RTVS, the Slovak national broadcaster, has confirmed today that they will not take part in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018.
Eríka Rusnáková, the Press Spokesperson for RTVS, confirmed to Czech webiste eurocontest.cz that “as decided by RTVS, Slovakia will not participate in the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest”. It was rumoured that with the appointment of a new director, Jaroslav Rezink, a Slovak return to the contest would materialise.
Slovakia last took part in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2012, when Max Jason Mai finished last in the second semi-final with “Don’t Close Your Eyes”. RTVS have previously stated that their reason for withdrawal was the high participation costs, not their poor results in the contest. Slovakia made a brief return to the Eurovision Young Dancers contest in 2015, which was held in the neighbouring Czech Republic. RTVS explained that “the return of Slovakia to Eurovision Young Dancers supported domestic production and promoted national culture at a European level”. Before that, Slovakia had only taken part in the contest on one other occasion, in 1997.
Since their debut in 1994, Slovakia have participated in the Eurovision Song Contest a total of seven times. Slovakia’s best result was in 1996, where Marcel Palonder finished 18th with the song “Kým nás máš”. The country has a history of withdrawing and returning to the contest. They were relegated from the contest in 1995 and 1997. They then withdrew from the contest entirely between 1999 and 2008, and again from 2013 onwards. All Slovak entries between 2009 and 2012 failed to progress from the semi-finals. Their 2011 entry “I’m Still Alive” came the closest to qualifying,placing 13th in the semi final. It was also the first Slovak entry to be entirely in English. Although it failed to qualify, their 2010 entry “Horehronie” by Kristina is one of the most viewed videos on the official Eurovision YouTube channel every month.