Eurovision 2021 was held under the heavy atmosphere of the Covid virus (which is still present in our life). Regarding this and in order to reduce the number of people on the stage, the EBU decided to allow pre-recoded backing vocals in Eurovision 2021.
Back then, the EBU explained its choice:
We believe allowing backing vocals to be pre-recorded increases the creative potential and diversity of acts and facilitates modernisation of the Eurovision Song Contest. It also allows songwriters and producers to present their work as close as possible to their original composition. The change also provides flexibility for participating broadcasters to minimise the size of their delegations, thus saving costs.
Permitting recorded backing vocals also contributes to reducing the technical burden and costs for the host broadcaster as well. This all contributes to the sustainability of the Contest in our new reality.
EBU claimed it would help increase flexibility for the participating countries during Eurovision 2021.
It was also stated that the new rule will be examined.
According to the Icelanic broadcaster RÚV, EBU will permit the use of pre-recoded backing vocals in Eurovision 2022 as well. However, the page where the news was published, became unavailable later on.
Rules for Eurovision 2022, suggest that the lead singer must sing live, however backing vocals are permitted –
The backing track in question shall not contain Lead Vocals, Lead Dubs and/or any other vocals that would have the effect of, or aim at replacing or unduly assisting the Lead Vocal(s) during the live performance on stage.
During Eurovision 2021, several countries used the option to include pre-recorded backing vocals. Slovenia and North Macedonia used choirs, while Iceland included hundreds of people singing a a couple of lines of the chorus.
In 2017, Norway received special permission to include vocal sampling in Eurovision performances.
The option to include pre-recorded backing vocals was accepted with mixed emotions among Eurovision fans. Some of them supported this, while others claimed it gives a non-fair advantage.
EBU hasn’t released an official announcement regarding those issues yet.