Due to the fact that there are 43 countries in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, the qualification system was in need to be changed. To avoid upcoming rumours about an unfair voting system, the draw of the running order has been made in a different way. The allotment has been controlled in advance that a country which likes to vote for certain countries will not be in the same pot. Actually there are three shows for the first time: two Semi-Finals and one Grand Final. The first Semi-Final will be broadcasted on Tuesday 20th and the second on Thursday 22nd. In each Semi-Final there will be 19 participating countries and only 10 will qualify for the Grand Final. Only nine countries from each Semi-Final will be selected for the Grand Final, on the basis of the televoting results. A wild card is given to the country chosen by a jury not already qualified for the Grand Final. Should two or more songs receive exactly the same number of calls, the results of a stand up jury will be used. Only those countries are allowed to vote in the Semi-Finals which will be in the list of participating countries of that evening. Only the countries from the Big 4 and Serbia are allowed to vote in the Semi-Finals. All other rules for the songs stay the same: a maximum duration of three minutes, a maximum of six people on stage, all artists must be aged at least 16 on the day of the Semi-Finals, free choice of language, live performance on stage, accompanied by a recorded backing-track which contains no vocals of any kind or vocal imitations.
Chief Editor of eurovisionlive.com
About me: Due to the fact that my parents are musicians, I have a gained a great enthusiasm for music. Since 1979 my interest in the Eurovision Song Contest has grown enormously. My first ESC I joined was in Dublin 1995. Six years later I founded the website eurovisionlive.com in the year 2001. The most fascinating part for me is the original idea of the Eurovision Song Contest – the peaceful contest of the European countries. I am very happy that I have the chance to contribute my little part for the greatest music show in the world.