Eurovision 2021: A guide in what to expect from every act and how to watch on the night

Oh yes, it is that time of year again.

Friday, 21st May 2021, 3:38 pm

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Eurovision is back and it is back with a vengeance in possibly one of the most open competitions in recent memory.

The competition returns after a one year absence due to Covid-19.

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And by god do we not all need a bit of colour and joy back in our lives after what has felt like a really dark time.

So get the glitter and European flags out cause it is time to party this Saturday in a celebration of song amongst the European community and our extended family.

Viewers can of course expect to watch Eurovision live on BBC One with host Graham Norton delivering his witty quips at the expense of the talented competitors and hosts.

The show will start at 8pm and will run until 11:45 - so if you are a Hibee or a Saint celebrating then make sure you have the pizza ordered for a much needed refuel after the Scottish Cup Final.

ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - MAY 21: Go_A of Ukraine during the 65th Eurovision Song Contest dress rehearsal held at Rotterdam Ahoy on May 21, 2021 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

But to ensure that you are all clued up we have produced a little guide for each act that will perform on the night...I know you are welcome.

The order runs in the order that they will appear and I warn you that it is a more tongue in cheek review of each act.

If you would like to vote or cheer for your favourite act then you can do so by downloading the Eurovision 2021 app.

A hyperlink to each nation's song will be included in the title so have a click if you want a sneak peak. There will be some historic nuggets dotted about so have fun, enjoy yourself and stay safe.

ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - MAY 21: Senhit Zadik Zadik 'Senhit' of San Marino during the 65th Eurovision Song Contest dress rehearsal held at Rotterdam Ahoy on May 21, 2021 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

First Half:

Albania - Anxhela Peristeri - Karma: Powerful song. I like how it stays true to itself with the Albanian influenced music. I worry that it might get lost amongst the big hitters though. It happened to Estonia a couple of years ago when an amazing performance was just not given the weight it deserved.

Belgium - Hooverphonic - The Wrong Place: One for all the Indie lovers out there. The oldest band at the contest but with a pretty underwhelming track for Eurovision and I reckon it struggles to stand out. It is actually a good song but just not enough pageantry to go back to Belgium with the W.

Cyprus - Elena Tsagrinou - El Diablo: It is always a winner when a song hits the headlines but will the fact it has been accused of devil worshipping hurt them. Elena is expected to do well so watch this space but maybe make sure the bairns are in their kip come performance time; it is a homage to scantily clad pop.

Greece - Stefania - Last Dance: Stefania is an 18 year old with a really good song but I reckon it just falls short of having enough to really challenge. Donning a glam purple jumpsuit - she looks and sounds fabulous. The performance is really inventive and creative, definitely an enjoyable entry.

Iceland - Daði og Gagnamagnið - 10 years: Got to feel for this close knit band made up of family and friends. They were an absolute shoe-in to win last year but Covid said “uh uh uh not so fast, you are going to have to wait a year.” They’ve come back with another really fun song and if it lands with audiences will be a real contender. There's a proper alternative vibe emanating from them with their personalised knitted jumpers. Unfortunately Covid has come back for seconds and some of the band members have tested positive. I just hope they get a good go at it, they deserve it.

Israel - Edene Alene - Set Me Free: She certainly left her mark on Eurovision by singing the highest ever recorded note in the history of the competition during the semi-finals. The song is ok and it is entertaining enough but I do not think it will come close to the bonkers performance that sealed the win for Israel in 2018.

Malta - Destiny - Je me casse: Big, big favourite with the bookmakers and fans alike. Former winner of the junior Eurovision competition; this is a celebration of female empowerment. It’s fabulous, exciting and has a good pace throughout. Watch out for this one. Real potential for a winner.

Portugal - The Black Mamba - Love is on my side: Soulful and original performance which sort of throws you. Another one where it is really good but does it quite fit the mould of a Eurovision winner? Who knows, maybe they’ll get Europe’s backing for bringing us Nando’s and opening up the resorts this Summer.

Russia - Manizha - Russian Woman: Completely bonkers. Madness. Chaos. And quite possibly one of the best performances you will see on the night. She has sass, attitude, humour and an abundance of talent. Unfortunately I can’t see them winning it.

Serbia - Hurricane - Loco Loco: Bit of a Z list Little Mix. Wee toe tapper I’ll give them that although this is not just a competition...this is EUROVISON! I’d keep your money in your wallet when it comes to Serbia.

Spain - Blas Canto - Voy a Quederme: If you like Jimmy Neutron singing a lovely melody in Spanish then this is for you. But if this gets even close to the top ten then we really have lost the plot as a species and Elon Musk is a genius for exploring the possibility of Mars. Obviously a talented musician or he wouldn’t be involved but this is Eurovision - they should’ve brought this guy back.

