Twan van de Nieuwenhuijzen — the Head of Contest for Eurovision 2021 — has a lot going on. In our following interview, filmed in Hilversum on March 25, he tells us about some of them, including how he helps participating delegations bring their stage shows to life within the bounds of what’s possible and practical.

Twan also discusses the live-on-tape back-up recordings process and how countries had the flexibility to record them whenever they chose. For example, Portugal’s The Black Mamba did their recording immediately after Festival da Canção — at 2am! — after cleaning the stage. That meant he and team members who check and observe the recordings had to set their alarms early. 

Eurovision 2021 Head of Contest Twan van de Nieuwenhuijzen

 

Together with the NPO/NOS/AVROTROS team, the Head of Contest is responsible for the creation of the Eurovision 2021 show. That includes everything from PR to ticketing to regulation.

In their office at the NOS building in Hilversum, a team of around 100 people are working on the contest day in and day out until May. As you’ll glean from the interview, it is not quite a 9-to-5 job!

Twan van de Nieuwenhuijzen told us:

“It is a lot of work, it’s also very fun to do. Well, I can’t imagine another production in which you are talking to people from Iceland and from San Marino and from Georgia, and all of Europe and beyond of course.”

The Head of Contest revealed that the semi-final running order has been decided, and that he is now waiting for final approval from the EBU. We can expect it sometime next week.

The meeting to decide the running order included eight people, including the Head of Show, multi-cam directors, someone from the technical production team and other executives. His team also used input from each country about the difficulties they may face on stage and the ideas they hope to convey. It’s not just about the flow of the music. It’s also about matters like moving props quickly and efficiently from one act to the next during the 35-second postcards.

Are you excited to hear the running order? Who do you expect to open and close? Let us know in the comments down below!

Read all our Eurovision 2021 news here.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
44 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
KaiHa
KaiHa
6 months ago

My predictions:

SF 1:

1.) Lithuania
2.) Slovenia
3.) Australia
4.) Ireland
5.) Sweden
6.) Russia
7.) North Macedonia
8.) Azerbaijan
9.) Belgium
10.) Croatia
11.) Ukraine
12.) Norway
13.) Malta
14.) Israel
15.) Romania
16.) Cyprus

SF 2:

1.) San Marino
2.) Poland
3.) Estonia
4.) Serbia
5.) Austria
6.) Moldova
7.) Iceland
8.) Czech Republic
9.) Greece
10.) Georgia
11.) Denmark
12.) Bulgaria
13.) Finland
14.) Portugal
15.) Latvia
16.) Switzerland
17.) Albania

Dolly
Dolly
6 months ago
Reply to  KaiHa

Are u joking , you must be listening to different music to the rest of us

KaiHa
KaiHa
6 months ago
Reply to  Dolly

That’s my prediction for the running order in each semi final, not my personal top

Pedro
Pedro
6 months ago
Reply to  KaiHa

I would like to see instead Australia opening the 1st semi (and NQ), and Russia opening the big final

Datme
Datme
6 months ago

Not a prediction, just something I put together instead of sleeping:

Semi 1:

1. Australia
2. Slovenia
3. Sweden
4. Russia
5. North Macedonia
6. Ireland
7. Lithuania

8. Azerbaijan
9. Norway
10. Croatia
11. Belgium
12. Israel
13. Cyprus
14. Malta
15. Romania
16. Ukraine

Semi 2:

1. Moldova
2. Estonia
3. Greece
4. Iceland
5. Serbia
6. Austria
7. Czech Republic
8. San Marino
9. Poland

10. Georgia / Portugal
11. Albania
12. Finland
13. Bulgaria
14. Denmark
15. Portugal / Georgia
16. Switzerland
17. Latvia

notyourtoy
notyourtoy
6 months ago

Running orders Prediction:

Semi 1:

1) Australia
2) Slovenia
3) Russia
4) Ireland
5) Lithuania
6) North Macedonia
7) Sweden
8) Ukraine
9) Belgium
10) Croatia
11) Romania
12) Israel
13) Cyrpus
14) Norway
15) Malta
16) Azerbaijan

Semi 2:

