JESC 2018 | Who's in and who's out?
It's been 6 weeks since the fifteenth annual Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Tbilisi, Georgia, and already, a number of countries are showing an interest for the upcoming contest scheduled to take place in Minsk, Belarus in November 2018.
Georgia, hosts of the 2017 Junior Eurovision, have already got their preparations for Junior Eurovision 2018 underway with a 3-month long national final scheduled to take place between January-April 2018.
Georgia are one of the most successful countries in Junior Eurovision with 3 wins under their belt and a further 4 top 5 placings.
Poland have officially confirmed that they will be taking part in Junior Eurovision 2018. Polish broadcaster TVP have released their program plans for the coming year and have revealed that they will chose their next representative via a national final due to take place in October.
Alicja Rega achieved the best ever result for Poland in Junior Eurovision when she sang her song "Moj Dom" (My Home) in Tbilisi, finishing in 8th place with 138 points.
Head of Deligation, Gohar Gasparyan has stated that it is possible Armenia might withdraw from Junior Eurovision. In an interview with News.am back in December 2017, Gohar said that the Armenian delegation is not satisfied with the way the voting was handled at Junior Eurovision 2017, and has called for an investigation into the voting.
For the first time in a Eurovision event, online voting was used, alongside jury voting, to determine the winner of Junior Eurovision 2017. The online vote was open to people from every country in the world to vote for up to 5 of their favourite songs. The voting was first opened on the Friday evening before the show until 5 minutes before the show went live. The voting was re-opened for 20 minutes during the show where the voting platform became overwhelmed with the number people voting and crashed.
The EBU stated that over 300,000 votes had been cast from around the world. However, the head of Armenian delegation voiced her concerns that the figure is too small. Gohar has stated that the Armenian delegation will think about whether Armenia will continue to participate in the contest or not.
Kazakhstan broadcaster Channel 31 have expressed their interest at debuting in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2018 as well Eurovision in 2019. Channel 31 is currently in discussions with the EBU to join them as a full member. Khabar Agency, a major media outlet in Kazakhstan has been broadcasting Eurovision live for over five years now, so there is certainly an interest in the contest! However, they are nor eligible to participate in Eurovision as they are only an associate member of the EBU, which they have been since January 2016.
Kazakhstan has previously taken part in the ABU TV Song Festival as well as Turkovision, where they proved to be one of the most successful countries. They won the 2014 contest and finished second in the children's version of Turkovision.
10 year old Danelia Toleshova has got her sights set on Junior Eurovision after she took part in the Euroclub performance of Kazakh singers at Junior Eurovision 2017.
Although no official statement has been released, Serbia have hinted that they are interested in taking part in Junior Eurovision 2018, which would make it their 10th appearance at the contest.
Serbia debuted in the contest in 2006. Since then, they have gone onto achieve 3 top 5 placings and a further 4 top 10 placings. Their most recent participation saw duo Irina and Jana take home 10th place with their song "Ceo Svet Je Naš" (The Whole World Is Ours)
Belarussian broadcaster BTRC have announced that a representative from the United Kingdom will be among the delegations who will be travelling to Minsk in February for the Supervisory Meeting for Junior Eurovision 2018.
The United Kingdom participated in the contest with broadcaster ITV between 2003-2005 before withdrawing. In 2003, they achieved 3rd place with Tom Morley's "Song For The World". Cory Spedding got the UK their best result in 2004 with "The Best Is Yet To Come". Joni Fuller was the last singer for the UK with her song "How Does It Feel", finishing in 14th place.
In 2008, Welsh broadcaster S4C showed an interest in taking part in the contest, however, they eventually changed their mind. The broadcaster did however take part in Eurovision Choir Of The Year.