Vladana breathed life back into Montenegro’s Eurovision story. But sadly that rejuvenation has only ended up being a one-year event. Broadcaster RTCG has now announced that Montenegro will be withdrawing from Eurovision 2023.
In a statement, the national broadcaster referred to the costs associated with participating in the contest as the key reason for withdrawal. These costs include the registration fee and of travelling to the host city, which is Liverpool in the United Kingdom for 2023.
“In addition to the significant costs of the registration fee, as well as the cost of staying in Great Britain – we also faced a lack of interest from sponsors, so we decided to direct existing resources to the financing of current and planned national projects and organizational and program reforms, which entail significant investment interventions in equipment and premises.”
The broadcasters of smaller countries often search for sponsors to contribute to at least part of the costs of competing in Eurovision.
However, RTCG has been unable to do so and must therefore prioritise where their resources are put. In the end, the broadcaster has decided to put these funds towards national projects rather than large international events.
Montenegro at Eurovision
Montenegro has competed at Eurovision 12 times with an on-and-off pattern. First appearing in 2007, they failed to qualify from the semi-finals and also missed out on the grand final in the following two years.
After taking a two-year break, the country returned in 2012. For the first two years of this stint they were also left in the semi-finals. However, in 2014, Sergej Ćetković took Montenegro to the Eurovision grand final for the very first time. Knez successfully did the same in 2015 and went further by making it to the left hand side of the scoreboard.
Montenegro continued to participate between 2016 and 2019, but sadly returned to languishing in the semi-finals.
The country then withdrew for a second time, only to return in 2022. Vladana brought a giant light-up disc to Turin for her performance of “Breathe” but unfortunately failed to take Montenegro back to the Saturday night show.
Are you sad to see Montenegro withdraw from Eurovision? Do you hope to see them return in the future? Let us know in the comments below.
Here’s a late contender for sub-headline of the year: “The breath has run out.”
Thanks for this one. Very droll. 😀
At this point I’d even wish for a return of Ralph Siegel. Losing a country is always the worst outcome.
It‘s ok to not be on everyone’s radar.
It’s sad and, as much as I want the highest number possible of countries participating, I don’t care that much about Montenegro. 2014 was the last year I actually liked one of their songs. Besides, we will have less block voting.
Not a big surprise here. It was pretty obvious last year that they were only participating because the contest was being organised in Italy. Their neighbour.
And it was less expensive than organizing it in the most expensive country of Europe: UK.
Isn’t Norway the most expensive country in Europe?
Oh no, where will Serbia get their 24 points next year?
I think Serbia will be fine. They did ok without Montenegro in 2021, and I think if they have a great song for 2023, they are in good shape.
The BBC have always helped pay for Eurovision as well as other big 4 countries it’s never been a problem , I hope Montenegro at least asked the uk for help , I’ve watched Eurovision since 1981 aged 8 years old
I’ll miss Montenegro. One of the most underrated countries in the recent history of the contest. I’m sure they’ll come back. RTCG is having a hard time but they have always been supportive of Montenegro’s participation in the contest and they’ll do their best to come back. EBU needs to help and become more supportive for smaller countries and broadcasters.
I think the reason why we are seeing a sudden drop in countries participating is because of the current global energy crisis, hence why Montenegro can no longer afford participating as well as Bulgaria and North Macedonia possibly, but I could be wrong.
The fact that Great Britain organizes the competition should affect how much money Eurovision receives from them.
In previous years, it has been the case that the organizing country does not pay any participation fee because they pay for other things instead.
Since Great Britain is one of the countries that pay the most participation fees, the EBU should receive less money in the participation fee than it was in, for example, 2021
As well as Russia is not participating and it is a big country.
Well, it’s official. Bulgaria north Macedonia are also out so at the very least we’ll probably have 37 countries.
You mean at the very most?
If a union’s members can not go to its flagship event, something is wrong.
North Macedonia also just withdrew
North Macedonia withdrew too
Bulgaria to announce withdrawal too
The situation in Bulgaria is unclear. It was a bad joke post a message with the announcement of withdrawing from 13th october 2018 (!!!!)
