Eurovision 2023 semi-final allocation draw: how to watch on TV, hosts, start time - how does it work?
The Eurovision semi-final draw will be broadcast live from Liverpool who are hosting on behalf of 2022 winner Ukraine
and live on Freeview channel 276
Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra stormed to victory at last year’s Eurovision Song Contest, with 631 points, leagues ahead of second place Sam Ryder of the UK who took 466 points. As a result of Russia’s devastating invasion of Ukraine, the UK will host this year’s contest on behalf of the embattled reigning champions.
Ahead of the semi-finals and final in May, a handover ceremony and semi-final allocation draw will be held to determine when each country will compete, and who they will be against. The top scorers from the semi-finals will go on to compete in the final alongside the countries that automatically qualify for the final.
When is the Eurovision 2023 semi-final draw on TV?
The Eurovision draw and handover ceremony will be broadcast live from Liverpool on Tuesday 31 January on BBC Two from 7pm-7.30pm. You can also watch on BBC iPlayer as it airs and on catch up. Viewers in the UK and across Europe can watch the draw on the official Eurovision YouTube channel.
Who are the Eurovision 2023 semi-final draw hosts?
X Factor star Rylan and presenter AJ Odudu will launch Eurovision 2023, hosting the live semi-final draw handover ceremony to this year’s host city Liverpool. DJ Scott Mills will also be on hand to share the best Eurovision moments from the years.
How does the Eurovision 2023 semi-final draw work?
The allocation draw will determine which semi-final participating countries will compete in - the first semi-final will take place Tuesday 9 May and the second will be on Thursday 11 May. The draw also determines whether each country will take part in the first or second half of their semi-final.
Six countries will not compete in the semi-finals and therefore not be included in the draw - they are host country the UK, reigning champion Ukraine, and the other four of the Big Five counties, (which also includes the UK) France, Germany, Italy and Spain. The Big Five refers to the competition’s five largest financial contributors.
These countries’ domestic audiences are able to vote in one of the semi-finals - before the allocation is made, each of these countries will be randomly allotted a semi-final to vote in.
There are 31 countries participating in the semi-finals and the have been separated into five pots ahead of the allocation in order to prevent neighbourly voting in the semi-finals.
The participating countries are:
- San Marino
- Czech Republic
Alongside the draw, the handover ceremony will see last year’s host city Turin pass the Host City insignia to the 2023 host Liverpool. Liverpool was chosen after putting forward a strong bid, beating Glasgow. The UK is hosting Eurovision on behalf of last year’s winners Ukraine, because Ukraine is unable to host due to the ongoing conflict with Russia.
When is Eurovision 2023?
The first semi-final will take place on 9 May at 9pm and the second will air at the same time on 11 May. The final will take place at 8pm on Saturday 13 May. 26 countries will take part in the final - these will be the top 10 ranked countries from each semi-final, Ukraine, and the Big 5.