It’s not even been a week since Jamala took the crown in Stockholm, but some countries are already preparing for the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. The count currently contains fourteen (almost) certain countries, but there are also a few that are unclear as to what their plans for 2017 are as well as one country saying ‘No’ to Eurovision. Let’s list them below.
Estonia were one of the first countries to confirm their participation in 2017. Jüri Pootsmann finished last in his semi-final, but that doesn’t stop Estonia from going to Eurovision. The Estonian Head of Delegation, Mart Normet, confirmed on Twitter that Eesti Laul would indeed be taking place once more in 2017.
Ma ei usu ise ka, kust ma paegu tulin. Tegime päev otsa Eesti Laul 2017 reklaame! #juba
— Mart Normet (@martnormet) April 7, 2016
This certainly is no surprise to anyone. Sweden hosted the contest a week ago and have confirmed their participation in 2017. Christer Björkman said, before the 2016 contest, that Sweden are out to catch Ireland in terms of most Eurovision victories. In even less surprising news, Melodifestivalen 2017 will be taking place once again to select Sweden’s entrant for Kyiv.
There’s not a whole lot of luck going on in Switzerland with two consecutive non-qualifications, even two consecutive last places in the semi-finals: 2015 for Melanie René, 2016 for Rykka. The Swiss have a new Head of Delegation, Reto Peritz. Their Head of Press, Eva Wismer, gave us the following statement:
I confirm the participation of Switzerland at the Eurovision Song Contest 2017.
We’re staying in the northern regions of Europe with this list of confirmations. It’s two non-qualifications in a row for the Finnish, but they’ll keep singing it away (sorry for that) in Eurovision. Furthermore, YLE have confirmed that UMK will once again be in place to choose the Finnish entrant.
Finland hasn’t done too well lately, but neither has Germany. In an interview with ESCDaily.com, Thomas Schreiber was already looking forward to next year. He told them that it was not going to be an internal selection for Germany. In 2016, Germany had to withdraw its contestant, Xavier Naidoo, because of heavy complaints in Germany. They then opted for a national final, which was won by Jamie-Lee. She then went on to finish in last place in Stockholm, just like Ann Sophie in 2015.
Norway’s Jan Fredrik Karlsen, in charge of MGP, has confirmed that Norway will also be there in 2017. Like so many of the above, there’s little surprise in that statement as Norway almost always attends the Eurovision Song Contest. Agnete failed to qualify in Stockholm, but that doesn’t stop NRK from booking their tickets to (presumably) Ukraine.
No real surprises from Hungary either. They’ve qualified for the final ever since their comeback in 2011. Their selection procedure, A Dal, has proven to be a successful formula for the Hungarians. As expected, MTVA will once again use A Dal for the Eurovision Song Contest 2017.
There are no written or secure confirmations from the Netherlands just yet. However, during the broadcast of the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2016, both commentators, Jan Smit and Cornald Maas said that they would most certainly be there in – what they assume to be – Kyiv. A formal confirmation from the Dutch should be a matter of days.
Spain wasn’t too happy with their result in 2016, where Barei only picked up ten televoting points. The Spanish commentator even admitted that he had no idea what was happening with the new voting (so much for preparation). The broadcaster told Vertele, a Spanish website, that they would start preparing for the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 in the upcoming weeks.
Now here’s a tough one. Winning the Eurovision Song Contest is normally enough reason to confirm for the next year pretty much right away. Mainly because a winner normally hosts the year after. Jamala commented on her hopes of hosting the contest in Ukraine and Kyiv’s mayor Klitshko also said that he’d like to see the contest return to Kyiv. NTU has not commented yet, but it’s more than likely that Ukraine will be there.
