CM – Eurovision 2021: When is it up, where can I see it and who is representing Ireland – all you need to know

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Brendan Kelly Palenque

The Eurovision Song Contest 2021 will finally take place on Tuesday in the Netherlands after it was delayed by the pandemic last year.

How many events in 2020 prevented Covid- 19 that the competition could continue, but this year the organizers made plans so that the show would definitely continue.

As usual, the competition is divided into three parts: A semi-final on Tuesday May 18th, a second semi-final on Thursday May 20th and the grand finale on Saturday May 22nd.

Each show will be broadcast in full on RTÉ Two, with commentary from Marty Whelan. However, those who prefer Graham Norton’s presentation style can tune in to BBC Four instead.

Both programs usually cut out some of the competition – either for commercial breaks or for their own recorded segments – but the entire show in its original format will too Broadcast live on Eurovision’s YouTube channel.

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This year’s competition will take place in the Rotterdam Ahoy convention center, as is typical for the winner of the last show. Without a winner in 2020, the Dutchman Duncan Laurence was the last to win the trophy with his song Arcade.

A total of 39 countries are competing – from Iceland to Australia. Ireland will face 16 other participants in the first semi-final. In the two semi-finals, 17 countries will compete against each other.

Only ten from each semi-final will reach the grand final. Together with them, the Big Five (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Great Britain) automatically qualify for the final as well as the host country, the Netherlands.

Lesley Roy from Balbriggan in the north of Dublin will be featured in Eurovision this year with her song Maps Hoist the Irish flag.

She was selected internally by RTÉ last year and was originally supposed to play Story Of My Life. Ireland is known to have won Eurovision more than any other country – with seven wins – could Lesley make it eight?

Make sure you stock up on snacks as each semi-final is expected to last three hours. In the meantime, the final could last over four hours.

The big elephant in the room is Covid-19. Eurovision is usually a huge concert with thousands of spectators waving flags during the performances. Fortunately there will be quite a large live audience with 3,500 seated fans.

Unfortunately, not every act will actually be in Rotterdam. Australia will do a « live-on-tape-performance » instead, as its team felt that traveling was too risky.

These backups are also available for other participants if they sign Covid-19 . Both the Icelandic and Polish delegations are currently being quarantined after positive test results.

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