Eurovision Song Contest 2021
|Eurovision Song Contest 2021|
|Semi-final 1||18 May 2021|
|Semi-final 2||20 May 2021|
|Final||22 May 2021|
|Executive supervisor||Martin Österdahl|
|Number of entries||39|
|Returning countries|| Bulgaria|
|Non-returning countries|| Armenia|
|Voting system||Each country awards two sets of 12, 10, 8–1 points to ten songs.|
|Nul points in final||United Kingdom[a]|
|Winning song|| Italy|
"Zitti e buoni"
The Eurovision Song Contest 2021 was the 65th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. It took place in Rotterdam, Netherlands, following the country's win at the 2019 contest with the song "Arcade" by Duncan Laurence. The Netherlands was set to host the 2020 contest, before it was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Organised by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and host broadcasters Nederlandse Publieke Omroep (NPO), Nederlandse Omroep Stichting (NOS) and AVROTROS, the contest was held at Rotterdam Ahoy, and consisted of two semi-finals on 18 and 20 May, and a final on 22 May 2021. The three live shows were presented by Dutch television presenters and singers Chantal Janzen, Edsilia Rombley and Jan Smit, and Dutch YouTube personality and make-up artist Nikkie de Jager.
Thirty-nine countries participated in the contest, of which twenty-six re-entered the artists chosen for 2020 (albeit with different songs, as per the contest's rules). Bulgaria and Ukraine returned after their absence from the 2019 contest, while Hungary and Montenegro did not return after their participation in the 2019 edition. Armenia and Belarus had originally planned to participate, but Armenia withdrew due to its social and political crises following the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War, and Belarus was disqualified after submitting entries in violation of the rules twice, and not providing an eligible entry before the deadline.
The winner was Italy with the song "Zitti e buoni", performed by Måneskin and written by the band's members Damiano David, Ethan Torchio, Thomas Raggi and Victoria De Angelis. France, Switzerland, Iceland and Ukraine rounded out the top five, with France and Switzerland achieving their best results since 1991 and 1993 respectively. Italy won the combined vote and televote, but placed fourth in the jury vote after Switzerland, France, and Malta. Italy was the second member of the "Big Five" to win the contest after Germany in 2010. For the first time since 1995, none of the top three entries were performed in English, with France and Switzerland performing in French, and Italy in Italian.
Also, for the first time since the current voting system was implemented in 2016, more than one country received no points from the televote in the final; these countries were Germany, Spain, the host country the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, the last of those becoming the first country to receive no points from both the jury and televote. It was the fifth time that the host country ranked in the bottom five since 2015, with the Netherlands finishing 23rd in the final, as well as the second time that the United Kingdom had received no points in the contest, the last time having been in 2003, as well as the first time that they had finished in last place in successive contests, having also placed last in 2019. For the first time since it made its debut in 2015, Australia failed to qualify for the final, making Ukraine the only country that has never failed to qualify from the semi-finals since their introduction in 2004.[b]
The EBU reported that the contest had an audience of 183 million viewers in 36 European markets, an increase of a million viewers from the previous edition, with an increase of seven percent in the 15–24 year old age range.
The 2021 contest was held in Rotterdam, Netherlands, following the country's victory at the 2019 edition with the song "Arcade", performed by Duncan Laurence. It was the fifth time that the Netherlands had hosted the contest, having previously done so in 1958, 1970, 1976 and 1980. The selected venue was the 16,400-seat Ahoy Arena in Rotterdam Ahoy, a convention centre and multi-purpose indoor arena located on Ahoyweg, which serves as a venue for many events, including concerts, exhibitions, trade fairs, and conferences. Rotterdam Ahoy had previously hosted the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2007, and was set to host the 2020 contest before its cancellation. The "Turquoise Carpet" event, where the contestants and their delegations are presented before the accredited press and fans, took place at the Rotterdam Cruise Terminal on 16 May 2021.
Host city selection
By Eurovision tradition, the Netherlands received the right to host the Eurovision Song Contest after the country won the competition in 2019. The Dutch host broadcasters NPO, NOS and AVROTROS launched the bidding process in the same month on 29 May, in which five cities – Arnhem, 's-Hertogenbosch, Maastricht, Rotterdam, and Utrecht – submitted their bid books during a ceremonial event held in Hilversum on 10 July 2019. On 16 July, Maastricht and Rotterdam were shortlisted, and after the NPO visited both cities, on 30 August 2019, Rotterdam was announced as the host city of the Eurovision Song Contest 2020.
Following the cancellation of the 2020 contest, the EBU began talks with broadcasters NPO, NOS and AVROTROS, as well as the city of Rotterdam, on the possibility of staging the 2021 contest in the city. On 23 April 2020, the municipal council of Rotterdam approved an increased budget after Dutch media reported that the city would require an additional €6.7 million to host the contest. The decision was imminent as it was required that the EBU be informed by late April if Rotterdam was willing to host the contest. If Rotterdam declined to host the event, NPO, NOS and AVROTROS had until mid-May 2020 to find an alternative. During the broadcast of Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light, which aired on 16 May 2020, Rotterdam was confirmed as the host city of the 2021 contest.
The EBU initially announced on 26 October 2020 that 41 countries would participate in the contest, featuring the same line-up of countries that were set to participate in the cancelled 2020 edition. Bulgaria and Ukraine marked their return to the contest after their absences from the 2019 contest, while Hungary and Montenegro were confirmed as non-returning following their latest appearances in 2019.