1) Moldova
2) Austria
3) Poland
4) Serbia
5) Czech Republic
6) Estonia
7) San Marino
8) Iceland
9) Greece
10) Denmark
11) Georgia
12) Latvia
13) Bulgaria
14) Albania
15) Portugal
16) Finland
17) Switzerland

Last edited 6 months ago by notyourtoy
Yes
Yes
6 months ago

Running Order

Prediction Semi 1:

Ireland
North Macedonia
Russia
Australia
Sweden
Slovenia
Lithuania
Israel
Norway
Croatia
Cyprus
Belgium
Azerbaijan
Romania
Malta
Ukraine

Semi 2:

San Marino
Poland
Moldova
Estonia
Serbia
Austria
Greece
Iceland
Czech Republic
Portugal
Albania
Denmark
Georgia
Latvia
Switzerland
Finland
Bulgaria

Last edited 6 months ago by Yes
notyourtoy
notyourtoy
6 months ago
Reply to  Yes

In semi 2 I don’t think that the 3 opening tracks will be bops

Last edited 6 months ago by notyourtoy
Leo M
Leo M
6 months ago

Ireland and Serbia to open each semi, Malta and Finland to close

KaiHa
KaiHa
6 months ago

Running order for SF1:

1.) Lithuania
2.) Slovenia
3.) Australia
4.) Belarus
5.) Ireland
6.) Sweden
7.) Russia
8.) North Macedonia
9.) Azerbaijan
10.) Belgium
11.) Ukraine
12.) Croatia
13.) Norway
14.) Azerbaijan
15.) Romania
16.) Israel
17.) Cyprus

KaiHa
KaiHa
6 months ago
Reply to  KaiHa

Malta at Nr. 14

notyourtoy
notyourtoy
6 months ago
Reply to  KaiHa

There’s no Belarus

ariss3505
ariss3505
6 months ago

I think that the opener of Semi final 1 will be either Ireland or Australia while the closers will be either Azerbaijan or Cyprus. In Semi final 2 i think the opener will be either Greece or Moldova while the closer will be either Latvia or Finland!

Pineaple
Pineaple
6 months ago

My running order predictions:

SF1:

01 Lithuania
02 Slovenia
03 Russia
04 North Macedonia
05 Ireland
06 Belarus
07 Australia
08 Sweden
09 Croatia
10 Ukraine
11 Cyprus
12 Belgium
13 Azerbaijan
14 Norway
15 Israel
16 Romania
17 Malta

SF2:

01 Moldova
02 Austria
03 Czech Republic
04 Greece
05 Poland
06 Serbia
07 Estonia
08 San Marino
09 Iceland
10 Georgia
11 Latvia
12 Switzerland
13 Denmark
14 Albania
15 Portugal
16 Bulgaria
17 Finland

Noah
Noah
6 months ago

Semi 1
Opener: Ireland, Australia
Closer: Cyprus, Azerbaijan

Semi 2
Opener: Moldova, Greece (if they go for a mid-tempo song)
Closer: Latvia, Finland

Aris
Aris
6 months ago

For semi1 I think Cyprus to close

Last edited 6 months ago by Aris
EurofanNL
EurofanNL
6 months ago

Prediction Running order semi 2

1 Moldova
2 Estonia
3 Poland
4 Serbia
5 Czech Republic
6 San Marino
7 Iceland
8 Austria
9 Greece
10 Georgia
11 Denmark
12 Bulgaria
13 Finland
14 Portugal
15 Albania
16 Switzerland
17 Latvia

EurofanNL
EurofanNL
6 months ago

Prediction Running order semi 1

1 Australia
2 Belarus
3 Ireland
4 North Macedonia
5 Lithuania
6 Slovenia
7 Russia
8 Sweden
9 Azerbaijan
10 Israel
11 Norway
12 Ukraine
13 Malta
14 Romania
15 Croatia
16 Belgium
17 Cyprus

Deven O'Kearney
Deven O'Kearney
6 months ago
Reply to  EurofanNL

I’d swap Ireland and Australia because “aUsTrALia iS nOt iN eUrOpE!” and “Maps” is more uptempo than “Technicolour”. Belarus may not be there in the end so I would put North Macedonia second and then Russia will close the first half (Sweden will come before them), but beyond that I think it’s spot on.

