National selections for the Eurovision Song Contest

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National selections refer to the processes in which the broadcasters of the countries participating in the annual Eurovision Song Contest select the artist and song that will represent them in the contest.[1]

The two principal ways for broadcasters to select their entries are open selections (national finals) and closed selections (internal selections).[1] Since the introduction of semi-finals in the Eurovision Song Contest 2004 – due to the extensive amount of participating countries – and the rule of the Big Five countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom),[2][3] a wide range of countries often alternate between national finals and internal selections based on final placing at the contest.[citation needed]

National finals[edit]

Salvador Sobral, winner of the 2017 Contest with the song "Amar pelos dois", was chosen in the Portuguese national final, Festival da Cançao.[4]

National finals are the process in which the public of a country can choose the artist with their song, often combining public televoting with the vote of an expert jury.[1]

Organised by the broadcaster, these national finals (consisting of one or more shows) can be televised or non-televised, however most of the time they are televised as prime-time television shows.[1] Oftentimes the artist is selected internally and the public of the country chooses a song for them with the national final. Alternatively, the broadcaster can select a song and make the public choose the artist that will perform the song through a national final.[1]

Possibly the most known national final is Melodifestivalen in Sweden, which features four live shows (semi-finals) in different cities across the country, a Second Chance show and a final in Stockholm.[citation needed] In 2012, over an estimated four million people in Sweden watched the final, almost half of the Swedish population.[5][6]

Saara Aalto, participant of the 2018 Contest was selected under a mixed format; she was internally selected by the Finnish public broadcaster Yle, and her song "Monsters" was chosen under the Finnish national final, UMK, among her other songs "Domino" and "Queens".[7]

Another example of a national final format is Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (UMK) in Finland; during 2018 and 2019, each participant wanting to represent Finland sent three songs to the Finnish public broadcaster Yle, which would select the entrants, and the public of the country would then choose one song among the three that he/she had presented to the broadcaster previously, at a national final.[8][9][10][11]

Noted that Finland, Denmark and Estonia are the only countries that always select the entry by the National Final. Yugoslavia also selected every entry by the National Final when they existed.

Internal selections[edit]

Sergey Lazarev, third place artist in the 2016 Contest with the song "You Are The Only One" and the 2019 Contest with the song "Scream", was internally selected by the Russian public broadcaster RTR.[12][13]

Internal selections are the process in which the broadcaster of a country selects internally both the artist and the song, without holding a public vote.[1]

Even though the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) "strongly" encourages countries to hold their own national finals,[1] several countries such as Russia, Bulgaria and Austria are among those that have opted for internal selections for most of their entries in the contest.[citation needed] Choosing this method is also common for countries that have failed to qualify to the Grand Final on several occasions.[citation needed]

Participants[edit]

As of 2019 contest, 52 countries have participated among the potential list of 56 members of the EBU,[14] and a record 43 countries participated in 2008, 2011 and 2018.[15][16][17]

Table key
  Inactive – Countries that have participated in the past, but have not recently participated.
  Former – Former countries that have been dissolved.
Selection history of the participating countries
Country Debut year Latest entry Absent years National final[a] Internal selection[a] Broadcaster(s)
 Belgium 1956 2021
  • 1994
  • 1997
  • 2001
  • 2020[b]

Eurosong

  • 1957–1963
  • 1965–1984
  • 1986–1989
  • 1991–1993
  • 1995–1996
  • 1998–2000
  • 2002
  • 2004–2006
  • 2008
  • 2011–2014
  • 2016
  • 1956
  • 1964
  • 1985
  • 1990
  • 2003
  • 2007
  • 2009–2010
  • 2015
  • 2017–2021
VRT (Dutch)
RTBF (French)[c]
 France 1956 2021
  • 1958
  • 1961
  • 1970
  • 1973
  • 1976–1979
  • 1980–1981
  • 1983–1987
  • 1999–2000
  • 2005–2007
  • 2014
  • 2021

Destination Eurovision

  • 2018–2019

Eurovision France, c'est vous qui décidez!

