It’s that time of year again, where the Eurovision rumour mill goes into overdrive. One such rumour doing the rounds this week is that Eurovision 2019 could see a record breaking 44 countries participate.
The rumour source is German television station ARD and if their reports are to be believed we could have 44 countries participating in the Eurovision when it comes to Israel in 2019. But hold on a minute, let’s do some quick maths.
A total of 39 countries have already confirmed their participation for Eurovision in 2019. These are: Albania, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malta, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and Ukraine.
In addition to these, it seems likely that Moldova, Russia and San Marino will confirm their participation in due course. However with Bulgaria confirming their withdrawal from the Contest last week and other former participating nations like Andorra, Bosnia Herzegovina, Luxembourg, Monaco, Morocco, Slovakia and Turkey ruling out a return to the Contest in 2019, it leaves two spots left unclaimed.
This could mean the EBU could be ready to extend an invite to other current Associate Member nations like Kosovo and Kazakhstan to participate. Both nations are currently associate members of the EBU but have been trying to negotiate full membership for the past few years, that would enable them to compete. Kazakhstan are set to make their Junior Eurovision debut next month, so it wouldn’t be a huge reach to suggest they might debut at the main Contest in 2019. Kosovo however would be a little more tricky. While Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 and is recognised as a sovereign nation by 113 UN members, Serbia and a number of other EBU members don’t recognise it as a state (Israel, Greece, Russia, Spain, Belarus, Armenia and Azerbaijan). Perhaps in an attempt to stop themselves getting embroiled in politics, the EBU will leave this one alone?
If either nation were to debut, it would be the first new Eurovision nation to do so since Australia in 2015. Until now the most countries in a Eurovision Song Contest has been 43. This has happened in 2008, 2011 and most recently 2018.
What do you think? Would you like to see Kazakhstan and Kosovo invited into the Eurovision family?