Eurovision is done for another year, and what a joy it’s been. Your Live Bloggers Heidi and Rob would like to say a HUGE thank you to the amazing digital team here in Rotterdam, and everyone who has kept us company for the 80 or so hours of Live Blogging we’ve done over the past two weeks. It’s been an absolute pleasure and a privilege.
Our beds are calling, but we hope very much to see you again somewhere in Italy in 2022. THANK YOU and goodnight!
Martin Österdahl hands Måneskin the Eurovision welcome pack – the beginning of their journey to hosting Eurovision 2022.
Before they go, Ethan thanks all the other artists for being part of this year’s Eurovision. And that’s the end of the winner’s press conference.
…asks Steve Holden from BBC Radio 1. Taking part and playing music is what matters, says Victoria, and it’s been a really tough year and everyone brought their best game. It’s not about winning, it’s about bringing the energy of a live gig.
It’s a musical event, says Damiano. There are lots of different styles of music at Eurovision, and everything counts.
We couldn’t concur more.
…in December. Coming to a banging venue near you, get your leather trousers ready.
They’re done with musical competitions for the time being, it’s too much anxiety. They plan to follow where the music takes them.
Måneskin are asked what it means that the public pushed them from fourth place after the jury vote (it was actually third, but whatever). It means everything, Victoria tells us, because (with no offence to the juries) what the public loves is what matters.
A journalist asks what went through Italy’s minds when they realised they had won, and Damiano says all their hard work has finally made sense. Being recognised at such a huge level means everything – they are just four friends playing the music they love.
The Head of Delegation says it’s too soon to say and, as expected, there will be a bidding process.
Måneskin are at their press conference… they’ve already said they’re going to celebrate by jumping in the river and that the Eurovision bubble is one of the friendliest environments ever.
Their favourite act this evening?
Pack your bags, we’re off to ITALY in 2022.
HUGE congratulations to Måneskin for a hard-fought win, and a massive round of applause to the rest of the competitors who have made this a brilliant, brilliant show.
A few months ago we weren’t sure this was going to happen, but here we are. What a night, what a fortnight, what a YEAR.
Time to relive Måneskin’s brilliant performance – we’ll be heading off to the winner’s press conference shortly, so stay with us if you want further updates.
Malta gets 47 points, which is a SHOCK. Destiny looks devastated.
France gets 251 points, which isn’t enough to get ahead of Italy. So it all comes down to Switzerland.
Switzerland doesn’t get enough.
And they’re now in the lead. It’s all going to come down to the public points for France, Switzerland, Iceland, Malta and Italy.
Iceland get 180 points from the public, which puts them ahead of Ukraine. Italy get 318 votes, which sends them straight into the lead.
So only Malta, Switzerland and France to go.
Big points for Lithuania, and the first real disconnect between the jury and the public vote. Huge points for Finland too – the rock music audience is alive and well.
Ten results to go! Our blood pressure is through the roof!
The points are starting to come in now, but the numbers are low. It feels like every country has voted for the same people, which is going to make the end of this VERY exciting.
Only 13 public points for San Marino. Flo Rida does NOT look happy.
This way of delivering the public vote is brutal, but exciting. Currently only the United Kingdom has zero points, and sadly the public vote doesn’t change anything.
A shame for James Newman, but that’s Eurovision. It’s been an incredibly strong year, and James did the UK proud.
No public points for Germany either, but they got 3 from the juries. Same for Spain, who ended up on 6 points. None for the Netherlands either, who ended up on 11.
Man, this is CRUEL.
All the jury votes are in, and the Top 5 looks like this:
Switzerland – 267 points
France – 248 points
Italy – 208 points
Malta – 206 points
Iceland – 198 points
But history tells us that the public vote can change EVERYTHING. It’s nearly time to find out…
..but Gjon’s Tears from Switzerland is pulling away into the lead. The public vote is going to be EVERYTHING.
Things are very stressful here in the delegation bubble.
