The European Broadcasting Union has revealed the participation list for this year’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest. There are just 13 nations that take part and due to the coronavirus restrictions, the EBU has decided the artists from these countries will perform their songs from a studio in their own country.
Unfortunately the list is considerably smaller than previous years, with last year’s contest featuring 19 participants, and the previous year featured a record 20 nations. Many of this year’s withdrawals from the competition stem from the COVID-19 pandemic. Armenia decided to withdraw later on, due to the current active martial law in the country.
The competing nations of this year’s contest are:
Australia does not take part at Junior Eurovision 2020
It was previously announced that Australia, Ireland, North Macedonia and Wales would not be participating due to COVID-19 and in some cases, travel bans surrounding the pandemic. We were yet to hear an announcement from Albania or Italy, while Portugal had originally confirmed their intention to participate, however are now absent from the official list.
This year’s contest will look considerably different to previous years. The show will take place in a studio in Warsaw, Poland, and hosted by Polish broadcaster TVP. The Hosts and Crew will be socially distancing in the studio, and interval acts will be present in the studio as well. The competing artists, however, will be performing in a studio in their respective country.
Travel restrictions cause the impactful changes to Junior Eurovision
Martin Österdahl, the Contest’s Executive Supervisor has said, ‘Travel restrictions and the ongoing issues relating to the COVID-19 pandemic mean regrettably we cannot bring all the artists to Poland to compete in person at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest this year. We are determined however that the show must go on and that this competition, held annually since 2003, must continue. Despite the changes this year, all the talented youngsters chosen to represent their countries will still have an equal chance to shine, and, as is tradition, families from around the world will be able to vote for their favourite songs online.’
To ensure fairness, all participating countries have agreed to use a similar stage layout and technical setup to make sure there is continuity between the performances.
Martin Österdahl also discussed the importance of creating a community between the singers, as is usually created at Junior Eurovision. Although they will not be able to meet in person, the artists will have a chance to interact on digital platforms to share experiences and perform together. There will also be coverage of preparations in their home countries, as well as the chance for fans to interact with the participants as well.
This year’s contest will take place on November 29th, and starts at 17:00 CET. More details on the show will be released in the coming weeks.
This post has been written in collaboration with our partner website Eurovision Union