  • 2021
  • 1956
  • 1957
  • 1959
  • 1960
  • 1962–1969
  • 1971–1972
  • 1974–1975
  • 1988–1989
  • 1990–1998
  • 2001–2004
  • 2008–2009
  • 2000–2013
  • 2015–2017
  • 2020
RTF (1956–1964)
ORTF (1965–1974)
TF1 (1975–1981)
France Télévisions (1983–present)
 Germany 1956 2021
  • 1956–1958
  • 1960–1965
  • 1969–1973
  • 1975–1976
  • 1978–1992
  • 1996–2008

Unser Lied

  • 2010–2019
  • 1959
  • 1966–1968
  • 1974
  • 1977
  • 1993–1995
  • 2009
  • 2020–2021
HR (1956–1978) (ARD)
BR (1979–1991) (ARD)
MDR (1992–1995) (ARD)
NDR (1996–present) (ARD)
 Italy 1956 2021
  • 1981–1982
  • 1986
  • 1994–1996
  • 1998–2010
  • 2020[b]

Sanremo Music Festival

  • 1956–1969
  • 1987–1990
  • 1992–1993
  • 1997
  • 2011–2013
  • 2015–2021

Canzonissima

  • 1970–1975
  • 1976–1980
  • 1983–1985
  • 1991
  • 2014
RAI
 Luxembourg 1956 1993
  • 1959
  • 1994–2021
  • 1976
  • 1978
  • 1989
  • 1992
  • 1956–1958
  • 1960–1975
  • 1977
  • 1979–1988
  • 1990–1991
  • 1993
CLT
  Switzerland 1956 2021
  • 1995
  • 1999
  • 2001
  • 2003
  • 2020[b]

Concours Eurovision

  • 1956–1957
  • 1959–1961
  • 1963–1970
  • 1972–1993
  • 1998
  • 2000
  • 2002
  • 2004

Die Grosse Entscheidungsshow

  • 2011–2018
  • 1958
  • 1962
  • 1971
  • 1994
  • 1996–1997
  • 2005–2010
  • 2019–2021
SRG SSR
 Netherlands 1956 2021
  • 1985
  • 1991
  • 1995
  • 2002
  • 2020[b]

Nationaal Songfestival

  • 1956–1960
  • 1962–1979
  • 1981–1984
  • 1986–1990
  • 1992–1994
  • 1996–2001
  • 2003–2006
  • 2007
  • 2009–2012
  • 1961
  • 1980
  • 2008
  • 2013–2021
NTS (1956–1969)
NOS (1970–2009)
TROS (2010–2013)
AVROTROS (2014–present)
 Austria 1957 2021
  • 1969–1970
  • 1973–1975
  • 1998
  • 2001
  • 2006
  • 2008–2010
  • 2020[b]
  • 1981–1984
  • 1990–1991
  • 1993–1994
  • 2002–2005
  • 2011–2013
  • 2015–2016
  • 1957–1968
  • 1971–1972
  • 1976–1980
  • 1985–1989
  • 1992
  • 1995–1997
  • 1999–2000
  • 2007
  • 2014
  • 2017–2021
ORF
 Denmark 1957 2021
  • 1967–1977
  • 1994
  • 1996[e]
  • 1998
  • 2003
  • 2020[b]

Dansk Melodi Grand Prix

  • 1957–1966
  • 1978–1993
  • 1995–1997
  • 1999–2002
  • 2004–2021
N/A DR
 United Kingdom 1957 2021

Festival of British Popular Songs

  • 1957

A Song for Europe

  • 1959–1963
  • 1964–1975
  • 1976–1991
  • 1992–1994
  • 1995
  • 2000–2003

The Great British Song Contest

  • 1996–1999

Eurovision: Making Your Mind Up

  • 2004–2007

Eurovision: Your Decision

  • 2008

Eurovision: Your Country Needs You

  • 2009–2010

Eurovision: You Decide

  • 2016–2019
  • 2011–2015
  • 2020–2021
BBC
 Sweden 1958 2021
  • 1964
  • 1970
  • 1976
  • 2020[b]

Melodifestivalen

  • 1959–1963
  • 1965–1969
  • 1971–1975
  • 1977–2021
  • 1958
Sveriges Radiotjänst (1958)
SR (1959–1979)
SVT (1980–present)
 Monaco 1959 2006
  • 1980–2003
  • 2007–2021
N/A
  • 1959–1979
  • 2004–2006
TMC
 Norway 1960 2021
  • 1970
  • 2002
  • 2020[b]

Melodi Grand Prix

  • 1960–1969
  • 1971–1990
  • 1992–2001
  • 2003–2021
  • 1991
NRK
 Finland 1961 2021
  • 1970
  • 1995
  • 1997
  • 1999
  • 2001
  • 2003
  • 2020[b]

Euroviisukarsinta

  • 1961–1969
  • 1971–1994
  • 1996
  • 1998
  • 2000
  • 2002
  • 2004–2011

Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (UMK)

  • 2012–2021
Yle
 Spain 1961 2021
  • 1961–1962
  • 1964–1965
  • 1969–1971
  • 1976
  • 2000–2001
  • 2005
  • 2007–2010
  • 2012
  • 2014

