eurovision 2021 without coronavirus

The road to Eurovision 2021 in Rotterdam is long and there are many uncertainties ahead due to the ongoing pandemic. But in the spirit of optimism I’m putting 2020 to the side and imagining how an ideal Eurovision cycle might look. Here are five of my personal hopes for the year ahead.

1. More participating countries

Fifty-two countries have participated at Eurovision over the years. What would be a better symbol for the year after the pandemic than having all of them come back? (Except for Yugoslavia and Serbia & Montenegro, for obvious reasons).

Morocco, Luxembourg, Monaco, Andorra, Turkey, Slovakia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Hungary and Montenegro have all left the competition over the years. Kazakhstan has been eager to debut for quite some time. And other countries like Tunisia and Lebanon almost took part on one occasion…only to withdraw before their debut.

Having them back would extend the family to more than 50 countries, which would mean semi-finals with 25 entries, or even another show. It seems difficult, but who would have thought in the early 2000s that there would be 43 countries participating some years later?

Bonus: You’d get a wiwibloggs poll for who was the best returning country or even a video, as in 2016, when two returning countries placed inside the Top 4.

2. National finals everywhere

In recent years, some countries have consistently decided to select their entries internally, and it’s proven to be a very effective choice. In fact, our last winner, Duncan Laurence, was picked by the broadcaster. Some others, like Bulgaria, have mastered the art of building hype around their choices.

But, let’s be honest, there’s nothing like a good national selection. You get loads of new artists, lots of great songs and a lot of trainwrecks and assorted disasters. “Colourful” Belarusian castings, classy Sanremo marathons, Melodifestivalen pop-perfection — all of them are highlights of the year, but we definitely need more.

3. Broadcasters coordinating their shows

Basically we need the shows spread out because the national final season is so short. It’s basically six weeks, from early February to mid-March, during which, in my ideal scenario, we’d have around 50 shows.

It’s too intense. Multi-tasking may be fine for a while, but it’s about time that broadcasters coordinate their timetables. You can’t expect us to have all of our family’s devices switched on to other countries’ public TVs for six Saturdays in a row.

We’re one of the most dedicated fandoms in the world, and we deserve to have a decent programme in which we could have one show after the other to spend our Winter nights listening to new music and bashing them on Twitter. EBU, take notes.

4. Having all songs on streaming platforms

Yes Malta, I’m looking at you. It’s 2021, for God’s sake — let’s have all entries on the streaming platforms. Having to listen to some potential Eurovision entries with the lowest quality Youtube video with a static picture of the singer from three years ago is archaic.

In recent years, some entries have not been uploaded to streaming platforms until April. It’s exhausting for fans.

And, to be fair, if a medieval cover of “Hips don’t lie” has been able to enter all platforms, why can’t a potential Eurovision entry?

5. Moving past “pleasant”

Countries with national finals tend to choose safe ballads over edgier, funnier or brighter entries which quickly become fan favourites. No more Erika Vikmans coming second; enough Elvana Gjatas beaten by power ballads.

Eurovision is usually filled with dying screaming ladies, and we could spare some of them for some true bops. Also, cute guitar entries have already had their slice of cake at the contest. We can live without them for a while.

We’re talking big bangers, out of the box performances, fun entries… just something eye and ear-catching! Nobody needs a thousand ballads about how dramatic 2020 has been, nor happy clappy entries about being all in this together. Europe, stop doing what you’ve done from the first year this contest started. It’s 2021 and we’re overcoming a pandemic.

What does YOUR ideal Eurovision season look like? What are your hopes for 2021? Share your ideas in the comment section below!

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Joe
Joe
13 days ago

I agree. Especially with points 1 and 2 It’s the perfect time to go all out and bring evryone back. Most countries withdrew over financial reasons so maybe the ebu can provide some aid so evryone can make a comeback. And I’ve always prefered national finals over internal selections because that way more people from the country get a say on who represents them. I wonder what the ebu would say if a bunch of us fans were to send them a signed letter making many of these sugestions 🙂

Amanda
Amanda
15 days ago

I would love to see more countries at Eurovision; I think that it might be a bit expensive tho to host two weeks of semis. But I would love to see it.

