At last, a Junior contest I can look back on knowing I was watching the year it took place!
Yes, 2006 was the year I discovered Eurovision, and I haven’t looked back since (which kind of contradicts what I just said about looking back, but you get my drift).
Being my first, I’ve always thought of this JESC as one of the best. The quality was high, the talent was impressive, and the theme music kicked butt.
Welcome to a Bucharest recap, put together by somebody who’s probably a little biased…
When: 2nd December, 2006
Where: Sala Polivalentă, Bucharest, Romania
Motto: ‘Let the music play’
Hosts: Andreea Marin Bănică & Ioana Ivan
Debutants: 3 – Portugal, Serbia, Ukraine
Returnees: 1 – Cyprus
Withdrawals: 5 – Denmark, Latvia, Norway, Serbia & Montenegro, United Kingdom
Interval acts: Ksenia Sitnik and a song and dance medley
First place: Russia
Last place: Macedonia
Most douze points: 7 – Russia
Portugal/ Deixa-Me Sentir by Pedro Madeira
Cyprus/ Agoria Koritsia by Luis Panagiotou & Christina Christofi
Netherlands/ Goed by Kimberley
Romania/ Povestea Mea by New Star Music
Ukraine/ Khlopchyk Rock ‘n’ Roll by Nazar Slyusarchuk
Spain/ Te Doy Mi Voz by Dani
Serbia/ Učimo Strane Jezike by Neustrašivi Učitelji Stranih Jezika
Malta/ Extra Cute by Sophie Debattista
Macedonia/ Vljubena by Zana Aliu
Sweden/ Det Finaste Någon Kan Få by Molly Sandén
Greece/ Den Peirazei by Chloe Boleti
Belarus/ Noviy Den by Andrey Kunets
Belgium/ Een Tocht Door Het Donker by Thor!
Croatia/ Lea by Mateo Đido
Russia/ Vesinniy Jazz by Tolmachevy Twins
- Russia – 154
- Belarus – 129
- Sweden – 116
- Spain – 91
- Serbia – 81
- Romania – 80
- Belgium – 71
- Cyprus – 58
- Ukraine – 58
- Croatia – 50
- Malta – 48
- Netherlands – 44
- Greece – 35
- Portugal – 22
- Macedonia – 14
My top 5…
Sweden – this country hasn’t put a foot wrong in JESC for a while (in terms of my taste, if not in results) and it all started with Molly. Her ballad is one of my all-time favourite Junior entries.
Serbia – with all the counting and gratuitous language-switching, this reminds me of when I watched Sesame Street last week…er, I mean, when I was a kid. And I love it! Bouncy, catchy fun.
Romania – one of my strongest memories of ’06 is what I used to think of as ‘The Harry Potter/Spiderman Song’. That does sum it up quite well, methinks.
Spain – as far as I’m concerned, Spain had the magic touch when it came to JESC. Their string of one amazing songs sadly ended with Dani’s in Bucharest, but at least they finished on a high.
Netherlands – I usually like the retro ballad-type songs the Netherlands send almost every year, and this was no exception. It’s one of those you don’t expect to do well, but you can’t help having a fondness for. By ‘you’, I mean ‘I’.
Sweden – I wish I could say Molly was talentless, since she’s already got looks and personality going for her. But she’s as vocally wunderbar now as she was in 2006, damn it.
Russia – FYI Jedward, these twins could have sung the pants off you when they were barely out of nappies.
Netherlands – Kimberley is like a younger, less powerful version of Edsilia Rombley. That’s a good thing, by the way. I think Edsilia-level growling on the JESC stage could have been intimidating for the young ‘uns in the audience.
Greece – I’m not a huge fan of the song, but I do think Chloe’s a strong vocalist.
Ukraine – commendable, apart from a few brief moments where Nazar was touched by the Curse of Puberty now known as the Dorijan Dlaka Effect.
Macedonia – it kind of looked like Picasso’s crepe paper interpretation of the Lithuanian flag, but Zana’s dress was certainly eye-catching. There’s nothing wrong with wearable art, IMO.
Russia – cute! I can’t help being reminded of the apple skirt Laka’s sister wore for Bosnia in Belgrade.
Romania – with a song like this, you’ve got to be literal with your costumes. You know, just in case someone misses the constant references to Harry Potter and co.
Sweden – simple and pretty. Bonus points for not plumping for yards of floaty, transparent chiffon.
Netherlands – Kimberley rocked neutrals while her backing dancers tossed their skirts around like nobody’s business.
My bottom 5…
Malta – please note, this is the only one I actually hate with a passion. Extra cute? More like extra, EXTRA irritating.
Greece – not bad, just boring.
Croatia – as a Junior rock song, Lea could be a lot worse. But it comes across a little lame when compared to Croatia’s first few entries.
Cyprus – this is catchy, but it feels too ‘big Eurovision circa 1995’.
Ukraine – guilty pleasure alert!
It was too hard to bag five acts for underperforming vocally. All I could come up with was…
Belarus – like Ksenia Sitnik before him, Andrey was squeakier than a rubber duck.
Macedonia – let’s just say if you leave a can of Coke open for too long, it’ll lose its fizz.*
* I mean she was a bit flat.
Ukraine – Elvis may have left the building, but it seems his wardrobe did not.
Croatia – double denim can be done well (see Spain’s Dani for evidence) but not like this.
Belarus – did Andrey actually wear the same costume as Mateo? Give or take a few iron-on motifs? Well, sharing is caring.
How did you rate Bucharest? What were your favourite/least favourite moments?