Slovakia in the Eurovision Song Contest

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Member stationRozhlas a televízia Slovenska (RTVS)
Former members
National selection events
Internal selection
  • 1993–1994
  • 1996
  • 1998 (song)
  • 2011–2012
National final
Participation summary
Appearances7 (3 finals)
First appearance1994
Last appearance2012
Highest placement18th: 1996
External links
Slovakia's page at
Song contest current event.png For the most recent participation see
Slovakia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2012

Slovakia has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest seven times, debuting in 1994. It had attempted to debut in 1993, but did not pass through the qualifying round. In the first three finals that Slovakia participated in, it placed no better than 18th, which it achieved in 1996. Due to poor results, Slovakia was relegated in 1995 and 1997, and eventually withdrew in 1999. The country returned in 2009, although it withdrew again within four years, having failed to qualify for the final every year since its return.


Before participation[edit]

During the time of Czechoslovakia, Československá televize (ČST) is known to have broadcast a number of editions of the contest in Czechoslovakia during the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s.[1][2][3][4] Karel Gott, one of the most popular Czechoslovakian artist, represented Austria in the 1968 contest, held in London, United Kingdom. Furthermore, the Prague Theatre of Illuminated Drawings from the Czech capital performed as interval act in the 1984 contest, held in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. Czechoslovakia was even a member of EBU for a short time before its dissolution in 1993.

Debut and first span of participation (1993–1998)[edit]

Slovakia had planned on entering the contest at the 1993 contest, but with the introduction of many new countries, a preliminary round was held to trim down the number of new entries. Kvalifikacija za Millstreet took place on 3 April 1993 and was hosted by Radiotelevizija Slovenija in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The competition featured seven countries competing for only three places in the final. Slovakia was represented by internally selected band Elán with "Amnestia na neveru" and came fourth in the contest, just one point away from qualification behind Croatia, and therefore had to wait another year before entering again. Despite the non-qualification for the event, STV did send a commentary team to Millstreet, Ireland and broadcast coverage of the contest on the broadcaster's main channel.

Slovakia made its first official appearance at the Eurovision Song Contest 1994 in Dublin, where the country was represented for the first time by Tublatanka with "Nekonečná pieseň". Slovakia's first attempt proved reasonably unsuccessful, with the band receiving points from just two countries; three points from Greece and a surprising twelve points from Malta placing the country nineteenth on the leaderboard. This was unfortunately not enough to guarantee a spot for Slovakia in the Eurovision Song Contest 1995, with the then EBU rules specifying that the bottom seven countries would be relegated the following year. STV then decided to not even broadcast the 1995 contest.

In 1996, Slovakia returned to the Eurovision Song Contest, with STV deciding to internally select their representative for the third time in a row. Ultimately, Marcel Palonder was internally selected to represent Slovakia in Eurovision Song Contest 1996 with the song "Kým nás máš". Due to the rising number of countries wishing to participate, in 1996 the EBU introduced an audio-only qualification round. Slovakia managed to qualify in seventeenth place in a field of twenty-nine and progressed to the final. Here, Slovakia achieved their best result to date, placing eighteenth with nineteen points. However, it was not enough to guarantee participation in the 1997 contest and Slovakia was, once again, relegated.

For the 1998 contest, which was held in Birmingham in the United Kingdom, STV selected their artist through the national final Bratislavská Lýra 1998 - a contest which held previously been held during the existence of Czechoslovakia but revived for the purpose of selecting Slovakia's artist for the Eurovision Song Contest. The event took place on 7 June 1997, in which Katarína Hasprová took victory and was hence selected by STV to represent the country at the 1998 contest. The broadcaster internally selected "Modlitba" to be sung by Hasprová. At the contest, Slovakia only managed to receive eight points - all of which came from Croatia. This was the country's last participation for a number of years.

