As the deadline for national broadcasters to sign up for the Eurovision Song Contest 2009 draws ever closer, it seems that we could be in for yet another new record in the number of participating countries in Moscow, due to a return from Monaco.
It seems that talks with the EBU have led to TMC, the Monégasque broadcaster,to apply to take part in the 2009 competition, although they still have until the deadline to make their final decision. TMC initially applied to take part in the 2007 contest in Helsinki as well but withdrew before the final deadline for participation. Whether or not they will do so this year in time for next year's contestremains to be seen.Changes to the voting system in which the jury now affects the results is thought to have appeased some of Monaco's demands.
Despite beingEurovision's smallest country with only 31,000 residents Manacohad one of the brightest Eurovision records in the 60s & 70s, with many top 5 placings and even a win in 1971 with Séverine's "Un banc, un arbre, une rue". They took a long break after 1979, not returning until the semi final in Istanbul in 2004 with Maryon's "Notre planète", which failed to qualify from the semi final after only gathering 10 points. Bottom 5 placings in the semi for Lise Darly and Séverine Ferrer in 2005 and 2006 respectively led to the disillusionment of the Monégasque broadcaster, leading to their withdrawal from the 2007 edition.
After Slovakia announced their comeback a few weeks ago, it seems that should Monaco indeed send a representative to Moscow, Eurovision will break its record of participating countries yet again, with 44 beating 2008's 43, despite Georgia's withdrawal and Austria's continued boycott.
The final list of countries participating in Moscow is expected by the end of the year.