In March 2021, Armenia and Belarus confirmed their non-participation in the contest; Armenia withdrew due to its social and political crises in the aftermath of the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War, while Belarus was disqualified from the contest after submitting entries in violation of the rules twice, and not providing an eligible entry before the deadline, thereby reducing the number of participating countries to 39.
After the cancellation of the 2020 contest, the participating broadcasters of 24 countries announced that, for the 2021 contest, they would internally select the same artists initially selected for 2020. In addition, the artists initially selected for Estonia and Lithuania in 2020 won their national finals to represent their countries in 2021.
Discounting 2020, the contest featured three representatives who also previously performed as lead vocalists for the same country, and five artists who participated in other Eurovision events or as backing vocalists for the same or for another country. Among the representatives who returned as lead vocalists, Natalia Gordienko had previously represented Moldova in 2006 with Arsenium and Connect-R; Senhit had represented San Marino in 2011; and Sanja Vučić, a member of Hurricane, had previously represented Serbia in 2016 in a solo performance.
Former backing vocalists who competed as lead artists included Ksenija Knežević, a member of Serbia's group Hurricane, who had previously served as backing vocalist in 2015 for Montenegro's entrant Knez; Destiny, who had provided backing vocals for Malta's Michela in 2019; Vincent Bueno, who had backed Austria's Nathan Trent in 2017; and Vasil, who had provided backing vocals for North Macedonia's Tamara Todevska in 2019. Two artists had previously competed in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, Malta's Destiny, who had won the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2015, and Greece's Stefania, who had competed for the Netherlands in the 2016 Junior contest as member of the group Kisses. Mladen Lukić, who had previously competed for Serbia in 2018 as a member of Balkanika, returned as a backing vocalist for Hurricane.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2021 was a co-production between three related Dutch television organisations — Nederlandse Publieke Omroep (NPO), Nederlandse Omroep Stichting (NOS) and AVROTROS — of which each assumed a different role. Sietse Bakker and Astrid Dutrénit served as executive producers, while Emilie Sickinghe and Jessica Stam served as deputy executive producers. Marnix Kaart, Marc Pos and Daniel Jelinek served as directors of the three live shows, and Gerben Bakker served as head of show. Background music for the shows was composed by Eric van Tijn.
In January 2020, the EBU announced that Martin Österdahl would become the executive supervisor for the Eurovision Song Contest after the 2020 edition, succeeding Jon Ola Sand. Before his appointment, Österdahl had been an executive producer for the 2013 and 2016 editions, and had been a member of the Eurovision Song Contest reference group between 2012 and 2018.
The total budget for the shows was €22 million, of which €3.7 million was left unspent after the contest, according to the municipal executive. The additional money was allocated to contingency scenarios that were eventually discarded.
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
On 7 May 2020, the Dutch authorities prohibited all mass gatherings in the country until a COVID-19 vaccine became available. The host broadcasters stated that they were assessing the decision and how it would impact the event.
On 18 September 2020, the EBU released a summary of contingency scenarios for the contest in order for it to take place regardless of the circumstances, including:
- The event being held as in previous years (Scenario A);
- The event being held with social distancing measures in place (Scenario B);
- Providing the option for acts to perform from their home country if they are unable to travel to Rotterdam (Scenario C);
- A fully-remote contest hosted from Rotterdam (Scenario D), with all acts performing from their home country, and no in-person festivities or audience in Rotterdam. This scenario was trialled during the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2020.
In February 2021, the EBU and the host broadcasters stated that it had ruled out hosting the contest as normal (Scenario A). Scenario C was also modified – all acts would perform remotely like in scenario D. A health and safety protocol for the contest was published on 2 March 2021, with the EBU affirming that the contest would be held under scenario B, while reiterating that downscaling options remained on the table should circumstances change. On 30 April 2021, the EBU confirmed scenario B for the contest.
|Contest aspect||Scenario A
|Shows from Ahoy||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Participants in Rotterdam||All||All/most||None||None|
|Audience in the arena||100%||0–80%||0–80%||None|
|Side events in Rotterdam||Yes||Adapted||Reduced||None|
|Press centre||1,500 on site||500 on site
|1,500 virtual||1,500 virtual|
On 1 April 2021, it was announced that an audience of 3,500 people would be allowed at each of the nine shows, including the three live shows and six rehearsals; the Dutch cabinet later gave its approval on 29 April. All audience members must have had tested negative for COVID-19.
Due to pandemic precautions, the "Turquoise Carpet" event was the only in-person side event to take place in 2021. Impacted side events included: the Opening Ceremony event, which was not held; the Eurovision Village, which took place from 15 to 23 May in an online-only form; and the EuroClub, which was cancelled for this year.
On 18 September 2020, along with possible scenarios, the EBU confirmed that the planned visual design and slogan for 2020, "Open Up", would be used for the 2021 contest as well. The revamped official logo and branding was unveiled on 4 December 2020. Designed by Clever°Franke, it is "an abstract presentation inspired by the map of the world and visually connects the location of the capitals of the [then] 41 participating countries with Rotterdam as Europe's beating heart". The revamped visual identity, designed by MediaMonks and NEP, was built around patterns and 'tracks' that symbolises the Netherlands and "opening up".
