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Reporters in Rotterdam

1st semifinal overview

Of course we first see beautiful images of the Netherlands. The tiny house already plays a role. After Duncan Laurence has opened with a new song, the four presenters welcome you; three in a dark dress or suit, Chantal in yellow. Lithuania: Yellow suits no one; but there are exceptions. Just try doing with your fingers what the guys from The Roop do. They are dancing, but not alone. We are sure of a place in the final for the yellow men. Slovenia: “Amen”: this is not the last prayer you will hear. But Ana Soklic shows that she has a strong voice. She is a woman of the world: you can see that on the LED screens behind her. Unfortunately the final might be one bridge to far for her, we think. Russia: You cannot miss it: Mazinha is a Russian woman. If you think she is going to perform the same trick as Linda Wagenmakers did: keep looking, she is doing something different. Mazinha will definitely reach the final. Sweden: If you follow Melodifestivalen you will, as usual, see not much new things. But people who were concerned about Tusse’s voice can rest assured: there is nothing wrong with that. Tusse goes straight to the final. Australia: The story is known, Montaigne is not in Rotterdam. You don’t notice that. Her performance is in every way a lot stronger than anything we’ve seen of her before. However, we think it’ll be tough for Montaigne to reach the final. North Macedonia: Vasil comes with a ballad. And then half of the viewers say “wow, beautiful”, and the other half “boring”. But “Here I stand” suddenly means something completely different now that Vasil came out as gay in public two weeks ago. We are pretty sure that it’s not gonna help him to a place in the final. And then Nikkie de Jager comes to update us on everything that has happened online in recent weeks. Then Edsilia Rombley talks to us from the greenroom, after which the show continues. Ireland: Ireland does not use LED screens but cardboard. Two particularly handsome ladies serve all those pieces of cardboard in the Irish act. Yes, as a TV viewer you miss that part. She impresses by running the set, and empathizes with it so that it actually sounds like she is out of breath. It’s not impossible for Ireland to reach the final. It’ll be hard however. Cyprus: Elena Tsagrinou sings that she likes menthe wrong men. If you think she’s breaking the rules by having a lot more than six people on stage, no, she works with mirrors. For a moment it was rumored that Lady Gaga would perform at the Eurovision song contest: not, but Elena comes close with her song. Cyprus will go to the final, no doubt about it. Norway: Another bunch of demons, but now with an angel in the middle. But that one is a fallen angel. One with a special story, as you can read here. We do not know TIX personally, but he has stolen our hearts because of ihis openness. It will definitely bring him the final. Croatia: Croatia works with holograms. Or did you really think they cloned Albina? The song has everything to make it to the final, but then Albina has to sing it well. And we haven’t really heard her do that until now. Reaching the final will be tough, but not impossible. Belgium: You could expect it: Hooverphonic is not in for a puppet show and therefore puts down a more down to earth act. As a result, Geike Arnaert’s strong vocals come out all the better. Not making concessions could just result in something beautiful. One of the editors of Eurovision Universe has already promised to eat his shoe if Belgium does not make it to the final. We think that will very well be possible. Israel: We can only say that Eden Alene is doing her best. Yet “Set me free” is not an entry that stands out from the rest. Eden sings a very high note: great that she does that, but it is not necessarily beautiful. The final is probably very far away for Eden. And then we are going to look at Måns Zelmerlow, who will be interviewed by Chantal Janzen. Romania: And then Roxen suddenly wears something different than during all rehearsals: a red and white blouse with ruffles and ditto skirt. Roxen has certainly made progress in the past week, but beautiful singing is something else in our humble opinions. No final this year for Romania. Azerbaijan: The Azerbaijan delegation knows how to throw a party on stage. Fortunately, because let’s say it carefully: “Mata Hari” is not their strongest entry ever musically. Mata Hari means “eye of the day”, or simply sun. This can be seen in their act. See you in the final on saturday Azerbaijan. Ukraine: If you are wondering what a forest would look like after a nuclear disaster, Go_A will show you. There are outspoken fans of this entry, but also outspoken opponents. Whether you like it or not, Ukraine show us a great performance. Malta: With Destiny you don’t have to worry about her voice: it is always good. She now wears a silver-colored suit and ditto boots: she has changed that quite often in recent days. The song is still a swinging song. Malta jumps into the final without any doubt. Then we can enjoy Davina Michelle singing the song “The power of water”, supported by actress Thekla Reuten. In addition, images of waterland in the Netherlands are added. Don’t go to the toilet now, but keep watching, because it is spectacular! When the lines are closed and the votes are counted we will see the countries that are automatically placed for the final. Italy: You see a glam rock band, but that is not exactly what you hear. Rock it is. Opinions can be divided into “loud noise” and “great”. Something

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We saw the Australian entry!

