Although the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 in Rotterdam, just like many other major music, sports and entertainment events around the world, was cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic, love for music was not. On the contrary, music has been a strong force that has united and encouraged many of us during these troubling times, therefore, a very special show – ‘Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light’ has been created and will air in place of the Grand Final on Saturday 16 May at 21:00 CEST.
Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light will honour all 41 songs, in a non-competitive format focusing on unity and togetherness. The show producers also promise plenty of surprises for fans and viewers at home. The show will be hosted by Dutch Eurovision presenters Chantal Janzen, Edsilia Rombley (Eurovision 1998 and 2007) and Jan Smit. In addition the unique production will include special performances from popular artists from Eurovision’s past. The live show is expected to last approximately 2 hours and public service broadcasters from over 40 countries will broadcast the show. It will also be broadcast on Eurovision Song Contest official Youtube channel.
Representatives from the Baltics in this year’s Eurovision contest are Uku Suviste for Estonia with “What Love Is”, Latvian artist Samanta Tīna with “Still Breathing” and “The Roop” from Lithuania with their song “On Fire”.
Uku Suviste – Estonian singer, pianist, composer and music producer won Estonian Eurovision song contest “Eesti Laul 2020” that made him the national representative in Eurovision 2020 with a song “What Love Is” that is a dramatic ode to feelings that come with falling in love and was inspired by musical theatre. Uku Suviste is no stranger to festivals, singing competitions, television shows and productions as he has participated in many, locally and internationally, gaining recognition and delivering memorable performances. He studied Singing and Contemporary Writing & Production at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Massachusetts, USA, making the Dean’s List every semester. In 2011, he became a patron of UNICEF Estonia, and in 2012, he produced a song in collaboration with the Estonian Ministry of Defence & Defence Forces called Võitmatu (Invincible), dedicated to all the Estonian soldiers who had served in Afghanistan. You can find out more about Uku by following him on Facebook, Instagram, Spotify and Youtube.
Samanta Tīna – Latvian singer and composer with a powerful vocal range making her a strong competitor in singing competitions. Samanta won a local TV show that allowed her to attend a music school in London in 2010. In 2012, she was runner up in Slavianski Bazaar in Belarus, and in 2014, she finished in the top 8 of the Lithuanian series of The Voice. Most recently, in 2016, Samanta was among participants of the international contest of popular music New Wave. Samanta describes her voice as a god-given talent that needs to be heard on the big stage and once you’ve heard her sing, you will agree. Her Eurovision song “Still Breathing” is meant as a strong message of female empowerment and is an ode to women who are held to unrealistically high standards. It’s about the relentlessness of the expectation to do it all and the ability still breathe despite the endless struggle. Follow the artist on Facebook, Instagram, Spotify and Youtube.
The Roop – Lithuanian trio have appeared in all of the largest Lithuania’s music festivals as well as across the world. Their debut single “Be Mine” was released in 2014, but the artists each have long histories in other music projects. Their musical style is described as a mix of rock, pop-rock, soft-rock, dance-rock, indie and pop, and their live shows are characterized as lively, honest and having a strong relationship with the audience. Their music has been played in different countries all around the globe and after their successful appearance in the 2018 Lithuanian national Eurovision selection, The Roop was frequently asked about participating again. So, in 2020 they did and brought us “On Fire”, which means being in the state of excitement, feeling passionate, engaged and full of energy. The band’s leader Vaidotas Valiukevičius stated: “This year’s song ON FIRE is about something I carried within and observed around myself. It’s about writing yourself off too quickly. This phenomenon is called ageism. We are underestimating ourselves and others too often by applying age limit rules. With this song we wish to send people confidence and good vibes. We are all capable of being who we want, when we want, and our age does not matter!” Follow the band on Facebook, Instagram, Spotify and Youtube.
Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light show also intends to bring together 2020’s artists, from their locations across Europe, in a unifying performance of 1997’s Eurovision winner Love Shine A Lightby Katrina And The Waves. The songs lyrics are very appropriate for the current situation we find ourselves in.
Well-known Eurovision artists from recent years will also be invited to participate in linking Europe through other familiar songs from the past, performed in iconic European locations.
Michael Schulte (Germany representative in 2018) will accompany Ilse DeLange from The Common Linnets (the Netherlands, 2014) performing Ein Bisschen Frieden, the song of Germany’s first winner (Nicole, 1982).
Israel’s Eurovision winner from 1979, Gali Atari, will also sing her huge hit Hallelujah alongside a choir featuring past participants from the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.
Other performances include Sweden’s Måns Zelmerlöw singing his 2015 winning song Heroes, Marija Šerifović the 2007 winner for Serbia, with Molitva and Netta (Israel, 2018) will contribute a moving acoustic version of a new song with a special message about these unusual times.
As a special treat, reigning Eurovision champion Duncan Laurence will premiere his brand new song,Someone Else, during the show. The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra will add a classical touch to the show in a very special sequence too.
Eurovision fans from across the world will also help bring an unforgettable sing-a-long moment to the screen. They will form a huge Eurovision choir and sing Johnny Logan’s What’s Another Yearwith the three-time Eurovision winner himself.
Sietse Bakker, Executive Producer of Event of what would have been the ’65th Eurovision Song Contest’ said: “We want to make a show that puts a spotlight not only on the 41 artists that were due to appear in Rotterdam but also inspire those at home and connect people from across Europe and beyond in these difficult times. Of course, we will also honour those who are affected by the coronavirus crisis and those who work so hard to fight it. Let’s make this an unforgettable moment in Eurovision history!”