Forty countries have competed in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest since 2003, but there were three more who almost took to the stage.
A total of forty countries will have competed in Junior Eurovision when Germany makes it debut at the end of this month, however during the contests 17 year history there have been three additional countries who also came very close to participating. These three nations are Bosnia & Herzegovina, Monaco and Slovakia.
When the line up for the first edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest was announced in November of 2002, Slovakia was drawn among the countries to take part in the 2003 contest.
For the first edition interest from member broadcasters was so high that the EBU held a draw to determine the fifteen broadcasters. It was in this draw that Slovakia was drawn to compete, which would have been its first appearance at Eurovision event since Slovakia competed in Eurovision Young Musicians 2000.
However it wasn’t long until the Slovak broadcaster decided against competing in the 2003 contest. In May it was revealed that STV had withdrawn alongside Germany from competing with Poland and Belarus taking their place.
Monaco made its return to the Eurovision Song Contest in 2004 and it was in that year that the Monegasque delegation started showing an interest in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.
The Head of Delegation for Monaco informed ESC Today at the time that he had made a formal request to the Monegasque Government about participating in the contest. The plan was for castings to be held in schools across Monaco to find the singer for the contest.
However in July of 2005 the Head of Delegation stated that Monaco did not have enough time to find its act for the contest. At the time Mr Bosco showed an interest in competing in the 2006 contest, however this did not occur.
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Bosnia & Herzegovina is the last country that had attempted to compete in Junior Eurovision but failed to make it to the stage. In May 2007 it was announced that BHRT was one of nineteen countries that had applied to compete in Junior Eurovision 2007, having aired the 2006 contest.
Rules at the time stated that a maximum of eighteen countries could compete, which at the time blocked Georgia from competing. In June 2007 it was announced that BHRT would not compete in the contest.
In 2008, BHRT was announced among the eighteen broadcasters competing in Junior Eurovision. However Bosnia & Herzegovina along with Azerbaijan and Israel all withdraw ahead of the contest in Cyprus.
Bosnia & Herzegovina would not go on to attempt to participate in any future contests, but would air every edition of the contest up to 2011.
Image Source: Thomas Hanses (EBU)