During the announcement of the dates of the 2021 contest, Sietse Bakker, executive producer of the 2021 contest, stated that the planned 2020 stage design would also be used in the 2021 contest. The design was inspired by the slogan "Open Up" and the typical Dutch flat landscape. The Eurovision stage was designed by German stage designer Florian Wieder, who also designed the stages for the contests in 2011–12, 2015, and 2017–19. Its features included a revolvable primary LED screen that is 52 metres (171 ft) wide and 12 metres (39 ft) high, and a retractable semi-transparent LED screen which could be used as a backdrop for the secondary stage. The stage design was complemented by augmented reality effects. Unlike the 2019 contest, the green room was placed in the main performance venue, and encompassed the entire floor space previously reserved for the standing audience, so as to facilitate social distancing.
The "postcards" were 40-second video introductions shown on television whilst the stage was being prepared for the next contestant to perform their entry. Filmed between January and April, and directed by Martijn Nieman and Laurence Drenthe, with Kevin Soares serving as executive producer, the 2021 postcards were based on the "Open Up" theme of the contest. In a departure from the initial concept created for the 2020 contest owing to travel restriction concerns, the postcards involved the acts being presented through footage shot in their country of origin. These were inserted via chroma keying onto the framework of a 'tiny house' set-up in various locations around the Netherlands, and decorated with items personal to the artist. At the end of each postcard, a light streak hit the house and was refracted into a country-specific coloured streak, mimicking the prism and transitions to the stage, where the ceiling was lit up with that country's flag colours using augmented reality. The postcards were produced by Amsterdam-based production company IDTV, with additional post-production and VFX work by Antwerp-based agency STORM. The following locations were used for each participating country:
- Albania – Hoge Brug, Maastricht
- Australia – Sparta Stadion Het Kasteel, Rotterdam
- Austria – Nannewiid, Frisian Lakes
- Azerbaijan – Giethoorn
- Belgium – Bourtange
- Bulgaria – Agelo
- Croatia – Broek op Langedijk
- Cyprus – 's-Hertogenbosch
- Czech Republic – Almere
- Denmark – Nijmegen
- Estonia – Circuit Zandvoort
- Finland – Sibelco silver sand quarry, Heerlen
- France – Houtribdijk
- Georgia – Port of Rotterdam
- Germany – Scheveningen
- Greece – Halley Astronomical Observatory, Vinkel
- Iceland – Zeeburgereiland, Amsterdam
- Ireland – Hermitage Amsterdam
- Israel – Utrecht Centraal railway station
- Italy – Arnhem
- Latvia – Middelburg
- Lithuania – Rotterdam Centraal railway station
- Malta – Vlissingen
- Moldova – Schiermonnikoog
- Netherlands – Ouddorp
- North Macedonia – Dolmen D14, Eext
- Norway – Koppelpoort, Amersfoort
- Poland – Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
- Portugal – Markt, Delft
- Romania – Leeuwarden
- Russia – Bolwoningen, 's-Hertogenbosch
- San Marino – Evoluon, Eindhoven
- Serbia – Keukenhof, Lisse
- Slovenia – Marker Wadden
- Spain – Doornspijk
- Sweden – Museumplein, Amsterdam
- Switzerland – Noordereiland, Rotterdam
- Ukraine – Veluwezoom National Park
- United Kingdom – Gasselte
On 18 September 2020, along with possible scenarios, the EBU confirmed that the 2020 planned presenters would be appointed as presenters for the 2021 contest as well: actress and television host Chantal Janzen, singer and commentator for the contest Jan Smit, singer Edsilia Rombley, who represented the Netherlands in the 1998 and 2007 contests, and beauty vlogger Nikkie de Jager (NikkieTutorials).
In addition, De Jager and Krista Siegfrids (Finland's representative in the 2013 contest) were the presenters of the contest's online content. Siegfrids hosted Krista Calling, a weekly YouTube series with behind-the-scenes coverage from Rotterdam, and De Jager hosted LookLab with NikkieTutorials, an online talk show series featuring 38 participants with Queen Máxima as a special guest.[l] Koos van Plateringen, Hila Noorzai and Samya Hafsaoui moderated the contest's press conferences, while Van Plateringen and Fenna Ramos hosted the "Turquoise Carpet" event.
For this year, delegations were given the option to use pre-recorded backing vocals. Each delegation could still choose to use backing singers, whether on or off stage, or a combination of live and recorded backing vocals. All lead vocals performing the melody of the song must still be live, according to the rules. As a measure to guarantee that all participants could take part in the contest, every national broadcaster were required to create a 'live-on-tape' backup recording prior to the contest, which could be used if a participant was unable to travel to Rotterdam, or subjected to quarantine on arrival. The recordings took place in a studio setting, in real-time (as it would be at the contest) without any edits to the vocals or any part of the performance itself after the recording. A set of production guidelines was also revealed to ensure fairness and the integrity of the recordings.
Other rules for the entries stayed the same in the 2021 contest. This includes that the maximum length for a song is three minutes, that there can be at most six performers on stage, and that the compositions (lyrics and music) must not have been commercially released before 1 September of the year before. Following the cancellation of the 2020 contest, the EBU explored the option of allowing the songs selected for the 2020 contest to compete in the 2021 contest, which needed to be discussed with the Eurovision Song Contest reference group and the national broadcasters. Victoria, Bulgaria's representative for 2020 and 2021, publicly expressed her support for such a move. However, on 20 March 2020, the reference group decided that, in accordance with the rules of the Eurovision Song Contest, the 2020 songs would not be eligible to compete in the 2021 contest.
