With just over two months to go until Junior Eurovision 2023 takes place in Nice, it has been revealed that Armenia’s participation is being monitored as the country undergoes a humanitarian emergency.
No definitive answer
The question of whether or not Armenia will be competing arose after Azerbaijan made the move to establish control of the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which broke away from Azerbaijan in 1991. Despite being de facto ruled by Baku, the area is controlled by the Artsakhi government. Conflict between the two sides have stretched as far back as 1994, but renewed fighting in 2023 saw the Artsakhi government give up its independence aspirations. Since then, a mass exodus has taken place, with more than 60,000 ethnic Armenians fleeing to neighbouring Armenia.
During the press conference for Junior Eurovision 2023 in Nice, the EBU’s Executive Supervisor Martin Österdahl was asked the question by 20 Minutes, with the following response:
For the moment, there is no definitive answer to this question.Martin Österdahl, Executive Supervisor for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest
During the press conference, it was also mentioned that the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) will “monitor the evolution of the situation”, which he considers “actually worrying”.
If the withdrawal from this year’s contest does occur, this will not be the first time that Armenia withdrew from Junior Eurovision due to the Nagorno-Karabakh war. In 2020, Armenia withdrew from the competition due to the introduction of martial law. Maléna was due to represent the nation, but was selected in 2021, and went on to win with “Qami Qami”.
Armenia’s Junior Eurovision journey
Armenia is one of the most successful countries in Junior Eurovision. The Caucasian nation first took part in 2007 and finished in second place, with “Erazanq” performed by Arevik. Following this, Armenia has scored ten top-five results – including two wins in 2010, when Vladimir Arzumunyan triumphed in Minsk with his song “Mama”. They won the contest again in 2021, in Paris. when Maléna represented them with her song “Qami, Qami”
In 2022, Nare represented Armenia with her song “Dance!”. At the close of voting in Yerevan, Nare placed second after earning 180 points, 110 of these came from the national juries, while the other 70 points came from the online voting.
News Source: 20 Minutes
Photo Credit: Corinne Cumming/EBU