Eurovision 2021: Which ESC 2020 acts will be back in the competition?

by Sanjay (Sergio) Jiandani 16,922 views

This week saw the cancellation of the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest due to unforseen circumstances ie the COVID-19 global pandemic. Forty one countries were set to partake in the competition this year, following the annoucement many broadcasters have decided to invite their 2020 Eurovision hopefuls to partake at next year’s competition. Let’s check out which countries will be sending their 2020 Eurovision act to the contest next year.

The Reference Group has announced  that broadcasters are free to invite their 2020 ESC hopefuls to compete at ESC 2021 upon their own discretion or free to select a new act. The 2020 Eurovision entries will NOT BE ELIGIBLE to compete next year, hence the 2020 acts will have to bring a new song to the competition if they are to return next year.

A total of 41 countries were scheduled to compete at the 65th Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam.

So far a total of 34 countries have confirmed their participation at the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest.

Circa 40 countries are expected to partake in the competition next year in The Netherlands. The maximum number of countries permitted to compete in next year’s contest is 44, whilst the Grand Final will feature a total of 26 nations battling for the coveted Eurovision trophy.

The deadline for broadcasters to apply for participation concluded on 16 September whilst grace period for applicant countries to withdraw their application without facing a financial penalty concludes  on 10 October.

This article will be constantly updated with the latest information and confirmations.

Confirmed Countries ( 2020 Hopefuls)

So far a total of 19 countries have confirmed their participation at Eurovision 2021 with their 2020 Eurovision acts:

  1. Spain- Blas Canto
  2. The NetherlandsJeangu Macrooy
  3. Georgia Tornike Kipiani
  4. SwitzerlandGjon’s Tears
  5. GreeceStefania
  6. BulgariaVictoria
  7. BelgiumHooverphonic
  8. AzerbaijanSamira Efendi
  9. UkraineGO_A Band
  10. IsraelEden Alene
  11. AustriaVincent Bueno
  12. RomaniaRoxen
  13. AustraliaMontaigne
  14. Czech RepublicBenny Cristo
  15. MaltaDestiny
  16. SloveniaAna Soklic
  17.  San MarinoSenhit
  18. LatviaSamanta Tina
  19. MoldovaNatalia Gordienko

Confirmed Countries (New Election/National Selection)

Estonia will be selecting its Eurovision 2021 act via Eesti Laul and has invited Uku Suviste to partake in the national selection next year. Sweden will be selecting its Eurovision act for 2021 via its traditional national selection Melodifestivalen. Both Finland and Norway will be joining Sweden and opting for their national selections in order to determine their ESC 2021 hopefuls.

NRK offered Ulrikke to partake at MGP 2021, but the artist declined the offer.

Lithuania has also opted to hold a national selection in 2021 and has invited The Roop to compete in the Grand Final as direct finalists. Than band are yet to decide if they will partake in the Lithuanian national final.

Denmark will be joining its neighbours Norway and Sweden and selecting its Eurovision act and entry in 2021 via its traditional national selection Dansk Melodi Grand Prix.  Ben & Tan have not been invited to represent Denmark at next year’s Eurovision edition.

Cyprus has confirmed that it will be opting for a new artist to represent them in Eurovision 2021 and that Sandro will not represent Aphrodite’s Island at the 65th Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam.

Tom Leeb has confirmed that he will not represent France at Eurovision 2021. France is set to select its 2021 Eurovision act and entry via a new format ie national final.

Croatia has confirmed that Dora 2021 will determine its Eurovision 2021 act and entry, thus Damir Kendzo will not represent the Balkan nation at next year’s ESC edition in the Netherlands.

Germany will be using the same mechanism as in 2020 in order to select  its Eurovision entry and act for Rotterdam. Thus ARD/NDR will not be extending a direct invite to Ben Dolic to fly to Rotterdam, but he will be allowed to submit an entry in order to represent the country in Rotterdam.

Albania too has opted to select its Eurovision act and entry for Rotterdam 2021 via its traditional national selection Festivali i Kenges.

