The Semi-final Allocation Draw for the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest took place at the Lisbon's City Hall on January 29. The Host Insignia Handover Ceremony occurred before it; Filomena Cautela and Silvia Alberto, the hostesses of 2018 Eurovision held both events as esctoday reported.
The ceremony took place for the occasion, where Lisbon took over from Kyiv as the Eurovision host city. Vitaly Klitschko, the Mayor of Kyiv officially handed over the keys to Fernando Median, the Mayor of Lisbon.
Also, Jon Ola Sand, the EBU's executive supervisor for the Eurovision Song Contest was present at the ceremony.
The 37 semi-final countries were divided into six pots for the draw according to the voting pattern of each country in the past years to avoid neighborly voting and countries that tend to vote for each another ending up competing in the same Semi-final.
According to the results of the allocation draw, 19 countries: Belarus, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Albania, Czech Republic, Belgium, Iceland, Azerbaijan, Israel, Estonia, Switzerland, Finland, Austria, Ireland, Armenia, Cyprus, Croatia, Greece, and Macedonia will compete in the first semi-final on May 8.
18 countries: Russia, Serbia, Denmark, Romania, Australia, Norway, Moldova, San-Marino, the Netherlands, Montenegro, Sweden, Hungary, Malta, Latvia, Georgia, Poland, Slovenia and Ukraine will compete in the second semi-final on May 10.
Also, it was determined when and which country of Big 5 (Italy, France, the UK, Spain and Germany) and host country Portugal will vote in the semi-finals. The UK, Spain, and Portugal will vote in the first semi-final and Italy, France and Germany in the second.
The 2018 Eurovision Song Contest will take place in May 2018 in Lisbon where 43 countries will compete. 37 of them will participate in the semi-finals (on May 8,10) and only 26 countries will compete in the Grand Finale (May 12). As usual, the Big 5 and Portugal are automatically qualified to compete in the Grand Final.