Eurovision 2021 – live: Italy, France and Malta among favourites to win ahead of grand final tonight

Eurovision 2021 – live: Italy, France and Malta among favourites to win ahead of grand final tonight

Eurovision 2021 – live: Italy, France and Malta among favourites to win ahead of grand final tonight

Eurovision 2021 – live: Italy, France and Malta among favourites to win ahead of grand final tonight

Eurovision: Alexander Rybak performs ‘Fairytale’

The Eurovision Song Contest grand final is finally here.

With two semi-finals done and dusted, fans are only hours away from watching the 2021 Eurovision final.

This year’s competition takes place tonight in Rotterdam, Netherlands (22 May). Viewers in the UK will be able to tune in to the live broadcast on BBC One from 8pm.

Laughs are all but guaranteed with Graham Norton returning as the host for BBC’s coverage from Rotterdam, while Chelcee Grimes, Sara Cox and Scott Mills will present from London.

Meanwhile, actor and singer Amanda Holden – who was seen dressed appropriately patriotic in a Union Jack dress à la Gerri Halliwell this morning – will serve as the Eurovision spokesperson, tasked with delivering the results of the UK professional jury vote.

Tonight’s contest comes after last year’s event was cancelled due to the pandemic – the first time in Eurovision’s 64-year history that it has been a no-go.

Unsurprisingly, the majority of 2020’s contestants have returned for round two. 26 of the 39 countries that entered the semi-final stage have carried over their contestants – only this time, they are required to perform brand new songs.

Italy are the ones to beat this year. According to bookies, all eyes will be on rock band Maneskin and their song “Zitti E Buoni”. Other frontrunners include Iceland, Switzerland, Malta and France. You can find the full list of odds here.

After Ireland’s Lesley Roy missed out on a place in the Grand Final, the UK has pinned its hopes on James Newman, who will be performing his song “Embers” in a bid to be crowned tonight’s winner.

An official running order for this evening’s acts has been announced, with Cyprus contestant Elena Tsagrinou scheduled to open the show, and San Marino’s entry Senhit – featuring rapper Flo Rida – set to conclude it.

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Meet James Newman, the singer representing the UK at Eurovision 2021…

Where do you think he’ll place in the contest?

Roisin O’Connor22 May 2021 15:39

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I’m taking over the liveblog from my lovely colleague Annabel and will be steering you through the evening with plenty of my witty commentary. Graham Norton eat your heart out. Annabel will be re-joining us later to keep you up to speed with some of the biggest news and talking points from the big night.

Roisin O’Connor22 May 2021 15:21

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According to bookies, Italy is the one to beat tonight.

The Rome-formed rock band Måneskin blew audiences away at rehearsals earlier this week with their track “Zitti e buoni”.

Our music correspondent Roisin O’Connor caught up with the band for a quick Q&A, in which they dish on which countries are their favourites.

Annabel Nugent22 May 2021 15:00

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While Swedish super group ABBA may be the feather in Eurovision’s cap, many fans forget that the song contest also helped propel Céline Dion’s career.

Dion performed the song “Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi” for Switzerland in 1988 – and, of course, took home the prize that year.

Celine Dion at Eurovision

(Eurovision TV)

Annabel Nugent22 May 2021 14:40

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Fans will be sad to hear that the Icelandic delegates Daði og Gagnamagnið are no longer performing live after a band member tested positive for coronavirus.

Daði og Gagnamagnið are among the frontrunners to win this year’s contest after their smash hit “Think About Things” went viral in 2020.

Icelandic Eurovision Song Contest Second Semi-Final: Daði Freyr performs ‘Think About Things’

Returning this year with a new and equally catchy tune titled “10 Years”, the band still have high hopes.

Despite the positive Covid-19 test – which was announced on Wednesday (19 May) – their song will remain in competition and a recording from the band’s rehearsal will be broadcast instead of a live performance.

Annabel Nugent22 May 2021 14:00

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For those Eurovision die-hards across the pond, we (or rather streaming service Peacock) have you covered.

Below you can find everything you need to know about how to stream the contest in the US.

Annabel Nugent22 May 2021 13:40

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Tonight, the UK will be pinning its hopes on James Newman. The Yorkshire-born singer is set to perform his song “Embers” in a bid to take home first prize.

Roisin O’Connor caught up with Newman for a speedy Q&A ahead of the Eurovision grand finale…

Annabel Nugent22 May 2021 13:20

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Viewers at home will be happy to learn that we won’t be stuck watching an awkwardly empty venue tonight.

Similar to the Brit Awards last week, Eurovision will be hosting a live crowd this year – albeit at a reduced capacity.

A total of 3,500 people will be allowed inside Rotterdam’s Ahoy Arena for tonight’s final. All audience members will be taking part in a government-backed programme for the safe restart of mass-participation events.

Netherlands Eurovision Song Contest Semi Final

(Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Annabel Nugent22 May 2021 13:00

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It’s finally time for TV’s most wacky and wonderfully weird event!

Hello and welcome to The Independent’s Eurovision Song Contest live-blog. Here you can find all the handy information, inside scoops and expert speculation in one place.

We’ll also be sharing videos and photographs straight from tonight’s event to keep you in the loop.

This year’s contest takes place in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Viewers in the UK will be able to tune in to the live broadcast, which begins at 8.00pm on BBC One.

Annabel Nugent22 May 2021 12:40


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