Ever since Kazakhstan was confirmed as being part of the lineup for Junior Eurovision 2018, fans have wondered if the same invitation will be extended to the Central Asian nation for the Eurovision Song Contest. Now ESC and JESC supervising producer Jon Ola Sand has commented on the matter.

The topic was discussed in a Q&A session that Jon Ola Sand took part in, along with Junior Eurovision 2018 producer Ivan Eismont. The two answered questions that had been send in from viewers.

One question, from an Alexey of Kazakhstan, asked why Kazakhstan had not been invited to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest, noting that fellow associate member Australia is invited.

Jon Ola Sand responded diplomatically, saying:

“Well, we should discuss whether we should be able to bring Kazakhstan — and our associate member in Kazakhstan — to Eurovision Song Contest. But this is a part of a broader discussion that we have at the EBU, so I hope I can get back with more information later.”

The website of TVR offers a transcript of the interview, which includes Jon Ola’s response as it was interpreted into Russian. Translated back in to English, the quote gives a slightly rosier view of Kazakhstan at the Eurovision Song Contest, however it is important to remember that these were not Jon Ola Sand’s exact words:

“I can say that we would be glad to see Kazakhstan on the stage of the adult Eurovision Song Contest. It is necessary to take into account the fact that the broadcasting company of Kazakhstan is an associate member of the European Broadcasting Union, and here it will take several rounds of negotiations to make a decision. I hope I can give a more accurate answer later.”

Back in July, Kazakhstan was confirmed as a guest participant in Junior Eurovision 2018. Since then, fans have wondered if the guest invitation will also be extended to Kazakhstan at the Eurovision Song Contest.

However, in July the EBU issued a statement saying it had “no plans” to include Kazakhstan at the Eurovision Song Contest.

The EBU’s statement mades it clear that Kazakhstan’s participation at Junior Eurovision 2018 did not mean automatic participation at Eurovision 2019.

While the ESC Reference Group could potentially invite Kazakh broadcaster Khabar Agency to compete in Eurovision 2019, their statement confirms that — in July, at least — this was not planned.

However, Kazakhstan still has the option of competing at the Eurovision Asia Song Contest, tentatively due to debut in December 2019.

What do you think? Should Kazakhstan get an invitation to compete at Eurovision? Should the EBU mix things up and invite other countries? Share your thoughts below!

Read more Kazakhstan news here

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MFEE
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MFEE

Melodifestivalen and Eesti Laul are quality over quantity but Eurovision is all about quantity and doesn’t care about quality. There are too much and too many of everything and that’s why results are always so confusing because regular viewers can’t handle that large mess and if you add even more, nothing good comes from it and a lot of countries who try hard and results are still bad are starting to withdraw because other countries who shouldn’t be there come there to take something that’s not theirs. Ofcourse esc fans are excited because you have more countries to fangirl/fanboy over… Read more »

Stella
Guest
Stella

I think it would be awesome if Kazakhstan wins Junior Eurovision tomorrow, that way they can show Europe how serious they are about Eurovision. Daneliya would be a deserving winner!

joff
Guest
joff

In football, Kazakhstan is part of the European competitions such as Champions League, Europa League, European Qualifiers and World Cup Qualifying.
According to this simple concept, I consider Kazakhstan more correct to be at Eurovision, I would leave Australia at home, but money is also important so I do not know what they could decide about this.

Martina Bárta
Guest
Martina Bárta

YAAAAS!! Let’s invite Kazakhstan!!!!

NO!
Guest
NO!

NO!!! Defenetly not. There are already too many countries in the competition and some are not even European countries. It’s EUROvision not Worldvision. Make another show then if you want all countries in the world to participate.

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

I agree with you 100%, the contest’s main problem nowadays is that there are too many countries for one programme, be it the semi-final or final. Every year, good songs get lost in the fog of war as voters can’t take in 18+ new songs when it comes to voting time. I think the final should be cut to 12 songs. Easier said than done, I know.

Dame Tu Conchita
Guest
Dame Tu Conchita

They should make a drama out of it like what Israel, Ukraine and Bulgaria is doing nowadays.

