Ciao Europa, Italy is gearing up in full steam to welcome the Eurovision bandwagon along with its glam, glitz and glitter for the third time in ESC history. The country has kicked off preparations for the upcoming 2022 Eurovision Song Contest. How many countries will compete in the contest next year? Will there be any new countries joining the club? Will we see any returning nations? Will there be any withdrawals? Let’s check out who’s heading to Italy next year….
Circa 40 countries are expected to partake in the competition next year in Italy. The maximum number of countries permitted to compete in next year’s contest is 44, whilst the Grand Final will feature a maximum of 26 nations battling for the coveted Eurovision trophy.
10 countries from each semifinal will proceed to the Grand Final, thus 20 nations will join the host country, Italy and the Big Five (Spain, United Kingdom, Germany and France).
A total of 41 countries have confirmed their participation at the forthcoming 2022 Eurovision Eurovision Song Contest in Italy. We are expecting more countries to confirm their participation in the following months.
The deadline for broadcasters to apply for participation concluded on 16 September whilst grace period for applicant countries to withdraw their application without facing a financial penalty concluded on 11 October.
Will we see any debuts in 2022?
It is yet uncertain if we will see any new countries debuting in Italy. Both Kosovo and Kazakhstan are keen to enter the competition but do not comply with the EBU’s rules and regulations in order participate in the contest.
Liechtenstein‘s national broadcaster 1FL TV is not an EBU member therefore it is not eligible to take part in the contest. 1 FL TV has confirmed to ESCToday that it will not debut at Eurovision 2022.
Kosovo is not a member of the ITU (International Television Union), one of the key requirements to become an active EBU member. Thus RTK is not an EBU member and is currently ineligible to join the contest. The country is neither a member of the United Nations or the Council of Europe. The Eurovision Song Contest has been broadcast live in the Balkan country in recent years.
Kazakh broadcaster Khabar Agency is an associate EBU member since 2016 and thus NOT ELIGIBLE to participate at the Eurovision Song Contest, Kazakhstan has to be formally invited by the EBU to join the competition. It is entirely up to the EBU’s discretion to extend an invite to the country very much like in the case of Australia. The Kazakh broadcaster has been airing the contest for the past years.
Kazakhstan debuted at the 2018 Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Minsk and has competed in the competition thrice.
Will we see Australia in Italy?
The ultimate Aussie Eurovision dream saw the day of light back in 2015 when our neighbours down under were invited to partake in Europe’s favourite television show in Vienna. 2019 saw Australia holding a full fledged national final in order to determine its Eurovision hopeful, thus celebrating its fifth consecutive Eurovision participation. The Aussies continued with their national final in 2020.
Until now SBS had to wait for an invite from the EBU and host broadcaster in order to participate in our beloved song contest, on a year to year basis. This will no longer be necessary as SBS Australia and the EBU have sealed a five year deal enabling the country to compete in the song contest for the next five years.
The Eurovision Song Contest’s Reference Group (the governing body of the competition on behalf of the competing broadcasters) approved the decision to grant Australia and SBS the right to participate at the Eurovision Song Contest for the next five years, thus securing participation in the competition until 2023.
Australia was invited to participate at the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna as a one off occasion, but our neighbours down under embraced the contest with such enthusiasm they were invited back again in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021.
The Aussies have won the hearts of Eurovision fans near and far, achieving 4 Top 10 placings in their short six year Eurovision history.
Will there be any returning countries?
Montenegro and Armenia will be returning to the competition in 2022 after their absence in the competition.
Who will not return?
Andorra, Luxembourg, Monaco, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Slovakia have confirmed to ESCToday that they will not return to the competition next year. Turkey will not be returning to the competition in 2022 despite holding talks with the EBU. Hungary will not be returning to the competition either.
Belarusian national broadcaster, BTRC, has been expelled from the EBU and is thus ineligible to join the competition next year. Hence we will not see Belarus compete at Eurovision 2022.
Morocco debuted at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1980 and has not competed since, we don’t expect the Northern African country to compete in the contest next year either.
Russia was set to compete at the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest in Turin but has been excluded from partaking in the competion by the EBU in the wake of the latest events in Ukraine.
Who will withdraw?
So far there has been no indication from the 2021 Eurovision competing nations of a withdrawal. Initially all 39 nations who attended the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest were be join the party in Italy.
- San Marino
- Czech Republic
- United Kingdom
- North Macedonia
Will not return
- Hungary (unlikely)
- Bosnia & Herzegovina
Will not debut
The 2022 Eurovision Song Contest is scheduled to be held at the Pala Alpitour in Turin on 10, 12 and 14 May in Italy.
The official list of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest participating countries was released by the EBU on 20 October 2021.
Photo credit: Samuele Giglio