When the Soviet Union collapsed in the early 1990s it shook the world. At the turn of the century, as a series of former Soviet Republics entered Eurovision, they shook our beloved contest. Yet Kazakhstan — which has a sizeable and growing music industry — has never joined the party, despite the fact a sizeable chunk of its land is within Europe’s borders, despite the fact the broadcaster has the ability to apply to the Council of Europe (which smoothes the path to the contest), and despite the fact it has screened the contest several times.
Well today Eurofans are abuzz with thoughts that Kazakhstan may one day enter. That’s because from January 1 the country’s Khabar TV will become an associate member of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).
Will they be at Eurovision 2017?
Probably not. The EBU has already tweeted as much: “Under current rules @KhabarTV is not eligible for @Eurovision participation.”
That’s because associate members of the EBU do not qualify for participation. The glaring exception is Australia, who, of course, have a long association with ESC going back decades. That said, EBU officials have told wiwibloggs in the recent past that they would like to “involve” other countries outside of Europe in Eurovision. Perhaps Kazakhstan will appear as a special guest in the near future?
Why should Kazakhstan enter?
Turkey left after 2012, and with chances of them returning growing slimmer each year, we are left with a Turkic void that can’t be filled. The only Turkic country remaining as of now is Azerbaijan, but their constant borrowing from Sweden does no good for those of us who want to hear some authentic instruments every now and then. Kazakhstan is a country with a deep Turkic heritage, a beautiful Turkic language, and many capable singers. They can bring music from a completely different area to the contest and fill the void that Turkey’s absence and Azerbaijan’s preferences have left.
Who should represent Kazakhstan?
There are tons of talented artists in Kazakhstan that would be perfect for the contest. Take girl group KeshYOU, for example. They are three gorgeous girls who can do everything from R&B (Asykpa) to folk pop (Rizamyn). They can perform live with no problem, and are perfect for Eurovision.
There’s also A-Studio (pictured at top), the group that Tomas N’Evergreen once collaborated with. While Tomas may have zero intentions of ever hearing about Eurovision again, A-Studio may want to give it a try.
Dilnaz Akhmadieva is another option. She sings mainly in Russian (having covered former Luxembourg entrant/future Sanremo entrant Lara Fabian), but also in Kazakh, English, and Uyghur. Her voice is smoky and seductive, but she can belt a good ballad too!
One more artist who can represent Kazakhstan is this year’s Türkvizyon winner, Zhanar Dugalova. Having experience with Türkvizyon will help Zhanar conquer Eurovision by storm.
Should Kazakhstan try harder to gain full membership to the EBU and enter Eurovision? Who would you like to see represent the country?