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Eurovision Song Contest 2021: Bosses BAN alcohol at tonight’s final

Eurovision Song Contest bosses have reportedly banned alcohol from being consumed at the upcoming final in Rotterdam.

Those in charge of the highly-anticipated event in the Netherlands have taken the decision to prohibit drinking at all hotels and venues taking part in this year’s competition.

It comes after a member of Iceland’s group of their tested positive for coronavirus earlier this week meaning they will not be able to perform live on Saturday. 

Rules: Eurovision Song Contest bosses have banned alcohol from being consumed at tonight’s final after a member of Iceland’s group (pictured) tested positive for Covid-19

According to reports, organisers felt that allowing drinking would risk spreading the disease, and could impact strict social distancing measures that are in place.

A source in Rotterdam told The Sun: ‘The decision to ban alcohol has gone down like a lead balloon. There were already strict social-distancing measures in place.

‘Having a drink was at least one enjoyable part of being out here – but now that’s gone too.

‘Lots of the artists are absolutely furious that this has happened. They don’t believe the virus incident in the Icelandic team had anything to do with alcohol being consumed.’ 

Precautions: Those in charge of the highly-anticipated event in the Netherlands have taken the decision to prohibit drinking at all hotels and venues taking part in this year's competition (pictured is the UK's entry James Newman)

Precautions: Those in charge of the highly-anticipated event in the Netherlands have taken the decision to prohibit drinking at all hotels and venues taking part in this year’s competition (pictured is the UK’s entry James Newman)

The decision has reportedly sparked anger among some performers, with the Russian team making a complaint.   

Before the decision today, contestants and staff could drink alcohol at designated venues and hotels until midnight. 

It comes after Iceland’s Daði og Gagnamagnið star Daði Freyr admitted that his group, one of the favourites to win the competition, were ‘disappointed’ after being forced to pull out of the competition after a member tested positive for Covid-19. 

Speaking on Friday’s episode of Lorraine, the musician, 28, said that they are trying to ‘make the best’ of the situation as they remain in the hotel. 

Worry: According to reports, organisers felt that allowing drinking would risk spreading the disease, and could affect strict social distancing measures that are in place (pictured are the presenters)

Worry: According to reports, organisers felt that allowing drinking would risk spreading the disease, and could affect strict social distancing measures that are in place (pictured are the presenters) 

It came after 2019 Eurovision Song Contest winner Duncan Laurence tested positive for coronavirus and will also be unable to perform live at Saturday’s grand final in Rotterdam.  

Daði explained their decision not to perform without their sixth member Jóhann Sigurður Jóhannsson, who tested positive, as it ‘doesn’t really work’.

He said: ‘The song is written for the band as a six member thing and the performance, the song is written for the performance, one member missing doesn’t really work.’

Daði continued: ‘Yeah, it’s annoying. It’s just one of the band members, another member was sent in same room with him, so he is also quarantining. We wont be allowed to enter the arena again for the rest of the event.’

Freedom: Before the decision today, contestants and staff could drink alcohol at designated venues and hotels until midnight

Freedom: Before the decision today, contestants and staff could drink alcohol at designated venues and hotels until midnight

The performer admitted that while being ‘disappointed’, they are ‘trying to make the best of it’. 

He said: ‘It’s disappointing, we are through to the final though, so trying to make the best of it. 

‘It would have been nice to experience Eurovision, that was kind of the point we went back and to experience it, to compete in Eurovision.’

Speaking about remaining positive, Daði added: ‘Yeah, we’re still having a good time even though we are staying in the hotel.’

The performer said that he is still ‘hoping’ that they can get into the arena, he said: ‘I don’t know, I am still hoping a little bit that we can get into the arena, we have been quarantining since Sunday. It feels kind of weird to quarantine this long!’ 

Annoyed: A source in Rotterdam told The Sun: 'The decision to ban alcohol has gone down like a lead balloon. There were already strict social-distancing measures in place' (pictured are Lithuania's entry performing)

Annoyed: A source in Rotterdam told The Sun: ‘The decision to ban alcohol has gone down like a lead balloon. There were already strict social-distancing measures in place’ (pictured are Lithuania’s entry performing) 

Daði said that the band have a green room set up on one of the floors of the hotel where they will watch the final. 

It was revealed earlier this week that a member of Iceland’s Eurovision Song Contest entry had tested positive for coronavirus, meaning they will not be able to perform live at the final on Saturday.

The Icelandic group, one of the favourites to win the competition, also missed Thursday’s semi-final.

Instead, footage of the band performing their song ’10 years’ in an earlier rehearsal will be used at the event in Rotterdam in the Netherlands. 

Singer Jóhann Sigurður Jóhannsson, one of the six band members and who tested positive, said he was ‘shocked and disappointed’ after learning the test result. 

‘I’m generally very sad about the whole situation,’ he said in a video posted to the band’s Instagram account on Wednesday.

‘I’m healthy. It’s difficult because we’ve worked so hard and I really wanted this and it’s been so long in the making. We’re really proud of our rehearsal [performance] and I’m hoping we will make Icelanders proud and make our supporters proud.’

The news is also a blow to organisers of the competition in the Dutch port city, which was cancelled last year due to Covid-19 and is going ahead this year with strict health measures in place.  

