After two years of participation in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, Montenegrin broadcaster RTCG (Radio i Televizija Crne Gore) has revealed that Montenegro will not be returning for the 2016 edition of the competition which will be hosted by the Maltese capital city of Valletta on Sunday November 20th.
Montenegro debuted in the contest back in 2014 with Maša Vujadinović & Lejla Vulić. The duo performed Budi dijete na jedan dan (translated as Be A Kid For A Day) and finished in 14th place. Jana Mirković went one place better in 2015 with a 13th place finish for her song Oluja. It is also worth mentioning that back in 2005, Filip Vučić represented Serbia and Montenegro in what became their only Junior Eurovision appearance prior to the country’s dissolution the following year. Filip’s Montenegrin-language entry Ljubav pa fudbal also achieved 13th place.
RTCG are the third broadcaster to announce their withdrawal from the contest after participating in 2015, following in the footsteps of the Sammarinese and Slovenian broadcasters. However, Cyprus and Poland have both announced their return to the competition with TVP very recently confirming their national selection details. In total, 14 countries have confirmed their participation in Junior Eurovision 2016 with just Australia and Serbia – of those that participated last year – yet to announce whether they will go to Valletta.
PBS originally expected a record-equalling 18 countries to take part this year, so it remains to be seen whether they can achieve this target. For them to do so it seems certain that the rumoured interest in the 2016 contest from France, Israel and Spain in particular will have to become more than just interest.