Wales was the first country to confirm its withdrawal from the upcoming Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2020 in Poland to COVID-19 restrictions. Now the team from Australia has confirmed it is following suit.

A spokesperson from broadcaster SBS has told wiwibloggs:

“Due to the current restrictions and the ongoing uncertainty around this situation, Australia will not be competing in the Junior Eurovision Contest 2020. We have informed the EBU of our decision.”

This will be the first time Australia has not participated in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest since its debut in 2015.

 

How is the Covid-19 pandemic affecting Australia?

Australia currently has strong restrictions around its border. Australian citizens are unable to leave Australia and travel overseas, with border restrictions not expected to be lifted until 2021.

Domestically, Australia has started to see the early signs of a second-wave of coronavirus emerging. Victoria, Australia’s second largest state, was forced to close its borders domestically due to a sharp rise in coronavirus cases, and enforcing lockdown procedures. Other states have also placed restrictions on travelling interstate.

Australia has already made changes to its selection process for Eurovision 2021. Rather than using national final Australia Decides, 2020 winner Montaigne has been internally selected for 2021. There’s no word on how her song for Rotterdam will be selected.

Junior Eurovision and the Covid-19 pandemic

While Eurovision 2020 may have been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all stakeholders are committed to making Junior Eurovision happen.

It remains to be seen what implications coronavirus will have on the contest.

Organisers may follow the lead of the Dutch national selection. Junior Songfestival 2020 will be held in Rotterdam’s Ahoy Arena with an audience limited to only family members of the competing acts.

Broadcaster AVROTROS says it would be “irresponsible to have so many children from all over the Netherlands come together singing, dancing and screaming”.

The list of confirmed countries currently features 13 nations — Belarus, France, Georgia, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Spain and Ukraine.

Wales, who had participated in the contest since 2018, withdrew from the contest earlier this week due to the current global uncertainty.

Junior Eurovision 2020 is due to take place in Warsaw, Poland on 29 November. The event will be held at a large television studio, rather than a usual arena-type venue.

Are you sad to see Australia withdrawing from the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2020? Tell us your thoughts below!

Read more Australia Eurovision news here

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Polliu
Polliu
20 days ago

The fact that some Eurovision fans still think JESC will be held this year like regular contests in the past is beyond me…

Fatima
Fatima
20 days ago

All those who thought that the main contest might have been held in the junior time slot (including me) are starting to be proved wrong.

ESC SSS
ESC SSS
21 days ago

First Wales now Australia? Okay, who’s next?

Note: A ?? indicates a country confirms participation to JESC 2020. An ? indicates a country will not participate in JESC 2020.

Albania
Armenia
Australia ?
Belarus ??
France ??
Georgia ??
Germany ??
Ireland ??
Italy ??
Malta
Netherlands ??
North Macedonia
Poland ??
Portugal
Russia ??
Serbia ??
Spain ??
Ukraine ??
Wales ?

Last edited 21 days ago by ESC SSS
Badwoolfgirl
Badwoolfgirl
21 days ago

I can’t say I blame them. It’s probably the best decision to make in these times. I hope Australia can be able to come back next year.

Una
Una
21 days ago

Why do Junior ESC this year? The world has not stopped completely which is good but that said I feel that if the competition goes on on the winner will have had a sort of unfair advantage. It’s not the same conditions for everyone, and that if we take money out of the equation.

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
21 days ago
Reply to  Una

I don’t understand what you mean. What kind of unfair advantages do we have?

Jonas
Jonas
21 days ago
Reply to  Frisian esc

Una can speak for her(?)self, but if several countries drop out that means it’s easier to win.

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
20 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

there have been editions with 12 participants, this year has 13 confirmed countries already

Last edited 20 days ago by Polegend Godgarina
Una
Una
20 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

Yes Jonas. Exactly it. You got it all well.

Una
Una
21 days ago
Reply to  Frisian esc

Hi Frisian esc. I meant there is no even playing field because of the *situation*. If we consider the larger picture of restrictions in certain countries, other countries that don’t have the same restrictions could have an unfair advantage as compared to those with restrictions. As in some countries can participate when others cannot participate because of things that are out of control or can hardly be controlled. Like travel to and from certain countries. Who knows what will happen up until November. In the worst case scenario the show is cancelled and if that happens the young participants will… Read more »

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
20 days ago
Reply to  Una

Ahh okay in that way!

Una
Una
20 days ago
Reply to  Frisian esc

That’s great Frisian esc!

