After the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 had been cancelled on 18th March 2020, it was not clear at first whether the songs and artists were eligible to compete in next year’s edition. Two days after the cancellation the EBU issued a statement in which it was specified that according to the rules of the Eurovision Song Contest, the songs chosen for the 2020 contest would not be allowed to participate the following year.
The decision regarding the artists had to be made by each participating broadcaster. It was up to them whether they would send the same artist(s) to Rotterdam in 2021, or whether they would select a completely different entrant.
Plenty of them opted for giving their 2020 representatives a second chance so that they can make their dream come true and perform on the stage of Ahoy Arena in Rotterdam.
Countries that re-selected their 2020 participant internally:
Jessica Cerro, professionally known as Montaigne, originally won the right to represent Australia at Eurovision 2020 with “Don’t Break Me” after winning Eurovision 2020 – Australia Decides. Montaigne won the jury vote and finished second in the public vote.
After the cancellation of Eurovision 2020, SBS internally selected Montaigne to represent Australia at Eurovision 2021 with “Technicolour”. Due to travel restrictions, the singer will compete live-on tape in the first semi final.
Vincent Bueno has waited a long time before he could enter the Eurovision stage. He previously attempted to represent Austria in 2016 by entering their national final, where he finished sixth. In 2017, he was a backing vocalist for Nathan Trent at the Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv.
In 2020, he was selected to represent Austria at the contest in Rotterdam with “Alive”. ORF confirmed shortly after the cancellation that Vincent would sing for the country at the 2021 contest with his song “Amen”.
Last year Efendi was internally selected to represent Azerbaijan at the Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam. She was due to sing “Cleopatra” before the competition was cancelled.
It was revealed by the Azerbaijani broadcaster shortly after the cancellation that Efendi would sing for Azerbaijan at the 2021 contest. In total, 229 songs were submitted, with “Mata Hari” ultimately being selected as Efendi’s entry.
The Belgian band Hooverphonic will represent Belgium at the Eurovision Song Contest 2021. The current line up of the band consists of Alex Callier (bass guitar, keyboards and programming), Raymond Geerts (lead guitar) and Geike Arnaert (lead vocals).
Hooverphonic were originally internally selected by VRT to represent Belgium in at the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 with “Release Me”. In November 2020, their former member Luka Cruysberghs left the band and was replaced by Geike. The Belgian song for Eurovision 2021 is called “The Wrong Place” and was written by Alex Callier and Charlotte Forest.
Benny Cristo, a Czech-Angolan singer was selected to represent the Czech Republic at the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest. In January 2020 he won a public online voting round featuring six other artists and songs. He was due to perform his song “Kemama” before the contest’s cancellation.
The Czech broadcaster revealed that Benny will represent the country in the 2021 contest. He will be singing “Omaga”, short for “Oh my God”. The song is mainly in English but also features a line in Czech.
In 2019 Tornike Kipiani he was selected to represent Georgia at the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest following his victory at Georgian Idol. He finished first in the public vote in almost every live show. He was due to sing “Take Me As I Am”, a song written by Tornike himself, before the contest was cancelled.
Shortly following the cancellation, GPB announced that Tornike would sing for Georgia at the 2021 contest. He will sing “You”, another song written and composed by the singer.
The Greek singer, living in the Netherlands, Stefania Liberakakis is also no stranger on the stage of Eurovision. In 2016, she was chosen to represent the Netherlands at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2016 as part of the group Kisses, which placed 8th overall. Last year, she was internally selected to represent Greece at the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest. She was due to sing “Superg!rl” before the contest was cancelled.
This year Stefania will sing “Last Dance”, a song that was selected internally, and was written by the same team behind “Supergirl”: Dimitris Kontopoulos, Sharon Vaughn, and ARCADE (Pavlos Manolis, Anastasios Rammos, Diverno and Gabriel Russell.)
Irish singer-songwriter Lesley Roy who has written songs for international stars such as Adam Lambert and Medina, was originally supposed to represent Ireland at the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 with “Story of My Life” before it was cancelled.
Lesley was selected to represent Ireland at Eurovision 2021 with the song “Maps”. The song was written and produced by Lesley, along with producer Lukas Hallgren, Philip Strand, Normandie, Deepend and Emelie Eriksson.
