Today the BBC and Liverpool were watched by thousands of Eurovision fans as the official transition between host cities occurred, and the official semi-final allocation draw commenced for Eurovision 2023. The show was hosted by Rylan and AJ Odudu, and also featured BBC Radio 2 DJ Scott Mills sharing some of the best moments from Eurovision’s past.

The host city of Liverpool also aired their promotional video for the contest which featured locals, Olympic athletes, and Rupauls Drag Race UK Season 4 winner Danny Beard.

The official artwork of Eurovision 2023 featuring the slogan “United By Music”.

The Big Five and Host Country allocations

Prior to assigning countries to the semi-finals, the hosts conducted the draw for the Big Five and Host Countries – Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, Ukraine, and France. This draw assigned three of the six countries to a semi-final where their artist or artists would have a brief promotional slot, and would also decide which semi-final their public televote would be open during.

As a reminder, the qualifiers for the semi-finals this year will be determined by a 100% televote structure and juries will only be used in the event that a televote result cannot be delivered.

To reflect the joint hosting, the Big Five and Host allocation envelopes were revealed by 3 school children in Liverpool, two Ukrainian students who had recently settled in Liverpool due to the war, and a Ukrainian volunteer from the local community.  Following the draw, the split is as follows:

The voting allocation split for the Big Five and Host Countries during the first and second semi-finals.

The Eurovision 2023 Semi-final allocations

After the first drawing, the hosts then moved to the five large pots that held each of the 31 semi-final countries inside of it. These pots were divided prior to the show using an algorithm that takes into consideration voting patterns over a number of years, neighboring countries with cultural ties, and more. You can see the pot division broken down below for reference.

The 2023 semi-final allocation pots.

The semi-final draw is conducted in two parts, with the first resulting in the drawing of a country from Pot 1 by AJ Odudu. Rylan would then draw from the first semi-final bowl to decide which half of the show each country would perform during. The process is then repeated using the next pot and alternating semi-finals every five countries until all slots were filled.

Based on the allocation draw, the semi-finals will look as follows in May 2023:

The fifteen countries participating in semi-final one.
The sixteen countries participating in semi-final two.

The draw also confirms that there will be a total of 15 countries participating in the first semi-final, with 16 countries competing in the second-semi-final. As a reminder, this draw does not assign the running order, that will be decided by the EBU in late March or early April.

What do #YOU think of the allocations for Eurovision 2023? Let us know on social media @ESCUnited, on our discord, or on our forum page!

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