| Country Contest 12|
|Semi-final 1 date||January 2018|
|Semi-final 2 date||January 2018|
|Final date||January 2018|
|Host broadcaster||KA, РТРК, C31|
|Number of entries||39 (to date)|
|Debuting countries|| Libya|
|Returning countries|| Albania|
|Withdrawing countries|| Algeria|
|Voting system||Each country awards two sets of 12, 10, 8–1 points to their 10 favorite countries.|
The Country Contest 12 will be the twelveth edition of the contest. The edition marked the first since the fifth edition to feature no guest countries, given Brazil's placement outside of the top 6 last edition. It also marked a major format change in the competition, allowing a wider range of countries to qualify to the final.
For the first time in the competition's history, 3 Kazakh broadcasters co-operated in the production of the shows, which were KA, РТРК and C31.
Semi-final 1 Edit
TBA, TBA and TBA also voted here. The top ten countries qualified to the Grand Final.
Semi-final 2 Edit
TBA, TBA and TBA also voted here. The top ten countries qualified to the Grand Final.
The 20 qualifiers from the semi-finals, as well as the top 6 of previous edition took part; all participating countries in the edition voted.
New jury/televote format Edit
On November 28, 2017, the CCU announced that due to complaints from many broadcasters and controversy from previous edition, that they would enact a new format change allowing both countries that are liked by televote but not by juries and vice versa to qualify.
Unlike previous editions, the top 8 countries of each semi-final would directly qualify to the final. The two remaining would be determined by the highest placing televote and jury qualifier that did not qualify overall; however, as usual, these particular countries's semi-final placement would not be revealed until after the edition's end.
World Country Contest Edit
After the success of the 10th edition, the CCU stated that they were considering some potential options to allow all broadcasters "an equal chance to participate." However, announcement of these plans had been delayed for months. In the meantime, more broadcasters which hadn't participated in the tenth edition stated that they would be interested in joining as well.
The CCU announced on 24 December 2017 that they would be creating respective contests for Africa, Asia-Pacific and America. Alongside with Europe, the top-five placing countries of each contest would then participate in the World Country Contest where 20 countries consisting of 4 continents would compete to be crowned the World Country. This country would subsequently host the following World Country Contest.
This idea was then praised by many broadcasters who confirmed they'd participate in it.
This would allow the Asian-Pacfic contest to have up to 60 countries, 54 for Africa, 35 for America and around 50 for Europe. In the end, the World Country Contest would allow all 200 countries from the respective countries to vote for an objectified result and winner. As usual, there would be televoting and jury voting from all voting countries with no boundaries to who they can vote for. This would allow a maximum of 23200 to be distributed between 20 countries, which if equally would result in 1160.
These changes nonetheless would mean that Country Contest would turn into European Country Contest. However, the CCU stated that such plans would not be implemented until after the twelfth contest would end, meaning that the 13th contest would decide the European candidate. Additionally, countries such as Russia which are widely located in Asia would relocate to its respective continental contest.
Ex-Kamu Birliği members Edit
On 24 January 2018, following the disbandment of Kamu Birliği, the CCU announced that all of the countries (except Turkey which withdrew) would be given their spot back in the Union. However, as a sanction for their involvement, they were disallowed to participate in any CCU contest for three editions "to avoid another drastic protest from happening in the future." Notably, Azerbaijan, which participated in all 11 editions, would no longer be a country which participated in all editions.
Other countries Edit
Unlike previous editions, the CCU introduced a rule edition requiring all 75 active members to write a statement regarding participation of this edition. This is because of the new rules introduced to make the contest fair. Additionally, this was done due to the rapidly decreasing number of participants. Member broadcasters which did not comment would be fined.
On January 1, 2018, the CCU announced a new rule enforcing all Members to participate at least once every ten editions, given the Union's purpose as a [Country Contest] Union.
Active countries Edit
- Algeria: ENTV announced that Algeria would withdraw due to poor results and lack of general interest in the country.
- Azerbaijan: On November 30, 2017, İTV announced that Azerbaijan would withdraw from the contest, despite being one of three countries to participate in all 10 editions. İTV stated that this was due to its third qualification in a row, and "often bias of jury vote against Turkey and Azerbaijan." İTV added that "the new format would not change the outcome of the final results and therefore does not change the stance." İTV then confirmed that it joined the Turkish movement Kamu Birliği.