Semi-final allocation draw
On 17 November 2020, the EBU confirmed that the semi-final allocation draw for the 2021 contest would not be held. Instead, the semi-finals would feature the same line-up of countries as determined by the draw for the 2020 contest's semi-finals, which was held on 28 January 2020 at the Rotterdam City Hall and hosted by contest presenters Chantal Janzen, Jan Smit and Edsilia Rombley. The draw also determined which semi-final each of the six automatic qualifiers – host country the Netherlands and "Big Five" countries France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom – would broadcast and vote in. The EBU also decided to maintain the Netherlands' grand final running order position – 23.
The pots used initially for the 2020 contest featured as follows:
|Pot 1||Pot 2||Pot 3||Pot 4||Pot 5|
The first semi-final took place on 18 May 2021 at 21:00 (CEST). Sixteen countries participated in this semi-final, with the running order published on 30 March 2021. Malta won the most points, followed by Ukraine, Russia, Lithuania, Israel, Cyprus, Sweden, Azerbaijan, Belgium, and Norway. The countries that failed to reach the final were Slovenia, Australia, North Macedonia, Ireland, Croatia, and Romania. All the countries competing in this semi-final were eligible to vote, plus Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. Belarus was originally allocated to participate in the first half of the semi-final, but was disqualified from the contest after submitting entries in violation of the rules twice, and not providing an eligible entry before the deadline.
This semi-final was opened by Duncan Laurence performing "Feel Something", and featured singer and YouTuber Davina Michelle and actress Thekla Reuten in an interval act titled "The Power of Water", centering on the Netherlands' history of water management. Michelle performed her new single "Sweet Water" in the performance. In both acts, augmented reality was used. The Dutch, German, and Italian artists were then interviewed, and clips of their competing songs were played.
|6||North Macedonia||Vasil||"Here I Stand"||23||15|
|8||Cyprus||Elena Tsagrinou||"El Diablo"||170||6|
|11||Belgium||Hooverphonic||"The Wrong Place"||117||9|
|12||Israel||Eden Alene||"Set Me Free"||192||5|
|16||Malta||Destiny||"Je me casse"||325||1|
The second semi-final took place on 20 May 2021 at 21:00 (CEST). Seventeen countries participated in this semi-final, with the running order published on 30 March 2021. Switzerland won the most points, followed by Iceland, Bulgaria, Portugal, Finland, Greece, Moldova, Serbia, San Marino, and Albania. The countries that failed to reach the final were Estonia, the Czech Republic, Austria, Poland, Georgia, Latvia, and Denmark. All the countries competing in this semi-final were eligible to vote, plus France, Spain and the United Kingdom. Armenia was originally allocated to participate in the second half of the semi-final, but withdrew from the contest due to its social and political crises in the aftermath of the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War.
This semi-final was opened by breakdancer Redouan "Redo" Ait Chitt and singer-songwriter Eefje de Visser, with ballet dancer Ahmad Joudeh and BMX-er Dez Maarsen performing during the interval; the acts are titled "Forward Unlimited" and "Close Encounter of a Special Kind", respectively. The British, French, and Spanish artists were then interviewed, and clips of their competing songs were played.
|2||Estonia||Uku Suviste||"The Lucky One"||58||13|
|3||Czech Republic||Benny Cristo||"Omaga"||23||15|
|8||Iceland[p]||Daði og Gagnamagnið||"10 Years"||288||2|
|12||Portugal||The Black Mamba||"Love Is on My Side"||239||4|
|13||Bulgaria||Victoria||"Growing Up Is Getting Old"||250||3|
|14||Finland||Blind Channel||"Dark Side"||234||5|
|15||Latvia||Samanta Tīna||"The Moon Is Rising"||14||17|
|16||Switzerland||Gjon's Tears||"Tout l'univers"||291||1|
|17||Denmark||Fyr og Flamme||"Øve os på hinanden"||89||11|
The final took place on 22 May 2021 at 21:00 (CEST). Twenty-six countries participated in the final, with all thirty-nine participating countries eligible to vote. The running order for the final was published on 21 May 2021. Italy won with 524 points, also winning the televote. France came second with 499 points, with Switzerland (who won the jury vote), Iceland, Ukraine, Finland, Malta, Lithuania, Russia, and Greece completing the top ten. San Marino, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, and the United Kingdom occupied the bottom five positions, of which the last four countries received no points from the televote.
The final was opened by the traditional flag parade, introducing all twenty-six finalists, accompanied by a remix of "Venus" produced and performed by 16-year-old DJ Pieter Gabriel, with co-presenters Chantal Janzen, Jan Smit and Edsilia Rombley singing parts of the song. The interval acts included a medley of "Hero", "Ten Feet Tall" and "Titanium" performed by DJ Afrojack, singers Wulf and Glennis Grace, and an orchestra composed of young Dutch musicians; the "Rock the Roof" interval act, where six former Eurovision winners – Måns Zelmerlöw, Teach-In, Sandra Kim, Lenny Kuhr, Helena Paparizou and Lordi – performed their winning songs – "Heroes", "Ding-a-dong", "J'aime la vie", "De troubadour", "My Number One" and "Hard Rock Hallelujah" respectively – atop several venues in Rotterdam; and Duncan Laurence, who performed his winning song "Arcade" and his new single "Stars".[q] A dance sketch titled "The Human Countdown" was then performed, which signified the closure of the voting window.
