In what is now an annual tradition, I set this page up in the latter part of the year to bring together all the information and updates on the national and internal selections of the participating countries at the upcoming song contest. So here is my page for Eurovision 2020 – do bookmark this page and keep checking back until mid-March when we will know all the artists and songs for Rotterdam.
As well as being first up in the Eurovision alphabet, Albania also gift us the first national final of the year over the Christmas period. The 58th Festivali i Kenges (FiK) will provide Albania’s entry once again, and among the 20 competing artists is a former FiK winner and Eurovision contestant, Olta Boka, who represented Albania in 2008. The shows will take place on 19, 20 and 22 December.
Armenia have confirmed participation (one of the last to do so) and in a surprising move, announced that their national selection, Depi Evratesil, will return for its third time.
Australia are confirmed in the contest until at least 2023, and after a successful national selection last year (after internally selecting previously), Eurovision: Australia Decides will return for their 2020 selection, taking place on 8 February. As of November 2019, the names of the participating acts are beginning to be released.
Austria have not announced method of selection, though if following pattern of last few years, and according to sources, it will be an internal selection and the artist has already been selected.
Azerbaijan invariably use an internal selection, so I would be surprised if that wasn’t the case for this year.
Belarus have tended to do a form of national selection (last year it was a jury only national selection) but we will wait to see what the format will be this year.
First out of the block to announce their artist, Belgium have continued their recent tradition of internally selecting. Hooverphonic are a long established band (active since 1995) and their English-language Eurovision song will be released in February.
Selected artist: Hooverphonic
Bulgaria withdrew in 2019, citing financial issues. The indication given was that they would hope to return and indeed this has proved to be true with the announcement in late October that they would be back for 2020.We didn’t have long to wait till we found out who would represent them, as the announcement came in late November. Victoria, a young up-and-coming singer, will be their representative in Rotterdam.
Selected artist: Victoria
Croatia held their first national selection for some time last year (DORA) and it seems that they will be using that format again as it’s been confirmed that DORA is returning.
Cyprus have achieved consistent success recently using an internal selection and they have stuck with that approach this year, selecting German singer Sandro.
Selected artist: Sandro
Following online national selections in the last couple of years, the Czech Republic announced plans they were moving to a full televised national final for 2020. They have subsequently reversed to holding it as an online vote again and may do the TV programme next year. The entries for the online vote will be released on 13 January and voting closes on 26 January. The results will be released in the week following closure of voting.
Denmark’s long-established national final, Dansk Melodi Grand Prix (DMGP), returns for 2020 on 7 March.
Eesti Laul, Estonia’s national selection, will again consist of two semi-finals of 12 contestants, with the top 6 from each qualifying for the final. Semis take place on 13 and 15 February with the final on 29 February. The artists and song titles have been released and the songs themselves will follow on 30 November. We’ve got a couple of last year’s Eesti Laul’s artists returning, including Synne Valtri whose song “I’ll Do It My Way” was one of my guilty pleasures from the national final season.
Finland are once again using their national selection, Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (UMK), though it is returning to a selection of artists and songs rather than the format of two previous years where an internally selected artist presented a set of song to be chosen. A jury has shortlisted the 400+ song submissions to six artists, and the final will take place on 7 March. The competing songs and artists will be revealed on 21 January.
As with the past two years, France is keeping a national final though it’s unclear if this will be Destination Eurovision, or if it will be a new show or format.
As with last year, Georgian Idol will be used to select Georgia’s representative.
Germany looks set to have a national final again, though the selection process for the artists and songs for the final has changed (and seems to be quite complex and convoluted!). Escxtra have more details on their selection process for 2020.
The Greek broadcaster is mulling over holding a national final after selecting internally in the past couple of years. Still to be confirmed though.
Iceland’s national final, Söngvakeppnin, returns with semi-finals on 8 and 15 February and the final on 29 February. Five songs compete in each semi with the top two progressing to the final. Show producers may select one of the non-qualifiers as an additional finalist.
Ireland put out a call for submissions to be the 2020 entry with a deadline of 25 October. There is no indication that there will be a national final, as Ireland have internally selected for the last few years.
2019’s hosts are making changes to their national selection. The selection of the artist will still be done by their talent show HaKokhav HaBa L’Eurovizion (Rising Star) but in addition there will be a show to select the song (previously internally selected for the successful artist).
