We reported last week that Kazakhstan is, along with Wales, making its debut in the 2018 Junior Eurovision Song Contest. As it is their first time ever in a Eurovision event, and being only an Associate Member of the EBU, ESCBubble decided to find out more about the story behind their participation in this year’s event.
ESCBubble got in contact with the EBU, and asked them various questions regarding the participations of Kazakhstan and Wales in this year’s Junior Eurovision, how that will reflect on the Eurovision Song Contest, as well as the voting system of this year’s Junior Eurovision, seeing as only one nation of the United Kingdom is taking part, and not the whole country.
With regards to Kazakhstan, it is the Khabar Agency that is competing and sending an entry to Minsk. This broadcaster is an Associate Member of the EBU (same as Australia’s SBS). Thus we asked the EBU whether the rules of JESC have changed to allow Associate Members to take part in this Contest. The EBU stated the following:
It is at the discretion of the JESC Reference Group, which represents all participating broadcasters, to invite any EBU Associate that has expressed an interest, to take part in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest for a single year. Khabar Agency, Kazakhstan’s participating broadcaster, is an EBU Associate and will participate in 2018.
The participation rules have not changed.
This raised another question, whether or not the EBU would allow Kazakhstan to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest in Israel, should the Reference Group decide so. The EBU stated:
Only full EBU Members are eligible to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest although the ESC Reference Group may accept, at its discretion, an Associate Member as a “guest” participant in exceptional circumstances as it has previously done with Australia.
There are no plans to extend this arrangement to other Associate Members.
From this statement we understand that Kazakhstan will not be invited to take part in Eurovision 2019 in Israel, should Khabar Agency not become a full member of the EBU.
Wales took part in the Eurovision Choir Of The Year 2017 in Riga, and is now also going to debut in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Seeing as the United Kingdom has participated in the past in the Contest (from 2003 until 2005), we wanted to find out more about the reason why only one nation of the UK is taking part in Junior Eurovision 2018, and whether this would open the possibility for Scotland, England and Northern Ireland also to enter the Contest as separate “countries”.
S4C, a member of the EBU, registered an interest in participating in, and broadcasting, the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2018 and they are allowed to do so because the JESC is not broadcast by any other UK wide Member.
The United Kingdom participates as a single country for the Eurovision Song Contest with the BBC as their participating broadcaster. If more than one EBU Member from the different nations within the United Kingdom applied to take part in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest then, should the national EBU Members not wish to participate as the United Kingdom, those applications would be duly considered by the EBU and the JESC Reference Group.
How is the voting going to work at JESC 2018?
We were also interested in the voting system at this year’s edition of Junior Eurovision, especially seeing as Wales is only a nation of the United Kingdom, thus we were interested in how televoting would work (should there be one):
The voting mechanism remains the same as last year.
Are you looking forward to seeing Kazakhstan debut at this year’s Junior Eurovision? Do you think it is going to be a one-year participation, or will it eventually become continuous just like Australia in both Eurovision and Junior Eurovision? Let us know on our social media pages, and in the comments below.