Counting down to JESC: Hasselt 2005

I want to start this post with a) an apology for its lateness, and b) a brief mention of what could very well be the best thing about the upcoming Junior contest. The 2012 logo was released last week and looks a little something like this:


Actually, it looks exactly like that, because that is it. Anyway, it wasn’t a shocking revelation, with this year’s motto being ‘break the ice’ and all, but as it could have been on a par with the 2012 Olympics logo (i.e. what the #!&%?) it was a pleasant one. In my opinion, it’s very cool, pun 110% intended.

Moving on, and it’s time to look back at the 3rd JESC – the only contest  to have been held in Belgium in my lifetime (what are the chances that will change in 2014?). For some reason, this edition is the one I’m least familiar with. I can’t tell you how many hours I had to spend on Youtube refreshing my memory (oh, the torture!) but I can tell you that I’ve finally managed to put together a recap for your enjoyment, fingers crossed.

And here it is…



The stats

Edition: 3rd

When: 26th November, 2005

Where: Ethias Arena, Hasselt, Belgium

Motto: ‘Let’s get loud’

Hosts: Maureen Louys & Marcel Vanthilt

Broadcaster: RTBF, VRT

Entries: 16

Debutants: 2 – Russia, Serbia & Montenegro

Returnees: 0

Withdrawals: 4 – Cyprus, France, Poland, Switzerland  

Interval acts: Cirque du Soleil, and María Isabel with Antes Muerta Que Sencilla and Pues Va A Ser Que No

First place: Belarus

Last place: Malta

Most douze points: 4 – Spain


The entries

Greece/ Tora Einai I Seira Mas by Alexandros & Kalli

Denmark/ Shake Shake Shake by Nicolai

Croatia/ Rock Baby by Lorena Jelusić

Romania/ Țurai! by Alina Eremia

United Kingdom/ How Does It Feel? by Joni Fuller

Sweden/ Gränslös Kärlek by M+

Russia/ Doroga K Solntsu by Vladislav Krutskikh

Macedonia/ Rodendeski Baknež by Denis Dimoski

Netherlands/ Stupid by Tess

Serbia & Montenegro/ Ljubav Pa Fudbal by Filip Vučić

Latvia/ Es Esmu Maza Jauka Meitene by Kids4Rock

Belgium/ Mes Rêves by Lindsay

Malta/ Make It Right! by Thea & Friends

Norway/ Sommer Og Skolefri by Malin

Spain/ Te Traigo Flores by Antonio José

Belarus/ My Vmeste by Ksenia Sitnik


The scoreboard

  1. Belarus – 149   


  1. Spain – 146
  2. Norway – 123
  3. Denmark – 121
  4. Romania – 89
  5. Greece – 88
  6. Netherlands – 82
  7. Macedonia – 68
  8. Russia – 66
  9. Belgium – 63
  10. Latvia – 50
  11. Croatia – 36
  12. Serbia & Montenegro – 29
  13. United Kingdom – 28
  14. Sweden – 22
  15. Malta – 18


My top 5… 

(Please forgive the lack of actual fives in some areas, for the third time.)


Spain – once upon a time, Spain did Eurovision in a certain way and it never failed them. Think David Civera, Rosa, Beth, Ramon…and Antonio José. Ethnic and epic.

Belarus – it’s cute, it’s catchy, it’s about togetherness and stuff…what more could you want in a JESC entry? Or in an advertising jingle for summer camp, come to think of it. For me, this is the best of the Belarussian winners.

Norway – this one’s very kiddish, but I still love it. There’s more cuteness and catchiness, but this time it’s concerning school holidays, and that’s a topic I can get behind even though school is a thing of the past (woohoo!).

Netherlands – Dutch JESC ballads kick butt in my opinion. In fact, most of their Junior entries get douze from moi, whilst their big Eurovision efforts leave a lot to be desired.

Romania/Belgium/Macedonia – I can’t split them! I love the energy of Romania, the happiness of Belgium, and pretty much everything about Macedonia.


Spain – the lesson here must be great song + great singer = musical contest success. It’s a shame Spain don’t follow that formula more often in the ESC.

Greece – this goes more to Kalli than the David Schwimmer-esque Alexandros. But there’s a weak link in every duo, isn’t there? Just ask Ell and Nikki.

