Lebanon in the Eurovision Song Contest
|Member station||Télé Liban|
|National selection events||Our Eurovision|
|Télé Liban's Eurovision page at the Wayback Machine (archived March 6, 2005)|
|Lebanon's page at Eurovision.tv|
Lebanon has never participated in the Eurovision Song Contest. The country's broadcasting organization, Télé Liban, was set to make the country's debut at the Eurovision Song Contest 2005 with the song "Quand tout s'enfuit" performed by Aline Lahoud, but withdrew due to Lebanon's laws barring the broadcast of Israeli content.
On October 21, 2004, Ibrahim El Khoury, President Director General of Télé Liban, stated that Lebanon intended to make its debut at the Eurovision Song Contest 2005 in Kiev, Ukraine. On November 3, 2004, it was announced that Aline Lahoud was internally selected by the network to represent Lebanon. Her orient-occident song "Quand tout s'enfuit", sung in French and written by Jad Rahbani and Romeo Lahoud, was chosen in mid-February. Lahoud was scheduled to present her song in the semi-final held on May 19, 2005.
On December 15, 2004, Télé Liban announced that financial constraints forced them to withdraw from the contest, and denied reports that it was due to political conflicts with Israel. However, five days later, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) reached an agreement with Télé Liban and Lebanon was put on the official list of participants.
In early March 2005, the official Lebanese Eurovision Song Contest website did not list Israel as a participant. After the EBU asked Télé Liban to resolve the issue within 24 hours or face disqualification, the site removed the complete list of participants and replaced the page with a link to Eurovision.tv, the official Eurovision website.
Later that month, the EBU asked Télé-Liban to assure that they would broadcast the entire contest, including the Israeli entry, without interruption. Télé Liban could not guarantee that request, so on March 18, 2005, it once again announced its withdrawal from the contest. Lebanese legislation prohibited the broadcast of Israeli content on Lebanese television networks. Télé-Liban wrote on its website that it "is not permitted to broadcast the performance of the Israeli participant, thereby breaching the rules of the Eurovision Song Contest 2005" and forcing its withdrawal. Since Télé Liban withdrew almost three months after the December 15 "no consequence" withdrawal deadline, the broadcaster was penalized, losing its participation fee and being given a three-year ban.
In 2007, Lebanon-born singer Mika, stated that he was interested in entering the contest for Lebanon in 2008, but for one of the other Lebanese television stations not serving a ban, such as the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation (LBC) or Future Television, either of which could have joined the EBU. His participation never came to be and the country has not made another attempt to join the contest following the conclusion of its broadcaster's ban.
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- Staff (2005-03-19). "Eurovision Song Contest doch ohne Libanon" (in German). Netzeitung. Retrieved 2009-06-27.
- X Tra (2005-02-19). "Aline Lahoud to sing Quand tout s'enfuit". ESCToday. Retrieved 2008-08-09.
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- Christian, Nicholas (2005-03-20). "Nul points as Lebanon quits contest". Scotland on Sunday. Retrieved 2009-06-27.
- Kuipers, Michael (2007-03-13). "Mika interested in Eurovision entry". ESCToday. Retrieved 2008-08-09.
- Staff (2007-03-13). "Mika for Eurovision?". Metro. Retrieved 2009-06-27.