Eurovision 2014: Semi-final and final explained

The voting procedure for Europe’s largest singing competition can’t be that complicated, can it?

For Eurovision aficionado’s the 50/50 telephone-jury process is old news, but if you’re confused by the existence of two semi-finals and want to know what “nul point” really means, look no further.

Meet the Eurovision 2014 contestants

Twenty six countries will compete in the Eurovision 2014 final. These countries are whittled down in two semi-finals comprised of 31 countries in total.

Twenty countries from the two semi-finals will go through to the grand finale televised on Saturday 10 May.

Semi-final 1

The first semi-final will take place on Tuesday 6 May in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The 16 countries taking part will be: Armenia, Latvia, Estonia, Sweden, Iceland, Albania, Russia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Belgium, Moldova, San Marino, Portugal, The Netherlands, Montenegro and Hungary.

The ten highest-scoring acts will go on to win a place in the final, six will be eliminated.

Semi-final 2

The second semi-final will take place on Thursday 8 May in the same venue.

It will feature 15 different countries to the first semi-final, which takes place two days beforehand.

The countries taking part will be: Malta, Israel, Norway, Georgia, Poland, Austria, Lithuania, Finland, Ireland, Belarus, FYR Macedonia, Switzerland, Greece, Slovenia and Romania.

Ten of the highest-scoring countries will be awarded a place in the final.

Eurovision: Why is it so political?

The Grand Finale

The grand final will take place on Saturday 10 May, and will be broadcast in the UK on BBC One from 8pm.

Of the 37 countries that have entered this year, only 26 will make it through to the grand televised finale.

Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK are all guaranteed a place in the 2014 final.

The previous winner (Denmark this year) is always given an automatic place and will join the so-called ‘big five’, which are the countries that provide the most financial support to the competition.

Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Monaco, Morocco, Slovakia and Turkey have confirmed they will not be taking part in this year’s Eurovision.

Voting - how does it work?

The voting process in the Eurovision semi-finals and finals are split 50/50 between the audience telephone vote and a jury vote.

Viewers in all countries are able to vote for their favourite act by telephone, text and the official Eurovision app. The audience vote determines 50 per cent of the outcome, with the other half decided by a jury.

Each competing country has a jury made up of five music industry experts who cast their votes on who they think are the best entries.

The audience vote and jury vote of each country are then merged and ranked, and points are allocated to the top 10 highest-scoring entries as followed:

12 points – 1st place

10 points – 2nd place

8 points – 3rd place

7 points- 4th place

6 points – 5th place

5 points – 6th place

4 points – 7th place

3 points – 8th place

2 points – 9th place

1 point – 10th place

The points are then tallied up at the end of the night to determine the overall winner of the Eurovision song contest.

The Eurovision Grand Final will be broadcast on BBC One on Saturday 10 May from 8pm to 11.25pm.

Read more: Meet the Eurovision 2014 contestants
Eurovision: Why is it so political?
Austria's Eurovision entry faces transphobic backlash
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