Iceland’s jury vote is being read out by the Ja Ja Ding Dong guy from the Eurovision movie. Mostly he just shouts PLAY JA JA DING DONG before giving Iceland’s 12 points to Switzerland. Incredible.
Most of the time we’re just asking each other 'What is Flo Rida making of this?'
“If I take the win home the first thing I will do is sleep, because I really need it, ” says Barbara from France.
We hear you, Babs. We hear you.
And now France are at the top of the leaderboard, ahead of Switzerland, Malta, Iceland and Italy. But it’s VERY close, and we have a long way to go…
It’s the epic sax guy from Moldova! We love him. They give their 12 points to Bulgaria, but it doesn’t change the top 5.
Current top 5 – Switzerland, France, Malta, Iceland and Italy. Is this going to be how things pan out after the public vote too?
…and currently Switzerland are leading the jury vote, ahead of France and Italy. But the 12 points are not consistently for one country, so this could go anywhere. And of course the public vote could change everything.
IT’S VERY TENSE HERE.
We’re not going to report every jury vote, just the ones with particularly interesting (or mad) presenters, but we’ll give you regular updates on the score.
First up it’s Lucy Ayoube from Israel. Will they set the voting pattern for the rest of the evening? They give their 12 points to…SWITZERLAND.
Executive Supervisor and Eurovision pin-up Martin Österdahl has checked and verified the results. The voting is about to begin!
Chantal has swapped her gold dress for a sparkly silver one, and the final voting countdown is delivered through the medium of contemporary dance.
The public vote is closed, so now we just have to wait for the results…WAAAAAH.
Not THE house – Duncan is in his house, having testing positive for COVID-19 earlier this week. We hope he feels better soon.
But through the wonders of television, Jan tells us, Duncan is performing both his winning song Arcade and his new song Stars.
We don’t mean to burst the magic bubble, but when Jan says ‘the wonders of television’, he means ‘the rehearsal Duncan did on Monday.’
Time for some Eurovision artists of yesteryear to rock the rooftops of Rotterdam. Måns Zelmerlöw kicks things off with Heroes from 2015, followed by Teach-In singing Ding-a-Dong, which was the Netherlands’ last win from 1975.
But we’re not done yet – next up it’s the turn of Belgium’s Sandra Kim to sing J’aime La Vie, the Eurovision winner from 1986, followed by Lenny Kuhr singing Le Troubadour, which won for the Netherlands in 1969.
Off to Greece now, with Helena Paparizou singing My Number One, which won the contest in 2005. She still has ALL the dance moves.
And finally, Finland’s Lordi have taken to a rooftop for a pyro-tastic reprise of their 2006 winner Hard rock Hallelujah. I mean, it could be Lordi. How would we possibly know?
Eurovision takes the opportunity to celebrate the Eurovision audience, from the days when people used to clap politely in suits to the incredible crowds who pack the host cities now.
If you’ve occasionally entertained the idea of of going to the host city during Eurovision but haven’t actually done it, we can’t recommend it enough. It’s the biggest, happiest, most fun party ever.
Time for a final recap! Every one of these songs is now engraved on our Live Blogger brains for the rest of time. At any time in the future we could be in the supermarket and be overcome by the urge to do the Roop hand dance, or hit the Tout l’Univers high note. We’ll be teaching Iceland’s dance moves to our grandchildren.
Edsilia takes us back to 2020, when she took some Eurovision stars of yesteryear on a tour of Rotterdam. It’s basically James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke, but make it Eurovision.
Mostly this makes us think that ALL of James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke should be Eurovision.
It’s the final installment of Nikkie’s Eurovision Tutorials, with tips on how to Rock The Vote. Mostly it’s about ignoring the madness of voting, embracing the tech chaos, and not getting drunk. Incidentally, these rules also reply to Live Blogging.
