Fans have long suspected that Bosnia and Herzegovina would not return to Eurovision 2018, but now the national broadcaster has confirmed the bad news. In a short statement on social media, BHRT confirmed that the Balkan nation would not be involved in Lisbon.
The broadcaster made a short but powerful statement where they confirmed that “BHRT will not participate in Eurovision 2018”.
— BH EUROSONG (@bheurosong) September 18, 2017
BHRT had previously told fans that the final decision would be made by 15 September — the deadline for broadcasters to make their Eurovision 2018 participation submissions.
But the @bheurosong twitter account is still feeling the love. The account has been styled in the branding of Eurovision 2018, which suggests that even if Bosnia and Herzegovina won’t be participating in Lisbon, they’ll at least be there in spirit.
While the non-return is disappointing news to fans, it also comes as no surprise to many.
Last month Bosnia and Herzegovina’s 2016 singer Dalal posted a link to a wiwibloggs article about the likelihood of her country winning Eurovision. Dalal added the comment “Too bad we don’t have representatives in 2018”.
It is also known that broadcaster BHRT has been plagued by financial troubles that make Eurovision entry an extremely low priority. Bosnia and Herzegovina’s last entry — Dalal & Deen feat. Ana Rucner & Jala with “Ljubav je” in 2016 — was entirely privately funded, through sponsorship and contributions from the artists themselves.
Last year, the broadcaster confirmed that they would not be able to participate in Eurovision 2017 due to its financial situation, including a €5.5 million debt to the EBU. A spokesperson said it would be “highly irresponsible” to enter “such an expensive project as Eurovision” when it could not afford to participate.
Bosnia and Herzegovina first entered Eurovision in 1993. Since the semi-finals were introduced, Bosnia and Herzegovina could always be counted on to quality for the grand final, until their entry in 2016 broke their lucky streak by only just missing out in 11th place.
Their best result was in 2006, when Hari Mata Hari placed third with the evocative Balkan ballad “Lejla”, written by 2004 runner-up Zeljko Joksimovic.
Bosnia and Herzegovina took a three-year break from Eurovision, from 2013 to 2015, before returning in 2016. And despite their absence this year and next year, fans are still hoping that Bosnia and Herzegovina will eventually return to Eurovision.
What do you think? Are you sad that Bosnia and Herzegovina won’t return this year? Share your thought below!