On the latest episode of The Euro Trip, former Eurovision Song Contest Executive Supervisor Jon Ola Sand revealed that there have never been any serious discussions to allow Kazakhstan to debut at the competition.
Speaking to The Euro Trip presenter Rob Lilley, Sand said: “There is a really keen interest from the broadcaster in Kazakhstan to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest.
But Sand added: “There has never been any serious discussion to bring them in.”
Expanding on the reasons for the lack of discussions, Sand said: “They are not a member of the EBU, and we really don’t need to broaden our scope of participating countries in the Eurovision Song Contest.”
During his nine year tenure in the Executive Supervisor role, Sand oversaw the debut of just one country at Eurovision. Australia’s entry in 2015 was deemed a one-off at the time but the country’s public broadcaster SBS has competed in every edition of the competition since owing to its associate EBU membership.
Asked about Kosovo joining the contest, Sand revealed: “There has been no attempt from the EBU to bring Kosovo into the Eurovision Song Contest. There have been discussions as a broadcaster, but they [RTK, the broadcaster] lack the status to allow them to compete.
“We had talks with all the broadcasters you mentioned [Luxembourg, Andorra, Slovakia & Monaco]. It hasn’t been a priority for us to bring them in. There isn’t a need to grow the number of participants. But Turkey would have a higher priority than say, Monaco for instance.”
Jon Ola Sand served as Executive Supervisor between 2011 and 2020. Prior to this role he was Executive Producer for Eurovision when the contest was held in Oslo, Norway in 2010.
Image Credit: Eurovision.tv / Thomas Hanses