Despite the main contest having wrapped just two week ago, decisions are already being made by the broadcasters about the Junior Eurovision contest happening in December. Last year a total of 19 countries participated in the contest, and at the end of the event Armenia’s Malena won with the song “Qami Qami”.
Who do we know is out?
Prior to this week, only one country had confirmed that they had no intention to return to the contest – Welsh Broadcaster S4C. Wales did not participate in the 2021 contest, and on February 4th announced they had no intention to participate in Yeveran either, which opened the rumor mill for the UK’s return to the contest.
Since yesterday more delegations have announced they will not be considering a return to the contest: Lithuania, Denmark, Latvia, or Moldova. As many will know, these countries have not participated in the contest for a number of years. The most recent participant from this list of four was Moldova who participated from 2010 to 2013, whereas Latvia and Lithuania stopped participating after the 2011 contest. Despite not returning for 2022, Moldova’s Head of Delegation said the broadcaster will not “close the door” on a return in the future.
Denmark, despite inspiring the contest and hosting the inaugural 2003 contest, has not participated since 2005. In previous years DR has stated that their non-participation is due to JESC not aligning with the broadcaster’s values but also have said that the contest creates too much stress for young children. Another inagural country Norway has ruled out a return to the contest despite sending a delegation to Paris to observe how the show has resolved. The Icelandic broadcaster RÚV also sent a delegation but stated it’s “too early to tell” if Iceland would debut this year.
Also out is Austria, who today confirmed that they still have no interest in participating or debuting in the contest. Broadcaster YLE ruled out a debut last week, stating that they do not wish to “create child stars or feel comfortable with children competing in these types of shows.”
Will Slovenia return in 2022?
On the other hand, Slovenia’s head of Eurovision delegation at RTVSLO did announce today that they are considering a return to the contest in December. Nothing is official, but she said: “As soon as we have a final decision about our possible participation in this year’s Junior Eurovision, we will let you know through our social networks.” Slovenia is known for ruling out a JESC return instantly, so this stance means that RTVSLO may be taking a return to the contest seriously.
Slovenia has only participated in two editions of the contest in both 2014 and 2015, where in the latter contest they came in third place with Lina Kuduzović’s song “Prva ljubezen”. In 2016 they announced that their withdraw was caused by changes to the rules by the EBU, but three years later it was revealed the true cause was the cost associated with participation.
If Slovenia returns to the contest, they would join the following countries who have confirmed their participation or expressed interest in competing in Yerevan this December:
- Armenia 🇦🇲
- Bulgaria 🇧🇬
- France 🇫🇷
- Georgia 🇬🇪
- Ireland 🇮🇪
- Kazakhstan 🇰🇿
- Netherlands 🇳🇱
- Poland 🇵🇱
- Spain 🇪🇸