The Eurovision Song Contest 2021 is about to conclude, with the multinational competition returning after a year's hiatus due to the pandemic. Hosting this year is Rotterdam, the Netherlands, which was slated to host Eurovision 2020 before its cancellation.
The first semifinal was broadcast on Tuesday, followed by the second semifinal Thursday. The highest-scoring entries from the two semifinals, along with the Big Five -- Germany, France, the UK, Italy and Spain, which bankroll the competition -- and the previous winner, the Netherlands, will compete in the grand final on Saturday.
This year, most of the entries will be performing live on stage in Rotterdam, but others like Australia and Iceland are using a "live on tape" recording due to continued travel restrictions stemming from the pandemic.
What is Eurovision and how does it work?
An international version of singing competitions like American Idol and The Voice, Eurovision sees participating nations from the European continent (as well as a few outliers like Australia) hold national competitions to select a singer and song to represent their nation. Countries then compete against each other live on the Eurovision stage. In total, 39 countries are participating in Eurovision 2021.
Citizens in participating nations can vote on the winner -- although you can't vote for your own country -- and a national jury selected by each country accounts for half the vote.
More than 200 million people watched the competition in 2016, with the live performances, eclectic costumes, wild props and backup dancers spurring a Netflix original movie last year called Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga.
Eurovision has been going since 1956 and helped launch the careers of international stars like Abba and Celine Dion. Last year was the first time the contestin its 65-year history.
The Eurovision Song Contest last week also announced that it will be launching the "American Song Contest," with all 50 states, Washington, DC, and the five US territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands and US Virgin Islands invited to compete. The American Song Contest will consist of several qualifiers before the semi-finals and grand final. It will be produced by Universal and Propagate, and helmed by the executive producer of The Voice.
How to watch Eurovision 2021 in the US
US times are as follows:
- Semi-Final 1: Tuesday, May 18, 3 p.m. ET, noon PT
- Semi-Final 2: Thursday, May 20, 3 p.m. ET, noon PT
- Grand-Final: Saturday, May 22, 3 p.m. ET, noon PT
A last-minute deal between Eurovision and Peacock has resulted in a new way to watch this event. As long as you have a Peacock subscription, you're in. This works on the free Peacock tier, so no subscription fee is necessary.
Swedish streaming service SVT Play will be streaming the event for anyone to watch in your web browser. All you need to go is click and watch, assuming the service is not overwhelmed by a sudden global audience.
If you'd prefer to watch another international feed, note that many are geographically restricted to their host country. You can opt for aand access the show from abroad (see UK and Australia options, below). See our list of , including , and . They offer limited free trials, but are otherwise paid services.
How to watch Eurovision 2021 in the UK
BBC One will air the Grand Final on Saturday night, while you can find the Semi-Finals on BBC Four.
- Semi-Final 1: Tuesday, May 18, 8 p.m. BST
- Semi-Final 2: Thursday, May 20, 8 p.m. BST
- Grand Final: Saturday, May 22, 8 p.m. BST
Graham Norton will be resuming his Eurovision commentating gig for the final, but the semifinals will be hosted by Rylan Clark-Neal, Scott Mills and Chelcee Grimes.
The UK will be represented by James Newman.
How to watch Eurovision 2021 in Australia
SBS will be airing the live Eurovision broadcast on all three days, as well as replaying each final at a more Australia-friendly time.
- Live: Wednesday, May 19, 5 a.m. AEST
- Replay: Friday, May 21, 8:30 p.m. AEST
- Live: Friday, May 21, 5 a.m. AEST
- Replay: Saturday, May 22, 8:30 p.m. AEST
- Live: Sunday, May 23, 5 a.m. AEST
- Replay: Sunday, May 23, 7:30 p.m. AEST
If you get up to watch the 5 a.m. broadcasts, you'll be able to vote in the results. Myf Warhurst and Joel Creasey will be commentating the competition again for SBS.
Australia will be represented by singer-songwriter Montaigne, who was slated to perform for Australia in Eurovision 2020.
Update, 4:47 p.m.: Adds SVT viewing option in the US.
Update, May 14: Adds news on American Song Contest.
Update, May 18: Adds Peacock news.