North Macedonia Andrea Circles Eurovision 2022 rehearsal
Photo: EBU / NATHAN REINDS

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.

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.

   

 

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Nils
Nils
2 days ago

What I think the EBU should do, is to invite changing non-European countries for an additional fee. This way, they could guarantee for 42+ countries every year and also allocate the extra money earnt to poorer countries in the Balkans so they’ll have it easier to participate in the following year.

European countries (plus Australia and Morocco) of course always should have priority.

Reish
Reish
2 days ago
Reply to  Nils

So poor southern European countries get their fees paid, while nothern countries pay theirs, but who will pay if any of these balkan countries would happen to win? Weird idea, if they can’t afford then they can’t. Simple as that.

Devito
1 day ago
Reply to  Nils

Enough with the charity already! Why do rich people have to pay off the debts of poor people? You cannot afford it – you don’t buy it, simple as that. As for the second part, you have to be kidding us for addressing Morocco as a priority country to receive an invitation. We’ve just cleaned our rooms of Belarusian and Russian dictatorial regimes and their propaganda and you want to invite Morocco as a regular now? I prefer Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, USA or literally any other democratic country with an interest to take part in Eurovision, for starters.

Alex
Alex
2 days ago

well tbh it’s not like they give us great quality apart from 2019 which was overrated by juries.

Dane
Dane
2 days ago

Andrea really deserved to qualify this year 🙁

MonsieurMüller
MonsieurMüller
2 days ago

Why does EBU not ever have consideration towards countries that are undergoing a hard economic situation? Why is EBU so stone cold? I understand they need to profit from the ESC, but it seems it’s a party exclusive for the ones that can pay for it.

Alex
Alex
2 days ago

EBU is not a charity organisation. North Macedonia has budget for junior Eurovision and not for the senior Eurovision? LOL. They can withdraw this year, they messed up with Andrea (remember they wanted to punish her for leaving their flag on the floor)

Nicky
Nicky
4 days ago

don’t care, am not watching next years contest anyway, as its in the UK

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
4 days ago
Reply to  Nicky

X doubt

Laura
Laura
4 days ago
Reply to  Nicky

Don’t lie

XOOOD
XOOOD
4 days ago
Reply to  Nicky

How that’s an issue?

Zariah
Zariah
4 days ago
Reply to  Nicky

what’s the betting your from a country that flops consistently, cry harder and stop lying

Nicky
Nicky
3 days ago
Reply to  Zariah

wish my country Netherlands would withdraw for good, this current ESC is a shade of its former amazing self

now it’s only about international successes these days, with generic artists like Rosa Linn, Duncan Laurence, Mans Zelmerlow

with all the irrelevant way too modern music

Elle
Elle
4 days ago
Reply to  Nicky

Ok, bye

Whisker
Whisker
3 days ago
Reply to  Nicky

As it’s UK’s fault that six broadcasters pulled a stupid stunt, yes it was stupid af. Chill, have a Snickers and come back next year.

Benito Camelo
Benito Camelo
5 days ago

I’d be very sad if the news of their withdrawal turns out to be true. I just hope they take a break and address their internal issues, so they come back stronger. But North Macedonia is one of those countries that deserved better at ESC imo

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
5 days ago

Other than their seventh Place finish three years ago, North Macedonia in general hasn’t done very well at Eurovision. Maybe a break Is what they need to reset and reassess how they could improve at Eurovision. I wouldn’t blame them for withdrawing if that’s what they feel is best for them. It has happened before where a country withdraws for a while after years of failures and they come back stronger. Of course, I would be pissed if the flag incident is why they’re not coming back next year which is really petty. We’ll see once the official list is… Read more »

Una
Una
5 days ago

So it looks like they have no money and likely no capacity to successfully manage participation in Eurovision but they seem to use Andrea as a scapegoat. What a shame. I used to appreciate the broadcaster for using national talent instead of taking the cheap route and buying a Swedish song and all the trimmings. While taking the cheap route and buying a Swedish song and all the trimmings or having votes replaced with aggregate vote points because you know … (cough cough) is wrong, seemingly using a woman artist as a scapegoat instead of doing the right things is… Read more »

Im so fab
Im so fab
5 days ago

Unfortunately, North Macedonia is a country with SERIOUS internal issues and it’s becoming more obvious with every passing year.
If Andrea had qualified last year (AKA if Azerbuyjan hadn’t cheated), then they would probably stay for another edition. And to be honest, Andrea totally deserves to qualify. I still hear her song from time to time.