Ria van de Velde -NL
Ria van de Velde -NL
21 days ago

It is sad news that Australia is not participating in this year ‘s Junior Eurovision. I hope to see them back in 2021!!

Danny
Danny
21 days ago

i can expect that some countries withdraw with the covid-19 situation thats happen in these time.
13 countries situation is not a bad situation there are years like 2009,2011,2012 and 2013 where just the same 13 or even just 12 countries has participate
in 2019 and 2020 was it nice to see so many participants but don,t worry and disappointed because the show and competition is not canceld there comes 13 new jesc songs and some countries has already not make a decision !

Last edited 21 days ago by Danny
Tajikistan
Tajikistan
21 days ago

I don’t get why some of you are surprised. I couldn’t travel back to my country for months, so what makes you think that the Australian government would give an exception for a kid to fly to Poland to sing?

Jonas
Jonas
21 days ago

A responsible decision. Was it even a decision? The law is the law. The main one you should be worried about is Poland. If my country was hosting an international television show for children, with people coming from Covid-stricken countries purely for entertainment…I would not be happy. Essential travel only. Of course it depends what it’s like in November, but I still think it’s fairly reckless to just act as if everything’s okay. They’ve just re-elected a very unpleasant man, I have no idea if that will help or hurt the contest.

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
21 days ago

Well was to be expected some countries would withdraw this year. I’m statisfied if we can get around 14/15 entries this year.
Also the first dutch songs are out. Count on me is really good! We could end up very high with that.

Erasmus
Erasmus
21 days ago
Reply to  Frisian esc

yeah I’ve heard it as well! I like it’s as good if not even better than “Dans met jou” ! SO another top 5!

Katariina
Katariina
21 days ago

Thank god

Darren
Darren
21 days ago

Not a big surprise really like public health and safety is vital always and to be travelling such a long way during this pandemic it just wasn’t worth it. Also Australia has really strict quarantine for returning/arrive people and virtually no international flights until what they say is 2021.
JESC isn’t over though we have 11 confirmed and I’m sure Malta and Armenia
will confirm soon too.
The EBU should try and get Iceland to debut. I’d say maybe Sweden could return too if persuaded.
I hope Portugal confirms too but I fear that they might decide to leave too.

M Vns
M Vns
21 days ago

Noo I always love the Australian entries. I hope they will be back next year

beccaboo1212
21 days ago

It’s up to the following countries to save the day.
* Albania
* Armenia
* Malta
* North Macedonia
* Portugal
* United Kingdom

Domino
Domino
21 days ago
Reply to  beccaboo1212

I have a feeling Armenia won’t withdraw

beccaboo1212
21 days ago
Reply to  Domino

Right. No way would Armenia withdraw. They never crash out of the Top 10 and have yet to win a second time.

Joe
Joe
21 days ago
Reply to  beccaboo1212

United Kingdom? You’re joking, right? Wales and Scotland are out and the UK as a whole hasn’t competed since 2006.

beccaboo1212
21 days ago
Reply to  Joe

No, I’m serious! In fact, ESCplus (Spanish website) questioned whether or not the UK will return.
https://www.escplus.es/volvera-reino-unido-a-eurovision-junior-despues-de-la-salida-de-gales/

Joe
Joe
21 days ago
Reply to  beccaboo1212

Let’s break it down a bit: Wales and Scotland both confirmed they aren’t participating, and both of them are represented in Eurovision events by smaller offshoots of the BBC, not the BBC as a whole. Northern Ireland has never tried to participate in a Eurovision event even though they have a BBC division of their own (and that would just be a recipe for disaster if the Republic of Ireland are competing), and England doesn’t really have its own broadcaster since most of the British TV networks are based out of there anyway. The BBC has never been in charge… Read more »

Jonas
Jonas
21 days ago
Reply to  Joe

I don’t think S4C is a BBC offshoot. They may both get their funds from public tax, but I think that’s about the only connection. There is a BBC Wales but it’s a totally separate thing. This only proves your point further, I hope…

Joe
Joe
21 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

Oh yeah. That actually does help my point. The BBC has nothing to do with Junior Eurovision.

Joe
Joe
21 days ago
Reply to  beccaboo1212

Also ESC Plus isn’t that reliable a website when it comes to Eurovision news, and “speculation” isn’t the same as “the UK has explicitly said they’re thinking about participating.”

Héctor
Héctor
21 days ago

It looks like Germany is in to raise the numbers because there are some other countries withdrawing. Having a 13 country JESC would be a fail.

