Amazingly, there are less than two weeks to go until we have to stop referring to Amsterdam’s Heineken Music Hall as the Heineken Music Hall because that would be slightly inappropriate. The reason for that is because the delegations of Junior Eurovision 2012 will be descending on the city, choreography perfected, costumes completed and with any luck, voices still intact and not on the verge of breaking. It will be the 10th and potentially last JESC, which makes it both something to look forward to and something to sob dramatically about in the privacy of your boudoir. But before we get to that point, let’s take a look back at the 8th edition, held in one of the two countries that have won twice (but have coincidentally never won adult Eurovision). Here’s a clue: it wasn’t Georgia…
When: 20th November, 2010
Where: Minsk Arena, Belarus
Hosts: Leila Ismailova & Denis Kourian
Debutants: 1 – Moldova
Returnees: 2 – Latvia, Lithuania
Withdrawals: 2 – Cyprus, Romania
Interval acts: Alexander Rybak performing Europe’s Skies, all the participants and Dima Koldun with A Day Without War and the Junior winners of 2003-2009 with a medley of their winning songs
First place: Armenia
Last place: Ukraine
Most douze points: 4 – Armenia
Lithuania/ Oki Doki by Bartas
Moldova/ Ali Baba by Stefan Roşcovan
Netherlands/ My Family by Anna & Senna
Serbia/ Čarobna Noć by Šonja Skorić
Ukraine/ Miy Litak by Yulia Gurska
Sweden/ Allt Jag Vill Ha by Josefine Ridell
Russia/ Boy and Girl by Sasha & Liza
Latvia/ Viva La Dance by Šarlote & Sea Stones
Belgium/ Get Up! by Jill & Lauren
Armenia/ Mama by Vladimir Arzumanyan
Malta/ Knock Knock!…Boom Boom! by Nicole Azzopardi
Belarus/ Muzyki Svet by Daniil Kozlov
Georgia/ Mari Dari by Mariam Khakelishvili
Macedonia/ Eooo Eooo by Anja Veterova
- Armenia – 120
- Russia – 119
- Serbia – 113
- Georgia – 109
- Belarus – 85
- Lithuania – 67
- Belgium – 61
- Moldova – 54
- Netherlands – 52
- Latvia – 51
- Sweden – 48
- Macedonia – 38
- Malta – 35
- Ukraine – 28
My top 5…
Armenia – songs like this, written and composed entirely by a kid (still young enough to need parental guidance to watch Finding Nemo) make me feel both strangely proud and extremely inadequate. This is one of JESC’s most sophisticated winners, and made what Armenia sent to the following Eurovision sound…well, just as terrible as it was.
Sweden – they’re one of my favourite Junior countries, but Sweden has a habit of sending songs that would be more suited to the ESC. That only stops them from winning – it doesn’t stop me from giving them douze points! High quality r & b-inspired pop.
Serbia – ballads have a way of coming in third in this contest. For a song that probably never had a chance of topping the scoreboard (thanks to its competition and context) a bronze medal is a triumph. Sonja’s ballad is polished and classy.
Belgium – I’ll admit I don’t love this as much now as I did at the time…but Belgium can do no JESC wrong as far as I’m concerned. Get Up does make me want to get up and dance like an idiot, it’s that infectious (and it’s a party, uh-huh).
Malta – on the flip side, here’s a song I really didn’t like initially that I really do now. The title still annoys me (surely Knock Knock would have been enough?) but that’s just me being picky. This belongs on a playlist of pick-me-ups.
Serbia – this girl is amazing. A song like hers needs a capable singer, and when she was writing it she must have been confident that she was up to the task. Fair enough, too.
Malta – I’m expecting to see Nicole in the Maltese selection for adult Eurovision soon, partly because everyone on the island seems to try out at some point, and partly because she’s a great singer.
Armenia – Vlad had the whole package: he was adorable, charismatic, the owner of the world’s largest storybook, and he could sing.
Georgia – some would say Mariam is more of a yeller than a singer, but at least she yells in tune.
Moldova – there’s something Justin Bieber-like about Stefan, but his voice is more ‘stage musical’ than ‘frolicking around at a water park with Nicki Minaj’. That’s a good thing, by the way.
Georgia – the shoes looked like slippers from outer space, but the Gaga-inspired dress was super cute without being too wacky.
Serbia – pretty, floaty, and remarkably similar to what the Serbian representative wore in 2007. The epic sleeves are an improvement (I’d love to alter all of my clothes to have sleeves like that. Ones you can casually flick around 24/7).
Malta – there’s something 90s about these costumes – maybe the socks-and-sneakers combo? But the print and colours are eye-catching, and the poofy skirts impress.
Moldova – and the award for Most Predictable Costume of the Year goes to…Moldova! That’s right, these couldn’t be more obvious. But I love how elaborate they are.
Russia – the song makes me want to shoot myself, but the outfits were sweet. I love that retro style, including the Dress of a Thousand Petticoats.
My bottom 5…
Netherlands – sandwiched between a winning song and a song that should have won was this entry for the Netherlands, which is just plain annoying.
Russia – as I mentioned before, I am not a fan of this one. I can almost see how it managed to come second…almost…but it’s not my thing.
Sweden – Allt Jag Vill Ha wasn’t the first great song to be ruined by a sub-par vocal performance, but as it was one of my favourites of the year I’ve found it harder to get over. Josefine is no Sandén sister, that’s for sure.
Netherlands – their voices aren’t terrible, but that’s as much of a compliment as I can give them.
Belarus – by far one of the worst JESC costumes in history. I remember describing the look as ‘1970s male porn star’ in my 2010 wrap-up, and as inappropriate as that is when you’re talking about children, I have to stand by it.
Sweden – just because your song isn’t a super-happy, bouncing-off-the-walls kind of number doesn’t mean you have to recycle the dress you wore to your grandmother’s funeral. A hot glue gun and a packet of sequins would have livened things up enough.
Latvia – I like the colour combo, but all in all these kids look like they should be competing in a junior golf tournament.
What were your highlights (and as always, lowlights) from the Minsk show?