Another broadcaster has confirmed they will not compete in Junior Eurovision 2020, again citing the Covid-19 pandemic as their reason for staying away. North Macedonia’s broadcaster MRT has told media they will not compete in Krakow, a rare year-off for the contest regulars.
Broadcaster MRT confirmed their decision to Eurovision news site Eurovoix. The site reported that MRT’s reason for withdrawing was “due to the current COVID-19 pandemic”.
North Macedonia has been competing in Junior Eurovision since the inaugural contest in 2003. They have only taken two years off previously, 2012 (unhappy with the voting system and for budgetary reasons) and 2014 (unhappy with the previous year’s result).
A year of pandemic withdrawals
The Balkan nation joins regular Junior Eurovision competing countries Wales and Australia who have also confirmed that they won’t be part of the contest in 2020.
Earlier in July, Welsh broadcaster S4C tweeted that “Due to the present circumstances, unfortunately we will not be taking part in this year’s contest.”
Soon after, Australian broadcaster SBS confirmed to wiwibloggs that they also would not be heading to Poland in November. A spokesperson said “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.”
It is important to note that these three countries have only confirmed their non-participation at Junior Eurovision 2020, not total withdrawal from all future editions of the contest.
So far, 13 countries have provisionally confirmed their intention to participate in the contest. This includes Germany, who will be making their debut. Fans are still waiting on the 2019 participants Albania, Armenia, Italy and Portugal to confirm their participation for 2020.
With three countries having withdrawn from Junior Eurovision 2020 due to Covid-19 concerns, the question remains whether countries will have to make the same decision regarding their participation in Eurovision 2021.
Junior Eurovision 2020 is due to take place on 29 November. It will be held in Warsaw, Poland, hosted at a large television studio.
Are you disappointed to see North Macedonia bow out? Will we see any more debuts in this year’s contest? Tell us your thoughts below!