Jofty
Jofty
5 days ago
Reply to  Im so fab

Please don’t forget that two other countries who qualified from that semi also “cheated”.

tom
tom
5 days ago
Reply to  Jofty

Yeah Azerbaijan and Romania were lucky …

1998
1998
5 days ago
Reply to  Jofty

You mean Poland and Romania, am I right? You were thinking of that 2022 semi final 2 points exchange incident?

Leo
Leo
5 days ago
Reply to  1998

All 3 would have qualified without it, and the azeris were actually unaffected. We gave them many jury vote, so too Spain. Vocally and staging were good, just an unexciting theatre ballad. I can see why Romania came across better than Israel despite poorer vocals, and Poland was iconic.

Edgar
Edgar
5 days ago

Not related, but any news from Junior Eurovision 2022? Logo, slogan, final list of participants?
I know that the recent conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan must have caused this delay, but I would love to know if there is any (insight) news??

Leo
Leo
5 days ago
Reply to  Edgar

As someone whose strong opinions on their 2020 entry and her potential is well known, I dislike the lack of transparency from AMPTV in recent years, that made me very angry in 2021 and even risked undermining my opinion of what turned out to be a lovely song the next year. I understand the difficulty of the situation, and recent incidents, but AMPtV should publicise discussions, and these incidents didn’t stop Pyunik hosting an ECL game

Edgar
Edgar
5 days ago
Reply to  Leo

I agree; fair points! I just hope JESC will still be hosted in Yerevan since they had a well-deserved victory. I think it is too late to move to another country. And the conflict is now over. Also, I am hoping that the reason for the delay might be that AMPTV is in negotiations with other broadcasters to reach at least 20 participants for the 20th anniversary of the contest. Fingers crossed!

Luke B
Luke B
5 days ago
Reply to  Edgar

Yeah, this wait is ridiculous. Paris revealed their branding in early Sept, and the year before was in May! NF season is already underway, so they really need to hurry up. We have no official list of countries, no branding, no stage, and no tickets. It’s less than 3 months away.

1998
1998
5 days ago
Reply to  Luke B

Remember back in 2011, 2012 and 2013 when EBU literally BEGGED some countries to participate in order to make contest happen? And that the final list of participating countries we find out only a month before the contest? Be lucky that this case is not happening.

Leo
Leo
5 days ago
Reply to  1998

I’m worried about this being the case if there are less than 36 countries in ESC proper. Aside from NM’s concern, the twitter page that hyped Bulgaria last year has given noncommittal answers regarding their participation this year, saying things along the lines of “we haven’t shown our plans yet”, and Armenia, Belarus, Russia and Ukraine’s recent debacles have me wondering about what happens if there’s concern in the caucasus. This means that we’d expect 35 (33 current ones plus Czech and Moldova)-40 countries, and I agitate about the viability of heats of 15 or less, particularly in the contest… Read more »

1998
1998
5 days ago
Reply to  Leo

Armenia and Azerbaijan are in 100% for sure, for Bulgaria not quite sure considering the fact that they were out in 2019, while for Montenegro I think that they will withdraw again, for 2021 they said “we are out because we don’t want to embarrasse ourselves in ESC” and so this year they returned and achieved one of their worst results ever… For N. Macedonia, 99% are in, but let’s see where does all this drama lead…

Hrvatska
Hrvatska
5 days ago

I am writing this with a heartache but it is true and North Macedonia cares more about the songs he sends, to the junior than what we see during Eurovision, unfortunately MRT does not want to participate in ESC, and they prefer JESC

Vivian
Vivian
5 days ago

I’m one of few who really liked all of North Macedonia’s entries since their name change, and I’d admit that if they withdraw, that’d be a big shame, even if it’s understandable.

