Eurovision 2021: semi final 2 UK time, songs and entries, running order – and how to watch on the BBC

The next step on the road to the grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest comes in the form of the second semi final tonight

This week (20 May) saw the second Eurovision semi-final take place in Rotterdam, with US rapper Flo Rida performing as part of San Marino’s showcase.

The 2021 contest will go ahead in Rotterdam this year, after the 2020 instalment was called off because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The 65th edition of Eurovision was one of the first high-profile cancellations of the pandemic, with the 41 acts scheduled to compete eventually featuring in a non-competitive virtual show on the weekend the final would have taken place.

(Clockwise from top left) Eurovision 2021 entries for Greece, Bulgaria and Switzerland were hoping to impress during semi-final 2 (Photos: Getty Images)(Photo: Getty Images)(Clockwise from top left) Eurovision 2021 entries for Greece, Bulgaria and Switzerland were hoping to impress during semi-final 2 (Photos: Getty Images)(Photo: Getty Images)
(Clockwise from top left) Eurovision 2021 entries for Greece, Bulgaria and Switzerland were hoping to impress during semi-final 2 (Photos: Getty Images)(Photo: Getty Images)

This year, acts who can travel to Rotterdam will perform live on stage, while those unable to will submit recorded performances.

Here is everything you need to know about the second semi-final.

How did the second semi-final work?

Seventeen countries participated in the second semi-final. Those countries plus France, Spain and the United Kingdom voted on their favourite performances to go through to the final.

Armenia was originally scheduled to participate in the semi-final, but withdrew from the contest due to social and political crises in the aftermath of the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war.

Who were the contestants?

Seventeen entrants were vying for a place in the Eurovision 2021 grand final as part of the second semi-final.

Twenty-six countries will then participate in the final, composed of the host country, the Big Five (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom), and the 10 best-ranked entries of each of the two semi-finals.

The full list of participants in the first semi-final was as follows:

Country Artist Song Language
1 San Marino Senhit ft. Flo Rida Adrenalina English
2 Estonia Uku Suviste The Lucky One English
3 Czech Republic Benny Cristo Omaga English
4 Greece Stefania Last Dance English
5 Austria Vincent Bueno Amen English
6 Poland Rafał The Ride English
7 Moldova Natalia Gordienko Sugar English
8 Iceland Daði og Gagnamagnið 10 Years English
9 Serbia Hurricane Loco Loco Serbian
10 Georgia

Tornike Kipiani

You English
11 Albania Anxhela Peristeri Karma Albanian
12 Portugal The Black Mamba Love Is on My Side English
13 Bulgaria Victoria Growing Up Is Getting Old English
14 Finland Blind Channel Dark Side English
15 Latvia Samanta Tīna The Moon Is Rising English
16 Switzerland Gjon's Tears Tout l'Univers French
17 Denmark Fyr og Flamme Øve os på hinanden Danish

What happened at semi final 1?

As the competition returned for its first semi-final following last year’s cancellation, Ireland’s Eurovision Song Contest entry Lesley Roy missed out on qualifying for the final.

The singer-songwriter delivered an energetic performance of her song ‘Maps’ live in Rotterdam, but it wasn’t enough to see her through.

Norway, Israel, Russia, Azerbaijan, Malta, Lithuania, Cyprus, Sweden, Belgium, and Ukraine made it through to Saturday’s final.

Russian singer Manizha gave an eye-catching performance of her song Russian Woman, which focused on female empowerment. The artist came on stage in a large, multicoloured dress before emerging from the garment in a red boiler suit.

Australian entry Montaigne, who failed to qualify for the final, performed her song ‘Technicolour’ remotely after being unable to travel to Rotterdam for the competition.

In addition to Ireland and Australia, Croatia, North Macedonia, Romania, and Slovenia also missed out on a place in Saturday’s final.

What happened at the second semi final?

Another 10 nations qualified for the Eurovision Song Contest grand final.

Albania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Moldova ,and Portugal all did enough to get through Thursday’s second semi-final. They were joined by Iceland, San Marino, Switzerland, Greece, and Finland and will all take part in Saturday’s final in Rotterdam.

San Marino qualified after its act, singer Senhit, was joined on stage by US rapper Flo Rida.

Iceland qualified despite its entry, Daoi og Gagnamagnio, being forced to pull out of performing in the live shows after a positive Covid-19 test.

The quirky dance-pop band had been due to perform their song 10 Years during the second semi-final.

Their song remains in the competition and their rehearsal performance, recorded on the stage on May 13, was shown during the semi-final.

How can I watch the final?

The final of the competition will air on BBC One on 22 May at 8pm in a special programme hosted by Graham Norton.

It will also be broadcast on BBC Radio 2 in a programme hosted by Ken Bruce.

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