Eurovision Heads to Azerbaijan
Following their debut at the Eurovision Dance Contest in 2009, Azerbaijan was revealed as the host nation of the third edition of the Eurovision Dance Contest in February 2009. Discussions had been underway with TVP of Poland following the countries victory in 2008, however an agreement was not reached.
In the press release it was confirmed that;
Date of Contest – September 26 2009
Venue – Heydar Aliyev Sports and Exhibition Complex
Bjørn Erichsen, Director of Eurovision TV stated;
The EBU is very pleased with the level of commitment, professionalism and high spirit expressed by Ictimai, the Azerbaijani Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Azerbaijani DanceSport Federation in the negotiations following Ictimai’s bid to become host broadcaster. We truly look forward to this production by one of the EBU’s newest Members.
Following Azerbaijan’s announcement as host nation, the country set out their plans for the competition. Organisers aimed to have the largest amount of countries participating in the contest to date, exceeding the 14 who competed in 2008.
In May 2009 the Head of TV at the European Broadcasting Union revealed to Azerbaijani press that the competition was to be delayed. The delay of the contest was as a result of lack of participating countries.
Discussions had been held with Armenia, Israel, Belgium and France to see if they would be interested in participating in the contest, however the talks did not result in any confirmations.
Just one week before the competition was revealed as being delayed, the Head of TV was talking about the Eurovision Dance Contest 2009 and the plans for the competition that had already been completed.
Contest Pushed Back to 2010
In the June of 2009, the European Broadcasting Union confirmed that the Eurovision Dance Contest would not take place in 2009. The EBU confirmed that they contest would still be held, but instead moved to the following year. Concrete plans for the 2010 edition of the contest were to be revealed in late 2009.
Eurovision Dance Contest Cancelled
Svante Stockselius, the EBU Eurovision Co-ordinator confirmed in January of 2010 that the Eurovision Dance Contest would not take place in the next couple of years. Mr Stockselius cited a decline in interest in dance shows which had boomed in the mid to late 00s.
Belarus confirmed in February 2009 that they planned to debut in the Eurovision Dance Contest. Belarus had previously aired both the 2007 and 2008 editions of the contest live. BTRC opted to hold a three-month selection process called “Star Dances”, featuring 36 dancers.
- Poland – In March 2009 TVP confirmed that Poland would once again participate, TVP confirmed they would internally select their participants.
- Portugal – Participation confirmed in April 2009
- Russia – Russia’s confirmation of participation came with the reveal of their participants Sergey Konovaltsev and Olga Konovaltseva, they were named as participating in May 2008.
- Austria – ORF confirmed to Eurofire.me that they would not compete in the 2009 edition of the contest. ORF did not give a reason as to why they were withdrawing from the contest.
- Finland – Withdrawal confirmed in March 2009 by esckaz
- Lithuania – Withdrawal confirmed in May 2009 by esckaz
- Netherlands – Withdrawal confirmed in March 2009 by esckaz
- Sweden – Withdrawal confirmed in May 2009 by esckaz