LRT has confirmed that they will not be participating in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2018 in Minsk, Belarus.
Audrius Giržadas, the Head of Delegation for Lithuania at the Eurovision Song Contest has explained why Lithuania has not taken part in the contest since 2011. He stated that;
this contest has become a clone of the main Eurovision Song Contest and has nothing to do with childhood, little girls go on stage with clipped hairs, glued eyelashes and bare belly, copying Beyoncé and Christina Aguilera – this is not an event that we would like to participate in.
Lithuania participated in the contest on four occasions between 2007-2008 and 2010-2011. Lithuania’s best result came at the 2008 contest in Cyprus where they finished third, this remains Lithuania’s best result at any Eurovision family of events. Lithuania withdrew from the competition in 2012 citing the cost of broadcasting both the European Football Championships and the Olympic Games.
The 2018 edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest will be held in Minsk, Belarus after the country won the bidding process before the 2017 contest even began. Olga Salamankha explained that Belarus was selected as the host for next years contest over other bids due to their long-term commitment to the competition. Belarus is one of a handful of countries to consistently hold a televised selection process to select their participants. Furthermore, the stability of Belarus as a nation was cited as a factor.
The first time Belarus held a Eurovision event was at the 2010 Junior Eurovision Song Contest, where it was held in Minsk Arena.
To date the following countries have confirmed their participation in the contest:
- Belarus – Host nation
- The Netherlands