The winner of the Festival di Sanremo (celebrating its 70th edition in 2020) is usually given the option (not always taken up) of representing Italy at Eurovision that year. They have tweaked the rules this year so that an artist should state before the start of Sanremo whether they would go to Eurovision (rather than deciding after they win). The festival takes place between 4 and 8 and February (and strap yourselves in the for the final on the 8th – it’s a very long show…)
Latvia’s national final, Supernova, returns for its sixth year with the final taking place on 8 February.
Lithuania’s national selection, Eurovizijos atranka, returns for 2020 but there may be some changes in the format. Traditionally one of the longest national selections (in terms of shows), there has been discussion on making the selection shorter and simpler.
North Macedonia scored a stunning success in 2019, winning the jury vote in the grand final, so it’s no surprise to see them back. No indication as yet on how the selection will be done, though it has been internal selection recently.
Last year, Malta used their first series of X Factor Malta to select their artists, with the winner of that representing Malta. They have stuck to this new format, with the winner of the second series to provide the representative for 2020. The final takes place on 8 February.
Moldova’s participation was confirmed with the official Eurovision announcement of the 41 countries for 2020, which included Moldova. Indications are that it may be an internal selection this year with a known artist but this all subject to official confirmation.
The winner of 2019 and hosts for 2020, the Netherlands will automatically qualify for the final. As has been the case for the past few years, they will be internally selecting.
Norway’s national selection, Melodi Grand Prix (MGP), reaches its 60th anniversary in 2020 and to celebrate, they are making it a bumper year with double the usual entries and a regional-themed semi-final. The final takes place on 15 February.
Poland have used both internal selections and national finals in past few years; 2020’s method is still to be confirmed.
Festival da Canção returns for its 54th edition in 2020, once again with 16 songs competing across two semi-finals, culminating in a final of 8 songs. The shows will take place in February and March. The list of composers of the 16 songs have been released with 14 having been approached by Portugal’s broadcaster RTP, and the final two composers coming from a public submission and a masterclass submission.
Romania have generally used a national final to select, though their 2019 edition saw low audience numbers and a whole load of controversy in the grand final. The method for this year is yet to be confirmed.
Russia has selected internally since 2013 and that remains the case for the 2020 contest.
After their most successful contest to date in 2019, the microstate was quick to confirm their participation in 2020. National selection details to be confirmed.
The national selection, Beovizija, will return for 2020. Submissions are open until 9 December and dates for the show(s) to be confirmed.
EMA 2020 will be the national selection again for Slovenia and submissions are currently. In addition, there is a pre-selection ongoing at the moment where two artists (from eighteen) have the chance to be shortlisted for the ten artist EMA final.
Spain announced that they were internally selecting for 2020, and within a short space of time afterwards, and out of the blue, announced the artist, Blas Cantó, a former boy band member who has been in the finals to represent Spain in Junior Eurovision as well as the main contest some years later.
Selected artist: Blas Cantó
What would the national selection season be without Melodifestivalen? 2020’s will be the 60th edition of the increasingly internationally popular show. The 4 semi finals and the second chance show take place each Saturday from 1 February onwards, with the grand final on 7 March. The list of artists and song titles have been released and there are four previous contest finalists among them (including one who represented Estonia last year) and several other Melfest veterans.
Switzerland are internally selecting, and as with last year, it is with an international jury and an audience panel.
The shenanigans of the Ukrainian national selection, Vidbir, last year, culminated in a winner with a song that would have likely placed in the top 5 in the grand final, yet was never able go, given the terms and conditions places on the artists by the Ukrainian broadcaster. Vidbir is returning though with two semi-finals and a final, voted for by a jury and televote. This year, a rule has been made upfront that the contestants must not have performed in Russia or Russian-held territory since 2014. Semis take place on 8 and 15 February and the final on 22 February.
A national final, Eurovision: You Decide, has been the UK’s national selection for the past four years, but this year sees a return to an internal selection. The BBC will be working with music publisher and record label BMG UK in the selection (and publishing) of artist and song, though it is unclear how far BMG will be involved with promotion and with production/staging of the song at the contest itself.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Eurovision (season)…