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Eurovision Insight Podcast: Shining A Light Over Europe

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Shining A Light Over Europe

Things are becoming a little clearer in the Eurovision world this week. We might not have preview Concerts, but we do have our artists singing live from bedrooms around the world. We might not have the Contest, but we have a showcase on May 16th. And we might have finalised our 41 songs for 2020.

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Shining A Light Over Europe

The Song Contest may be delayed to 2021, but there’s still a show to look forward to, the Eurovision community is here to help, and France release their 2020 song. Ewan Spence brings you up to date with the Insight news podcast.

Stay up to date with all the Eurovision Song Contest by listening to the ESC Insight podcast. You’ll find the show in iTunes, Google Podcasts, and Spotify. A direct RSS feed is  available. We also have a regular email newsletter which you can sign up to here.

Categories: ESC Insight


Great first edition of Eurovision Home Concerts

Great first edition of Eurovision Home Concerts

Eurovision Home Concerts Episode 1

In these scary unknown times, we live in now, Eurovision Home Concerts can bring us joy upon the cancellation of the 2020 contest. Ryan O’Shaughnessy, Tamara Todevska, Rasmussen and Slavko Kalezić took part in the first episode aired today.

Let’s face it, no matter what happenes for the rest of the year, 2020 will still stand out as one we’ll remember, probably for the rest of our lives. At the moment, most of us live more or less isolated. Many work from home, and can only go our for essential shopping. We are restricted to only meet family and friends online – and on top of that, we are scared. We are scared for ourselves, our loved ones and for the world in general. How will the world look like when we are through this? Will things ever be the same again? We don’t know. But we know that we need some joy in our lives right now, and some hope.


  • 1 Ryan O’Shaughnessy
  • 2 Rasmussen
  • 3 Tamara Todevska
  • 4 Slavko Kalezić
  • 5 Eurovision Home Concerts

Today, starting at 17:00 CEST, we saw the premiere of the first edition of Eurovision Home Concerts. It’s not Eurovision, and not meant to be either. But it’s reminding of that our favourite artists are going through the same things as we are right now.

Ryan O’Shaughnessy

Irish Ryan took part in the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest with the song Together. He finished 16th. Today, he performed that entry as well as what was to be this year’s Icelandic entry Think About Things.

We first met Ryan in an intimate setting from what might be his backyard. He had two musicians with him; a keyboard player and a violin player. They sit noticeable close to each other, but it’s hard to judge if it might just be within or outside the social distancing of two metres.

For the second performance, he was joined by two more, all standing in the backyard – certainly no social distancing this time. Is Ryan a Whitney Houston fan? He might just be so as he appeared in a t-shirt with her pictured on it.


Just like Ryan, Rasmussen also took part in the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest. He represented Denmark with the song Higher Ground, and finished 9th in the final. Today, he brought to us his own entry and another Danish entry; the Danish winning entry from 2013, Only Teardrops.

Rasmussen was alone in what might be his living room. The only company was his guitar. Beatles fans will immediately recognise the Abbey Road t-shirt. Equipment failed a little bit in Rasmussen’s case as the sound for this setting wasn’t optimal – but he really lived himself into these acoustic versions, which totally makes up for it.

Tamara Todevska

She was last year’s darling. Tamara provided her country, North Macedonia, their best ever result as she came 7th – but won the jury voting – with the song Proud. This was Tamara’s second participation after failing to reach the final in 2008. In today’s Eurovision Home Concerts, she entertained us with Proud as well last year’s Italian entry; Soldi.

Tamara came into our living room sitting on the floor in a corner of a room with the music playing in the background – no acoustic performance from her today today. She dedicated her entry Proud to all the doctors doing a fantastic, but hard job at the moment each day in their fight against Coronavirus.

Big applause to Tamara for throwing herself into a song in another language like the Italian Soldi. She was the only of the four acts today doing that – and she managed quite well.

Slavko Kalezić

With his long braid, Slavko surely stood out in the 2017 contest where he represented Montenegro. He failed to reach the final with the song Space. Today, it was no competition. Besides Space, Slavko also performed the 2018 Cypriot entry Fuego.

The braid is no longer there, we saw today, but to make up for it, Slavko had a braid in each hand. He also danced around with his Eurovision bag and a hand fan. For his second performance, he was wearing kangoo jumping shoes and moved around like he was in an exercise video. He was dressed for it also, so maybe that’s his way of keeping fit while staying indoors?

Eurovision Home Concerts

Coronavirus and it’s COVID-19 disease is affecting most of the world at the moment. When the Danish Melodi Grand Final on the 7th of March was held without audience, we all knew that it was just the beginning, and that the Eurovision Song Contest would be affected too. On the 18th of March came the news that the 2020 contest was cancelled. Not postponed. Not organised in a different way, but cancelled entirely.

