Eurovision 2023: How many countries will participate in the UK?

by Sanjay (Sergio) Jiandani 6,315 views

Hello Europe, the United Kingdom is gearing up in full steam to welcome the Eurovision bandwagon along with its glam, glitz and glitter for the nineth time in ESC history. The country has kicked off preparations for the upcoming 2023 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 the United Kingdom next year….

Circa 40 countries are expected to partake in the competition next year in the United Kingdom. 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. A maximum of 38 countries will battle in one of the two semi-finals.

10 countries from each semifinal will proceed to the Grand Final, thus 20 nations will join the 2022 Eurovision winning country, Ukraine and the Big Five (Spain, United Kingdom, Germany and France).

A total of 32 countries have so far confirmed their participation at the forthcoming 2023 Eurovision Eurovision Song Contest in Italy. We are expecting more countries to confirm their participation in the following weeks.

The deadline for broadcasters to apply for participation concluded on 15 September whilst grace period for applicant countries to withdraw their application without facing a financial penalty concludes on 11 October.

This article will be updated constantly in the lead up to the EBU’s official announcement of the 2023 Eurovision list of participating countries.

Will we see any debuts in 2023?

It is yet uncertain if we will see any new countries debuting in the United Kingdom. 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

Liechtenstein‘s national broadcaster 1FL TV is not an EBU member therefore it is not eligible to take part in the contest.

Kosovo

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.

Kazakhstan

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 four times.

Will we see Australia at Eurovision 2023?

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 and 2022.

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, 2021 and 2022.

The Aussies have won the hearts of Eurovision fans near and far, achieving 4 Top 10 placings in their short seven year Eurovision history.

Will there be any returning countries?

It is yet uncertain if we will see any returning countries at the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest.

  • Bosnia Herzegovina has been marred with financial issues and has not competed in the contest since 2017.
  • Hungary decided to withdraw from the competition in 2020 and has not returned since.
  • Turkey withdrew from the event in 2013 citing that it did not agree with the new rules of the competition and has not returned since.

Who will not return?

Andorra, Luxembourg, Monaco and Slovakia have all confirmed to ESCToday that they will not return to the competition next year.

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 2023.

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. The Russian broadcasters have been suspended from the EBU. Hence we will not see the country returning to the competition next year either.

Who will withdraw?

So far there has been no indication from the 2022 Eurovision competing nations of a withdrawal. Initially all 40 nations who attended the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest are expected to partake in the competition next year.

Confirmed countries

  1. Ukraine
  2. Italy
  3. Spain
  4. France
  5. Germany
  6. Sweden
  7. Finland
  8. Norway
  9. Austria
  10. Albania
  11. Israel
  12. Netherlands
  13. Belgium
  14. Switzerland
  15. United Kingdom ( ESC 2023 host country)
  16. Cyprus
  17. Lithuania
  18. Estonia
  19. Latvia
  20. San Marino
  21. Georgia
  22. Serbia
  23. Denmark
  24. Romania
  25. Greece
  26. Iceland
  27. Portugal
  28. Malta
  29. Ireland
  30. Slovenia
  31. Poland
  32. Croatia

Yet to confirm

  1. Czech Republic
  2. Bulgaria
  3. North Macedonia
  4. Montenegro
  5. Moldova
  6. Armenia
  7. Azerbaijan
  8. Australia

Will there be any returns?

  1. Hungary
  2. Turkey
  3. Bosnia & Herzegovina

Will not return

Will there be any debuts?

  1. Kosovo
  2. Kazakhstan

Will not debut

  • Liechtenstein

The 2023 Eurovision Song Contest is scheduled to be held next May in the United Kingdom. The EBU and and the BBC are yet to determine the 2023 Eurovision host city, thus the dates of the competition will be officially unveiled when the host city is confirmed.

The official list of the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest participating countries is expected to be released by autumn 2023.

Source: ESCToday
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