We always take a closer look at the entries, singers and songs. These comments contain a certain irony and should not be taken too seriously.
01 Cyprus: Let the devil go on stage – this is very sexy!
The Mediterranean country of Cyprus is on the right way to rock the ESC. Since a couple of years the entries are getting better and better. The songs “Fuego” and “Replay” have been very popular, now it’s time for “El Diablo”, another up-tempo song, with a lot of sexiness. The famous Greek-Cypriot singer Elena Tsagrinou shows a perfect choreographed dance show. For the Orthodox Church in Cyprus it was a scandal to title the song “El Diablo”. Even Zara Larsson will notice some similarities to her own performances. Nevertheless, it’s a great and powerful song, which could be the summer hit 2021. A really great opener.
02 Albania: Cinema time – the new James Bond girl is born
Anxhela from Albania used to be a model and she knows how to pose in front of the camera. Combined with her vocal capacities, this would be a cool match. Especially the reduced stage show, the red colours look like the opener of a James Bond movie, if it weren’t the complicated melody. This is not an easy-listening song, it needs all attention to immerse in Anxhela’s world.
The Israeli entries are known for their good choreographies, it’s no exception this year. Lovely Eden Alene looks like a queen with her hair crown, surrounded by her male dancers. There is rhythm and joy. And no question, her high tone she is going to sing at the end of the song will be the highest in Eurovision history.
04 Belgium: Let’s enjoy a whiskey and listen to music
This is a really sophisticated entry with no chi chis, no colourful props and fireworks, just good music. The band is allocated on four different podiums and the lead singer Geike is in the middle. It’s all in black, the rhinestones are blinking on Geike’s black dress and it leads you into another world. It feels like a club concert somewhere in London or Sydney. Falling out of the ordinary is often been seen as positive at Eurovision. The TV viewers have time to relax their ears during this performance. Go Belgium!
05 Russia: Woman power with a big heart, from Russia with Love
Oh Russia, this is something very special. It all starts with a big Matryoshka, which has been made from cloth coming from all Russian regions. Manizha gets out of the Matryoshka and appears in a red overall. It’s all about women’s rights and Manizha seem to be the best ambassador for this tonight. The good choir is putting this song to an epic performance. This time it’s easy to like Russia a lot, and Manizha is a power woman, who will definitely get enough points for the Grand Final.
Destiny has already won the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Is she able to win the Eurovision Song Contest as well? She is only 18 years old and spreads out very sympathetic vibes and joy. It’s great to see her enjoying her stage performance. In some parts she grows beyond herself, when the backdrop is glittering and she looks like a big US soul star.
07 Portugal: This is music with a heart-warming atmosphere
Ah, here the words of Duncan Laurence “music is always first” come true. The Portuguese song is solid music from a band, which is used to play in front of a big audience. The entire atmosphere is eclectic with a sophisticated note an interesting story behind. The unique voice of the lead singer Pedro will definitely bring a lot of votes for Portugal this year. It’s the first Portuguese song in English ever, and no Fado at all. Go Portugal Go!
08 Serbia: Speechless and heated up! The hottest export from Belgrade!
Other outfits are funny, but these outfits are sexy. The three girls of Hurricane Sanjha, Ksenija and Ivana are the hottest export from Belgrade these times. They have millions of followers and clicks and are super stars in the Balkan region. The song is incidental, the main thing is the fun and the good camera shots. The points are going to fly to Serbia for sure!
This is another up-tempo song coming from the UK. Maybe the song comes a few years too late, it has a kind of old fashionedness. The stage has two oversized horns hanging from the ceiling and the successful songwriter James Newman is dancing to “Embers”. It’s danceable but also a bit vapid, there is no big emotion or climax, the song is being rumble down in spite of the dedicated background singers with dummy instruments. It’s probably not the music, which will be played in the radio stations. The UK can do better.