- Belgium / Netherlands: VRT/RTBF and AVROTROS announced in a joint statement that they would both return to the contest should Germany and Luxembourg "place high on the scoreboard" in the twelfth contest. They also stated their satisfaction with France's 4th place; being the country's most successful result since its victory in the first contest.
- Egypt: ERTU announced its withdrawal on December 24, 2017, citing lack of interest.
- Liberland: On November 27, 2017, LTC announced that due to the drop in sponsoring from Serbia and Croatia that the country would withdraw. The private sponsors stated that it was a "project they invested in", but "wasn't worth the trouble anymore." However, LTC stated on December 24, 2017, that they "would invest" in participating in the 13th edition given the globalization of the contest. On January 13, 2018, LTC confirmed that they had secured private sponsors to participate in the 13th edition.
- Montenegro: Montenegrin broadcaster RTV Atlas joined Kamu Birliği and was criticized for it, but was often confused with RTCG. Nonetheless, RTCG stated that they would participate and reassured its stance on [Kamu Birliği].
- Russia: After the results of Country Contest 11, which saw Russia place its worst result (17th), C1R stated that a withdrawal from the contest would be possible. Furthermore, the broadcaster stated that it may join [Kamu Birliği], but was "reviewing the nature of it." However, C1R later announced that they would nevertheless participate "to support their neighbors from Kazakhstan."
- Sweden: After Sweden's third non-qualification in a row, SVT stated that the country's future participation was in doubt. However, SVT fired its head of delegation weeks later and confirmed its participation with a new HoD.
- Tunisia: ERTT confirmed that Tunisia would once again participate despite failing to qualify to the final for 4 consecutive editions.
- Turkey: On November 13, 2017, TRT announced that after four consecuctive participations and win, Turkey would withdraw from the competition due to the "50% jury-televote system" and "jury bias". However, the broadcaster noted that should the juries be abolished, the country would "definitely return." On November 15, 2017, TRT announced the creation of Kamu Birliği, a movement against the jury vote and independent union, inviting countries to join. On November 28, 2017, TRT reassured its stance stating that "the new system doesn't change anything; the same method is used for the final."
Inactive countries Edit
- Albania: On January 2, 2018, RTSH announced that Albania would return to the contest after a one-edition break, thanks to the jury/televote qualifier additions.
- Armenia: The country which joined the earliest and never returned since; AMPTV stated that they were "finalizing plans to return to the contest" given "Azerbaijan's withdrawal."
- Andorra: After not ruling out participation, RTVA confirmed they would participate for the first time since the 5th edition, "to support their neighbors Spain."
- Israel: IBPC stated that they "have been waiting months for CCU membership" and wanted a "speedier process" so that the country can join the Contest, alongside the Games.
- Jordan: JRTV stated that they would not debut as their budget "does not allow them to participate." However, JRTV announced on January 6, 2018, that Jordan would debut in the contest.
- Kosovo: RTK reiterated their intentions to join the Country Contest, and encouraged member broadcasters to "petition Kosovo's right to participate." On January 1, 2018, the CCU stated that should enough members support Kosovo's participation, it could participate in a host country which recognizes the country. However, as Kazakhstan does not recognize Kosovo, RTK was unable to confirm its interest.
- Libya: LNC stated that joining the Country Contest "is not in their immediate plans." However, LNC announced on January 2, 2018, that Libya would debut in the contest.
- Lithuania: LRT stated that due to financial issues, Lithuania would not return to the contest.
- Moldova: On January 1, 2018, TRM announced that Moldova would return to the contest thanks to the new jury/televote qualifier system. Moldova is known as the country to have only participated when a new format was introduced.
- Spain: Despite RTVE's statement last edition, the broadcaster confirmed that Spain would not participate. However, RTVE reassured that "something new" was planned for Spain's "soon-to-be return". However, RTVE confirmed that Spain would participate on 24 December 2017 as they had "expected the edition to take place sooner than later."
- Vatican City: VR stated that as the contest was moving forward to be globally-based, that they were not interested in competing in such level. VR nonetheless ruled out any participation in the near future, but stated that "they would participate" should the contest be held in Italy.
Non-CCU members Edit
- Iran: IRIB stated that after winning the Kamu Birliği Festivali (though was disqualified), that it wanted to participate in "the real contest." However, the CCU stated that broadcasters which played a role in Kamu Birliği would be exempt from participating for three editions, which would mean IRIB would only be able to participate from the 15th edition should it gain rights. However, the CCU stated that as Iran is not in the CCU area, that it would not be permitted to join the contest but invited to join the Asia-Pacific contest, once it were to be created.