It's the BBC's fault, not the UK's
Guest
It's the BBC's fault, not the UK's

Why not? If Australia (the furthest country away from Europe can take part), why is that a problem? The reason why the other EBU members such as Tunisia and Lebanon don’t take part is because Israel takes part

Anna
Guest
Anna

But Australia has broadcasted Eurovision for years. It’s not the same case with Kazakhstan. But I’m pretty sure that we will get to see Kazakhstan as a participating country in near future. They really want it.

John
Guest

I would love to see a different special guest country invited to participate every year, instead of just Australia. That way you could have Kazakhstan, China, Qatar and other countries who have expressed interest. If they finished in the top 5, they would be invited back the next year before another country got their turn.

Fredrik
Guest
Fredrik

Not a good idea. Do you really want China in ESC? They are a dictatorshiop. Its no fun for small countries if there are more then 19 in a semi. No more then 19 in a semi EBU please.

Charles II
Guest
Charles II

Well political is as of now is NOT a criteria for participating in the Eurovision. Russia and Belarus are not that far from the Chinese system.
Russia committed a chemical attack of British soil, and all European nations flocked to the Soccer world cup.
So go figure this world…

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Azerbaijan…nobody cares about politics until it’s Israel.

I don’t recall hearing anything about an Iceland boycott of the World Cup.

Joel Turner
Guest
Joel Turner

Stop hating on Australia John!! 🙂

Henrikh Mugosa
Guest
Henrikh Mugosa

IF that was done, they would better invite countries like: Brazil, South Africa, Japan, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Mali.

Toffeenix
Guest
Toffeenix

Inviting Mali makes sense, doesn’t it? They’re so into Eurovision, aren’t they?

Henrikh Mugosa
Guest
Henrikh Mugosa

Inviting Mali makes just as much sense as inviting China or Qatar. If Eurovision is going to go global there is plenty of exciting countries to invite. Mali being one of them, because there’s some pretty excellent music coming from there every year. On the hand, just because Qatar once showed interest in Eurovision, that does not make them more Eurovision-able. They don’t excite me at all, for the same reasons that Paris Saint-Germain doesn’t excite me. Right now, after 14 matches they’ve won, PSG is already 15 points ahead of 2nd placed Lyon. Now imagine THAT translated into Eurovision… Read more »

Henrikh Mugosa
Guest
Henrikh Mugosa

Just because one country “shows interest” in Eurovision, or is desperate to take part like Kazakhstan is, that doesn’t automatically mean it has sooner or later to take part.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

There is no justification for leaving Kazakhstan out. For me, it should be strictly full EBU members only, but if Australia are let in then so should Kazakhstan be. How can they rationalize favoring one over the other? This is what happens when you break your own rules.

Jai
Guest
Jai

Australia is a special case though because they’ve been broadcasting the contest for decades and there is a large fan base there.

Shanfa Chai
Guest
Shanfa Chai

I wanna see the following Kazakh artists compete in Eurovision :

Aidana Medenova
Beibit Kushkaliev
Daneliya Tuleshova (2022)
Dimash Kudaibergen
Kamshat Zholdybaeva
Moldir Auelbekova
Zhanar Dugalova
Ziruza

Shanfa Chai
Guest
Shanfa Chai

*CORRECTION : Daneliya Tuleshova (2023)

Susan
Guest
Susan

Russia will be so happy about this. Another 12 points in the bag.

Fredrik
Guest
Fredrik

And still they dont qualify. It doesnt matter anymore. The days of diaspora voters are over.

sabi
Guest
sabi

The diaspora voting still alive on televoting and sometimes at jury.

Jai
Guest
Jai

They didn’t qualify for the first time ever this year, when their entry was pretty terrible, and their non-qualification was still surprising. They were also competing in a different semi-final than many of the countries who would have given them points. The Latvian televote still gave them 12 points As much as I want Diaspora voting to be over too I think you’re getting a little ahead of yourself based on one year’s results.

Hugo
Guest
Hugo

Australia has really contributed to both ESC and JESC over the last 4 years, and I’m sure Kazakhstan can do exactly the same! Let them compete :)!

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

They would enrich the competition for sure but their 10 and 12 points to Azerbaijan and Russia every year wouldn’t be the tea

Jai
Guest
Jai

That’s what’s holding me back from being excited about Kazakhstan possibly competing. Based off of what I’ve seen (especially Zhanar Dugalova competing in Turkvision) I think they would slay, but I don’t want another country competing that is going to blindly give their 12 points to Russia every single year

Alex
Guest
Alex

So should we celebrate?