The spokespersons announced the 12-point score from their respective country's national jury in the following order:
- Israel – Lucy Ayoub
- Poland – Ida Nowakowska
- San Marino – Monica Fabbri
- Albania – Andri Xhahu
- Malta – Stephanie Spiteri
- Estonia – Sissi
- North Macedonia – Vane Markoski
- Azerbaijan – Ell and Nikki
- Norway – Silje Skjemstad Cruz
- Spain – Nieves Álvarez
- Austria – Philipp Hansa
- United Kingdom – Amanda Holden
- Italy – Carolina Di Domenico
- Slovenia – Lorella Flego
- Greece – Manolis Gkinis
- Latvia – Aminata Savadogo
- Ireland – Ryan O'Shaughnessy
- Moldova – Sergey Stepanov (also known as "Epic Sax Guy")
- Serbia – Dragana Kosjerina
- Bulgaria – Joanna Dragneva
- Cyprus – Loukas Hamatsos
- Belgium – Danira Boukhriss
- Germany – Barbara Schöneberger
- Australia – Joel Creasey
- Finland – Katri Norrlin
- Portugal – Elisa
- Ukraine – Tayanna
- Iceland – Hannes Óli Ágústsson (as Olaf Yohansson from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga)
- Romania – Cătălina Ponor
- Croatia – Ivan Dorian Molnar
- Czech Republic – Taťána Kuchařová
- Georgia – Oto Nemsadze
- Lithuania – Andrius Mamontovas
- Denmark – Tina Müller
- Russia – Polina Gagarina
- France – Carla
- Sweden – Carola
- Switzerland – Angélique Beldner
- Netherlands – Romy Monteiro[r]
Detailed voting results
Below is a summary of the maximum 12 points awarded by each country's professional jury and televote in the first semi-final. Countries in bold gave the maximum 24 points (12 points apiece from professional jury and televoting) to the specified entrant.
|N.||Contestant||Nation(s) giving 12 points|
|8||Malta||Australia, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Norway, Romania, Russia, Sweden|
|3||Russia||Azerbaijan, Belgium, Netherlands|
|2||Israel||Italy, North Macedonia|
|N.||Contestant||Nation(s) giving 12 points|
|6||Ukraine||Australia, Croatia, Italy, Lithuania, Romania, Russia|
|5||Lithuania||Cyprus, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Ukraine|
|2||Croatia||North Macedonia, Slovenia|
Below is a summary of the maximum 12 points awarded by each country's professional jury and televote in the second semi-final. Countries in bold gave the maximum 24 points (12 points apiece from professional jury and televoting) to the specified entrant.
|N.||Contestant||Nation(s) giving 12 points|
|7||Switzerland||Albania, Austria, Denmark, Estonia, Georgia, Iceland, Spain|
|4||Bulgaria||Finland, Moldova, Portugal, Switzerland|
|3||Iceland||Latvia, Serbia, United Kingdom|
|N.||Contestant||Nation(s) giving 12 points|
|8||Moldova||Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Latvia, Greece, Portugal, San Marino, Serbia|
|3||Iceland||Denmark, Finland, United Kingdom|
Below is a summary of the maximum 12 points awarded by each country's professional jury and televote in the final. Countries in bold gave the maximum 24 points (12 points apiece from professional jury and televoting) to the specified entrant.
|N.||Contestant||Nation(s) giving 12 points|
|8||France||Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, San Marino, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom|
|Switzerland||Albania, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Israel, Latvia|
|4||Italy||Croatia, Georgia, Slovenia, Ukraine|
|Malta||Australia, Norway, Romania, Sweden|
|N.||Contestant||Nation(s) giving 12 points|
|5||Italy||Bulgaria, Malta, San Marino, Serbia, Ukraine|
|Lithuania||Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Norway, United Kingdom|
|Serbia||Austria, Croatia, North Macedonia, Slovenia, Switzerland|
|Ukraine||France, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Poland|
|4||France||Belgium, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain|
|3||Finland||Estonia, Iceland, Sweden|
|Iceland||Australia, Denmark, Finland|
|Moldova||Czech Republic, Romania|
Eligibility for potential participation in the Eurovision Song Contest requires a national broadcaster with active EBU membership that would be able to broadcast the contest via the Eurovision network. The EBU issued an invitation to participate in the contest to all active members. Associate member Australia did not need an invitation for the 2021 contest, as it had previously been granted permission to participate at least until 2023.
Active EBU members
- Andorra – In November 2019, Democrats for Andorra, the ruling party of Andorra, stated that the country would eventually return to the contest, with a cost assessment as a prerequisite. Susanne Georgi, the 2009 Andorran representative, stated in May 2020 that she had secured the funding required for the country to return. Later that year, on 1 August 2020, Georgi explained on Eurovision fan website Wiwibloggs' podcast that she had held a meeting with Prime Minister of Andorra Xavier Espot Zamora, in which they verbally agreed to make a return in 2022 (as they did not want to participate under the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic).
