There are fewer and fewer months left for the celebration of the 20th edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, which will take place this December in Yerevan, Armenia. During these weeks, the European public televisions from the European Broadcasting Union are evaluating and finalizing the details of participation in the children’s musical event of the year.
Today we bring you news from the Caucasus. As confirmed by the local media Modern.az, the Azeri TV ICTIMAI would still be evaluating and debating its participation in the children’s festival, thus opening the door to finally Azerbaijan being able to be present in Armenia this December despite the historic war conflicts between the two countries.
There is still no decision on the matter, therefore, it is impossible to say whether Azerbaijan will participate in the Eurovision children’s song contest to be held in Armenia next December.ICTIMAI Public Relations Department
THE PARTICIPATION OF AZERBAIJAN, INCREASINGLY FEASIBLE
Despite the resurgence of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in 2020 and the escalation of tension between the two nations, there are growing indications that a rapprochement of positions and a normalization of diplomatic relations is possible. As confirmed a few weeks ago by Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan, during a meeting with the Lithuanian head of state, the signing of a peace treaty with Armenia could take place imminently, ending decades of enmities between the two peoples.
In addition, it should be remembered that in 2011 during the last edition of Junior Eurovision held in Armenia, ARMTV was open to receiving Azerbaijan on Armenian land as one more participant of the festival, in an unprecedented show of hospitality. Although the organization came to directly send invitations to participate at the Azeri ICTIMAI and the Turkish TRT, none of them ended up competing in the festival. In the case of Azerbaijan, its work organizing the 2012 adult edition was the alleged reason for absenting itself from that edition of the contest, despite the fact that Armenian television even attended the presentation ceremony of the event and the semi-final allocation draw for that year in Baku, having confirmed its participation months before.
In this way, the rapprochement of positions between the two nations and the historical flexibility and hospitality of the host television ARMTV could be combined in an eventual Azerbaijani participation this December in Yerevan, thus marking an unprecedented milestone, which would value the unifying sense of the contest and prioritize peace and music in the face of conflict before the new generations throughout Europe.
ICTIMAI TV, INTERESTED IN CONTINUING AT THE FESTIVAL
It is not the first time so far this year that we have received news about Azerbaijan’s participation in this edition of Junior Eurovision. As Eldar Rasulov, a member of the Azeri delegation, confirmed a few months ago, no matter where the festival is held this year, the country must participate in it and work for a better result. The success of Azerbaijan during its return to the festival in its last edition, achieving a great fifth place thanks to the young Sona Azizova, could be a great incentive for the delegation to want to guarantee continuity in the festival.
On the other side, the Armenian organization remains unclear about the viability of a hypothetical Azeri presence on Armenian land this December. In the last press conference of the event held last May in Torino, representatives of the ARMTV were not yet able to respond to the security guarantees that the Azerbaijani delegation would have in case of finally participating in the festival. However, the establishment of a government committee devoted to the work of organizing the festival could facilitate and expedite diplomatic procedures for Azerbaijan to participate in the festival with all relevant security guarantees.
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AZERBAIJAN AT JUNIOR EUROVISION
Azerbaijan has historically been one of the most unstable and unpredictable countries within the festival. His relationship with Junior Eurovision begins a few months after his debut into the adult’s version, in 2008. Despite being officially listed as one of the participating countries in the 2008 edition, the impossibility of finding a suitable candidate to represent the country at the highest level, led the ICTIMAI to withdraw forcibly just a few weeks before the festival. It should be noted that the country had to face the payment of all participation fees as a penalty for withdrawing outside the deadline set by the EBU.
After different rumours, approaches and attempts by Azeri television, the Caucasian country made its debut entering the competition for the first time in the 2012 edition, held in Amsterdam. After a casting process by different academies of the country, culminating in a televised pre-selection, the duo Omar and Suada were chosen with the lively song Boys & Girls, ending in a discouraging next-to-last position.
The country accumulates just 4 participations, unevenly distributed throughout the different editions of the festival in the last decade. It stands out the seventh place achieved in 2013 by Rustam Karimov with his song Me & My Guitar and the historic fifth place obtained in the last edition by the talented Sona Azizova, thanks to his brilliant interpretation of the ballad One Of Those Days.
JUNIOR EUROVISION SONG CONTEST 2022
The Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2022 will be held in Yerevan, Armenia next Sunday, December 11. The Karen Demirchyan Complex will host the show where various artists aged between 9 and 14 from different countries in Europe will fight to take the prized crystal microphone, a trophy that accredits the victory in the contest.
The organization of the show by the Armenian public television ARMTV comes after the victory of Malena and her song Qami Qami on the stage of Paris on December 19, awakening a collective euphoria throughout her homeland and making the whole country face with great enthusiasm and responsibility the challenge of organizing the festival, that promises to be more special than ever given that this 2022 celebrates its 20th anniversary. It will not be the first time that Armenia organizes an edition of the Junior Eurovision, having had the opportunity to do so in 2011, also at the Karen Demirchyan Complex.
There are 14 European televisions that have already confirmed their participation in the festival so far, however, the ambition and efforts of the organization predicts a greater final number of participants, with the aim that this twentieth edition of the children’s contest being remembered as one of the most spectacular in its history.