Five countries fans want to see back at Eurovision
Earlier this year, fans from around the world completed our 'Eurovision survey', which asked a myriad of questions from their ages, their interests, who they would like to see debut at the show, and even a question about who they would most like to see make a return.
So which nations do they want back? Let's take a look at the Top 5:
Coming in first place, a total of 37% of fans surveyed said that they most want Turkey to return to the Eurovision Song Contest.
Turkey were fan favourites at the competition throughout the 2000s, and were one of the most successful nations at Eurovision during that decade.
They had a string of impressive results that included nine top-ten finishes during their last fifteen competitions including a win in 2003 with Sertab Erener’s ‘Everyway That I Can’.
Other impressive entries from this time included Şebnem Paker and Grup Etnik’s ‘Dinle’, which came third in 1997, and maNga’s ‘We Could Be the Same’ from 2010 which finished runner-up.
Following the 2012 contest, Turkish broadcaster TRT withdrew from the competition, citing dissatisfaction with the rules of the competition as their reasoning for not making a return, and with similar statements made in the years since.
While their return is not certain, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has stated that they are in talks with the Turkish broadcaster regarding their possible comeback. In their official release, they said:
“Although the EBU’s Turkish Member TRT hasn’t participated in the Eurovision Song Contest since 2012 we know there is still huge interest in Turkey in the Contest underlined by the large amount of engagement on our social channels from Turkish fans. With that in mind, we are in contact with TRT with the aim of bringing them back into the competition. TRT has made a huge contribution to the Contest in the past, including hosting the event in Istanbul in 2004, and we would very much welcome them back should they decide to participate again.”
Turkey last performed at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2012 with singer-songwriter and actor Can Bonomo, performing the song ‘Love Me Back’ which finished 7th.
In second place, 15% of fans surveyed said that they most want to see Luxembourg make a comeback.
During their time in the competition, Luxembourg were one of the most successful competing nations, with a total of five wins under their belt – two wins in the 1960s, two wins in the 1970s, and their most recent win in 1983.
While their 1994 relegation may have been one of the core reasons behind Luxembourg’s decision to leave the Eurovision Song Contest, it has never actually been stated why they left. And while this relegation system may have been one cause, another could have been that national broadcaster RTL was undergoing a major restructure at the time, focusing on obtaining a younger audience and producing shows within Luxembourg.
While fans would love to see Luxembourg make a triumphant return, it is not likely that they’ll be making a comeback any time soon.
The broadcaster has stated costs and monetary issues as one of the reasons for not making a return. RTL is not funded by license fees, but by a commercial company who wants to see costs refinanced through advertising, a notably difficult task with Eurovision.
Luxembourg last performed at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1993 with the vocal duo Simone Weis and Jimmy Martin as Modern Times, performing the up-tempo rock-inspired track ‘Donne-moi une chance’ (‘Give me a chance’) finishing in 20th.
At a very close third place, 14% of Eurovision fans said that want to see Hungary come back to Eurovision.
One of the more successful Eastern European countries at Eurovision, Hungary has only failed to qualify for the final on five occasions, and have five top-ten results under their belt, including the András Kállay-Saunders’ who finished 5th in 2014 with ‘Running’ in 2014.
MTVA’s withdrawal from the contest came amidst a rise of anti-LGBT+ sentiment throughout government and leadership in Hungary, and while no official statement was ever provided as to why they had withdrawn, some inside sources rumoured that it was because Eurovision was seen as “too gay” for the broadcaster to participate.
However, MTVA did make an announcement denying these rumours, releasing the following statement:
The public media finds it outrageous and unacceptable, and therefore firmly rejects recent statements in the domestic and international press that Hungary is not participating in Eurovision because the show gives space to homosexual artists.
These views which refer to sexual orientation violate human dignity, the ethical norms of press as well as the law. A professional decision was made that next year, instead of sending an act to the Eurovision Song Contest, we would assist the talented Hungarian musicians directly and help the productions they have created. We would like to make it clear that we do not look at any performance, event or organization based on anyone’s sexual orientation.
As a recently departed country, it’s difficult to rate Hungary’s chances of returning to Eurovision, especially considering there is no clear statement behind the reasoning of their leaving the competition, but it is clear that fans would very much like to see the country make a return.
Hungary last performed at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2019 with Hungarian triple-threat of Romani descent Joci Pápai, performing the mid-tempo ballad ode to is childhood ‘Az én apám’ (‘My father’). It unfortunately did not qualify for the Grand Final.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
In fourth place, with a total of 13% of the Eurovision fan vote, is Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Prior to 2016, Bosnia and Herzegovina was one of the few competing Eurovision nations that had a 100% qualification record, with a string of impressive results throughout the 2000s, including five top-ten placings between 2004 and 2011.
Discussions surrounding the potential return of Bosnian and Herzegovinian broadcaster BHRT come up at the start of the Eurovision season (September) every year, but the nation has only appeared once in the last nine competitions due to ongoing financial difficulties at the broadcaster and their unpaid debts to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).
“The return of Bosnia and Herzegovina to Eurovision depends mainly on finance. For example, it depends on how BHRT operates and whether they will be able to pay back their debts to the EBU.”
Bosnia and Herzegovina last performed at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2016 with Bosnian singers Dalal and Deen, featuring Croatian cellist Ana Rucner and Bosnian rapper Jala, performing the Bosnian-language entry ‘Ljubav je’ (‘Love is’). The finished 11th in the semi-final just failing to qualify.
And finally, coming in fifth, 8% of Eurovision fans most want to see the micronation of Andorra return to Eurovision.
Andorra is the only nation to have never qualified from the semi-finals but it certainly doesn’t mean their entries haven’t made an impression.
The nation’s best entry to date, Anonymous’ ‘Salvem el món’, is a fan favourite entry, with the song played at Eurovision parties around the world.
Andorra left the Eurovision Song Contest back in 2009, citing financial difficulties at the broadcaster as the main reason.
In the years since, rumours have been abundant regarding their return to the contest, with fans raising their hopes on an almost annual basis.
In the previous two years the nation’s most recent representative has claimed to have spoken to the Prime Minister regarding an Andorran comeback and even to have secured funding for the competition as well.
Despite the increased rumours, the broadcaster has continued to deny that they have any plans to return to the competition. As recently as just this past month, RTVA’s General Director, Xavi Mujal, told ESCToday:
“Currently we are at the same stage, to not participate at the ESC 2022.”
Andorra last performed at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2009 with Danish-Andorran singer and television host Susanne Georgi, performing the Catalan-English number ‘La teva decision (Get a Life)’ (‘Your decision (Get a Life)’).
Despite these five countries being the ones fans most want to see return, all non-returning countries hold a special place in Eurovision's history and it would be fantastic to see them all return at one stage.