In Turin Andrea was running in “Circles.” And now North Macedonia has jumped on an exit ramp straight out of the contest. State broadcaster MRT has officially confirmed that it will not participate in Eurovision 2023 in Liverpool.
The broadcaster shared the news in a statement on Friday afternoon. It said:
“Such a decision is in the best interest of the citizens, taking into account the increased costs due to the energy crisis, which occupy a large part of the budget of the Public Service, as well as the increased registration fee for the participation in Eurovision 2023, which until last year was 39,143.00 euros, and the next year is expected to be higher. This decision will enable the saving of funds that would have been set aside for the Macedonian delegation’s stay in Liverpool, where Eurovision 2023 is being held.”
“However, MRT will broadcast the event, the two semi-final evenings and the grand final on its services. MRT hopes that the situation will stabilize, after which the country will return again with participation in Eurovision in 2024.”
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In Turin, North Macedonia placed 11th in Semi-Final 1, missing the grand final by just one spot. Andrea’s song “Circles” came together live, giving many people hope that she might squeeze through. Alas it wasn’t meant to be.
At Eurovision 2019 in Tel Aviv, North Macedonia famously won the jury vote thanks to Tamara Todevska’s song “Proud,” which gave many fans hope the country had turned a corner at the song contest. Perhaps they can keep those hopes alive when and if they return next year.
I’m not going to deny that the energy crisis may have had an impact. But after how they treated Andrea following that turquoise carpet fiasco that was of their own making would you want to represent North Macedonia?
It’s just been highlighted on bbc radio news that countries have withdrawn because the EBU has put up entry costs this year for all countries for several reasons including the banning of Russia (who was a major financial contributor) and energy costs
Basically the explanation from North Macedonia is that people are struggling with the energy crisis, so they can’t justify paying for musicians this year. If it’s public money being used, then politically (and morally) this sets a precedent. Potentially, any country could pull out for this reason. Open to discuss.
Given the energy crisis and war Europe is facing which both show no sign of winding down, personally I doubt whether all of the 34 confirmed will show up, or even that the contest will actually take place in the end. This is a much worse and escalating situation than Covid in 2020.
Of course, eurofans in this page seem to live in their own self-feeding universe, cut off from what is actually happening in the world. I am sure no broadcaster pulled out because they have a grudge regarding Ukraine’s huge televote result. The EBU canceling the results of some juries on the other hand, might have played a part in souring relations with some them. It seems to me a much more relevant factor.
Don’t blame the countries for withdrawing from an expensive contest with a foregone conclusion.
I have said after this year eurovision I think that Ireland malta both might leave the eurovision song contest or take a break
They should, but I doubt they will anytime soon, they’re both stubborn
Sadly, but it’s very possible that these three countries are not only one to withdraw. It seems that Eurovision is in deep problem after last year political edition, and 2023 seems to be similar. Many people questioning what’s the point od participation in such politically guided competition, and when you add costs which only rise every year – result in many withdrawals is pretty obvious.
I wish my country follow suit and withdraw. We should spend money on something important. We already know who’ll win, let rich countries to participate, they have time and money to waste. But sadly, that won’t happen…
Let’s be very clear: Eurovision isn’t in trouble because of Ukraine’s victory, but because one b*tthurt former Soviet agent decided to make life worse for everyone on the planet.
I agree that the only one guilty of this mess is te former Soviet agent, but they’re not mutually exclusive events
I don’t think the politics are the main issue here. I think it’s world’s financial crisis. Remember in 2010, there were also lot of withdrawals, even Norwegian broadcaster had to sell the broadcasting rights of 2010 Worlz Cup to other Norwegian channel in order to host the 2010 ESC.
Because of the inflation participation fees are also going up, it’s not that surprising
It’s so sad that North Macedonia, Bulgaria & Montenegro will not participate in 2023. These countries have really made good performances in the past years as well.
I really pray that the three countries will return in 2024.
If ebu allowed Kazakhstan in, they wouldn’t had to Increase the fees and therefore kick out so many countries. Do better.
Good. Send in Kosovo in its place.
As a Macedonian, I’m devastated. The Macedonian broadcaster should have asked for help from the private sector if they needed the help. Eurovision is world platform for promotion of the Macedonian music. What a giant mistake.
Love how many times you repeat the word Macedonian
What’s the most politically correct way to say you disagree with the entirely political victory in 2022?
“The costs are too high.”
