Tbilisi 2017

Bulgaria, Croatia and Israel frustrated by early reveal of JESC participants

Earlier this week, the EBU surprised many fans by releasing the list of participating countries for the 2017 Junior Eurovision Song Contest. In recent years, this list hasn’t been unveiled until late September. However, it seems it wasn’t just the fans that were surprised. Several broadcasters, including those from Bulgaria, Croatia and Israel are frustrated at the situation.

“We have everything in place to react quickly”

The withdrawal of Bulgaria from the Junior Eurovision Song Contest was the biggest surprise upon the reveal of the list. Indeed, Bulgaria is in the process of electing a new director general and board at their national broadcaster. They have revealed that their future Eurovision and Junior Eurovision policies will be revealed after August 23rd once this board is in place. Of course, judging by previous years, this would give BNT the chance to sign up for the forthcoming Junior Eurovision. However, this early reveal has blocked this opportunity.

Indeed, BNT seems quite bewildered by the situation via their official Eurovision Twitter account. Nevertheless, they explain that they have everything in place ready to enter Junior Eurovision 2017 if the new board approves participation later this month.

Croatia and Israel also express frustration

It isn’t just Bulgaria who are frustrated. Croatia‘s national broadcaster, HRT, previously revealed that they were considering a return to Junior Eurovision. Indeed, according to Eurofestivales, HRT is also disappointed at the early participation list reveal. Furthermore, they are still not ruling out a return to the contest for the first time since 2014. In addition, various rumours suggest that Israel‘s IPBC had also not ruled out Junior Eurovision participation, especially after negotiating a deal with the EBU for their new broadcaster to be able to participate in Eurovision events.

“At this moment the list is final”

Nevertheless, according to Eurofestivales, the EBU made the following statement (translated from Spanish):

“At this moment the list of the 16 countries participating in Junior Eurovision 2017 is final.”

This contradictory statement perhaps opens the door for additional countries to be added to the line-up over the next few weeks. Indeed, by revealing the list of participants early, it seems the EBU could have prevented Tbilisi 2017 equalling, or even beating the participation record. This was set back in 2004 when 18 countries took part.

What do you make of the EBU’s decision to reveal the list of participants so early? Do you think Bulgaria, Croatia and Israel are considering participation? Let us know in the comments section below and via our social media pages @ESCXTRA!

Ryan Cobb

My first memory of watching the Eurovision Song Contest was back in 2001 and, over the years, my passion and enthusiasm for the contest has very much turned into an obsession. I adore music and I love geography, so this contest is a natural fit for me. If la la loving Eurovision was a crime, I'd certainly be a criminal!

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