Eurovision, the world’s largest live music competition, starts today — and this year there’s a new way to watch in The United States.
Here’s what you need to know about Eurovision 2021 — what it is, when it happens, who participates, and most importantly, how to watch.
What is Eurovision?
Eurovision is a European singing contest in its 65th year.
Participants from a number of European countries perform — 39 this year — with one contestant from each country.
Voting is determined by a combination of small, demographically-balanced juries and voting by viewers. The jury points are announced and then viewer points are calculated and added to jury points. (You can’t vote for your own country and American viewers will not get to vote.)
If you haven’t been a lifelong fan of the contest, you still have maybe heard of it through its spoofing in the Will Ferrell-Rachel McAdams Netflix movie Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. (Yes, Will Ferrell was actually singing at Eurovision for the movie, McAdams was not.)
Who hosts Eurovision?
This year, Eurovision takes place in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, following the country’s victory in 2019 with the song “Arcade” by Duncan Laurence. The Netherlands missed its chance to host last year, when the contest was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Who are the acts to watch for?
According to The Irish Times, Måneskin, a hard rock group from Italy, are the act to beat, with a slight lead in odds over French balladeer Barbara Pravi. Also to watch, Iceland’s Daði og Gagnamagnið.
Who hosts Eurovision 2021?
The hosts this year are Chantal Janzen, Edsilia Rombley, Jan Smit and Nikkie de Jager (better known as NikkieTutorials).
Who are some famous acts to win Eurovision?
Ever heard of ABBA? The Swedish group took the top prize in 1974.
Canadian singer Celine Dion won in 1988, performing for Switzerland.
How do I watch Eurovision 2021 in the US?
Viewers in the United States can watch on NBC’s Peacock streaming service.
▪ The first semi-final takes place Tuesday, May 18, at 3 p.m. ET
▪ The second semi-final takes place Thursdsay, May 20, at 3 p.m. ET.
▪ The Grand Final is Saturday, May 22, at 3 p.m. ET.
If you miss the live performances, they will be available on-demand through Peacock.