Lebanon in the Eurovision Song Contest

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Member stationTélé Liban
National selection eventsInternal selection
2005 (withdrew)
Participation summary
External links

Lebanon has never participated in the Eurovision Song Contest. The country's broadcasting organisation, 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.

2005 contest[edit]

On 21 October 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 Kyiv, Ukraine.[1] On 3 November 2004, it was announced that Aline Lahoud was internally selected by the network to represent Lebanon.[1][2] Her orient-occident song "Quand tout s'enfuit", sung in French and written by Jad Rahbani and Romeo Lahoud, was chosen in mid-February.[3] Lahoud was scheduled to present her song in the semi-final held on 19 May 2005.[4]

The original album cover of the Eurovision Song Contest 2005, showing the participation of Lebanon. (bottom row, third from right)

On 15 December 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.[5] 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.[6]

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.[7]

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 18 March 2005, it once again announced its withdrawal from the contest.[4] Lebanese legislation prohibited the broadcast of Israeli content on Lebanese television networks.[8][9] 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.[10] Since Télé Liban withdrew almost three months after the 15 December "no consequence" withdrawal deadline, the broadcaster was penalised, losing its participation fee and was served with a three-year ban.[2][7][11]

Subsequent events[edit]

With the three-year ban, Télé Liban was not eligible to re-enter the Eurovision Song Contest until 2009.[11]

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 that would not be impacted by the ban, such as the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation International or Future Television. Neither broadcaster was a member of the EBU, but was eligible to join the organisation.[11] His plans never came to fruition, and the country has not made any other attempt to join the contest following the expiration of the ban imposed on Télé Liban. Mika himself, however, did eventually become involved in Eurovision, as he was one of the hosts of the 2022 contest in Turin.

Participation overview[edit]

Table key
Entry selected but did not compete
Year Entrant Song Language Final Points Semi Points
2005 Aline Lahoud "Quand tout s'enfuit" French Withdrawn X


  1. ^ a b Bakker, Sietse (3 November 2004). "Aline Lahoud first Lebanese participant!". ESCToday. Archived from the original on 6 November 2008. Retrieved 9 August 2008.
  2. ^ a b Staff (19 March 2005). "Eurovision Song Contest doch ohne Libanon" (in German). Netzeitung. Retrieved 27 June 2009.
  3. ^ X Tra (19 February 2005). "Aline Lahoud to sing Quand tout s'enfuit". ESCToday. Archived from the original on 19 May 2011. Retrieved 9 May 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Lebanon withdraws from Eurovision". BBC News. 18 March 2005. Retrieved 9 August 2008.
  5. ^ Philips, Roel (15 December 2004). "Lebanon withdraws for financial reasons". ESCToday. Archived from the original on 1 October 2008. Retrieved 9 August 2008.
  6. ^ Bakker, Sietse (18 March 2005). "Breaking News: Lebanon Withdraws". ESCToday. Retrieved 9 August 2008.
  7. ^ a b Philips, Roel (4 March 2005). "Télé Liban tries to prevent Lebanese disqualification". ESCToday. Archived from the original on 1 October 2008. Retrieved 9 August 2008.
  8. ^ "Lebanon to boycott Eurovision due to Israel's participation". The Jerusalem Post. 20 March 2005. Archived from the original on 16 March 2012. Retrieved 10 August 2008.
  9. ^ Staff (19 March 2005). "Lebanon leaves Eurovision contest". United Press International. Retrieved 27 June 2009.
  10. ^ Christian, Nicholas (20 March 2005). "Nul points as Lebanon quits contest". Scotland on Sunday. Retrieved 9 May 2017.
  11. ^ a b c Kuipers, Michael (13 March 2007). "Mika interested in Eurovision entry". ESCToday. Retrieved 9 August 2008.

External links[edit]