Countries across the world were greeted by an array of weird and wonderful acts last night as the 65th annual Eurovision Song Contest kicked off in the Netherlands.
The song contest, which was held at the Rotterdam Ahoy arena, saw 3,500 jubilant fans take to the alcohol-free venue to celebrate the return of the highly-anticipated contest after it was cancelled last year amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The night culminated with the Italian band Maneskin being crowned the winners of the song contest – while Britain’s James Newman finished bottom of the leaderboard with zero points.
Despite the UK’s abysmal results, fans were entertained by an array of wonderfully weird entries whose performances left some viewers open-mouthed.
Among the acts was Germany’s Jendrick Sigwart who was joined by a back-up dancer donning a strange middle finger outfit during his performance of the extremely upbeat song I Don’t Feel Hate.
During his performance, Germany’s Jendrick Sigwart was joined by a back-up dancer donning a strange middle finger outfit
Eurovision viewers took to social media to share their thoughts on the strange outfit
As the song kicked off, host Graham Norton, who returned to anchor the contest on BBC One, told viewers: ‘This is like Marmite… if everyone hated Marmite.’
The performance received the attention of viewers on social media, with some claiming the country were ‘determined never to win and had nailed it.’
Meanwhile Iceland’s Dadi og Gagnamagnid, who were ruled out of performing live when a band member tested positive for Covid this week, also received the attention of avid fans due to their strange props and quirky outfits.
While the band were not able to perform live, their rehearsal performance was streamed on a screen for the audience to see.
This week, the band’s 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.
The musician, 28, said that they were trying to ‘make the best’ of the situation as they remained in a hotel.
Elsewhere, Greece’s Stefania Liberakakis, whose vertigo-inducing buildings and green screen background left viewers scratching their heads with confusion, was also among the weird and wonderful entries.
Following the scenes one viewer wrote: ‘This partially invisible men thing is just a bit too weird. They have definitely made use of their green screen resources.’
While another added: ‘Greece’s entry was a blast from the past.’
Iceland’s Dadi og Gagnamagnid also received the attention of avid fans due to their strange props and quirky outfits
The band were not able to perform live but their rehearsal performance was streamed on a screen for the audience to see
Avid fans took to Twitter to share their thoughts on the ‘fun’ yet ‘weird’ entry last night
Greece’s Stefania Liberakakis used vertigo-inducing buildings and a green screen background for her performance
The performance, which saw invisible backing dancers in the background, left viewers scratching their heads with confusion
Some fans felt the invisible men was a ‘bit too weird’ while others said the entry was a ‘blast from the past’
Also during the show, viewers were left baffled when they saw the US rapper Flo Rida join the San Marino entry, Senhit, to perform the son Adrenalina in front of a live audience.
Prior to the show, a spokesperson for the European Broadcasting Union explained that, due to travel restrictions, a stand-in for Flo Rida had been allowed to perform instead, during rehearsals.
They said: ‘Following a request from the San Marino broadcaster, the EBU, Host Broadcasters and Reference Group agreed to grant permission for the delegation to use a stand-in artist during the first and second rehearsals of their song on the condition that Flo Rida would arrive in Rotterdam in time to perform in the full-dress rehearsals as well the Live Shows.’
Also during the night, Ukraine’s band Go_A garnered the attention of some viewers with their strange hypnotic folk song, with some claiming ‘they had no idea what was going on’.
One confused viewer wrote: ‘Yep, Ukraine have just made it weird again.’
While another added: ‘I’m here for Ukraine, super weird ring light choreography and I have no idea what’s happening.’
Ukraine’s strange hypnotic folk song also garnered the attention of some viewers
Viewers were left baffled when they saw the US rapper Flo Rida join the San Marino entry, Senhit, to perform the son Adrenalina
Some fans noted the strange hypnotic undertones of Ukraine’s Eurovision entry, with one viewer claiming ‘they had no idea what was going on’
The scenes of celebration came after the UK’s Eurovision hopeful James Newman, who donned a stylish striped leather jacket as he sang his song Embers in front of the 3,500 fans at the arena, tonight smiled to the crowds after receiving zero points from the public vote.
The BRIT award singer had been given odds of just 200/1 by Betfair to win the 65th annual Eurovision Song Contest.
But the artist did not let the poor odds deter him as he performed his lively track in front of a sea of excited Eurovision fans earlier tonight.
Prior to his performance, host Graham Norton, who is once again anchoring the contest on BBC One, encouraged fans ‘to raise a glass to Sir Terry Wogan, who was and always will be the voice of Eurovision’.
Newman, who is the older brother of pop star John Newman, had been ready to perform the ballad My Last Breath at the 2020 contest before it was cancelled due to the pandemic.
The Italian band Maneskin leaped for joy as they triumphed at the 65th Eurovision Song Contest in the Netherlands tonight
The UK’s Eurovision hopeful James Newman, 35, took to the stage at the socially-distanced venue in the Netherlands tonight
The contest kicked off tonight with a performance from Cyprus’ Elena Tsagrinou who sang her dance song El Diablo
Contestant’s Blind Channel of Finland donned black outfits as they took to the stage during the final of the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam
This year’s theme is ‘Open Up’, and the Dutch government-backed coronavirus restrictions could be a model for events like Euro 2020 and the Tokyo Olympics as the world slowly emerges from lockdown.
The scenes of celebration come after Eurovision Song Contest bosses banned alcohol from being consumed at the upcoming final in Rotterdam.
Those in charge of the highly-anticipated event in the Netherlands had taken the decision to prohibit drinking at all hotels and venues taking part in this year’s competition.
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.’