The EBU just made it a whole lot easier for Eurovision to get even bigger. Some time before August, officials made a minor but significant change to the rules and guidelines listed on the official Eurovision.tv website. Under the section “which countries can take part”, they added a line about associate members of the EBU that could blow the contest open.
This addition states that:
Associates of the EBU may also be eligible to enter the Eurovision Song Contest, this is decided by the Reference Group, the governing body of the Eurovision Song Contest, on a case by case basis.
This could mean that any of 20 new countries, who are currently associate members, could take part. Who are they though? Could they bring anything new and should they be part of the contest?
Who are the associate members that could join Eurovision?
Australia have been part of the Eurovision party for the last three years now and competed for the last two. Whilst their original participation was meant to be a “one-off” for the 60th anniversary celebration, they were invited back in 2016. Nobody would be surprised to see SBS — an associate member since 1979 — present again in Kyiv. Australia are mega fans of the contest too, having broadcast the show live for many years. By now, they’re almost part of the furniture. We’ve already suggested The Veronicas as their act for 2017! Still, some fans disagree with a country so far from mainland Europe being in the contest. In any event, we look forward to seeing them at Junior Eurovision 2016 in just one month.
Kazakhstan’s Khabar Agency only joined as an associate member earlier this year. In some ways, it does make you wonder whether this rule change had them in mind. With a fairly rich music scene behind them (just check out our wishlist), there’s good reason to think they could do well at the contest. They’d also join the long list of former Soviet states competing, so they’d be in good company.
Maybe not one of the most popular choices on this list, but having the United States at Eurovision could bring an untold number of new fans. Justin Timberlake’s appearance as the interval act in 2016 could have opened up the floodgates. Logo TV also broadcast the show live for the first time in the USA. One potential stumbling block could be that Logo aren’t an associate member of the EBU. There are three US broadcasters who are though: ABC, CBS and NBC.
Alternatively, if not the USA, why not Canada? CBC have been an associate member since 1950, after all. We’ve also seen some amazing Canadian exports at Eurovision before. Just think of Celine Dion, Lara Fabian…and Rykka.
China’s Hunan TV have broadcast the contest live for the past two years. In Vienna, they even spoke to us about their intention to participate. They didn’t appear in Stockholm, but could an appearance in Kyiv be on the cards? Well, much like with the USA, there is a slight issue. Only China Central Television (CCTV) and the Shanghai Media Group (SMG) have associate member status. Hunan would need to act fast, unless one of the other broadcasters usurped them to take part.
Japan / South Korea
Japanese and South Korean artists are now more popular than ever in Europe, or so it seems. Japanese acts such as Kyary Pamyu Pamyu and Babymetal (who will soon perform at the O2 Arena in London) have made breakthroughs. Legendary J-Pop artists like Hikaru Utada or Ayumi Hamasaki might get a chance to perform to their biggest audiences yet. Could Japan’s NHK or TBS be convinced to give Eurovision a go?
Similarly, K-Pop is on the rise across the world. Bands like EXO and Girls Generation have sold out arenas worldwide. We can’t also forget the influence of PSY, who made a huge impact on the European charts. KBS could easily pick a well loved artist to try and further their breakthrough in Europe. Not only that, but both countries would be likely to take part in Australia’s “Asiavision” concept. What better way to get ready than to take part in the original?
See some of our favourite Asian artists here.
There are countless other options when looking at the list of associates. Chile or Brazil could represent for South America. India could bring some Bollywood flair (and not just Shava), or South Africa and Mauritius could deliver African realness.
As you can see, there’s so many options available now after this change. The question is, who do you want to see? Vote in our poll below. You can vote for as many as you would like, but you can only vote ONE time, so be sure to click the box next to each country you want at Eurovision before pressing submit. There is also an option for NONE OF THEM if you want Eurovision to stay as it is. Make sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments section too.