I bet you didn’t see this coming.
Not. Clearly, this highly predictable post follows on from the first installment of my JESC top 50, which I hope you enjoyed if you read it (I doubt you would have enjoyed it if you didn’t read it…). Now, the countdown must continue, because the days until Junior Eurovision 2013 are numbered and there’s still a lot of business to take care of before it happens. So much, in fact, that I don’t even have time for my usual rambling intro that I sometimes slip a random word into to check if anyone is reading it BANANAS.
I don’t really do that.
Here’s the next part of the countdown.*
* Remember, if you want to know what I see in any of the songs featured but not discussed, let me know and I’ll spill the details.
#30 | Anders by Trust (Belgium 2007)
This is one of those songs that I can’t believe was written by under-sixteens (can’t and won’t, because it makes me feel like a serious underachiever). Whether you know the story behind it or not, you get the message through the music, as corny as that sounds. Meaning aside, Anders is just a really nice ballad that gave us all a break from the full-on, blinged-up, glitter-encrusted Europop that otherwise dominated that year. Unfortunately – but not surprisingly – it couldn’t keep up with Serbia’s similarly pretty, sentimental ballad back then. But personally, I will always set aside douze points for Trust.
#29 | Odelia Ranuni by Mariam Romelashvili (Georgia 2007)
#28 | De Vriendschapsband by X!NK (Belgium 2003)
It would seem that this countdown is turning into a Belgium-fest. What can I say? They know how to float my JESC boat. Here’s a song of theirs that I didn’t always have a fondness for, but like a fine wine (perhaps not the best term to use when we’re talking about kids, but whatever) it got better with age – at least in my mind. I could spend all day praising X!NK’s ability to jump up and down for three whole minutes without the aid of a pogo stick and whilst playing instruments, but since we’re talking about their song, let me say instead that De Vriendschapsband rocks. I have been known to head-bang to the chorus in the privacy of my bedroom, and I usually only do that to Hard Rock Hallelujah. Then again, who doesn’t?
#27 | Goed by Kimberley (Netherlands 2006)
#26 | Mama by Vladimir Arzumanyan (Armenia 2010)
There have been times when I’ve been confused and/or enraged by the songs that have won JESC. But when Armenia took out contest number eight, I wasn’t either of those things, unless you count my confusion over why anyone would allow Daniil Kozlov to represent the host country in a gold velvet jacket and a turtleneck. That, my friends, is because I love Mama, and I think it deserved to win by more than one measly point. It’s everything I look for in a good entry: well-performed, well-presented, catchy, interesting, up-tempo AND ethnic. There couldn’t really be any more boxes ticked. Not that I exclusively prefer up-tempo ethnopop…but this is a great example of that.
#25 | Stupid by Tess (Netherlands 2005)
#24 | Erazanq by Arevik (Armenia 2007)
Here’s another one from Armenia (I guess Belgium has some competition), one I mentioned as a personal favourite in my A to Z of J-E-S-C. Arevik were responsible for Armenia’s debut entry, and ended up proving that their country could do mini-vision just as well as they could do the adult contest. They actually couldn’t have done much better for first-timers, and IMO, they haven’t had as strong a song since. I don’t know how to describe Erazanq by genre (is it r & b? More ethnopop? Something else entirely?) but I do know that it excels at being whatever it is, if that makes sense. It’s super catchy, fresh, and young without being childish.
#23 | Te Doy Mi Voz by Dani (Spain 2006)
#22 | Edna Mechta by Krastyana Krasteva (Bulgaria 2008)
Edna Mechta came dead last when it competed, but I think there were plenty of worse entries that year. It’s too bad for Krastyana that I wasn’t at all responsible for scoring them, because she definitely wouldn’t have come 15th. Her song has a certain charm that wins me over every time, and I like that it isn’t too repetitive. Plus (and I don’t want to keep using the same word over and over again, but I can’t help it) it’s really catchy! Come on! It is! I kind of understand how it ended up last (and it only has a little something to do with those stupid distracting glasses Krastyana was wearing) but I’m very fond of it myself.
#21 | Click Clack by Ralf (Netherlands 2009)
#20 | S Druz’yami by Alexey Zhigalkovich (Belarus 2007)
Now to the other end of the scoreboard…say hello to the winner of 2007, and Belarus’ second winner overall: S Druz’yami! This is a guilty pleasure of mine, which is strange considering it won. But I’ve never gotten the impression it’s a popular winner, and I feel like I shouldn’t want to add it to those select few songs I like to head-bang to. Consider it added though, because I get a kick out of the unashamed 80s-ness and power chorus. I will also add it to a separate list I have of songs that one should punch the air to, for those same reasons.
