Who would have won the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 if it had been held in lockdown conditions, using only the live-on-tape back-up performances? Eurofans had the chance to think about exactly that at the end of May courtesy of the Eurovision Song Celebration — a two-part offering from the EBU that showed us precisely what the back-up recordings looked like.

You guys watched them all and then had the chance to vote in our poll. After counting 13,525 votes, we can now reveal that Ukraine’s Go_A have won the day.

Ukraine’s Go_A gave the best live-on-tape performance at Eurovision 2021

With their folk-EDM number “SHUM”, Ukraine’s Go_A told the story of spring making its long-awaited return after winter. Their lead singer Kateryna embodied the season in a black dress with glorious green embellishments — a symbol of things to come as she chanted sowing, sowing, sowing, sowing.

The live on tape performance — seemingly filmed inside a digital cube — featured the same frozen island we saw in Rotterdam. But the back-up recording had a greater sense of motion. The line projections on the floor created the illusion that the island was adrift. It’s no wonder many of our readers suggested that the back-up recording was even better than the live performance, which placed second with the public.

Watch their performance from 1:08:53.

Eurovision 2021: Who had the best live-on-tape performance?

  1. Ukraine: Go_A – “SHUM” (11.22%,  1,517 votes)
  2. Italy – Måneskin – “Zitti e buoni” (8.77%, 1,186 votes)
  3. France: Barbara Pravi – “Voilà” (5.40%, 731 votes)
  4. Serbia: Hurricane – “Loco Loco” (5.12%, 692 votes)
  5. Lithuania: THE ROOP – “Discoteque” (4.78%, 646 votes)
  6. Finland: Blind Channel – “Dark Side” (3.84%, 519 votes)
  7. Belgium: Hooverphonic – “The Wrong Place” (3.71%, 502 votes)
  8. Malta: Destiny – “Je Me Casse” (3.56%, 481 votes)
  9. Greece: Stefania – “Last Dance” (3.39%, 458 votes)
  10. Switzerland: Gjon’s Tears – “Tout l’univers” (3.35%, 453 votes)
  11. Romania: Roxen – “Amnesia” (2.86%, 387 votes)
  12. Bulgaria: VICTORIA – “Growing Up is Getting Old” (2.74%, 370 votes)
  13. Iceland: Daði og Gagnamagnið – “10 Years” (2.73%, 369 votes)
  14. Russia: Manizha – “Russian Woman” (2.68%, 363 votes)
  15. Spain: Blas Cantó – “Voy a quedarme” (2.24%, 303 votes)
  16. Cyprus: Elena Tsagrinou – “El Diablo” (2.21%, 299 votes)
  17. Australia: Montaigne – “Technicolour” (2.14%, 289 votes)
  18. San Marino: Senhit – “Adrenalina” (2.00%, 270 votes)
  19. Germany: Jendrik – “I Don’t Feel Hate” (1.92%, 260 votes)
  20. Poland: Rafał – “The Ride” (1.89%, 255 votes)
  21. Norway: TIX – “Fallen Angel” (1.79%, 242 votes)
  22. Israel: Eden Alene – “Set Me Free” (1.79%, 242 votes)
  23. Portugal: The Black Mamba – “Love Is on My Side” (1.77%, 240 votes)
  24. Sweden: Tusse – “Voices” (1.60%, 217 votes)
  25. Czech Republic: Benny Cristo – “Omaga” (1.59%, 215 votes)
  26. Croatia: Albina – “Tick-Tock” (1.54%, 208 votes)
  27. Denmark: Fyr og Flamme – “Øve os på hinanden” (1.37%, 185 votes)
  28. Albania: Anxhela Peristeri – “Karma” (1.31%, 177 votes)
  29. The Netherlands: Jeangu Macrooy – “Birth of a New Age” (1.29%, 175 votes)
  30. Latvia: Samanta Tīna – “The Moon Is Rising” (1.29%, 174 votes)
  31. Slovenia: Ana Soklič – “Amen” (1.23%, 166 votes)
  32. North Macedonia: Vasil – “Here I Stand” (1.21%, 163 votes)
  33. Austria: Vincent Bueno – “Amen” (1.21%, 163 votes)
  34. Estonia – Uku Suviste – “The Lucky One” (1.19%, 161 votes)
  35. Georgia: Tornike Kipiani – “You” (1.15%, 156 votes)
  36. Moldova: Natalia Gordienko – “Sugar” (1.14%, 154 votes)
  37. Azerbaijan: Efendi – “Mata Hari” (1.01%, 137 votes)

