT); Denmark (DR); Estonia (ERR); Finland (YLE); FYR Macedonia (MKRTV); Georgia (GPB); Greece (ERT); Hungary (MTV); Iceland (RÚV); Ireland (RTÉ); Israel (IBA); Latvia (LTV); Lithuania (LRT); Malta (PBS); Moldova (TRM); Montenegro (RTCG); the Netherlands (NOS); Norway (NRK); Poland (TVP); Portugal (RTP); Romania (TVR); Serbia (RTS); Slovakia (STV); Slovenia (RTVSLO); Sweden (SVT); Switzerland (SRG SSR idée suisse); Turkey (TRT) and Ukraine (NTU).
Early Friday morning, before the draw, Eurovision.tv will exclusively reveal the composition of the six pots. Don't miss it!
There will also be a draw to decide which of the two Semi-Finals the so-called 'Big Four' (France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom) and host country Russia will be obliged to broadcast and vote in.
The second draw, to decide upon the starting order of the songs in each Semi-Final and the Final, will be conducted - as usual - at the Heads of Delegation meeting in March.
You can watch the Semi-Final Allocation Draw for the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest live on Eurovision.tv! The draw starts at approximately 13:00 CET. To access the stream, please install the Octoshape plugin on your computer. Also stay tuned for more news from the heart of this year's Eurovision Song Contest!