I am so happy. Time to pay for the price of setting up a victory for Ukraine, who would win even if they sent a 4’33” to the contest (granted, after they cut it down to 3 minutes or less). Seriously they didn’t expect anything good out of what they did this May in Italy?
Imagine this, people actually voted for Ukraine, reason why they did is on them and irrrelevant and Macedonians are qutting because they have low scores and it is quite expensive to go to Eurovision :O
Who are “they” and exactly how did they set up a victory for Ukraine?
I’m glad too. Hope more countries withdraw.
I cannot believe what happened to my fave music event. Every year i was looking forward to it, everything about it made me happy. I’ll watch it still but won’t be as invested and I’m never going to vote again.
I’m really sad, but it is how it is
With fans like this, who needs haters?
Exactly, fans like this are great and necessary for the contest to avoid entering an echo chamber
Despite how sadly it sounds, sorrynotsorry is at least partially right. For example, in my country (Lithuania), there were many influencers, journalists, public people who are not particularly huge fans of Eurovision, but were actively promoting to vote for Ukraine. I remember one political journalist in particular – she (Daiva Zeimyte-Biliene) said on her social page “Guys, this year it’s not about music, it’s about giving Ukraine hope” and yada yada. I mean, how can you break that logic? The song contest is not about music, but letting Ukraine know we are aware Ukraine is at war with Russia! Ridiculous,… Read more »
These countries have done this to themselves by not doing propper taxes that would go straight to their public broadcaster and benefit the financial stability on them.
Considering that it was already reported that Eurovision 2023 was not included in next year‘s budget for the North Macedonia broadcaster, I am not surprised by the news of their withdrawal. I don’t blame them really, because with the exception of 2019, they really haven’t done very well over the last decade and it’s probably not a bad idea to take a break. Hopefully they can use the time off to regroup and come back stronger in 2024.
The funny thing that till now fans were complaining about “small” arenas, and demanding more and more elaborate and bigger show every year, which translates into big spending. On top of that fans can not stand the fact that commercial sponsors names appears “too big” on the ESC logo. So giant expensive show but with no too many sponsors, where do you think the money is supposed to come from exactly? And don’t compare it to football, football is all about commercial sponsorships. Ads literally are being displayed in the background as players play the game.
And because of how business-oriented football has become it has lost a lot of popularity in the last years too xd
The Brits will almost start believing that everyone hates them again 😉
Myb they just think Ukraine will win again
I thought that too because it will be influenced by Ukranian themes and if Ukraine wins it is just waste of time and money to take part.
If the mood on this forum and elsewhere is anything to go by Ukraine will come last. They won last time because of a lot of sympathy votes, sure, but also because they had a competitive song in a year with no clear front runner. It’s not like we had a Euphoria that was cheated of the win. So it’s up to everybody else to send good songs… as always.
Sad to see them withdraw, but glad to hear they’re planning to return in 2024. They are in a difficult situation right now which makes it understandable for them to withdraw. Plus all the drama with the flag incident just makes it even more messy.
Esma, Kaliopi’s doughnut, Jana Burceska and Eye Cue were such underrated gems of North Macedonia.
It’s sad but not a shocker unfortunately. In my whole life I haven’t experienced inflation like europe is facing at this moment which is worrisome, but it’s logical that it would have effect on things like Eurovision. Compared to things like football I think a music contest ends up relatively quickly on the cutting board when financial decisions need to be made for a broadcaster.
Yes, art and culture don’t matter. Men running around a field for ninety minutes is what counts. The important things in life.
Hehe not my choice 😉 all I meant is in a time where many average people have a hard time to even just pay the food bill I don’t see it as very surprising we see a few underfunded broadcasters needing to make decisions like these. Let’s hope it will get to normal again in the next few years.
You’re right, I’m just joking. Qatar 2022 is obscene in so many ways, though, that should be the thing to go.
Jonas you make a good point. And people who complain about politics in Eurovision should look at the list of “banned” matches in that sport. It’s not just Amenia v Azerbaijan.
It’s also the least hyped WC I’ve seen, the way Qatar expects its visitors to behave and the level of the qualified teams are unexciting. And “United” 2026 isn’t going to be any better, both Mexico and Canada might end up pulling out from hosting.
Honestly it’s what matters for the sponsors, most people I know have been disenfranchised with football and don’t care much about it anymore
I feel you, I never expected to be living through this in my country, either. The current govt’s measures and the current state of the world have made quite an impact in the price of things. Almost anything costs the double of what it cost just 4 years ago. I know it’s not the same here as in Europe, though.
