The mid-September deadline has passed, meaning that every country who is considering entering Eurovision 2018 will have filed their application with the EBU. Since then we’ve seen a flood of confirmations, making a total of 37 countries planning for Lisbon. But there are some notable absences from that list. Let’s take a look at the countries who are yet to publicly confirm their participation next year.
Not all countries who are intending to participate in Eurovision 2018 have made this news public yet. Some may be holding off until they have more details about their participation sorted out, and others may currently be focusing on their Junior Eurovision entry. But it is also possible that some of them won’t be on board for 2018.
Some fans are worrying that Hungary hasn’t confirmed yet, but in recent years they have waited until October to confirm. After a top-ten finished in Kyiv (and two other top-ten results in recent years), it would be very unusual for Hungary to drop out. There have been rumours that the national final A Dal may be revamped and drop the semi-finals, but this hasn’t been confirmed either.
Update: Good news! The Hungarian broadcaster has confirmed they’ll be in Lisbon. Hungary will again use the national final A Dal.
After the Israeli points spokesperson’s dramatic farewell in May, it seemed that we’d never see Israel in Eurovision ever again. But things aren’t that bad. Israel’s new public broadcaster IPBC is in the middle of applying for EBU membership, but even if that’s not confirmed in time for Eurovision 2018, the EBU and IPBC have a temporary agreement that will still let Israel serve Middle East realness in Lisbon.
Update: Another confirmation! Shortly after we published our post today, Israel’s new broadcaster IPBC (KAN) confirmed that it will participate at Eurovision 2018! They will use again the national final Rising Star.
Macedonian Radio Television has not officially confirmed their participation in Eurovision 2018, but the show is part of their 2018 line-up. It just seems like it wouldn’t be much fun to watch the show without participating as well.
Following the Sunstroke Project’s third-place finish in Kyiv — Moldova’s best ever result! — fans are expecting Moldova to be back. Broadcaster TRM usually takes their time before they announce their participation, so we’re expecting something in the coming weeks. There’s no word whether national final O melodie pentru Europa will be back, but its one of our favourites, so we hope so.
Russia, are you in or out? Earlier in the year, broadcasters Channel One and Russia-1 assured Eurovision fans that Russia would be back in 2018 and that Julia Samoylova would be given the chance to represent her country. But since then, Julia hasn’t heard from either broadcaster and there’s been no public confirmation of Russia’s participation in Lisbon. But this is very Russia. We expect they’ll confirm when the time suits them.
Update: While the Russian broadcaster still hasn’t confirmed, an interview with Jon Ola Sand from May suggests Russia will very much be returning. And rumours suggest this is so.
Last year it looked like San Marino might not be back for another year — then they showed up at the last minute with Valentina Monetta, Jimmie Wilson and a Ralph Siegel disco number. This year, there have been no rumoured acts, just gloomy mutterings from the broadcaster’s director general that “There is no place for micro-states in the Eurovision Song Contest.” We’d like to see San Marino back, but we wouldn’t be surprised if they take a break this season.
- Kosovo – the EBU has confirmed that as Kosovar broadcaster RTK is not currently a member of the EBU, it is therefore ineligible to participate in Eurovision.
- Kazakhstan, China, etc – the broadcasters of these Asian countries are only Associate Members of the EBU. So, like Australia, they would need to be especially invited to compete at Eurovision. However, they are both eligible to enter the inaugural Eurovision Asia contest.
- United States, South Africa, etc – the broadcasters of these countries are also only associate members of the EBU. And also like with Australia, the only way they could appear in ESC is by special invitation. It is unlikely that this would extend to more than one country per year.