Image via WikipediaThe 54th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest will feature acts from 43 countries. 38 of these will be contesting for places in the final in the semi-finals. The semi-finals will take place on the 12th and 14th of May 2009, with the final taking place on the 16th of May.
The only change in the participating countries is that San Marino, debuted last year, will not be returning, while Slovkia, who last took part eleven years ago (in 1998), will be rejoining the contest.
The particpating countries this year are:
Albania (RTVSH); Andorra (RTVA); Armenia (ARMTV); Azerbaijan (Ictimai TV); Belarus (BTRC); Belgium (RTBF); Bosnia & Herzegovina (BHRT); Bulgaria (BNT); Croatia (HRT); Cyprus (CyBC); Czech Republic (CT); Denmark (DR); Estonia (ERR); Finland (YLE); France (FT3); FYR Macedonia (MKRTV); Georgia (GPB); Germany (NDR/ARD); Greece (ERT); Hungary (MTV); Iceland (RÚV); Ireland (RTÉ); Israel (IBA); Latvia (LTV); Lithuania (LRT); Malta (PBS); Moldova (TRM); Montenegro (RTCG); the Netherlands (NOS); Norway (NRK); Poland (TVP); Portugal (RTP); Romania (TVR); Russia (Channel One); Serbia (RTS); Slovakia (STV); Slovenia (RTVSLO); Spain (TVE); Sweden (SVT); Switzerland (SRG SSR idée suisse); Turkey (TRT) ; Ukraine (NTU) and the United Kingdom (BBC).
The selection process is under way in a few countries with some countries already having picked there entries. I of course am really looking forward to Eurovision, as always! This year I plan on actually live-blogging the semi’s but not the final, as I will be out!
Ireland will be selecting its entry on February 20th in a special edition of the Late Late Show, to be called Eurosong. I hope to live blog that too!
The draw to determine which of the two semi finals the 38 Semi-Finalists will participate in, will take place on the 30th of January in Moscow.
The draws for the running order of the Semi-Finals, the Final and voting order take place in or around mid-March.
Expect more Eurovision related posts around the time of the draw!