This time they really are withdrawing there eis no government in the country as of now
Well, the Netherlands did not have a government when they were hosting, so should that be such a great obstacle?
Financial problems are the reason Montenegro, Bosnia, Andorra and Luxembourg cannot compete, with North Macedonia and Bulgaria also expected to announce a withdrawal due to financial problems.
Surely the EBU can find a way to help these countries out? We’re missing out on 4-7 songs each year simply because broadcasters don’t have the funds.
Without the official confirmation of Australian Broadcaster we have actually 33 participating countries and this amount means that so far only seven are out of the final. But I´m quitely sure that we will see Armenia, Czech Republic and Moldova at the stage in Liverpool.
With so many countries withdrawing I can see Eurovision allowing Kazakhstan in to make up the funds
I don’t think the American song contest got very high ratings, I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets canceled.
Also, wasn’t that just a private thing of Christer Björkman and hence not branded as Eurovision?
Expected, not surprised at all. We will definitely have the smallest ESC since 2014.
Yeah both Bulgaria & North Macedonia withdrew as well apparently.
But not Moldova.
By the way, there´s a vantage in a esc with less participating countries: The chances for qualifying are a littel bit higher
Bulgaria ? Look at the date of this message: It announced withdrawing from the ESC 2019 (!!!!!)
Can’t blame them, they got shafted this year by Azerbaijan and Belgium. Hopefully the quality of the competition improves in 2023, so we can see countries which took part in the past rejoin.
North Macedonia has also withdrawn because they don’t have money. Bulgaria next….
…. To officially confirms they will also withdraw because of lack of money
Bulgaria actually ahs political problems not financial
If the rumors to be true, we won’t see Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Montenegro and North Macedonia from the Balkans/Southeastern Europe. That means Albania, Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia won’t get as many votes next year. Interesting!
Kosovo is not a sovereign state, it’s just a disputed territory.
sorry for saying this… but u shouldn’t talk about this her, talk about this when u are in serbia (i don’t support u)
especially serbia and albania who lost n. macedonia and montenegro.
croatia and slovenia mostly depend on each other and maybe serbia.
The ESC 2023 will have a mayority of the traditional countries (which already took part from the beginning until the eighties). Without Ex-Yugoslavia there are only Ukraine, Poland, the Baltics, Romania/Moldova and the Republics of Caucasus.
Yeah and with Belarus and Russia being suspended from the EBU, we’re definitely not gonna get 40 countries
Sad that it seems like this year we will have less countries than the previous years participating.
MACEDONIA WITHDRAW TOO. FINALLY, EUROPE DOESN’T DESERVE THIS COUNTRY FITH FANTASTIC SONGS!!
I think whether they’re out or even in will be confirmed with the nations list, but I’m not sure about them, due to the recent rancour and the budget not heeding the tips for ESC proper, despite committing to JESC. They have been last in my personal ranking twice, bottom 3 thrice, and bottom 10 4 times in the last 5 years, Tamara the exception, and debuted in Birmingham.
They’ve confirmed now and Bulgaria too. The latter has also implied a long exit. Please can Bulgarian visioners and fans petition to ensure they return. I don’t want to have to have heats of 15-16 every year. And I don’t want the old format back. Glad we had Snap, Miss You and Lights off in the final instead of Intention and I Am What I am.
And how about Bulgaria ? There are rumours that it will withdraw….
The rumors are true they are yet to announce it
North Macedonia announced it too
As for the matter of Montenegro itself, I expected this decision, it is a financial matter, unfortunately, Montenegro may be close to the European Union, but still poor, what is worse, the political crisis, the lack of a government and an attempt to overthrow the president has made itself felt and we have what we have
Now we´re still waiting for the confirmation of Armenia, Moldova, North Macedonia and Czech Republic.
I honestly expect from one oft this list withdrawing.