Operación Triunfo (OT)

  • 2002–2004
  • 2018–2019

Destino Eurovisión

  • 2011
  • 2013

Objetivo Eurovisión

  • 2016–2017
  • 1963
  • 1966–1968
  • 1972–1975
  • 1977–1999
  • 2006
  • 2015
  • 2020–2021
TVE
 Yugoslavia 1961 1992
  • 1977–1980
  • 1985[d]
  • 1993–present

Jugovizija

  • 1961–1972
  • 1981–1992

Opatija Festival

  • 1973–1976
N/A JRT
 Portugal 1964 2021
  • 1970
  • 2000
  • 2002
  • 2013
  • 2016
  • 2020[b]

Festival da Canção

  • 1964–1969
  • 1971–1999
  • 2001
  • 2003–2004
  • 2006–2012
  • 2014–2015
  • 2017–2021
RTP
 Ireland 1965 2021
  • 1983
  • 2002
  • 2020[b]

National Song Contest

  • 1965–1982
  • 1984–1986

Eurosong

  • 1987–2001
  • 2008–2015

You're a Star

  • 2003–2005

The Late Late Show

  • 2006–2007
  • 2016–2021
RTÉ
 Malta 1971 2021

Malta Song for Europe

  • 1971–1976
  • 1991–2018

X Factor Malta

  • 2019–2020
  • 2021
PBS
 Israel 1973 2021

Israel Song Festival

  • 1978–1979

Kdam Eurovision

  • 1980–1989
  • 1991–1993
  • 1995–1996
  • 2001
  • 2005–2006
  • 2008–2011
  • 2013
  • 2014

HaKokhav HaBa

  • 2015
  • 2016–2020
  • 1973–1977
  • 1990
  • 1998–2000
  • 2002–2004
  • 2007
  • 2012
  • 2021
IBA (1973–2017)
KAN (2018–present)[14]
 Greece 1974 2021
  • 1975
  • 1982[d]
  • 1984
  • 1986[d]
  • 1999–2000
  • 2020[b]

Ellinikós Telikós

  • 1979–1980
  • 1982–1983
  • 1986–1991
  • 1998
  • 2001–2003
  • 2007–2012

Eurosong - A MAD Show

  • 2013–2015
  • 1974
  • 1976–1978
  • 1981
  • 1985
  • 1992–1997
  • 2004–2006
  • 2016–2021
ERT (1974–2013, 2016–present)
NERIT (2014–2015)
 Turkey 1975 2012
  • 1976–1977
  • 1979[d]
  • 1994
  • 2013–2021
  • 1975
  • 1978–1979
  • 1980–1993
  • 1995–2002
  • 2004–2005
  • 2003
  • 2006–2012
TRT
 Morocco 1980 1980
  • 1981–2021
N/A
  • 1980
SNRT
 Cyprus 1981 2021
  • 1984
  • 1990–2000
  • 2004–2006
  • 2008–2012
  • 2015
  • 1981–1983
  • 1985–1989
  • 2002–2003
  • 2007
  • 2013
  • 2016–2021
CyBC
 Iceland 1986 2021
  • 1998
  • 2002
  • 2020[b]

Söngvakeppnin

  • 1986–1994
  • 2000–2001
  • 2003
  • 2006–2020
  • 1995–1997
  • 1999
  • 2004–2005
  • 2021
RÚV
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 1993 2016
  • 1998
  • 2000
  • 2013–2015
  • 2017–2021

BH Eurosong

  • 1993–1997
  • 1999
  • 2001–2005
  • 2006–2012
  • 2016
BHRT
 Croatia 1993 2021
  • 2014–2015
  • 2020[b]

Dora

  • 1993–2011
  • 2019–2021
  • 2012–2013
  • 2016–2018
HRT
 Estonia 1994[g] 2021

Eurolaul

  • 1993–1994
  • 1996–2008

Eesti Laul

  • 2009–2021
N/A ERR
 Hungary 1994[g] 2019
  • 1996[e]
  • 1999–2004
  • 2006
  • 2010
  • 2020[b]–2021
  • 1994
  • 1997
  • 2005
  • 2007–2008

A Dal

  • 2012–2019
  • 1993
  • 1995
  • 1998
  • 2009
  • 2011
MTVA
 Romania 1994[g] 2021

Selecția Națională

  • 1993–1994
  • 1996
  • 1998
  • 2000
  • 2002–2019
  • 2020–2021
TVR
 Slovakia 1994[g] 2012
  • 1995
  • 1997
  • 1999–2008
  • 2013–2021

