Happy Junior Eurovision Eve everyone. It’s almost time for the 13th Junior Eurovision Song Contest, coming live from Sofia tomorrow night at 19:30 CET. We’ve got 3 more songs to listen to here at escXtra, before we tot up the scores and see if any of them have managed to shift Slovenia from the top of the leader board.
The final three songs are from twice hosts The Netherlands, twice winners Belarus, and the host country for this year’s contest, Bulgaria.
BULGARIA: Gabriela Yordanova & Ivan Stoyanov – Colour of Hope
Liam: I never thought I would see a duet more awkward than that of Anita Simoncini and Michele Perniola, but I suppose this is why you never say never. I’m currently listening to this song and I’ve already forgotten how it goes. 1/10.
Yassia: The host country will be represented by Gabriela Yordanova supported on stage by Ivan Stoyanov. Both Gabriela and Ivan are 12 years old. The name of the song we all are going to hear on 21 November is Colour of Hope. It’s a ballad. Children from Bulgaria are dreaming “to give the world back its smile”. They want “to cover with a rainbow each tired street, each house and each wall”. Gabriela and Ivan think each one of us can help them to do it. The song will be performed in Bulgarian. 8/10
Peter: Bulgaria are going into this contest with something to prove. OK they’re hosting, but not as reigning champions and after coming so close last year, you’d think it’d be nice for them to go the extra mile. Unfortunately the extra mile is what is lacking in this song. I can hear the attempt at an anthemic chorus and big finish, but it stops short of being as big as it thinks it is. It sounds like one of Zeljko Joksimovic’s weaker compositions he gave up on halfway through. 4/10.
THE NETHERLANDS: Shalisa – Million Lights
Nick: This song suffers from the Dutch disease. It seems we detest our language so much that we decide to make maximum use of the free language rule. In JESC, that means 25% of the song can be in English and you can be sure that it’s exactly 25% in this entry. It’s a piano number, some R&B influences. It’s a safe pick. It’s a choice that won’t do incredibly much on that scoreboard, but it’s pleasant enough. Shalisa seems to be a decent performer, but I can’t see them coming up with much more than her at a piano with candles and a dancing couple. 6.5/10.
Brent: A prime example of the varying degrees of vocal maturity within the competition. Shalisa has such a beautiful voice that you’d scarcely believe it was coming from a 15 year old! The song is another mixed language treasure and has a completely beautiful message, this is a song for anyone with loved ones in other parts of the world, the sky is the same for all of us! 7/10.
Nathan: Well, this isn’t half dull, is it? It’s also very grown up. You could see this being an eliminated semi-finalist at actual Eurovision. In fact, are we sure it isn’t a Eurovision reject for Holland in previous years? Someone ask. Either way, this isn’t pulling up trees. It’s certainly not going to trouble the top end of the scoreboard. 4/10.
BELARUS: Ruslan Aslanov – Volshebstvo (Magic)
Peter: Wow, this is a little bit epic! Ruslan is cut from the same cloth as last year’s winner Vincenzo in that he’s a young lad with a massive voice, and rather fond of the arm movements. The song however is a cut above Primo Amore – it feels authentic in that it’s suited perfectly to his young voice but could easily fit into the adult contest. The graphics look a bit primative in the national final performance but I’m sure they’ll be refined on the night itself, and is that real rain? Take that Ruth Lorenzo! Very atmospheric, he sings the life out of it, and I think this is the one to beat. 9/10.
Nathan: This really isn’t my cup of tea at all in terms of composition and genre but Ruslan has what must be considered the strongest vocal of the contestants this year. The long note before the first chorus really is a triumph as well as those in the middle of the chorus too. Give the lad a medal and let’s see what he could bring to an actual Eurovision entry in a few years time. 6/10.
Liam: This is something I have never understood. How does Belarus manage to have such amazingly polished Junior Eurovision entries while still fumbling around in the dark at adult Eurovision? If only Ruslan was a few years older you could have sent that exact song with that exact staging to Eurovision and it would have killed it. Belarus needs to listen to their kids because this is amazing and I can see this being the winner. 10/10.
The story so far…
There we have it! All 17 songs reviewed. Ruslan from Belarus puts in a very respectable showing from our jurors at the last minute, but it’s not enough to unseat the current leaders. Here are the final scores from the escXtra jury, with the maximum possible score being 30 points:
- SLOVENIA – 28.5 pts
- AUSTRALIA – 27 pts
- BELARUS – 25 pts
- ALBANIA – 24.5 pts
- ARMENIA – 24 pts
- IRELAND – 23 pts
- UKRAINE – 21.5 pts
- SERBIA – 21 pts
- MALTA – 20 pts
- GEORGIA – 20 pts
- ITALY – 19.5 pts
- THE NETHERLANDS – 17.5 pts
- MONTENEGRO – 17 pts
- SAN MARINO – 17 pts
- RUSSIA – 15 pts
- BULGARIA – 13 pts
- FYR MACEDONIA – 12 pts