- Armenia – Having intended to compete in 2020, Armenia were initially confirmed for the 2021 contest when the list of participants was announced by the EBU in October 2020, and were set to perform in the second half of the second semi-final. However, on 5 March 2021, the Public Television Company of Armenia (AMPTV) confirmed that they were subsequently unable to participate due to social and political crises in the country in the aftermath of the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War.
- Belarus – Having intended to compete in 2020, Belarus were initially confirmed for the 2021 contest when the list of participants was announced by the EBU in October 2020, and were set to perform in the first half of the first semi-final. However, on 26 March 2021, Belarus was disqualified by the EBU after their intended entry "Ya nauchu tebya (I'll Teach You)" by Galasy ZMesta was rejected due to violating the rules, and not being able to submit an eligible replacement entry. Six days after the Eurovision final, the EBU voted to suspend Belarusian broadcaster BTRC's membership due to concerns about the content that it was broadcasting. BTRC was given two weeks to respond before the suspension comes into effect on 11 June, but there was no public response. The broadcaster was expelled from the EBU on 1 July, rendering future participations impossible until at least 2025.
- Morocco – In response to rumours that the EBU had been in discussions with Morocco regarding participation, Karim Sbai, the Director of Communications of Morocco's Société Nationale de Radiodiffusion et de Télévision, stated in February 2020 that Morocco's possible return had not yet been discussed. Ultimately, Morocco was not included on the final list of participants for 2021.
- Turkey – In May 2020, Faruk Kaymakcı, Turkish Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs & Director for EU Affairs, stated that he hoped to see Turkey returning. However, Turkey was not included on the final list of participants for 2021. Turkey last took part in 2012.
Active EBU member broadcasters in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Luxembourg, Monaco and Slovakia also confirmed non-participation prior to the announcement of the participants list by the EBU.
Associate EBU members
- Kazakhstan – In August 2020, the EBU stated that they had no intention to invite Kazakhstan for this year.
- Kosovo – In August 2020, the EBU stated that they had no intention to invite Kosovo for this year.
- Liechtenstein – In July 2020, Liechtensteiner broadcaster 1 FL TV announced that they had ruled out debuting in 2021. The broadcaster had attempted to become an EBU member in the past but halted its plans when its director, Peter Kölbel, unexpectedly died. It would also need the backing of the Liechtenstein government to be able to carry the cost of becoming an EBU member and paying the participation fee for the contest.
All participating broadcasters may choose to have on-site or remote commentators providing an insight about the show and voting information to their local audience. While they must broadcast at least the semi-final they are voting in and the final, most broadcasters air all three shows with different programming plans. Similarly, some non-participating broadcasters may still want to air the contest.
The European Broadcasting Union provided international live streams of both semi-finals and the final through their official YouTube channel with no commentary. The live streams were geo-blocked to viewers in Australia, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, United States and the United Kingdom. After the live broadcasts, all three shows were made available for every country listed above except the United States.
|Canada||All shows||Omni Television||No commentary|||
|Kazakhstan||All shows||Khabar TV||Kaldybek Zhajsanbaj and Mahabbat Esen|||
|Slovakia||Final||Rádio FM||Daniel Baláž, Lucia Haverlík, Pavol Hubinák and Juraj Malíček|||
|United States||All shows||Peacock||No commentary||[ab]|
|Final||WJFD-FM||Ewan Spence and Ross Middleton|||
|0.45 (La Une)|
|Germany||6.54 (Das Erste)|||
|Poland||1.40 (TVP 1)|||
|0.07 (TVP Polonia)|
|Switzerland||0.47 (SRF 1)|||
|0.02 (RSI La 1)|
|United Kingdom||7.7 (BBC One, Final)|||
|0.73 (BBC Four, SF1)|
|0.75 (BBC Four, SF2)|
Disqualification of Belarus
Two days after "Ya nauchu tebya (I'll Teach You)" was announced as the Belarusian entry for the contest, the EBU ruled that the song did not comply with the contest's rules against political entries, and that the song was not eligible to compete in the contest unless it was modified or replaced. After failing to meet an extended deadline for submitting an eligible entry, with their second submission "Pesnya pro zaytsa (Song About Hares)" also being found to not comply with the rules, it was announced on 26 March 2021 that Belarus was disqualified from the contest.
Ukrainian rehearsal stand-in
Before Ukraine's second rehearsal on 12 May, lead singer of the band Go_A, Kateryna Pavlenko, reported feeling unwell. In accordance with the contest's health and safety protocols, Pavlenko was required to quarantine in her hotel room. The other band members tested negative and were able to rehearse, with Dutch stand-in singer Emmie van Stijn providing vocals instead of Pavlenko. Pavlenko took a COVID-19 PCR test, which came back negative the following day, allowing her to perform again.
Van Stijn received positive reactions for her performance, in particular for her pronunciation of the Ukrainian lyrics, and was invited to sit with the Ukrainian delegation in the green room during the first semi-final.
Ahead of the "Turquoise Carpet" event, one member of each of the Polish and Icelandic delegations tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, those delegations were absent from the event, having gone into self-isolation in accordance with the contest's health and safety protocols. The Romanian and Maltese delegations were also absent from the event on a precautionary measure, as they were based in the same hotel as the Polish and Icelandic delegations.