Romania – her song seemed to be 10% singing, 90% exuberant shouts of ‘HEY!’, but Alina made it work. She’s an even better vocalist nowadays, but no longer sports those braids (to my knowledge).  

Croatia – Lorena obviously failed to live up to the standard her brother set for her re: The Scoreboard, but it’s clear that vocal talent runs in her family.

Netherlands – there was nothing Stupid about Tess in the tune-belting department.


Romania – the combo of red and white is always (well, almost always) a winner. Put it together with traditional elements and some gravity defying, forehead-tightening braids, and voila – perfection.

Belgium – happy and bright…kind of like Lindsay’s song, which makes sense. A special thumbs up goes to the coordinated backup dancers.

Netherlands – this is how you do casual without resorting to sportswear.

Greece – again, it’s mainly Kalli who gets the accolades, this time for Best Cut-Out Garment and Most Impressive Hybrid of Straight ‘n’ Curly in a Hairdo. Congrats.

Norway – all I need to say is ‘aww!’

Clockwise from left: Alina, Lindsay, Tess, Malin, and Kalli & Alexandros


My bottom 5…


Sweden – it’s just so noisy! To me the chorus sounds like two girls who are trying to sing karaoke in their living room, but their mother keeps drowning them out because she’s in the kitchen throwing her pot-and-pan collection at the wall.

Latvia – yawn.

Malta – the lyrics are really what bug me here. At least when you don’t understand most of the languages that are being performed in, you can’t tell how clichéd the words are.

Denmark – yeah, it came 4th. Yeah, that means most people liked it. No, that doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to find it too staccato.

UK – sometimes, good voices can make bad songs sound better. Other times that can be reversed, with disastrous results.


UK – with Joni, it’s not so much a case of ‘she can NOT sing to save her life!’ as ‘what the heck is she doing with that voice of hers?’

Norway – I love Malin and her JESC entry, and when she performed in the Norwegian national final this year it was clear her voice had matured. But back in ’05, she was very nasally.

Belarus – ditto, apart from the whole Norwegian NF thing.


Croatia – I may have worn something similar when I was a kid, but I recognise the hideousness of it now.

Belarus – visor hat. Tutu. Legwarmers and giant shoes. Where could it go wrong?

Spain – a song as awesome as Antonio’s deserves a more dramatic, less sloppy outfit.

L-R: Lorena, Ksenia and Antonio


How did you like Hasselt? Comment me your personal highlights and lowlights!


19 Responses to “Counting down to JESC: Hasselt 2005”

  1. Dara

    Joni Fuller actually has a really good voice now 😛
    And yay for liking Belgium’s costume!
    Lmao so true at Sweden.


    • Jaz

      Yeah, I think she does! It wasn’t so much her voice back then that bothered me, just her enunciation, or just the way she sang. ‘How does it feeeyawl??’ And she kept doing weird stuff with her hands too.


  2. Annika

    Lol at the Croatia outfit comment. Same for me actually xD Totally agree with your bottom 5! Except maybe for UK, I like it in studio 😛

    My top 6:
    1. (FYR) Macedonia: amazing music and amazing voice
    2. Spain (my favorite Spanish jesc entry)
    3. Romania: same, love the energy and the costumes and the music
    4. Belgium: my best friend got interested in eurovision because of this song xD So I can’t help but loving it.
    5. Norway: what you said…
    6. Greece: I was listening to it earlier while studying for my Greek midterm and realized that I like it now.
    I agree with you on Ksenya being the better Belarusian winner, but I still don’t like her song…and idk I just don’t seem to be able to appreciaty over squeaky voices.
    2005 used to be my favorite year before 2007 (which is my overall favorite). It was also the year I started following national finals, so I guess it is some sort of special year for me.

    Btw: I don’t like the 2012 logo. Or more like I don’t like that shade of pink and that shade of blue…yeah we talked about this before, but I’m not over it yet 😛


    • Jaz

      I wasn’t sure how people felt about Macedonia so it’s good to hear you love it. I think it deserved a better placing. Poor Macedonia often deserved a better placing =[

      I’ve had the chorus of Greece stcuk in my head for a week now. I think it gets better with age.

