Despite a few COVID related concerns, this week’s Eurovision national finals will push forward as scheduled. Norway has seen their second individual forced into quarantine due to the omicron variant of the virus, this time affecting one of the artists set to perform on Saturday. Spain has also had to make some adjustments to the production plans for Benidorm Fest 2022, as one of the artists set to compete this week has been put in quarantine. Both artists will still take the stage, just not in the way that was originally intended.
Norway’s Subwoolfer to sit out a week
When speaking to NRK the group said: “On our journey of discovery around the earth, we met a creature called omikron!” so fans shouldn’t worry too much, it appears they are still in good spirits and as joke-filled as ever. Due to pandemic protocols, the artists will be required to stay home this week and will not be able to perform as the auto-qualifier interval act as planned. Instead, next week’s auto-qualifier Northkid will take their spot and Subwoolfer will perform on February 5th.
Member of NorthKid Bilal Saab said that the call was rather unexpected, but were taking the change with a positive stride. “There is quite a lot to be done in relation to the stage show, and also rehearsal of the song which we now have one week less on – but as they say: the show must go on”. He also mentioned that this pandemic has been difficult for everyone, and it’s important to help each other to keep things going.
MGP director and Head of Delegation Stig Katlsen is also in good spirits regarding the change, saying: “We are working hard to keep this year’s production afloat, but the audience should know that nothing stops the Melodi Grand Prix. Nor a pandemic.” NorthKid will join the semi-final acts Mari Bølla, Sturla, VILDE, and Oda Gondrosen at 19:50 CET on January 29th, and can be viewed on the official Melodi Grand Prix website.
Gonzalo Hermida to sit out of Semi-Final 2
Gonzalo announced the disappointing news on social media today that he has tested positive for COVID-19 and therefore will not perform live on the Benidorm Fest 2022 stage. Hermida is not disqualified from the national final though, as RTVE put in place a COVID protocol for contestants ahead of the live broadcasts. The protocol stated that an artists rehearsal footage would be used in place of a live performance in the event of exposure – however, since Gonzalo missed rehearsals today they will show his music video instead.
As he stated on social media, the news of his positive test was absolutely crushing. ““I am devastated to not be able to take part in Benidorm Fest. They say everything happens for a reason but this has just f*cked me over.” So far this appears to be an isolated event within the participant line-up, and hopefully will not impact the other semi-finalists or final show on Saturday. The semi-finals will be broadcast on RTVE’s website starting at 22:40 CET Tuesday January 26 and Wednesday January 27th, with the final starting at 22:05 CET on January 29th.
We here at ESCUnited wish both Subwoolfer and Gonzlo Hermida a speedy recovery as they recover at home.
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