Is Russia competing in Eurovision and why?

The Eurovision Song Contest is just around the corner and anticipation is heightening to see where the UK will place.

However, despite holding the name Eurovision Song Contest, the competition is open to any country around the world who wants to participate.

However, a country can only participate on one condition- and it is a requirement that many nations do not fit.

Throughout many years of Eurovision fun, many non-European countries have been invited to participate in the music competition- one more notable entrant being Australia, who joined the line up in 2015.

And this year four non-European nations will be competing for the coveted prize.

So, how can non-European countries join in with Eurovision?

Countries who want to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest must have a broadcaster within Europe as part of the EBU (European Broadcasting Union.)

If this requirement is fulfilled, then it is up to that broadcaster to choose who their performer will be. This can be through a national, televised selection process, which we often see in the UK.

However, it can also take place via an internal selection.

Once decided, the country then has to send their best talent to be locked in, and this needs to be completed by mid-March.

There is a 'Big 5' of countries, and that years host country that are always guaranteed a slot in the big live final.

These five are France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom.

This years host country is also Italy, who won last years song contest with song Zitti E Buoni by Maneskin.

The four non-European countries competing in 2022

Australia

In 2015, Australia joined the list of participants in the competition, making them one of the most recognisable non-European nations.

Their first ever entry was a Tonight Again by Guy Sebastian, who was a great success finishing off fifth on the leader board.

Since then they have participated six times in total, solidifying their worth in the Eurovision community.

This year they are back and are being represented by Sheldon Riley who will be singing Not The Same after winning Eurovision- Australia Decides.

Armenia

Armenia has competed in Eurovision 14 times since their first entry in 2006.

The nation ranked eighth out of 24 in the final, scoring 129 points for song Without Your Love, performed by André.

Rosa Linn will represent the nation this year with the song Snap, after withdrawing from last years event.

Cyprus

Cyprus have been apart of the Eurovision Song Contest since 1981.

They came in sixth place with the song Monika by the group Island, scoring 69 points.

Since their successful first entrant the nation has competed 38 times, only ever missing out three times.

This year Cyprus will be represented by Ela singing Andromache.

Israel

Israel have had a fair bit of success over the years in Eurovision.

First entering in 1973, the song Somewhere from Hebrew sang by Ilanit finished in fourth place out of 17 positions.

Israel have won the competition four times and also made history when Dana International became the first trans woman to win in 1998.

Michael Ben David will be representing the nation in 2022 with his song I.M

Morocco has also once competed in the singing competition in 1980.

The North African nation competed with song Bitaqat Hub, or Love Card translated, performed by Samira Bensaïd.

The nation has expressed an interest in competing again, however there has been no word about them competing in the future.

Famously, China expressed an interest in joining the festivities in 2015, the same year Australia joined. However, the EBU declined their request and did not let them join as either a participant or a guest in the 2016 event.

Tunisia and Lebanon have also tried to join in Eurovision's past, but bailed out before the show started.

It has also been announced that in 2023, Eurovision Canada will broadcast for the first time.

The brand new version of the fan favourite competition will see musicians from each of Canada's ten provinces and three territories coming together to celebrate every musical genre.

Why isn't Russia competing?

Russia has been banned from this year’s Song Contest by bosses, marking the first time the country will not participate since its debut in 1994.

In February after the country attacked it's neighbour Ukraine, organisers initially said they had no plans to prevent Russia from taking part. After an outcry they then swiftly backtracked and banned the country from competing.

They said in a statement: "The decision reflects concern that, in light of the unprecedented crisis in Ukraine, the inclusion of a Russian entry in this year’s Contest would bring the competition into disrepute."

The Eurovision final, taking place in Turin, Italy begins on Saturday May 14 at 8pm on BBC One.

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