Pointing out the actual economic circumstances that are effecting all the world and understandably causing particular problems for the poorer nations in Europe? You are clearly far too sane to be commenting on Wiwiblogs.
There is a chance for Kazachstan i think but i am not sure, i was hoping for Slovakia too but again they are out …
I think Armenia and Moldova are in. Moldova never make a confirmation publicly and Armenia has problem with Azerbaijan and preparing JESC – so they dont need to make confirmation publicly either …
Czech Rep is 50/50 actually
We still do not know if Turkey, Hungary or Marocco will come back or not
But i think 36-38 migh be the final number
Despite Armenia is in critically dangerous situation (same as Ukraine), it won’t be nice of us to withdraw (as an Armenian, I don’t want to win the contest tho). The UK is coming to Armenia for JESC. So, we should pull ourselves together to make it through. You never know, maybe it’s the last time until our country is destroyed by Turkey and Russia for good using and arming their puppet Azerbaijan. Our withdrawal in 2020 remained unnoticed and Azerbaijan was rejoicing…it was painful to watch the war criminal Aliyev’s propagandist receiving points from Europe and Italian TV making unnecessarily… Read more »
Azerbaijan shoiuld have been out …. Not fair when Russia and Belarus were kicked but again other countries need to be vocal if they want Azerbaijan to be out
You expect Morocco to come back? Seriously? Don’t be delusional.
It’s known that Erdogan and Viktor Orban are boycotting ESC, so DON’T expect Hungary and Turkey for longer.
The final number will be 37.
I said ‘maybe’ – and i dont have a huge expectation. I am pretty sure Moldova and Armenia are in – but i am not sure about Czech Rep and only hope is Kazachstan at this point 🙂
These withdrawals seem coordinated. I guess more countries will pull out soon?
It’s a shame but I’m curious how ESC without semi-finals would look like. Maybe for the first time in years I won’t have dark circles during Eurovision week.
It’s not coordinated nor a coincidence. Fees were increased. They don’t have the money. It’s clear that EBU cares about profit not the interest of the broadcasters. They wanna kick fan media out and countries who are not rich as well.
The deadline was yesterday, which means decision time. That’s all.
Czech Rep and maybe Azerbaijan coming soon
Azerbaijan already confirmed they will participate
Thats sad 🙁
Probably for the best.
The contest has gotten too big. The EBU’s job is to protect the interests of its members, this is why unions exist. If LED screens and giant arenas means losing countries, they are not worth it.
Exactly. EBU needs to go back to the drawing table and many broadcasters are having a difficult time financially. Increasing the participation fee to upscale the contest is a good strategy to generate more profit but obviously is less inclusive. Which is not what ESC represents.
It is sad that North Macedonia has resigned from Eurovision, but I look at the state of public television finances and that they cannot even afford archiving of materials, it shows the state of television plus the nationalist opposition rules television a miracle in which the country participates in the Eurovision for children and has something there to boast and be proud of the representatives
3 withdrawals in one day. Crazy.
Well they were just all announced at the same time because the deadline was yesterday! I don’t think we’re getting more withdrawals and with the possibility of Kazakhstan being invited, 37-38 seems a decent number of entries for Liverpool.
Waiting for the Czech Republic as well, they need to do cuts and Eurovision is not popular in our country :((
Deadline was yesterday so if you haven’t withdrawn already it’s too late to do that now 😉
Apart from the 34 countries that are shown to have confirmed their participation, which other countries are we waiting for, so what is the theoretical maximum number of participants we might have?
If I am not forgetting anyone and we are only waiting for Armenia, Australia and the Czech Republic then the maximum amount of countries we can have is 37 like in 2014. And it may be possible to have even less. Not good for the contest.
Australia is already a confirmed participant. If I am not mistaken, Australia has been given a 5 year warranty of participation in Eurovision, so this year they do not need a special invitation. Five countries have yet to confirm their intentions. Those are: Armenia, Czechia, Hungary, Moldova, and Turkey. I think we will get like 36, 37 if we are lucky.
Oh yes sorry I have no idea why I put Australia in there. It’s safe to say that Hungary and Turkey will not participate so we are waiting on Moldova, Armenia and the Czech Republic. 37 is still a viable goal but all three of these countries could withdraw.
many more countries need to last minute withdraw please, boycott the UK elite whom ruin this contest with their too expensive plans for this contest
just a back to basics contest, online content only
It’s troglodytes like you that need boycotting!