So far we had not been able to admire an entire performance from Australia. The story is known: Montaigne could not leave the country to be present in Rotterdam itself. Therefore the live recording was used that each country has made just in case … Dark is the magic word in Montaigne’s performance. She wears black clothes and performs against a black background. The only thing that is brightly colored is Montaigne’s hair. Where there had been quite a few doubts about Montaigne’s vocal performance, she takes those doubts away completely.

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News about Poland, Iceland, Malta and Romania

Today, the EBU came up with a new statement about the four delegations that couldn’t attend the Turquoise Carpet Event yesterday. “Following the positive COVID-19 test in the Polish delegation on Saturday 15 May all other members of the delegation undertook a PCR test, in accordance with the health and safety protocol of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021, and we’re pleased to report that all these PCR tests returned negative results. As a precaution the Polish delegation will remain in quarantine until being retested ahead of dress rehearsals for Semi Final 2, in which Poland perform, on Wednesday. Following a positive COVID-19 test within the Icelandic delegation yesterday (Sunday 16 May), they too have had PCR tests for which we are awaiting the results today and will remain in quarantine. They will also have further testing ahead of the same dress rehearsals in which they are also due to perform. All accredited individuals, including artists, have to test negative for COVID-19 before they can re-join the production. The delegations from Malta and Romania have not tested positive for COVID-19 and are not quarantining but, due to the fact they are staying in the same hotel as Poland and Iceland, did not take part in the Turquoise Carpet event and were also PCR tested as a safety precaution.  Both these delegations will be welcomed to the arena today for rehearsals following negative results from the routine test this morning, as is normal procedure. Throughout the whole process, all decisions taken by the organizers of the Eurovision Song Contest are based on the expert medical advice of the event’s medical team and the Erasmus Medical Centre.” In cooperation with Eurovision Artists  

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Destiny and Roxen not attending Opening Ceremony

Due to another confirmed case of Covid19 in the same hotel where Destiny and Roxen are staying both delegations are forced to skip the Turquoise Carpet ceremony later today. Earlier Iceland and Poland where excluded from the ceremony, Poland and Iceland both because one of the delegation members tested positive on Covid19. The ceremony will continue but for the safety of all delegations, still attending the Carpet, will now be moved  individually. in cooperation with Eurovision Artists  

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Positive COVID19 test among Polish delegation

Today, the EBU came up with an announcement concerning the Polish delegation of the Eurovision Song Contest. “During a routine test upon arrival at the Eurovision Song Contest venue on Saturday 15 May, a member of the Polish delegation tested positive for COVID 19. They had last been at the venue on Thursday when the whole delegation were in possession of a negative COVID-19 test. In accordance with our health and safety protocol this person has now gone into isolation.As a precautionary measure in the run up to show week the other members of their delegation will now undergo a PCR test and go into quarantine. As a result of this, the Polish delegation will not attend the Turquoise Carpet event in person on Sunday16 May. We will have further updates in due course and send our best wishes to the whole delegation.The Eurovision Song Contest 2021 is taking place this year with the full support and assistance of the Dutch authorities.  Our primary objective is to produce a fully COVID 19 safe event, and the health and welfare of all those taking part, working at the event or in the audience is our most important priority. A range of strict measures, including isolation, social distancing and regular testing have been imposed on everyone on the advice of health professionals to ensure everyone’s safety.  We are deeply grateful for the support of the authorities in this, and to all the delegations, crew, venue staff and contractors for their willing co-operation to make sure the Contest can take place” It is not known whether the member of the Polish delegation is the singer Rafał or anyone else from the Polish delegation. Whoever it is, team Eurovision Universe wishes this person a good recovery. In cooperation with Eurovision Artists

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Live blog: press conferences may 15th

