It’s an annual tradition now for me to create this page where I summarise all the details of various national selections for the coming Eurovision Song Contest. It all proved in vain of course with the curse of Covid-19, but I am pleased to say, that whatever is the situation pandemic-wise in May 2021, the contest WILL be taking place in some form or another.
Therefore I will be keeping this page up-to-date as we progress through season, safe in knowledge this won’t be a fruitless exercise this time! It will be a bit of a different sort of season in that we already have the names of about half of the artists even before the season starts, with many of 2020’s artists being given the opportunity to go to an (uncancelled) contest. That said, there will be some song choice selection shows rather than national finals, and there will still be a fair few national finals still taking place (albeit potentially without much or any audiences!)
As before, do bookmark this page and keep checking back until mid-March when we will know all the artists and songs for Rotterdam 2021.
Albania’s song festival, Festivali i Kenges, marks the beginning of the national final season, taking place in December around the Christmas period. The winner will represent Albania at Eurovision 2021 though the final Eurovision version of the winning song usually comes sometime later. The artists and songs were released on 16 November. You can listen to all 26 on the broadcaster’s YouTube channel.
Armenia returned to having a national final for 2020, but there is no news yet on what will happen for 2021, or if last year’s winning artist will be given a chance to be the representative.
Originally there were plans to have a national final again (Eurovision – Australia Decides) but with the cancellation on Eurovision 2020, the Australian broadcaster announced that the 2020 national final winner, Montaigne, would be representing Australia in 2021.
Selected artist: Montaigne
Austria were quick to announce in March 2020 that their internally selected artist for 2020 would their entry for 2021.
Selected artist: Vincent Bueno
Internally selected for 2020, it was confirmed in March 2020 that Efendi would be back in 2021.
Selected artist: Efendi
No details as yet, though Belarus did have a national final with a public vote last year. Much has happened in Belarus in the meantime, and last year’s winners have been ruled out for 2021 – like many other artists, they have been deemed as being against the government in the ongoing anti-government demos and movement following the presidential elections.
Belgium are sticking to their internal selection from 2020 though with the departure of the female lead singer (they have got through a lot in their time), the band will have a different make up for 2021.
Selected artist: Hooverphonic
At the time of cancellation, Bulgaria had reached top of the betting odds to win 2020, and it’s no surprise they have stuck with internally-selected Victoria for 2021. The song will be internally selected but Victoria and the delegation will be “market testing” by releasing 6 songs that might be the entry. The first example of this was released in November 2020, a song called “Ugly Cry“
Selected artist: Victoria
Having decided not to select the winner of last year’s national final, Croatia will again have a national final, Dora 2021, which will take place on 13 February. Last year’s artist has said he will not be entering. This selection’s finalists will be revealed on 15 December.
There was a lot of speculation on who would be Cyprus’s internally-selected artist for 2021 given the broadcaster has said they were looking for a more “well-known” artist. Towards end of November, it was announced Greek singer Elena Tsagrinou would represent Cypus and the songwriting team would include the experienced (and ubiquitous) Laurell Barker and also Thomas Stengaard whose writing credits include Germany’s 4th place achieving song from 2018 “You Let Me Walk Alone” and the 2013 winner from Denmark, “Only Teardrops”. Artistic director Marvin Dietmann will be in charge of the staging – he previously was artistic director for Austrian in 2014 (Conchita Wurst and Rise Like a Phoenix), 2016 and 2018.
Selected artist: Elena Tsagrinou
Song: El diablo
The Czech Republic had been planning to move to a televised national final in 2020 but in they stuck with the online format in the end – and the televised final will wait yet at least another year, as the winning artist has been given the chance to represent Czech Republic in 2021.
Selected artist: Benny Cristo
Denmark has had one of the longest running national finals, and they are proceeding with a national final once again and seems unlikely that 2020’s winning artists will be entering for 2021. The final of Dansk Melodi Grand Prix will take place on 6 March.
The well-established national final, Eesti Laul, returns for 2021 and will include last year’s winner, Uku Suvisite, who was given a pass to the semi-finals (but nothing further). He is one of several previous Eurovision entrants who are in the line up: Ivo Linna (1996), Koit Toome (1998 & 2017), Tanja (2014) and Juri Pootsman (2016). The semi-finals will take place on 18 and 20 February with the final on 6 March.
Like most of the Scandinavian and Baltic countries, Finland will not be giving 2020’s national final winner a pass to the contest in 2021 (and he has decided not to re-enter) and will be holding a national final once again. Uuden Musiikin Kilpailun 2021 will take place on 20 February.
After internally selecting in 2020, France will be returning to a national final in 2021. “Eurovision France, c’est vous qui décidez!” will take place sometime in January with 12 competing acts.
The winner of Georgian Idol was again used in 2020 to select Georgia’s artist. Shortly after the cancellation, the artist was selected to represent Georgia in 2021.
Selected artist: Tornike Kipiani
Germany went through quite a detailed internal selection process in 2020 but their selected artist for the cancelled contest will not be returning for Germany in 2021. Another internal selection process will take place instead.
Internally selected for 2020, Stefania was re-selected by the Greek broadcaster and 5 songs have been written as potential entries. Indications are that the song will be internally selected.
Selected artist: Stefania
The biggest breakout and viral hit from Eurovision 2020 was “Think About Things”. It seemed though that would be it as the Icelandic broadcaster had indicated they would be running their usual national final but in October, it was announced that Daði would be representing Iceland in 2021. How the entry will be selected and whether there will be a public vote involved is yet to be announced.
