JUNIOR EUROVISION HAS ARRIVED! The EBJ Junior Jury’s Top 17 + predictions for Sofia’s spectacular show

It’s D-day, guys. #discover day. Saturday, for those less JESC-inclined. For the rest of us, though, the next best thing to Eurovision is about to take place in Sofia, Bulgaria, and we (I can safely assume) are very, very excited!

There are mere hours until a certain European – or perhaps Australian – takes over from Vincenzo Cantiello as Junior Eurovision champion incumbent, and I am more than ready to find out who that child is. But before that, there’s some important business to take care of: the business of predicting. Attempting to guess what’s going to happen at any given Eurovision event is tradition, and I don’t like to break from tradition. You can see where this is going, right?

3, 2, 1, predictions!

Oh…hang on. There’s one teensy thing I forgot I had to do first. But you’ll like it, I promise.*

 

*I can’t REALLY promise that.

 

Revealed: The EBJ Junior Jury’s complete ranking, from #1 to #17

Whether you’re an EBJ regular or a random, you’ll be aware that over the past few weeks, myself and seven other JESC devotees have been both extremely catty and extra complimentary in reviewing Sofia’s seventeen competing entries. If you want to revisit all the highs and all the lows, follow Gaitana’s lead and be my guest.

  • Part 1, feat. Armenia, Montenegro, the Netherlands and Serbia
  • Part 2, feat. Italy, Malta, Russia and Slovenia
  • Part 3, feat. Australia, Belarus, Georgia and Ukraine
  • Part 4, feat. Albania, Bulgaria, FYR Macedonia, Ireland and San Marino

I totted up the top four/five at the end of each round of reviews, but being a fan of a soap opera-style cliffhanger, flatly refused to reveal the full ranking until I was gosh darned ready – i.e. when the suspense had pulled up at the intersection of Unbearable Street and Just Tell Us Already Avenue (in the suburb known as Jaz’s Overactive Imagination). That moment, my friends, has arrived. Without further ado, feast your eyes on this collaborative ranking of the Class of (JESC) 2015.

ebjjj17I’m very happy to report that my hands-down favourite from the start, Belarus, topped the list in the eyes (and ears) of the EBJ Jury. I should think so, too…I didn’t bribe them for nothing! Also in our top five are the highly regarded songs from Slovenia, Armenia and Australia, with Albania making a bit of a curveball appearance. I don’t expect Mishela, as lovely as she and her song are, to dambaje her way to such heights tonight. See my scoreboard prediction below if you want to find out where I think she will finish.

Our gracious first-time hosts Bulgaria didn’t fare so well with the EBJJJ, limping into last place. If that’s their fate in the actual contest, at least Gabriela and Ivan will be spared the humiliation of mimicking The Makemakes’ goose egg – thanks to the ‘Douze points for everybody, dance’ Junior rule, none of the kids will be jetting out of Sofia empty-handed. Bless ‘em.

In case you were wondering (which is highly unlikely, I know), here’s a rundown of the top scores handed out by each of my jury members. Not all jurors reviewed all of the entries – in fact, I was the only one who did – so keep that in mind when you’re about to mutter ‘Well, there’s no accounting for taste.’

  •  Jaimie (Australia) 10 points to Armenia
  • James (UK) 10 points to Slovenia
  • Jaz (Australia) 12 points to Belarus and Slovenia
  • Liam (Australia) 7 points to Ireland
  • Lukman (Australia) 10 points to Belarus
  • Mrs. Jaz (Australia) 8 points to Italy
  • Penny (USA) 12 points to Belarus
  • Rory (Ireland) 12 points to Albania

With three sets of douze points being awarded to Belarus, have we chosen a champ you can bet on? Or have we jinxed Ruslan right out of trophy territory? All will be revealed in a few hours’ time.

To officially conclude my 2015 JESC reviews, I’d like to thank all of my jury members for taking part – some at quite short notice. You guys are awesome, and if we were in the same room right now, I’d give you the high five of the century.

Now, onto what you probably started reading this post for: some predictions!

 

Looking into my (cloudy) crystal ball and getting all psychic on Sofia

Let’s start the proceedings with some standard guesses re: who’s going to hit, who’s going to miss, and who’s going to have it all. I’m the CEO of Never Ever Watch The Rehearsals Enterprises, so the following predictions are based on what I’ve heard about the run-throughs, plus my personal opinions of how the songs will fare.

 

The slickest staging Armenia/Belarus. Armenia never fail to entertain, and from what I’ve heard, they’ve really got their shiz together this year, bringing some of the fun from Mika’s music video to the Arena Armeec stage. Belarus will be replicating Ruslan’s NF performance, having adapted it a little to bring it up to JESC standards. It’s sure to be simple, but super-duper effective.

The most jaw-dropping vocals Australia/Belarus/Ireland/Malta/Serbia/Slovenia…I could go on. Once again, the 10-15-year-olds of Europe (and Australia…) are singing like they’ve been doing it for decades, and given that flashy vocals were a big part of Italy’s winning formula in 2014, the ability to make us all go ‘Wow!’ could be crucial. My top picks for tonight are Australia and Ireland. If there aren’t any voice-breaking incidents in the Belarusian camp, listen out there too.