Congrats to the mastermind who thought to increase the fee to get more money and now many countries withdraw so EBU will get less. Is it the same who signed the TikTok agreement and ever since the end of the contest the account is basically dead? #youarefiredmartin
the richest European countries should create a “European fund” to help those who are most in difficulty! Because all the small Balkan countries are unfortunately impacted… I hope that Macedonia, Montenegro or even Bulgaria will come back!
Or that participation in the competition generates money from the EBU
the EBU must be able to create this European fund to help the small countries so it is its role to protect the interests of the countries normally!
These countries have done this to themselves, maybe don’t run down your own public broadcaster to their limit and then say to others that they have to pay for it.
The Big 5 already pay at least half of the fees
with the covid it didn’t help things unfortunately, there is also that in addition to the financial situation of the country which is quite average especially those in the Balkans…
This is really sad news; I always admired the Macedonians for always showing up despite their mixed fortunes at the ESC. But it’s understandable that their resources have their limits. It’s good to hear that they intend to return as soon as they can.
Thank you for calling us Macedonians, usually commenters call us “North Macedonians” which is very derogatory.
People from North Macedonia are called North Macedonians.
Go read the aggreement.
Looks like it’s time to invite Kosovo
A very sad year for the Balcans as it turns out. As it seems, inviting Kazakhstan is the way to go this year, if we want to have at least 37 countries, like in 2014. Unless Turkey or Hungary join in again, which I doubt for the time being. The unfortunate thing is that (as things stand right now) we will have a semifinal (and it could be 2) with just 15 countries. As a person that is a fan of ‘the more, the merrier’ (eurovision-wise) this is really sad news. At least North Macedonia is one of the countries… Read more »
I agree with you, but I think that if there is a right moment for Kazakhstan to debut, it is now, otherwise we are going to have a contest with 36 countries, the lowest number since 2006, and this is only if Moldova and the Czech Republic participate (because officially they have not confirmed yet, as far as I know at least)
And Armenia? We have 34 now -(Rumours said Azerbaijan might be out too, but somehow is in) …
You’re right, I forgot Armenia, I thought it was one of the 34 that have confirmed. I hope that they will confirm as well.
Hopefully we can host again after hosting 2023 – maybe as winner – in a better economic time. I understand that Even an event as cheap as ESC, in a world where a footballer costs £60 million, isn’t tactful in these places at this time. I just hope that there can be enough for the 2 semi finals with 36-38 nations (assuming Armenia, Australia and Moldova are definite, Czech probably and Kazakhstan possible if they win JESC) and space If another Armenia 2021 or Russia 2022 disaster occurs. I’d expect a short exit though – I don’t want a return… Read more »
Who in your opinion should not have made it to the final in 2007?
Yes, more or less all (at that ,,geopolitical” time) Eastern European countries passed, but in my opinion they all deservedly passed, except for Latvia (my opinion).
It did have a good diversity and the east had better songs whereas some established names like us and France had train wrecks – which still outplaced a nice Irish song which had only qualified due to their previous result – hence why it feels depressing, and the poor geographical spread left a bad taste, as well as too many televoters centric songs, though the top 3 was classic and top 10 had some catchy tunes. Imagine if Snap had been eliminated for Intention under these rules if they applied to this year…
The UK has never sent anything better than Georgia 2007 and that one (unfortunately) didn’t even finish top 10, they should cut the complaining.
Let’s wait. Just because the UK came second this year doesn’t mean there will be a good result next year. We’ve been disappointed by the BBC way to often.
hopefully it’s just one year off. they always enthusiastically participated, so i believe the broadcaster is just in financial crisis rn.
At least they said they want to return soon…
I hope so. You will be missed. All the best, and looking forward to your hopefully soon return.
What would look first pot for draw (ex-yu pot) without Montenegro and N. Macedonia?
i guess switzerland (maybe austria) would be in it.
Same like in 2014 when Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia were out
Albania, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Switzerland.
Something to be said for all the poorer countries pulling out and the richer ones beginning to dominate lately.
we need moldova to win and then host for a flavorful and affordable edition!
The Moldovan pre-selection horror is enough. Let’s not have them host please.
it’s looking like it’s time to invite kazakhstan