Belarus disqualified from the contest
The European Broadcasting Union has announced that Belarus has been disqualified from the 2021 contest. A band called Galasy ZMesta was supposed to represent Belarus with their song “Ya Nauchu Tebya (I’ll Teach You)” but lyrical content of the song was put into question due to its political nature. Belarus has been in political turmoil since the (questionable) reelection of president Alexander Lukashenko, sparking pro-democracy protests across the country. Eurovision does not allow songs with explicitly political lyrics to participate, and the Belarusian song was deemed to be at odds with this rule.
Belarus was given a second chance to submit a new song, but this song did not comply with the rules either. The song was not publicly released, but a leak suggests that the song contains homophobic lyrics in addition to explicitly political lyrics. This is the first disqualification since 2009.
I won't link to the disqualified songs here, but if you do want to listen to some Belarusian music I recommend this new collaboration by previous Eurovision participants NAVIBAND (2017) and VAL (2020). Both bands have been very outspoken against the Lukashenko regime, and VAL's participation in the pro-democracy protests cost them the chance to return to Eurovision in 2021.
Armenia withdraws from Eurovision 2021
We’re sad to announce that Armenia will no longer take part in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.https://t.co/VtGZ00Oplm— Eurovision Song Contest (@Eurovision) March 5, 2021
Armenian broadcaster AMPTV has announced that Armenia will not be taking part in Eurovision 2021 due to recent events in the armed conflict with Azerbaijan and subsequent ceasefire agreement. In an official statement, the broadcaster said that proper participation would be impossible due to these circumstances and shortness of preparation time.
Armenia had previously withdrawn from the 2020 Junior Eurovision Song Contest as well. This is the first time Armenia will be missing the contest since 2012.
Will Flo Rida appear on stage at Eurovision?
Will we see Flo Rida at Eurovision?— BBC Newsbeat (@BBCNewsbeat) March 26, 2021
The rapper is featured on singer Senhit's track, Adrenalina - which is San Marino's official entry in the competition.https://t.co/GVkH02P9sg pic.twitter.com/0XWgeEaIcL
American rapper and Low hitmaker Flo Rida is featured on this year's Eurovision entry from San Marino. The song, Adrenalina by Italian singer Senhit, has been a favourite amongst Eurovision fans this year. Flo Rida stated that he would love to go and perform at Eurovision, if the Covid restrictions allow it. If not, a recent rule-change would allow him to appear in a pre-taped performance.
Flo Rida also claims to have a lot of fans in the micro-state of San Marino, despite its population of just over 30.000 people. You can listen to the bop here
Countries record 'live-on-tape' back-up performances
In order to make sure that Eurovision is able to happen this year, countries are required to record 'live-on-tape' back-up performances in case the artist can't appear on stage in Rotterdam. While it is currently expected that all countries will be able to make it to the Netherlands, these back-up performances will be used if countries impose travel restrictions or if a person from a delegation tests positive for Covid-19. Some countries have shared a little sneak peek of their performances.
This is how Germany's performance is gonna look like if the artists can't travel to Rotterdam pic.twitter.com/SyM22xdf15— Anna | 🇮🇹🇫🇮🇨🇭 (@itannaly) March 11, 2021
All back-up performances will be posted on youtube after the contest.
2019 winner Duncan Laurence performs on the Today Show
Duncan Laurence performed his 2019 Eurovision winning song Arcade on the Today Show. The song has been taking off again after going viral on TikTok. Despite being 2 years old, Arcade has recently repeaked on the charts in several countries across Europe and Asia. The song has recently become the most streamed Eurovision song of all time.
Arcade is gaining speed on US radios as well, and it has peaked at #1 on the Billboard Bubbling Under chart so far. If the song manages to debut on the Hot 100 in the upcoming weeks, it will be the first Eurovision song to do so in 25 years.
The Eurovision Song Contest will take place on May 18, 20, and 22 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
Sources: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Have you listened to the songs? Any favourites or predictions?