As Eurovision fans were in shock, EBU came up with this idea called Eurovision Home Concerts where artists, 2020 acts as well as former participants, will perform their own entry plus a cover song – from their own homes. Just like the rest of us, they are isolated too.

Keep an eye on Eurovision Song Contest on Twitter where they will announce artists for next edition, and as well as asking you to vote for which other entry you would like them to cover.

In the video below, you can watch the first edition of Eurovision Home Concerts:

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Most artists chosen by National Finals in 2020 are not getting a pass to Eurovision 2021

Most artists chosen by National Finals in 2020 are not getting a pass to Eurovision 2021

Eurovision 2020

It seems that in general, artists who were internally selected to represent their country at the Eurovision Song Contest 2020, have been chosen again for 2021. Unfortunately artists whose counties hold National selections have not been so fortunate.

When Eurovision 2020 was cancelled, due to the coronavirus threat, the dreams of 41 hard working artists were shattered. Every one of them, respectfully released a statement agreeing that the cancellation was the right thing to do. Since then fans have wondered what will happen in 2021.


  • 1 Lithuania – Eurovizijos Atranka
  • 2 Sweden – Melodifestivalen
  • 3 Iceland – Söngvakeppnin
  • 4 Norway – Melodi Grand Prix
  • 5 Portugal – Festival da Canção
  • 6 Latvia – Supernova
  • 7 Estonia – Eesti Laul
  • 8 Albania – Festivali i Këngës
  • 9 Belarus – Eurofest
  • 10 Denmark – Dansk Melodi Gran Prix
  • 11 Italy- Sanremo Festival
  • 12 Finland – Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu
  • 13 Slovenia – EMA
  • 14 Moldova – O melodie pentru Europa

The majority of countries which hold National finals have said that new selections will be broadcast next year and the 2020 acts would not necessarily represent them in 2021. To date Montaigne from Australia is the only exception.

Lithuania – Eurovizijos Atranka

This year, for the first time ever, Lithuania had been at the top of most betting polls, as most likely to win the Eurovision Song Contest with the Roop and the song On Fire. Lithuanian television (LRT) kept the Roop on tenterhooks until March 31, wondering what they would do in 2021. While The Roop have stated that they feel it is their moral obligation to represent Lithuania in 2021, LRT decided to offer the band an automatic place in next year’s final. As of today, lead singer of the Roop, Vaidotas Valiukevičius says it’s too early to make a decision,  as there are too many things going on at the moment. The group are currently at home promoting their previsouly released, three CD’S, and do not want to think too long into the future at this time. Lithuania have historically had one of the longest selection processes in Eurovision, and this taks up an awful lot of an artists time to prepare.

Sweden – Melodifestivalen

Christer Björkman, producer of SVT’s Melodifestivalen in Sweden, was the first to reveal that The Mamas would likely not represent Sweden in 2021. For many years, Melodifestivalen has been one of the most popular shows in its homeland, and one of its most popular exports. Melodifestivalen 2021 will take place next year as scheduled, and, at this time, The Mamas, who in 2019 sang backing vocals, for the Swedish entry Too Late For Love, are not expected to take part. They were due to sing the song Move in Rotterdam this year. The group released a statement on their instagram account expressing their disappointment, but understood the reasons behind the decision.

Iceland – Söngvakeppnin

While there has been no news about how Iceland will choose their 2021 representative, it can be assumed that it will be by the long running Söngvakeppnin show. Daði has said that he will not be part of that show as a performer. Whether that means he may be interested in writing a song for another act remains to be seen. Daði had also been considered one of the favourites at the 2020 contest, with the chance of giving Iceland, their first win with the song Think About Things.

Norway – Melodi Grand Prix

While not getting too personally into Ulrikke’s private life, it seems that the cancellation of the 2020 contest has hit her pretty hard. This is a shame as she too had a perfect song for Eurovision, and has worked really hard, this being her second time to feature in Norway’s Grand Prix. After discussions with NRK, Ulrikke has turned down the chance of a slot in next year’s Grand Prix final, questioning whether she can find a better song than Attention. On her instagram account Ulrikke proclaims that her dream is over. Ulrikke is interested in entering musical theatre, of which surely she will be very successful.

See alsoEurovision stays home with Ryan O'Shaughnessy and others

Portugal – Festival da Canção

Unlike other broadcasters, it was Elisa herself who announced that she will probably not be representing Portugal at the 2021 contest. lafter winning in 2020 with the song Medo Di Sentir. RTP have not yet announced whether they will hold the Festival da Canção in 2021, or indeed whether they will be at next year’s contest.

