We had some Belgian news this morning, but there’s more to report from Europe! Several countries have already confirmed their participation in Sweden and others have reportedly confirmed.
It doesn’t need any explanation to say that Sweden will once again participate. They are next year’s host broadcaster and are yet to determine where the contest will take place. Obviously, they will use their highly successful Melodifestivalen for 2016.
Even before Eurovision 2015, Hungary had confirmed their participation. Basically, when Boggie won A Dal back in February, it was said that A Dal would return in 2016. Since A Dal is not a competition on its own (like Sanremo or FiK), but purely a national final for Eurovision, we can therefore say that Hungary will be there in Sweden.
This year’s host country Austria will also send an entry to Sweden, despite finishing without a single point this time. Speaking to Vienna.at, Alexander Wrabetz, chief at ORF, answered the question regarding an Austrian participant in Sweden as follows:
Definitely. The ratings have shown us that Austria has become a Eurovision country again. Everyone here in Austria is proud of what we Austrians send out to the world, so yes, we will definitely be there next year.
Also announced is Belgium. The Flemish broadcaster, VRT, has launched a new national final, which you can read more about here. The Flemish broadcaster failed to qualify on their previous two attempts, so they are hoping to finally follow the example of the Walloon brothers of RTBF, who secured qualification twice in a row now.
Next up is Denmark. Despite failing to qualify for the first time since 2007, Jan Lagermand Lundme, Head of Entertainment at DR confirmed Denmark would be there. There are however some changes going to be made on the format of Dansk Melodi Grand Prix. Speaking about Eurovision, Lagermand Lundme said:
Thankfully there’s a new Eurovision next year and Denmark will be there. Next year we’ll definitely qualify!
They’re celebrating their fiftieth participation next year, so definitely there will be Finland. Perrti Kurikan Nimipäivat may have travelled to Vienna as #5 with bookmakers to win the whole thing, they eventually finished in last in the semifinal, scoring one point only with the juries. Despite that, Anssi Autio, responsible for Eurovision at YLE, has confirmed the return of UMK and the Finnish participation in Sweden:
Next year will mark the fiftieth Finnish Eurovision entry. UMK is a good launching platform for many bands and artists. Eurovision brings a lot of publicity for our Finnish entrant, whether they win or not.
The first of the Big Five has also confirmed their participation. Germany were unlucky from start to finish in Vienna: The winner of the national final refused to do Eurovision, Ann Sophie went, despite getting only 22% of the votes, ended up in Vienna, where she got a cold and went home with zero points. The sixtieth anniversary became an absolute car crash for the Germans, but they’ll be there in Sweden. They have said they’ll re-evaluate their selection process, but will definitely participate in Sweden.
Also there in Sweden are The Netherlands. After The Common Linnets and Anouk, the country sent another star to Eurovision, but this time things didn’t go as planned. Trijntje Oosterhuis finished in 14th in her semifinal with just 33 points. AvroTros was openly disappointed about the result, saying she definitely deserved more than she got, based on her vocals and song alone. This reaction was however followed by the statement that AvroTros believe they have found the right way of doing Eurovision. Another internal selection for The Netherlands in 2016!
Finally, there are a few countries which may or may not have indicated a Eurovision 2016 participation. First of all, Turkey. The country announced a comeback to Eurovision 2016 earlier this year, but has remained silent ever since. An official confirmation from TRT about the final say on this matter is yet to be published, but for now, we can count Turkey in for 2016.
Also making a possible comeback is Ukraine. After withdrawing this year for political and financial reasons, the new general director of NTU, Zurab Alasania told Ukrainian media Apostrophe that they would be making a comeback to Eurovision. In 2015, Ukraine missed their first contest since 2003. For Ukraine goes that we’ll need to wait and see how the situation in the country develops and whether they will actually participate in 2016, but also for Ukraine: It’s a yes for now!
Poland has taken Eurovision 2016 into their preliminary broadcast schedule, which indicates that TVP will participate in Sweden. However, as we said, it’s a preliminary schedule which may still be changed. We however expect TVP to participate after two consecutive qualifications for the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest.
A call for songs has been made by Martynas Tyla, who works for Lithuanian broadcaster LTU. It was said that composers and artists should working on songs for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest. It is yet unclear whether this was a personal statement by Tyla or whether LTU has indeed confirmed participation in Sweden.
Finally, there’s another possible return. Months ago, Croatian broadcaster HRT said they might consider sending the winner of The Voice of Croatia to the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest. Once again, no official confirmation has been made regarding this matter. It would, if true, mark Croatia’s first participation since 2013, when Klapa s mora failed to qualify for the final.
Obviously, there’s also rumours regarding Australia and even China, but we’ll hear that later on. These countries have at least confirmed, or in some cases possibly confirmed, their participation in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016. escXtra.com will be keeping you updated as more confirmations roll in! After all, the month of May is just around the corner!