Saturday, November 21, 2015


The 13th Junior Eurovision song contest will take place tonight in Sofia, Bulgaria, as last year's runner up as Italy turned down to host the show. All of 17 countries are taking part, the highest number since the second edition in 2004 with 18. In 2012-2013 the number had dropped to 12 and the whole contest was becoming a minor joke. New people in charge have made a miracle and in the recent days there have been talks of the Baltic states and France maybe joining in next year.... We will see!
It's no secret this blogger has never warmed up to this, and thus also this year I'm having a look what's in offer just when the rehearsals are already on and the final nearly here. I won't even see the final live as I will be doing something else but may catch up watching the show later on ....
However I was quite surprised as the songs this year aren't that bad when heard for the first time. I still have the problem to whom this contest is aimed: kids singing for kids or kids pretending to be adults? As the Nordic MGP for kids is clearly aimed for kids, singing childish songs and being somewhat younger this Jesc borders with some weird stuff; some songs and singers could easily do the real thing - after all if you are 15 looking like an adult why are you here? Wait one year and try the main thing! But I try to ignore all that and have my say on the songs. And yes, one song shines high above the others, but then... it could/should be that country's Eurovision 2016 entry instead and would do well there..

1. Serbia - Lena Stamenković (11) - Lenina pesma ****
Nice song and voice, but nothing child like here. This could be Serbia's entry in the real thing if sung by someone five years older.... But very good and one of my clear favorites here.
2. Georgia - The Virus (11-12) - Gabede *
I don't find any excuse but Eurovision to listen this sort of song for more than once..... I would say the same if this was performed by some teenagers in the real thing. 
3. Slovenia - Lina Kuduzović (12) - Prva ljubezen *****
This is actually very good! But then it's written by Maraaya. This could also very well do the adult version if sung by someone a bit older. Or even by her if the rules allowed.  My absolute favorite! This is a song I would listen outside Eurovision and propably will...
4. Italy - Chiara & Martina (15) - Viva ***
Italian twins sing a song by Gigi D'Alessio. Simple and catchy, a bit shouty and totally unoriginal I'm afraid. Sounds more like an opening tune to some variety show and one minute would be enough....
5. Netherlands - Shalisa (15) - Million lights ***
Nice and forgettable. Also this could be straight from the adult one. 
Nothing childish about it in any way...
6. Australia - Bella Page (14) - My girls ***
A song by Delta Goodrem. Originally written for an adult. The idea with Jesc and Esc becomes very confusing here. Like I wrote before I guess that's my main issue with Jesc, I don't get who it is aimed for; for the kids or us? I'd prefer kids singing childlike songs for kids instead of imitating adults even in their stage acts and if I heard this one on radio there's absolutely nothing to makes me think of Jesc or kids...
7. Ireland - Aimee Banks (13) - Réalta na Mara **
First of all it's wonderful to hear Irish again! Then again soprano? Is this Talent Kid Europe? Or a fun song contest for kids? I'm gettting more confused with the concept and how I should judge these...
8. Russia - Mikhail Smirnov (12)  - Mechta ***
At least with guys you know they are kids as their voice hasn't broken yet. 
Forgettable and predictabe song but then it could come alive on stage.....
9. Macedonia - Ivana Petkovska (13) & Magdalena Aleksovska (13)  - Pietenka *
Yawn..... This is childish yes, but in a wrong way and might work if the singers were 10 years old....
10. Belarus - Ruslan Aslanov (13) - Volshebstvo ***
Good voice and pretty song, a bit overblown production. Could be from the adult one, too
11. Armenia - Mika (12) - Love **
Irritating in every way...... Feels very calculated but I guess people will buy this and it will end up high on the scoreboard.
12. Ukraine - Anna Trincher (14)  - Pochny z sebe **
What's kidlike in her and this song? The washed up face instead of make up (in this preview video)? The performance standing still instead of moving hips? I'm getting annoyed.... way too adult in every way. Also the song itself feels pretty unfinished and bland.
13. Bulgaria - Gabriela Yordanova (13) & Ivan Stoyanov - Color of hope *
A standard ageless Eurovision song...... in good and in bad especially.
14. San Marino - Kamila Ismailova (11) - Mirror ****
This is the moment I put my love for San Marino on hold for various reason even if I fully understand the reasons... . Her Italian sounds like a sheep in heat but when she sings in English it's ok. (Ed.note: On the other hand the song is insanely catchy, this is the one I had playing in my head when I tried to go to sleep after reviewing this). San Marino is heading for their best result no doubt, effective staging, but then again.... not very Junior, is it?
15. Malta - Destiny Chukunyere (13) - Not my soul ***
Malta is an endless source for great voices. But then again what's there for Jesc worthy? 
Her age.... nothing else. 
16. Albania - Mishela Rapo - Dambaje ****
Nice song, well sung. Comes and goes.... but there's something very sweet about it. Feels a lot more honest than most of the others. Thumbs up for that.
17. Montenegro - Jana Mirković (15) - Oluja ***
Ok, this last one underlines all that's wrong with Jesc..... I want more of THIS ->
So, my votes go to Slovenia,, Serbia, San Marino and Albania. Good songs and good voices but then .... not very Jesc. None of the songs this year is very much aimed for kids.... sadly so.

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