Ashton
Ashton
21 days ago
Reply to  Héctor

There were only 13 in the 2009 JESC and that wasn’t a fail

1998
1998
21 days ago
Reply to  Ashton

In 2011, there were 13 as well. And the things were much worse than in 2009. Initially in 2011 only 12 countries were due to participate, but then Latvia stayed, Bulgaria retunred and later San Marino gave up. I thought that Azerbaijan was brought in for 2012 just to not cancel it. Remember that in 2012 there were just 12 countries and Azerbaijan was brought in last minute? In 2013, things were much worse. Just couple weeks before the contest was held, San Marino was brought to be the 12th country. EBU tried with Cyprus to bring them back to… Read more »

Last edited 21 days ago by 1998
Jonas
Jonas
21 days ago
Reply to  1998

Back when Malta hosted, in a new time – afternoon instead of evening – and a smaller venue, I thought the EBU had finally realized that it was the right thing to do by dialling down the hype. Very few care about this contest. It bears no comparison to the real thing, even in the participating countries there are not many who even know of its existence. I don’t say this to diminish the love that some people have for it, but let’s face facts. If the EBU was a private corporation they would have scrapped this long ago.

Ashton
Ashton
21 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

rip to everyone who cares about it then and to the delegations and artists who put so so much work into their song and their work :/

Jonas
Jonas
21 days ago
Reply to  Ashton

The EBU is funded by public money. That money could do a lot more good if it wasn’t wasted. The contest is not worth it.

Ashton
Ashton
20 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

Once again, that’s a big f you to everyone who puts so much effort into it. By your logic, then Eurovision itself isn’t worth it since that money could also do a lot more good.

Joe
Joe
21 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

The amazing thing is that dialing down the hype has made countries a lot more receptive to participating. It’s less expensive to host, easier to select an act, and you don’t have to promote it like crazy since your intended audience is made up of literal children. It’s also low-stakes, since even if you win you don’t have to host, and the countries that have gotten to host are usually ones that have never hosted a major EBU event and can almost serve as a demonstration of what they could do if they hosted Eurovision itself (it’s also funny thinking… Read more »

Jonas
Jonas
21 days ago
Reply to  Joe

That’s all good. I still have my doubts. I think the scale and hype was beginning to increase again, and it trades on its association with the “real” Eurovision. Too much money and effort is put into something that so few watch. Even in the participating countries. Is it shown on the flagship channel of any country? It seems to be tiny little-watched ones all-round. I’ve nothing against the idea of a Junior Eurovision if it’s done right, but this can’t be it. It seems wrong to me to put so much pressure on the host broadcaster of the adult… Read more »

Jonas
Jonas
21 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

Oh, and I thought the hosting expectations had changed? Maybe I just thought that because Poland have won and hosted (almost) twice in a row.

Joe
Joe
20 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

For a while (I think since 2014 or so) it’s been a “first refusal” deal. Armenia was the first country to host after winning, but the Netherlands hosting the following year regardless of who won was already set up (the Dutch spokesperson even said “See you in the Netherlands next year!” – I don’t know how I remember that). Then Ukraine and Malta hosted after their wins, then Italy turned down the chance to host, and then I’m pretty sure it’s been first refusal from then on.

Joe
Joe
20 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

It’s relatively pressure-free as far as hosting goes. Last two venues were both Eurovision-sized, but before that the capacities were: Olympic Palace – Tbilisi, Georgia: 4,000 Mediterranean Conference Centre – Valletta, Malta: 1,400(!!!) Arena Armeec – Sofia, Bulgaria: ~12,373 Malta Shipbuilding – Marsa, Malta: ~4,500 Palace “Ukraine” – Kyiv, Ukraine: 3,714 AFAS Live – Amsterdam, Netherlands: 5,500 in the main hall Karen Demirchyan Complex – Yerevan, Armenia: 1,900 in the concerts hall (where I believe the contest was held) So, six out of seven wouldn’t even come close to meeting standard Eurovision venue regulations. Last Eurovision venue I could find… Read more »

Joe
Joe
20 days ago
Reply to  Joe

*Less than 2,000 seats

Joseph Mendy
Joseph Mendy
21 days ago

This was not the news i wanted etc wake up to this morning. We’ll miss you Australia.

