The 65th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest has been canceled, but on the day that the final should take place, May 16, there will be a show that brings together the singers who should represent the 41 competing countries this year.
“After the cancellation of the Eurovision Song Contest 2020, the European Broadcasting Union and its Dutch members NPO, NOS and AVRTTROS are excited to confirm that they are producing a new show, Eurovision: Europa Shine a Light, which will be shown instead of the Grand Final, on May 16 at 9:00 pm (8:00 pm in Lisbon) ”, reads a statement available on the official website of the contest.
The show, which will be hosted by Dutch presenters Chantal Janzen, Edsilia Rombley and Jan Smit, “will honor the 41 songs” that were supposed to compete this year, “in a non-competitive format, as well as several surprises for fans and spectators”.
Eurovision: Europa Shine a Light also intends to bring together “artists 2020, from their locations in Europe, in a performance of a successful Eurovision, with unifying lyrics, appropriate for the situation in which the world is”.
The show will also be joined by “well-known artists from previous Eurovision editions”, invited to participate “in connecting Europe through familiar songs from the past, performed in iconic locations in Europe”.
The 65th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest was to be held between 12 and 16 May in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The semifinals were scheduled for the 12th and 14th and the final for the 16th.
In a statement released on the contest's social networks on March 18, the organization, in charge of the European Broadcasting Union, said that, over the past few weeks, several alternative options had been explored that would allow the contest to go forward ” , but the “uncertainty generated by the transmission of the covid-19 disease across Europe – and the restrictions put in place by the participating governments and the Dutch authorities – made the difficult decision to (be) impossible to continue with the event live as planned ”.
In the same statement, the organization stated that discussions will be held between all parties involved, including the city of Rotterdam, about the venue for the event in 2021.
The representatives of the 41 participating countries, Portugal included, were already chosen.
The theme that would represent Portugal – “Fear of Feeling” (composed by Marta Carvalho and played by Elisa) – was chosen on March 7, in the final of the Song Festival, which took place in Elvas.
Portugal participated in the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time in 1964, having meanwhile missed five editions (in 1970, 2000, 2002, 2013 and 2016). Between 2004 and 2007, inclusive, and in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2019, Portugal failed to make the final.
Portugal won the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time in 2017, with the theme “Loving for both”, performed by Salvador Sobral and composed by Luísa Sobral. Following the victory, Lisbon hosted the competition the following year, only once, until now.