Eurovision Song Contest 2012 – Although the 57th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest is still over half a year away, several countries have already started with the preparations of their national finals: in some countries the entire line-up is known already, other countries have only set a date while others have been quiet for a very long time. Let’s see what we know so far:
Cyprus was the first country, and so far the only country too, to announce their representative for Baku: Ivi Adamou will represent the island. The young singer got fame and recognition in Greece and Cyprus after participating in the Greek X-Factor.
Switzerland will be the first country to choose for the second year in a row, the final stage of Die Große Entscheidungsshow is planned for 10 December. 14 acts will take part, one of which is the 1956-winner of the Eurovision Song Contest Lys Assia. The Albanians celebrate the 50th anniversary of their prestigious Festivali i Këngës. The contest will be spread over 4 nights this year, of which one night will be devoted to the rich FiK-history. 28 performers will participate in total, Frederik Ndoci who represented the country in 2007 is one of them.
The first Scandinavian country to hold their national final is Denmark, with their Dansk Melodi Grand Prix scheduled for 21 January, earlier than usual. As usual, 10 acts will take part and through a couple of televoting rounds, a winner will be chosen. Exactly one week later, Mediterranean Malta holds their national final. Like last year, the selection will be preceded by a semi-final the day before, where 16 singers will be chosen out of 24 to perform in the final.
After a very disappointing 17th place in the semi-final last year, in spite of being one of the favourites, Norwegian NRK has announced changes to the format: 3 semi-finals with 8 songs each and one final with an unknown number of songs will determine who gets to wave the Norwegian flag in Baku. The “Sistesjansen”, including the infamous duels, got axed. Latvia holds two semi-finals in early January and has the final over a month later, at Saturday 18 February, in which 10 participants will fight for the Latvian ticket in Eirodziesma. February 24 will see the Irish national final, as usual in a special episode of the Late Late Show on RTÉ and Jedward as the first confirmed participant. Finland will have their final one day later. YLE decided to axe Euroviisut and went for a new format: UMK, standing for Uuden Muusiikin Kilpailu (Contest for New Music). Another day later the Netherlands will know who will represent the Dutch citizens at Europe’s favourite TV-show. For the first time since 2006, an open national final was organised. In both Finland and the Netherlands 6 finalists will perform, naturally only one can win the first prize and the right to represent their respective countries in Azerbaijan.
Eesti Laul 2012 will determine the participant for Estonia, with the national final to be held on March 3. Exactly one week later, the most highly anticipated national final among Eurofans comes to a climax, as the final of Swedish Melodifestivalen will be broadcasted by SVT on March 10. Swedish tabloids have revealed that Charlotte Nilsson/Perrelli (1999/2008) is one of the participants, although the broadcaster has not yet confirmed this.
Belarus and Slovenia will hold their in national finals in January. Belarus will have their first national final since 2009, while Slovenian EMA has been revamped once again, with an Idols-like talent show deciding the finalists to take part in the Slovenian national final. This talent show will come to an end on Christmas Day. Austria, Bulgaria, Iceland and Ukraine will hold their national finals in February according to the latest news, although no actual date has been confirmed yet. Austria and Bulgaria stick to their procedures of last year. Iceland cuts down on costs and only has one final, while Ukraine has not revealed more details so far.
Countries that have confirmed their participation for next year, but who haven’t revealed a lot more information yet, are Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Georgia, Hungary, Israel, Lithuania, Moldova, Romania, San Marino and Serbia. Rumours that Hari Mata Hari (2006) will represent Bosnia again were denied by broadcaster BHT. Host country Azerbaijan is sticking to its format used last year, while Germany will use the same method as they picked Lena, who went on winning the Eurovision Song Contest. Other Big 5-countries Spain and the United Kingdom have not yet revealed more information. France and Italy even still have to confirm their participation, while France announced last year already they would organize a national final for 2012.
Armenia might withdraw as the contest will be held in their biggest rival country Azerbaijan. Poland deals with a lack of media attention and good results and considers a withdrawal, while Portugal faces a possible privatization of the national broadcaster RTP, which could mean that Portugal has to withdraw. Slovakia and Montenegro are still thinking about a participation and more news about those countries is expected soon.
Croatian, Greek, FYR Macedonian and Russian broadcasters have been very quiet about the contest, so also here it’s “To Be Continued”. To end on a sad note: Andorra will quit the EBU, meaning they are not intending to come back for a long time.
ET: This is the first post of our new writer Jonathan from Belgium! We wish him the best of luck and lots of fun posting on our blog! Welcome to the family!
- Russia: Petition Calls for Anti-Putin Song for Eurovision
- Ireland: A Jedward Hairdo Revolution
- Switzerland: Cat Fight Between Lys Assia and Atomic Angles?
- Albania: No More Jurors at Festivali i Këngës