Eurovision fans have known since May that the song contest will return in 2021. But now the news has been confirmed for casual UK viewers. The BBC’s Eurovision commentator Graham Norton confirmed the good news on a recent radio appearance.
Norton, who has commentated the Eurovision grand final for the British broadcaster since 2009, told US radio station Sirius XM that despite the Covid-19 pandemic, “There’s definitely going to be a Eurovision… The competition element is going to happen.”
The Irish presenter, famed for his wisecracking quips during his commentary explained to listeners how the contest would go ahead in the middle of a pandemic. He said, “I think they’re ready for any eventuality. If some countries can’t travel, they can Zoom in a performance.”
The EBU previously confirmed that all competing acts will be required to record a locally staged “live on tape” version of their performance, to ensure that Eurovision 2021 will be able to go ahead regardless of any pandemic restrictions. However, these performances won’t be a Zoom-quality video call. Delegations will record a broadcast-quality clip.
While BBC Eurovision commentator Graham Norton has confirmed that Eurovision 2021 will be going ahead, the BBC itself has not yet given any details of the UK’s participation in the contest.
The four potential scenarios of Eurovision 2021
Norton was also clear that it probably wouldn’t be the usual Eurovision situation, with a packed arena. He added, “I doubt we’ll be in a stadium full of 20,000 people.”
The EBU has planned four scenarios that will ensure the song contest can go ahead regardless of any restrictions from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Scenario A is a normal Eurovision Song Contest, with a packed arena audience. However, this seems very unlikely for 2021.
Scenario B is a socially distant Eurovision. It would still involve a live audience, but with smaller and socially distanced seating. Scenario C is similar to B, but also allows for some delegations to stay in their home country and perform remotely.
Scenario D is Eurovision in lockdown. The show would still go ahead, but with no live audience. All delegations would participate via a pre-recorded performance that will be presented from the show at Ahoy Arena.
Eurovision 2021 producers recently confirmed that a decision on which scenario will be used is expected to be made sometime in February.
What scenario do you think is most likely for Eurovision 2021? How should the UK select their act for Rotterdam? Sound off in the comments section below!