Bratislavská lýra

  • 1998

Eurosong

  • 2009–2010
  • 1993–1994
  • 1996
  • 2011–2012
STV (1994–2010)
RTVS (2011–2012)
 Slovenia 1993 2021
  • 1994
  • 2000
  • 2020[b]

Slovenski izbor za Pesem Evrovizije

  • 1993
  • 1995

Evrovizijska Melodija (EMA)

  • 1996–1999
  • 2001–2011
  • 2014–2020

Misija Evrovizija

  • 2012
  • 2013
  • 2021
RTV SLO
 Lithuania 1994 2021
  • 1995–1998
  • 2000
  • 2003
  • 2020[b]
  • 1999
  • 2001–2002
  • 2004–2008

Lietuvos Dainų Daina

  • 2009

Eurovizija

  • 2010–2012

Eurovizijos atranka

  • 2013–2019

Pabandom iš naujo!

  • 2020–2021
  • 1994
LRT
 Poland 1994 2021
  • 2000
  • 2002
  • 2012–2013
  • 2020[b]

Krajowe Eliminacje

  • 2003–2004

Piosenka dla Europy

  • 2006–2009

Krajowe Eliminacje

  • 2010–2011
  • 2016–2018

Szansa na Sukces

  • 2020
  • 1994–1999
  • 2001
  • 2005
  • 2014–2015
  • 2019
  • 2021
TVP
 Russia 1994 2021
  • 1994
  • 1996
  • 2005
  • 2008–2010
  • 2012
  • 2021
  • 1995
  • 1997
  • 2000–2004
  • 2006–2007
  • 2011
  • 2013–2020
RTR (1994, 1996, 2008–present)
C1R (1995–present)[h]
 North Macedonia[i] 1998[e] 2021
  • 1999
  • 2001
  • 2003
  • 2020[b]

Skopje Fest

  • 1996
  • 1998
  • 2000
  • 2002
  • 2005
  • 2008–2011
  • 2015

Nacionalen Evrosong

  • 2006–2007
  • 2004
  • 2012–2014
  • 2016–2021
MKRTV
 Latvia 2000 2021

Eirodziesma

  • 2000–2012

Dziesma

  • 2013–2014

Supernova

  • 2015–2020
  • 2021
LTV
 Ukraine 2003 2021
  • 2005–2014

Vidbir

  • 2016–2020
  • 2003–2004
  • 2021
UA:PBC
 Albania 2004 2021

Festivali i Këngës

  • 2004–2021
N/A RTSH
 Andorra 2004 2009
  • 2010–2021
  • 2004–2005
  • 2009
  • 2006–2008
RTVA
 Belarus 2004 2019

Eurofest

  • 2004–2009
  • 2012

Nationalny Otbor

  • 2013–2020
  • 2010–2011
  • 2021
BTRC
 Serbia and Montenegro 2004 2005
  • 2006[d]
  • 2007–present
Evropesma
  • 2004–2006
N/A UJRT
 Bulgaria 2005 2021
  • 2014–2015
  • 2019
  • 2020[b]
  • 2005–2013
  • 2016–2018
  • 2020–2021
BNT
 Moldova 2005 2021

O Melodie Pentru Europa

  • 2005–2006
  • 2008–2020
  • 2007
  • 2021
TRM
 Armenia 2006 2019
  • 2007–2011
  • 2013

Depi Evratesil

  • 2017–2018
  • 2020
  • 2006
  • 2008
  • 2014–2016
  • 2019
AMPTV
 Czech Republic 2007 2021
  • 2010–2014
  • 2020[b]

Eurosong

  • 2007–2008

Eurovision Song CZ

  • 2018–2020
  • 2009
  • 2015–2017
  • 2021
ČT
 Georgia 2007 2021
  • 2007–2012
  • 2015–2017

Georgian Idol

  • 2019–2020
  • 2013–2014
  • 2018
  • 2021
GPB
 Montenegro 2007 2019
  • 2010–2011
  • 2020[b]–2021

MontenegroSong

  • 2007–2008

Montevizija

  • 2018–2019
  • 2009
  • 2012–2017
RTCG
 Serbia 2007 2021

Beovizija

  • 2007–2009
  • 2018–2020

Internally selected composers

  • 2010–2011
  • 2015

Beosong

  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2016–2017
  • 2021
RTS
 Azerbaijan 2008 2021

Land of Fire

  • 2008–2010

Milli Seçim Turu

  • 2011–2013

Böyük Səhnə

  • 2014
  • 2015–2021
İTV
 San Marino 2008 2021
  • 2009–2010
  • 2020[b]

