Ever since Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light in May, the official line from the EBU has been that Junior Eurovision 2020 will go ahead, come what may. That’s remained the case even as four regular participants withdrew due to COVID-19 related issues.
Ironically, this stance is now looking a little shakier following Portugal’s confirmation that it will compete in the November contest.
Portugal’s confirmation raises doubts about Junior Eurovision 2020
The confirmation is notable for more than just its brevity. “If there is a competition” implies that Junior Eurovision 2020 is not 100% guaranteed to happen.
Now, some might argue that this is just a case of a small broadcaster playing it safe in these uncertain times. However, RTP’s Carla Bugalho holds a highly-coveted seat on the Eurovision Reference Group. And while that committee’s purpose is to look after the main contest in May, one would assume that its members are well clued in as to what is happening with the entire family of Eurovision live events.
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A year of pandemic withdrawals
Portugal’s “confirmation” leaves 13 countries that have provisionally confirmed their intention to participate in the contest. This includes Germany, which will be making its debut. Fans are still waiting on the 2019 participants Albania, Armenia and Italy to confirm their participation for 2020.
With four countries — Ireland, North Macedonia, Australia and Wales — withdrawing 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.
It is important to note that the four withdrawing nations have only confirmed their non-participation at Junior Eurovision 2020, not total withdrawal from all future editions of the contest.
Junior Eurovision 2020 is scheduled to take place in Warsaw, Poland on 29 November. If it does go ahead as intended, we can expect a show unlike any that’s gone before. It should also act as a testing ground for both the EBU and participating broadcasters on how to best organise Eurovision itself in 2021.
What do you make of Portugal’s statement? Should JESC fans be worried? Let us know below.