Esc43
Esc43
15 days ago

Well, I think that under these uncertain circumstances, broadcasters will not risk a return at least for 2021.. We already know that andorra chose to come back in 2022 due to the virus, Slovakia also opened the possibility of a return, but that in the future.. I’d be surprised actually if all 41 countries of 2020 continue their participation as also if Montenegro returns which is the only one possible in my opinion

ESCFan2009
ESCFan2009
15 days ago

I love myself a good bop, but #5 is really offensive… 🙁

Hyunwoo
Hyunwoo
16 days ago

Wishlist for Eurovision 2021!
Montenegro and Hungary will comeback in Eurovision 2021!

Ashton
Ashton
15 days ago
Reply to  Hyunwoo

I hope so but Montenegro coming back is 10000000% more likely than Hungary.

Colin
Colin
15 days ago
Reply to  Ashton

Hungary has been in and out a few times, though. They participated in 2005, missed out in 2006, returned for 2007-2009, missed out 2010 again and returned in 2011 and since. I wouldn’t count them out just yet.

Ashton
Ashton
15 days ago
Reply to  Colin

you have a point but something just feels different about this time to me and idk why. I guess we’ll see tho 🙂

mark dowd
mark dowd
16 days ago

“Cute guitar entries”…i.e.”me and my guitar” and their like are few and far between. We need two or three good ones a year….at least.

Una
Una
17 days ago

Some elements for my ideal Eurovision season: local potential and artists are respected and promoted with pride. no more returning writers and no more writers for more than one country per year or every two to three years. more songs released earlier. less secrecy and less “competition”. It makes some broadcasters look desperate for a win. It doesn’t look good. I love the idea of more countries and 3 semis but 3 semis would make the production too costly. It is already huge with 2 semis and a GF. And I don’t know if the larger audience would be up… Read more »

Charles
Charles
17 days ago

So the ideal Eurovision is a daily broadcast reality TV show filled solely with more than 50 generic pop uptempo bangers that allow the fans to pretend they are “eternally 12”. Right … Guitars are unnecessary … I am sure someone wants to get rid of pianos and live singing as well. How musical does this Eurovision seem to be? Well music is supposed to translate thoughts and emotions when storytelling about something we can all relate to … But in Eurovision we ought to live in a bubble away from reality with thousand of viewers at home watching and… Read more »

olvrfin
olvrfin
17 days ago

6. A new winning country
7. Underdogs doing well

Sabrina
Sabrina
17 days ago

Always in favor of more countries joining the party and more national finals happening (though for 2021, exceptionally, my priority would be to have the artists from 2020’s class reunited as it should have happened if it wasn’t for the damn virus). So, yeah, I would love if the finals were better coordinated thinking about the fandom. And though I think Tibor have a good point about the streaming services, I hope to find all of the songs in Spotify. About the final item, Colin and Tibor wrote some things I would like to say about it. Then I would… Read more »

Tibor
Tibor
17 days ago

For me personally, the ideal contest would be one with interesting songs. I’m not here for the brand but for the music. I don’t mind more countries, but what I don’t need is the nth country who buys another bop from the Eurovision industry. I prefer national finals. Internal selection sometimes leads to an interesting entry, but as often it doesn’t. If there’s a national final, I can pick my own winner, even if they’re not going to Eurovision. I don’t know if I need a longer Eurovision pre-season. I think it’s fine as it is. Moreover, most broadcasters want… Read more »

Bella
Bella
17 days ago

I am a Eurovision fan but I find most of these ideas terrible. I’m in favor of fewer countries, not more, at least in the Grand Final. 20 countries in the final is more than enough, that would allow to spend more time on each entry and bring the orchestra back. Kazakhstan, Tunisia, etc. are not in Europe (“YeS bUt AzerBaIJaN aNd AuStrALiA anD AlSo 10% of kaZAKHstAn iS iN EuROpE AcCoRDiNg tO a RuSsIaN geOPoLiTiCAl dEFiNiTioN of EurOPe fRoM the 18th cEnTUry”… Don’t even waste your time, you won’t convince me: it’s no). National finals are 99% bad songs,… Read more »

Jonas
Jonas
17 days ago
Reply to  Bella

I have to waste my time, sorry. The contest is for members of the EBU, not countries located in Europe.