Last edited 6 months ago by Deven O'Kearney
esc43
esc43
6 months ago

The running order meant for 2020 will not be the same this year as all of the songs and performances are different this year. But I wonder.. How did they create a running order while they’re still waiting for the song from Belarus? And generally are there news about them?

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
6 months ago
Reply to  esc43

I mean if i was in charge of the running order brtrc was doomed for that second spot anyway.

James
James
6 months ago
Reply to  esc43

They will adjust accordingly.

dygh
dygh
6 months ago

But is there news about Belarus?

Rasmus
Rasmus
6 months ago
Reply to  dygh

I hope the news is They are OUT!

Esc fan
Esc fan
6 months ago

I predict that MAlta will be last performer in semi final 1

esc1966
esc1966
6 months ago
Reply to  Esc fan

I think Azerbaijan

Giolo
Giolo
6 months ago
Reply to  esc1966

Azerbaijan already did the past edition, I don’t think they will put it last again

PP77
PP77
6 months ago
Reply to  Esc fan

Malta with Sweden and Australia are EBU baby. Always get good spot in semi and final, and allways overrated in juries points.

Ian
Ian
6 months ago

I think Australia or Lithuania will start semi 1 And Croatia will end it . Serbia will start semi 2 and Finland will close

Yudhistira Mahasena
6 months ago

My guess is that the EBU will keep the running order that was meant for Eurovision 2020, which was unveiled in Eurovision Song Celebration. Meaning, that Sweden will open semi-final 1 and Ukraine will close it, whereas Greece will open semi-final 2 and Latvia will close it. The difference is that as a result of Armenia’s withdrawal, anyone who will perform 15th-18th will perform 14th-17th in semi-final 2.

Also, if Belarus withdraws, anyone in semi-final 1 who is elected to perform 3rd-17th will perform a position earlier.

Malm
Malm
6 months ago

Probably not. All of the songs and performances are different this year.

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
6 months ago

No, I think the running order will be different than last year. We have different songs and even some different artists. It’s time to Look forward not back

Davo
Davo
6 months ago

My guess would be Lithuania to open SF1 and Cyprus to close. Serbia to open SF2 and Finland to close.

Sankseniva
Sankseniva
6 months ago
Reply to  Davo

I don’t think that Lithuania and Serbia are going to open them. Lithuania is too popular for an opening and Serbia is too energetic. I think it’s gonna be Moldova in SF 2 and idk abour SF 1

Indiana07
Indiana07
6 months ago
Reply to  Sankseniva

Cyprus 2019 was predicted to win the semi final (before rehearsals) and it opened.

NickC
NickC
6 months ago
Reply to  Indiana07

I think Australia will open SF1, and Croatia will close. Moldova to open SF2 and Denmark to close. North Macedonia and Poland to be given second slots.

Paul
Paul
6 months ago
Reply to  Sankseniva

Could start with Australia – although that could be controversial in itself!

NickC
NickC
6 months ago
Reply to  Paul

why?

Paul
Paul
6 months ago
Reply to  NickC

Have you not seen the reaction on here when Australia’s even mentioned??
“BUT ITS NOT IN EUROPE” etc

NickC
NickC
6 months ago

How can they decide without belarus? Unless it is the same song with different lyrics, or unless they know for sure that Belarus is withdrawing? Any updates on that?

Davo
Davo
6 months ago
Reply to  NickC

I wondered the same thing.

Chris
Chris
6 months ago
Reply to  NickC

They will probably put them somewhere in the middle to allow people to use the bathroom.

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
6 months ago
Reply to  NickC

Yeah, Belarus is in such a limbo status. We still don’t know if they’re staying or going. I think will get our answer with the reveal of the running order Soon. At this point, I want Belarus out. I’ve basically disowned Belarus and only recognize 39 countries participating in Eurovision this year.

Kuhkatz
Kuhkatz
6 months ago
Reply to  NickC

Well they cant wait forever for ONE song (if there will be another song).

It will likely be Galasy ZMesta so they‘ll likely find a place for that sort of music and doesnt have to wait for any updates if or if not.