Editorial: ESC 2016 could reach a record number of countries

October is participation month! How many countries will be on board for Stockholm 2016? So far, 39 countries have filled in their preliminary application. And 2 countries that were on board last year, have still remained silent.

That would make a total of 41 countries in Stockholm. However, we have to keep in mind that San Marino has specifically said that they have only applied preliminary and will take their final decision in October. But as for now, if it is financially possible, it looks like they will be back in Stockholm.

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This article was originally published on October 1st, and updated on October 15th, October 29th, November 5th and November 23rd. Since the first version of this article, Lithuania, Moldova and Montenegro have confirmed participation, whereas Bosnia-Herzegovina has withdrawn its application, and Portugal has confirmed their withdrawal for the 2016 contest. Turkey then confirmed that they will not return to the contest.

Halfway through November, Australia was added to the list. Bulgaria made it clear that their participation was withdrawn, but that there was hope for an extension of the deadline. Bosnia & Herzegovina had already used such an extension and joined the competition after all!

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Here are the silent two that were there last year, but now have posted nothing on their websites, Twitter- and Facebook-accounts or in their national media. How realistic is it that they will take part again?

Channel One has not posted anything Eurovision-related yet. Also on VK there are no signs that the runner-up of last year will be there again. Should we be worried? No, because last time we had to wait until November until the Russians showed their cards. They aways deliver something good, so we should be happy to have them on board, even though some “fans” keep booing and misbehaving…

On the 27th of September, the return of Serbia was announced last year. If they stick to their gameplan, it should be around now that RTS will give a sign of life. So far, nothing from Serbia. Let’s hope they will stay on board!

We also should not forget about Croatia and Slovakia. There have been no official public announcements by the broadcasters in these countries about a return to the contest. And it would make sense that the EBU would have made this news public, if this was the case. But we have to remember that they kept the Czech return in 2014 a secret until November!

Bulgaria, too, is still an option. Broadcaster BNT missed the deadline, but is hoping for an external sponsor and some coulance from EBU regarding the timing of their participation.

If we would have to guess now, we will probably get 41 countries in Stockholm, but a record of 44 is theoretically still possible! Just stay tuned to ESCDaily.com and join us towards the preselection season!