With preparations for the 67th Eurovision Song Contest now in full swing, the BBC has today announced details of the Semi Final Allocation Draw.
AJ and Rylan to Host
The draw is to be held at 7pm UK time (8pm CET) on Tuesday 31 January and will be broadcast live from St. George’s Hall, Liverpool.
The hosts for the event have been revealed as AJ Odudu and Rylan, who have both had previous Eurovision involvement for the UK. You will recognise AJ as the official jury spokesperson for the UK at the 2022 Contest in Turin where she announced the points from MediaCity in Salford. Rylan is also no stranger to ESC, being a massive fan of the contest and having been involved in Eurovision for the UK regularly since 2018. He has previously been a Semi Final commentator for the UK in recent years and also jury spokesperson at the 2019 contest in Tel Aviv.
In a press release the BBC said: “AJ and Rylan will conduct the live draw assisted by young people from a local Liverpool school and members of the Ukrainian community who have settled in Liverpool since the outbreak of the conflict.”
In a break with tradition, the draw is taking place in the evening instead of a late morning/afternoon as it has been in recent years. The broadcast will be available as a live stream through the official Eurovision YouTube and, for the first time, the BBC is also broadcasting the draw live on BBC Two in the United Kingdom. The draw will be supervised by Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, Martin Österdahl and Chair of the Eurovision Reference Group, Dr. Frank-Dieter Freiling.
Slogan and Theme Art
We also expect to see the slogan and theme art for the 2023 contest revealed at this event as well as the handover of the host city insignia – marking the official transition of the contest from Turin to Liverpool. The Mayor of Turin, Stefano Lo Russo, will hand over the official keys of the Eurovision Song Contest to the Mayor of Liverpool, Joanna Anderson, making Liverpool the official host city for 2023.
2015 🇦🇹: Building Bridges
2016 🇸🇪: Come Together
2017 🇺🇦: Celebrate Diversity
2018🇵🇹: All Aboard!
2019 🇮🇱: Dare to Dream
2020 🇳🇱: Open Up (Contest Cancelled)
2021 🇳🇱: Open Up
2022 🇮🇹: The Sound of Beauty
2023 🇬🇧: ??
What is the Allocation Draw?
Since the introduction of the two semi final format in 2008, a formal event was introduced to determine which semi final each participating country would perform in. The countries are divided into six different pots based on their geographical location and voting history in the contest. This is an effort to prevent countries with historic bloc voting records from ending up in the same semi final ensuring a more level playing field for all. During the Allocation Draw, the ‘Big Five’ countries plus the host country also find out which Semi Final they will be voting in by way of random draw.
In recent years the Allocation Draw has also been used to reveal the slogan and theme art for the production as well as acting as the official transition point for the host city becoming the official Eurovision host city with the insignia exchange.
Previously the Grand Final running order for the contest was also decided this way by random draw, however this changed in 2013 when the running order was decided by the producers of the show for the first time. This method has been used at every contest since then and promises a more dynamic and exciting show.
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