Following their withdrawal last year, the Italian broadcaster had previously confirmed that they will not be returning to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2021. This marked the first time since 2016 that next year’s host of Eurovision has not gone on to compete in the edition of Junior Eurovision prior.
However, in a statement published by Rai yesterday, the broadcaster has seemingly u-turned and has now confirmed their participation:
Rai, which last year did not participate, returns to the competition hoping to repeat the success of the Maneskin even among the youngest. The Italian song and the singer will be announced in November.Excerpt from Rai statement
The broadcaster will air the show live via Rai Gulp and Rai Play. In the statement, they also claim to be looking to replicate Måneskin’s success via the junior contest.
A U-Turn following previous statement
Speaking to Eurofestival News back in July, Luca Milano, the Director of Rai Ragazzi, explained their initial decision not to participate:
This year we have adopted a very cautious policy on the presence of minors in television programs (also with regard to our study programs which have only recently reopened, with very strict procedures, their doors to children).
Participation in an international event such as the JESC requires a long planning and preparation phase, which has started since spring and we have not started.
Collaboration with other European public services and with the EBU remains very important to us. We preferred to focus this year on other projects, such as the cycle of short documentaries EBU Kids Portraits or the European initiative “Say Hi” on friendship to be held in November, naturally awaiting the “Italian” edition of Eurovision 2022, to which the whole company is already devoting great attention.Luca Milano, Director of Rai Ragazzi
Italy debuted at Junior Eurovision back in 2014, winning the contest with Vincenzo Cantiello’s ‘Tu primo grande amore’. They had participated in every edition between 2014 and 2019, before withdrawing last year due to the pandemic.
Junior Eurovision 2021 so far
Only days after Valentina’s win, the EBU were quick to confirm that we will be travelling to France for the 18th edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. The contest will take place on December 19th at La Seine Musicale. The slogan of the contest will be Imagine, and the logo was unveiled in August.
At this point, fifteen countries have confirmed to participate in the JESC edition of 2021.
- North Macedonia
It’s still early, so we expect more countries to participate. Stay tuned for more updates!
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