While there are rumours that Lesley Roy, the internally-selected 2020 artists, will be asked to come back for 2021, nothing has yet been officially announced or confirmed.
Poor Eden went twice through the emotional wringer on live Israeli TV – firstly when told Eurovision was cancelled, and then a few weeks later when the broadcaster told her she would be the 2021 representative. There will be a national selection show to choose from three selected songs (one selected by a jury, 2 via an online public vote of a choice of 9 songs) in late January or early February. The songs for the public to choose have been released and can be listened to on KAN’s website.
Selected artist: Eden Alene
The winner of the Festival di Sanremo will be given first refusal to compete at Eurovision 2021. The week long event has been pushed back to a slightly later date in 2021 due to the pandemic, and the final will take place on 6 March.
After 7 attempts to get to the contest, and being a delight during the first lockdown, it seemed especially unfair to think Samanta would not get the chance for 2021 – and that was the expectation given that most of the other Baltic and Scandinavian countries seemed to be sticking to their national final format. The Latvian broadcaster though took the decision to re-select Samanta – something they told her live on air to her great delight. This is the first time Latvia have internally selected. The song has been chosen by Samanta, following a song writing camp that produced 11 potential songs.
Selected artist: Samanta Tīna
The Roop, winners of the Lithuanian national final in 2020, were one of the hot favourites to win Eurovision before cancellation occurred. There will be no internal re-selection though and The Roop will have to enter and win the national final again if they are to go to the contest. They have been invited by the broadcaster to enter again and are taking up that offer and have both “a song and a vision” . Song submissions for other artists are currently open and the set of 6 shows will begin on 16 January in the same format at 2020.
Destiny was winner of last year’s Malta X Factor which determined Malta’s Eurovision representative (and internally selected song). As a former winner of Junior Eurovision, Malta have re-selected Destiny for 2021.
Selected artist: Destiny
A national final has tended to be Moldova’s method of selection but for 2021 they have selected the winner of 2020’s national final (who was also a member of the 2006 Moldovan Eurovision entry).
Selected artist: Natalia Gordienko
The host country internally selected for 2020 and have carried that selection forward to 2021.
Selected artist: Jeangu Macrooy
Aside from knowing North Macedonia will be at Eurovision 2021, we currently have little info about their selection. Usually they internally select, but we don’t know if they will do so again and if they will re-select their 2020 artist.
As with the majority of Nordic countries, Norway will be holding its long-running national final 2021. Last year’s entry was offered a pass to the selection final but has declined. The selection will begin on 16 January and the grand final of Melodi Grand Prix 2021 will take place on 20 February.
Poland will be at Eurovision 2021 but at present there is no information about their national selection.
Song submissions have opened for Portugal’s national final Festival da Canção. The rules state that the previous year’s winner may not enter the national selection the following year, so we will certainly have a new artist for 2021. Timings of the shows is to be confirmed.
Roxen was internally selected in 2020 and the entry chosen in a national final consisting of 5 songs. She was confirmed as the 2021 entry shortly after cancellation although at the moment the song selection method has not been confirmed.
Selected artist: Roxen
One of the last to reveal their 2020 entry, there is no official news yet on Russia’s entry for 2021. However, Little Big (the 2020 act) have said they plan to submit songs for 2021 so they could well be in the running.
Returning artist Senhit (Eurovision 2011) was internally selected for 2020 and confirmed for 2021 back in May. No news on how the song will be selected.
Selected artist: Senhit
Last year’s winners of the national final, Hurricane, will be representing Serbia in 2021. Details of the song selection method are still to be confirmed. Former Eurovision entrant Sanja Vučić (Eurovision 2016) is a member of the band.
Selected artist: Hurricane
Slovenia’s 2020 artist was selected by winning the national final and the broadcaster has re-selected her for the 2021 contest. The song selection method is currently being considered.
Selected artist: Ana Soklič
Internally-selected for 2020, Blas Cantó has been selected for the 2021 contest.
Selected artist: Blas Cantó
With the biggest national selection series of them all, Sweden’s Melodifestivalen returns for its 61st edition and the usual format of 4 semi-finals (beginning on 6 February), one “second chance” show and then the grand final on 13 March. All shows will take place in Stockholm rather than at different venues around the country – yet another example of the pandemic’s impact. This year’s participants are being revealed in early December and already many familiar names, including past Eurovision artists and a Eurovision winner, have been revealed.
Switzerland have stuck with their internally-selected 2020 artist for 2021. The song selection has been done internally but involved doing market analysis across several European countries to enable them to pick the best song. The artist has announced that the song is now chosen, but no further details just yet.
Selected artist: Gjon’s Tears
After 2019’s fiasco, Ukraine pulled off a drama-free national final in 2020. The 2020 winners will represent Ukraine in 2021 and there are plans to present 5 possible songs to the public to select for the contest song.
Selected artist: Go_A
The BBC keeps things close to its chest when it comes to making the selection, but we do know that the link up with music company BMG was planned to be over at least three years or so, so it’s likely that remains in place. Less clear is if 2020’s selected artist will get the chance for 2021 (he has continued to write music through the summer and autumn) or if it will be someone new. On past experience we could find out anytime between January and March… Certainly not before January anyway given that the BBC team who work on Eurovision are currently occupied with Strictly Come Dancing which dominates Saturday nights in the autumn.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Eurovision (season)…