Sergey Lavrov: “The EBU decision on Belarus was disgusting and pure censorship”!

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov criticized the Eurovision Song Contest and EBU’s decision for banning the Belarusian entry from the upcoming contest in Rotterdam.

Organizers of the contest disqualified Belarus from the contest last week after deeming their songs too political.

Speaking in Thursday’s televised comments, Lavrov called the decision “disgusting” and “pure censorship”.

The decision to ban Belarus from the Eurovision Song Contest was really disgusting. An act of clear censorship!

Sergey Lavrov

The first song submitted to the contest called “I’ll teach you” allegedly mocked protesters who disputed the results of the Presidential elections last summer.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said the country would submit another song, but the organizers said the replacement was also breaching the rules and that Belarus would be disqualified.

Armenia’s withdrawal due to the Nagorno-Karabakh war and the blockade of Belarus reduced the number of countries participating in this year’s competition from 41 to 39, while proving beyond doubt that those who believe that politics has nothing to do with the contest, are watching something different.

Listen to the song that would represent Belarus at Eurovision 2021 below:

Do you agree with Sergey Lavrov or do you consider the exclusion of Belarus fair?

Source: Associated Press

Eurovision 2021: No COVID-19 infection was detected in the first mass event tests in the Netherlands!

Pilot mass tests in the Netherlands began a few weeks ago, of course under strict health protocols and safety measures. In this first test that involved a theatrical performance, with 500 spectators present, as announced today, there was no case of COVID-19 detected.

The news was happily published on social media by the executive producer of this year’s Eurovision song contest, Sietse Bakker. Of course, as he says, this means absolutely nothing, but it is a first optimistic step for the whole field of mass events and of course Eurovision 2021 itself.

The Dutch Ministry of Health, since last year, had announced the holding of a series of pilot mass events, in order to investigate whether there is a spread of coronavirus in these events, when they take place under specific safety measures of the attendees.

The first pilot test took place in a theatrical performance, which was attended by 500 spectators. Of course as you will see in the photos that follow, everyone wore masks etc.

Of course, as Sietse Bakker rightly states in his post, although the above is a very positive development, it is the first step for holding mass events during the pandemic, and of course this also concerns the Eurovision song contest.

The Dutch will continue the pilot events until mid-March and any conclusions will be used and evaluated, in the decision of the government and the organizers, in the presence or absence of the public in May, at the Ahoy Arena.

The Test Schedule:

February 28: football match (1500 spectators)
March 6: dance event at Ziggo Dome (1300 attendees)
March 7: concert at the Ziggo Dome (1300 spectators)
March 13: dance festival (1500 attendees)
March 14: pop festival (1500 attendees)

In early March, the EBU and the Dutch organizers will announce the scenario according to which the 65th Eurovision Song Contest will be held. In other words, we will know if the artists will compete live on stage or through the recorded live on tape videos. Any decisions regarding the presence of the public will be taken later, specifically until April 15.

The course of the pandemic in the Netherlands, but also the latest news from these pilot trials at mass events, leave many smiles of optimism, for a contest, which at least in terms of artists, it will be with them competing and singing on stage and not through videos.

Stay tuned to Eurovisionfun for all the news related to the Eurovision 2021 song contest!

Malta: Cover the expenses of four countries in order to participate in Junior Eurovision 2016 in Valletta!

Former Maltese Public Television (PBS) CEO John Bundy revealed in a recent interview that for Junior Eurovision 2016, PBS covered the costs of four countries to enter the competition, which was held that year in Valletta.

Specifically, Mr. Bundy stated that PBS paid 24,000 Euros, for the costs of participation of four countries in Junior Eurovision 2016. In fact, the initial agreement that PBS had signed with the EBU was for six countries, but finally after negotiation the second accepted reduce these countries from six to four.