Latvia – Supernova

This year there were doubts as to whether Latvia were going to hold their Supernova selection. In the end they had a final, dropping their usual two semis. Samanta Tina won the show, after five previous attempts with the song, Still Breathing. Since then she has proven to be an excellent ambassador for Latvia, and has announced her interest in representing the country in 2021. LTV have said that no announcement will be made until the coronavirus crisis is over, but fortunately there seems a good chance that Samanta will represent Latvia next year.

Estonia – Eesti Laul

Estonian Television were not far behind Sweden when they announced that Uku Suviste would not be their automatic 2021 representative. They are planning on going ahead with Eesti Laul 2021, and have offered Uku a wild card to one of the semi finals. At this time. Uku does not yet have a song, as good as What Love Is and has not confirmed whether he will accept this offer.

Albania – Festivali i Këngës

Albania hosts the long running Festivali i Këngës every December, and since 2004 has used it as a means to pick their Eurovision entrant. Arilena Ara won the last completion with the song Shaj, and was late to the party this year in submitting the English version, that she had planned on singing in Rotterdam called Fall From The Sky. It is unlikely that Arilena will be back in 2021, unless she wins Festivali i Këngës 59, of which at this time, she has not even confirmed that she will compete.

See also12 acts set to return for the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest

Belarus – Eurofest

In the past Belarus have used some odd ways to select their entry, but in recent times have calmed down to a National final. Although, again since their National Final, is not as established as say Melodifestivalen, there could be a chance they will ask VAL to represent them next year, an opportunity VAL says they would accept, hoping they can produce another song like Da Vidna, which would have been their 2020 entry.

Denmark – Dansk Melodi Gran Prix

You have to feel most sorry for Ben and Tan from Denmark, who won their heat this year, with no audience in attendance, so they have not yet had the chance to receive audience feedback. Their 2020 song was another one well fancied in the bookies ratings, and it seems unlikely they would be able to produce a song as good as Yes. You never know though, and if the other northern European National finals are to be used as a model, it is likely Ben and Tan will be offered a slot direct to next year’s Dansk Melodi final. Good luck to them.

Italy- Sanremo Festival

If it is even possible, the Sanremo festival in Italy is even more popular than Melodifestivalen is in Sweden. The biggest difference though is that Sanremo is not specifically used as a vehicle to select the Italian entry for Eurovision. The winner is given the chance to go to Eurovision, should they wish, and this year, Diodato was happy to do this with Fai Rumore. However future bookings and commitments for Diodato into 2021 means that Italy will probably have a new performer for 2021, although due to the virus, Diodato will need to change his schedule anyway. Diodato was supposed to play in Milan on April 22 and continue his tour in July. These dates are to be rescheduled, so we await to see if he would be interested in Eurovision next year.

Finland – Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu

It seems that Finland will again hold Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu in 2021, although in the previous two years, they internally chose Saara Aalto and Darude. There is a chance that they may ask Aksel to present some songs and then internally choose him for 2021. Currently we do not know what Finnish Television (YLE) is planning for next year, but let’s hope that  all the work Aksel did with the propoesed 2020 song Looking Back, does not go to waste.

Slovenia – EMA

When Eurovision 2020 was cancelled, Ana was in the middle of mixing her winning entry Voda. She went on to release the  version later in the month. Slovenian Television have not yet announced their plans for next year, however their EMA  show is gaining popularity at home. However in 2013, Hannah Mancini was internally selected with the song Straight Into Love, so it is possible Slovenia could do this again, allowing Ana to represent them in 2021.

Moldova – O melodie pentru Europa

Every year it is not clear whether Moldova will have a National final or not. While, late in the season they usually do end up with an internal show, it would not be surprising if Moldovan Television give their selection show a miss next year, and internally select Natalia Gordienko again. Philipp Kirkorov(Russia 1995) and co-composer of Moldova’s 2020 song Prison, has expressed his annoyance to  MK.ru, about the lack of news from the Moldovian Television broadcaster (TRM).

Of course, despite the  broadcasters plans to host new shows, there is no guarantee that new acts may want to feature in them, feeling that perhaps the 2020 artists should get a chance to go to Eurovision. Also fans may feel the same way, and will vow only to vote for the 2020 act, where a country is giving an artist a wild card in their selection.

Three of the four big five countries, who in 2020 internally selected have also not announced whether their 2020 representative will return, with only Spain announcing that Blas Cantó will be back. The future participation for Tom Leeb (France), James Newman (United Kingdom) and Ben Dolic (Germany) has not been decided. Equally Ireland’s Lesley Roy has declared she will work for six months to find a new song to replace Story Of My Life, has yet to hear if she will be announced by the Irish broadcaster RTE as their future representative.

Stay tuned for what still seems an exciting selection year for 2021. In the meantime you can listen to the revamped version of Voda, which was to have been the Slovenian entry this year.

