North Macedonia considers withdrawing Eurovision contestant after flag throwing "scandal"

Eurovision Andrea North Macedonia

North Macedonian broadcaster MRT is considering the withdrawal of Andrea as the nation’s Eurovision entrant after a “flag throwing” incident during the Opening Ceremony of the continent's premier singing competition.

MRT is considering Andrea’s withdrawal following the singer throwing the nation’s flag across the floor at the 2022 Eurovision Openings Ceremony, Eurovoix reported.

In the clip seen of the singer, it does not appear the singer intended any disrespect and simply wanted to move the flag out of the photoshoot with the press.

MRT is now considering the possibility of having Andrea withdraw from the contest and is expecting a full apology statement from the singer.

The moment can be seen at 56:30 in the opening ceremony live stream.

The statement from MRT is as follows:

Macedonian Radio Television strongly condemns the move of our representative at Eurovision Song Contest 2022, Andrea Koevska, who threw the state flag on the ground during the photoshoot in Turin.

The public service is in no way behind this scandalous behaviour of our Eurovision representative, who with that gesture showed disrespect for the national symbol, which is punishable by law.

MRT expects Andrea to apologize to the citizens for such behaviour. The public service is considering the possibility of her withdrawal from Eurovision, although care will be taken not to cause more damage to MRT.

All legal possibilities for the strictest sanctioning for this scandal will be taken against those responsible in the Macedonian delegation.

Currently as stated in the statement from MRT, showing disrespect to national symbols is a crime in North Macedonia, meaning Andrea could face legal action for her actions on the red carpet.

Update: MRT has released a video with an apology from Andrea, who said she intended no offense and that she only aims to represent North Macedonia in the best light.

Who is Andrea?

Andrea was selected to represent North Macedonia after winning Za Evrosong 2022, the first national final to be held in North Macedonia since 2015.

As there was a tie for first place, Andrea was declared the winner as she received maximum points from the international jury.

The song that Andrea will perform in Turin is called “Circles”. It was written by Aleksandar Masevski and Andrea herself.

North Macedonia (previously competing as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1998.

However, two years earlier they attempted to participate but were knocked out in the pre-qualifying round. In 2016 they were represented by Kaliopi for a second time with the song “Dona”, she missed out on the final finishing in 11th in her semi-final.

North Macedonia’s best result to date is a 7th place finish in the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest represented by Tamara Todevska and the song “Proud”.

Who’ll be performing:

(40 nations, one more than 2021 following Armenia and Montenegro’s return and the absence of Russia):

  • Solo Female (15): Albania, Armenia, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Portugal, Serbia, Spain, Sweden
  • Solo Male (11): Australia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Estonia, Germany, Israel, Poland, Romania, San Marino, Switzerland, United Kingdom
  • Duos (2): Austria, Italy
  • Groups and Collaborations (12): Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Georgia, Iceland, Latvia, Moldova, Norway, Slovenia, Ukraine

How they were chosen:

  • National Final (26): Albania, Australia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy*, Latvia, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine**

    * – The winner of Italy’s Sanremo Festival is given first right of refusal for the ticket to Eurovision. This year, the winner accepted the invitation.

    ** – The original winner of the Ukrainian National Final withdrew her candidacy after her win at Vidbir. After some deliberation, runners-up and public-vote winners Kalush Orchestra were granted the ticket to Turin.

  • Partial National Final (Public artist selection, internal song selection) (1): Malta
  • Internal Selection (12): Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece, Montenegro, Netherlands, Switzerland, United Kingdom
  • Other (1): Moldova***

    *** – Auditions were publicly aired, but the country’s entry for Eurovision was internally selected by a jury panel.

What language will the song be performed in?

  • English (25): Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Latvia, Malta, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom
  • Single Language, not in English (8): France, Iceland, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Slovenia, Ukraine
  • Multilingual (6): Albania, Cyprus, Moldova, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Spain

    Fun fact: For the first time in the competition's history, no song will be performed in French this year.

Who wasn’t born in the country they’ll be representing?

  • Bulgaria:

    Lead singer Ronnie Romero was born in Santiago, Chile.

  • Cyprus:

    Andromache was born in Siegen, Germany, and raised in Greece.

  • Czech Republic

    Guitarist Casper Hatlestad and keyboardist Benjamin Rekstad are both from Norway, and the band was formed in Leeds, United Kingdom.

  • Denmark:

    Guitarist Agnes Roslund and bassist Ida Bergkvist are both from Sweden.

  • Greece:

    Amanda Georgiadis Tenfjord was born in Ålesund, Norway, but moved between Norway and Greece throughout her childhood.

  • Ireland:

    Brooke Scullion is from Bellaghy, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom.

  • Moldova:

    Lead singer Roman Iagupov was born in Volgograd, Russia.

  • Norway:

    Keith and Jim of Subwoolfer were born on the Moon.

  • Poland:

    Ochman was born in Melrose, Massachusetts, USA (near Boston) and raised in Rockville, Maryland, near Washington, DC. He relocated to Poland after high school.

  • San Marino:

    Achille Lauro was born in Verona, Italy, and grew up in Rome.

  • Spain:

    Chanel was born in Havana, Cuba, but moved to Spain at a young age.

READ MORE: Eleni Foureira announces new album with a sexy photoshoot (PHOTOS)