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May 20, 2021

Qualifiers after the 2nd Semi Final

After tonight’s show, the 10 qualifiers (in random order) are: San Marino – Senhit-Adrenalina Greece – Stefania Liberakakis-Last Dance Albania – Anxhela Peristeri – Karma Moldova – Natalia Gordienko-Sugar Iceland – Daði & Gagnamagnið-Ten Years Serbia – Hurricane-Loco Loco Portugal – The Black Mamba – Love is on my side Bulgaria – Victoria-Growing Up is getting old Finland – Blind Channel-Dark Side Switzerland – Gjon’s Tears – Tout l’univers We will see them back in the grand Final on Saturday.

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In the spotlights: The Netherlands – Jeangu Macrooy

Jeangu Macrooy was born in Surinam. His name is unique, it is a combination of his mother’s name Jeannette and his father’s name Guno. He is the half of a twin, his brother’s name is Xillan. In their youth, Jeangu and Xillan did everything together. If they made a drawing, like children do, Jeangu made one half of it, Xillan the other half. Even if they wrote a song, they wrote it together. They formed a duo together: Between Towers. They thanked their name to the fact that both of them are very tall. The boys released their first and only album together, “Stars on my radio”. When the boys were 19, they went to the Netherlands. Their grandparents lived in the Netherlands, so there was a link already. When they went back to Surinam, Jeangu’s dream became to study in the Netherlands. It was hard to do something without his twin brother for the first time. On the other hand, in the Netherlands he felt free to be openly gay for the first time; a special moment for Jeangu, who went to study in the city of Enschede, in the eastern part of the country. He studied at the ArtEZ Pop Academy. Enschede was the place were it all really started for Jeangu Macrooy in the Netherlands. He met music producer Pieter Perquin (Perquisite) there. Perquisite was a guest teacher. He immediately recognized the talent Jeangu has. They started working together in 2016, which resulted in the EP “High on you”. It resulted in being 3FM Talent (3FM is a Dutch national radio station), in performances in one of the most watched Dutch tv-shows, “De Wereld Draait Door”, and an Edison Pop Award in the catagory Best New Artist. His debut single “Gold” even became part of a commercial on HBO for “Game of thrones”. An album with the name “High on you” followed, and a new highlight in Jeangu’s career followed: he hit the number 1 spot in the Surinam music charts! Again, Jeangu was nominated for an Edison Pop Award, this time in the catagory best album. It was around that time that also something special happened in Jeangu’s personal life: he met his boyfriend Sebas van der Tangen. The two currently live together in Amsterdam. One year later a new highlight in the life of Jeangu appeared. He could play the role of Judas in “The passion”, an annual Dutch show in which the story of Easter is told in Dutch songs. The show is viewed by 3,5 million people. A new album, “Horizon” followed in 2019. A special Horizon-tour was planned for early 2020. And something else came up at the same time. Already in 2019, Jeangu Macrooy was asked whether he might be interested in representing the Netherlands in the Eurovision Song Contest. Jeangu liked the idea, but was waiting for the right song to represent The Netherlands. In early 2020 it was announced that the Dutch selection committee had chosen Jeangu to do the job. In march, he presented his song “Grow” to the audience. In the show “De Wereld Draait Door” Jeangu explains: “Last year, for the first time in my life, I had a period in which I did not know it anymore. I was not comfortable with myself. The song is actually in two parts: the first part is about getting older, growing up and finding out that there are no manuals in life. And that there is no clearly pointed out path to happiness. I was shocked by that; I was angry and frustrated about that. But then there is the second part and it’s about accepting that it’s all highs and lows. That if you go through it, you eventually learn and grow.” But then COVID19 came. The Eurovision Song Contest was canceled. Jeangu’s Horizon tour was canceled as well. Although that was a hard time for Jeangu, he became one of the most visible artists in 2020. He gave a concert on kingsday (the day Dutch people celebrate the birthday of the king). On the 4th of may, when the Dutch commemorate the people who died in Worldwar II, he performed. Jeangu made a new video of his old song “Gold”, where he stated that the day when the slavery has been abolished in Suriname and the Dutch Antiles should be a national celebration in the Netherlands. When the Eurovision Song Contest was canceled, Dutch broadcaster Avrotros immediately came up with a statement: “We will remain #teamjeangu for 2021”. Jeangu was going to write and produce the Dutch Eurovision Song in 2021. It became “Birth of a new age”, a personal story. Some lines in the song were sung in Sranantongo, one of the languages of Suriname. The lines “Yu no man broko mi” were based on a Surinam saying, “Mi na afusensi, no wan man broko mi” (I’m half a cent, nobody can break me). In fact Jeangu says with these lines “I might be very small or not worth anything in your eyes, but you can’t break me”. The message is meant to empower people. “I hope I can let people feel their power”, Jeangu said in an interview with Eurovision hots Nikkie Tutorials. Jeangu hopes that after Eurovision, whole Europe will open up to him. At least he will go back to the studio for new material!