Nikkie also takes us on a tour behind the scenes, which is where we’ve been hanging out for the past two weeks. And we’re not going to lie, it’s been exhausting but also incredible. A special Eurovision year, and an experience we’ll never forget.
Time for a musical interlude, featuring Dutch DJ Afrojack accompanied by a full orchestra and Dutch musician Wulf on Rotterdam’s Erasmus Bridge.
We then move into the studio, with the Eurovision Dance Crew and Glennis Grace singing David Guetta’s Titanium.
The Netherlands does dance music SO well, and this is exactly what we need right now. Get ready for a banging pyro ending.
Dancing is happening in the Delegation Bubble at Rotterdam Ahoy right now. In the immortal words of The Roop, it’s OK to dance in a socially-distanced fashion.
…AKA their hotel. We send them all the Eurovision love.
Flo Rida raps: “911 when she comin’ down the pole” but can we take this opportunity to point out that the fire brigade emergency service number in San Marino is actually 115.
Stay safe out there. x
We’re done with the singing, and it’s time for vote. Here’s a handy recap of all 26 songs, the first of several.
WHAT a show. What a year!
And last but very much not least, it’s Senhit from San Marino. Featuring Flo Rida, because nothing makes sense in 2021. Also backing singers dressed as jellyfish wearing welding masks, because Eurovision.
While we’re here, can we take a moment to appreciate the lyrics of Flo Rida’s rap interlude?
“Gasoline, kerosene, stop drop roll/I can’t blame it on the stove”.
It’s not the first Eurovision song that features a stove – Russia’s Party For Everybody in 2012 involved live baking, and Latvia’s Cake To Bake in 2014 walked so Flo Rida could run.
…but we’ll get up again.
This is a very polished three minutes of pop, just as you’d expect from Sweden. But Tusse also brings something extra – his personal story, his incredible fashion choices and mesmerising use of the stage. It’s a really powerful performance from Tusse, who won Swedish Idol in 2019.
…right in the feels 🥺
Italy have been an absolute joy in the delegation bubble over the past two weeks – hanging out in stylish clothes, playing ping pong, dancing to the other nation’s songs.
There aren’t many men who can pull off red lederhosen, cuban heels and guyliner, but Damiano from Maneskin is rocking all three whilst still managing to be a legitimate rock god. They’re a force of nature.
A HUGE cheer for Jeangu Macrooy from the Netherlands, performing in front of a largely home crowd.
You know how sometimes the host nation brings a very average entry to avoid winning again? Yeah, not the Netherlands. They’ve brought something really special to Eurovision this year. Birth Of A New Age tells a story of resilience, with parts sung in Sranan Tongo, a language of Suriname. These lyrics are inspired by an old Surinamese saying: ‘Mi Na Afu Sensi, No Wan Man E Broko Mi’, which literally means: ‘I’m half a cent, you can’t break me’. Get ready for goosebumps.
…including Afrojack, former contestants rocking the roof, and a performance from Duncan Laurence.
And, of course, the four countries who haven’t yet performed – Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, San Marino. Do NOT go away.
Norway’s Tix is up next, with a song that’s about conquering your demons and embracing your true self, inspired by Tix growing up with Tourette’s syndrome.
Under that fur coat and wings he’s wearing a silver sparkly catsuit, which definitely qualifies as 2021 Eurovision dress code.
Anyone else get Backstreet Boys vibes from this? We miss the late 90s.
What a sweetheart.
It’s taken Efendi five attempts to get to Eurovision, and we can confirm she has the loudest delegation in Rotterdam Ahoy. Last year’s Cleopatra has been transformed into this year’s Mata Hari – it’s hard to imagine a time when “Ma ma ma ma/Ma ma ma ma” won’t be the the last thing in our brains before we fall asleep. Maybe by 2022?
No, thank YOU.
If you ever wanted an example of the diversity of music at Eurovision, we give you the transition from Go_A’s Shum into Barbara Pravi’s Voila. This is a traditional French chanson inspired by the classic songs of artists like Edith Piaf. Like Ukraine it goes off at the end, but less techno.