The countries that participated in Junior Eurovision 2016 were:

Ireland
Armenia
Albania
Russia
Malta
Bulgaria
FYROM
Poland
Belarus
Ukraine
Italy
Serbia
Israel
Australia
Cyprus
Netherlands
Georgia

The former CEO of Maltese Public Television did not reveal which four countries they were. The 14th Eurovision Children’s Song Contest took place on November 20, at the Mediterranean Conference Center.

For the story at Junior Eurovision 2016, the winner was Georgia, with Mariam Mamadasvhili with Mzeo:

Source: Timesofmalta

 

Eurovision 2021: Sietse Bakker “reveals” how the contest will be held | Will there be any audience?

A literally last minute news. In a recent TV interview in the Netherlands, the executive producer of Eurovision 2021, Sietse Bakker, essentially reveals how the contest will take place.

According to Sietse Bakker, the primary concern of the organizers is to bring all the artists and delegations to Rotterdam in May.

Our priority is to bring all artists and expeditions to the Netherlands. If there is no other option, then the contest should be held without an audience.

Sietse Bakker, however, did not rule out the possibility of seeing the audience on the stands of the Ahoy Arena, he simply shifted the decisions for the presence or not of the audience in the arena for April!

Let’s postpone the decisions for the audience for later. Until mid-April.

Once again, the executive producer of Eurovision 2021 stated that the announcement of the scenario based on which the 65th Eurovision Song Contest will take place, will take place by mid-February.

The above means that the worst case scenario currently being considered is C, with the live presence of all the artists who can travel to Rotterdam and the absence of the audience. Apparently we will be late to find out if we finally see the colorful mosaic of fans in May at the Ahoy Arena.

Stay tuned to Eurovisionfun for all the developments related to our favorite contest!

Eurovision 2021: Sietse Bakker gives answers for the live on tape videos, the vaccines and the scenario that will be chosen! (Video)

A really interesting interview was given by the executive producer of Eurovision 2021, Sietse Bakker, to Jan Bors and his YouTube channel, Humans of Eurovision.

For the cancellation of Eurovision 2020

Sietse Bakker said that the team that was preparing for the contest in 2020, was very sad and disappointed, after so much effort was lost. Of course it was something that in the last days before the cancellation more and more people expected, since all the big events were canceled.

The fact that no one in Europe initially paid much attention to the pandemic was the reason why they were not prepared at all for this scenario and so we were led to the cancellation of Eurovision 2020. Unlike last year, this year the team is working feverishly for each possible scenario, related to the evolution of the pandemic.

Which scenario will be chosen for Eurovision 2021?

Unfortunately Sietse Bakker is not yet able to answer this question. He said they would have to announce next month, the scenario they believe could be implemented in May, so essentially predicting the course of the pandemic by then. It is a very difficult thing, but it is in consultation with all the competent bodies, in order to make the right decision.

Scenario D is not the worst possible thing for Sietse Bakker, but to disappoint the fans of the competition and not have done everything in their power to have the best Eurovision, under these conditions.

Live on tape videos will offer a great variety in the contest

Jan Bors asked Sietse Bakker of course about the live on tape videos and if we would be able to watch them, even if in the end the contest is not based on scenario D.

The executive producer of the competition mentioned the differences that will exist in the process of live on tape videos, in relation to what was observed for Junior Eurovision.

The national broadcasters will be given more freedom to make their own scene, that is, not all scenes will be the same. Of course there will be some limits to this. Directing, each country will have the opportunity to present its own approach. According to Sietse Bakker, this will offer a great variety and even if these appearances need to compete, it will be of great interest to viewers.

It is a decision of the EBU whether these appearances will eventually be broadcast, in case we do not go to scenario D.

The vaccine will not be mandatory

Although he is a proponent of vaccination, Sietse Bakker is clear. This decision belongs to the politicians and they cannot make it. For their part, they will do everything possible to keep the artists alive in Rotterdam, many rapid tests and they will ask the delegations to stay as long as possible in the hotels, in order to reduce the possibility of one of them getting sick.