  1. SwedenMelodifestivalen 2021
  2. EstoniaEesti Laul 2021
  3. FinlandUMK 2021
  4. Norway MGP 2021
  5. LithuaniaPabandom Iš Naujo 2021
  6. DenmarkMelodi Grand Prix 2021
  7. Cyprus New artist to be determined
  8. France National Final
  9. CroatiaDora 2021
  10. Germany Internal selection via 2 juries
  11. AlbaniaFestivali i Kenges 59

Confirmed Participation- Yet to make a decision

A number of countries have confirmed their participation at Eurovision 2021 but are yet to decide if they will opt for a new act or invite their 2020 Eurovision hopeful to fly the flag in Rotterdam.

Ireland  has stated that it will continue to engage with the EBU on Eurovision and the competition in 2021. RTS, the Serbian national broadcasster too has confirmed participation in Eurovision 2021 and is yet to decide if it will invite its 2020 Eurovision hopefuls to fly to Rotterdam or use another mechanism to determine its ESC 2021 entry/act.

Iceland too has confirmed its participation at Eurovision 2021 and is yet to unveil how it will select its Eurovision entry and act.

North Macedonia has applied to compete at Eurovision 2021 in Rotterdam and is yet to determine the mechanism to select the Macedonian Eurovision entry.

  1. Ireland
  2. Serbia
  3. Iceland
  4. North Macedonia

Yet to confirm their participation/decision

  1. Russia
  2. Belarus
  3. Armenia
  4. United Kingdom
  5. Portugal
  6. Poland
  7. Italy

Will we see any returning countries in 2021?

Will we see any countries return to the competition next year? Hungary and Montenegro decided to stay out of the competition in 2020 and are expected to return to the contest next year. Whilst Bosnia & Herzegovina and Turkey have been away from the event for quite some time and their return next year remains uncertain. Morocco‘s return to Eurovision remains grim as the country has not returned to the contest since its debut in 1980.

  1. Bosnia & Herzegovina
  2. Hungary
  3. Montenegro
  4. Turkey
  5. Morocco

Will not return

RTVA, the Andorran national broadcaster, has confirmed to ESCToday that it has no intention to return to Eurovision in 2o21.

RTL the Luxemburgish national broadcaster, too has confirmed to ESCToday that Luxembourg will not participate at Eurovision 2021 in Rotterdam.

RTVS, the Slovak national broadcaster, has ruled out returning to the contest in 2021 and has told ESCToday that it does not close the doors to return in the near future.

TMC, the Monegasque national broadcaster has also confirmed to ESCToday that Monaco has no plans to return to the competition in Rotterdam.

  1.  Andorra
  2. Luxembourg
  3. Slovakia
  4. Monaco

Will there be any debuts?

It is yet uncertain if we will see any new countries debuting in The Nethelands. Both Kosovo and Kazakhstan are keen to enter the competition but do not comply with the EBU’s rules and regulations in order participate in the contest.

Kosovo is not a member of the ITU (International Television Union), one of  the key requirements to become an active EBU member. Thus RTK is not an EBU member and is currently ineligible to join the contest. The country is neither a member of the United Nations or the Council of Europe. The Eurovision Song Contest has been broadcast live in the Balkan country in recent years.

Kazakh broadcaster Khabar Agency is an associate EBU member since 2016 and thus NOT ELIGIBLE to participate at the Eurovision Song Contest, Kazakhstan has to be formally invited by the EBU to join the competition. It is entirely up to the EBU’s discretion to extend an invite to the country very much like in the case of Australia. The Kazakh broadcaster has been airing the contest for the past years.

Kazakhstan  debuted at the 2018 Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Minsk and is quite keen to participate at the Eurovision Song Contest.

Will not debut

Liechtenstein‘s national broadcaster 1FL TV is not an EBU member therefore it is not eligible to take part in the contest. 1FL TV has confirmed to ESCToday that it wil not debut at Eurovision 2021.

The EBU confirmed to ESCToday that both Kosovo and Kazakhstan will not be invited to debut at the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest.

Rotterdam and the Netherlands will host the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest at the Rotterdam Ahoy on 18, 20 and 22 May.

The City of Rotterdam, Dutch national broadcasters NOS, NPO, AVROTROS and the Rotterdam Ahoy will do their level best to host the competition in Rotterdam come 2021.. Stay tuned for more news on Eurovision 2021.



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