The most cutting-edge costumes Armenia/Georgia/San Marino. I’ll admit, I have caught glimpses of these guys in costume, so this isn’t so much of a prediction as an educated opinion. It’s all about colour for Armenia and Georgia, whereas San Marino is going for shattered-glass chic. Believe it or not, it works.

The best backdrop Belarus. Trees are always a crowd pleaser. Hey, prettiness! Hey, symbolism!

The coolest choreography Armenia. Because if they don’t, it just wouldn’t be Junior Eurovision. And I would not know what the heck to do with myself.

The total package Armenia, Australia, Belarus. This trio should have sight and sound fully covered, and that’s what makes them frontrunners for the win.

A positive surprise San Marino. Both in terms of performance and result, I’m hoping Kamilla will surpass expectations.

A negative surprise Ukraine. Usually you can trust Ukraine to nail the visuals and mechanics of their stage performance, but I hear they’ve gone all Amanecer and thrown everything at Anna, including a giant lotus flower and a CGI shark. What the?

Biggest cheer from the crowd Armenia/Bulgaria/Malta. Bulgaria gets a free pass on this one as the host country – even if they’d sent two aggressive feral cats to hiss through a duet (which, let’s face it, is actually a semi-decent way of describing the dynamic between Gabriela and Ivan) they’d be received with rapturous applause. Armenia’s Love and Malta’s Not My Soul will get the audience going in a big way as two of the most energetic songs on the program.

 

Now, to bring out the big guns…guns that fire pixilated love hearts á la Armenia’s. Decoded, that means it’s time to predict the final results.

One of the bajillion things I love about JESC is its unpredictability. For some reason, this contest is always harder to predict than its adult counterpart, which can be frustrating as well as wonderful. 2015 is just as unclear-cut as the previous few editions have been – even in terms of who’s going to finish last, which is usually the easiest call to make – but I’m not going to let that stop me from making a fool of myself! Here’s how I think the leaderboard of Junior Eurovision 2015 is going to look just before the winner’s reprise and the roll of the credits.

 

The bottom five

Albania, Bulgaria, FYR Macedonia, Italy, Montenegro

If I HAD to call it: Montenegro 13th, Italy 14th, Albania 15th, Bulgaria 16th, FYR Macedonia 17th

 

The mid-rangers (a.k.a. the meat in the scoreboard sandwich!)

Georgia, Ireland, The Netherlands, Russia, San Marino, Slovenia, Ukraine

If I HAD to call it: Georgia 6th, Slovenia 7th, Ireland 8th, Ukraine 9th, San Marino 10th, The Netherlands 11th, Russia 12th

 

The top five

Armenia, Australia, Belarus, Malta, Serbia

If I HAD to call it: Belarus/Malta 1st/2nd (I CANNOT call it, okay?!?), Armenia 3rd, Australia 4th, Serbia 5th

 

Call it controversial (even if it isn’t, just to make me feel badass) but I’ve had a gut instinct that Belarus, my favourite entry of the year, is going to fare a lot better than some believe. I don’t want to tempt fate and ruin Ruslan’s chances, but I ignored the similar instinct I had about Italy last year, and we all know what went down in Malta. The thing is, I’m not anywhere near certain that Belarus will win – perhaps because many parallels can be drawn between their package of singer and song, and Italy’s last year, and I’m wondering if voters and juries will go for the same thing two years in a row. But, I’ve heard nothing but good things about Ruslan’s rehearsals, and provided he kept his voice in check (generally and hormonally-speaking) for the jury final, he would have raked in the points – and as some countries, including Australia, are using 100% jury vote *mutters angrily about not being able to vote*, televoters have less power here. Basically, I think things look very good for Belarus, and if they don’t win, it’ll be at least a return to the top five for them.

Belarus-secind-rehearsal-photo-2-600x400

Ruslan had better hope the dry ice doesn’t go all Nina Sublatti on him tonight… (Photo: Wiwibloggs)

If I’m not about to witness my favourite song win a Eurovision event for the third consecutive time, however, then it’s got to be a win for Malta (which I’m steeling myself for as it’s not an outcome I’d be thrilled about…NO NO NO!) or Australia. Armenia could take it out too, but I’m convinced Love is the kind of song that will come second or third rather than go all the way. With adult jury influence heavily in play, “junior” Junior entries have struggled to beat their more mature rivals, and I suspect that trend will continue here. But top five is almost a certainty for Armenia again.

There’s a big space between the top five and bottom five that has to be filled, but it’s ridiculously hard to predict how. Georgia has a good chance of almost being back on form this year, because they know how to put on a show, and Gabede is a song that stands out (not necessarily for all the right reasons, but it’s definitely memorable). I’m crossing my fingers for Ireland to finish in the upper mid-table region, or surprise me and do even better. The Netherlands and Russia won’t perform terribly – which is a relief for me because I really like Million Lights and Mechta – but they’re just not memorable enough to battle for anything other than to squeeze into the top ten. This is, of course, in my opinion, but I am incredibly knowledgeable AND have an impeccable prediction record. Not.

