Will they continue running in Eurovision circles? At the moment fans are speculating that North Macedonia will take a break and won’t participate next year in the UK. That’s after state broadcaster MRT revealed their proposed budget for next year and Eurovision 2023 was not included in their plan.
Even before Eurovision 2022 was over, MRT thought about taking a break next year. The “flag incident” involving its singer Andrea quickly made headlines in North Macedonian media. While arriving at the opening ceremony in Turin, Andrea and her team were welcomed by journalists and fans. One of the photographers wanted to take a picture of the singer without her flag, so Andrea laid it down on the turquoise carpet.
While some people – especially journalists in North Macedonia – found her gesture disrespectful, many international fans said there’s no reason to call it a “scandal”. Nonetheless, MRT started thinking about a 2023 withdrawal immediately after the incident.
This step could actually become reality, given that Andrea’s case wasn’t even the first incident that the broadcaster found problematic. There was also some negativity in the country towards 2021’s representative Vasil. The first version of his official music video of “You” featured a piece of art in the background, which resembled Bulgarian flag. As many of you will know, the two countries have had their historical difficulties.
To calm the waves, North Macedonia’s head of delegation Meri Popova sent a letter to MRT’s programming council back in July this year. She listed possible improvements needed for future Eurovision participation. Meri told the broadcaster it needs a larger delegation so it can handle scandals and even prevent them. She also requested a larger budget to help ensure better results at Eurovision.
?? Will North Macedonia withdraw from #Eurovision? In MRT's proposed budget for 2023 released today, no budget is allocated for Eurovision 2023 (???????? in the 2022 budget). Yet, there is budget allocated for Junior Eurovision 2023 (????????? ????????). pic.twitter.com/z6Nd1pcjcp— ESC Discord (@ESCdiscord) September 20, 2022
Although MRT replied that they’ll try and make those improvements, nothing official has happened since then. Instead their newly released budget proposal leaves plenty of room for interpretation. Especially because MRT’s budget plan for 2022 listed both Eurovision and Junior Eurovision. Their budget list for 2023 only lists the cost of participating in Junior Eurovision, as Twitter user ESC Discord pointed out.
Nothing has been made official. But given that North Macedonia has only made the Eurovision final once in the last 10 years, a withdrawal would not be very surprising. Fans of the unique music from the broader region will be happy to know that North Macedonia’s neighbours Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia have already confirmed their appearances at Eurovision 2023 in the UK.
What do you think? Will North Macedonia take part next year at Eurovision? Which artist would you like to see representing them? Let us know in the comments below.