Open Up: Eurovision Song Contest 2021 Grand Final

Hello Europe – one last time this year,

on Saturday May 22nd, 2021 the long awaited Grand Final of the 65th Eurovision Song Contest took place in Rotterdam under the slogan “Open Up”. Read the impressions below.

Distance-Hygiene-Mask+Tests – we live in these times sadly. And whether we like it or not it was the compromise to make the contest take place. One year of a break was more than enough of a break. Luckily you did not notice so much about it on stage and in the Green Room – it was mostly mentioned by the hosts.

We enjoyed a beautiful opening ceremony with the finalists carrying their flags through the stage to the Green Room. One negative shock-impression I have had was that the Azeri representative Efendi had worn a different dress. I do not like the habit of changing the outfit for the Grand Final (see Albania 2015) because I believe in the chance for equality between the participants. Luckily it turned out that she had chosen it only for the opening ceremony.

Eurovision 2021 CD
Is this Eurovision love? Copyright: Johanna Karajan

As so far everything remained the way it has been for two or rather four days let us move directly to my impressions of the finalists in the running order (and their actual number in brackets).

Big Five + Hosting Country: Impressions

  1. [09] United Kingdom – James Newman “Embers”: A cool sympathetic guy with an exceptional and great voice represented the United Kingdom. And funky performance! But(!) his pre-chorus sounded familiar to me.
  2. [13] Spain – Blas Cantò “Voy A Quedarme”: I love when the interprets are singing their songs in their native language! I think that Blas was a very professional singer with a good performance and very touching song however the transition was worst part and disadvantageous for him.
  3. [15] Germany – Jendrik “I Don’t Feel Hate”: This song was truly familiar! Or a mix of two familiar songs… the dancing finger was also a little bit unlucky because depending on the moves it seemed that the intention was to show one the middle finger which is commonly known as some kind of bad insult. The song however had a good message with a neat performance.
  4. [20] France – Barbara Pravi “Voilà”: The one I was looking forward to. Absolute class in the most straight way. No big drama, no crazy outfits, no colours but a big big show as we know it from the classy France. Therefore I felt of her as an exception not needing much decoration and colours on stage. A young woman – with the typical French curls and elegance – with a dominant voice leaning among others on Charles Anzavour. A worthy heir to the French chanson scene!
  5. [23] The Netherlands – Jeangu Macrooy “Birth Of A New Age”: Another Backstreet Boy with an outstandingly strong and impressive voice. Jeangu presented a beautiful song with an important message! Something else that was cool and catchy was the transition to traditional African elements combined in this modern song! On the whole a nice composition
  6. [24] Italy – Måneskin “Zitti E Buoni”: A partner rock-song to Finland‘s. However in the means of fashion they have chosen through and through the classic rock-outfits. Young people that are rebellious but professional. The lead singer’s voice was exceptional as well as the whole performance.

The actual highlights of the show had taken place after all interprets were done with their performances – I believe that this is the moment when they can finally calm down and enjoy the show until the points and rankings are announced and the tension rises again.

My first highlight was the way they have set up the countdown for the voting with dancers forming the numbers. I am going to share the video with you below since words are not able to describe this fascination:

Even though the video does not have the best quality thank you for delivering this video!

My second highlight was definitely the interval act which was taking part on numerous of Rotterdam’s rooftops. It´was even more impressive how professional the selection of the previous contests’ winners was and how fantastic they looked thus the cold weather in the night, on a higher level and the cold weather we have had anyway in May in Central Europe. But this interval act of rocking the roof was giving us the adrenaline kick that we needed so bad at home. It was still a big dilemma that because of a positive Corona-test Duncan Lawrence who brought Eurovision to his country could not perform live. I was literally feeling his pain.

Eurovision Song Contest 2021: Ranking

Last but not least I would like to share my personal final ranking with you. Those marked green are better than their actual ranking, those marked red worse than their actual ranking. If the interprets have remained black their ranking is identical. I will leave the interpretation of my personal ranking to your own imagination.

  1. Greece
  2. Norway
  3. Ukraine
  4. France
  5. Bulgaria
  6. Portugal
  7. Belgium
  8. San Marino
  9. Lithuania
  10. Serbia
  11. Azerbaijan
  12. Finland
  13. Italy
  14. Russia
  15. Israel
  16. United Kingdom
  17. Sweden
  18. Spain
  19. The Netherlands
  20. Malta
  21. Cyprus
  22. Iceland
  23. Moldova
  24. Albania
  25. Germany
  26. Switzerland

I was not completely against the actual winners of this year’s contest I can understand that they have scored with their native language and an exceptional song that especially attracted the younger generation of Eurovision fans with their message. As I have stated above they had delivered classic rock on the stage along with their outfits and the lead singer’s magnificent voice. I just personally think that Stefania had it all as I told you in my previous article here she completely caught my taste. About the rest of my top five who would have also made deserved winners I can also say that they have had this special something with their whole performance and style for what concerns Go_A and France but more than that TIX and Victoria have been winners of hearts to me with their deep and touching songs.

As we witnessed the ranking and the reactions of the artists I first of all want to emphasize that none of the artists should be left with zero points, neither in the jury voting nor with the televoting results. But as this was the case I would like to share a meme which perfectly reflects my point of view.

Source: Eurovision4 Ever Facebook group

While the so called zero-points-squad made of Jendrik, Jeangu, James Newman and Blás Canto maintained a happy face and regardless from all Corona-restrictions Jendrik went to hug all his fellows the Maltese representative Destiny perfectly showed her actual immature face. “With such an [ungrateful] attitude Malta is never going to win the adult Eurovision”, the German spokesman Peter Urban stated and finally once in a lifetime I could not agree more with him especially because on stage Destiny was trying to play the mother of all femmes fatales (and failed).

Anyway I do not want to spread hate. I am very much looking forward to the upcoming contest in Italy and hope that Armenia is going to return.

Love, Johanna

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