Remember the date, 15 November 2014. The proud Mediterranean island nation of Malta host their first ever Eurovision branded show. With 16 nations competing, the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2014 has returned the show to its glory days. The show begins at 19:00 CET and for non-participating nations, it will be streamed live at junioreurovision.tv.
The show has evolved this year in many ways. Every viewer can have their say on the show by voting in one of two ways. If you are in a participating country, follow the instructions on-screen. If not, during the voting window there will be an online vote on the official website, the winner of which will receive a prize at the winner’s press conference after the show. It will also be the first Junior Eurovision Song Contest hosted by just one presenter. Moira Delia will single-handedly run tonight’s show. The show will be coming live from Marsa Shipbuilding, a refurbished shipyard which now houses a stage for both Junior Eurovision and Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2014 taking place next week. The slogan for the competition is #together, which is also the title of the group song.
Each of the participating nations have selected their entrants, here are the essentials that you need to know for tonight’s show:
The former Soviet nation is represented by 14 year old Nadezhda Misyakova. The song was selected in a television show by a split vote, 50% jury and 50% televoting. There was a three-way tie, which was settled by the jury’s preferences. “Sokol” is only the fourth time that the Belarussian language will be featured at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. You can see our interview from Malta with Nadezhda here.
This is the Balkan state’s fourth entry to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest and their first since 2011. In Bulgarian, the song is called “Planetata na detsata” but will be presented at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest as “Planet of the Children”. Krisia Todorova was selected internally to represent the nation and she will be joined by pianist duo, brothers Hasan & Ibrahim, all aged 10.
03. San Marino
The micro-state, entirely surrounded by Italy, are sending Italian/Sammarinese girl group The Peppermints as their second entry to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. “Breaking My Heart” is sang in both Italian and English. The girls are all aged between 14 and 15 and feature Rafaella Perniola, the sister of last year’s representative Michele, and Anita Simoncini, the first ever Sammarinese artist to represent the nation at the contest.
The former Yugoslav nation may not have taken part at the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 but Josie is the first Croatian representative at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest since 2006. The 14 year old, American born, Josie will sing “Game Over” in both English and Croatian.
The Mediterranean island of Cyprus is another nation that is taking part at the Junior contest this year, despite not sending an entry to Eurovision in May. 13 year old Sophie Patsalides is their representative who will perform “I pio omorfi mera” in Greek and English, their first entry since 2009. You can see our interview with Cypriot Sophie, on-site in Malta, here.
One of the most successful Junior Eurovision participants with six Top 5 finishes out of seven entries, including two wins and a runner-up, the Caucasus nation is sending Lizi Pop, aged 11. She will sing “Happy Day” in Georgian and English, their fourth entry in a row to be bilingual, with four backing singers aged between 10 and 12.
The Scandinavian nation has had mixed results in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest but are always worth a watch for their ability to give artists the opportunity to use the competition as a stepping stone for a career in the music industry, notably Molly Sandén, two-time Melodifestivalen finalist, as well as Erik Rapp, who went on to finish 3rd place on Idols 2013. This year’s entrant is 14 year old Julia Kedhammar with the Swedish & English song “Du är inte ensam”, the very first Swedish entry to contain English lyrics.
The largest televised national selection for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2014 came from this Eastern European nation, Sympho-Nick were the favourites from with both the jury and televoters in a competition that featured 18 participants. The trio, aged between 12 and 13, will perform “Pryyde vesna” in Ukrainian and English, hoping to continue Ukraine’s strong run of form with their previous two results being a win in 2012, then runner-up on home soil in 2013. We spoke to Sympho-Nick in Malta here.
This is the first of two former Yugoslav nations making a début at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest this year. The first Slovene entrant to the contest is 12 year old Ula Ložar. Internally selected, the song is in both Slovene and English and is entitled “Nisi sam (Your Light)”.
The second of the two former Yugoslav nations making a Junior Eurovision Song Contest début in Malta, Montenegro have selected 14 year old Maša Vujadinović and 12 year old Lejla Vulić as their representatives. Selected internally, their song is “Budi dijete na jedan dan” and will be sang in both Montenegrin and English, the first time that Montenegrin will be performed at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. This is technically the second Montenegrin representative at the contest, as the 2005 artist representing Serbia and Montenegro, Filip Vučić, was Montenegrin.