Moldova is 100% in, they are always silent till November. Armenia not sure because they are hosting JESC but on the other hand they still deal with the consequences of 2020 war, while for Czech Republic… I don’t see a reason for them to be out.
In Australia and Czech, the ratings aren’t great and most of the points are from the juries, and there’s high inflation in Czech, but it would be very bad if neither were there, and I doubt it. Moldova is quite poor but takes ESC very seriously and usually is confirmed with the list. Armenia often is, though what happened in 2021 is still a bugbear for me, and I still fear it could happen at any time.
Moldova is surprisingly in the top 10 in the five-years-list. They had only one entry which failed to qualify the another scores was 7, 13, 10 and 3 !
I wouldn’t say they’re a superpower like Sweden, Italy, Ukraine, Norway or Serbia but that is superpower form! The only exception was a song that should have placed last placing 12th in it’s heat above Armenia, Latvia and Ireland.
North Macedonia announced that they withdraw some hours ago
Montenegrins are not poor. It‘s an extremely small country with limited resources. They chose wisely.
LOL. But they could afford to send acts to Norway, Sweden Denmark who all are known for being THAT expensive:)
The probable reason is once again ending up among the last in the semifinal and not finding artists who want to do in 2023
They withdrew from Norway 2010, also due to financial issues (and hadn’t fared as badly in 2007-2009 as they did since 2017) but they did participate when it was in one of the world’s most expensive cities at the time (Tel Aviv, where my grandparents on one side are from) in 2019. And there are similar hotel pricing problems this year as occurred there.
There’s also the economic crisis we’re all currently living in to consider.
Um Denmark, Sweden and Norway don’t require Visas from the Balkan countries. UK does.
So did Israel yet Montenegro took part then. Plus in a far more expensive place than Liverpool
Aw man, so sad to see Montenegro go once again 🙁 I do, however, fully understand the decision behind this and the difficulties a small country, such as Montenegro, are facing in Eurovision. It got me wondering though how a smaller country like San Marino can manage it. Maybe Montenegro can try something similar in the future (Glas za Crnu Goru?) 😀 Anyways I really liked their entry last year, it was a decent effort and sad to see them being so underrated in the contest. Adio still remains my favourite, gives me the chills every time.
San Marino has secured a sponsor and Montenegro hasn’t. Plus they have 400+ participating in their selection and every person needs to pay a FEE. That will make up for a certain amount of money they will use to pay of their registration fee for esc. Also San Marino is much smaller so their fee is much smaller.
I’m guessing ESC 2023 will have 37 countries.
Sorry, I forgot to mention Australia. Also its participation is still pending. But I really don´t expect that Czech Republic and Moldova are withdrawing.
A shame to see them pull the same thing as Bosnia did 6 years ago, but it’s understandable. Montenegro doesn’t have a big budget and with Vladana’s poor result, it’s hard to justify staying in the contest when your funds are already next to nothing
Bosnia has secretarian and structural issues due to the sides representing the confederation’s groups becoming more disparate and polarised. Montenegro is also very heavily divided between pro-EU and pro-United Russia dictatorship but it is a republic, not a confederation, so doesn’t have these particular issues.
Bosnia is a not a confederation. It is a complicated federation with some elements of republican model too, but it is not a confederal state. Confederal state means two or more countries joined: Bosnian federal units (entities) were established in the 90’s while the country has been here, in different forms, for centuries, just internal functioning of Bosnia has been changed due to the war and a signed peace deal/contitutional changes in the 90’s.These changes have not turned Bosnia into confederation. Anway, the main problem in Bosnia is inability of the national broadcaster to cope against entity level broadcasters (national… Read more »
A bit sad. Whilst Montenegro haven’t even been above the bottom 3 in a heat since 2016, and have a limited talent pool without picking off from neighbours, I still don’t like the fact that a nation is withdrawing from the ESC we’re hosting, even though both us and them have a lot of economic issues, and they tried to have the cheapest campaign despite using a lot of resources (staying out of town to save a lot of money) but that didn’t work. The site that broke their departure also broke Bulgaria will do so as well (and had… Read more »
I’m upset at losing this trio, even though only Bulgaria have had more than 1 quality song since 2016, as: *Israel and Armenia lose nations who would vote for them due to similar music tastes (though I think Toy got only 17 tele points across this trio, mostly from Bulgaria). It also leaves those 2 vulnerable in case of political deteriorations there, given how certain nations I will not name took themselves out of the picture, and how the Armenians quit 2021, a major bugbear for me. *it makes me more agitated for Czech and Armenia *it puts more pressure… Read more »
Shame to see Montenegro go! Maybe RTCG should sell those staff cars for the money!
