Eurovision 2021 Semi-final 1
Photo: Andres Putting / Thomas Hanses / EBU

Tonight: Semi-final 1 of Eurovision Song Contest 2021

Tonight the first 16 songs will compete in this year's Eurovision and 10 will qualify for Saturday's Grand Final. See all the details, songs and what to expect from Semi-final 1. Let the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 begin!

The 65th edition of Eurovision Song Contest begins tonight!

16 songs will compete but only 10 will qualify for Saturday's Grand Final. The show starts at 21:00 CEST, live from Rotterdam Ahoy in the Netherlands. Hosts are Chantal Janzen, Edsilia Rombley, Jan Smit and Nikkie de Jager. The running order has been decided by the producers (Dutch broadcasters AVROTROS, NOS and NPO) based on an allocation draw.

On Thursday Semi-final 2 will find the last 10 qualifiers out of 17 songs.

Lineup Semi-final 1

1Lithuania#LTUDiscotequeThe RoopThe Roop#LTU
2Slovenia#SVNAmenAna SokličAna Soklič#SVN
3Russia#RUSRussian WomanManizhaManizha#RUS
6North Macedonia#MKDHere I StandVasilVasil#MKD
commercial break
7Ireland#IRLMapsLesley RoyLesley Roy#IRL
8Cyprus#CYPEl DiabloElena TsagrinouElena Tsagrinou#CYP
9Norway#NORFallen AngelTIXTIX#NOR
11Belgium#BELThe Wrong PlaceHooverphonicHooverphonic#BEL
12Israel#ISRSet Me FreeEden AleneEden Alene#ISR
commercial break
14Azerbaijan#AZEMata HariEfendiEfendi#AZE
16Malta#MLTJe Me CasseDestinyDestiny#MLT

After the 16 songs from the first Semi-final, a 1-minute preview of three of the six pre-qualified countries will be shown: The Netherlands, Germany and Italy. These previews have been recorded yesterday at the jury rehearsals.

Opening: Duncan Laurence

It all starts with a video introduction featuring the horizontal lines present in the Eurovision Logo, tiny transparent houses and various locations within the Netherlands. The lines are used to connect the houses, each situated in different locations of the country. The final destination is the Rotterdam Ahoy.

We're now inside the arena and we're welcomed with an optimistic "Eurovision is back" followed by a clip of Duncan Laurence's winning moment at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019. Now live, Duncan himself is on the stage and is singing his song "Feel Something". Besides the laser lights throughout the performance, a quick backdrop with several Eurovision fans is shown and a small dance by the official dance crew is performed, complemented by pyrotechniques.

Before the hosts step on stage, we hear:

Reset the stage, reset the lights, bring back the badass pyro.

It's finally time to welcome the hosts. Give a warm applause to the four hosts: Chantal Janzen, Edsilia Rombley, Jan Smit and Nikkie de Jager.

Onstage, they welcome Europe (and Australia) to this year's Eurovision by introducing the competition as well as reinforcing a few notes the public should know. It's time...



Before each of the 16 songs we will see a small "postcard" while the stage is being prepared for the song. Each of the 16 postcards feature the same idea: a small transparent house in specific locations in the Netherlands that start being filled in with objects and images of the respective act. By the end, a hologram of each artist is revealed and the postcard ends.

Commercial Breaks

After song number 6 (North Macedonia), the evening's first commercial break takes place:

For the viewers without commercials, we see Nikkie de Jager telling us what is happening online. She shares several videos from the Eurovision Challenge which was launched a few weeks ago and promotes her own YouTube segment (LookLab) where the makeup guru meets all of this year's artists.

A promo for wraps it up with a teaser of a surprise for big Eurovision fans who got to meet Conchita Wurst (Austria 2014).

We now join host Edsilia Rombley in the greenroom where she interviews some artists. Nikkie, on the other hands, connects with Montaigne from Australia since she cannot be in Rotterdam.

After song number 12 (Israel), the second commercial break takes place:

We are joined by the host Chantal Janzen who is also joined by the winner of Eurovision 2015, Måns Zelmerlöw, via a video link who is part of the Grand Final's Rock The Roof interval act. Chantal chats with Måns on how it is to be back in Eurovision in a different capacity.

Interval Act: The Power of Water

After all acts have performed, it's time to start the voting. All countries in Semi-final 1 along with the three qualified countries the Netherlands, Germany and Italy can vote in this Semi-final.

The four presenters explain the rules and are quick to open the voting:


A recap is followed. The interval act is next with a performance from Davina Michelle and Thekla Reuten that reminds us that many parts of the Netherlands are under sea level. It's The Power of Water.

The hosts take the second stage of the arena and announce a second recap of the competing entries. Once that's done, the final countdown takes place:


Nikkie and Edsila are on the main stage to announce an Eurovision history clip, "A Winners Journey". The first part of this segment, that should be divided between all the three shows, includes Johnny Logan (Ireland 1980, 1987) , Katrina and the Waves (United Kingdom 1997), Anne-Marie David (Luxembourg 1973), Eimear Quinn (Ireland 1996), Lenny Kuhr (Netherlands 1969) and Marie Myriam (France 1977), all watching their own winning performances and speaking on how grateful they are about their achievement.

A clip of Nikkie from her YouTube Channel (“Eurovision Tutorials”) is shown, giving tips about not winning Eurovision but still shine. Again we are joined with Edsila and Duncan to present a short video clip about Duncan's success from Eurovision and what "Arcade" is all about.

Pre-qualified countries

There are six countries that are automatic pre-qualified for the Grand Final: Big-5 (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and United Kingdom) and the host country (Netherlands).

Before the announcement of the result, we are presented with three of the six pre-qualified countries for the Grand Final. These three countries will also broadcast and vote in Semi-final 1.

In this Semi-final, it is Italy, Germany and the host country, Netherlands.

A short interview of the three artists is followed by a preview of their songs recorded yesterday evening.

We're ready to know the 10 qualifiers and and, for the first time ever, Martin Osterdahl, the new boss who oversees everything related with Eurovision, announces that all is set for the qualifiers announcement.




The voting procedure will be the same as previous four editions. Each country will have two sets of 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,10 and 12 points to give. One set for each country's jury, and one set for each country's televoting.

  • The 10 songs with most points will qualify to the Grand Final
  • Each of the 16 countries participating in Semi-final 1 will vote
  • The pre-qualified countries, Netherlands, Germany and Italy will broadcast and vote in Semi-final 1
  • Each country has a national jury who gave one set of 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,10 and 12 points.
  • Each country will have televoting which also results in a set of 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,10 and 12 points
  • The voting will not be revealed before the Grand Final has finished on Saturday
  • Only the 10 qualified songs will be revealed in random order
  • Televoters and national juries have equal weight in the voting
  • The national juries voted yesterday evening (Monday, 17 May) during the second dress-rehearsal

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