Also today, we will carefully follow the press conferences. New today is that, at the end of every press conference, the participant has to draw whether he or she will perform in the first or the second half of the final show. 14:37tBlas Cantó explains that he does not like to sing in the morning and is therefore happy that the Eurovision song contest takes place in the evening. Blas thinks being present at the Eurovision song contest is fantastic. He loves the people he has met. During the day he sleeps a lot, because he has to be ready to take the stage. He will also go to sleep after this press conference. Cantó indicates that he does not have too high expectations because he wants to be surprised. It is difficult for him to control the emotions in the song. Sometimes he feels he must be a machine, when he thinks about the words he sings he gets too emotional. About the 6 meter high moon on stage, the delegation leader says it is there because everything in the performance revolves around Blas. There is a conversation between Blas and someone he has lost. The moon symbolizes the course of life. When asked, Blas Cantó says he would have no idea what to do instead of sing; he has always sung, that is his life. Spain performs in the 1st half of the final. 14.10 British contestant James Newman sat in an ice bath in the hotel, as did Wim Hof in the clip of James’ last year. James’ brother John is a huge fan of his. He is afraid that James is the better singer. James will collaborate with Spanish participant Blas Cantó in the near future. Newman wants to party to his song. At the moment James is recording a new single, in his hotel room! An album will also be released at the end of the year. The United Kingdom will play in the 1st half of the final.  13.46 Barbara Pravi, the French singer, is feeling great. The little things that still needed to be changed were now going well. When asked by a Serbian journalist (Barbara has a Serbian grandfather), she answers that she wants to go to Serbia with her grandfather and wants to make the trip he used to make. Barbara Pravi, the No. 1 bookmaker, doesn’t feel like pressure. All she will have to do is sing and perform. For the rest, it is in the hands of the public. Barbara is proud because she is young, the words she sings are the words of a 28-year-old woman. The music may be geared more towards older listeners, but the song is aimed at everyone. She hopes that winning the Eurovision song contest will not change her. France performs in the second half of the final.  13.26 Jeangu Macrooy indicates that he was now a bit more used to the stage. Jeangu explains that the small change in clothes has to do with the proverb, “I’m half a cent, so you can’t break me.” He has a chain with a silver half penny around his neck. It’s nice to see our dreams come true. So it is very inspiring to be there with my brother. He wants to say about himself as a queer that he hopes that one day he can convey that there is such a thing as acceptance and emancipation of who you are. What you see is inspired by the Chinese culture, and that of the Creole culture. Jeangu reveals that all the voices on the band are also sung by his two backing vocals. Jeangu is looking forward to a performance with an audience. Performing with restrictions is no problem for him, because everyone is used to that now.  12:56 Today Jendrik is not very happy with himself. He thought he didn’t seem very natural today. He was too focused on camera exposure sites. Alexandra Wolfslast, delegation leader, was however satisfied. Jendrik reacted somewhat angrily when asked to play the ukulele because he was not prepared for it. Yet he sang a sweet tribute to presenter Samya. Jendrik had the idea of a clip and therefore got 18 broken washing machines. He didn’t buy them but managed to get them for free via ebay. Jendrik is not very careful with his ukulele, but it has never fallen. He does have a spare one. There is only one way of preparation for his energetic performance: practice, practice, practice. Germany performs in the second half of the final.  12.33 The Italian band Måneskin says that they are happy that the Dutch director exactly fulfills the wishes of the Italian team. The message of the song is “Be yourself, express yourself despite negative reactions”. The band wanted to go to San Remo with this song because it is atypical for the festival. At first they didn’t think of Eurovision, but once they entered they hoped they would win. Having many followers on social media will not help because they are mainly Italians. However, they feel very supported by the followers. The choice for the act is not to use graphics. The band is the message. Italy performs in the 2nd half of the final. 

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Live Blog. 2nd Rehearsals The big 5 & The Netherlands

