Eurovision Song Contest 2021

Rotterdam in the Netherlands hosted the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest

The Netherlands won the right to host the Eurovision Song Contest following the win of Duncan Laurence’s “Arcade” in Tel Aviv, Israel in 2019. Rotterdam was selected as the host city following a multi-city bid process.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the Coronavirus in 2020, that year’s edition of the Eurovision Song Contest was cancelled. While many of the acts originally selected to compete in 2020 continued to represent their respective countries in 2021, this edition was effectively a new playing field. Songs from 2020 were not allowed to carry over, thus 39 new songs were created for the competition.

Rotterdam Ahoy was selected to host guests from around the world for the event. The semi-finals took place Tuesday, May 18 and Thursday, May 20. The Grand Final of the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest was held Saturday, May 22. However, it was not Eurovision as usual. The Dutch broadcaster abandoned plans to try to stage the event in front of a full audience. Three plans balancing audience size, the need for remote performances, and social distancing were under consideration, though the goal to have all 39 acts compete live on stage in Rotterdam remained in place. Thanks to the emergence of vaccines and rigorous testing protocols, Eurovision was held in front of a live audience in Rotterdam Ahoy with a capacity of 20% (~3500 guests).


Eurovision Song Contest 2021 First Semi-Final

These are the countries that will participate in the First Semi-Final of the 65th Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Rotterdam, Netherlands on May 18, 2021. The Netherlands, Germany, and Italy will broadcast and vote in this semi-final. Ten of these entries will move on to the Grand Final on May 22. (Last update: March 30, 2021)

* Artist was selected to compete in 2020
º Artist was selected as representative for the 2020 Contest, but had to win their spot again
Running OrderCountryArtistSongRankPointsJuryTelevote
1LithuaniaThe ROOPºDiscoteque420366137
2SloveniaAna Soklič*Amen1344368
3RussiaManizhaрусская женщина (Russian Woman)3225117108
6North MacedoniaVasil Garvanliev*Here I Stand15231211
7IrelandLesley Roy*Maps1620164
8CyprusElena TsagrinouEl Diablo61709278
9NorwayTIXFallen Angel101153877
11BelgiumHooverphonic*The Wrong Place91177047
12IsraelEden Alene*Set Me Free51929993
14AzerbaijanEfendi*Mata Hari81384791
16MaltaDestiny*Je Me Casse1325174151

Belarus was originally scheduled to participate in this semi-final. Their initial entry “Ya nauchu tebya (I’ll Teach You)” by Galasy ZMesta included lyrics with what some referred to as “obvious political subtext” and was rejected by the EBU. After an extension to the submission deadline, the song “Pesnya pro zaytsev (Song about hares)” was also rejected, resulting in disqualification from the 2021 Contest.

Eurovision Song Contest 2021 Second Semi-Final Participants

These are the countries that will participate in the Second Semi-Final of the 65th Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Rotterdam, Netherlands on May 20, 2021. France, Spain, and the United Kingdom will broadcast and vote in this semi-final. Ten of these entries will move on to the Grand Final on May 22. (Last update: March 30, 2021)

* Artist was selected to compete in 2020
º Artist was selected as representative for the 2020 Contest, but had to win their spot again
Running OrderCountryArtistSongRankPointsJuryTelevote
1San MarinoSenhit*Adrenalina91187642
2EstoniaUku SuvisteºThe Lucky One13582929
3Czech RepublicBenny Cristo*Omaga1523230
4GreeceStefania*Last Dance618410480
5AustriaVincent Bueno*Amen12665313
6PolandRafałThe Ride14351817
7MoldovaNatalia Gordienko*Sugar717956123
8IcelandDaði & Gagnamagnið*10 Years2288140148
9SerbiaHurricane*Loco Loco81245668
10GeorgiaTornike Kipiani*You1616115
11AlbaniaAnxhela PeristeriKarma101127438
12PortugalThe Black MambaLove is on My Side4239128111
13BulgariaVICTORIA*Growing Up is Getting Old3250149101
14FinlandBlind ChannelDark Side523484150
15LatviaSamanta Tina*The Moon is Rising1714410
16SwitzerlandGjon’s Tears*Tout L’Univers1291156135
17DenmarkFyr Og FlammeØve Os På Hinanden1189980

Armenia was initially scheduled to participate in this semi-final. In late 2020, conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh region escalated. While a ceasefire agreement was reached in December, political instability continued in Armenia, including a coup attempt in February 2021. The Armenia Eurovision account tweeted on March 5: “After careful and detailed discussions, the @ArmPublicTV decided to withdraw from the @Eurovision 2021, considering the latest events, the shortness of production time as well as other objective reasons that make the proper participation of 🇦🇲 #Armenia at #ESC2021 impossible.”

Since the year 2000, France, Germany, Spain, and United Kingdom have been granted an automatic pass to the Grand Final, thanks to their respective broadcasters providing significant financial support for the Contest. When Italy returned to the competition in 2011, they were also granted this pass. This group is known as the Big Five.

The Netherlands, as the hosting country, is also granted an automatic pass into the Grand Final and will draw its running order assignment prior to the competition.

Eurovision Song Contest 2021 Grand Final Participants

Running OrderCountryArtistSongRankPointsJuryTelevote
1CyprusElena TsagrinouEl Diablo16945044
2AlbaniaAnxhela PeristeriKarma21572235
3IsraelEden Alene*Set Me Free17937320
4BelgiumHooverphonic*The Wrong Place1974713
5RussiaManizhaрусская женщина (Russian Woman)9204104100
6MaltaDestiny*Je Me Casse725520847
7PortugalThe Black MambaLove is on My Side1215312627
8SerbiaHurricane*Loco Loco151022082
9United KingdomJames Newman*Embers26000
10GreeceStefania*Last Dance101709179
11SwitzerlandGjon’s Tears*Tout L’Univers3432267165
12IcelandDaði & Gagnamagnið*10 Years4378198180
13SpainBlas Canto*Voy a Quedarme24660
14MoldovaNatalie Gordienko*Sugar131155362
15GermanyJendrikI Don’t Feel Hate25330
16FinlandBlind ChannelDark Side630183218
17BulgariaVICTORIA*Growing Up is Getting Old1117014030
18LithuaniaThe ROOPºDiscoteque822055165
20FranceBarbara PraviVoilà2499248251
21AzerbaijanEfendi*Mata Hari20653233
22NorwayTIXFallen Angel18751560
23NetherlandsJeangu Macrooy*Birth of a New Age2311110
24ItalyMåneskinZitti e buoni1524206318
26San MarinoSenhit*Adrenalina22503713
* Artist was selected as representative for the 2020 Contest
º Artist was selected as representative for the 2020 Contest, but had to win their spot again

Participant countries will use a variety of method to select their entries for Rotterdam:

  • Internal Selection: The broadcaster selects the act and the song.
  • National Final: The broadcaster holds a one-off competition to determine their act and song.
  • Festival: The broadcaster holds a slightly longer competition, usually with one or two semi-finals and a grand final. Sometimes the competition takes place over the course of a week (Italy’s Sanremo or Albania’s Festivali i Këngës) or over a couple of weekends (Portugal’s Festival da Canção or Estonia’s Eesti Laul).
  • Selection Series: The broadcaster holds a long-form competition to determine their artist and song, usually with multiple rounds of winnowing down options. Sweden’s Melodifestivalen (Melfest) is the gold standard.
  • Hybrid: A broadcaster may use one method to determine their artist and another method to select their song. Many of the artists selected in 2020 have been invited back to represent their country while the public may have input in what song is selected.

Twilight photo of the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam, the Netherlands

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