Leo
Leo
5 days ago

On one hand, NM could easily do with a break like Portugal did given the toxicity of their last few participations and poor form. Their participations have sometimes been confirmed last minute, and there was the 2018 confusion. However, I really want them to stay – with Belarus, Hungary, Russia and Turkey out of the picture until they have government or regime changes (5 years?) and the political uncertainty in BHZ which is why they haven’t returned for several years, that means that as many of the current 40 need to stay as possible (not even mentioning a repeat of… Read more »

1998
1998
5 days ago
Reply to  Leo

Don’t expect Bosnia and Herzegovina because of financial issues. So in best case, expect either all the same 40 countries from this year or someone withdrawing. Nothing else.

Leo
Leo
5 days ago
Reply to  1998

I understand (I think it needs to recalibrate it’s bearings to be able to return – the secretarianism of Dodik is very under the radar). Armenia, Azerbaijan: developments in recent contests like Armenia’s withdrawal in 2021 and Russia’s expulsion leaves me concerned as to what happens in the light of any exacerbated tensions. Azeris were also in vote swap gate and losing influence in ESC Bulgaria: twitter account which hyped IMp has given noncommittal answers to questions which as “are you participating and how?” Implying that May still be in the dark (though it wasn’t until at least late October… Read more »

Jack
Jack
5 days ago

Of course it’s not a matter of budget, nationalists target and bully their own representatives because they do not repeat their narrative. Tamara was accused as a traitor because she sung some words of the national anthem wrong, Vasil as well for the flag in the video, and poor Andrea for a moment in the red carpet that means nothing. They better stay out, they have important problems to solve first in terms of identity and as a country.

Hrvatska
Hrvatska
5 days ago
Reply to  Jack

I 100% support what you say that the Balkan cauldron is, on the verge of an explosion, is already pouring out of it and you are right public TV MRT is still in the hands of the nationalist opposition, what is worse, I read that they cannot even afford to archive films plus in the country is getting hot politically and perhaps the nationalist opposition will return to power

Meckie
Meckie
5 days ago

I don’t know how it is in your country. But throwing a flag is criminal in this country. So if you don’t want to go to prison, simply obey the country’s rules.

ESCFanGA
ESCFanGA
5 days ago

I think withdrawing from the contest would be a good idea for North Macedonia and would actually benefit them like it has for other countries that have withdrawn in the past.

Leo
Leo
5 days ago
Reply to  ESCFanGA

It helped Portugal and Cyprus, but I just don’t really want them to do so given Belarus, Hungary and Russia are too despicable domestically to be in the picture like they were in the past. I don’t want heats of as little as 15 in our ESC.

Whisker
Whisker
6 days ago

North Macedonia should take a break for a year or two or ten. They don’t know how to do the festival. When you know what you’re doing, it shouldn’t be hard. Those “scandals” are a joke. Who allowed the footage with the Bulgarian flag? You watched the video and you approved the edit. Also, they should learn to treat people better than they treat a “flag”. A flag on its own doesn’t mean anything. Their “solution” is to have more people to do the PR? Sometimes the best way to go about it is not to talk about the “scandal”… Read more »

tom
tom
6 days ago

Break is not bad, sometimes it helps a lot 🙂

Thallo
Thallo
6 days ago

This could mean an artist (or record label, songwriters.. etc) will self-fund their participation for North Macedonia, just like Senhit and Valentina did with San Marino.

Im so fab
Im so fab
5 days ago
Reply to  Thallo

I don’t know, every broadcaster must pay a participation ticket of some thousands euros. It can only be paid by the broadcaster.

Thallo
Thallo
5 days ago
Reply to  Im so fab

Artists can pay to go to Eurovision though. We know this as SMRT asked Arisa to participate if she paid 300k, this included SMRT’s participation fee.

North Macedonia could easily do the same if they found an artist willing to pay for their participation. Although, I don’t know if an artist is crazy enough to pay to represent a country that doesn’t treat its representatives well.

apollinischesprinzip
apollinischesprinzip
5 days ago
Reply to  Thallo

don’t think so. + it would be really strange for macedonia to already have their representative chosen.

Thallo
Thallo
4 days ago

It definitely would be strange, but it’s either that or a withdrawal!

North Macedonia’s broadcaster doesn’t exactly have plenty of cash to throw at Eurovision, so it would make sense for them to use San Marino’s format, or even trial it for one year.