Today we follow the second rehearsals of the big 5 and the Netherlands in Ahoy Rotterdam. We keep you live updated. In Cooperation with Eurovision Artists. Photo & Videocredits: EBU 12.35 – Spain The last in the league today is Spain. He starts acapella again, which sounds promising. Unfortunately the song ripples on a bit after that, and Blas Cantó is unable to convince. The vocals are not very good either, especially when the singing is  more powerful.The expression last but not least does not apply in this case. Spain rank 37th in the polls, which does not bode well for the final ranking.   12.10 – United Kingdom In the same setting, James Newman puts on a similar rehearsal as in the first. The song is cheerful and dynamic, James is full of enthusiasm, and yet it all comes across as a bit artificial. Vocally, it is often just on, just over the edge. With a 22nd place in the polls, it will be quite a job for James to finish in the left row.   11.45 – France Barbara Pravi also puts on a fantastic rehearsal today, in the same setting as during the 1st rehearsal. A small point of attention is her tank top, which fell off during the first run. It would be a shame if a nipplegate were created around Barbara which will get a lot of attention, instead of focusing on the act and vocals that are powerful and beautiful in all its simplicity. A high quotation and perhaps winning the festival is absolutely possible for Barbara.   11.20 – The Netherlands Today Jeangu Macrooy also puts on a great rehearsal. The act is dynamic and well thought out. The maximum is achieved. Singing and dancing are rock solid. With a 31st place in the polls, it is hoped that professional jury and televoters will be able to show a little more appreciation for the Dutch entry after seeing the live performance. 10.55 – Germany Jendrik puts on a great rehearsal again. He bounces and runs across the stage, occasionally making him a little breathless. It is a cheerful, fun act, which he ends in Dutch : “Tot Snel”. The question is how the professional jury will rate this. The Televoters will certainly appreciate it. With a 29th place in the polls, it seems almost impossible for Germany to end up in the left row.   10.30 – Italy The setting is the same as during the first rehearsal. The outfits are different. The lady and gentlemen from Måneskin are dressed in dark red today. Singer Damiano David again bare-chested, except for suspenders. Just like during the first rehearsal, they rock their way through the 3 minutes. With a 2nd place in the polls, a big top 10, possibly even 5, is certainly possible.    

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Music First…Always!

Next week after 45 long, long years the Eurovision will finally be back in The Netherlands. Last week several rehearsals already took place in Ahoy Rotterdam. Tomorrow the official opening will be held in the Rotterdam Cruise Terminal and on Tuesday and Thursday the semi finals will take place. After those 2 nights we know which 24 countries take part on Saturday nights final and one of those will be the next winner. 45 long years with some high rankings for The Netherlands (4th in 1998 and 2nd in 2014) but many  more disasters with not even qualifying for the finals. It was in 1957 when our small country won for the first time, 2 years later we di dit again. 10 years later we where one of the 4 countries who won and in 1976 it was Teach Inn. Then of course 2 years ago it was Duncan Laurence who won with the beautifull song Arcade. After Hilversum, Amsterdam and twice The Hague the Eurovision Songcontest will be broadcasted from Rotterdam. It is the 2nd biggest city in The Netherlands with one of the largest harbours in the world. Place to be these weeks is Ahoy, one of the biggest venues in the country and originally opened as sportspalace. Due to the Corona virus only 3500 visitors are welcome to visit the shows. Did you know that it was The Netherlands who sang the first song ever on the Eurovision in 1956? The Netherlands was also the first country to send someone with Asian roots to the contest (Anneke Grönloh in 1964 and they also send the first black contestant (Milly Scott in 1966). This year they will also have a scoop; Jeangu will be the first one who bring the Surinamese language to the contest. We can’t wait to know who will be the winner of the 65th Eurovision Songcontest. Stay tuned for all the news we bring to you. Chantal, Edsilia, Nikki and Jan: Take it away……..

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TIX meets youngsters with Gilles de la Tourette

It is quite common that participants in the Eurovision Song Contest do something else than rehearse in the two weeks that they are present at the Eurovision Song Contest. However, this is not possible this year due to COVID19. TIX, the Norwegian singer, found a solution for that. A number of young people who, like him, have Gilles de la Tourette, had gathered in the Norwegian embassy. They made contact with their famous companion through a video connection. It felt special for TIX. “I see tics in some of you!” He exclaimed, “That’s so weird to see”. TIX visibly felt at ease. The fact that you are different makes you special, the singer stated. TIX does not think he would ever have become a singer without Tourette. Not that he wouldn’t want to, but he might not have the persistence to do so. He fought for acceptance. TIX reports that he has become very creative because of Tourette. He sees opportunities where others mainly see challenges and problems. He says he was always exhausted after school. It was moving when he spoke of a conversation he had with his mother, in which he expressed that he never thought he could ever have a girlfriend or a wife who would want to have children with him. Yet people turn out to be nicer than you might think. School is one big popularity contest. But after school it turns out that when you are nice to people, they are nice to you too. TIX’ Tourette started with coughing while he did not have a cold. When it turned out that it was Tourette, his parents did everything to learn as much as possible about Tourette. It is very difficult to understand your 6-year-old child who does not have the words to explain what is bothering him. TIX’s parents had many conversations with teachers. TIX talks extensively about school, about how some teachers did not understand him but there were always teachers who stood up for him. At the end of the conversation, TIX asks the students if they got anything positive from their Tourette. With this question he made people think in a positive way. in cooperation with Eurovision Artists

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