We recently had the absolute pleasure to speak with Andorra’s last Eurovision artist, Susanne Georgi in her Stars Academy studio in Andorra la Vella! Susanne has been a vocal activist in the struggle to see one of Europe’s smallest nations return to the world’s biggest music show, one that draws over 160 million viewers worldwide.
Andorra’s history in Eurovision is quite brief and unfortunately quite underwhelming. The principality has only participated at the Contest six times (from 2004 to 2009), and has the distinction of being the only country to participate that has never made it to a Grand Final.
Unsurprisingly, finances were cited as the main reason when Andorra’s Eurovision broadcaster Ràdio i Televisió d’Andorra (RTVA) announced its withdrawal from Eurovision in 2009. Susanne admitted it’s been very challenging,
“I remember in the very beginning, it was very frustrating because [RTVA] said we don’t have the money. And I mean that you can understand […] and COVID came and it was even worse, and we don’t have the money. So okay? You want money, I’ll find the money. So I went out and I found the money to fund the whole project. And they were like yeah, but it wouldn’t look good if we took this from the private sector… You said you wanted the money, I got the money. What is the problem?! […] So it’s this endless, you know, this fight. […] But I definitely would like to make sure that we do the right things, because we need so much more money and promotion than a Germany or a Spain, we need to do double the work because people don’t know Andorra. So it’s going to be hard work.”
But it’s not all bad news for Susanne’s campaign. Recent elections kept the same government in Andorra, meaning she is already acquainted with the officials who can make decisions to lead Andorra back to Eurovision. Additionally, there has also been a change at RTVA, but one which made Susanne quite happy,
“[RTVA] changed the TV director […] because the former TV director did not want Eurovision under any circumstances. And I have had meetings where I was pulling my hair out!”
Along with finding the funding to bring Andorra back to the Eurovision family, Susanne has found other reasons why it just makes sense to get the country back on the Eurovision stage,
“I think sometimes people, if they’re not in this world, they don’t actually see how much potential it has for the tourists for the country. […] But I know that [the government] wants it. I know, there’s a lot of people that want this to happen within the government now, and with the change of the TV director, I really do have hope. And I think we’re closer than ever!”
Despite all the obstacles in her way, Susanne isn’t giving up her campaign any time soon. In fact, a TV crew has been following her around to produce a documentary about her work for Eurovision, and she has made so many connections with singers and songwriters in Andorra, she said Andorra could return to Eurovision “tomorrow” if it had to.
When asked if she would step foot on the Eurovision stage for Andorra again, Susanne had this to say,
“I would never say no if someone asked me, ‘Do you want to come back?’ […] I’m not saying I 100% believe I’ll be back on that stage at some point. But at this point when it comes to Andorra, I would love to be able to try to run this project so we can succeed 100%. […] And that’s very important for me. I don’t feel alone. On the contrary, I feel like I have so many little soldiers behind me, you know, even outside Andorra, like the fact that you came up here to talk to me – that means everything to me!”
Of course, Susanne represented Andorra at Eurovision in 2009 in Moscow where she competed in Semi Final 1.
What are your thoughts on Andorra’s potential return to Eurovision? You can let us know in the comments below or on our social media @escbubble !