Eurovision 2015: Semi-final draw announced ahead of grand final in May

The UK has an automatic pass as one of the main financial contributors

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The Independent Culture

Eurovision fever has officially begun after the semi-final draw took place in Vienna earlier today.

The Austrian capital will play host to the popular song contest cheese-fest after its entry Conchita Wurst won last year.

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The allocations process might seem simple but there are all sorts of politics involved, with some countries preferring to perform in the first semi to have longer to prepare for the final, others wanting to be in a group with their neighbours for voting purposes and many believing that a taking to the stage later on in the night is crucial to success.

Winning Eurovision ain’t a walk in the park, alright? There are serious tactics involved. Competition analysts will be pouring over the semi-final draw and making their predictions based on past years.

 

The exact running order is yet to be confirmed and six countries – the ‘big five’ who provide the most financial support to the competition (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK) and the previous winner (Austria) – are given automatic passes to the final.

Spain, Austria and France will vote in the first semi-final on 19 May and Germany, Italy and the UK will vote in the second on 21 May. The final will be held on 23 May.

So without further ado, here are is semi-final line-up:

First semi-final

First half

Greece

FYR Macedonia

Estonia

The Netherlands

Moldova

Finland

Belgium

Armenia

Second half

Serbia

Denmark

Belarus

Romania

Russia

Albania

Georgia

Hungary

Second semi-final

First half

Norway

Ireland

Czech Republic

Lithuania

San Marino

Portugal

Montenegro

Second half

Switzerland

Azerbaijan

Slovenia

Latvia

Poland

Iceland

Israel

Cyprus

Sweden

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