Switzerland - Gjon’s Tears - Tout l’Univers: Personally for me this is one of the best entries and a major improvement on some of their former entries. If you have time then I’d also check out their video - he’s just floating about space in a Tesla living his best life. A fans favourite and the only thing that can stop him is if his flailing around somehow ends with the mic on the floor.

UK: James Newman: Embers: To be fair to Jamesy boy it is certainly not Scooch. You will have probably heard it on the radio but not really taken much notice of it. At least the chorus is catchy and I think he will save us from nil points. Seems a cool guy but even he cannot save the UK’s reputation after Brexit. Certainly not after Boris sent in the Navy to deal with the French fisherman.

Second Half:

Azerbaijan - Efendi - Mata Hari: Meh. It doesn’t really leave a lasting impact and is just a bit dull. Like yes Azerbaijan you look amazing and the tune is a passionate call for female empowerment but it is just a bit underwhelming. You'll find yourself checking Facebook during the performance.

Bulgaria - Victoria - Growing up is getting old: Billie Eilish inspired number here and it is very, very good. Seems like one of the best songs in the competition but is it a Eurovision winner? I just don’t think so. The stage set up is outside of the box and is done really well. If Bulgaria walks home without the win then it is not due to a lack of talent.

Finland - Blind Channel - Dark side: Oh Finland, the Eurovision gift that keeps on giving. I just love how they stay true to their roots with entering rock and heavy metal bands. It's not as good as their winner back in 2006 but this rock pop blend belongs in Eurovision. The Fins are just good fun aren’t they?

France - Barbara Pravi - Voila: Real melodic tune and one that would be a stick on to win if the competition wasn’t so tight this year. It is really fancied and should be one that is up there come the end of the night. Her emotion in the performance can be contagious and spine tingling. Never rule out the French.

Germany - Jendrick - I don’t feel hate: If you are bursting on the loo and you hear Germany is up next then take your cue. It is cheesy but in all of the wrong ways, definitely a touch of the German Jedward about this bloke but at least he looks like he is enjoying himself. At least someone will be whilst he is performing.

Italy - Måneskin - Zitti e buoni: A curveball if there ever was one. A really good rock tune that just sounds even better because it is in Italian. The band is young, sexy and badass. On a night where a lot of songs might be confused with others this track stands alone. That could be a real decider. Smart bet and the bookies favourite for a reason.

Lithuania - The Roop - Discoteque: Everything about this band is Eurovision and Lithuania have form for wacky. The Roop has an outside chance of winning but the fact their tune is all fun, it may fall short on substance come the judges. Keep an eye out for the background dancers and some crazy Vulcan hand signals - both are immense and make you happy that people like The Roop exist.

Moldova - Natalia Gordienko - Sugar: A raunchy toe tapper that is just a bit of fun. Not a serious contender and lacks the saxophone but a filler that will take you seamlessly between the big dogs. There isn’t much going on but Natalia just looks like she is absolutely loving life and there is a lot to be said for that after a year of being cooped up in the house.

Norway - Tix - Fallen Angel: If Will Ferrell’s character from The Story of Fire Saga made love to the band members of East 17 then this would be the outcome. It is everything you love and hate about the competition which makes the act a bit of a wild card. The performer is a top bloke though and is an ambassador for mental health organisations as he suffers from Tourette’s. The song is a homage to that actually. Just sit back and enjoy the Euro madness.

San Marino - Senhit ft Flo Rida - Adrenalina: Is there a rule where if you can bring Flo Rida to the dance then you automatically get the win? I mean if there isn’t then we should revisit it. A tune you’d find yourself dancing to in Ayia Napa or Magaluf on your sixth year holiday and there is nothing wrong with revisiting that nostalgia here. They have a real chance. By the way did I mention they have Flo Rida?

Sweden - Tusse - Voices: Real inspiring story behind this one. A refugee from the DR Congo who settled in Sweden at the age of 13 by himself. It's not a winner for me but you can never underestimate the Swedes at the Eurovision, they are like Barca in the Champions League, just can’t rule them out.

Ukraine - Go_A - Shum: This is an absolute banger and proper Ukrainian chaos. Hands down the dark horse of the competition. The lead singer learned an ancient Ukrainian open throat singing technique off of her grandma, absolute kudos to granny passing on that knowledge, she has done a great deed to the world. If you have a spare minute check out the music video for this song. Proper dystopian Mad Max meets Chernobyl stuff.

Netherlands - Jeangu Macrooy - Birth of a New Age: The hosts got automatic qualification this year and if you ask me it is a good job. A lot of people really like this song and I get that the message behind it is a strong one but it is just a bit forgetful. Plus the double is so rare. They will get a lot of air time for being the hosts but remember this guy didn’t win it, he’s just hanging off the coattails of 2019’s winner.

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