Music Extras: 2021 EUROVISION SONG CONTEST (Everything You Need to Know)

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by Aveline MacQuoid on March 16, 2021

in Extras,Music

Everything you need to know
about the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest

After last year’s contest was postponed amidst the coronavirus pandemic, it won’t be long before Eurovision fever sweeps across the continent. At this stage, countries have selected their acts, but not all of the chosen songs have been confirmed ahead of the semi-finals, which will then reveal the full list of countries participating. With that in mind, it’s still too early to bank on the Eurovision 2021 odds, and between now and the Grand Final, things are bound to change. But here’s everything you need to know ahead of Saturday 22nd May.

Where is the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest being held?

Following on from Duncan Laurence’s win back in 2019, the Netherlands are the host country, with Rotterdam the selected city to stage the Eurovision Song Contest. It will be the fifth time that the Netherlands will play host, with the last edition of the contest taking place in the country in 1980. The chosen venue, the Rotterdam Ahoy, was where the 2007 Junior Eurovision Song Contest was held.

What are the key dates for the calendar?

Of course, the big one is Saturday 22nd May – when the Grand Final takes place. That is the night that we will see all 26 chosen countries perform. But prior to then, there are still two semi-finals to take place, when the participants get whittled down for their place in the final.

Semi-final one takes place on Tuesday 18th May, with 17 countries participating – including controversial invitees, Australia. Those countries, as well as Germany, Italy and the Netherlands will vote in this semi-final.

The second semi-final takes place two days later on Thursday 20th May. Again, there will be 17 countries vying for a place in the final. It is those countries plus France, Spain and the United Kingdom who will vote for their favourites.

In both semi-finals, the top 10 countries will go through to join the ‘Big Five’ plus the host nation.

Whose attendance is already confirmed?

As is often the case at this stage of proceedings, the host nation and the ‘Big Five’ have booked their place in the Grand Final. By ‘Big Five’, we mean France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. The six countries in question have already chosen their acts and songs, which are as follows:

  • Netherlands: Jeangu Macrooy with Birth of a New Age
  • France: Barbara Pravi with Voilà
  • Germany: Jendrik with I Don’t Feel Hate
  • Italy: Måneskin with Zitti e buoni
  • Spain: Blas Cantó with Voy a quedarme
  • UK: James Newman with Embers

Who will be returning in 2021?

Two countries will be returning after an absence in 2019: Bulgaria and Ukraine. Bulgaria finished 14th in Lisbon, back in 2018, before citing financial difficulties the following year for their omission. Their representative, Victoria, will be competing in the second semi-final with her song Growing Up is Getting Old. Meanwhile, Ukraine withdrew in 2019, as a result of the ongoing political tensions with Russia. Go_A will be representing them this year, featuring in the first semi-final.

Who won’t be participating in 2021?

After participating in 2019, three countries have pulled out of the 2021 contest. Armenia failed to qualify for the Grand Final in both 2018 and 2019, but were set to return in 2020 (later rescheduled for this year). But due to the aftermath of the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war, they have decided to withdraw.

Hungary also failed to qualify in 2019, and ahead of the 2020 schedule, Broadcaster, MTVA stated that they would “support the valuable productions created by the talents of Hungarian pop music directly” instead of participating in the contest.

Since their first contest in 2007, Montenegro have always been represented in the semi-finals, although they last qualified for the Grand Final in 2015. Despite initially confirming their attendance for the 2020 edition, they have since pulled out of the 2021 contest, citing financial issues, as well as their previously ‘modest results’.

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