Does anyone else really want to smoke Gauloises and drink red wine now? Yeah, us too.
Brace yourselves, because it’s time for some Ukranian electro folklore, and we implore you NOT to go away.
Go_A’s Shum is arguably the biggest banger of Eurovision 2021, but please pace yourselves if your dancing because this goes OFF. It’s got creepy trees, glowing frisbees, a man with a penny whistle, and a final verse of banging Ukrainian techno. Honestly, what’s not to love about Eurovision?
Time for more neon and hand dancing, because The Roop are having a Discoteque. We’ve all been dancing alone for the past year, but tonight the whole delegation bubble is having a little chair bop. LET’S DISCOTEQUE.
Next up it’s Bulgaria, with Victoria singing on her floating rock. It’s not as big as Blas Cantó’s moon, but it’s still fairly sizeable and doesn’t look like you can deflate it.
Considering all the women in tiny dresses and killer heels this year, you can’t help but admire Victoria going for comfy casuals. Same for Manizha from Russia. They must both feel SO smug at their lack of blisters and sequin chafing.
…but there are still 10 to go! Edsilia is up in the commentator booths. She pops in to see Henrik and Nicolai from Denmark and Yana from Russia. The commentator booths are tiny, but we’ve heard a rumour they have alcohol.
There is no alcohol in the Delegation Bubble. We’ve looked.
This song has a similar theme to Jendrik, but instead of ukeleles and tap dancing it’s three minutes of pyro-tastic Finnish ROCK. We know Blind Channel SEEM quite angry, but they’re absolutely charming backstage.
The chorus of this goes “Put your middle fingers up/Take a shot/Throw it up and don’t stop”. We don’t want to get all parental or anything, but this is SUCH a bad idea.
Time for the quirkiest act of this year’s competition, featuring Jendrik and his silver ukelele, supported by a dancer in a giant hand costume, which is NEXT LEVEL hand dancing.
Just when you think things couldn’t get any more strange, everyone starts tap dancing. Although to be honest we’ve now been here for over two weeks and nothing feels strange any more.
PROBABLY amazing? DEFINITELY AMAZING!
If Blas wasn’t sweet enough for you, here’s Natalia Gordienko from Moldova singing about Sugar. Except in in Natalia’s case, ‘sugar’ is largely metaphorical, if you catch our drift.
This one ticks all our Eurovision boxes – sparkly silver dress, pink neon, hand dancing, hot dancers in sunbed goggles. Natalia also delivers the longest note of this year’s competition, at 17 seconds.
Also: MIC DROP. That hasn’t happened in any of Natalia’s rehearsals. One of her dancers gives it back and she carries on like an absolute pro.
Blas is here for three minutes of pure Spanish romance, featuring the largest prop in Eurovision history – a 6 metre inflatable moon. We’ve also seen it deflated, which is a little less impressive.
In English, the opening lyric to this means 'stay tonight to watch the sunrise’, which is very much how we expect this Live Blog to pan out. Just not with Blas, sadly.
*Puts lighter up, sways in Spanish*
…our love for Daði og Gagnamagnið finds a new way to grow.
They might be stuck in their hotel after Jóhann tested positive for COVID-19, but they’re still with us in spirit. And luckily they did a brilliant rehearsal last week, in front of an audience consisting of two Live Bloggers and a handful of crew. In many ways, this performance was just for us.
Get up off your sofa and do the dance, you know you want to.
It’s the first of two French songs this evening, sung by Gjon on a white plinth in a black sparkly blouson that we love more every time we see it. Do you think he’ll swap it for an official Eurovision hoodie?
We’ve just checked the English lyrics to this, and they’re super-romantic – "The whole universe/Our two hearts under the ground/At the centre of the rifts where everything explodes.
*presses hands to heart*
…or runes, not sure tbh.
