Since Eurovision 2020 was officially cancelled and the EBU announced that brand new songs will be required for Eurovision 2021, a couple of composers and delegation members complained about this decision, requesting the possibility to have the same songs selected for 2020, to compete in next year’s Contest. Now the Reference Group has confirmed their decision once again.
In the past couple of days rumors started to go around the web that the rule may be changed to a “one off” for next year’s event, as various composers and delegation members were against the decision to have brand new songs in 2021. Namely Borislav Milanov (the composer of the German, Maltese and Bulgarian songs), Thomas Schreiber (from the German national broadcaster), and Carlo Romeo (the General Director of the San Marino RTV) were the loudest ones who gave various interviews and press releases to different media expressing their disagreement.
The Reference Group confirmed their decision that the rules for the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest are going to remain the same, and that thus this year’s songs will not be eligible to compete when the Contest returns in 2021. All participating broadcasters in next year’s Contest, of course, may decide which artist to send in 2021, whether the same one they had selected for this year, or any other artist.
The Reference Group stated that bringing the same songs to the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest would not be in the spirit of the Contest and the excitement and engagement created every year during “selection season” would be lost. This would impact the build up to the event on social media, online and on air for the participating broadcasters during the national finals and the preview shows. They also added that abandoning the rule for commercial release from September 1 would lead to an unfair competition in 2021, where some broadcasters could choose to submit this year’s song or choose a newer song.
The EBU is going to broadcast a special show “Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light” on the 16th of May at 21:00 CET, where they are going to promote all of this year’s entries. More than 10 participating broadcasters confirmed that they are going to show this event live.