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The Remote: Ireland faces 'blasphemous' entry El Diablo in tonight's Eurovision semi-final

Here are some TV highlights for the week ahead.

THE REMOTE IS our weekly look at upcoming TV highlights.

What With Everything, people are at home a bit more than usual these days so we’ve got you covered whether you want a once-off special of a new series to get into.

We’ll focus mainly on free-to-air TV and freely available streaming services.

Something from the Icelandic jury

Source: Eurovision Song Contest/YouTube

It’s that time of year again, thank God says you. After being cancelled last year due to the Covid crisis, the Eurovision Song Contest is back for 2021. 

Rotterdam is the host city this year and there’ll be an audience of just 3,000 in the Ahoy Arena on all three nights (the two semi-finals and Saturday’s final). 

The first of hopefully two big nights for Ireland is tonight, when our representative Lesley Roy competes against 15 other countries for 10 slots in the final. 

Roy will perform her song Maps in the seventh slot tonight, so it’s smack bang in the middle of the semi-final.   

Ireland is up right before the controversial Cyprus entry El Diablo (The Devil) by Greek singer Elena Tsagrinou. 

El Diablo has been making waves since the Cyprus Orthodox Church and religious groups intervened, protesting that the song was blasphemous.

“I gave my heart to El Diablo… because he tells me I’m his angel,” blonde-haired Tsagrinou sings in the English-language Lady Gaga-esque tune.  

A protest was staged outside the Nicosia headquarters of state broadcaster CyBC, calling for the song to be removed from the competition.

The government and CyBC said the song had nothing to do with devil worship and argued that freedom of expression was protected.

It’s about “a bad relationship with someone,” the singer said about the song. 

Unsurprisingly, the controversy has moved Cyprus to among the favourites for the overall contest.

Italy are the overall favourites and are one of the five ‘big nations’ that go straight through to the final due to the cash the countty ponies up for the contest. 

Italian rock band Måneskin will perform the catchy Zitti E Buoni on Saturday. 

When’s it on? RTÉ 2 has got you covered for the semi-finals tonight and Thursday at 8pm, with Saturday’s final on RTÉ One and BBC One from 8pm. 

Something for the soul

Source: Apple TV/YouTube

The Me You Can’t See is a new docuseries co-created by Oprah Winfrey and Britain’s Prince Harry that explores mental health and emotional well-being through stories from people around the world. 

As well as the two hosts, there’s more A-listers who share stories of their struggles as well as plenty of ordinary folk too. 

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When’s it on? Streaming on Apple TV+ from Friday

Something people are talking about

Source: Amazon Prime Video UK/YouTube

Another Hollywood-heavy series featuring the likes of Morgan Freeman, Anne Hathaway, Helen Mirren and Constance Wu that lands this week is Solos

Much like previous Amazon Prime show Modern Love, anthology sci-fi series Solos is connected not by plot but a single inter-connecting theme. 

In this case, each self-contained episode looks at different human experiences, with the blub for the show promising it will explore “the strange, beautiful, heart-breaking, hilarious, wondrous truths of what it means to be human”.

It’s all a bit futuristic and feels like it is to positivity what Black Mirror is to dystopia. 

When’s it on? Streaming on Amazon Prime from Friday

Something to make you feel old

PastedImage-61781 Source: Virgin Media

Ant and Dec are 30 years on TV together this year and the pair are taking a look back on one of their most loved shows. 

The Story of SM:TV Live sees the pair reunite with Cat Deeley to reminisce about the hit Saturday morning TV show that got youngsters up early at the weekends across Ireland and the UK. Something for us millennials. 

When’s it on? Sunday 7.45pm on Virgin Media One

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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