Earlier this month, Eurovision 2020 was cancelled due to precautions surrounding the coronavirus epidemic. Today, the EBU have revealed plans for an alternate show that will be broadcast instead of the grand final on 16 May called Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light.
When Eurovision 2020 was cancelled, many had begun to wonder what would fill the slot in TV schedule. Many national broadcasters have already been planning ideas of what to show in each of the time slots.
Now, the EBU and Dutch broadcasters NPO, NOS and AVROTROS have revealed Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light. They hope all countries originally set to compete at Eurovision 2020 will broadcast this alternative show in order to honour the 41 entries submitted for the contest.
Europe! Shine A Light with us on 16 May??
We're excited to reveal our ideas for an alternative programme which will honour all the songs & artists of 2020?
— Eurovision Song Contest (@Eurovision) March 31, 2020
Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light – What is it?
This new programme is set to air in place of the Eurovision 2020 grand final on Saturday 16 May at 21:00 CEST. It will be hosted by Chantal Janzen, Edsilia Rombley (Eurovision 1998 and 2007) and Jan Smit, who were originally set to be the hosts of Eurovision 2020.
The EBU intends for the two-hour long show to honour the 41 selected songs for Eurovision 2020 in a non-competitive format.
Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light will also bring the artists selected for Eurovision 2020 together. The 41 acts will jointly perform a past Eurovision hit, each from their own location. The selected song is said to be one with unifying lyrics that are appropriate for the current situation across the continent.
It won’t just be the 2020 acts that make an appearance. Former Eurovision stars from recent contests will also be invited to take part and perform iconic Eurovision songs.
Dutch make-up artist and YouTuber NikkieTutorials will also create online content leading up to this alternate programme. The online media mogul was originally appointed to do this in the run-up to Eurovision 2020.
More details about Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light will be revealed in due course.
Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor of the Contest, encouraged broadcasters to show this alternative programme on 16 May:
“Sadly there will be no Eurovision Song Contest this year. Instead, we intend to unite Europe on 16 May with a unique prime-time TV programme. We are encouraging all broadcasters who were due to take part in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, and EBU Members in other countries, to air this show in the spirit of unity and togetherness.”
Sietse Bakker, Executive Producer Event of Eurovision 2020 added that he hoped Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light would inspire audiences at home across Europe:
“We want to make a show that puts a spotlight not only on the 41 artists that were due to appear in Rotterdam but also inspire those at home and connect people from across Europe and beyond in these difficult times. Of course, we will also honour those who are affected by the coronavirus crisis and those who work so hard to fight it. Let’s make this an unforgettable moment in Eurovision history!”
Naturally, this only fills the slot left by the grand final of Eurovision 2020. National broadcasters will be able to show what they want during the evening of 12 and 14 May, when the two semi-finals were originally set to take place.
However, the EBU has also declared the week of 10-16 May to be ‘Eurovision Week’. They are encouraging radio stations that are also part of the EBU to dedicate airtime to this year’s contestants as well as to previous Eurovision hits.
What do you make of Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light? Will you be watching this alternative show on 16 May? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!