Total Votes: 13,525

Ireland’s Lesley Roy and the UK’s James Newman did not share their live-on-tapes in the broadcast. The official Eurovision website wrote: “Neither the MAPS nor Embers Live-on-Tape performance will feature in the Eurovision Song Celebration shows, as both artists want the live performance they delivered in Rotterdam to be the version that people remember”.

The organisers of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 are masters of scenario planning. Owing to the ongoing pandemic they had to figure out how to stage the contest in a variety of scenarios — including a totally remote edition. Hence all of this year’s participating acts had to supply these so-called live-on-tape performances. These were to be used in the event acts couldn’t fly to Rotterdam. In the end, only one back-up recording — from Australia’s Montaigne — was used during the live shows.

 

Eurovision Song Celebration: Who gave the best live-on-tape performance?

During our live-stream chat, several of us noted that certain performances really elevated in the backup recording. For instance, many of us thought that Czech Republic’s Benny Cristo seemed more vigorous and vocally on-point during his backup tape. By performing in a smaller space, the artist can sometimes seem more larger-than-life — they don’t get swallowed by the stage.

Other performances were pretty much copy-and-paste from the national final. For instance, Croatia’s Albina gave a lovely performance, but it felt very familiar to anyone who had watched Dora. She did, however, tweak the on-screen graphics.

Portugal filmed their live-on-tape performance shortly after The Black Mamba won their national final. Producers wiped down the floor and they recorded from 02:00am local time. Norway also filmed their live-on-tape shortly after the final. TIX hit the stage on the Monday after his win.

We know that Germany and Lithuania pooled resources to film on a massive stage in Vilnius — it literally recreated the ESC stage with its own runway. North Macedonia traveled to RTS studios in Serbia, effectively sharing the space with Hurricane. And Moldova, Cyprus, Malta, Bulgaria and Greece converged in Sofia to film their individual performances on a fully-equipped stage.

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Sot
Sot
4 days ago

No comment. There’s a reason why Ukraine is the only country left without any NQ’s

Blackcat
Blackcat
4 days ago
Reply to  Sot

But they are also one of the youngest participants.

Yes
Yes
3 days ago
Reply to  Blackcat

Not really,
Ukraine has always been here right from the start of semi-finals

Yana
Yana
5 days ago

Robbed by jury

Alvaro
Alvaro
5 days ago

Pretty much agreed and enjoyed the top 7 in the poll, and also liked the ones from Romania and Spain.

Mqe
Mqe
5 days ago

Belgium was amazing! That moment when it zooms out and reveals the small set in a massive hall with the lights. CHILLS ALL OVER!!

Grace
Grace
6 days ago

I wish the live on tape videos were available in the US! 🙁

Balint
Balint
6 days ago

I simply adore how seriously Ukraine takes the contest. The live performance of Go-A was fantastic, but somehow, the backup performance is even better, which is surprising, given that they had to record it really early.

Vsl
Vsl
6 days ago

well deserved… supposedly, Go_A would also win the poll about the most unique ESC entry…

Gbzy
Gbzy
6 days ago

Azerbaijan is last one, even Georgia is higher?.

Rye
Rye
5 days ago
Reply to  Gbzy

Why stomp down on others just to give highlight to someone else, kinda cruel to be honest.

Leo
Leo
6 days ago

For sure!

Piet
Piet
6 days ago

William forgot the real shock of Roxen – “Amnesia” from non-qualifying to 11th spot in the live-on-tape ranking. Such a pity for such a great talent! Some positive notes could really encourage her in her musical journey.

TheDrMistery
TheDrMistery
1 day ago
Reply to  Piet

And “The Ride” 20th from the clear bottom of the list.