A Busy Day in Baku!

It’s been a busy day in the world of Eurovision, even considering that only one National Final event was held (in Cyprus).  There was plenty of news out of host city Baku, however, so let’s take a quick peek at what went on today!

– During today’s Allocation Draw, Azerbaijan officially unveiled the logo and slogan for 2012’s events.  Following the imagery of flame that has been a symbol of the nation for centuries, “Light Your Fire!” will be the tagline on everyone’s lips this May.  This follows 2011’s “Feel Your Heart Beat” and Oslo’s “Share the Moment”, and those of you who follow my articles on ESC Insight might remember that I predicted that Baku would have something along those lines back in October.

– The EBU has officially confirmed that Baku Crystal Hall will, in fact, be hosting the contest this May.  Even though ground was only broken for the venue in late Summer of 2011, construction seems to be progressing smoothly and should be wrapped up by Spring.  Although the arena’s eventual capacity is estimated to be around 23,000 spectators, the layout of the stage and other technical requirements will mean that only about 16,000 seats will be usable for the Eurovision concerts themselves.  A second sizable building seems to have sprung up next door to the Crystal Hall, which many speculate will act as the Main Press Centre.

An artist's rendering of the eventual Baku Crystal Hall. (Graphic courtesy of http://www.eurovision.tv)

– Finally, today was the official Allocation Draw, where nations were divided up into two halves of two semifinals (and countries that automatically qualified to the Final were given the semifinal that they wil be able to vote in).  This is done early in the year not only to keep fanatics’ tongues wagging about the affects of bloc voting, but also for an important logistical reason: so delegations will know approximately when their rehearsals will take place.  With 43 nations competing in Baku, full daily run-throughs are simply not in the cards.  By dividing up the nations into four “quarters”. delegations will have a better idea of when to have their performers and staffers arrive in Azerbaijan.  Furthermore, by determining which semifinal a country will be in, broadcasters have plenty of time to arrange their schedules and promote the shows appropriately.

Here are the results of the Allocation Draw:

First Half, Semifinal One (May 22)

Azerbaijan, Italy, and Spain will contribute votes to this Semifinal.

  • Albania
  • Belgium
  • Finland
  • Greece
  • Iceland
  • Latvia
  • Montenegro
  • Romania
  • Switzerland

Second Half, Semifinal One

  • Austria
  • Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Moldova
  • Russia
  • San Marino

First Half, Semifinal Two (May 24)

France, Germany, and the United Kingdom will vote in this Semifinal.

  • Armenia
  • Belarus
  • Bulgaria
  • (FYR) Macedonia
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Portugal
  • Serbia
  • Ukraine

Second Half, Semifinal Two

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Croatia
  • Estonia
  • Georgia
  • Lithuania
  • Norway
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Sweden
  • Turkey

Posted on January 25, '12, in 2012. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Certainly has been a big day! 😛
    “Light your fire” is a bit obvious, like you say, but hey, the theme art looks interesting. I hope they revamp the scoreboard and the titles a bit becausde 2009, 2010 & 2011 have all been a bit similar, and I think its time for a change!! Semi final 2 seems to be another “we-know-exactly-what’ll-happen-there” with Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia etc. all in together. But then last year’s first semi could happen all over again; you never know 🙂

    And can I be the first one on this site to wish you a happy birthday Sam! 🙂 Hope you have a great day, and as always thanks for all the articles 🙂

  2. I actually really liked how Azerbaijan did like a little pre-show for eurovision. I loved the orchestra. I was a bit confused as to why the specific order wasn’t announced. Is there a separate day when they will announce that or are they going to specifically choose the running order?

  3. I think the semi-finals are less sown up then is thought. The advent of juries in the semi-finals have made results very unpredictable in Semi-Finals (Anyone remember semi 1 last year).

    Jack, the reason they have a second draw is to stop countries from changing their song before ESC on the grounds they are surrounded by similar songs. The second draw is at the HOD meeting on March 19th/20th.

    BTW Belated Happy Birthday Sam! Hope you enjoyed it.

  4. The logo 2012 is gorgeous ! I love it ! Simple but still “flamboyant” !

  1. Pingback: Running Order Drawn « The ESC Insider

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