After agonizing wait, returning artists hope to capture last year’s magic in their performances-Entertainment News, Firstpost

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Eurovision 2021 is officially part of a series of Dutch government trials to see how to safely host large events. The contestants will all have made pre-recorded versions of their songs in case they catch COVID-19 and are unable to perform.

When the Eurovision Song Contest was canceled in March 2020 due to coronavirus pandemic, Vasil Garvanliev, entering North Macedonia, was distraught.

“All my life I had worked my butt to get there, and my trip didn’t even take off,” Garvanliev, 36, said in a phone interview. “I was devastated.”

For Garvanliev – and the hundreds of millions of fans of the event – Eurovision is much more than a glitzy, high-level song contest. “These are the singing Olympics,” Garvanliev said.

In March 2020, he sat on his bed feeling depressed, he recalls, before picking up a keyboard to try to console himself. He started to choose a sweet melody on the instrument, then the lyrics came to mind. “Wait, it won’t be long,” he sang, “trust your heart and stay strong.

“This song came out of me,” Garvanliev said, “and I was like,“ Holy smokes, I’ve got something beautiful here. “Of course,” I didn’t know it would be for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, “Garvanliev added. “I didn’t even know I would be asked to come back.

But in January 2021, after an agonizing wait, Garvanliev was invited to perform in this year’s competition – one of the 26 return acts of Eurovision 2020. Scheduled for May 22 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, 2021 will probably be the weirdest edition of the contest. never held – a high bar, given that past winners have included Abba and Lordi, a Finnish heavy metal band whose members dress like monsters.

Eurovision Song Contest 2021 After agonizing wait, returning artists hope to capture last year's magic in their performances

Dadi Freyr rehearses with the group Gagnamagnid. Twitter @GEE_Denmark

The arena will have a 20% capacity, with just 3,500 people in the audience cheering on the competitors while still seated to reduce the risk of coronavirus diffusion. The event is officially part of a series of Dutch government trials to see how to organize large events safely. The contestants will all have made pre-recorded versions of their songs in case they catch COVID-19[female[feminine and are unable to perform.

But perhaps the most unusual aspect is that all of the returning contestants will perform a different song than the one they had planned for the 2020 event. In a contest known for the one-shot wonders that almost vanish from view. As soon as the competition ends, this year’s candidates must prove that they do not fit this pattern.

“This is our tough second album,” Garvanliev said, referring to the phenomenon of bands struggling to match their early success. He was hoping for his song from 2021 ‘Here I stand’ would not fall into this trap.

The participant facing the biggest challenge in capturing the magic of last year is Dadi Freyr, the Icelandic act, with his group Gagnamagnid. Last year Freyr was the favorite to win thanks to his song “Think about things”, an eye-catching disco number on her newborn baby.

By the time Eurovision was canceled, the video for the song had been viewed millions of times on YouTube. Soon it went viral on Twitter and TikTok too, after families began performing variations of the dance routine in the video while they were stuck at the locked house.

“It changed my life, this song,” Freyr said in a video interview. Before the pandemic, Freyr was generally only booked for shows in Iceland, he said. Suddenly he was selling tours across Europe.

“I have probably had one of the best pandemics,” Freyr said.

Four other Eurovision returnees have said in interviews that they find the pandemic the biggest obstacle to writing a new hit. “For the first three or four months of the pandemic, I just didn’t write at all,” said Jessica Alyssa Cerro, from Australia, who plays Montaigne.

“I kind of got there in November and I was like, ‘Hmm, I should probably start working on this Eurovision song, huh?’” She added.

Jeangu Macrooy, the representative of the Netherlands, said in a telephone interview that he had also had difficulties. “I wasn’t getting any inspiration; I was just sitting inside, ”he said.

Then, in December, as he was trying to write entries for the contest, a host of thoughts and feelings around George Floyd’s murder and the subsequent resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement began to bubble within him.

Soon he had conjured the words of “Birth of a new age”, an edifying track on being “the rage that melts the chains”. Macrooy said he hoped it would speak to everyone defending their rights now, whether they are people of color, LGBTQ or otherwise marginalized. The choir of ‘You can’t break me’ is sung in Sranan Tongo, the lingua franca of his native Suriname in South America.

“It’s an ode to people who claim their space and say, ‘I deserve respect and deserve to be accepted for who I am,’” Macrooy said. “I wouldn’t have been able to write it if I hadn’t lived through 2020,” he added.

Alex Marshall circa 2021 The New York Times Company



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