10 Greece: 1001 tricks for the beauty of the night
Stefania is the most beautiful singer tonight, wearing an all over costume in a sexy shape with glittering rhinestones. She is singing wonderfully and appears really self-confident. The stage show is something to watch closely. Faces of the background dancers are missing here and there. This is the magic work of the stage designer, who has already been in charge for Sergej Lazarev. The same trick with some invisible stairs is being used. The show appears a bit 2005’ and is nothing, what people haven’t seen at Eurovision before. A modest stage show would have done a bigger effect.
Gjon’s Tears is a very talented singer, who started as a young child to compete in music shows. He kept his wonderful high and clear voice. His voice is one of the most outstanding this year. The stage show is almost superfluous, as everybody will concentrate on his gestures and performance. Gjon’s Tears is having curly hair, just like Celine Dion in 1988, when she won with “Ne Partez-Pas Sans Moi”. This might be a good omen for him. He belongs to the favourites this year. It would be time for Switzerland to win again.
Daði og Gagnamagnið from Iceland have been the favourites last year, and so they are this year. Unfortunately, two members of the group have been tested corona positive, hence the entire team denied a live performance. Instead the record of the last rehearsal will be shown. For the TV viewers it won’t be noticeable, but for the live audience in the arena. Iceland is still in the competition and can win. The song has a certain coolness and irony. The stage show is brilliant and funny, the pullovers are a legend already. This one is to watch! A pity that Daði og Gagnamagnið will not be on stage anymore.
13 Spain: The schmaltz is back – don’t start to cry.
It used to be such a lovely ballad, but for the stage show there has been put a lot of extra schmaltziness on top. The universe with a big moon will be shown, Blas Cantó is fervently singing for his recently passed away grandmother. It could be touching, but the in this constellation the message does not come through to the watchers. Due to the fact that a lot of good Spanish songs from the past did not shape up that well, it does not look any better for this one.
Natalia is no stranger at Eurovision. This time she gives everything, with the help of the Russian guru Philip Kirkorov and the “dream team” partner Dimitris Kontopoulous the grey dove has been transformed to a Princess. An overwhelming video-clip in pink colours has been produced, a bit too much sugar and sweets for the viewers. The stage performance appears a bit dull and uninspired in contrast. Such a topic should have been build up to a coronation of Natalia, but it fades away. Sorry but, disappointing!
This self-composed song has polarized a lot already. The very sympathetic Jendrik brings happiness and joy on stage. The big hand figure with manoeuvrable finger can either show a peace sign or the middle finger. And that’s the message of the song, stop hate, if somebody is angry to you, just smile back and wish the other a good day – “I Don’t Feel Hate – I Just Feel Sorry”. With all his frenzy, Jendrik appears a bit hectic and he seems to be out of breath her and there. The backing singers do their best with the dummy instruments. All over funny, a good message, but a bit too much Kindergarten. Respect!
16 Finland: This one carries you off in the dark and mystic Finnish soul
For the one, who missed some harder tones, here it comes. The rock band Blind Channel is going to rock the stage with a loud and cheerful entry. Guitars and micros flying around, flashes lighten up the dark atmosphere. Is this the right song for getting over the months of quarantine? It definitely will wake you up and it proves that the ESC is open for all music genres. But there is another rock song coming from Italy. Which one is better?
17 Bulgaria: “My Heart Will Go On” in the Bulgarian version
This is another beautiful ballad. VICTORIA is sitting on a big rock, sand is raining from the ceiling and she indulges in memories, showing a real photo of her father and herself being a child. This is very touching, very epic though, it could also be an ice-rock in the cold Atlantic Ocean, a bit Titanic feeling. A great message too, that growing up also means to get older.
18 Lithuania: Put on your dancing shoes and dance alone. Lithuania 12 Points!
Wow, what a great entry for this Eurovision Song Contest under these crazy circumstances. Everything is in shrill colours yellow and lilac, there is a strong disco beat to the song “Discoteque”. Unfortunately, there is no dancefloor this year in the Ahoy Arena, instead the mega “Green Room” takes all the place. The Roop has been one of the favourites last year with “On Fire”, this year the song is even cooler, but in the bets it’s not under the top three. It’s a very sure Top 10 candidate. Everything is perfect and the guys are showing all what they can with such an enthusiasm. Enviable.