All other members of the Polish and Icelandic delegations tested negative, and remained in quarantine until the jury show of the second semi-final. However, it was later confirmed that a member of the Icelandic group Daði og Gagnamagnið had tested positive, and as a result, the group withdrew from performing in the live shows. Footage from their rehearsal at Rotterdam Ahoy was broadcast instead during both the jury show and the live show of the second semi-final; this footage was also shown in the final. The remaining members of the Polish delegation were subsequently released from isolation.
On 20 May, the EBU confirmed that Duncan Laurence had tested positive and would not perform live in the final. He was due to perform his winning song "Arcade" and his new single "Stars" during the interval, and present the points on behalf of the Dutch jury; the latter role was filled by Romy Monteiro. Pre-recorded rehearsal footage of Laurence's interval performance was broadcast instead during the final. Due to the positive test result, Laurence was also not present to hand over the trophy to the winner; the presenters handed over the trophy instead.
The day after the final, a member of the Norwegian delegation tested positive and was forced to remain in Rotterdam for isolation. It was later confirmed that six additional members of the delegation had tested positive after returning to Norway.
Jury show issues
During the jury show of the first semi-final, the Romanian, Ukrainian and Maltese delegations reported problems with their performances; most notably, Roxen was heard to be off-beat with the chorus of their song "Amnesia". The EBU later confirmed that in-ear monitoring issues had occurred and that all artists involved would be given a second chance to perform. No issues occurred during the second performances.
During San Marino's jury final performance, the rotating platform did not stop when it was supposed to, leading Senhit to have to jump from it while in motion. The Sammarinese delegation later filed a complaint, also claiming that all the camera shots were distorted due to these timing issues. The delegation offered to allow Senhit and Flo Rida to withdraw from the event, though they ultimately decided to stay. The contest's executive supervisor, Martin Österdahl, apologised to the delegation and reaffirmed that the issue would be addressed moving forward and that they would be protected to the highest degree.
Camera breaking prior to Ireland's performance
During the setup for Ireland's performance in the first semi-final, a camera broke, which caused an extended delay after the postcard was shown. Co-presenter Chantal Janzen improvised in the green room during the live broadcast to fill in the time.
False allegation of drug use
During a green room segment in the final, Damiano David, lead singer of the Italian band Måneskin, was claimed by some online viewers on social media to be seen snorting a line of cocaine when leaned over a table, although there were no drugs in the footage and the singer was sitting away from the table, close to the Italian delegation members. In the band's press conference following their victory, Torbjörn Ek, a journalist working at the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, asked about the allegations, which David denied by suggesting that fellow member Thomas Raggi had broken a glass which David was picking up off the floor, going on to say "I don't use drugs, please guys, do not say that." The band later released a statement on their official Instagram account, stating: "We are really shocked about what some people are saying about Damiano doing drugs. We really are AGAINST drugs and we never used cocaine. We are ready to get tested, cause we got nothing to hide." The EBU released a statement the following day, stating that the band, their management and the Italian head of delegation had denied any allegation, and the singer in question, Damiano, requested to be tested the same night, but as testing could not be immediately organized, he would "take a voluntary drug test after arriving home". It was also confirmed that "broken glass was found after an on site check". The allegations were mostly covered by the French press and briefly commented on by the French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, but the French participating broadcaster France Télévisions announced that it won't file any official charges, while in the Italian press, it was described as a social media joke that had gone too far and become fake news.
On 24 May, the EBU released a statement confirming that no drug use took place in the green room during the final, following a negative drug test and inspection of all available footage. The EBU also expressed concern over "inaccurate speculation leading to fake news [that] has overshadowed the spirit and the outcome of the event and unfairly affected the band."
Dutch televoting issues
The EBU confirmed on 24 May that they had issues handling the Dutch televote in the final. Numerous Dutch viewers complained on social media about their votes not being counted and had only received their confirmation texts hours after the show. The EBU later confirmed to NOS that those votes were not counted due to a problem with the Dutch branch of the telecom provider T-Mobile, while clarifying that they had no authority over the issue. The Dutch televoting results, therefore, remained valid.
In addition to the main winner's trophy, the Marcel Bezençon Awards and the Barbara Dex Award were contested during the Eurovision Song Contest 2021. The OGAE, "General Organisation of Eurovision Fans" voting poll also took place before the contest.
Marcel Bezençon Awards
The Marcel Bezençon Awards, organised since 2002 by Sweden's then-Head of Delegation and 1992 representative Christer Björkman, and winner of the 1984 contest Richard Herrey, honours songs in the contest's final. The awards are divided into three categories: the Artistic Award, the Composers Award, and the Press Award. The winners were revealed shortly before the Eurovision final on 22 May.
|Artistic Award||France||"Voilà"||Barbara Pravi|
|Composers Award||Switzerland||"Tout l'univers"||Gjon's Tears|
OGAE, an organisation of over forty Eurovision Song Contest fan clubs across Europe and beyond, conducts an annual voting poll first held in 2002 as the Marcel Bezençon Fan Award. After all votes were cast, the top-ranked entry in the 2021 poll was Malta's "Je me casse" performed by Destiny; the top five results are shown below.
|Malta||Destiny||"Je me casse"||363|
|Switzerland||Gjon's Tears||"Tout l'univers"||358|
|Cyprus||Elena Tsagrinou||"El Diablo"||238|
Barbara Dex Award
The Barbara Dex Award, created in 1997 by fansite House of Eurovision and organised by fansite Songfestival.be since 2017, was awarded to the performer voted to have worn the most notable outfit. The top-ranked entry this year was Norway's representative Tix, who was the last person to ever receive the award, due to its cancellation the following year.
|4||United Kingdom||James Newman|
The Eurovision Awards, first held in 2021, saw competing acts celebrated across ten categories. Shortlists were determined by major Eurovision fansites and podcasts, with editors and presenters nominating their favourites in each category; the final result was determined by followers of the official Eurovision Instagram channel who cast votes for their favourite act.
