Now that the Eurovision Song Contest has concluded all focus shifts to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, with many broadcasters already planning and preparing their entrants for the contest. This year we will be travelling to Gilwice in Poland to celebrate the best of Europe’s young talent following Roksana’s win in Minsk the year prior, but what do we know about who’s competing and what can we expect for the national final season?
Well so far ten countries have confirmed that they will be taking part in the contest, and for them preparations are well and truly underway they are;
- Albania who have confirmed that they will be taking part in the upcoming contest and will use their national format Junior Fest once again this year. No dates have been announced as of yet for the show but we should expect it to be taking place around the end of September.
- Australia have also confirmed that they will be taking part once again marking their fifth participation in the contest and following two back to back top threes could they be hoping to secure a third? Well, the Australian broadcaster ABC haven’t announced any details about how they will select their entry this year but it would be a safe bet that they will stick to selecting their entry internally.
- France, following their successful return to the contest last year have confirmed that they will be present in Gilwice once again. The French broadcaster has stated that they are looking into different ways to select their entrant this year but no official details have been announced as of yet, but everyone here would love to see a junior version of Destination Eurovision.
- Georgia as always are prepared this year having already selected their singer through their popular selection show Ranina. Giorgi Rostiashvili will represent the nation in the contest hoping to continue the great success Georgia has had in the contest. Their song will be selected internally and will be released later this year.
- Ireland‘s Gaelic broadcaster TG4 have confirmed that they will continue to participate in the contest, once again selecting their entry through their show Junior Eurovision Eire. The show itself is known for selecting their entry late so we shouldn’t be expecting the final until November time.
- Netherlands will be hoping to replicate the success they had in the adult version of the contest and their national selection format will be back on September 28th to select their entrant.
- North Macedonia will be competing under their new name in the junior contest for the first time, and they too will be hoping to replicate the success they had in Tel Aviv. This will mark the nation’s 15th participation in the contest making them one of the most experienced nations taking part. North Macedonia haven’t released any details as to how they will select their entrant but it’d be most likely they will internally select once again.
- Poland of course will be present being the host nation. TVP again have been quiet about how they will select their entrant however they are expected to internally select once again following the success in 2018. Anna Dąbrowska has been rumoured throughout Polish press as a possible entrant.
- Portugal is the next country to of announced their participation following some strong viewing figures for the nation their participation doesn’t come as a surprise. Portugal’s selection process isn’t as easy to predict however we are sure that RTP will be using the Portuguese public to help select in some way.
- Russia will present for the 15th time in Gilwice and they will once again be selecting their entrant via their national selection at some point in September. It was originally scheduled to take place on the 1st June.
- Wales will be joining us for the second time following their debut last year. S4C began preparing for the song contest in the early months of 2019 and confirmed the final details recently. Wales will once again be selecting via Chwilio am Seren with a view revised changes for the 2019 edition. S4C will be hoping to achieve a better placing than the 20th they achieved in 2018. The final of Chwilio am Seren will take place on September 28th and their show is expected to kick off in late August.
That’s it as to those confirmed but there are still several countries considering their participation and more countries are expected to be added to the list as we continue towards the show.
- Armenia one of the most successful and present countries in the contest, have been a key member of the steering group and have attended meetings this year. Their participation is highly likely.
- Belarus are in a similar situation to Armenia and their participation is expected due to their attendance at steering group meetings.
- Bulgaria had previously announced that they had no plans to return to the contest but as BNT their broadcaster holds new director elections in July this could open up the opportunity for the nations participation. Despite the deadline to confirm participation being the end of June, the EBU could grant an extended deadline to the nation.
- Israel returned to the contest in 2016 before withdrawing in 2017 following the closure of their broadcaster and returning again in 2018. KAN have stated that they will be discussing the participation in the spring.
- Italy has also been present at the steering group meeting, meaning their participation is likely.
- Malta have had a great track record at the contest with great viewing figures on the island, incredible interest for the show and incredible results. They’ve also been present at the steering groups and their participation is expected.
- Spain is home to one of the most well known Junior Eurovision winners María Isabel and had one of the best track records in the contest up until their withdrawal in 2007, Spanish fans have continued to campaign for the nations return but been greeted with few words of encouragements from RTVE. However this year things seem to of changed as RTVE have stated that they are discussing returning to the contest quoting France’s success in 2018 and the high viewership and interest for the contest from within Spain. RTVE have stated that they do not have any music-related programmes for children and has mentioned how Junior Eurovision could fill the void, with the OT creator later stating he would be willing to work on a children’s version of the successful Spanish reality show. A final decision is expected from RTVE within the coming weeks.
- United Kingdom/England their has been wide spread speculation about Channel 4’s interest with the contest, and it was reported that they are discussing at looking into options of bringing the contest back to mainstream UK television.
In 2018 we also had Azerbaijan, Serbia and Ukraine present at the contest we haven’t heard much from the broadcasters. Ukraine however has been reported throughout Facebook as confirming to fans who message the broadcaster that they will be taking part.
In 2018 we also saw Kazakhstan take part in their first Eurovision event and Khabar Agency are reportedly keen to be continuing participation with reports that they have already started to prepare for the upcoming contest. Kazakhstan however require an invite from the EBU and the host broadcaster TVP.
Another country which is worth noting is Kosovo, the EBU will be voting on allowing the nation to become a full member of the EBU in June allowing enough time for Kosovo to announce their participation within the deadline. Kosovo broadcasters have been keen to see the nation take part in Eurovision events and this could be a good opportunity for the nation to get some their talented youngsters out there.
Please note that all information was correct at the time of publication, make sure to keep checking back as we get more information about the contest!