The Dutch port city of Rotterdam is hosting a slimmed down— but never toned down— version of the Eurovision Song Contest this weekend with a limited live audience and various safety measures in place.
The contest brings together entries from countries throughout Europe and elsewhere in the world that have been granted special admission, like Armenia, Israel and even Australia.
This year, all 39 participating countries and their delegations must be tested before they can enter the venues for rehearsals and the actual performances which will take place live in front of a limited audience of about 3,000 fans.
Dutch-born Stefania Liberakakis will be representing Greece, with the song “Last Dance.” Simply known as Stefania, the 18-year-old artist is one of the youngest performers in the 2021 contest.
Her song is all about love and strength of feeling, with lyrics such as: “My heart was born a radical, electric and dynamical.
Cyprus is represented by Elena Tsagrinou with the song “El Diablo.” This entry created a firestorm of controversy on the island-nation when church officials objected and protested to the lyrics, which they believed were connected to satanism.
The Netherlands is hosting the 65th edition of the event, which draws a television audience of about 200 million, this weekend after Dutch singer-songwriter Duncan Laurence won the 2019 contest with the song “Arcade.”
The event was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic.
The 2021 Eurovision Song Contest will be available to stream exclusively on Peacock in the United States, both live and on demand. Peacock is NBCUniversal’s streaming service.
First Semi-Final: Tuesday, 18 May, 2021, 3:00pm EST
Second Semi-Final: Thursday, 20 May, 2021, 3:00pm EST
Grand Final: Saturday, 22 May, 2021, 3:00pm EST
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