First withdrawal (1999–2008)[edit]

Due to a poor average score, Slovakia was automatically excluded from the Eurovision Song Contest 1999 and would therefore not be eligible to participate until 2000. However, after being due to return, STV withdrew due to financial concerns.[5] Throughout the early 2000s, the Eurovision project was mainly ignored by STV. After the first appearance of Slovakia's neighbour: the Czech Republic in 2007, the program director of Slovenská Televízia (STV), Peter Lipták, stated on 11 May 2007 that STV would like to participate in the 2008 contest, but due to a lack of financial funds Slovakia did not make a return.[6]

Second span of participation (2009–2012)[edit]

Kristína represented Slovakia in 2010 and failed to qualify from the semi-final despite being a bookmakers and fan favourite to win the contest.
Twiins represented Slovakia in 2011.

On 24 September 2008, STV announced their return to the Eurovision Song Contest in 2009 after an eleven-year absence.[7][8] The program director of STV Roman Lipták stated that the pressure from local artists was the driving force behind the country's return.[9] Upon their return, STV organised a large-scale national final to select their entry. Eurosong 2009 consisted of six shows which commenced on 15 February 2009 and concluded with a final on 8 March 2009. The competition resulted in the selection of Slovak duo Kamil Mikulčík and Nela Pocisková with "Leť tmou". At the contest, the entry only received eight points and failed to qualify for the competition. For the 2010 contest, STV held the same national selection method, which resulted in the selection of Kristína with "Horehronie". Despite being a bookies and fan favourite, the song failed to qualify to the final - finishing in sixteenth place with twenty-four points.

Though STV originally stated that Slovakia would not take part in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2011, it eventually did appear in Düsseldorf represented by the new national public broadcaster Radio and Television of Slovakia (RTVS), which had been created on 1 January 2011.[10][11] On 18 February 2011, RTVS revealed their choice for Slovakia's 2011 entry. The song was "I'm Still Alive" and was performed by twin sisters Daniela and Veronika Nízlová, known as the pop duo TWiiNS. The sisters had prior experience at Eurovision as backing singers and dancers for Tereza Kerndlová, the Czech entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008. The 2011 entry was the first Slovak entry performed in English. TWiiNS eventually finished 13th in their semi-final, thereby not qualifying for the final. RTVS sent an entry to the contest in 2012, with a song that was selected internally. At a press conference on 7 March 2012, the Slovak entry for the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest was announced as Max Jason Mai with the song "Don't Close Your Eyes". It was performed in the second semi-final, held on 24 May 2012 and did not qualify in the final, placing last with 22 points.

Second withdrawal (2013–present)[edit]

On 4 December 2012, RTVS announced its withdrawal from the 2013 contest, beginning an absence that has continued in every edition since.[12][13][14] However, RTVS returned to Eurovision Young Dancers in 2015, with RTVS explaining that their return to Eurovision Young Dancers was in support of domestic production and promoted national culture at a European level. RTVS' PR manager, Juraj Kadáš, explained in April 2016 that Slovakia's absence from the contest since 2012 was not due to poor results, but rather the costs associated with participation.[15] This was reiterated in May 2023 by Filip Púchovský from the PR department of RTVS, adding that if Slovakia were to return to the contest, their artist would likely have to fund themselves rather than by the broadcaster.[16]

Participation overview[edit]

Table key
Last place
Entry selected but did not compete
Year Entrant Song Language Final Points Semi Points
1993 Elán "Amnestia na neveru" Slovak Failed to qualify[a] X 4 50
1994 Martin Ďurinda and Tublatanka "Nekonečná pieseň" Slovak 19 15 No semi-finals
1996 Marcel Palonder "Kým nás máš" Slovak 18 19 17 38
1998 Katarína Hasprová "Modlitba" Slovak 21 8 No semi-finals
2009 Kamil Mikulčík and Nela Pocisková "Leť tmou" Slovak Failed to qualify 18 8
2010 Kristína "Horehronie" Slovak 16 24
2011 Twiins "I'm Still Alive" English 13 48
2012 Max Jason Mai "Don't Close Your Eyes" English 18 ◁ 22