Jonas
Jonas
17 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

Also, how would having twenty countries in the final help bring the orchestra back? They’d have to be prepared for all countries to get to the final, semi-finalists who may not qualify included. They don’t just turn up on the night.

Agumon
Agumon
17 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

You’re pretending you don’t understand: there’s no denying than fewer participating countries means more time spent on each country. Also more time on each country means more time for an orchestra to settle in. SF are irrelevant, and yes the orchestra could absolutely “just turn up on the night”. Why not?

You could have Big 5 + host country as automatic qualifiers and then have the top 7 songs from each SF qualifying, and that’s it: you have your 20 finalists. Not having the songs placing 8th-10th in the SF on the final night is not a big loss anyway.

Agumon
Agumon
17 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

These discussions always go the same: you have to let in Tunisia in Eurovision cause they’re EBU members, let in Kazakhstan cause a tiny bit of their land is supposedly in Europe, let in Algeria cause they’re a former European colony, let in Mexico cause they speak Spanish, let in Canada cause Australia’s already in, let in Mozambique cause they speak Portuguese, then let in Papua New Guinea because why not. That’s how you’ll end up with a big nothing. The soul of this contest is European. It was created to unite Europe through entertainment, based on the Italian San… Read more »

Jonas
Jonas
16 days ago
Reply to  Agumon

On what possible grounds could you keep out Tunisia? They’re members of the EBU and have as much right to participate as France or Germany or any other member. They don’t need your permission or approval.

Also, this story about the contest being created to bring Europe together is partly true, often repeated – the goal being to create peace, which excluding people is the opposite of. The main reason was actually to use the new technology, which allowed the countries to link their broadcasts. This is a broadcasting union after all.

Agumon
Agumon
16 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

They don’t need my permission, just like they don’t need yours. By making my (lack of) permission irrelevant, you’re making yours as well. And why do you think it is that Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, etc. were never invited to participate despite being EBU members? Hint: look at a map. 😉 Also you’re literally deflecting and not answering my comment: where do you put the line? If we listen to people like you there’s a reason to invite every single country on the planet. And it’s not “party true”: bringing Europe together through entertainment was word for word the intent… Read more »

Jonas
Jonas
16 days ago
Reply to  Agumon

I draw the line at a rational and fair place : full membership of the EBU.

Algeria, Jordan, Egypt, Libya, Jordan and any other EBU member all have equal rights. They don’t need an invitation.

Una
Una
15 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

Jonas. You are right. 100%.

Agumon
Agumon
15 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

I won’t keep arguing since you refuse to factor in basic facts: yes they’re EBU members and not only have they never participated, but there’s also not the slightest chance on the horizon that they will. That’s for obvious reasons and somehow you’re completely ignoring that.

Also btw, ALL countries need to be invited somehow. They can’t just show up on the night and show their EBU membership card or whatever. Again that’s for obvious reasons that you’re also choosing to ignore.

Amanda
Amanda
15 days ago
Reply to  Agumon

I personally wouldn’t mind seeing PNG at Eurovision ….

Denis
Denis
17 days ago

It would be nice if EBU could put all songs on Spotify, like they do with CD and DVD. Instead you have to add all songs individually, that is if the record company decides to release them at all.

Africavision
Africavision
17 days ago

I am just thinking out loud… Maybe one other ‘hope’ could be that more songs are presented and participate in their final ‘ready-for-Eurovision’ format at the actual national selections, as opposed to the recent trend in which many national final winning songs are subsequently revamped (For example, in 2020, I think there were something like five national final winning songs that were, thereafter, revamped for Eurovision), which can result in a very different, and sometimes almost unrecognizable, final product, which can either be a hit or a miss. A classic example of this was Miki’s ‘la venda’, which was so… Read more »

Jofty
Jofty
17 days ago
Reply to  Africavision

Ha ha ? In a Woman’s Heart and Believe In Peace (Malta 1996 and 1999) were barely recognisable at the finals!

