Belgium will not be returning to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest this year in Tbilisi, Georgia.
VRT have revealed to eurovoix.com that Belgium will not be returning to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest this year in Tbilisi, Georgia. They issued the following statement:
“Ketnet decided in 2013 to no longer participate in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. But Ketnet continues without delay seeking the search for musical talent. Ketnet wants to shift the focus of the contest winner with one figure coming into view, to all contestants. Not only the winner is an idol for Ketnetters, but all participants are. That is the track that Ketnet wants to expand further. In this way, children get more opportunities.”
Futhermore, they said:
“In addition, the VRT continues to work on international appearance. We continue to participate in the regular Eurovision Song Contest.”
Belgium last took part in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2012, where Fabian placed 5th with his song “Abracadabra”. They then withdrew from the 2013 contest and haven’t returned since. They first took part in the first Junior Eurovision contest in 2003, where they came 6th.
The 15th edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest later this year in Tbilisi, Georgia. The contest is to be held at the Tbilisi Sports Palace on November 26. It is the first time that the three-time winners of the contest have hosted Junior Eurovision.
Changes have been made to the rules of this years contest. The amount of a song that can be performed in English has been increased to 40% of the lyrics. While the number of voices on the backing track has been increased from five to six singers.
To date the following countries have confirmed their participation in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2017:
- Georgia – Host nation
- The Netherlands
The following countries participated in the 2016 contest but are yet to publicly confirm participation:
- FYR Macedonia
Some countries have also stated that they won’t be returning to this year’s contest. This includes Denmark, Latvia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
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Belgium debuted at the first edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2003. The country has never won the contest, but hosted the 2005 contest in Hasselt. Their best entry comes from 2009, when Laura and her song Zo Verliefd (Yodelo) placed 4th with 113 points. Their worst result was in 2007, when Trust and their song “Anders” ended up in 15th place with 19 points. Belgium has taken part a total of 10 times to date, and have been absent from the contest since 2012.