In a statement released last week by MRT, North Macedonia announced that they would be reevaluating their participation in the Eurovision Song Contest 2021. The reason is public backlash against their entry, Here I Stand by Vasil Garvanliev. Vasil has since taken to his social media to confirm that he remains standing and will be participating in the contest after all.
Internal commission to review
Head of Delegation Meri Popova released a statement last week in response to public backlash regarding the music video for “Here I Stand”, but specifically Vasil’s Bulgarian heritage and sexual orientation. The statement stated that MRT established an internal commission to review their participation in Rotterdam. The full statement is below:
Macedonian Radio Television (MRT) has established an internal commission, to review and analyze all aspects of the public reactions related to the Eurovision Song Contest. The public service broadcaster will also take into account the obligations as a participating country, as well as an active member of the European Broadcasting Network, where MRT is an integral part of the public service association in the European Union. The public will be informed about MRT’s final decision.Meri Popova, Head of Delegation for North Macedonia
The response was partially provoked by a petition that garnered over 20,000 signatures. In response, a counter-petition was published in support of Vasil.
Here he stands
Earlier this week, Vasil took to his social media channels to confirm that despite the backlash to his song, he will remain the North Macedonian entrant for Eurovision 2021. Further, this confirms that North Macedonia will not withdraw, as was feared by some:
Vasil Garvanliev is a highly experienced singer, having started aged 7 with performances at some of North Macedonia’s most popular children’s festivals. He then moved to the USA with his family aged 12 and continued his career as a soloist at Chicago Children’s Choir.
Aside from children’s festivals, Vasil Garvanliev was also educated at some of the world’s most prestigious music schools in both Milan and Toronto.
Alongside non-ESC singles “Gjerdan”, “Patuvam”, “Mojata Ulica” and “SudBina”, appeared at Eurovision 2019 as a backing vocalist for Tamara Todevska and her entry “Proud”.
Vasil was set to represent North Macedonia at the 2020 contest in Rotterdam with the song, “YOU”. However, the contest was cancelled as a result of Covid-19. In June, Vasil told us that “YOU” was “an invitation for us to connect through dance to celebrate the given moment”.
You can watch our interview with Vasil below:
Are you happy with the decision? Will you be rooting for Vasil in Rotterdam? Let us know! Be sure to stay updated by following @ESCXTRA on Twitter, @escxtra on Instagram and liking our Facebook page for the latest updates! Also, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to see our reactions to the news in the upcoming months.
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