Make no mistake — things are different this year. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused economic disruption around the globe. This has affected some of the national broadcasters that are competing in Eurovision, with decreases in government funding and — for commercial broadcasters — drops in advertising revenue.
Some broadcasters may also have new priorities — should they internally select one artist or should they hold a national final to support more artists, many of whom have not played live gigs for many months?
And the pandemic may also mean different focuses for broadcasters — Eurovision 2021 may not currently be something some broadcasters are immediately focusing on.
Let’s take a look at the countries who are yet to reveal much about their Eurovision 2021 participation.
Eurovision 2021: Countries that are keeping quiet
At least 20 countries have invited their 2020 act back and other countries will select a new artist. Some are using their regular national final, while others are internally selecting. But some countries have said very little about how they will select their act for Rotterdam.
Broadcaster AMPTV has not yet said how it will select its act for Rotterdam. Last year it held national final Depi Evratesil, however in recent years, Armenia has also internally selected their act. But it’s not unusual to have not heard much at this stage — last year, entries for Depi Evratesil 2020 didn’t open until early November.
Belarus was on the EBU’s list of confirmed acts for 2021, but broadcaster BTRC has not said anything about their participation. The broadcaster experienced staff changes following the political turmoil in Belarus, and so far have only confirmed that 2020 act VAL will not be going to Rotterdam. The broadcaster is, however, currently busy with their Junior Eurovision 2020 entry.
Back in April, broadcaster DR spoke about the 2021 edition of its national final Dansk Melodi Grand Prix. However, at the time DR also said they would start planning the national final “only after the corona crisis is over” — something that is arguably still a long way off. To date, DR has not released any further details about DMGP 2021. Last year, the format of DMGP 2020 was announced in early October and entries were accepted until early November.
Broadcaster RTÉ has not yet revealed anything about its plans for Eurovision 2021. However, in May, Ireland’s 2020 act Lesley Roy said that RTÉ had tentatively invited her back — but only if she manages to come up with the right song.
In late March, broadcaster LRT said that Lithuania would again hold their national final Pabandom iš naujo and that 2020 winners THE ROOP would get a pass to the grand final. However, to date no details of the 2021 national final have been confirmed, nor has THE ROOP said if they will be competing. Entries for last season’s national final opened in late September and closed in early December.
🇲🇰 North Macedonia
Broadcaster MKRTV has not given any details about how they will select their act, however since 2016 they have always used internal selection.
Broadcaster TVP has not yet said how it will select its act, nor if 2020 singer Alicja Szemplińska will get a return ticket to Rotterdam. However, TVP is currently busy with hosting Junior Eurovision 2020. Last season, Poland did not announce its plans to use national final Szansa na Sukces until as late as January.
Broadcaster Channel One — one of Russia’s two Eurovision broadcasters — has confirmed they will again be organising Russia’s entry for Eurovision 2021. There’s no word on how the entry will be selected, but since 2013 Russia has internally selected its Eurovision act, usually with little fanfare before the artist announcement.
There’s no word on whether broadcaster RTS will use their national final Beovizija or internally select. Tabloid reports claiming that 2020 act Hurricane would represent Serbia at Eurovision 2021 were earlier refuted by the girl band themselves. Speaking to wiwibloggs in June, the group’s publicist said: “We do not yet have official information about this from [RTS].” They also said that they expected to know about Eurovision 2021 in “September or October”.
🇬🇧 United Kingdom
Atypically, the BBC have not yet said anything about the UK’s participation in Rotterdam. However, The 2020 series of popular entertainment show Strictly Come Dancing debuted a month later than usual, meaning that the BBC’s publicity team is currently busy promoting that show and may not have the time to focus on Eurovision right now.
But with all these countries, no news is not a sign of bad news. We’re expecting to hear more news from these broadcasters in coming weeks.
What do you think? Do you expect to see all these countries in Rotterdam? How should they select their act for Eurovision? Tell us your thoughts below!