Interview: It comes after Iceland's Daði og Gagnamagnið star Daði Freyr admitted that his group, one of the favourites to win the competition, were 'disappointed' after being forced to pull out of the competition after a member tested positive for Covid-19

Interview: It comes after Iceland’s Daði og Gagnamagnið star Daði Freyr admitted that his group, one of the favourites to win the competition, were ‘disappointed’ after being forced to pull out of the competition after a member tested positive for Covid-19

‘We have all been extremely careful the whole trip so this comes as a huge surprise,’ tweeted singer Daði, who like the rest of the band performs in a green tracksuit with an emoji of his face on the front.

‘We are very happy with the performance and super excited for you all to see it! Thank you for all the love.’  

The European Broadcasting Union said in a statement that a member of the Icelandic group tested positive on Wednesday as did a member of the Icelandic delegation on Sunday.

‘Dadi og Gagnamagnid have taken the difficult decision to withdraw from performing in this year’s live Eurovision Song Contest shows, as they only want to perform together as a group,’ the statement said.

‘Their song will remain in the competition and we will broadcast their rehearsal performance, recorded on the stage on 13 May.’

Sad: It came after 2019 Eurovision Song Contest winner Duncan Laurence tested positive for coronavirus and will also be unable to perform live at Saturday's grand final in Rotterdam (pictured in 2019)

Sad: It came after 2019 Eurovision Song Contest winner Duncan Laurence tested positive for coronavirus and will also be unable to perform live at Saturday’s grand final in Rotterdam (pictured in 2019) 

The Icelandic delegation would remain in quarantine as it had been since the initial positive test on Sunday, the EBU said.

A member of the Polish delegation also tested positive on Sunday while teams from Romania and Malta missed Sunday’s opening ceremony as a precaution as they had been staying in the same hotel. 

While on Thursday 2019 Eurovision Song Contest winner Duncan Laurence tested positive for coronavirus and will be unable to perform live at Saturday’s grand final in Rotterdam. 

The positive cases are a fresh blow to the contest – which was cancelled last year because of the pandemic.

Laurence, who won with the power ballad Arcade in Tel Aviv two years ago, developed ‘mild symptoms’ of Covid-19 on Wednesday after taking part in a dress rehearsal at the Ahoy Arena the previous day, Eurovision said.

Honest: Speaking on Friday's episode of Lorraine, the musician, 28, said that they are trying to 'make the best' of the situation as they remain in the hotel

Honest: Speaking on Friday’s episode of Lorraine, the musician, 28, said that they are trying to ‘make the best’ of the situation as they remain in the hotel

‘We are of course disappointed, first of all for Duncan, who deserves a live performance on our very own Eurovision stage after his 2019 victory,’ the contest’s executive producer Sietse Bakker said in a statement.

‘Of course we wish Duncan a speedy recovery!’

Laurence will now ‘feature in the show in a different form,’ the organisers said. 

The reigning champion’s management released a statement saying that Laurence was ‘very disappointed’ and had ‘been looking forward to this for two years.’

‘We are very happy that he will still be seen in the final,’ it said. 

Pandemic: The positive cases are a fresh blow to the contest - which was cancelled last year because of the pandemic

Pandemic: The positive cases are a fresh blow to the contest – which was cancelled last year because of the pandemic 

The 65th edition of the song contest is underway in Rotterdam amid strict testing and hygiene protocols in an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus. 

Up to 3,500 fans are allowed to attend dress rehearsals, the semi-finals and Saturday’s final if they have tested negative for the virus.

Ten performers from each of Tuesday’s and Thursday’s semi-finals at the Ahoy Arena progress on to Saturday’s grand final. 

Dadi & Gagnamagnid were originally set to perform their song Think About Things at Eurovision 2020, before it was postponed until 2021. 

Joining a number of other countries, Iceland opted to go with their 2020 entry for this year’s competition.

The band is made up of six singers, including their 6ft 9in front-man Daði, Árný Fjóla Ásmundsdóttir, Stefán Hannesson, Jóhann Sigurður Jóhannsson, Sigrún Birna Pétursdóttir and Hulda Kristín Kolbrúnardóttir.

Daði and Árný Fjóla are married, having met when they were 16-years-old, and share a young daughter together. Their family ties have made them a popular entry into Eurovision. 

Iceland’s quest for glory at the Eurovision Song Contest was fictionalised in a comedy movie last year called Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Sage, starring Rachel McAdams and Will Ferrel.

The film received mixed reviews, but its song Husavik (My Hometown) was nominated for an Oscar at this years’ academy awards for best original song, missing out to Fight For You from the movie Judas and the Black Messiah. 

The Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final will air on BBC One on Saturday 22nd May in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The semi-finals will also air on BBC Four on Tuesday 18th and Thursday 20th May. 

Eurovision Odds 

From BetFair 

Italy: 2/1

France: 3/1

Switzerland: 13/2

Ukraine: 7/1

Malta: 7/1

Iceland: 14/1

Finland: 25/1

Portugal: 33/1

San Marino: 40/1

Bulgaria: 50/1

Lithuania: 66/1

Cyprus: 80/1

Russia: 100/1

Sweden: 100/1

Greece: 100/1

Norway: 150/1

Azerbaijan: 150/1

United Kingdom: 250/1

Serbia: 250/1

Germany: 300/1

Netherlands: 300/1

Belgium: 300/1

Israel: 300/1

Albania: 300/1

Moldova: 300/1

Spain: 500/1 

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