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!