Editorial: A new record number of participants in 2012?

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Today our partners at eurocontest.cz reports that Baku expects a record turnout of 44 countries in 2012. Apparently, at a meeting in Geneva, the return of Monaco and Morocco is on the table in 2012.

Saying that, every year there is speculation concerning which countries will participate in and withdraw from the forthcoming Eurovision Song Contest, with this year being no exception. With many rumors all over the web concerning the possible return of Montenegro or the possible withdrawal of Armenia from the contest and of course the possibility of Morocco coming back to the contest after 30 years.

Here is a round up of all the possibilities!

Confirmed: 36 countries
Albania, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, FYR Macedonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, San Marino*, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom and Ukraine.
*Although San Marino confirmed they’d begin planning for 2012 after withdrawing from Junior Eurovision, the broadcaster has not further announced their participation plans and recently confirmed to ESCDaily that they make an announcement in mid-December.

Armenia, Czech Republic, Georgia#, Italy#, Monaco, Morocco, Montenegro^, Poland, Portugal, Russia# and Slovakia^.
# These countries have not signaled any desire to withdraw and are therefore are expected to participate. ^These countries have announced one way or another they are planning to participate.

Therefore, we are left with approximately 41 countries, with 6 countries still in the game one way or another.

Possible Returns:

  • Czech Republic – Even though it was reported that ČT will not be returning for Baku it has since been announced that the central European country’s decision had not been taken yet, therefore being still a good chance that they will be returning for Baku.
  • Monaco – Today’s news reports that the first country with which negotiations are being conducted with is Monaco. They last participated in 2006 with ‘La Coco-dance’. So far the broadcaster has announced nothing, therefore it would be a surprise if they do in fact return.
  • Morocco – According to a French delegation member back in August it was announced that the African country were likely to return to Eurovision but nothing has yet been confirmed. Their last participation was back in 1980.
  • Montenegro – A few weeks ago it was confirmed that they have applied for ESC but they haven’t officially and publicly confirmed it yet. However, there is a good chance that they will participate.

Possible Withdrawing Countries:

  • Armenia – Due to the political situation with the host country, Armenia has announced they may not participate unless there are security guarantees from the EBU. If the guarantees are received then it is likely Armenia will end up participating.
  • Italy – As the country was severely hit by the current economical crisis, there are some doubts over Italy’s participation in the contest. Viewing figures should also be noted, with the previous edition of Eurovision receiving only 1.2 million viewers.
  • Poland – Due to a bad run of results and the country being unable to reach the final, Poland is having a second look at entering the contest. There are also suggestions of a tight budget that may force the country to drop the contest in 2012. The final decision will be confirmed on Thursday.
  • Portugal – Due to the privatisation of the broadcaster RTP, there is discussion that the country may not be able to participate. The final decision is due to be confirmed in December.
  • Slovakia – It was previously confirmed that Slovakia would be participating in Baku with rock singer Miro Šmajda. However, since that the decision was announced, the response in the Miro camp suggests there was a misunderstanding between the Šmajda team and the broadcaster. Additionally, there has been no contract made. The decision is expected in early December.

If we see no or even one withdrawal from the 2011 edition of the contest, plus the addition of the Czech Republic, Morocco or Monaco, Baku looks set to break the record number of Eurovision entrants in 2012.

Which countries will withdraw from Eurovision and which will return? Let us know in the comments below!