      The squeaky voices (which seemed to be more common when the age range was 8-15) are so annoying! I feel like you can’t tell sometimes if a kid can actually sing or they’re just yelling. My most hated is Serbia 2009. I have come to the conclusion that their lead singer can’t actually sing since she was thirteen then…but maybe I’m wrong.

      I’m on Team Lovethelogo, but you have a better eye for that stuff than me!


      • Annika

        Oh glad you agree on squeaky voices! My “most hated” are Belarus 2005 and Belarus 2006 xD I didn’t mind Serbia 2009 that much tbh.

        I’m laughing so hard at the 2008 “initial logo” discussion. I remember that I started blogging right after it was presented, and one of my favorite bloggers back then wrote this super long post bashing the logo and it was so funny. So yeah, it’s an ugly logo that bring back good memories xD


        • Jaz

          It seems like Belarus have grown out of sending squeaky voices. Actually, there are generally less now than there used to be. I guess that has something to do with the age limit change.

          At least something good came out of that revolting logo!


  3. nprovenghi271

    I just watched the whole contest (aside from the voting. I didn’t have an extra hour) and, while most of the stuff was pretty good, it was almost all forgettable! I can only really remember Greece (best Eurovision entry of any kind from that country since they won the big event), Norway and Belarus. I can (sadly) also remember Denmark, which, especially compared to Greece, came off as really puerile and childish, even for JESC. However, the organization was excellent. I loved the stage, hosts postcards, everything! I so hope that Belgium wins in 2013, so they can host the main event next.

    Also, will you be ranking this year’s songs? I know that, for me, there’s a huge schism in quality between about half on the songs and at this point, I think that Russia will take it in a landslide. You?


    • nprovenghi271

      By the way, calling the logo the best part about this year’s contest is quite a low blow, unless you think that all of the entries this year really, and I mean really, suck. And also, am I the only person who liked the design identity of the Olympics? The 2012 might’ve been weird but I liked all of the lines and such.


      • Jaz

        I hope I didn’t sound like a bitch saying that!! At that point I was worried about the standard of this year’s entries, and I still think it’s a weak year in comparison to most of the others, but I don’t think they suck at all (apart from one or two…or three). I just really like the logo, I swear.
        I think the London logo divided people, so you wouldn’t be the only fan. I did get used to it more by the end of the fortnight, but it’s just too…higgledy piggledy for my taste.


      • nprovenghi271

        Oh no, you didn’t! It was just me criticising the logo. I think that they were trying for something cool, but they missed. Anyway, whIch three entries are those? For me, there are about five or six subpar entries and seven or six really good ones. Also, what is higgedly piggedly? Australian slang?


      • nprovenghi271

        Oh GROSS! That looks awful. It’s a good thing that they didn’t actually use that, even if the paint they actually used ended up looking a little childish at the end. On the positive, what’s your favorite logo as of late? I know mine is probably Oslo 2010.

        Hm, it’s funny that you really like all but one of the songs, which is what happened to me with the big contest. Junior Albania for you, big Greece for me. As for me, I really don’t like Albania or Armenia, although at least the latter has some personality. I also couldn’t care less about Moldova, Azerbaijan, Belarus and (some days) Belgium.


        • Jaz

          Gross…hahaha! That about sums it up. There was about five different versions and they were all just as appauling. Thankfully Serbia got their act together. I really liked the paint, and the postcards that went with it, and the whole concept of the two rivers meeting…awesome. My favourites of late would have to be Helsinki ’07 (I pretty much loved everything about that year, but the kaleidoscopic thing they had going on with the graphics was great) and Moscow ’09 (I love the colours and just the general look). Hmm, I feel a top 10 list coming on with this!

          People are going to hate me for this, but I’m liking Armenia more and more! I can’t explain it either. I think Azerbaijan, Belarus and Moldova are a bit pedestrian in comparison to some of the others, but I don’t hate them by any stretch of the imagination. Moldova just sounds so much like the theme to an 80s sitcom I can’t take it seriously. And the backing singer in the preview video has to be the worst backing singer I’ve ever heard! I hope Denis doesn’t bring her to Amsterdam…


    • Jaz

      The Greek entry is actually better than I used to think it was. I mean, I think it is now! But I also loved their entry from 2008, even if Nikki looked a bit like she had a better place to be. Nerves, perhaps.
      Whether it’s Belgium or not, I’d LOVE to see a down-on-their-luck country finally pick the right entry and win next year! It could be the Netherlands, but I think people are getting a bit ahead of themselves in predicting Anouk to win not having heard her song. But yeah, seeing how Belgium would handle big Eurovision nearly a decade afterhosting Junior quite successfully would be very interesting.

