Tbilisi 2017

Spain’s TVE reveals reasons for not participating in JESC

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) revealed there will be sixteen countries participating in Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2017, in Tbilisi, Georgia. Once again, Spain is not amongst the participants. In fact, the Iberian country has not entered the junior contest since the year 2006.
ESC+Plus contacted the Direction of Entertainment of Televisión Española (TVE) to find out the reasons why Spain does not participate at JESC. These are their reasons:

Repercussions on children

TVE claims that competing in JESC has a negative impact on the participating children. Are they right? It is hard to tell. Certainly, the voting sequence in the contest is nerve-breaking. According to Manel Navarro, Nathan Trent was very upset after receiving nil points from the public. Polina Gagarina cried when she was ‘booed” during the 2015 voting. Adult singers reportedly leave the green room after receiving a disappointing result. If the voting upsets adults, imagine the impact on children.
The EBU used to award twelve points to all the Junior Eurovision participants. But this practice was abandoned last year, and a new voting system will be in place for the 2017 contest.

Small number of participants

Another of the reasons for Spain’s absence is the small number of participating countries. Whereas Eurovision senior attracts more than 40 countries, the maximum number of countries that had ever participated in the Junior contest is 18.
This statement, however, is contradictory. Spain participated in the first four editions where the number of participants was between 15 and 18. Therefore, there might be even greater repercussions if you have 40+ participants battling for the title, instead of less than twenty. A smaller number of participants actually guarantees more points to the participating countries, and miserable results like 0 or just 5 points are more likely to be avoided.

Small viewing figures

The small number of viewers for Junior Eurovision is linked to the small number of participants. The largest participating country is Russia, and it is also the only one capable of providing more than 10 million viewers. Other large countries like Germany and the U.K. have also opted out of this contest. However, ESC+Plus claims that when the contest is on, Junior Eurovision becomes a trending topic in Spain. Thus, the contest could potentially attract millions of viewers.
In conclusion, it seems that the only way Spain will ever come back as a participant is if there is a major overhaul in the format of the contest. Or perhaps, if the rest of the ‘Big 5’ countries decide to compete.

Spain at Junior Eurovision

Spain was among the first participating countries, having debuted in the inaugural edition in 2003. They quickly became one of the most successful countries in the contest. The nation has won once (2004) and placed second twice (2003, 2005). In fact, their worst result is a 4th place, which they achieved on their last appearance in 2006.

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