1 in 360

  • 2018
  • 2008
  • 2011–2017
  • 2019–2021
SMRTV
 Australia 2015 2021

Eurovision - Australia Decides

  • 2019–2020
  • 2015–2018
  • 2021
SBS
Country Debut year Latest entry Absent years National Final Internal Selection Broadcaster(s)

Unsuccessful attempts to participate[edit]

Country Year National Final Internal Selection Broadcaster(s)
 Liechtenstein 1976[j][18] checkY 1FLTV
 Tunisia 1977[j][19][20] checkY ERTT
Serbia and Montenegro Serbia and Montenegro 2003[j][21] Beovizija UJRT
 Lebanon 2005[j][22] checkY Télé Liban

Notes and references[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b The list includes years in which the country planned to participate, but later withdrew.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq The 2020 contest was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Italic indicates the country that planned to participate.
  3. ^ VRT and RTBF alternate responsibilities for the contest.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s The country initially planned to participate, but later withdrew.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Did not qualify from the non-televised audio-only preselection round of 1996.
  6. ^ Despite the fact that was an internal selection, it counts as an edition of Festival da Canção.
  7. ^ a b c d Did not qualify from the preselection round of 1993.
  8. ^ RTR and C1R alternate responsibilities for the contest since 2008.
  9. ^ Until 2018 participated as F.Y.R. Macedonia.
  10. ^ a b c d The country decided to withdraw after the national selection took place.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "National Selections - Eurovision Song Contest". eurovision.tv. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  2. ^ "In a Nutshell - Eurovision Song Contest". eurovision.tv. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  3. ^ "How it works - Eurovision Song Contest". eurovision.tv. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  4. ^ "It's a family affair for Portugal's Salvador - Eurovision Song Contest". eurovision.tv. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  5. ^ "Månadsrapport Februari 2012" (PDF). MMS – Mediamätning i Skandinavien. Retrieved 12 March 2012.
  6. ^ Lindström, Therese (12 March 2012). "Över fyra miljoner såg finalen". Aftonbladet. Retrieved 12 March 2012.
  7. ^ "Saara Aalto's song for Lisbon is... Monsters! - Eurovision Song Contest". eurovision.tv. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  8. ^ "Tässä ovat euroviisuehdokkaat Monsters, Domino ja Queens - mikä lähtee Viisuihin? Edustuskappale valitaan suorassa lähetyksessä 3.3". yle.fi (in Finnish). Retrieved 30 July 2019.
  9. ^ Karhunen, Anna; Leskinen, Lauri (3 March 2018). "Monsters on UMK18-voittaja ja Suomen euroviisuedustaja – show nousee pimeydestä neon- ja laser-ilotulitukseksi". yle.fi (in Finnish). Retrieved 27 June 2020.
  10. ^ "Darude announced as Finnish entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 - watch and listen here the three competing songs". yle.fi. 29 January 2019. Retrieved 27 June 2020.
  11. ^ "Darude feat. Sebastian Rejman: Look Away on Suomen euroviisuedustaja – Ympäristöteema siivitti selvään voittoon". yle.fi (in Finnish). Retrieved 30 July 2019.
  12. ^ "Sergey Lazarev to represent Russia! - Eurovision Song Contest". eurovision.tv. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  13. ^ "Sergey Lazarev returns to Eurovision with 'Scream' for Russia - Eurovision Song Contest". eurovision.tv. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  14. ^ a b (EBU), European Broadcasting Union. "EBU – Members". www.ebu.ch. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  15. ^ "Belgrade 2008 - Eurovision Song Contest". Eurovision Song Contest.
  16. ^ "43 nations on 2011 participants list! - Eurovision Song Test". Eurovision Song Contest. 31 December 2010.
  17. ^ "NEWS: 43 Countries will participate and tickets will go on sale on 30th November! - Eurovision Song Contest". Eurovision Song Contest. 17 November 2017.
  18. ^ "The Eurovision Song Contest 1956 – present". BBC. 26 April 2007. Retrieved 9 August 2009.
  19. ^ Kuipers, Michael (20 June 2007). "Tunisia will not participate "in the forseeable future"". ESCToday.
  20. ^ Cobb, Ryan (22 May 2018). "Israeli Minister "to invite" Arabic nations, including Tunisia, to take part in Eurovision 2019". ESCXtra.
  21. ^ Bakker, Sietse (27 November 2002). "No new countries at next Eurovision Song Contest". ESCToday. Retrieved 23 July 2009.
  22. ^ Bakker, Sietse (18 March 2005). "BREAKING NEWS: LEBANON WITHDRAWS". Esctoday.com. Retrieved 9 August 2008.

External links[edit]

Media related to Eurovision Song Contest selection events at Wikimedia Commons