Daði & Gagnamagnið won the Icelandic national final Söngvakeppnin in 2020 with their song “Think About Things”, written by Daði Freyr himself. The song grew to become a big fan favourite that reached the top of the betting odds.
The Icelandic broadcaster RÚV announced that the band would go on to represent the country at the 2021 contest. They will sing “10 Years”, a song written and produced by Daði Freyr about Árny Fjóla, his partner of 10 years.
Samanta has attempted to compete at Eurovision on a number of occasions, entering the Latvian national final six times. In 2020, she finally won Supernova and therefore the right to represent Latvia at the Eurovision Song Contest. She was due to sing “Still Breathing”, written and composed by Aminata Savadogo and Samanta herself.
Her song for 2021 was revealed during the final episode of her documentary series Kā uzvarēt Eirovīzijā? Samantas Tīnas ceļš uz Roterdamu (How to Win at Eurovision? Samanta Tīna’s Road to Rotterdam). Samanta will represent Latvia with “The Moon Is Rising” at this year’s contest.
Destiny Chukunyere is not a new face when it comes to the world of Eurovision. She represented Malta at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2015 with her song “Not My Soul”, which she won with 185 points, breaking the record for most points received. After winning the Maltese X Factor in February 2020 she was due to perform at the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest with “All of My Love” before the contest’s cancellation.
In May last year, it was revealed that Destiny would sing for Malta at the 2021 contest. Her entry “Je me casse” is currently among the favourites to win the contest.
In 2020, Natalia Gordienko won the right to represent Moldova in Rotterdam after winning the Moldavian national final O Melodie Pentru Europa. She was to perform “Prison” before the contest’s cancellation, a song composed by Dimitris Kontopoulos and Philipp Kirkorov.
At the beginning of 2021, Moldovan broadcaster TRM confirmed that Natalia would go on to represent the country at the 2021 contest. Her song “Sugar” was released in February 2021.
The Surinamese singer-songwriter Jeangu Macrooy was internally selected to represent the host country The Netherlands at the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest. He was due to sing “Grow”, a song written by Jeangu himself.
Shortly after the cancellation, AVROTROS revealed that Jeangu would represent the country at the 2021 contest. On March 4th 2021, he held an online live event in which he presented his new competing song “Birth Of A New Age”.
Vasil Garvanliev appeared on the Eurovision stage for the first time as a backing singer for Tamara Todevska in Tel Aviv. Vasil was internally selected by MRT to represent North Macedonia at the 2020 contest. He was supposed to sing “You” before the competition was cancelled in March last year.
Early 2021 it was announced that Vasil would indeed represent his country at the 2021 contest. “Here I Stand” was written and composed by Vasil himself.
The Romanian singer Roxen was internally selected by TVR to represent Romania at the Eurovision Song Contest 2020. The national Selecția Națională 2020 was held, during which Roxen performed her five potential Eurovision entries. “Alcohol You” was the favourite of both the jury and public vote.
After the cancellation of the contest, Romanian broadcaster TVR announced that Roxen would represent the country at the 2021 contest. A jury consisting of music professionals ultimately decided on “Amnesia” as the competing entry from six songs.
The Italian singer Senhit who is of Eritrean descent, is no stranger to the Eurovision Song Contest either, having represented San Marino at the 2011 edition in Düsseldorf, Germany, with her song “Stand By”. In 2020 Senhit was selected to once again represent the microstate at the Eurovision Song Contest. Two songs were in contention, “Obsessed” and “Freaky!”, with the latter being selected by an online public voting.
In May 2020, SMRTV revealed that Senhit will represent San Marino again at the 2021 contest. She will be singing “Adrenalina”, which features the famous American rapper Flo Rida. It is yet to be decided whether Flo Rida will join her on the stage of Ahoy Arena in Rotterdam.
The pop-R&B group that were formed in 2017 will be flying the Serbian flag in Rotterdam. The group consists of three members; Sanja Vučić, Ivana Nikolić and Ksenija Knežević. Sanja Vučić has already represented Serbia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 as a soloist.
Hurricane originally won the right to represent Serbia at Eurovision 2020 with “Hasta La Vista” after winning the Serbian national final Beovizija 2020. After the cancellation of the 2020 contest, Hurricane were internally selected by RTS to represent Serbia at Eurovision 2021 with the song “Loco Loco”.
