With the coming days seemingly wrapping up the participation rumour mill than engulfs every summer for the average Eurovision fan, we though it was high time we did a round-up of who will be travelling to Stockholm, who will stay on the sidelines and who is leaving everything to the last minute to decide…
So, who’s in?
Breathe a sigh of relief, because there’s another bumper crop of countries who are already joining the party in Stockholm in May. Gone are the days of widespread financial trouble and uninterested countries, as it seems that we can expect at least the same amount of countries as in Vienna. We have…
Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and United Kingdom
…to look forward to in 2016! Of course, Bulgaria may still need absolute confirmation from the EBU, but all signs point towards a return to the contest alongside Ukraine in 2016.
Thanks to some returnees in 2016 it’s not as long a list as it normally is. Andorra, Luxembourg and Monaco were little surprise to any fans thanks to financial difficulties and a lack of broadcaster support. Liechtenstein are still unable to afford the EBU membership required and Slovakia are still disinterested. Unfortunately, the major blow for 2016 is the news that RTP of Portugal will be undergoing a major restructure next year, resulting in the absence of our Iberian underdogs in Stockholm.
But who’s left?
Despite the October 10th deadline of preliminary participation we’re still in the dark about many countries. Australia are keen to stay in the contest, but the EBU remains tight-lipped on whether Vienna’s plus one will crash the party again next May. Bosnia and Herzegovina submitted preliminary papers, then withdrew them, then announced they are looking for sponsorship until the end of the month, in a similar saga to the last few years.
As for Croatia, we understand that a decision is expected in the coming days, or even hours. HRT has suggested a return to the contest is unlikely but has refused to rule out a Croatian comeback all summer. Turkey looked all set to be another returnee in 2016, but TRT is allegedly still yet to make a firm choice over rejoining Europe’s biggest TV show.
And finally, some good news for fans on the fringes of the continent. Morocco is still yet to rule themselves out of 2016 and, surprisingly, the much-fabled debut of Lebanon may be around the corner, as Tele Liban may be considering their participation.
Is your country in or are you still waiting? We don’t have long left to agonise!