Fans to vote from home as Eurovision song contest kicks off

The kitsch pop songs of the Eurovision Song Contest vote battle on Saturday as the world’s most popular live music event kicked off in the Netherlands after it skipped a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Victoria de Angelis of Italian group Maneskin told Reuters that the competition should send “a message of hope to the rest of Europe”. His band’s glam rock song “Zitti E Buoni” is considered one of the favorites among offerings from 26 nations.

The show started with Elena Tsagrinou from Cyprus performing her dance song “El Diablo” in a sparkling room.

“I think it’s between France and Italy. France is so warm, a woman coming out of the shadows and into the light,” Eurovision blogger William Lee Adams said of the song. Barbara Pravi’s classic “Voila”.

The Italian song is a harsher “punch to the face,” said Adams, who runs Wiwibloggs.

“After this last year of being trapped at home, I think a lot of people want that feeling of being at a party and that’s what they give,” he said.

Malta with a rhythmic dance floor “Je me cassse”, The Roop in Lithuania with the retro-pop song “Discoteque” and Iceland with their song “10 years” are other countries that could become potential winners.

A limited audience of 3,500 will be admitted to a Rotterdam city concert hall to watch the performances after undergoing rigorous testing for COVID-19.

Hours before the show, fans lined up outside the hall in the wind and rain to rule out their coronavirus test.

“I’m just happy to be here, I’m happy to see a show on stage. It’s just the excitement,” Danish Eurovision fan Tore Peters-Munch, 43, said as he was in line.

Despite precautions, several COVID-19 infections were reported during rehearsals and semi-finals.

Icelandic group Dadi og Gagnamagnid will not be able to perform live during the final, after a member of the group tested positive for COVID-19 read more. Instead, the organization will broadcast a pre-recorded backup performance.

Due to travel restrictions, most Eurovision fans outside the Netherlands will have to watch from home. Many are turning to friends and online communities to celebrate the event, known for its flamboyant costumes and plays. Read more

The Netherlands hosts the 65th edition of the event, which attracts a TV audience of around 200 million, after Dutch singer-songwriter Duncan Laurence won the 2019 competition in Tel Aviv with the song “Arcade” .

Laurence’s performance this year was canceled after testing positive for the virus.

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