      I’m not sure if I’ll do a separate ranking of the 2012 songs, but when I do my reviews in November I’ll be giving them points, so you’ll see what I like and what I don’t! I agree with you, I think there are clearly good songs and clearly bad songs, at this point (although a few of the bad may fall into MY good category). But I’m trying not to judge too early. Last year I decided I hated Latvia on my first listen, and now it’s one of my favourites of the year.

      Russia’s definitely up there, but I have a sneaky feeling Georgia could win again. A few others could take it if things go right. I am crap at predicting JESC!!


      • nprovenghi271

        I’d love a small country to host it! Belgium would work. Maybe Switzerland (based on what they’ve released so far, that’s a long shot), the aforementioned Netherlands or even Iceland (!).

        Well, if you post something, you can bet that’ll I’ll have an opinion, even if it’s in disagreement. I have a sneaky feeling, though, that we’ll have a bit of common ground. That could happen this year with some of those songs.

        Russia should certainly be in the mix, as well as the Netherlands (like always). My dark horse is Israel. The YouTubers seem to really like it and I think that it’s pretty good. Also, if they won, they’d be only the fourth country to win a Eurovision contest on its first try (second if you exclude Switzerland ’56 and Croatia ’03 for JESC) which would be exciting.


        • Jaz

          Oh my gosh, I want an Icelandic Eurovision so bad!! It has to happen in my lifetime.

          Poor Switzerland. They get so many songs sent in from all their broadcasters, and yet they still manage to pick 90% meh stuff…ugh. I find it hard to believe they are picking the best of what they get. I know it’s good to be diverse, but if someone’s idea of quality is a rap song featuring Lys Assia, they need their head checked. Apparently Magdalena Tul has submitted a song, which is interesting.

          It would be good for the Netherlands to win something, especially on home soil. But I just can’t warm to that song, possibly because there were two others in the NF that I much preferred – the ones from Mainstreet and Sterre. And I’m so over titles like ‘Tik Tak Tik’. Click clack, boom boom, blah blah blah!

          I was wondering about Israel. They could do it. I just hope they are as good live as they sound in studio. I’m already worried for Belgium on that front, because I LOVE that song, but Fabian is like the Dalita of 2012. Hopefully he can make like her and pull off a reasonable vocal when it comes to the night.


      • nprovenghi271

        It will! They’ve sent too much good stuff in the past to be passed up.

        I guess that we could the judges who picked the Swiss finalists that their idea of quality is “All in your head.”

        I listened to both of them and I liked Mainstreet more. Sterre’s live was way too high for my taste, although I can see why you liked it (it wasn’t the Daz Simpson-like deskwork, was it?). However, Mainstreet was a tad flat in some places. Also, the way the song was structured made it feel like they couldn’t choose between Dutch and English. That really got on my nerves. I feel like I have to Femke some credit for her choreography, because I know that I’d never be able to sing and spin on a merry-go-round like that.

        I kind of want Israel to do it! Although I’d feel a little bad for Lerika, just like Katya from last year. Oh well, it’s not like Russia has any right to complain. They have all their friends there, not to mention a silver medal at the big event!


        • Jaz

          No, it wasn’t the Daz Sampson deskwork! Although I’m not averse to a little bit of that, as creepy as it is to see a middle-aged guy dancing around a school setup with a bunch of girls in uniform. With a song like that, you have to be cheesy and literal.

          I do agree with you on Mainstreet, re: the language switches. I think a final burst in English is effective in many cases, but you have to be clever when you’re mixing. I still would have much rathered them to win the NF. Femke’s song reminds me a lot of Marissa’s from 2008, which didn’t go anywhere…but maybe the home soil thing will make a difference??

          I felt so bad for Katya, tying in 2009 and then again last year! I think Russia has a weaker field to contend with this time though, so Lerika may not be disappointed. She’s got one up on some of the others based purely on performance ability.



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