Will there finally be an audience at the Ahoy Arena?

The answer to this question will be given shortly before the competition, as no one is able to predict what the situation will be in the Netherlands in May. But Sietse Bakker promises in this regard, that both his own intention and that of the organizers is to have a Eurovision as “normal” as possible, if of course conditions allow.

Eurovision 2021: Indications for the B or C scenario from the statements of the Rotterdam hoteliers!

A spokesman for the Rotterdam hoteliers ‘association told the Dutch media that 3,000 hotel rooms in the city were being reserved by the countries’ missions, always in consultation with public television, as well as the EBU and organizers. This practically means that the scenario that will be announced in a few weeks and based on which Eurovision 2021 will take place, will be B or C.

The EBU announced four scenarios in early autumn for the 65th Eurovision Song Contest. Each of them includes different measures, depending on the epidemiological data, that will prevail during the period of the event. From a contest as we know it from previous years, which is scenario A, to a contest via live on tape videos, as Junior Eurovision 2020 was conducted and is scenario D, there are various restrictions and precautions that will allow the contest to return to our TV screens next May.

According to Roel Dusseldorp, a spokesman for the Rotterdam hoteliers, the city’s hotel units, in consultation with the organizers, have 3,000 rooms reserved for the needs of delegations and accredited journalists, a much smaller number than usual. In fact, Mr. Dusseldorp also states that there is a possibility to add additional rooms, in case the presence of the public in the stands of the Ahoy Arena will be allowed.

The above is a clear indication that the scenario that will eventually be chosen will be B or C. In both cases we have a contest with several precautions. Smaller delegations, much fewer journalists at the press center, etc.

So be patient until the beginning of February when we will know how this year’s Eurovision song contest will take place!

We remind you that Eurovision 2021 is scheduled for May 18-20-22.

Source: eurovoix

Eurovision 2021: In 4-5 weeks the announcement for the scenario according to which the contest will be held!

At the height of the second wave of the pandemic, the executive producer of Eurovision 2021, Sietse Bakker, reveals via Twitter that the decision on the scenario according to which the contest will be held next May, will be announced in 4 -5 weeks from now.

Both the EBU and the Dutch organizers are determined to hold the Eurovision Song Contest in 2021, which for the first time since 1956, did not take place last year. In September, the four possible scenarios were announced, according to which the contest will be held, depending of course on the course of the pandemic.

According to their latest reports in the Dutch press, what seems to be the most likely, is scenario C. In other words, all the contestants should appear live from the Ahoy Arena and there should be as little audience as possible, both in delegations, as well as in the press center. Of course, if in some countries travel restrictions apply, then they will compete through the live on tape video, which all broadcasters are required to deliver by the end of March. However, the intention of the organizers is that even if the presence of accredited journalists and the public is not allowed at all, there should be a live presence of the artists, a scenario that is between C and D.

By the beginning of February at the latest, according to what Sietse Bakker posted, we will know how this year’s Eurovision Song Contest will take place!

Which scenario do you think will eventually prevail?

Eurovision 2021: The prevailing scenario for the contest | Only vaccinated audience at the Ahoy Arena?

Many interesting things were said by the executive supervisor of the Eurovision song contest, Martin Österdahl, about the course of the preparation of the next contest, even under the special conditions imposed by the pandemic all over the world.

As of September, the EBU has announced four possible scenarios for Eurovision 2021. Four scenarios that depend on the course of the pandemic and the prevailing epidemiological data.

Most likely are B and C scenario

Martin Österdahl reveals that the most likely scenarios for the 65th Eurovision Song Contest are B and C. That is, a contest with social distancing, masks, rapid tests and fewer fans in the arena and journalists at the press center. Unfortunately, he is not able to rule out scenario D at this time, although he considers it less likely.

