In advance of the Contest, competing countries are allocated different pots and then randomly assigned an appearance in either the first or second Semi-Final. They are then randomly drawn into either the first or second half of the Semi-Final they’d just been placed into.
This system has been used since Malmö 2013 and ensures that while there’s still a fair element of randomness in the competition, it’s less likely that two or more songs performed successively will be similar.
The intention behind moving away from an entirely randomised draw is to craft a more entertaining, better-paced show, that allows different styles of the song their space to shine.
The Semi-Final allocation draw for this Contest took place at Stadhuis Rotterdam in January 2020. It was originally intended to be used for the cancelled 2020 Contest and remains in place for the 2021 Contest.
After each Semi-Final, successful qualifiers will randomly draw from ‘a hat’ whether they’ll perform in the first or second half of the Grand Final. The full running order for the Grand Final will be confirmed by producers in the wee hours of Friday 21 May, after both Semi-Finals are complete.
🇲🇰 North Macedonia
🇸🇲 San Marino
🇨🇿 Czech Republic
From each Semi-Final, 10 countries will qualify for the Grand Final on Saturday 22 May. They will join the Netherlands (our hosts), and fellow automatic qualifiers, the ‘Big Five’: France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom.
🇳🇱 The Netherlands (host country)
🇬🇧 United Kingdom