The Eurovision Song Contest is a dazzling blizzard of performances so weird, wonderful and sometimes downright terrible that you can’t help but be anything other than hooked. Follow our guide below as we explain everything you need to know about the 2021 Eurovison Song Contest – from how to watch an online live stream, this year’s Eurovision date, time, venue and favourites.
And after last year’s show was cancelled due to Covid-19, anticipation is at fever pitch. Eurovision proceedings are always sweeter and saltier than any item you’d dare to cram onto your jumbled snack platter of pan-European delicacies, but with international relations at a real low, this could turn out to be one of the cattiest shows ever. Nul points all round!
Duncan Laurence led the Netherlands to victory two years ago with his spine-tingling hit “Arcade”, and Rotterdam has been selected as the host city for 2021, with Dutch singing/presenting trio Chantal Janzen, Edsilia Rombley and Jan Smit on hosting duties, alongside vlogger Nikkie de Jager.
While the Netherlands and five other Eurovision stalwarts (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK) are already guaranteed a place in the final, the rest have to battle things out in two gut-wrenching semi-finals on Tuesday and Thursday (May 18 and 20).
But read on as we explain how to watch Eurovision 2021 final action online so that you can live stream the Eurovision Song Contest from anywhere.
How to watch a FREE Eurovision 2021 live stream in the UK
As ever, the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest is being shown on the BBC in the UK, which means you don’t need to pay a penny to tune in.
Coverage of the 2021 Eurovision Final starts at 8pm BST on Saturday on BBC One, and Graham Norton will be on hand throughout to deliver the wisecracks.
Don’t have a TV? With BBC iPlayer you can live-stream Eurovision 2021, or enjoy it a few hours later on-demand. It’s a completely FREE service – however, you should be a possession of a valid UK TV license, as these now cover digital content consumption, too.
Not in the UK right now? Just use a VPN to alter your IP address so you can stream your favourite TV shows and films online just like you would at home – only from anywhere.
How to watch a Eurovision 2021 live stream from outside your country
Eurovision has become something of a global phenomenon, and there are ways to watch around the world as well as in Europe – some of those are discussed below.
Plus, two years ago, the grand final was also be available to watch via the Eurovision YouTube channel. This means easy access through any device that you can get at YouTube with. The downside? You’ll miss out on the commentary (or perhaps that’s a positive if you’re hosting a Eurovision party and really like the limelight).
But if you try to watch your domestic coverage from somewhere outside your home country, you’ll soon find a problem – geo-blocking. That’s where the broadcaster prevents you from watching your usual feed from abroad. It’s a common problem for streamers all over the world, but there’s a handy solution in the form of a VPN.
Use a VPN to watch a 2021 Eurovision live stream from anywhere
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Once you’ve chosen and installed your VPN of choice, simply open the service’s corresponding app, hit ‘choose location’, select the appropriate country and you’ll be able to watch the broadcast as if you were back at home.
How to watch Eurovision 2021: live stream in Australia for FREE
Nowhere embraces the Eurovision Song Contest quite like Australia, and fans Down Under can tune in to Eurovision 2021 for FREE thanks to SBS and its SBS On Demand streaming service.
Better still, you have the option to tune in live, from 5am AEST in the early hours of Sunday morning, or at the more comfortable time of 7.30pm in the evening.
Whichever you choose, you’ll have Myf Warhurst and Joel Creasey to guide you through the weirdness every step of the way.
Don’t worry if you’re out of the country and want to catch that SBS broadcast – just grab a VPN and you can watch Eurovision 2021 as if you were back at home on your laptop, mobile or other TV streaming device.
Watching the Eurovision Song Contest in New Zealand
Unfortunately, there’s no longer a regular Eurovision broadcaster in New Zealand, so your best bet could be to use a VPN to tap into another country’s coverage.
If you do fancy going down that route, note that the action starts at 7am NZST on Sunday morning.
Is there a Eurovision live stream in the US?
Sadly, the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest isn’t being shown on TV in the US, which means the only way to tune in is to use a VPN to try to access the Eurovision 2021 coverage from another country.
Just bear in mind that the finals show gets underway at 3pm ET / 12pm PT on Saturday afternoon, US time.
How to watch Eurovision 2021: live stream in Canada
If you’re in Canada, you can watch Eurovision 2021 on OMNI Television, a specialist multicultural station that’s perfect for the Song Contest.
While OMNI has confirmed that it’s showing both semi-finals live, the broadcaster hasn’t yet revealed its exact plans for the final, which starts at 3pm ET / 12pm PT on Saturday.
And remember, with the help of a a good VPN, Canadians can watch their favorite streaming service wherever they are in the world.
Who are the Eurovision 2021 favorites? Who will win Eurovision this year?
18-year-old Destiny, representing Malta, has been the name on most avid Eurovision fans’ lips over the past couple of months. Her song, “Je Me Casse”, is bouncy, sassy, empowering – everything you’d want from a successful entry.
Barbara Pravi’s “Voila” for France is pure silk, sounding like something from a much more romantic era. The only potentially pitfall being that it’s sung entirely in Barbara’s native tongue, something that doesn’t always go down too well at Eurovision.
That said, the points are expected to pour in for Switzerland’s entry, “Tout l’Univers”, another hauntingly gentle French-language song from Gjon’s Tears.
How does the Eurovision voting system work?
Eurovision’s rather confusing voting system has been around since 1975 but was finally overhauled in 2016. Now public votes make up 50% of the total vote, with the other half determined by a professional jury in each participating country.
Once voting is closed a national spokesperson from each country presents the points of their jury.
How do I vote for Eurovision 2021?
Voting methods can vary by country, but the easiest way to have your say is by using the Eurovision app, which is free to download and widely available no matter what device you use.
Just bear in mind that you can only cast your vote when the voting window opens after the final song has been performed – the window will close 15 minutes later.
And for obvious reasons, you can’t vote for your own country.
Eurovision revisited: What are our five fave acts from the past?
The obvious one has got to be Sweden’s ABBA with – you guessed it “Waterloo”.
Then Finnish Lordi for the brilliantly named “Hard Rock Hallelujah”. Portugal’s “Amar Pelos Dois” by Salvador Sobral could be one of the best winners in the last two decades. Italy’s Gigliola Cinquetti song “Non Ho L’età” is unforgettable and very moving.
And how could we not mention Bucks Fizz’s effervescent performance of “Making Your Mind Up” in 1981?
Who is the most eccentric entry for Eurovision 2021?
Family affair Daði og Gagnamagnið of Iceland’s 2020 entry, “Think About Things”, sadly wasn’t to be, but it became a viral hit off its own back.
And the music video for their 2021 entry, “10 Years”, is quite something, blending elements of old Japanese monster movies, the Power Rangers and Paw Patrol – with keytars.
We’d love to see them bring some of that magic to the stage.
Ukrainian entry “SHUM”, from Go_A, looks like another extraordinary audiovisual spectacle, which we can’t wait to watch live.