It seems that the ESC season kicked off very early this year. Unlike previous years, now we will know 6 entries before the year 2012 ends. Lithuania and Switzerland already held some parts of their national selection, and Belgium and the Netherlands already chose the artists. I'll try to summarize all the known info and rumours.
[flag]nl[/flag] The Netherlands has chosen Anouk
for their representative in Malmö. This is a huge step for the Netherlands since for the first time in years they are sending a super star and someone who is known outside of the Netherlands. Anouk will present her song in February, and until then you can listen to the songs which made her famous, like Nobody's Wife
. I really have high expectations from the NL this time.
[flag]fr-BE[/flag] Belgium has chosen a young artist, Roberto Bellarosa
, the winner of this year's The Voice Belgique
. The exact will be known on December 16 (so in almost two weeks) when the audience will choose one of the 3 songs which will be presented. Bellarosa recently publish his first CD. Here's one of his songs: Je Crois
[flag]be[/flag] Belarus will chose their song on December 7 (next Friday). Here
you can listen to the 10 songs that will compete in their national selection. Alyona Lanskaya
, the participant of this year's Belarusian NF that originally won but was later disqualified, is back and apparently she has a lot of chances of winning again.
[flag]de-CH[/flag] Switzerland will choose their song on December 15 on a competition called Die Grosse Entscheidungsshow
that will be held in Kreuzlingen like the previous two years. 9 songs will compete: 4 will be delegated by the German-speaking SF, 3 by the French-speaking RTS and 2 by the Italian-speaking RSI. You can listen to the songs here
(who ended up 3rd in the Spanish NF in 2011
) is among the participants. The Salvation Army
) is considered a huge favourite. My own favourite is Carrousel
. It's interesting that Lys Assia
(the winner of the first ESC in 1956) failed to qualify for the final
[flag]sq[/flag] Albania will choose their song on their traditional Festivali i Këngës
. There will be two semifinals (December 20 and 21) and a final (December 22) Only the names of the participants and the composers
are known so far. Among the participants are Anjeza Shahini
(2004) and Kejsi Tola
[flag]lt[/flag] Lithuania will also choose their song on December 22. Their national selection is already in progress and apparently it's the complicated one this year. The selection consists out of 5 heats with 8 songs. From each heat 3 songs will pass into two semifinals. And finally the final will be held on December 22. This saturday is the last heat. You can listen to the songs that has participated in heats 1-4 on LRT's official Youtube channel
[flag]uk[/flag] Ukraine will choose their song on December 23. Not much else is known about their selections so far.
[flag]sv[/flag] Sweden will continue to choose their song at the tradional Melodifestivalen
. The current format of Melodifestivalen (adopted in 2002) will be continued next year too. There will be four heats (Karlskrona, Göteborg, Skellefteå & Malmö) that will be held on every Saturday in February. From each heat 2 songs will pass directly into the final and 2 songs will continue to compete in the Second Chance that will be held in Karlstad on March 2. The Final will be held on March 9 in Stockholm and for the first time it will be in the new Friends Arena. SVT revealed the list of artists and songs
. 23 artists will participate for the first time in the MF. It's interesting that Army of Lovers is participating too.
[flag]mt[/flag] Malta will choose their song in late January. So far 69 songs
have made it into the current stage of the selection and tomorrow it is expected that the Maltese PBS will narrow the list down to 24 finalists.
[flag]sr[/flag] my own country Serbia has decided to bring back the festival as a way of choosing the ESC song. The last time we used a full-scale festival was in 2009. In 2010 we had a selection between 3 songs by the same composer. In 2011 we had a selection between 3 composers who were related. And this year we chose the artist and the song internally. For next year RTS will hold a festival in early March (the dates will be revealed on Saturday). The festival will be called Beosong
and it will consist of one semifinal with 15 songs and one final with 5 songs. The audience alone will choose the song.
[flag]hr[/flag] Croatia has decided to be very genre-specific in 2013. HRT has decided to send a klapa
song to Malmö and is currently looking for the composers and artists. This is a very bold decision because it is not known how the European audience will react to such an "exotic" musical style. It will most probably be very similar to the klapa songs that have participated in the previous editions of Dora
[flag]dk[/flag]Denmark will choose their song on January 26, [flag]is[/flag] Island on February 2nd, [flag]fi[/flag] Finland and [flag]no[/flag] Norway on February 9, [flag]de[/flag] Germany on February 14, [flag]de-AT[/flag] Austria on February 15, [flag]lv[/flag] Latvia on February 16, [flag]en-IE[/flag] Ireland on February 22 and [flag]et[/flag] Estonia on March 2. [flag]he[/flag] Israel will probably hold their selection in January too.
[flag]hy[/flag] Armenia will return after being absent this year. There is a rumour that Sirusho
will represent them.
Other countries that have confirmed their participation are [flag]az[/flag] Azerbaijan, [flag]bg[/flag] Bulgaria, [flag]fr[/flag] France, [flag]ka[/flag] Georgia, [flag]it[/flag] Italy, [flag]hu[/flag] Hungary, [flag]mk[/flag] Macedonia, [flag]mo[/flag] Moldova, [flag]ro[/flag] Romania, [flag]ru[/flag] Russia (they might send the winner of The Voice
San Marino, [flag]es[/flag] Spain, [flag]tr[/flag] Turkey and [flag]en[/flag] the UK.
Unfortunately some countries have decided to withdraw from the contest or are considering doing so.
[flag]pt[/flag] Portugal has decided to withdraw. It's a real pity
[flag]el[/flag] Greece and [flag]el-CY[/flag] Cyprus are thinking of withdrawing because of financial reasons.
[flag]sl[/flag] Slovenia is also not a sure participant. TV SLO announced that they lack the necessary 60,000 EUR for the participant fee.
[flag]pl[/flag] Poland and [flag]cs[/flag] Czech Republic decided not to return. [flag]sk[/flag]Slovakia hasn't decided anything yet and [flag]bs[/flag] Bosnia-Herzegovina and
Montenegro have sort of semi-confirmed their participation, but it's not yet sure that they will participate.
The definite list of participants will be known on December 15.