Since Eurovision Song Contest 2020 was canceled due to Covid-19, EBU made an alternative Eurovision show where the participants were honored in a 2-hour special. The show was broadcasted lived to all Europe and Australia on Saturday 16th May at 8 pm London time. We bring you all the unforgettable moments of this very special Eurovision evening.

Europe Shine A Light Review
Here is exactly what happened in Eurovision Europe Shine A Light on Saturday May 16th.

What happened in the show Europe Shine A Light?

Although it was not a contest like we are used to in Eurovision, the show was fullpacked with nostalgic moments and new performances by famous Eurovision winners. The show had a nice structure and was built up nicely. With the introduction showing the last year versus this year, everyone understands why EBU had to cancel the contest. It’s sad for the all the performers that had prepared for their performance of their life. Many singers had worked really hard for singing in Rotterdam. This was just a nice way to give them a little gift back.

eurovision 2019
Pictures from Eurovision 2019 were shown in the beginning. The normal Eurovision format with lots of people gathering to celebrate the Eurovision party together, and the winner Duncan Laurence from Netherlands singing Arcade. The 2019 finals were sent from Tel Aviv Arena in Israel with almost 10,000 people in the audience. According to, the final in 2019 had 182 million viewers.
empty cities in Europe
After showing the pictures from 2019, they change the music and show the title: “1 year later”. All the cities look like ghost cities, completely without any people It’s a huge contrast from the first photos. Already on the 18th of March the decision was taken by EBU to cancel the entire Eurovison contest for 2020. Here you see Lithuania, Norway, Russia and United Kingdom, all completely dead. It gives a very sad impression.
the hosts of eurovision 2020
The hosts Edsilia Rombley, Chantal Janzen and Jan Smit enter the completely empty studio, without any audience. They reveal there will be no contest. The show is renamed to “Europe shine a light” and will honor the participants showing video clips from each and every singer that supposed to perform their country’s chosen song in Rotterdam at exactly this time. Because of the corona virus, the entire event is canceled.
highlights of eurovision 2020

Alexander Rybak won for Norway in 2009 with Fairytale.
Carola won for Sweden with in 1991 with Fångad av en stormvind

The structure of the show

The main purpose of the show was to honor the participants of Eurovision 2020. For each artist they used this formula:

  • 20 seconds intro showing video clips about the singer or group. There suppose to be a commentator but I guess they had technical problems or the Scandinavian channels chose to not include the comments. I was checking both Norwegian and Swedish TV, but were without any comments
  • 30 seconds of the song
  • 20 seconds where the singers could say something to their fans

Highlights of Europe Shine A Light 2020

In each section they presented 8 singers. In addition, many famous Eurovision legends were performing (from home, except Duncan):

Many famous Eurovision stars attended the show. Ireland’s Johnny Logan, winner of Eurovision 3 times was the first man calling. Logan song “What’s another year”, and the three hosts were accompanying him. Read more about Johnny Logan in Eurovision here.
After presenting 6 of this year’s performers, Måns Zelmerlov was performing an acoustic guitar version of his well-known “Heroes” that won Eurovision in 2015. He performed it from his garden in London, and while he was singing, there were photos of real heroes working at hospitals throughout Europe.
The next song was Israel’s Hallelujah performed by Gali Atari and Junior Eurovision Kids.

Amazing landmarks in beautiful colors

eurovision landmarks
Many famous landmarks were presented while the Philharmonic Orchestra in Rotterdam was playing. This is the most magical moment of Europe Shine A Light 2020.

What made the performance even more special was that viewers were able to watch landmarks across Europe light up in unison.

“Brothers and sisters, let your love shine a light in every corner of our hearts.” Fans were touched, with one tweeting: “This was so beautiful!” While another commented: “Stunning!”

Presented in Mirror
Buildings around Europe and beyond were lit up for Eurovison, and was played by the Rotterdam Philharmonic, from home.

Which cities were lighted up in Eurovision Europe Shine A Light?

Some of the cities with landmarks that were lighted up in Eurovision Europe Shine A light:

  • Hamburg, Germany
  • Tbilisi, Georgia
  • Bucharest, Romania
  • Belgrade, Serbia
  • Wallis, Switzerland
  • Minsk, Belarus
  • Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Tallinn, Estona
  • Riga, Latvia
  • Zagreb, Croatia
  • Paris, France
  • Jerusalem, Israel
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Oslo, Norway
  • Brussels, Belgium
  • Stockholm, Sweden
  • Sydney, Australia

Marija Serifovic delivers the most touching song of Europe Shine A Light

Marija Šerifović from Serbia performed Molitva in the empty streets of Belgrade for the Eurovision.
marija eurovision 2020

Michael Schulte, known for “You let me walk alone” was interviewed before the next music video:

Germany 1982 winner: Ein Bisschen Frieden by Ilse DeLange and Michael Schulte
best of eurovision 2020
Netta, Duncan and Måns Zelmerlov delivered amazing live performances in Eurovision Europe Shine A Light. BBC’s Graham Norton was also interviewed. He is missing the atmosphere and excitement… And he did not know what to expect from a show without any contest or any winner, but he told the hosts that he has enjoyed the show. We got to love Kathrina and the waves – it was our hope. This is his answer when the hosts ask him if he liked the song “Love Shine A Light” from the very beginning.

Netta sings Cuckoo – to support mental awareness

“Cuckoo” is very special for Netta. She wants to support mental awareness, They need to know that they are not alone, she said in the interview on Eurovision Europe Shine A Light. Netta won Eurovision for Israel in 2018.
Some of the performers at Europe Shine A Light
Abba winner Bjorn Ulvaeus and Junior Eurovision Winner 2019 Viki Gabor. were both interviewed in Eurovision Europe Shine A Light. Abba won in 1974 with Waterloo. Ulvaeus told a story about his grandson as a kid that could not believe that he was a popstar and that he won Eurovision. This show lets us escape, let us be happy and even let us forget about the coronavirus, Ulvaeus said. Long live the Eurovision Song Contest.
Winning song from 1997 “Love Shine A Light” in new 2020 version where all the participants of Eurovision 2020 are singing together – from home. Originally performed by Katrina and the waves.

Will there be a Eurovision next year?

Finally news about next year. Throughout history, whenever it was hard, we found new ways to get back up, to reunite, to celebrate. Through the power of music. Through the power of stories. Out of millions of stories, there is one we now share. And even if it is hard, we find new ways to tell our story. To open up, to show respect, to love. Together we will get there, one way or another. We will make it happen. We will open up. Open up Eurovision 2021. The countdown has begun. We are very excited about Eurovision in Rotterdam in 2021. Next year they will celebrate a winner, a happy successor to Netherlands’ Duncan Lawrence.

Eurovision 2021 news

Some unforgettable moments of Eurovision 2020

Eurovision 2019 winner Duncan Laurence performed his new song Someone Else. Duncan won Eurovision 2019 in Israel.
Iceland eurovision 2020, malta eurovision 2020
best singers eurovision 2020
favorites eurovision 2020

Scandinavian countries made their own Eurovision Song Contest where people could vote for their favorite country.