The application deadline has already ended some weeks ago and by now 39 countries are one the list for Vienna next year. This year in Copenhagen there were only 37 countries.
Due to the fact that there are only 26 spots available in the Grand Final – including the big 5 countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) and Austria as the host country, there will only be 10 countries out of each semi final qualifying. That means the more countries would like to take part, the harder it gets to qualify for the Grand Final. In Helsinki 2007 there were 28 countries in the Semi Final (there was only one Semi Final) the chance for qualifying was quite low.
The maximum of participating countries has been 43 in Belgrade 2008 and Düsseldorf 2011. With such an amount of countries it’s a great variety of different music and countries on the one hand, but on the other hand a logistic challenge for the organizers and patience for the viewers.
After an absence of five years the Czech Republic is returning to the ESC, while Slovakia is not returning. Therefore Cyprus and Serbia are returning after missing out the Copenhagen ESC. Unfortunately, Turkey seems to have to interest to come back to the ESC family, it will be the third year in a row that they are not joining. It’s a pity that Bulgaria, Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina will miss out another year; these countries have brought a lot of effort and great entries in the ESC history. The Ukraine will not take part in Vienna due to the current political situation.
Andorra has never been successful in the ESC and is missing out for the 6th year in a row, as well as Monaco, which has even won the ESC in 1971 with Severine “Un banc, un abre, une rue”, then Monaco missed out for 24 year and returned in 2004 for 3 years and missed out another 9 years.
Maybe we will see some surprises to come, there are rumours that Luxembourg might come back, because of the 60th anniversary of the ESC.
This is the preliminary list: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, FYR Macedonia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
These countries will probably not participating in Vienna: Andorra, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Luxembourg, Monaco, Morocco, Slovakia, Turkey and the Ukraine.
Public relations, Editor, Journalist
About me: As one of the founders of eurovisionlive.com I am responsible for the interviews with the singers and the editorial content. My passion for the Eurovision Song Contest exists since my early childhood. The exotic music, different cultures and languages have given a lot of inspiration to me. Since my very first ESC in Dublin 1994 I particularly appreciate the get together and friendship of all the nationalities and Riverdance was a thrill!