This is another unusual song. The ethno-techno song from the band Go_A is animating and hypnotic. It celebrates the beginning of spring, people should dance and leave the sorrows behind. The sound of the flute and the “white singing” of Kateryna, the lead singer is fascinating, different but very cool. They seem to be one of the coolest bands tonight. Sympathetic and extraneous at the same time.
20 France: Open your bottle of red wine, imagine being in Paris and enjoy!
The French chanson is back. Nobody since Patrica Kaas in 2009 has been singing the genre like this. You feel like being in a small bar with live music somewhere in Paris. A little “Padam Padam” from Edith Piaf can be heard in “Voilá”. The singer Barbara Pravi has a very natural look, a very good voice and a certain fascination, very timeless. A lot of people believe that she will be the winner tonight. It would be the first time in history that someone has won the Junior Eurovision as a composer (last time) and the Eurovision Song Contest as a singer. The last time France could win the ESC was 1977 with “L’Oiseau Et L’Enfant” by Marie Myriam.
As always there is something exciting coming from Azerbaijan. The stage setting is exotic, Indian Goddesses appear, a big snake, mystic dancing and a strain rhythm accompanies Efendi’s beautiful singing. The stage has no props this time, but the entire show demonstrates a good hand in choreography and building up musical excitement, the last part gets faster. This kind of song has never been heard at Eurovision. A masterpiece oriental and modern at the same time.
22 Norway: An angel in chains with an important message
After all the dance songs it’s time for something smooth and beautiful. The Norwegian song “Fallen Angel” is also having the angel / devil reference. The melody is lovely and the singer TIX is singing of his inner twist between good and bad. The stage show is building on this, demons rotate around him and it’s very catchy. TIX is suffering from the Tourette syndrome and he is a self-proclaimed ambassador to live openly with it. In the dress rehearsal he lifted his sunglasses for the first time. Very cool!
The entry from the host country is always a bit difficult, as a lot of people may think the country just had won, I won’t vote for it again. So even if the songs are good, they can end up last. Jeangu Macrooy had a great song last year, now the song is a bit different, very South American with Surinamese lyric phrases and a good choir. The way Jeangu is presenting it with his twin brother is well-made.
24 Italy: This is the Ferrari under the songs in the Grand Final!
This year there is no typical Italian tearjerker, instead there is rock music from a very cool band with a Danish name “Måneskin”, as the young woman comes from Denmark. Wherever they appeared in Rotterdam they have shown the latest fashion styles. On stage the lead singer Damiano is even shirtless. You will feel like being in a big concert and the band is playing up. In Italy they have become mega stars since winning the San Remo Festival. Is Europe ready for another winning rock song?
25 Sweden: A million voices – a million votes for Tusse, he deserves it
For the Swedes, the national final is the most watched show of the year, beside of the Eurovision Song Contest. Every Swede would like to know, how Sweden is shaping this year? Tusse is a very cool guy, who is still at school and has had a hard life already, who had to flee from Congo because of a civil war. What a story and development, now he is standing on the big ESC stage and representing the country, which has been taken him in. He is VERY popular in Sweden and he will get many new fans, wherever he will end up.
26 San Marino: Senhit and Flo Rida – a combination the world has been waiting for
What a big promotion Senhit and her team made on her “Freaky trip to Rotterdam”. Now she is here with all her enthusiasm. During the rehearsals a substitute rapper has been hired, but the big rapper Flo Rida has arrived finally. The EBU only allowed him on stage, if he has been part of the rehearsal as well. If this rapper is a big benefit is the question. The other rapper was even better. The stage show is a happy muddle with bright colours, in-between there is Senhit and enjoys herself and Flo Rida. Unfortunately, you will hardly see Senhit’s face, as she mostly shows her back.
Public relations, Editor, Journalist
About me: As one of the founders of eurovisionlive.com I am responsible for the interviews with the singers and the editorial content. My passion for the Eurovision Song Contest exists since my early childhood. The exotic music, different cultures and languages have given a lot of inspiration to me. Since my very first ESC in Dublin 1994 I particularly appreciate the get together and friendship of all the nationalities and Riverdance was a thrill!