…and dance until the end. Stefania’s taken Zoom backgrounds to the next level, having made the decision to bring her entire music video to Rotterdam. There are stairs and vertigo-inducing buildings and dancing suits, and you definitely can’t fault Greece for creative ambition.
Getting ready for that second half!
It’s Song 9, the time when legendary British Eurovision commentator Terry Wogan would start drinking. If there is a secret bar in Rotterdam Ahoy, we have yet to find it. It’s DRY in here.
James Newman’s song Embers is all about how our flames haven’t gone out over the past year – the embers are still burning, and we just need to give them a stoke and light up the room. We are very here for this sentiment, and this song is a proper bop.
8 songs down, 17 to go! Is everyone having a lovely time?
Time for a chat with NikkieTutorials, where we meet the winners of her #EurovisionChallenge and also say hello to Valentina, the winner of last year’s Junior Eurovision. It
We also learns that Duncan Laurence cleans his Eurovision trophy every week, when he does all his other cleaning. It actually looked quite hard to clean, there are lot of fiddly details. But probably best not to put it in the dishwasher.
OMG, Nikkie just plugged this Live Blog. WELCOME, new viewers.
Take shelter, Serbia’s Hurricane are incoming with force 9 hairography and some dance moves that may cause structural damage.
The lyrics to this are brilliant. "And I am cute and nice/And you’re alone, alone, alone/And I know, I know, I know/It will be wild, wild, wild
It is. It’s totally wild.
…on Portugal’s side. This is another good example of how diverse the musical styles are this evening, with The Black Mamba bringing the blues to Love Is On My Side.
It’s the first time in Eurovision history that Portugal has ever entered a song that isn’t in Portuguese, but apparently The Black Mamba record music in both languages. Stick around for the Prince-style guitar solo at the end.
…not fans of ping-pong
The Black Mamba
Sticking with the female empowerment theme, it’s time for Malta’s Destiny, singing her power-vocal pop banger Je Me Casse.
There’s lots more neon, another silver dress, and also our first hand dance of the evening – there are a few more of those to come too. Are you waggling? We’re waggling.
You keep up the great work too, Destiny! 💪
Because WE are the change.
Time for something COMPLETELY different – Russia’s Manizha rapping about female empowerment from inside a giant dress. We had a chat with Manizha last week and discovered that the wall of 500 Russian women on the digital screen includes her mum. How nice is that?
We’ve been asking the Eurovision acts to sign the Official Programme 2021 on our beloved ping-pong table in the delegation bubble, and we’re gonna share some of the messages this evening…
…to wear my Johnny Cash T-shirt. It’s time for Belgium’s Hooverphonic, who don’t share clothes but do have our first band of the evening. The Wrong Place is an understated and classy indie ballad in the midst of all the pyro and neon. Take a moment to relax and nod along thoughtfully.
Time for our first mid-tempo bop of the evening – we challenge you not do a little sofa dance. Also our first neon backdrop, which is another big theme for 2021.
Her backing dancers’ tops don’t look very breathable, do they? Proper sweaty in there.
Stay for the big finish, when Eden delivers a dress reveal and the two highest notes of 2021.
Måneskin went absolutely OFF to El Diablo!
Acts supporting acts: YOU LOVE TO SEE IT 💖
Albania’s brought all the silver sequins – we estimate you’ll see no less than five sparkly silver dresses this evening, not including the hosts. And a couple of the guys. And half the audience.
'I am alone Yes, I am alone, ' sings Anxhela. There are 3,500 people in that arena, and 200 million people watching her deliver this Albanian mega-ballad. Anxhela has never been less alone.
Is there a better way to get this Eurovision party started? Elena’s brought silver sequins, hot dancers in red catsuits and FIRE. We’re already a bit warm, and there are still 25 songs to go…
We made it, guys. Sit back and ENJOY.
