Counting down to JESC: Copenhagen 2003

There are just under nine weeks until Junior Eurovision 2012 (!!!) and for as many ESC fans that don’t give a backup dancer’s sequined hotpants about that, there are those a la moi who can’t wait (and also wish the majority of countries who haven’t picked their entries yet would get a move on, so they can like, write reviews and stuff).

That’s an assumption, obviously, not a scientific fact published in Random Musings of Song Contest Maniacs Monthly. My point is that if you aren’t a JESC lover, that’s okay –but you should probably step away from your internet-enabled device for now and come back later when my focus is big Eurovision. For those who do enjoy it, I have some great (some would say) things lined up for you over the next few months, starting right now with the first installment of a special countdown.

When Junior began I was twelve, and as a result of that, and the fact that I didn’t even know what ‘ESC’ stood for at that point, the details can be a little fuzzy when I look back on it. So to remind myself as well as you guys of the inaugural edition as we approach the 10th, here’s a recap of what went down…and my thoughts on the best and worst in show. 




The stats

Edition: 1st

When: 15th November, 2003

Where: The Forum Copenhagen, Denmark

Hosts: Camilla Ottesen & Remee

Broadcaster: DR

Entries: 16

Debutants: 16

Returnees: N/A

Withdrawals: 0

Interval act/s: Sugababes with Hole In The Head and Busted with Crashed The Wedding

First place: Croatia

Last place: Poland

Most douze points: 3 – Croatia, United Kingdom


The entries

Greece/ Fili Gia Panta by Nicolas Ganopoulos

Croatia/ Ti Si Moja Prva Ljubav by Dino Jelusić

Cyprus/ Mia Efhi by Theodora Rafti

Belarus/ Tantsui by Volha Satsuk

Latvia/ Tu Esi Vasarā by Dzintars Čīča

Macedonia/ Ti Ne Me Poznavaš by Marija & Viktorija

Poland/ Coś Mnie Nosi by Kasia Żurawik

Norway/ Sinnsykt Gal Forelsket by 2U

Spain/ Desde El Cielo by Sergio

Romania/ Tobele Sunt Viaţa Mea by BUBU

Belgium/ De Vriendschapsband by X!NK

United Kingdom/ My Song For The World by Tom Morley

Denmark/ Arabiens Drøm by Anne Gadegaard

Sweden/ Stoppa Mig by The Honeypies

Malta/ Like A Star by Sarah Harrison

Netherlands/ Mijn Ogen Zeggen Alles by Roel


The scoreboard

Dino celebrates his win by punching Remee in the face

  1. Croatia – 134
  2. Spain – 125
  3. United Kingdom – 118
  4. Belarus – 103
  5. Denmark – 93
  6. Belgium – 83
  7. Malta – 56
  8. Greece – 53
  9. Latvia – 37
  10. Romania – 35
  11. Netherlands – 23
  12. Macedonia – 19
  13. Norway – 18
  14. Cyprus – 16
  15. Sweden – 12
  16. Poland – 3


My top 5…

(Please excuse the lack of fives in some areas, where I just couldn’t muster up the numbers.)


Croatia you’ve got to love a slow piano intro that gives way to, well, something a lot less slow and piano-y, especially when that something is super catchy. I still can’t believe an eleven-year-old wrote this.

UK – It’s funny that in the same year they came dead last (and with zero points) in the ESC, the UK managed to come third in Junior. What was their secret? A kid who could sing, for starters, and his cracking message ballad. The chorus actually makes me tear up a little. You know, if I’m feeling vulnerable.

Denmark – a Middle Eastern-flavoured song is pretty much guaranteed to win me over, as the host country did in ’03. This has got to be one of my favourite JESC entries of all time, and not just because I can belly-dance to it without feeling (too) stupid.

Spain – I don’t think this ballad was quite as good as the UK’s, but there’s something magical and so-very-Spanish about it that gets me. Performed by someone old enough to operate a motor vehicle, it could have done well at the ESC too.  

Belgium – I used to dislike this, and I have no idea why. All I can say is shame on you, Jaz of the Past! X!NK remind me a bit of interval act Busted, who I may or may not have had a poster of on my wall ten years ago. They are purveyors of good, soft-punk-rock.


UK – no small child yelling into a mike, Tom could properly belt one out.