No confirmation of withdrawal yet from Slovakia, Hungary, Turkey, Bosnia yet..especially when Slovakia said that a decision on whether they would participate or not would be made by late August!
None of the countries you mentioned will return this year if ever.
Slovakia could if Czech are safe given they have a new director, though there is the matter of ratings and domestic issues like hyper inflation, but it would take political change in BHz, Hungary and Turkey for them to return. In February, BHZ stated that the divides between the Bosniak broadcaster and the hostile Serb broadcaster from demogogic Milorad Dodik mean there is a funding gap that will take time to bridge, even though there was a recent election, hence why it is hard to see them return in the near future, great as they have been at ESC.
Didn’t Slovakia quit mainly cus their public interest was very low?
Also didn’t both Turkey & Hungary crapped on the contest after they quit it?
I’m struggling to see why any of these 3 returning would be a good idea..
When it comes to BnH; I really don’t want countries to participate if the contest is a drain on their precious resources you know?
Bosnia is divided among three national groups who have their own TV channels. Each TV stations is sponsored and supported separately. BHRT gets money from region under Muslim control. They have rights to organise national final while other two groups don’t have it. Since Serbs and Croats can’t organise it in Banja luka or Mostar they don’t see reason to pay it. Republic of Srpska wanted to organise it but Federation refused to share rights.
It is not hostile Serb broadcaster. Muslim Croat Federation didn’t pay debt of five years to EBU. Republic of Srpska wanted to organise national final in Banja luka before and cover the cost for Eurovision but the Federation refused their offer. Also one Bosnian emigrant offered to pay all costs if Bosnia sends Hanka Paldum but the Federation refused that too.
I´m sharing your opinion. There will be no returning country in LIverpool.
I was expecting this story to be honest, but break is always good idea,
Waiting for Czech Rep, Bulgaria, N Macedonia and Azerbaijan – i feel some of them might be withdrawing too …
Would be interesting to see New country or comeback at 2023
-I’m worried for Bulgaria
-NM might withdraw and honestly it’s probably for the best….
-Armenia and Czech Rep will confirm soon I’m sure
-Azerbaijan confirmed already
-I don’t think we’ll see any returning or debuting countries in 2023
Unfortunately it’s been confirmed (not officially ) that Bulgaria will also withdraw, citing that there isnt a government in the country at the present moment due to the unstable political circumstances and the recent elections
That fking sucks.
*Pretends to be shocked*
On a serious note, I feel bad for Montenegrin fans but we all knew about Montenegro’s monetary struggles and their poor placings in the contest.
Let’s see if ESC will have 39 countries.
I think it won’t
Russia and Belarus are gone
Montenegro is gone
Bulgaria will also withdraw (trust me I have a source that said mont and Bulgaria will withdraw one of them already confirmed)
I’m a little worried about Czechia Moldova and Armenia but I think they will participate. Now for Azerbaijan… They said that they will participate in JESCno matter where it is held (Armenia in our case) but they withdrew. They also said that they will participate in ESC 2023 but that looks like a 50/50 situation
Moldova and Armenia always confirm late so I’m not worried about them. Azerbaijan already confirmed and with Czech I’m slightly worried but more so confused? I think they should be fine?
Bulgaria is out most likely yeah. N. Macedonia will likely leave also.
We will have maximum 37. The least since 2014.
Good. Less participants means more quality.
There’s no correlation whatsoever.