In 2020, Ana Soklič won the right to represent Slovenia at the Eurovision Song Contest after winning EMA 2020. She was selected by the jury as one of the two superfinalists and won the superfinal with 54% of the vote. She was supposed to sing “Voda” in Rotterdam.
In May 2020, RTVSLO confirmed that Ana would represent Slovenia at the 2021 contest. A record total of 191 songs were submitted for Ana to sing, with “Amen” being chosen as her 2021 entry.
Gjon Muharremaj (better known as Gjon’s Tears) was selected internally to represent Switzerland at the Eurovision Song Contest 2020. His song “Répondez-moi” was chosen from a selection of 515 songs.
Following the cancellation of the competition, it was revealed that he would represent Switzerland at the 2021 contest. His entry “Tout L’Univers” was selected from a list of 13 songs and is co-written by Gjon himself.
James Newman, who has been a successful songwriter and vocalist in the 2010s was internally selected by the BBC to represent his country at the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest. He was due to perform “My Last Breath” before the contest’s cancellation.
In February, it was revealed that James would perform for the UK at the 2021 contest. His song “Embers” was released in March.
Countries that re-selected their 2020 participant internally but held a public selection to determine their song:
Victoria Georgieva, better known by the mononym VICTORIA was selected internally to represent Bulgaria at the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest. She was due to sing “Tears Getting Sober”, a fan favourite leading up to the contest.
Following the contest’s cancellation, BNT revealed that Victoria would represent the country at the 2021 contest. Five potential songs were revealed to the public as an EP, with “Growing Up Is Getting Old” ultimately being chosen by an online vote as their entry.
Eden Alene has been chosen to represent her country at the Eurovision Song Contest 2020. She was supposed to sing “Feker libi”, a song featuring four languages: English, Amharic, Arabic, and Hebrew.
Israeli broadcaster KAN confirmed that Eden would sing for the country at the 2021 contest. Her song was selected through a national final consisting of nine potential entries. After two rounds of voting, these were cut back to three. The public voted on their favourite song, and in the end, “Set Me Free” was selected.
Blas Cantó has been selected internally to represent Spain in Rotterdam, becoming the first internally selected Spanish Eurovision entrant since 2015. He was due to sing “Universo” at the 2020 contest before it got cancelled.
His competing song for 2021 was chosen via the selection show Destino Eurovisión, during which Blas performed “Memoria” and “Voy a quedarme”. In the end, the Spanish public voted for “Voy a quedarme” as their entry for the contest.
The Ukrainian band Go_A is made up of Kateryna Pavlenko (vocalist), Taras Shevchenko (multi-intrumentalist), Ihor Didenchuk (sopiklar) and Ivan Hrihoryak (guitar). The group have won the Ukrainian national selection out of 16 acts and were supposed to represent Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest with their song “Solovey”.
This year, they were selected internally by Ukrainian broadcaster UA:PBC. An expert jury panel selected their song “Shum” for the 2021 contest out of the three that Go_A submitted.
Countries whose 2020 representatives won their national final again:
Uku Suviste has attempted to represent Estonia in 2017 and in 2019 before his successful attempt. In 2020, he was selected to represent Estonia with his song “What Love Is”.
Following the cancellation of the contest, Estonian broadcaster ERR announced that they will use their national final “Eesti Laul” to select their entrant for 2021 and that Uku would have to enter the contest again for the chance to represent his country. So he did, which resulted in him winning the competition which was held in March 2021. Uku Suviste will represent Estonia with his song “The Lucky One”.
In 2020, the group The Roop, consisting of of Vaidotas Valiukevičius, Robertas Baranauskas and Mantas Banišauskas, entered the Lithuanian pre-selection. Pabandom iš naujo 2020. Their song “On Fire” won the show with a record number of votes and were among the favourites to win the contest. They managed to win the OGAE Eurovision Song Contest Fan Poll for 2020.
The Lithuanian broadcaster decided to hold a new national selection for Eurovision 2021, with the rule that specified that The Roop would automatically qualify for the final in case they entered the competition. The Roop took their chance and won with their song “Discoteque”. By winning the final they broke their own record for the number of televotes received in the history of Lithuania’s National final.
Image Source: EBU / Stijn Smulders