#19 | Ti Ne Me Poznavaš by Marija & Viktorija (FYR Macedonia 2003)
#18 | Mitt Mod by Lova Sönnerbo (Sweden 2012)
Like De Vriendschapsband, this song wasn’t always a favourite. In fact, the first time I heard it, I thought it was the most boring three minutes of my life. I apologise to Lova for that mistake, since as it turns out, Mitt Mod was a grower – a song you have to be patient with in order to see its spellbinding beauty, and all that jazz. Once I’d heard it a few more times I realised that it really is a stunning song, and one with real meaning at that. I do enjoy the songs about chocolate production and funky lemonade (which I think we all established was regular lemonade with a few frivolous tweaks), but as someone who’s quite shy and retiring, I can really connect with the idea of being brave – of being “the girl who dares tell it to the world.”
#17 | Supergeroy by Ivan Ivanov (Bulgaria 2011)
#16 | Allt Jag Vill Ha by Josefine Ridell (Sweden 2010)
Looking back on Sweden’s JESC history (as I like to do quite often because it is AMAZING!) you can see that this country likes to send mature songs. Apart from one or two earlier efforts, all of their entries could have been lifted straight out of adult Melodifestivalen and plonked on the JESC stage to battle it out with more kid-oriented numbers. As you may have guessed, this is fine by me. Sweden’s grown-up contribution of 2010, co-written by Thomas G:son and Arash (Azerbaijan’s bronze medalist of Eurovision ’09), was a slickly produced and very contemporary pop ballad that I used to be crazy about. I’m not quite so crazy nowadays (seriously, I used to want to marry it) but it’s still one of my favourites from that year, and still part of why I love Sweden in JESC so much.
#15 | Nebo by Anastasiya Petryk (Ukraine 2012)
#14 | Si On Voulait Bien by Thomas Pontier (France 2004)
This is without doubt the Frenchiest thing ever to have existed, and not just in terms of music – I mean out of everything on the planet. I do think France should have just gone all the way and put Thomas in a striped shirt and a beret, and had him sing into a baguette instead of a microphone…but apart from that, I have no complaints. This song is so cute and quirky, and because there’s no mistaking where it’s from, was unlike anything else on offer in Lillehammer. Maybe that’s why it finished 6th despite the, erm, casual performance Thomas turned out (let’s face it, it was more like a rehearsal). I reckon I’d have voted for it if I’d had the chance. Oui indeed.
#13 | Učimo Strane Jezike by Neustrašivi Učitelji Stranih Jezika (Serbia 2006)
#12 | Zo Verliefd (Yodelo) by Laura (Belgium 2009)
I’m pretty sure y’all know I dig this one. The only surprise is that it doesn’t quite make my top 10, since it used to be my absolute favourite JESC song, like, of all time. But my tastes change every five minutes, and at this moment in time I have to admit that Laura’s Yodelo has begun to grate on me. Don’t worry, I still love it, from the humble beginning through to the irresistible main event, and all the way to the final yodel. I might just ease off on listening to it multiple times per day, and that should take care of the grating.
#11 | My Song For The World by Tom Morley (UK 2003)
It’s funny that the UK debuted in Junior with such a great song and an excellent result when, just a few months earlier, they’d earned themselves a big fat zero in the ESC with the guilty-pleasure-only disaster that was Cry Baby. It’s safe to say that ten-year-old Tom wrote a better song than the dude responsible for that. My Song For The World kind of encapsulates Junior Eurovision, since it’s all about bringing people together and creating peace and harmony and whatnot through music. It sounds pretty cheesy on paper, but in song form (and sung by a child) it totally works. It didn’t get the UK 3rd place for no reason.
Once again, that’s all I have to say for now. But stay tuned over the next few weeks for what JESC Month has left to offer, a.k.a. reviews, predictions, and coming up next, the final and most important installment of this countdown. It’s almost time to reveal my top 10, and even if you’ve figured out which songs have made the cut using your powers of deduction, I think you’ll be surprised by my number one.
♫ The only treasure I’ll ever have….you are the one, you’re my number one… ♫
I couldn’t help myself.
What are your thoughts on #30-#11 in the countdown? Which JESC gems would just miss out on making your top 10?