It’s not just 39 songs that will come our way live from Rotterdam (or all points of the compass) in the middle of May. Each of the three shows features a line-up of supporting acts. Designed to occupy the time between hearing the songs and an official in Geneva adding up the votes.
In recent years, the Saturday show has dragged thanks to roughly an hour of unrelated filler, leading many fans to take an extended pee break. 2021 looks set to continue this unfortunate tradition.
The grand final
16-year-old Peter Gabriel (not this one) will open the show with a remix of ‘a familiar Dutch song’ (name one, I’ll wait) brought up to date, while we suffer the (please make it stop) flag parade – possibly reduced to locals if the pandemic stops any of the acts travelling.
After 26 acts have played for votes, a look back at Eurovision retrospective kicks off across the Rotterdam rooftops.
Lenny Kuhr will sing ‘De Troubadour’ – her winning song from back in the black and white days. Her performance has already been recorded, so don’t worry about her catching anything more than a nasty head cold. What’s more she’s donning a frock based on the red dress she wore back in 1969.
She’ll be accompanied by Getty ‘Ding-a-dong’ Kaspers (with the original line-up of Teach-In ferried from their retirement homes), and a roster of other (non-Dutch) acts – most of whom seem to have linked their pension plans to Eurovision.
Expect Helena Paparizou, Lordi, Måns Zelmerlöw and Sandra Kim. So far, there’s no sign of Rybak or Logan …or Scooch.
We’re getting THREE interval acts this year. After the rooftop bit, Afrojack and Wulf (on film) and Glennis Grace (live with an orchestra) will provide viewers with an excellent excuse to pour another drink and finish that dip you couldn’t agree on.
There’s a third section related to the voting countdown. The Dutch are keeping details of this thrilling act a secret for now – but expect something less run of the mill than a dead-eyed diva (cough*Madonna*cough) pushing her latest album for no legitimate reason other than a huge sack of money.
As for the lesser-watched heats, Duncan ‘Billboard Hot 100’ Laurence will kick things off on Tuesday, reminding us of how he won back in the days of social contact with ‘Arcade’.
He’ll also shake a limb at the final, so don’t worry he’s scored the crap job. He’ll give ‘Arcade’ yet another airing on the Saturday and chuck in ‘new music’ – aka other tracks from his rather decent debut album (that’s about to get a repackaged re-release).
Things appear less focused for that difficult second semifinal. Disabled Dutch break dancer Redo will perform with Eefje de Visser. Together, they’ll tell Redo’s life story through the medium of dance and song. Can’t wait.
We’re also promised an interval act from classical ballet dancer Ahmad Joudeh, and BMX rider Dez Maarsen. Make of that what you will.