Slovakia has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest seven times, debuting in 1994. It had attempted to debut in 1993, but did not pass through the qualifying round. In the first three finals that Slovakia participated in, it placed no better than 18th, which it received in 1996. Because of its poor results, it was forced to miss a year after each contest and then the country opted not to return for a number of years. It did eventually return to the Contest thirteen years later, in 2009.