Eurovision Song Contest 2021

Rotterdam in the Netherlands will host 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 will continue to represent their respective countries in 2021, this edition is effectively a new playing field.

Rotterdam Ahoy has been selected to host guests from around the world for the event. The semi-finals are scheduled to take place Tuesday, May 18 and Thursday, May 20. The Grand Final of the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest is scheduled to be held Saturday, May 22. However, it won’t be Eurovision as usual. The Dutch broadcaster has 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 are still under consideration, though the goal is to have all 39 acts compete live on stage in Rotterdam.

 

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 OrderCountryArtistSong
1LithuaniaThe ROOPºDiscoteque
2SloveniaAna Soklič*Amen
3RussiaManizhaрусская женщина (Russian Woman)
4SwedenTusseVoices
5AustraliaMontaigne*Technicolour
6North MacedoniaVasil Garvanliev*Here I Stand
7IrelandLesley Roy*Maps
8CyprusElena TsagrinouEl Diablo
9NorwayTIXFallen Angel
10CroatiaAlbinaTick-Tock
11BelgiumHooverphonic*The Wrong Place
12IsraelEden Alene*Set Me Free
13RomaniaRoxen*Amnesia
14AzerbaijanEfendi*Mata Hari
15UkraineGo_A*SHUM
16MaltaDestiny*Je Me Casse

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 OrderCountryArtistSong
1San MarinoSenhit*Adrenalina
2EstoniaUku SuvisteºThe Lucky One
3Czech RepublicBenny Cristo*Omaga
4GreeceStefania*Last Dance
5AustriaVincent Bueno*Amen
6PolandRafałThe Ride
7MoldovaNatalia Gordienko*Sugar
8IcelandDaði & Gagnamagnið*10 Years
9SerbiaHurricane*Loco Loco
10GeorgiaTornike Kipiani*You
11AlbaniaAnxhela PeristeriKarma
12PortugalThe Black MambaLove is on My Side
13BulgariaVICTORIA*Growing Up is Getting Old
14FinlandBlind ChannelDark Side
15LatviaSamanta Tina*The Moon is Rising
16SwitzerlandGjon’s Tears*Tout L’Univers
17DenmarkFyr Og FlammeØve Os På Hinanden

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

CountryArtistSong
FranceBarbara PraviVoilà
GermanyJendrikI Don’t Feel Hate
ItalyMåneskinZitti e buoni
NetherlandsJeangu Macrooy*Birth of a New Age
SpainBlas Canto*Voy a Quedarme
United KingdomJames Newman*Embers
* 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.

Here is a schedule of upcoming events. Click on individual events for more information and to add to your calendar (times shown US Eastern).

Raylee and two dancers stand near corrugated metal in the performance for "Hero"

104: Où est la Discoteque?

Norway opts for a preliminary "Hero", Lithuania takes us to the "Discoteque", and France gets ready for you to decide their Eurovision entry.

Show Notes
The masked DJ of France's Pony X looks at the camera; a row of dancers stand in the background facing toward the audience (AHHHHHHHH!); plumes of smoke are between the dancers and the audience.

105: AHHHHHHHH!

We try to keep calm as we discuss the live audience at France's Eurovision final, Sweden's Melfest "plan" and make our picks for Eesti Laul Semi 1.

Show Notes
The ROOP, determined to win Lithuania's national selection, perform "Discoteque" under a shower of confetti

106: Determined Yet Realistic

Lithuania and Ukraine have determined their entries and Eurovision gets realistic about its scenarios for Rotterdam.

Show Notes
Croatia Dora performance with two people standing underneath a pink heart formed by hands

107: Poof, Pow, Surprise!

Poof! Croatia has entered the Eurovision chat! Pow! Melfest names a woman! Surprise! Our first genuine "What?!" delivered on this show.

Show Notes
Sábado Gigante cover art: Spain's Blas Cantò stands on stage with a giant picture of the moon as a backdrop

108: Sábado Gigante

Sábado Gigante 2021 ha quedado atrás y estamos listos para discutir un puñado de nuevas canciones de Eurovisión. Eso es todo el español que conocemos.

Show Notes
Slovenia's Ana Soklic sits on a couch with her arms in a shrugging pose; cover art from episode 109 Eye of the Hurricane

109: Eye of the Hurricane

It's the calm before a hurricane of Eurovision entries washes ashore for 2021. We give Cyprus, Germany, Ireland, and Slovenia a first listen.

Show Notes