Jonas
Jonas
17 days ago
Reply to  Africavision

The most dramatic example of this would have to be Malta 2016.

Jofty
Jofty
17 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

They even changed the name of the song!

James
James
16 days ago
Reply to  Africavision

I thought “La venda” had one of the most consistent revamps that year. While its polished and all, it still was the same song. The initial version heard in the national selection was fun but it still sounded rough around the edges.

Considering how convoluted Spain’s selection process was that year and the year before, I expected the songs entered to be half-baked.

Now Alekseev’s “Forever”, that one was just re-done to death and ended up being a beaten down version of the grandeur it once was.

Gianluca
Gianluca
17 days ago

As I wrote on Twitter too, having all the entries on streaming platforms will never happen. We can see the most recent ESC-edition, 2019 , having as much as 2 entries missing (Malta and Armenia). It’s either because some countries didn’t get into the 21st century, or because there are many interests behind for not having the songs on streaming, especially economical. Or it can be also because of pure incompetence on behalf of the artists’ managements.

Héctor
Héctor
17 days ago

Yeah but I still prefer Aksel over Erika. There’s a whole level between safe ballads and circus performances.

Milan
Milan
17 days ago
Reply to  Héctor

Hear, hear!

Kosey
Kosey
17 days ago

Points 1 and 5 didn’t hit with me, but points 2-4 were spot on. Personally, I have virtually zero inclination to see micro-countries like Monaco, Andorra or Luxembourg in the contest. I prefer quality and authenticity, I don’t think countries of that size can achieve this. I realise every country has the right to enter if they so wish and I would never stop someone from entering, I just wouldn’t necessarily be encouraging it. As for point 5, a great ballad can fill me with the most intense of emotions, we need a mix of entries to keep it interesting… Read more »

Jonas
Jonas
17 days ago
Reply to  Kosey

You’re underestimating Luxembourg. They have more power than you realize. Would you say the same about Iceland or Malta, both of which have lower populations than Luxembourg?

Jonas
Jonas
17 days ago
Reply to  Kosey

Don’t underestimate Luxembourg. Would you say the same about Iceland or Malta, who have smaller populations?

Dennis
Dennis
17 days ago

Omg, this an editorial that starts with I and my. It’s his opinion and he is entitled to have one. I like a mix of fun, crazy, emotional and modern songs too, but with the pandemic it would not be strange for artists to reflect with a ballad: just sad emotional songs would probably not make for a very entertaining fun show, Which is something we all need. I think that Luis wanted to get message across. For now, I just hope we get a (as) normal (as possible) contest and I get to use my tickets after hoping since… Read more »

James
James
17 days ago

I love ballads. My recent viewing of Eurovision 1995 showed how you can make a very competitive show filled with mostly ballads. And no ballad is the same.

“Century..The 21st is coming!”

Ashton
Ashton
17 days ago

the entitlement rly shone thru on this one

Una
Una
17 days ago

For a site and channel so progressive and protective of certain issues for example coverage of BLM or the white and red flag of Belarus among others (see latest video on JESC), using “dying screaming ladies” is very offensive. You should have known that.

Paul
Paul
17 days ago
Reply to  Una

Why is offensive?

Una
Una
17 days ago
Reply to  Paul

You can find the answer yourself if you care enough to know. Many resources are available in English. Another comment of mine was filtered yesterday so I don’t know how much I can post here. But I cannot excuse ignorance in these times.

Martin
17 days ago

TBH having a Contest that vaguely resembles the ones we all know and love would be my wish for 2021 – all the other points above are bonuses. I would be surprised if we get any other nations joining in next year, even Hungary and Montenegro are likely to sit it out for another year. We will get the status quo as far as NFs are concerned – those who regularly do will, those who don’t won’t. We might be lucky to get some shows like last year’s Selec?ia Na?ional? 2020 from other nations but the longer the pandemic continues,… Read more »

Una
Una
17 days ago
Reply to  Martin

The season for national finals/selections is too short. November and December in current year are full because of holidays. January in Eurovision year is kind of a break because of the previous holidays and the new year. February is a bit early for some countries. But when you have a selection that runs for weeks, you only have February and one or two weeks in March. Ideally I would love to see more selections/finals/releases mid-January and February but you still have the usual countries releasing their entries last minute because they want to stay on top of the competition.