Songs by language[edit]

  English (25%)
  Slovak (75%)
Songs Language Years
6 Slovak 1993, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2009, 2010
2 English 2011, 2012

Selection process[edit]

Year Selection process
1993 Internal selection
1998 Bratislavská lýra for artist; internal selection for song
Year Selection process
2009 Eurosong with 50 participants
2010 Eurosong with 60 participants
2011 Internal selection

Related involvement[edit]

Delegation members[edit]

The public broadcaster of each participating country in the Eurovision Song Contest assigns a head of delegation as the EBU's contact person and the leader of their delegation at the event. The delegation, whose size can greatly vary, includes a head of press, the contestants, songwriters, composers and backing vocalists, among others.[17]

Heads of delegation[edit]

Year Head of delegation Ref.
20112012 Jana Majorava

Heads of press[edit]

Year Head of press Ref.
20112012 Alon Amir

Costume designers[edit]

Year Costume designers Ref.
2011 Lucia Senášiová


Between 1993 and 1998, Slovakia sent a native conductor to the contest every year the country took part until the orchestra was dropped by the EBU in 1999.

Year Conductor[b] Ref.
Kvalifikacija za Millstreet Vladimir Valovič
1996 Juraj Burian
1998 Vladimír Valovič

Commentators and spokespersons[edit]

For the show's broadcast on STV and RTVS, various commentators have provided commentary on the contest in the Slovak language. At the Eurovision Song Contest after all points are calculated, the presenters of the show call upon each voting country to invite each respective spokesperson to announce the results of their vote on-screen.[25] In 2011, Rádio FM began broadcasting the final of the contest, a broadcast which has continued every year (with the exception of 2022) since Slovakia's withdrawal in 2012.

Year Television Radio Spokesperson Ref.
Commentator Channel Commentator Channel
1993 Alena Heribanová STV1[c] No broadcast Did not participate
1994 Martin Sarvaš STV2 Juraj Čurný
1995 No broadcast Did not participate
1996 Stanislav Ščepán STV2 Alena Heribanová
1997 Juraj Čurný Did not participate
1998 Rastislav Sokol Alena Heribanová
19992008 No broadcast Did not participate
2009 Roman Bomboš Dvojka Ľubomír Bajaník
2011 Jednotka (SF1 & Final)
Dvojka (SF2)
Roman Bomboš Rádio FM Mária Pietrová
2012 Jednotka Roman Bomboš (Rádio Slovensko)
Daniel Baláž and Pavol Hubinák (Rádio FM)
Rádio Slovensko
Rádio FM
2013 No broadcast Daniel Baláž and Pavol Hubinák Rádio FM Did not participate
2014 Daniel Baláž, Pavol Hubinák and Juraj Kemka
2016 Mária Pietrová Jednotka (Final)
2017 No broadcast
2018 Daniel Baláž, Pavol Hubinák, Juraj Malíček
Ela Tolstová and Celeste Buckingham
2019 Daniel Baláž and Pavol Hubinák
2021 Daniel Baláž, Lucia Haverlík, Pavol Hubinák
and Juraj Malíček
2022 No broadcast[d]
2023 Daniel Baláž, Lucia Haverlík, Pavol Hubinák
and Juraj Malíček
Rádio FM

Photo gallery[edit]

Notes and references[edit]


  1. ^ Slovakia unsuccessfully attempted to participate in 1993, when there was a pre-qualifying round for seven countries hoping to make their debut in the contest. The official Eurovision site does not count 1993 in Slovakia's list of appearances.
  2. ^ All conductors are of Slovak nationality unless otherwise noted.
  3. ^ Deferred broadcast on 16 May at 21:35 CEST (20:35 UTC)[26]
  4. ^ Rádio FM had initially planned to broadcast the contest, but cancelled the day before the final due to health issues with one of the commentators.


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External links[edit]