The third country making their début this year at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest is Italy. Having previously sent Italian nationals to represent San Marino, it is not the first time an Italian will have taken part in the competition. Vincenzo Cantiello is the only male singer in this year’s competition, as well as being the first Italian representative. The 14 year old will sing his self-written “Tu primo grande amore” in both Italian and English, having been internally selected. We asked Vincenzo in Malta what it was like to be the only male participant here!
The Caucasus nation is another very successful Junior Eurovision Song Contest participant with four Top 3 finishes in seven participations. 11 year old Betty was selected from a televised show using both a jury and televoting. Her bilingual, Armenian and English, entry “People of the Sun” was selected as the winner with a strong jury result giving her the win.
Another successful nation in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest with five consecutive Top 5 finishes and a victory back in 2006, Russia internally selected 12 year old Alisa Kozhikina to sing the song “Dreamer” in both Russian and English.
The Balkan nation is the third Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2014 participant which didn’t send an entry to Copenhagen in May. Using an internal selection, 14 year old Emilija Đonin was selected to represent the country with the song “Svet u mojim očima”, performed entirely in Serbian. This is their first participation since 2010 and the country has three Top 5 results from five participations.
For the second year in a row, the little Mediterranean island nation of Malta have selected their entry internally. Why change what’s not broken? Last year’s victory by Gaia Cauchi has brought the contest home to a very proud Malta. 11 year old Federica Falzon will perform “Diamonds” in English, hoping to add to the nation’s previous two Top 5 finishes. We spoke to the home representative about her performance here.
16. The Netherlands
As usual, the Benelux nation used Junior Songfestival during which 14 year old Julia was selected to represent The Netherands with “Around”, performed in a combination of both Dutch and English. The Dutch have scored five consecutive top ten results, with Ralf Mackenbach’s victory in 2009 as their highlight, and has never finished lower than thirteenth, a statistic that Julia will hope to continue.
Each nation will give points to their favourites, 12 to the song they liked the most, 10 to the second, 8 to the third, 7 the fourth and so on until 1 point is designated to the tenth. The votes are combined by jury and televote in most countries. Other countries, such as Slovenia, who will air the contest on a one hour delay, and San Marino, who do not have a separate telephone line to Italy and are therefore unable to conduct a telephone vote. These votes will be joined by a special Kids Jury vote during the show. During last night’s Jury Final, 80 jurors from the 16 countries watched the show to make their choices. In addition, there was one child juror for each participating country to form the Kids Jury. The online vote allows you to select your favourite with the top scoring entry awarded a prize after the show.
In the past few weeks, several favourites have emerged among the field of sixteen. Currently, the hot favourites to win are Malta. Their young mezzo-soprano Federica Falzon has shown impeccable vocal skills during the rehearsals and with a late running order (#15), they might be in with a shot to do the double.
Another favourite is Russia. The country has never done worse than nineth and is looking for their second victory this year with Alisa Kozhikina. The winner of The Voice Kids in Russia has come up with a big ballad, fitting the style of the past two winners of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.
The contest isn’t as clear as in past years, with several other countries being right behind to take the victory home. One of them is Bulgaria, who may have a disadvantage due to their early position in the running order (#2). Other countries who always manage to do well may be in with a shot as well: Armenia and Georgia. Overall, the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2014 doesn’t yet have a clear favourite, so we’re bound to see a set of interesting results tonight.
How to watch the show:
You can watch the show on any of the participating broadcasters in the competition as well as on the junioreurovision.tv website, with online commentary led by Luke Fisher, the Web Editor of the official website, alongside Maltese former Junior Eurovision participant Daniel Testa, who came 4th place in 2008 with “Junior Swing”. The show is also being broadcast on radio in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Singapore, New Zealand and the USA, as well as televised on a time-delay in Australia.
Here’s our footage from the first dress rehearsal, giving you a quick preview of what to expect from tonight’s big show: