Welcome back to our thoughts on this year’s Junior Eurovision entrants. The contest is growing ever closer, with just 3 days to go until the main event in Sofia. Until then, our little competition here is ongoing, with our team listening to each of the entrants and giving their all-important opinions and even-more-important scores.

ALBANIA: Mishela Rapo – Dambaje

Nick: Well well well, what do we have here? An Albanian attempt at a song that resembles reggae. That’s quite a fun idea and I have to admit, Mishela does it quite well. It’s probably Albania’s biggest song revamp ever. Albanian is not a very accessible language and it takes a very good performer to get the feeling across well (hi there, Rona Nishliu). Mishela does that quite well, although there is room for improvement. The fact that they’ve decided to repeat the ‘dimi dimi dambaje’ about 100 times is understandable, catchy, yet starts to get on my nerves about two minutes in. Albania seems to understand JESC quite well this year. It’s decent, it’s a nice surprising song and Mishela is quite a good performer. No idea what Europe will make of this! 7.5/10.

Brent: It is hard to ignore how wonderfully optimistic a lot of these songs are and Mishela has one of the most optimistic of all. I love a lyric I can learn after one listen and I love a strong message. Well sung and enjoyable and a song the world definitely needs to hear at the moment! 7/10.

Nathan: When this was first selected, I feared the worst until I remembered that Albania is a nation of the re-worked final song. Fantastic. Just fantastic. It’s a really good composition now and contains a very memorable melody with catchy chorus lyrics. The video’s also pretty smart too! For me, this is the 2015 winner. 10/10.

UKRAINE: Anna Trincher – Pochny z Sebe

Yassia: Ukraine will be represented by a 13-year-old charismatic singer Anna Trincher in the JESC 2015 in Sofia. The name of her song is Pochny z sebe, which is translated from Ukrainian as “Start with yourself”. The song will be performed in Ukrainian, except for the last chorus, which is in English. This song is about world peace. Anna encourages people to change the world to the better by changing ourselves: “Who would not like to change a war to a peace, a darkness to a light, the thing that is no one wants to admit that you should start with yourself”. 9/10.

Peter: Musically this reminds me a bit of Leonor Andrade’s song for Portugal earlier this year, with its pop rock feel that could easily be a cut from a Natalie Imbruglia album, but it also has visual similarities, with the wind machine turned up to 11 for this one. I think this chorus is slightly stronger, and who am I to deny the girl her two key-changes? However I do find it hard to get too excited about the middle-of-the-road slightly dated nature of this song. Anna is one of the year’s most competent performers though, so she should be rewarded for that. 5.5/10.

Brent: WIND MACHINE! Give me as much as you can! Anna definitely has a more edgy pop song and I like it! The rockier edge lends itself to the power she wields as a performer! I can’t wait to see what she’ll do on stage, I’m preparing to be blown away – I think you should be too! 7/10.

FYR MACEDONIA: Ivana Petkovska & Magdalena Aleksovska – Pletenka

Liam: For me, the highlight of this song is the end of the song when they inexplicably and without context shout in English “LETS MAKE A BRAID!”. Attempting to confuse your audience into voting for you is a bold tactic and sadly for Ivana and Magdalena I don’t see it paying off for them. 3/10.

Nathan: If this had been sent ten years ago, this would have been standard JESC fodder. This isn’t 2005. This isn’t standard JESC fodder. Sadly, this completely misses the mark in terms of standard. The saving grace is that the chorus has a rather nice chord progression. Still, it’s not good. 3/10.

Nick: Here’s the standard recipe for quite a few Eastern European JESC attempts. A young duo, catchy chorus and a very simple tune. Simplicity in this case doesn’t mean it’s badly written though. It’s just not very innovative, nothing new. It’s decent enough, but a lot will depend on how these two girls can bring the fun across on stage. And on their live vocals. For me, that final English sentence should just go. It doesn’t add much and pretty much stands alone, so scrap that and then you have a perfectly decent Macedonian JESC entry. 6/10.

The story so far…
The leader board is starting to fill up now, however nothing is coming close to shifting Australia from its position at the top. The main headline from today’s batch of scores is that Macedonia is undoubtedly the song that our jury have enjoyed the least so far. However it’s still all to play for at both ends of the scoreboard, as we have 7 more songs to review. Join us tomorrow for more!

  1. AUSTRALIA – 27 pts
  2. ALBANIA – 24.5 pts
  3. ARMENIA – 24 pts
  4. IRELAND – 23 pts
  5. UKRAINE – 21.5 pts
  6. SERBIA – 21 pts
  7. MALTA – 20 pts
  8. GEORGIA – 20 pts
  9. RUSSIA – 15 pts
  10. FYR MACEDONIA – 12 pts

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