The official Junior Eurovision website said that they would release the official list of competitors in September, after some broadcasters returned from summer break. Well the broadcasters are back in the office, but unfortunately two have revealed that they will not vie for the trophy in Malta. We are sad to report that FYR Macedonia and Portugal will not be on the sunny island this November.
The country debuted in the contest in 2003, the first edition, and competed every year until 2012. They withdrew that year because of issues with the voting system and financial problems. However, they returned last year with the calypso-influenced “Ohrid i muzika” (Ohrid and Music), sung by thirteen-year-old Barbara Popovic. Barbara, who had some fierce dance moves, earned 19 points (12 of which were given by the supervisors to prevent nil points from occuring), coming in last place. Our hearts sank, as we loved this song. Macedonia has reportedly been considering to withdraw since then. Today tabloid Dnevnik reported that the bad result is not the sole reason for Macedonia to withdraw — they also wish to focus on new programming.
On July 29th rumours began to emerge that the two-time participant would try to come back to the contest. Unfortunately, the director of RTP confirmed that this was only a story, and the country would not return after all. Apparently some bloggers got a bit too excited when reporting the rumour at the time, as many took it as fact. The Iberian country last participated in 2007, when Jorge Leiria placed 16th (second from last) with the song “Só quero é cantar” (All I Want Is To Sing).
We are still waiting to hear from Azerbaijan, Moldova, and San Marino about their Junior Eurovision intentions. Azerbaijan will most likely compete, as will Moldova. It is believed that San Marino will also withdraw, however, since the broadcaster was simply testing the waters for Italy, who is set to debut in this edition. However, we still await for any more surprise debuts, especially after hearing news of Montenegro’s debut.
You can see all of our Junior Eurovision 2014 coverage by clicking here.