In corona era, Eurovision seeks to unite Europe

THE HAGUE – This was no contest.

Shut down by the coronavirus disaster, Europe’s yearly musical stunning that pits countries towards one a further instead sought to unite them Saturday.

The Eurovision Song Contest whose ultimate was scheduled for Saturday evening was canceled amid limits aimed at reining in the world pandemic.

So alternatively than judging music from forty one artists from Albania to the United Kingdom and obtaining countries allocate points to elect a winner, organizers produced a two-hour show referred to as “Eurovision: Europe Glow A Light” that was broadcast in extra than forty countries.

Underscoring the consequences of the coronavirus, the show opened with a montage of video clips of the deserted streets of European metropolitan areas before reducing to an pretty much empty studio in the Netherlands.

It was a stark distinction to the frenetic scenes of flag-waving, screaming followers that variety the backdrop for standard Eurovision finales.

Portion of the Ahoy convention centre in the port city of Rotterdam that was to have hosted the contest was remodeled earlier this 12 months into a makeshift treatment centre to relieve pressure on common hospitals dealing with COVID-19 individuals.

At the finish of the show, it was declared that Ahoy and Rotterdam will host the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest.

Saturday’s show highlighted appearances by previous favorites as well as the artists that ended up to have taken section in this year’s level of competition jointly carrying out 1997’s profitable music, “Love Glow a Light.”

From humble beginnings in 1956, the contest has turn into a vector of camp and kitsch with pretty much two hundred million viewers tuning in for the finale.

Johnny Logan of Ireland, who received 2 times as a singer and as soon as as a author, opened Saturday’s show with a functionality of his 1980 profitable music, “What’s A different Yr,” accompanied by Eurovision followers on screens like a Zoom conference and the a few Dutch presenters of the show. Organizers referred to as it “a large Eurovision choir.”

Måns Zelmerlöw of Sweden sang his 2015 profitable music, “Heroes,” focused to health and fitness treatment personnel battling the virus.

Snippets of the forty one music that ended up to have taken section in this year’s contest ended up performed during the show with recorded messages from the performers.

The Mamas, Sweden’s entry, urged viewers to stay harmless and wash their hands.

One particular of Sweden’s brightest musical stars, Bjorn Ulvaeus of Abba, paid out tribute to the contest that catapulted him and the band to world fame soon after their music “Waterloo” received in 1974.

“It however remains one of the most genuinely joyous gatherings of the Television 12 months and it’s so disarmingly European,” he mentioned in a recorded online video information. “It so permits you to escape and be content — even neglect about the coronavirus for a little while.”

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