Exclusive – Eurovision's contingency plans featuring live recorded performances explained
Australia won't be flying to Rotterdam this year for Eurovision 2021.
It's almost time to see this year's Eurovision entries take to the stage this year as Eurovision 2021 kicks off.
The huge event will kick off from May 18th, and will see lots of coverage across the BBC up until the 22nd, when the winner will be revealed at the Eurovision 2021 final.
While the majority of the 39 countries taking part, including the UK's Eurovision 2021 entry James Newman, will perform live and direct from Rotterdam, The Netherlands, Australia will be staying put and competing remotely due to travel restrictions caused by the ongoing pandemic.
Speaking exclusively to RadioTimes.com, Eurovision communications lead Dave Goodman revealed: "We've already unfortunately discovered that Australia – understandably because of that distance from Europe – cannot travel."
Instead, Australia's Eurovision 2021 entry Montaigne will be performing her song, Technicolour, virtually.
Goodman continued: "We've asked every delegation this year to record what we call a live on tape recording, so it's a recording of their song. Should they not be able to travel as Australia cannot, that will be used in the competition so nobody misses out."
Australia is currently the only country performing via a live tape recording, however, Goodman says the option is available for all 39 countries as a "contingency" plan if they're unable to travel due to the coronavirus.
"If someone has to quarantine or cannot participate in Rotterdam, we can use their live on tape, so no one will not be able to compete because of the circumstances this year. That is not so much an innovation, but it's a contingency because we were determined to make sure that we had a competition this year," he explained.
"It was really important that we brought the Song Contest back. You know we didn't ever miss a year for 65 years and COVID defeated so much last year, so it was massively important that we found a way this year to ensure the competition came back, even if we could not do it live."
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The Eurovision Song contest 2021 airs Saturday 22nd May at 8pm on BBC One.. Check out the full list of Eurovision winners here. If you’re looking for something to watch tonight, check out our TV Guide. Visit our Entertainment hub for all the latest news.