All You Need to Know about Eurovision 2021

Welcome to (all you didn’t know you needed to know about) Eurovision 2021. To be honest, compared to last year many entries seem rather mediocre but now that we’re getting closer to the competition, the anticipation slowly won me over in the end. Also, lucky for you, there’s only one week to go and after that, I won’t bother you with the ESC for the rest of the year. Pinky swear.

The Setting

The 65th Grand Prix will be held in the Ahoy-Arena in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

After last years’ show got cancelled, it was up to each country to pick their acts. 26 countries decided to send the original competitors and we are looking at 13 new entries. Eurovision 2021 also serves as a Fieldlab-Event to figure out in how far big events are still possible in pandemic times. Each show is looking at 3500 visitors, roughly compared to the usual 16.500 people. Due to the current situation, all competitors had to prior submit a Live-on-tape-Performance. This is to make sure that all countries get a fair go.

The European Broadcasting Union also changed a rule. While generally all lyrics need to be performed live, background vocals and music can be pre—recorded. Oh my, oh my, what’s next?

Good songs?

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The Disqualified Award Goes to …

… Belarus. While the festivities have not even started yet, Belarus is standing out for being disqualified. The first entry did not meet ESC standards, as the song may or may not ridicule the opposition of President Aleksander Lukaschenko. The band Galasy ZMesta was granted a second chance but failed to qualify with that song as well.

Australia Is a No Show

One can only guess why the Australian team won’t show up live. People re-entering Australia are looking at rather expensive 2-week hotel quarantine and it might cost a fortune to get an entire Grand Prix crowd through this process. Moreover, it doesn’t really seem fair, considering thousands of Australians are stranded in foreign countries indefinitely. (If you are unlucky to be stuck in India for example, it is even a federal crime trying to re-enter your home country; including hefty prison sentences.) Why are they letting in A celebrities? Well, double standards are not my expertise.

After all, the most exciting thing about the performance by Montaigne is probably her outfit, which is just as … erm … interesting as last year. (No offence, hun.)

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The First Semi-Finale

North Macedonia and Slovenia are presenting ballads, but most competitors are going for “something exciting”. Producers of this world have been heavily borrowing from former competitions. Romania is basically sending a new Loreen (winner of 2012 with lots of expressive dancing) while the others must’ve been inspired by Netta (winner of 2018). So, no woman will be anyone’s toy this year! Azerbaijan simply swapped Cleopatra for Mata Hari and we’re gonna hear about devils and angels paired with a lot of Le Roop inspired hand movements.

The Second Semi-Finale

A good half of the second round is made-up of exquisitely crafted Eurovision ballads. Then there’s color block and costumes (!) and the pressing question, what on earth were Moldovia and Denmark thinking.

The winners of the semi-finals will perform with the big 5, the countries mostly paying, on Saturday. If you’ve been dying for the ESC to finally come back, the welcome show will air tonight at 18:00 central European time.

You can stream all shows on the official Eurovision website.

Thanks for flying with be kitschig and have a most wonderful Eurovision week!

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26 thoughts on “All You Need to Know about Eurovision 2021

    1. Well, thanks for this! I just wanted to have a quick look and already learned 2 things … The BBC and Graham Norton have been doing a fantastic job over the years.
      I asume you won’t be watching? 😉

  1. I finally got a chance to watch the videos of the First Semi-Final! Here are my votes so far:
    Malta-1st place, Israel-2nd place, Ukraine-3rd place and Sweden for the most kitsch 😀

    1. The Maltese really deserve to win at some point! They’d be so excited!
      Ukraine? They really are … interesting 🙂
      Have a wonderful Eurovision week!

    1. It is one crazy ride this year! Iceland and Malta have now tested negative but a lot can happen until Saturday! Enjoy your Eurovision week!

      1. Would have loved France to win, but also liked Iceland, Lithuania and Germany for their all round crazy kooky kitschy fun. Liked Ukraine too.
        Meh, never bought into the idea the Italian dude doing coke live.

        The Brit entry absolutely deserving of it’s double blow, and if it were possible to demerit such a cringeworthy effort even more then I would support that too. Global zero.

        Overall I thought the show was good this year, more on the fun and lively side than the frocked and suited-up windy hair solo singers we’ve seen in recent years perhaps.

        ?And you? How was the return of Eurovision?

      2. Hi there, our picks are pretty much the same + Malta. Oh, great minds think alike.
        France really won me over.

        As for Italy, I really, really don’t get it. Eurovision is a bit more fun if someone wins that you actually like … but it’s gonna make for an interesting mix next year! I predict ‘heavy’ songs and ballads to balance it out.

        Germany often finishes way down on the right but I don’t think it was that bad his year. The song was cute, he wrote it himself. As for the UK, it was the 3rd time with no points. Clearly justified, if you ask me. (Germany managed that 6 times though.) Makes you wonder if the Big 5 only pay to be able to participate at all …

        It still was fun! I was so sad last year and I’m really looking forward to (what’s) another year

      3. Excellent stuff, BK. The Italy entry was okay but nothing new really. Good point about the big 5… if they didn’t pay up would they ever qualify? You could be right about next year being heavier… but so long as there is a good slice of cheesy kitsch fabness I’m okay.
        Here’s to next year! Like you I missed last time round. Been watching it regularly since a child now.

  2. I had no idea about the Australian team but that makes sense. Interesting about Belarus I would have hoped they could call into account the massive political corruption in that country… what a shame! It will be a weird year this year if backing vocals need to be recorded separately!

    1. Belarus didn’t play their cards well. Criticism in music should be smoothly … Kudos for the EBU to just say no to political propaganda. This was not an opposition song; it was a true government song masked as hip. Apparently so badly, that they couldn’t get the second song in either.
      The ESC does have some political power at times. Unfortunately, if we just watch, it doesn’t really make a huge difference. There is always so much more to this show than they eyes want to see.

    1. Your secret is safe with me! We watched Lena at the movies, far from sold out, and it was funny when the crowd realized that – for once – Germany way actually winning!

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