Croatia – Dino: can write, can sing. Can also pull off outlandish jackets with the best of them (a.k.a. Ralf Mackenbach).

Netherlands – Roel was a senior citizen compared to the rest of the participants, and his experience was reflected in his vocal ability.  

Spain – Sergio: the Spanish Tom Morley?

Macedonia – Marija and Viktorija are probably the most vocally proficient twins ever to take to a Eurovision stage. And they AREN’T EVEN TWINS!


L-R: Anne, Dino, Volha and Marija & Victorija

Denmark – pretty, age-appropriate outfits that were well suited to the song.

Croatia – as I said before, and as you’ll see as the countdowns continue, I am a huge fan of bright jackets.

Belarus – nice use of colour.

Macedonia – I applaud the epicness of the flared pants, if nothing else.


My bottom 5…


Sweden – these days Sweden is one of my favourite JESC countries. Let’s just say it took a few years for that to love to develop.

Romania – I don’t hate this song, I just find it a bit yell-y. If I have even the slightest headache, forget it.  

Malta – again, there’s nothing terribly wrong here. It’s just too bland and cliché for my taste.

Greece – one of the least appealing of a strong bunch. Don’t love it, don’t hate it.

Cyprus – sweet but boring. Like a cupcake without icing, or Buranovskiye Babushki without the little granny.


Norway – Sinnskyt Gal Forelsket = great song. 2U = not-so-great singers.

Greece – I think the Greek delegation confused the ‘s’ in JESC for ‘shouting’.

Romania – as I said, ‘yell-y’ is the key word here (despite it not actually being a word).


L-R: Nicolas, Sergio, Tom and Kasia

Greece – sponsored by a sportswear/tartan manufacturing company much?

Spain – a little bland.

UK – also a little bland.

Poland – a little baggy.


Enjoy the recap? What were your personal highs and lows of Copenhagen 2003?


4 Responses to “Counting down to JESC: Copenhagen 2003”

  1. Dara

    Spain is one of the worst jesc songs ever!

    I really love Tom but I disagree that he’s a good singer.


    • Jaz

      Noooooo! How can you say that!! Particularly the first thing!!!
      I can’t stop using exclamation marks!!!!


  2. Annika

    Hi Jaz! As i said before this is a brilliant idea, but being a hard die JESC fan I’m probably biased 😛

    I was 12 when JESc started too, but unlike you I knew by then what esc stood for…Good for me I guess 😛 And unlike you I loved the Swedish entry. I guess if I hear it for the first time right now I’d be like “meh childish” but back then 12 year old me thought it was fine.

    My absolute fave that year was Denmark (and it’s one of my all time faves too, and in case you’re wondering here’s a video with all my all time favest up to 2010 because I know you love my videos..not)

    My other faves were Belarus, Macedonia, Norway, Sweden, and Croatia.
    My least favorites were Greece, Romania, Poland and Latvia.

    12 year old me wasn’t very fond of ballads, but I’ve grown to like the Spanish entry. I actually like it better than the Uk one.
    As for outfits, I’m just not very good at judging those, so I’ll skip that part.

    Can’t wait to read the rest of your jesc season posts 😀


    • Jaz

      I’m glad you’re a die hard JESC fan, because I have this horrible feeling that I’m driving people away just by writing about it. And we haven’t even gotten to JESC month yet =”””'[ I don’t get how some ESC fans can hate Junior. It’s the same thing, just with smaller people!!

      I actually think the worst thing about the Swedish entry was that girl’s haircut (I’m sure I don’t have to sepcify which girl…). I guess, being about 15 or 16 when I heard the song for the first time it probably seemed too childish to appeal, whereas those from Croatia and Denmark were more grown-up. Not lyrically, obviously. But I didn’t know a word of Croatian or Danish back then so it doesn’t matter =P

      Yeah, Denmark brought it on home soil!! It never gets old, that song.

      I think I’ve watched your video before. And I liked it! There is nothing wrong with your videos!! I love watching ESC-themed compilations and rankings and whatnot.

      Belarus, Macedonia, Norway…all good. It’s unfortunate that 2U were so vocally eww. I don’t know if that’s worse than a bad song being performed by someone who can sing really well.

      Lillehammer 2004 is up now =D Hope you enjoy, my lone reader (as I am now calling you because I figure that’s the case…sob!)



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