The selection process in the Eurovision 2016 song contest is ramping up and many countries will be holding contests over the next few weeks. Half the participating countries have already chosen their artists and/or songs.
This year, 43 countries will participate in Eurovision. Of those countries, we welcome back Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia and Ukraine. Kisses to you all! We missed you and are happy you have returned. Sadly, Portugal will not participate this year. It’s no surprise, since Portugal hasn’t qualified for the finale since 2010. Hopefully, after this break, they’ll come back stronger next year.
Australia will be returning in 2016. Last year, the country was invited to participate as part of Eurovision’s 60-year anniversary celebration. As a special guest, Australia didn’t have to qualify for the finale. Their entry, Guy Sebastian, was quite good and earned a respectable fifth place. This year, Australia must first qualify in a semi-round, which is making them seem a lot more like a full-time participant.
Honestly, I’m not crazy about this. Australia is not part of Europe or the European Broadcast Union. I think it’d be great if there was a special guest every year, with countries from all over the world having the chance to compete on the Eurovision stage. Artists from Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas could add a different sound, flavor and excitement to each year’s contest.
No hate, Australia! Only love. Your 2016 entry will be given a fair review by me. You are most welcome, but I would like that door open for others as well.
FYI, many of the upcoming contests can be viewed live on the Internet. Check the Eurovision calendar for more details. I make a point of watching the grand finale of Sweden’s Melodifestivalen and will add more details about how to watch it live.
Eurovision 2016 will be held 10, 12 and 14 May in Stockholm, Sweden. You can watch the entire contest live on eurovision.tv.