We can not predict with the crystal ball, the situation with the pandemic is difficult. What we can say at the moment is that scenario A, ie a regular Eurovision Song Contest, is not possible. However, Scenario B or C is more likely, ie a contest with more or less social distance and some artists may need to make use of the videotape. In the worst case, we will be forced to do the show as in Junior Eurovision, with all delegations competing with videotaped appearances.

The presence of the audience is uncertain

The presence of the fans on the stands of the Ahoy Arena should not be taken for granted. Martin Österdahl emphasizes that the presence of the audience will depend on the decisions of the Dutch government and the measures that will apply during the competition period.

The situation is dynamic and constantly changing. We are not entirely sure how things will be in May, but it seems that the space that will be available in the arena will be limited. Fans are very important for Eurovision, but let’s not forget that the contest is primarily a TV show. It is possible to make a show even without an audience and we will do it if necessary, but we would definitely like to have the audience inside.

Is vaccination mandatory for those in Ahoy?

Another topical issue is the mandatory vaccine, for those who wish to take part in such big events as Eurovision.

We are following developments regarding vaccines. There is no such thing in our regulations at the moment, but it is something we are seeing up close.

When will the final decisions be made?

As announced from the beginning, the final decisions on the scenario that will eventually be used in the conduct of Eurovision 2021 will be taken at the beginning of the year, most likely by February.

It seems that at the beginning of the new year, critical decisions will be made for our preparations.

How do you judge all the above? Which scenario do you think the EBU will follow in the run-up to Eurovision 2021?

Morocco: Normalizes diplomatic relations with Israel | First step to return to Eurovision?

Israel and Morocco are establishing diplomatic relations following a US-brokered deal last Thursday. Thus, Morocco becomes the fourth Arab country to normalize its relations with the “eternal enemy”, Israel.

After the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan, Morocco becomes the fourth Arab country to sign a peace agreement with Israel in recent months, something truly unprecedented in world history. However, apart from the great historical significance of this event, the way may be opened for Morocco to return to the Eurovision Song Contest.

Morocco is the only Arab country that has ever participated in the competition. In 1980, taking advantage of Israel’s absence, took part in that year’s Eurovision Song Contest. The representative of Morocco in the only participation of the country in the contest was the famous Moroccan singer Samira Said. Unfortunately, Bitaqat Hob, the song with which she participated, received only 7 points all from Italy and thus finished in 18th and penultimate place.

Without the problem of non-existent diplomatic relations with Israel, Morocco as a regular member of the EBU has the opportunity to take part in the contest. This problem of non-recognition of Israel by the entire Arab world led to Lebanon’s withdrawal from the 2004 contest after the country’s public broadcaster refused to broadcast Israel’s song, which was required by law since Lebanon did not recognizes Israel as a state entity.

Let us remember the unique participation of Morocco in the Eurovision Song Contest:

Would you like to see Morocco back to the Eurovision Song Contest?

EBU: “All the contestants sang live at Junior Eurovision 2020”!

There is no Eurovision Song Contest without drama, the same of course could not be the case at Junior Eurovision 2020. The 18th Junior Eurovision Song Contest had France as the winner, but there were many who claimed that in Valentina’s live on tape video, she sang playback. The same accusations were leveled against the videos of Belarus and Russia.

In fact, on the occasion of the accusations that literally closed the internet after the end of the contest, the head of the entertainment program of the Spanish public television (TVE), Toñi Prieto, formally asked the EBU, if indeed all the contestants in the live on tape videos, they performed their songs live.

EBU responded immediately to TVE, saying that as it was in the rules of this year’s contest, all participants in the live on tape videos, sang live, with the backing vocals playback. EBU emphasizes that there were also the necessary control and safety valves, to confirm the above.

The winner Valentina also referred to the issue, rejecting all the accusations:

We remind you that in Junior Eurovision 2020 the contestants had to videotape a live interpretation of their song, at an earlier time than the contest. These 12 live on tape videos competed on Sunday, as due to the pandemic, the live presence of the artists in Warsaw was impossible.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iIMGA0aUZE

Source: Eurofestivales