The Eurovision Song Contest semi final draw

by Benny Royston 1,492 views

The 2008 Eurovision Song Contest allocation draw to determine which countries will participate in the semi finals on Tuesday 20th May and Thursday 22nd May is taking place live in Belgrade, Serbia now. esctoday.com is of course following the draw live and will bring you all the in-depth analysis throughout the day.


Follow the draw live at www.eurovision.tv.Add your comments below in the reactions section. The draw will only determine which countries appear in which semi final, NOT the running order of the shows. The six pots are shown below.

Semi Final One: Tuesday 20th May 2008 (in alphabetical order)

  • Andorra
  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia & Herzegovina
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • Greece
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro
  • The Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • San Marino
  • Slovenia
  • Germany (voting rights, will not participate)
  • Spain (voting rights, will not participate)

Semi Final Two: Thursday 22nd May 2008 (in alphabetical order):

  • Albania
  • Belarus
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • FYR Macedonia
  • Georgia
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Malta
  • Portugal
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • France (voting rights, will not participate)
  • Serbia (voting rights, will not participate)
  • United Kingdom (voting rights, will not participate)

The 38 countries have been divided into six pots based on voting patterns over the past four years:

Pot 1Pot 2Pot 3
Bosnia & HerzegovinaEstoniaBulgaria
FYR MacedoniaIcelandGreece
MontenegroNorwayThe Netherlands
Pot 4Pot 5Pot 6


IrelandBelarusCzech Republic


RomaniaRussiaSan Marino

Before the draw, we are treated to a video promotional video of the sites of Belgrade, Serbia whilst listening to the 2007 winning song, Molitva inenglish.On the set, women with big hair pose provocatively over the all-important pots.

The first three countries pre-qualified for the final to be drawn will broadcast the 2nd semi final. The fourth and fifth will broadcast the first semi final. After the pre-qualified countries have been drawn, Zelko Joksimovic, who represented Serbia & Monenegro in 2004, performs his entry, Layla. The statuesque posing ladies from the pots spring to live as the backing dancers.

The first four pots have six countries, the last two have seven countries. Three from each of the first four pots are split between the semi finals equally. The spare country from pot five will participate in semi final one, the spare country from potsix goes to semi final two (determined by envelope draw).

A country from each pot will first be drawn to semi final one in a round-robin format. Thhen the next round of one country from each pot will go to semi final two. This will continue until the counties are all drawn.

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