Ralph Siegel offered to pay, but EBU said no. Due to sanctions towards the national public broadcaster BHRT, it now seems sure that Bosnia and Herzegovina won’t return to the Eurovision Song Contest for the 2019 edition.
The sad situation was confirmed today by Lejla A. Babović, who is responsible for the Eurovision project within the broadcaster BHRT.
In an interview to the Bosnian internet portal klix.ba, Babović explained that just like last year, the legendary German composer Ralph Siegel offered to cover all the costs regarding Bosnia and Hercegovina’s participation in the contest next year. His only condition was that Hanka Paldum, one of the most famous local folk singers, performed his song in Israel.
Although BHRT was very positive about Siegels’s offer, the EBU has informed the broadcaster that Bosnia and Herzegovina’s participation in the Eurovision Song Contest won’t be possible as long as BHRT is under the sanctions and furhermore they should start to repay their debt, which is over CHF 6 million.
2019 will be third year in a row that the country won’t take part in the contest.
Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Eurovision Song Contest
The country joined the Eurovision Song Contest in 1993 – a year after they declared independence from Yugoslavia. They reached their best result back in 2006, when Hari Mata Hari finished third in the grand final with the song Lejla.
Due to financial difficulties, they took a break from 2013 – 2015. Bosnia and Herzegovina participated last time in 2016, when Dalal, Deen, Anja Rucner and Jala didn’t quailfy for the final. Before then, the country had managed to qualify from the semi-finals every year they participated.
In the video below, remind yourself of their 2016 entry: