Year after year and build-up after build-up for each Eurovision sees fans discussing whether a record number of participating countries will be present at the competition and every year we seem to fall short. But the signs this year seem promising with only a handful of the usual nations declining the EBU’s kind invitation to take part. With Turkey and Slovakia remaining relatively quiet on the matter and with San Marino and Australia remaining as big question marks, will the dream of a record-breaking number of countries finally be coming true in Ukraine?

So it seems, according to sources across the web and from our friends at other sites. It seems that a real push by Crimean non-governmental organisations is keeping Turkey within touching distance of a return according to Eurovoix. Jamala’s victory in May saw a big impact in Turkey with her triumph heavily reported in press and with the singer herself visiting the country for a performance a few months ago. The link? The Crimean Tatar ethnic group, which her winning entry “1944” was heavily based on, are numerous in Turkey and so sees a strong cultural link. Perhaps it is tenuous, but it seems that this cultural link is strong enough for Crimean groups to endeavour to convince Turkey of a return to the contest. It seems unlikely, but it seems there is still time for a surprise!

As for Slovakia, RTVS has been slow to quash the usual rumours that have emerged each year since 2013 following their withdrawal from the competition. Indeed, the broadcaster is still open to the return and, financial issues pending, another surprise return may be on the cards.

San Marino looked set to announce their Eurovision plans last weekend but the rumours ultimately came to nothing. Despite this, the microstate has not ruled out performing in Ukraine. And with the recent minor rule change permitting the participation of select associate EBU members, the door remains open for Australia to continue and even for Kazakhstan to make their long-awaited debut.

Turkey, Slovakia, Australia and San Marino would make for a highly unlikely 44 and a new record. But with the new rules of the contest, who could honestly set a limit?

Who do you want to see join the club in Ukraine? Share your thoughts on social media or our forum!

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