Our hosts this evening are Chantal, Edsilia, Jan and Nikkie. Chantal is a famous Dutch TV presenter, and Edsilia represented the Netherlands at Eurovision in 1998 and 2007. Jan is a singer and TV presenter, and has also provided the commentary for Dutch Eurovision many times, and Nikkie is best known as Nikkie Tutorials – she’s a makeup artist and influencer with a huge international reach. You can find out more about all of them here.
There will be several changes of outfit this evening, so we’ll try to keep you up to date. The fabulous fashion journey starts here!
…until the flag parade starts. No actual flags this year, presumably because Covid. Instead the flags are superimposed on the huge digital screen.
Tonight’s Finalists appear in the order they’ll perform tonight, and whether you’re dipping into Eurovision for the first time or have been watching since the National Finals, you are in for an absolute TREAT.
The flag parade music is provided by Pieter Gabriel – the Dutch DJ, not the guy from Genesis. By way of accompaniment, our hosts this evening are singing ‘Venus’, which you may know as a 60s hit by Dutch band Shocking Blue, or an 80s hit by Bananarama, depending on how old you are.
Nikkie Tutorials has opted out of the singing, instead providing motivational quotes and general fabulousness.
We #OpenUp with a lovely film where Duncan Laurence dreams of everyone being together again. It’s about hope and resilience and joy.
Is it just us, or are things already getting a bit dusty in here? Eurovision’s BACK.
Here are some useful ways to pass the time before the show starts:
Download tonight’s scorecard so you and your friends/family can have a big argument later
Get ready to play our fun game – have a swig of your drink of choice (we’re on the cola) every time you see any of the following:
✨ sparkly silver costumes
✋ hand dancing
🚨 pink neon
🌟 celestial graphics
Are you having a Eurovision house party or a small gathering? The lovely people @Eurovision on Twitter want to know about it.
Just take some pics and add the hashtag #myESCmoment, and you could win some merch signed by this year’s artists! Go go go!
We’ve become quite attached to Eurovissie and Eurofishion, the two fish who live in Rotterdam Ahoy, but after two weeks of enjoying their fish puns it’s nearly time for us to say goodbye. Go well, little fish.
The Marcel Bezençon Awards were won as follows:
The Press Award – won by Barbara Pravi from France for Voilà
The Artistic Award – also won by Barbara Pravi from France for Voilà
The Composer Award – won by Gjon’s Tears from Switzerland for Tout l’Univers
The French speakers are sweeping the board – but will the Eurovision juries and viewers feel the same?
So right now they’re getting ready to present some awards in the Delegation Bubble – a contest within a contest, if you like. Marcel Bezençon came up with the idea for Eurovision back in the 1950s, and the three awards given in his name are:
The Press Award – the best overall entry as chosen by the accredited press.
The Artistic Award – the best artistic performance voted by the commentators of the participating nations.
The Composer Award – Best composition as voted by the participating composers in the final.
Just FYI, it is not usually a very good indicator of tonight’s winner. The prizes are being presented by Christer Björkman, who represented Sweden at Eurovision in 1992, and is also one of this year’s Swedish commentators.
Why not use this time to add to your flag knowledge? There are 26 to learn in the Grand Final, and presumably you already know at least one.
Here are some handy memory aides for you – Sweden is IKEA in flag form. Ukraine is blue sky over yellow wheat. The Netherlands is France turned 90 degrees clockwise. Iceland is exactly the opposite of Norway, so you only have to learn one of them.
Iceland will perform using their rehearsal performance recorded on 13 May. Find out more here.
It's Eurovision Week: here's all you need to know
Hello, and welcome to the Eurovision Song Contest GRAND FINAL Live Blog! Rob and Heidi are at the helm again, to take you through every moment of this year’s final show until the winners’ press conference in the early hours of Sunday.
We’ve followed every step since the first rehearsals two weeks ago, and we’ll be seeing this year’s contest through to the very end, until the lyrics of Loco Loco are embedded in our brains for all eternity.
Are you ready? Are you excited? Yeah, us too.