Earlier in this countdown series we talked about Gaia Cauchi. Now it’s time to check up on Vincenzo Cantiello, the JESC 2014 winner from Italy!
Marsa 2014: throwback
The twelfth edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest took place in Marsa, Malta. It had 16 participants, the highest number since the 2007 contest. Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Serbia all made a return to the contest this year. Three countries made their debut appearance in 2014, these were Italy, Montenegro and Slovenia. Unfortunately three countries: Azerbaijan, Moldova and North Macedonia decided to withdraw from the contest.
An online voting system had been planned to feature in JESC 2014. This would have allowed viewers from outside the participating countries to also cast their vote. The results of this vote was not going to make an impact in the official voting, but would have crowned a separate ‘online voting winner’. However, the official Junior Eurovision website crashed, making it impossible to crown an online voting winner. Online voting would later be introduced at the 2017 contest, this time playing a much bigger role in deciding the outcome of the contest.
The winner of the contest was Vincenzo Cantiello from Italy. It was the first ever appearance from Italy at JESC, and also the first victory from a debuting nation (not counting Croatia in the inaugural 2003 contest). But what is Vincenzo’s story? How did he get to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest?
Tu primo grande amore
Vincenzo was born on the 25th of August 2000 in Sant’Arpino, Italy. Always having a keen interest in music, he sang in a church choir before starting singing solo at the age of nine. In 2014, Vincenzo participated in the seventh edition of Italian talent show ‘Ti lascio una canzone’. He reached the final of the show, won by Federica Falzon who would also go on to participate at JESC 2014 representing Malta.
Italian broadcaster announced Vincenzo Cantiello as their representative in September 2014. The chosen song, ‘Tu primo grande amore’, released one month later. Vincenzo was notably the only male contestant in the Junior Eurovision that year. After a powerful performance of his song, Vincenzo managed to win the entire contest with a total of 159 points. Italy won the jury vote and came 3rd in the public vote.
Life after the Junior Eurovision
Vincenzo made his homecoming back to Italy on Sunday afternoon, where he and the Italian delegation arrived to many smiling faces. A big party had also been organised by both by his family at home and his school. Vincenzo made many television appearances, including both the final of the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest and the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.
What is Vincenzo up to now?
In 2016 Vincenzo released an album entitled ‘Never Too Much’, which had success after promotion at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest that year. He released a single titled ‘Cosa Diventerai’ in 2019. The music video was shot in Milan.