Practically September marks the beginning of the next Eurovision Song Contest season, since the first of the month is the date after which a participating song in May 2016 is allowed to be released. Continuing the annual review of 2015, we take a look at the season between September and December 2015.
September saw a number of countries confirm that they’ll be joining the Eurovision party in Stockholm in 2016, but there were three confirmations that were particularly notable. After having to sit out of the 2015 contest because of financial problems and on-going issues in the country, Ukraine announced they would be making their return in 2016. After playing host to the junior version of the Eurovision Song Contest, Bulgaria too announced they would be making a comeback. The country had missed out on the previous two years because of financial issues as well.
Completing the hat-trick of returnees is Bosnia & Herzegovina. The Balkan country has been unable to participate, despite applying for preliminary participation, since 2012 because of the financial crisis. The trio of comebacks gave hope to Eurovision fans that the contest in 2016 would be one of the largest ever. Meanwhile, the Netherlands gave us our first contestant for the Eurovision Song Contest 2016. Indeed Douwe Bob was internally selected by the Dutch broadcaster, Avrotros, to represent the country next May.
October began with promising news for Eurovision fans who lived in the UK as the BBC announced it biggest search for a Eurovision song. The submission closed in November and all the entries that were submitted in time are being reviewed. We will expect to hear who has made it through to the national final in the near future.
In other news, Montenegro announced that boy band Highway would represent the Balkan state in Stockholm next May. The details of the song will be announced in the new year.
The month concluded on a high for Italy’s 2013 representative Marco Mengoni as he won Best European Act at the MTV EMA Awards.
In the penultimate month of the year, one of the biggest news stories was that Australia was allowed to return to the Eurovision Song Contest next year. After much debate it was decided that the country would be allowed to participate but they would have to qualify from the semi-finals in order to perform in the final. The decision as to which semi-final Australia will perform in will be made at the Semi-Final Allocation Draw in January.
November also saw other European states announced their representative(s) for Stockholm. Cyprus had internally selected rock band Minus One, whilst Kaliopi revealed that she would return to Europe’s Favourite TV Show as the singer for the FYR Macedonia. It was also revealed that Bosnia & Herzegovina would be represented by Dalal Midhat-Talakić, Fuad Backović-Deen & Ana Rucner.
With all that excitement, the EBU and SVT released the first wave of tickets for next year’s show. For those that were unlucky the first time round, you will have the opportunity to purchase again in the near future.
At the end of month it was announced that 43 countries would be represented next year meaning that 2016 would equal the record number of participants set in both 2008 and 2011.
The last month of 2015 saw firm fan favourite Petra Mede announced that she would host next year’s competition alongside current winner Mans Zelmerlow. With this decision, Petra becomes the first presenter of the 21st century who will have hosted the contest more than once.
December also saw this year’s runners up Russia announce that Sergey Lazarev had been internally selected to represent the nation next May. Details about the song will be revealed soon. Neighbouring Georgia also informed ESCToday that Nika Kocharov & Young Georgian Lolitaz had been chosen as their act for 2016.
As Christmas approached, ESCToday treated our readers with Christmas messages from past and future Eurovision representatives. You can find those messages here.
The year concluded with the first entry for Stockholm 2016. Eneda Tarifa will represent Albania with the song Përrallë.