On Friday January 30th 2009, the draw to decide which countries will appear in either Semi-Final 1 or Semi-Final 2 will take place.
Going on last years system of events,all countries areseparated into six individualpots based on previous years' voting patterns determined by the EBU, the governing authority of the Eurovision Song Contest. The EBU has managed tocreate such a draw by which countries whoare historically most likely tocompliment each otherpoints in thecompetition will not be together in each semi-final.
Then out of these six pots we will know which countries will participate in the first semi-final and the second semi-final respectively. Also a further draw will take place to determine which of the semi-finals the Big 4 (Spain, France, Germanyand theUnited Kingdom) and the host country, Russia, must broadcast and will have voting rights in.
The Big 4 and the host country have already qualified for the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2009.
Howevercurrently we wont know the breakdown of the pots or country splits until the EBU announces the list of participants which was due to be published in early December last. The delay might be likely to preventmore countries following San Marino and Latvia withdrawing. At this point, Lithuania has still not confirmed its participation after comments suggested they may pull out for financial reasons.
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