Kirby
Guest
Kirby

I don’t know if to you, but to me …that sounded like a YAAAAAAAAY!!! 🙂

Azuro
Guest
Azuro

People should remember it took Australia 30 years of broadcasting the show to earn their participation and while not being geographicly European they are culturally European. Neither of those criteria apply to Kazakhstan which would just be another Russian satellite

Lauren
Guest
Lauren

100% agree. Don’t understand the downvotes.

Stevan
Guest
Stevan

You do know that Kazakhstan is geographically part of both Europe and Asia? One of the reasons for the downvotes ^

SoldierOfLove
Guest
SoldierOfLove

Yeah, well so are Russia, Georgia and Azerbaijan (I’m sure UK and France have many colonies outside of Europe, too) and Israel, Armenia and Australia (and Cyprus) aren’t in Europe either. I think it’s just the hypocrisy of the Western Europeans.

AdD
Guest
AdD

Did you know that Europe is in fact, a peninsula of Asia? Europe being a continent is literally a “concept” based on the similarities between neighboring states.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

How exactly are they “culturally European”? Please clarify. Your point totally ignores the indigenous aboriginal people, as well as the vast contribution to Australian society from Asian (and other) immigrants. The most common surname in Melbourne is Nguyen (from Vietnam). What is the ancestry of each of Australia’s Eurovision representatives?

In any case, being “culturally European” earns them no brownie points, it is not and should not be a criterion for participation.

Slovene
Guest
Slovene

Agree!!

Jack
Guest
Jack

I’d welcome Kazakhstan to ESC, only problem I’d have is their televoters would probably give Russia 10 or 12 points every year.

Fast Food Music Lover
Guest
Fast Food Music Lover

Why would that be a problem?

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

Probably the first two years, but that dies down eventually. Look at ESC this year, almost all countries that used to be known for diaspora and neighbour voting didn’t even qualify.

Lila
Guest
Lila

Allowing Australia to compete but not Kazakhstan just makes the EBU look racist and classist in all honesty

KESC
Guest
KESC

Sorry but if countries like Israel and Australia can participate, why wouldn’t Kazakhstan be able to do so ?! It’s literally idiotic to even discuss about that. .

Really hope for both Kazakhstan and Kosovo at the latest in 2020, or at least one of them.

Azuro
Guest
Azuro

Kosovo isn’t legally recognised as a country.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Israel are a fully paid up member of the EBU. They have every right to compete, same as every other member. Australia and Kazakhstan not so much.

OohHoney
Guest
OohHoney

*Eye Roll*

You can’t fap over one associate member and not the rest.
#AllAboardUnlessYoureNotAustralia

InviteKazakhstan
Guest
InviteKazakhstan

I say they should! They seem more eager to enter than most established countries!
(Looks at the UK)

Campbell Grace
Guest
Campbell Grace

You all bash the UK when Spain’s success has been far worse in the past 3 years. Give us a break.

KESC
Guest
KESC

Yeah, but with the difference that Spain has sent good entries as well, such as Amanecer, Say Yay, which were undeservingly underrated.
The only good song from the Uk from the recent years was Never give up on you.

Anna
Guest
Anna

It’s just that Spain ruins everything when it comes to staging just like Macedonia. They actually send good songs.

Nata
Guest
Nata

At least Spain cares. They haven’t been lucky the last few years, but they have tried to send something special. The UK doesn’t care at all.

Besides, I’ve enjoyed the Spanish entries much more than the British ones lately, although that’s just personal preference.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

I disagree that the UK does not care at all. BBC still broadcast the show on the main channel BBC One on a primetime Saturday night, and send arguably their biggest star as commentator. That’s not nothing.

Joe
Guest

If they really want to join they could just join the Council of Europe first and become a full EBU member.

sabi
Guest
sabi

Say it to Australia!

Joe
Guest

Australia can’t because they don’t have territory in Europe.

Rose
Guest
Rose

I think Kazakhstan has some European territory.

Joe
Guest

Yeah that’s why they are able to join the Council of Europe and become a full EBU member that way.