Winners are listed first, highlighted in boldface, and indicated with a double dagger (‡). Runners-up are indicated with a single dagger (†).
|Most Innovative Staging||Best Vocals|
|Most Iconic Prop||Best Non-Qualifier|
|Best Spokesperson||Best Dressed|
|The MoroccanOil Award for Best Hairstyle||Best Choreography|
|Best Official Video||Moment of the Year|
Eurovision Song Celebration: Live-On-Tape
The EBU announced on 29 March 2021 that the Eurovision Song Celebration would return for a second edition, premiering on the contest's official YouTube channel. Krista Siegfrids presented the show, which was aired in two parts on 28 and 29 May, and provided a showcase for the 'live-on-tape' back-up performances along with additional bonus material.
The first part of the show featured the back-up performances of the semi-finalists that failed to qualify for the final (excluding Ireland), while the second part featured the back-up performances of the finalists (excluding the United Kingdom).
As with the previous year's Song Celebration, fans were asked to contribute to the show by sending video clips of their favourite entries.
Eurovision Song Contest: Rotterdam 2021 is the official compilation album of the contest, put together by the European Broadcasting Union and released by Universal Music Group digitally on 16 April 2021 and physically on 23 April 2021. The album features all 39 entries including the semi-finalists that failed to qualify for the final.
|Australian Albums (ARIA)||23|
|Austrian Compilation Albums (Ö3 Austria)||2|
|Dutch Compilation Albums (Compilation Top 30)||1|
|German Compilation Albums (Offizielle Top 100)||2|
|Greek Albums (IFPI)||5|
|Irish Compilation Albums (IRMA)||26|
|Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)||54|
|UK Compilation Albums (OCC)||3|
- ^ The United Kingdom was the only country to finish the competition with 0 points. Despite scoring points from the professional juries, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands all failed to score points from the public televote.
- ^ No country has always participated in the final since the introduction of semi-finals in 2004. Ukraine, despite having always reached the final, did not participate in 2015 and 2019. Additionally, the 2020 contest was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- ^ Contains one repeated chant in Azerbaijani
- ^ Contains repeated words in Spanish
- ^ Contains one sentence in Czech
- ^ Contains two spoken sentences in German
- ^ Contains several phrases in Hebrew
- ^ Contains one repeated phrase in French
- ^ a b c Performance contains uncredited live vocals from Flo Rida.
- ^ Contains one repeated word in Italian
- ^ Contains one phrase in English and one repeated word in Spanish
- ^ Tornike Kipiani from Georgia opted not to participate in the series.
- ^ Armenia withdrew from the contest on 5 March 2021.
- ^ Belarus was disqualified from the contest on 26 March 2021.
- ^ Due to travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, Australia competed using their 'live-on-tape' performance, filmed at SBS Studios in Sydney.
- ^ a b Following a positive COVID-19 test result for a member of Gagnamagnið, Iceland competed using footage from their rehearsal at Rotterdam Ahoy, recorded on 13 May.
- ^ Laurence's interval performance in the final was pre-recorded due to him testing positive for COVID-19 two days prior.
- ^ Monteiro was a replacement for Duncan Laurence, who was absent due to testing positive for COVID-19.
- ^ a b Despite finishing with the same number of points as Bulgaria, Greece is deemed to have finished in tenth place due to receiving a greater number of points in the televote.
- ^ a b c d Despite 4 countries finishing with 0 points, tiebreaking rules put the United Kingdom in 23rd place with the televote, Spain 24th, Germany 25th and the Netherlands 26th due to their running order positions.
- ^ All shows were broadcast live, with a primetime rebroadcast in the evening between 21 and 23 May.
- ^ The second semi-final was broadcast on La Une on a 90-minute delay.
- ^ Jandrain was a late replacement for Maureen Louys, who was absent due to testing positive for COVID-19.
- ^ The final was broadcast on VivaCité on a 60-minute delay.
- ^ Due to the 2021 Israel–Palestine crisis, the shows would be deferred to Kan Educational in the event that the main broadcast on Kan 11 is interrupted.
- ^ The first semi-final was broadcast on a two-hour delay, starting at 22:15 WEST.
- ^ Cox was a late replacement for Rylan Clark-Neal who was absent due to illness but still appeared in pre-recorded segments.
- ^ Peacock is an over-the-top video streaming service owned by NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, which also owns NBC who is an associate member of the EBU for the United States. After announcing that NBC would broadcast the American Song Contest in 2022, the EBU later announced that Peacock had acquired rights to distribute both the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 and 2022 in the US. All three shows were streamed live with video-on-demand viewing available afterwards, with no commentary.