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Australian broadcaster selects Montaigne for Eurovision 2021

Australian broadcaster selects Montaigne for Eurovision 2021

Montaigne (Australia 2020, Drawing)

Montaigne’s Eurovision dreams comes back to life. She will represent Australia at next year’s Eurovision Song Contest. So far, a total of 13 acts from the now cancelled 2020 contest, have been selected for another chance at the 2021 contest.

41 acts had their dreams crushed when EBU cancelled the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest due to the outbreak of Coronavirus and it’s disease COVID-19. Several of them however will get a second chance next year. Montaigne is the latest of the now 13 acts to have been re-selected.

To check up on the 12 other acts chosen, please read our article from yesterday.

Unlike the other acts, she wasn’t chosen internally, but in a national final. It’s not yet clear how the song for Montaigne will be decided upon, but Creative Director of Eurovision – Australia Decides and Director of Blink TV Paul Clarke says: “To our music community we say – write the perfect Eurovision song! We have every intention of bringing the show back to the Gold Coast in 2022 bigger and better than ever.” It sounds like Australia won’t have their national final “Australia Decides” back before 2022.

In the video below listen to Montaigne and her Don’t Break Me entry, which was chosen to represent Australia at the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest:

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How is it to be a Eurovision Latinx fan? A closer look at the Colombian Eurovision fans

How is it to be a Eurovision Latinx fan? A closer look at the Colombian Eurovision fans

Colombian fans - Private photos kindly provided by Colombian fans

It is a common picture to see fans waving their flags during Eurovision live shows – also from countries where one would not expect to find a fanbase, that share the same passion for the Eurovision Song Contest. Colombia is no exception to this trend.

Counting the days for the next festival, discussing the drama of the day, cheering for the fan favourites during the national selections and meeting to watch the live shows in the main cities (Bogotá, Medellín, Bucaramanga and Cali in particular), are some of the ways Colombian Latinx fans enjoy the Eurovision Song Contest.

Fans meet to watch Eurovision live shows in Colombia

Some of the “oldest” fans discovered the Festival through TVE, the Spanish channel that has broadcast the festival on it’s international service, or by participating in online forums. YouTube has taken an important role in recent years for viewers from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean to discover the festival, explains Jefferson Alvarez, a moderator of “Eurovision Fans Colombia” the national Eurovision fan club which is part of OGAE Rest of the World.

Alvarez himself discovered  Eurovision through YouTube, which recommended him to watch Helena Paparizou’s winning performance for Greece in 2005. There are nearly 800 fans registered in the official Facebook group of “Eurovision Fans Colombia.”

I always watch Eurovision with my friends. It is a special occasion to meet, eat, get excited and share our love for the show. Eurovision has allowed me to meet incredible people, make friends and open up to new languages and sounds” says Luis Angel Pérez, a political scientist and Eurovision fan. He also finds “the geopolitical element of the show” interesting.

The biggest Eurovision party in Colombia is hosted in Bogota since 2014, where close to 100 fans meet in El Mozo (a LGBTQ+ club) to watch the Grand Final every year.

Eurovision has been a platform for fans to celebrate diversity thanks to the universality of music. As many fans in Europe, Colombian fans were saddened too after it was confirmed that the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest was cancelled.

The cancellation hurt me, but it was the best option in the current circumstances for the wellbeing of the artists, the crew and the thousands of fans that would have attended the Ahoy arena.

Jefferson Bautista

I feel sad about the artists that will not have the chance to perform and for the songs that we will not watch live. Eurovision would have been a relief after so many tragic news but I think it was the right decision. And the Eurovision will come back next year stronger than ever anyway! In the end we are a family with a common passion.

Luis Angel Pérez

From Eurovision we learned about the power of music to unite people from different cultural backgrounds, ages, races and nationalities in Europe and beyond. This lesson is more relevant than ever these days.

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Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light to be broadcast on May 16

Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light to be broadcast on May 16

Europe Shine A Light

Following the cancellation of the Eurovision Song Contest 2020, the EBU and its Dutch Members NPO, NOS and AVROTROS will be producing a new show, ‘Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light’.

The show will air in place of the cancelled Grand Final on Saturday 16 May at 21:00 CEST

The official Eurovision site says that Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light will honour all 41 songs, in a non-competitive format, as well as providing plenty of surprises for fans and viewers at home. The show will be hosted by Dutch Eurovision presenters Chantal Janzen, Edsilia Rombley (Eurovision 1998 and 2007) and Jan Smit.

The show also will try to bring together all of 2020’s artists from different locations around Europe. performing a past Eurovision hit. It won’t be Love Shine A Light (United Kingdom 1997) by any chance will it.

Below you can watch a performance of Katrina and The Waves with that very song. Will this new show satisfy your need for all things Eurovision on May 16.

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