Here’s the first one we need to write with a pencil instead of a pen. Bulgaria is known for confirming, withdrawing and confirming again, or they just keep us waiting until the last day. Now, however, Bulgaria seem to be a little more confident that they will indeed make it to the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. They had their best ever result in Stockholm, with Poli Genova coming fourth. With the financial situation improving, BNT wrote on Twitter:
Bulgaria did its best in the 10th anniversary participation at #Eurovision and next year we are back to Kiev where it started for us 🙂
— BNT Eurovision Bulgaria 🇧🇬 (@bg_eurovision) May 16, 2016
This is an odd one. France did incredibly well in Stockholm and we can pretty much assume that France will be there in Kyiv (or Odessa, Lviv or Dnipropetrovsk) too. On Twitter, the French Head of Delegation Edoardo Grassi posted a tweet indicating that they would indeed be there in Stockholm. There were various tweets there which confirmed France 2’s participation in Ukraine. Edoardo’s tweet can be seen below:
Today is the first day of #EUROVISION 2017!!
— Edoardo Grassi (@EdwardoGrassi) May 16, 2016
We contacted Edoardo to ask him about the confirmation, to which he replied that France have not officially confirmed yet. 99.99% chance that it’s a matter of formality and days for France to officially confirm now.
When Portugal announced their withdrawal from the Eurovision Song Contest 2016, they already confirmed that they had the intention of returning in 2017 with a brand new selection format. What that exact format may be is not clear yet, but RTP did once more comment on 2017 to state that they would be there.
According to Jutarnji, a Croatian website, HRT was fairly positive towards the idea of sending The Voice winners to Eurovision. Nina Kraljić brought the country back to the final for the first time since 2009, so there’s a possibility that HRT will select Ruža Janjiš, the winner of the second season of The Voice of Croatia to Eurovision. However, once again: Nothing is sure there.
Not sure yet…
Here we go with the annual story. Ever since pulling out for the contest in 2013, Turkey has been a topic of debate. Several demands have been made to make Eurovision worth considering for TRT. And in every single year, even without EBU changing the rules in favour of Turkey’s suggestions, there has been a point in time where Turkey supposedly confirmed its participation. The same happens for 2017, with an early statement coming in through international news broadcaster Euronews. With Turkey it’s really a question of waiting until we see that finalised list of contestants somewhere ahead of the contest.
Slovakia is one of those countries you just don’t know with. They never really did well in the contest, but with their neighbours of the Czech Republic having some recent success by qualifying for the final for the first time ever, there might be something in Eurovision worth considering for RTVS. We reached out to RTVS to ask them how they felt about a possible return. They replied with the following statement:
We still haven’t decided whether we will or won’t take part on next year’s ESC. However, we have to choose wisely all projects we will participate at due to our budget.
That’s more than you’d normally hope for. It’s not a definite ‘no’ just yet from Slovakia. Could Gabriela have inspired them to scrape the money together?
No surprises here, but Andorra will not return to the Eurovision Song Contest in 2017. They participated just six times in the Eurovision Song Contest and never qualified for the final. They withdrew after 2009, also stating financial issues as an explanation for their withdrawal. For 2017, RTVA state that it’s not just a financial issue anymore. It is however unclear what the other issues might be. In a statement sent to us, RTVA write:
At the moment it is not in our forecasts [to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017]. This option isn’t possible because of different reasons. We have other priorities at this time. We are very sorry…
Andorra last participated in the contest in 2009. The possible ending of their EBU membership has been avoided, so if RTVA ever want to return, they probably can.
More to follow!
Countries will keep confirming and announcing their plans for the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest. Obviously, there are a few cases of countries you know will confirm sooner or later (just think about Belgium, the United Kingdom, Lithuania, et cetera). However, there are some interesting cases with Russia, Romania and Australia. Russia’s broadcasters are reportedly unhappy with how 2016 went and might even consider withdrawal. However, with two different broadcasters doing Eurovision, it’s highly likely that at least one of them will decide to still send an entrant.
As for Romania, we all know what happened there. The chances for them seem to be getting worse, so it’s just a matter of waiting for either a solution or a new Romanian EBU member. Australia is also a matter of waiting as it will depend on NTU, presumably next year’s host broadcaster, to decide whether to invite Australia once more or to leave them Down Under.
We’ll keep you updated with more confirmations in the next few days! Who are you hoping for to see confirm next?