Esc2021rotterdam
Esc2021rotterdam
21 days ago

I really hoped that Australia would’ve given an exemption to the delegation to travel to Poland. It’s sad to see how covid19 is affecting international events. I just hope that armenia and malta won’t withdraw.

beccaboo1212
21 days ago

They won’t withdraw. If they did, it wouldn’t be permanent. Sweden withdrew in 2008 and returned in 2009.

Esc2021rotterdam
Esc2021rotterdam
21 days ago
Reply to  beccaboo1212

Of course they will be back in 2021 if they withdraw but I hope they won’t

1998
1998
21 days ago
Reply to  beccaboo1212

But then Sweden left in 2015 permanently. You never know what happens. Everything is possible.

Joe
Joe
20 days ago
Reply to  1998

Even permanent isn’t permanent anymore when you consider how long a gap it was between France debuting and coming back.

1998
1998
20 days ago
Reply to  Joe

That’s why I said that everything is possible now.

Joe
Joe
20 days ago
Reply to  1998

I’ll at least say Sweden at the moment seems like the only Nordic country with any reasonable chance of returning, since Denmark and Norway seem pretty much done forever even if the contest has changed for the better since they last participated.

Roelof Meesters
Roelof Meesters
21 days ago

Not a big shocker, but still very sad… now just hope that there won’t be many MORE countries following Wales’ and Australia’s decision, even tho it would be completely understandable. And I think we’ll still most likely see North Macedonia, Malta, Armenia, Portugal and hopefully Albania confirm, so that would be 18 countries which is still very reasonable. I also think Australia and Wales will most likely be back next year.

beccaboo1212
21 days ago

Armenia and Malta will definitely participate.

Joe
Joe
21 days ago

No shock. Sad, but not a shock. I think we all saw this coming for a few days now. It’s more important for them to stay safe. I think the only country that might be up in the air now due to geography is Malta, but they seem to be doing OK.

Joe
Joe
21 days ago
Reply to  Joe

(I’d also say that I’m more surprised other Central European countries aren’t more receptive to the idea of coming back or debuting this year. It’s one thing to be in Israel or Australia, but if you’re like a Lithuania or Austria it probably wouldn’t be an overwhelming amount of travel to get to Poland. Heck, Germany is right next door!)

Robyn Gallagher
Admin
21 days ago
Reply to  Joe

I feel like that some public broadcasters would not be able to justify spending money on a JESC entry that benefits few when many local artists have been hit hard due to reduced income from lockdown restrictions. 🙁

Joe
Joe
21 days ago

Fair enough

Denis
Denis
21 days ago

*Prays for another country making their debut*

Alex
Alex
21 days ago

I woke up to find out two countries withdrawing from JESC 2020. It’s a living nightmare.

FanESC
FanESC
21 days ago
Reply to  Alex

It’s better that they withdraw from the JESC than the adult version.

beccaboo1212
21 days ago
Reply to  FanESC

Here’s a map of countries (highlighted in red) that will indeed confirm participation.

FJB
FJB
21 days ago
Reply to  Alex

“A living nightmare”.
Read the room. Australia not participating in this contest is not a living nightmare when people all over the planet are ill or dying or losing their jobs. Grow up.

Jonas
Jonas
21 days ago
Reply to  FJB

I was thinking something similar, but then I remembered this is the “junior” contest…maybe the poster literally has not grown up. Time heals everything!

Nina
Nina
21 days ago

Gonna miss Australia 🙁

Ashton
Ashton
21 days ago

damn. I guess I can’t vote now. but I’m not at all surprised with how the lockdown is here in Australia

Alex
Alex
21 days ago
Reply to  Ashton

But we have online vote. My country doesn’t participate but I can still vote.

Ashton
Ashton
21 days ago
Reply to  Alex

oh what? I have used the online vote but I didn’t realise anyone could use it. but then where do the votes go from if ur country isn’t participating?

Roy Moreno
Roy Moreno
21 days ago
Reply to  Ashton

From all around the world :3
Everyone can vote to any country, as long as you vote for at least 3 countries to a max of 5

Ashton
Ashton
21 days ago
Reply to  Roy Moreno

I see. I just assumed the rules were the same as Eurovision proper apart from voting for ur own country, but now I know better! Well, in any case, I WILL be voting then haha

James
James
21 days ago
Reply to  Ashton

The online vote have the same amount of points to give out as the juries, as always. The difference now is that the sampling size is now well beyond just viewers from participating countries.

Joe
Joe
21 days ago
Reply to  Ashton

I voted last year, and I’m an American who was living in England at the time. (By the way, Wales: you’re welcome for the three days worth of voting I did for you! See you in 2021!)