Eurovision 2021 News, Contestants & How to Watch in the US


The Eurovision Song Contest is a staple of spring – and after being cancelled altogether due to the pandemic last year, the world’s cheesiest singing competition is coming back. 

Some restrictions will still be in place – the auditorium will be at half capacity and everyone must have a negative Covid test before entering. That aside, it’ll be the same Eurovision you’ve always known. We’ve even got numerous contestants from 2020 coming back for another shot at first place. 

We’ve rounded up all the information on the Eurovision Song Contest, including how to tune in from outside Europe, who is taking part, the UK representing act, and more. 

When is Eurovision 2021 and where is it being held?

Eurovision was meant to take place last year in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. After being cancelled due to the coronavirus in 2020, the contest will still be held in this location this year. 

The Eurovision Grand Final will take place this Saturday 22 May 2021 at 8pm BST/9pm CEST/3pm ET, and lasts around four hours – get those snacks in. 

There will be interval performances from Dutch DJ Afrojack featuring Glennis Grace, the reigning Eurovision winner Duncan Laurence, and a collaborative performance from the following former Eurovision champions: Lenny Kuhr, Teach-In, Sandra Kim, Helena Paparizou, Lordi and Måns Zelmerlöw.

How to watch the Eurovision Song Contest in the UK

As per previous years, you’ll be able to tune in to the Grand Final of Eurovision 2021 on BBC One. Graham Norton will be returning for his usual hilarious commentary. 

You’ll also be able to watch the show live on the BBC One website, or on iPlayer shortly after broadcast online or on the BBC iPlayer app on your tablet or smartphone.

You can also listen along to the contest on BBC Radio 2.

How to watch the Eurovision Song Contest from the US

If you’re in the US things are a little trickier. In 2018 cable channel Logo broadcast the show, but it’s decided not to renew the rights, once again leaving the show without an American home.

The easiest way to watch will likely be on YouTube, where the official Eurovision channel should be livestreaming the whole show, including both semi-finals.

If you’d rather get the official BBC coverage (and Graham Norton’s biting commentary) then the best way to watch Eurovision in the US is to install a VPN, which you can use to watch the whole thing online on the BBC website. Our current top VPN recommendation is SurfShark, which has a good balance of price, reliability, and features, but check out our full guide to the best VPN for streaming if you want to consider other options.

Once you’ve chosen your VPN, just head to the BBC website, make an account and watch the song contest live. 

You will need a UK postcode that is tied to an address with a TV licence. You can find further instructions in our guide to watching BBC iPlayer abroad. 

How to vote in the Eurovision Song Contest

The easiest way to vote for your favourite act in the Eurovision Song Contest is by downloading the app onto your smartphone or tablet. It’s available from Google Play, the iOS App Store and the Windows Store, and it’s free to download.

Once you’ve got the app, you’ll be able to find out more about the participants from the countries taking part, and you’ll also be able to find out the latest Eurovision news.

But more importantly, you can cast your vote using the app simply by clicking on the vote button and choosing your favourite. You can vote up to 20 times, but you cannot vote for the country you are voting from.

It’s worth noting that you can only vote if you’re in one of the 41 participating countries – so US fans can only observe, we’re afraid.

Eurovision Song Contest 2021 contestants

There are 41 countries participating in Eurovision 2021, but only 26 have made it through to the Grand Final. As The Netherlands are hosting, they automatically get a slot.

The Big 5 countries (Germany, France, Italy, Spain and United Kingdom) also all automatically qualify, as is tradition. The remaining twenty have been selected from the Semi-Finals – with the top ten from each show winning a slot. Here’s the full list of competing countries, in the order they’ll perform in:

Cyprus – Elena Tsagrinou – “El diablo”
Albania – Anxhela Peristeri – “Karma”
Israel – Eden Alene – “Set Me Free”
Belgium – Hooverphonic – “The Wrong Place”
Russia – Manizha – “Russian Woman”
Malta – Destiny – “Je me casse”
Portugal – The Black Mamba – “Love Is on My Side”
Serbia – Hurricane – “Loco Loco”
United Kingdom – James Newman – “Embers”
Greece – Stefania – “Last Dance”
Switzerland – Gjon’s Tears – “Tout l’Univers”
Iceland – Daði og Gagnamagnið – “10 Years”
Spain – Blas Cantó – “Voy a quedarme”
Moldova – Natalia Gordienko – “Sugar”
Germany – Jendrik – “I Don’t Feel Hate”
Finland – Blind Channel – “Dark Side”
Bulgaria – Victoria – “Growing Up Is Getting Old”
Lithuania – The Roop – “Discoteque”
Ukraine – Go_A – “Shum” (Шум)
France – Barbara Pravi – “Voilà”
Azerbaijan – Efendi – “Mata Hari”
Norway – Tix – “Fallen Angel”
Netherlands – Jeangu Macrooy – “Birth of a New Age”
Italy – Måneskin – “Zitti e buoni”
Sweden – Tusse – “Voices”
San Marino – Senhit feat. Flo Rida – “Adrenalina”

And here are the countries that didn’t quite make the cut, after losing in the Semi-Finals:

Estonia: Uku Suviste — “The Lucky One”
Czech Republic: Benny Cristo — “omaga”
Austria: Vincent Bueno — “Amen”
Poland: Rafal — “The Ride”
Georgia: Tornike Kipiani — “You”
Latvia: Samanta Tina — “The Moon Is Rising”
Denmark: Fyr og Flamme – “Øve os på hinanden”
Ireland: Lesley Roy – “Maps”
Australia: Montaigne – “Technicolour”
Croatia: Albina – “Tick-Tock”
Slovenia: Ana Soklič – “Amen”
North Macedonia: Vasil – “Here I Stand”
Romania: Roxen – “Amnesia”

24 acts from 2020 are returning – including the UK representative, James Newman, and 2020 favourite, Daði og Gagnamagnið of Iceland – though after a positive Covid test within the band, Daði sadly won’t be performing live, and will instead use recent rehearsal footage for their entry.

The song selected for the UK is Embers by James Newman, who has previously collaborated with the likes of Calvin Harris and Rudimental. The original song for 2020 was more of a ballad – this song however is much more upbeat, positive and ‘classic Eurovision’.

But can it stack up against the competition? The early favourites are Malta – but everything can change on the night.


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