Italy have been confirmed today as debuting at this years Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Malta. The news means that it is the first time since 2007 that one of the Big 5 nations in the Eurovision Song Contest has taken part in Junior Eurovision and can be seen as a significant step forward for the contest.
RAI Gulp, RAI’s children’s channel will be in charge of Italian participation. Vladislav Yakovlev the Executive Producer of Junior Eurovision said that:
It’s wonderful to be able to welcome RAI Gulp to the Junior Eurovision family. Italy and Malta have a special musical friendship – with both Gaia and Federica having taken part in ‘Ti lascio una canzone’, and Gaia also having been in in San Remo Junior – so it seems only natural that Italy should choose to make its Junior Eurovision debut in Malta this November
The last Big 5 country to take part in the contest was Spain who took part from 2003-2007. The United Kingdom also participated from 2003-2005 before withdrawing, while France appeared once at the 2004 contest in Lillehammer, Norway. Germany the other Big 5 nation has yet to take part in the contest but is expected to send an observer to this years contest, with the possibility of debuting in 2015.
The news brings the number of participating countries up to 10, following the news last week that Cyprus would return to the contest for the first time since 2009.