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Duncan Laurence tested positive on COVID19

Duncan Laurence has tested positive on COVID19. That has been announced today by EBU. Yesterday, Laurence had mild symptoms. Therefore, he was tested. The EBU stated the following on this: “Duncan Laurence, winner of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest for the Netherlands and was scheduled to perform live during Saturday’s Grand Final, has tested positive for COVID-19, his management and the Host Broadcaster have confirmed. Duncan has mild symptoms. Because of the 7 day minimum isolation period, Duncan will not be able to perform live in the Ahoy venue in Rotterdam, but will still feature in the show in a different form. Last Monday, Duncan tested negative in the Eurovision Test Pavilion, which granted him access to the venue for his performance in the first Semi-Final. On Wednesday, he showed mild symptoms and then unfortunately delivered a positive result in a rapid antigen test. “We are of course disappointed, first of all for Duncan, who deserves a live performance on our very own Eurovision stage after his 2019 victory and the worldwide success of Arcade,” Sietse Bakker, Executive Producer, said. “We couldn’t be more proud of his opening act for the first Semi-Final. Of course we wish Duncan a speedy recovery!” “Duncan is very disappointed, he has been looking forward to this for two years. We are very happy that he will still be seen in the final on Saturday, May 22,” his management said. A strict COVID-19 health and safety protocol is being applied at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. All those working within the perimeter of the venue must be in possession of a negative COVID-19 test, not older than 48 hours. Since 6 April, when the load-in started in Ahoy, over 24,400 tests have been conducted amongst crew, volunteers, artists, delegation members and press. Only 16 of those (0.06%) have returned positive results. In most cases, they were from people who hadn’t previously been to the venue, or who hadn’t been there recently. To date, no infections have been conclusively traced back to the venue.” in cooperation with Eurovision Artists  

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In the spotlight: Iceland-Daði & Gagnamagnið

Tonight is the night… the 2nd semifinal of the Eurovision Song Contest. 17 countries compete for a place in the final, including Iceland with Daði & Gagnamagnið. But who are they actually? (It was announced yesterday( May 19th 2021) that one of the members, Jóhann Sigurður Jóhannsson, has tested positive for Covid-19. The entire band is in quarantine, and at least they will not be performing live at Ahoy tonight. footage from their rehearsals on May 13) Daði (full name: Daði Freyr Pétursson) was born on June 30, 1992 in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland. Shortly after his birth, he moved to Denmark, only to return to Iceland, Ásahreppur, at the age of 9, where he spent his childhood. From an early age he has been involved in music, playing drums, piano and bass guitar. In 2012 he founded the band RetRoBot, with which he won Músíktilraunir, a national competition for emerging talent. The band disbanded in 2014, after which Daði left for Berlin, where he still lives, for musical training. In 2017 he founded Gagnamagnið (Meaning: Amount of Dates), together with his sister Sigrún Birna Pétursdóttir and his wife Árný Fjóla Ásmundsdóttir, and childhood friends Hulda Kristín Kolbrúnardóttir (backing vocalist), Stefán Hannóðursson (dancer), and Jóðóðursson (dancer), and Jóðursson . Árný and Daði have 1 daughter together, Áróra Björg, and are expecting their second child at the end of 2021. In 2017 they participate with Söngvakeppn in the Icelandic preselection for the Eurovision Song Contest, and become 2nd. They were already performing in what would become their trademark; the signature green sweaters, on which an avatar of themselves is printed, inspired by Daði’s greatest hobby; Lego.   In 2020 they will give it another try and they win.  The 2020 Eurovision Song Contest was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but Iceland was declared the unofficial winner of the festival. In October 2020, Icelandic public broadcaster Ríkisútvarpið, confirmed  that Daði & Gagnamagnið was chosen internally to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest 2021, in which they will participate with the song “Ten Years”. Anyone who thinks that tonight’s act is a gathering of accidentally awkward dance steps will be disappointed. Nothing at all has been left to chance. Everything, but everything is thought out, practiced and executed in detail. The costumes were devised and made by themselves, including the rings, which were designed by sister Sigrún (student goldsmith). They are also high in the polls this year. They will certainly make it to the final. Despite the dire circumstances, we wish Daði & Gagnamagnið a lot of success.   In Cooperation with Eurovision Artists Photo-Video Credits: EBU  

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