When the EBU confirmed the competing acts for Junior Eurovision 2020, some fans were disappointed that only 13 countries had confirmed. But now the EBU has revealed that they are prepared to accept a few late entries if any broadcasters have a change of mind.
The news has been reported by Eurovision news site ESCplus. They cite the EBU’s Senior Communications Officer (unnamed) who shared the information.
The spokesperson revealed, “The list of participating broadcasters we released [on Tuesday] isn’t necessarily the final one – indeed, we would welcome other nations coming on board to JESC 2020, up to our maximum of 20 broadcasters.”
At the moment, there’s no specific deadline for broadcasters wanting to join, but the EBU spokesperson said that “commonsense probably dictates that if additional broadcasters do want to come on board, then we’d like to hear from them sooner rather than later!”
What is keeping broadcasters away from Junior Eurovision 2020?
When the list of 13 confirmed countries were revealed, it was also clear that seven broadcasters who had participated in 2019 were not planning to return. Taking this year off will be: Albania, Australia, Ireland, Italy, North Macedonia, Portugal and Wales.
Most of these broadcasters have given a reason for not participating, and most have specifically referred to concerns surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic.
In response to the pandemic, Junior Eurovision 2020 will not require any of the competing acts to travel to the host venue in Warsaw, Poland. Instead the acts will perform their songs from a TV studio in their home country, all using a standard set-up to keep a level playing field.
So with this change to the contest, Junior Eurovision 2020 might be more realistic for broadcasters who were reluctant to travel to Poland. Broadcasters in this situation may be happy to return to a remotely hosted Eurovision.
However, in some countries, there are still restrictions on how people can interact, including in the workplace. The Australian state of Victoria — which has fielded three previous Junior Eurovision acts — is still under restrictions, including lockdown in the city of Melbourne.
As well, the current Melbourne-based production of The Masked Singer Australia was temporarily shut down after several dancers on the show tested positive for Covid.
With this sort of situation in mind — and especially considering the unpredictability of the coronavirus — some broadcasters might not want to take a risk at the moment.
But while we’re not expecting all seven non-confirmed broadcasters to change their mind, the new situation might be enough to convince a few to RSVP for Junior Eurovision 2020.
What do you think? Will we see more countries at Junior Eurovision 2020? Which countries would you like to see in the contest? Tell us your thoughts below!