Keep an ear out for these Eurovision contenders

The Serbian group Hurricane, in a publicity photo from their website.

Melbourne, AUSTRALIA – Tonight in Rotterdam (or tomorrow morning if you’re here in Australia) is the second semi-final of the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest.

For the second semi-final, viewers will see 17 countries competing for the chance to qualify to the Grand Final, which will occur on Saturday night/Sunday morning (depending on where in the world you live). Only 10 countries from tonight’s semi-final will progress to the Grand Final, so expect some surprises.

Many of the artists that you will see tonight and in the second semi-final were due to represent their countries last year but couldn’t because the pandemic canceled the event. Instead, contestants get the chance to compete this year.

Tonight’s performers will come from Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Greece, Iceland, Latvia, Moldova, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Serbia and Switzerland. You can check out all the songs on Eurovision’s official Youtube channel.

Just like in the first semi-final, the way that tonight’s show will work is that all the contestants will perform their songs, and then fans get to vote. Those of you who don’t live in the competing countries or one of the prequalified countries that get to vote in tonight’s semi (France, Spain and the United Kingdom) can’t vote, but if you can vote, make your voice heard.

After the votes are tallied, they will announce the 10 songs that have qualified to the Grand Final, which means the 10 highest scoring countries.

Some of the contestants that fans should look out for tonight:

Greece’s artist this year will be teenager Stefania Liberakakis, professionally known as Stefania, who was supposed to represent Greece last year before the contest was cancelled.

Stefania sent a very strong song last year, and she’s replicated that this year. This is a fun and upbeat song and will get viewers up and dancing.  

Iceland’s representatives will be Daði & Gagnamagnið, who were one of the favorites last year and are back this year for a second shot.

Although this year’s song isn’t as strong as last year’s, to be fair to Daði it would have had to be a Herculean effort to beat last year’s song. I still think this year’s package is pretty strong. Iceland has had a shaky qualification record in the past five years, but I think they will qualify again this year and do pretty well.  

San Marino
Senhit (full name Senhit Zadik Zadik) is back again for San Marino, after representing the microstate at Eurovision in 2011. This artist was due to represent San Marino again last year before the contest got cancelled.

Americans will be interested to know that the rapper Flo Rida has a part in this song, and may even be on stage in Rotterdam (travel restrictions permitting, of course).

San Marino is normally a basket case at Eurovision, having only qualified for the Grand Final twice in their history. Things will change for San Marino this year, I think. The fans love San Marino’s song so much already and they didn’t butcher their staging, so I think qualification number three is in the cards for San Marino this year.

Girl group Hurricane is back for Serbia in 2021, after being one of many artists scheduled to represent their country last year before the contest ultimately got canceled.

Hurricane had a great song last year, and this year’s song is just as good. It will stand out in this semi because the song’s lyrics are mostly in Serbian, whereas most songs in this semi have English lyrics. This is also a fun and upbeat song that will get people who are watching up and dancing.

Gjon’s Tears (real name Gjon Muharremaj) will once again represent Switzerland at Eurovision after missing out on the opportunity last year due to the cancelation of the contest.

Switzerland was one of the favorites last year, and the country is bringing one of the fandom’s favorite songs again this year. Though I am not a fan of the song, I believe Switzerland will do very well this year.

Alyce Collett is a Correspondent with Youth Journalism International.

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