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Here's When and Where You Can Watch Eurovision 2021 and Add Some Europop to Your Year

Montaigne is representing Australia — and if you want to vote, you'll need to get up early.
By Sarah Ward
May 18, 2021
By Sarah Ward
May 18, 2021

It started back in 1956 as a singing contest between a mere seven nations. Now, more than six decades later, Eurovision is a glitter and spandex-fuelled global musical phenomenon. Forty-one countries not only in Europe but from elsewhere compete — hello Australia — and viewers tune in en masse each May to watch, sing along and add new pop tunes to their playlists.

Well, they do most years. When the COVID-19 pandemic began last year, Eurovision didn't go on as planned. SBS hosted a week-long Eurovision festival instead — and Netflix released the Will Ferrell- and Rachel McAdams-starring Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga — but, thankfully, the beloved song contest is back in 2021.

Come 5am AEST, Wednesday, May 19 Australian time, Eurovision will return to SBS as part of the broadcaster's usual celebration of all things Europop at this time of year. Getting up early to watch the first semi final is recommended, especially if you're keen to see this year's Aussie entrant Montaigne compete. She'll be up against performers from 15 countries — including Israel's first Ethiopian representative, Eden Alene — and will perform the song 'Technicolour' from home.

That's just part one of this year's Eurovision fun. After Montaigne follows in Guy Sebastian, Dani Im, Isaiah, Jessica Mauboy and Kate Miller-Heidke's footsteps, the second semi final will air at 5am AEST on Friday, May 21. And, come the same time on Sunday, May 23, the grand final will hit the screen.

For those who can't tear themselves out of bed before it's light, the first semi final will also screen in primetime at 8.30pm AEST on Friday, followed by the second semi final at 8.30pm AEST on Saturday — and the grand final at 7.30pm AEST on Sunday. You might not be able to avoid finding out the results by then, though, unless you veto the internet and social media for a few days.

SBS' usual local hosts Myf Warhurst and Joel Creasey will be overseeing the show — and yes, if you're feeling a bit of deja vu, Montaigne was meant to represent Australia last year, before the contest was cancelled.

And if you can't decide whether to beat the sun or wait and host a party at sensible hour, it's worth remembering that Australians can vote for Eurovision, but only during the live broadcasts. For the semi finals, you're limited to voting during the event that features Montaigne — and you can only vote in the grand final if the singer makes the cut. Also, there's another caveat: you're not actually allowed to vote for Australia's entry, which you can nonetheless check out below.

SBS' Eurovision 2021 coverage runs from Wednesday, May 19–Sunday, May 23. For more information, head to the broadcaster's website.

Top image: Jess Gleeson.

Published on May 18, 2021 by Sarah Ward
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