Semi-final draw made for Eurovision

Wed 25 Jan 2012 15:35 GMT | 19:35 Local Time

Text size: bigger smaller

A spectacular show has kicked off the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest season in the Buta Palace in Baku.

The hosts, Leyla Aliyeva and Nazim Huseynov, introduced the mayors of Baku and Düsseldorf, last year's host city, for the traditional key exchange ceremony.

Düsseldorf Mayor Dirk Elbers presented a symbolic key to Baku Mayor Hajibala Abutalibov and greeted the Azerbaijani people in Azerbaijani.

He said he was sure that Azerbaijan would hold an outstanding song contest and wished the Azerbaijani people success in  hosting the competition.

To ensure maximum suspense, the 37 countries taking part in the semi-finals were drawn from six pots, based on voting patterns from previous years, the Eurovision website reported.

The 18 countries drawn in the first semi-final to be held on Tuesday 22 May are:

Montenegro
Iceland
Romania
Albania
Belgium
Latvia
Switzerland
Finland
Greece
Moldova
Cyprus
Austria
Denmark
Russia
San Marino
Israel
Ireland
Hungary

The 19 countries drawn in the second semi-final to be held on Thursday 24 May are

Serbia
The Netherlands
Portugal
FYR Macedonia
Belarus
Malta
Ukraine
Armenia
Bulgaria
Sweden
Georgia
Slovenia
Estonia
Turkey
Slovakia
Croatia
Norway
Lithuania
Bosnia & Herzegovina

Six countries - the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and hosts Azerbaijan - are guaranteed a place in the final, so do not need to compete in the semi-finals. However, since viewers can vote only in the semi-final in which their own country is competing, the six have been allocated for broadcast and voting purposes to the semi-finals. Italy, Azerbaijan and Spain will watch and vote in the first semi-final, while the UK, France and Germany will watch and vote in the second semi.

The running order in the semi-finals and final will be decided by another draw to be conducted at a Eurovision Heads of Delegation meeting in March.

The Eurovision Song Contest Final will be held on 26 May in the Baku Crystal Hall.

Wednesday's show at the Buta Palace included classical music from an orchestra and impressive dancing and live performances from Eurovision stars Ruslana, Aysel, Alexander Rybak, Safura, Lena, and Ell/Nikki

News.Az

Printer

Commentary

Most read articles

More from Eurovision

In The Region

Editor's Picks

Azerbaijan Cuisine

Explore the food of Azerbaijan - from sherbet to succulent kebab, from baklava to fragrant pilaff

Follow us

Find us on Facebook

Real estate

Virtual karabakh