Colin
Colin
17 days ago

Points 1 to 4 are excellent. If the point 1 is happenning (wishful thinking, but no withdrawals and Andorra back would still be fantastic), then 3 semis should too. Too many good songs have been lost in overcrowded single semis between 2004 and 2007.
As for point 5, it’s coming from a good place, but it’s highly subjective. Personally, I love a good “belting diva ballad”, but the key word here is good. I’d wish for more diversity. In language, style, ideas. ?
Point 3 would be especially cool for us fans.

Last edited 17 days ago by Colin
NickC
NickC
17 days ago
Reply to  Colin

I second that.

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
17 days ago
Reply to  Colin

Yeah, I was lost at no.5.
A better wish would be fewer national finals where the winner of the public vote ends up not going to Eurovision. Finland and Portugal were the obvious examples. That is something that makes sense rather than a subjective, “my favourites didn’t get picked, I want more bops” complaint.

Colin
Colin
17 days ago
Reply to  Briekimchi

True that. Finland and Portugal coincidentally picked songs I really liked, especially Finland, but I’d be equally happy with public winners too. Putting my personal preferences aside, hoping for a more televote friendly selection process is a good wish. Power to the people! Last year, I complained a lot (as most of my NF winners didn’t win) and still ended-up loving many songs. For example, I voted for Albania and Estonia with the same passion as if they picked my initial favorites. So, I decided to stop acting moany and just enjoy the process. They don’t owe us anything apart… Read more »

Last edited 17 days ago by Colin
Briekimchi
Briekimchi
16 days ago
Reply to  Colin

I’m the same. I know that my favourites aren’t always going to win and that’s fine but when the song chosen isn’t what the actual people in that country want to represent them, that always leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
It’s very rare that a song that the juries put through at the expense of the public favourite is actually any good (although Portugal 2017 will always be the argument clincher in that regard, I suspect!).

Colin
Colin
16 days ago
Reply to  Briekimchi

In general, I am leaning towards the public vote, even if sometimes juries have more sense (For example, Belarus 2017 was saved by the jury’s choice (the public would’ve sent PROvokatsya’s song) and I was with the Franch jury in 2019. Still, I respect people’s support of Bilal.)

I think the worst example of public vote being denied is in Spain 2017. It felt calculated and mean. It also involved only 3 people jury panel, which is insufficient.
#justiceforMirela

Last edited 16 days ago by Colin
esc2021rotterdam
esc2021rotterdam
17 days ago

Ofc that my biggest hope for 2021 is that the pandemic will be over and eurovision 2021 will be celebrated as normal with no restrictions. I also hope to swe more partipicating countries in 2021 than in 2020 and 2019 (hopefully all of the 41 2020 participaticants will confirm partipication and montenegro will return and maybe even bosnia&herzegovina. About the national finals this year we will have lessthan always but I could see it happening in 2022 when a lot of national finals will return.

AMonsterLikeMe
AMonsterLikeMe
18 days ago

Oh, so you’re entitled to tell countries what to send and they should all comply with your personal taste and send tacky bops. Maybe becoming fan favourites would actually mean something if those entitled fans stopped worshipping every single trashy dancing pink diva and actually realized that it most often does not work in real world? Remind me again, where were “Say Yay”, “Glorious”, “La La Love” and “Monsters” supposed to finish and where did they actually end up when they were judged outside of the delusional bop stanning bubble? 🙂 And by the way, this is the exact main… Read more »

Jordan
Jordan
18 days ago

This is quite possibly the most entitled article I’ve ever read. All music is welcome. Not just the music you like.

cats and dogs eurovision
cats and dogs eurovision
18 days ago

I just hope we will see the Contest in next year under good circumstances <3