We are currently about 11 weeks away from the 17th Junior Eurovision Song Contest. This year we are going to Poland for the first time, to Gliwice-Silesia. To count down to 24 November we go back in time. Spread over 16 articles we will look back at all previous JESC-editions. Who remembers the very first edition back in 2003?
Quick things to know
- Date: 15 November
- Venue: Forum Copenhagen
- Host broadcaster: DR
- Presenters: Camilla Ottesen & Remee
- Number of entries: 16
Junior Eurovision 2003 was the first Eurovision contest to be broadcast in the 16:9 widescreen format. It was also the first Eurovision Song Contest to be released on DVD. Compared to the adult Eurovision, the winning country does not have to organize the next edition.
Denmark already had great experiences in hosting contests and the MGP-Nordic. As a result, the EBU chose them to host the 2003 Junior Eurovision-edition.
The EBU invited 16 countries to debut at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2003. A draw was organized to select 15 countries. Further, countries like Slovakia, Germany and Finland also showed interest to participate, but ended up only broadcasting the show.
The full list of the participating countries:
- Greece: Nicolas Ganopoulos – Fili Gia Panta
- Croatia: Dino Jelusic – Ti Si Moja Prva Ljubav
- Cyprus: Theodora Rafti – Mia Efhi
- Belarus: Volha Satsiuk – Tantsuy
- Latvia: Dzintars Cica – Tu Esi Vasara
- North Macedonia: Marija & Viktorija – Ti Ne Me Poznavaš
- Poland: Katarzyna Zurawik – Coś Mnie Nosi
- Norway: 2U – Sinnsykt gal forelsket
- Spain: Sergio – Desde El Cielo
- Romania: Bubu – Tobele sunt viața mea
- Belgium: X!NK – De Vriendschapsband
- United Kingdom: Tom Morley – My Song For The World
- Denmark: Anne Gadegaard – Arabiens drøm
- Sweden: The Honeypies – Stoppa Mig
- Malta: Sarah Harrison – Like A Star
- The Netherlands: Roel – Mijn Ogen Zeggen Alles
On 3 October 2003, EBU set the running order for the festival on, announcing that Greece would open the show and that the Netherlands would close.
EBU provided two interval acts. Firstly, the British group Busted performed. Charlie Simpson fell ill, therefore he didn’t join the band on stage in Copenhagen. Later that evening, Charlie announced on the radio that the disease was a lie. However, the real reason why he blew off the interval act was because he hated Eurovision. Thereafter, the second interval act of that evening was another one coming from the United Kingdom, The Sugababes. They performed their song “Hole In The Head.”
- 3. United Kingdom: Tom Morley – My Song For The World
- 2. Spain: Sergio – Desde El Cielo
- 1. Croatia: Dino Jelusic – Ti Si Moja Prva Ljubav
Dino Jelusic wins the first Junior Eurovision Song Contest!
And that marks the very first victory of Croatia on a Eurovision event. Then, it was time for the exciting voting, which included 100% televoting. The way points are awarded during the Junior Eurovision is the same as with the adult version. Each participating country gives points from 1 to 12 (without 9 and 11). After the last country had given its points, it became clear that Croatia had won. With a total of 134 points, Dino was the very first Junior Eurovision winner. He received the big 12 points from three countries, namely North Macedonia, Norway and Romania.
Some fun facts
- All children were between 8 and 15 years old. Besides, they also wrote the song themselves. Professional artists were not allowed to participate.
- Croatia’s victory was the first ever at an Eurovision event.
- Theodora Rafti from Cyprus had the honor to receive the very first twelve points of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.
- The Maltese representative, Sarah Harrison, starred in three Harry Potter films. She was part of the school children.
- The host country Denmark achieved a fifth place with 93 points.
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