Mikhail-Smirnov-Russia-Junior-Eurovision-2015-rehearsal

Mikhail’s fairly well suited to JESC, and his backing dancer’s all white. (Photo: Wiwibloggs)

I’m pretty sure that FYR Macedonia, who once upon a time sent absolute gems to JESC, is going to be to Sofia 2015 what Croatia was to Malta 2014 – i.e. the loser (sorry, kids, but when there’s an über-accurate word for a situation, you’ve just got to use it). I don’t mind Pletenka, but even I can hear that it’s repetitive and monotonous, and maybe a little too amateur in comparison to the other sixteen songs. But I’m happy to be wrong if it means FYR Macedonia defies expectation, does okay and then decides to return to the comp next year.

 

Finally…the five things I’m most looking forward to seeing tonight

I don’t think this segment requires an intro.

  • Seeing how Bulgaria handle their hosting duties. Malta did an amazing job in 2014, and I’m sure Bulgaria can measure up. With Poli Genova at the helm, the night’s got to be rocking.
  • The performances from my personal top three. I’ll be on the edge of my seat when Belarus, Slovenia and Ukraine have their minutes in the spotlight, hoping for the best (or, in Ukraine’s case, hoping the shark thing was a joke).
  • Australia making their JESC debut. There was a time I would have laughed at you for fifteen straight minutes if you’d even implied that we Aussies would have a delegation at mini-Eurovij, all the whole wishing it would happen. Now it IS happening, and I am psyched.
bella-paige-australia-second-rehearsal-600x400

‘My girls here we goooooooo…to the supermarket, to buy some more alfoil for this dress.’ (Photo: ESC Daily)

  • Speaking of Australia…I’m awaiting our point delivery with eagerness too. Hopefully our jury has made the kind of choices that compensate for a lack of public vote. Although, we’re relying on an ex-Wiggle here…
  • And, to finish off, Vincenzo’s reprise of the stunning Tu Il Primo Grande Amore. I’m keen to see if his sass levels are still higher than a kite a year on from his victory. I’ve no doubt his voice remains spectacular.

 

I think I’ve said all I need to say before the show kicks off – or at least, all I have time to say, as I’ve got to go and have a pre-contest nap so I don’t pass out halfway through the recap. I’ll be doing some live tweeting tonight if you want to meet me on Twitter (I’m @EurovisionByJaz, in case you didn’t know).

Until then, if you catch sight of the comments section and feel like using it, give me one or all of your predictions for JESC 2015! I hope, no matter how right or wrong you turn out to be, you enjoy the show. I know I will, even if it does mean hauling my butt out of bed at two o’clock in the morning.

Merry JESC!

 

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About Jaz

I'm Jaz, I'm 25, and I'm 110% Eurovision-OBSESSED. The contest is one big party, and I like to keep it going 365 days a year - that's why I write about anything and everything ESC on my blog. Come join the fun, and I promise you'll never have a nul-point experience! www.eurovisionbyjaz.com/

Posted on November 21, 2015, in Junior Eurovision and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Éire.

    Like

  2. In case you think nobody is reading this, I’m proud to tell you I belong to these ‘NOBODYS’! 😉

    This will be my FIRST Junior Eurovision, due to the fact that NDR decided to broadcast it live on THE German Eurovision site and sent Thomas Mohr to Sofia to comment live from Bulgaria. This is probably a sign that we will join in the competition next year!?

    I am already looking forward with some excitement to hopefully watch a good show from Sofia. 🙂

    Before I continue with my first JESC ranking, I’d like to thank you, Jaz, and all of your EBJJ jury for that great job and all of your nice reviews.

    After I had read them all, I could not resist, but listen to all of this years 17 entries; AND this is what I thought of the participants and their songs.

    Now starting from bottom to top, I don’t want to nag on any of those kids, so I let me start with the bottom 7 countries without any further comment. I think they will all do a great job, but those were the songs that did not appeal to me. So here we go:

    17. Georgia
    16. FYR of Macedonia
    15. Armenia
    14. San Marino
    13. Albania
    12. Montenegro
    11. Italy

    And now I’m coming to my votes from Germany:

    10. Bulgaria 1 point – I think we need a ‘colour of hope’ in these days, plus they are the host country for the very first time! That deserves at least 1 point. 😉

    9. Russia 2 points – Mikhail seems VERY professional on stage and his song sounds nice to me, so I’ll give him two points, but think he might get a better result than 9th in the end.

    8. Ireland 3 points – What a wonder child! Aimee has an amazing voice and I like it much that she does not just sing in English, but in the Celtic language. That gives the song some ethnic vibes which I enjoyed during my first listen.

    7. The Netherlands 4 points – a lovely piano pop song that sounds like a winning song of “The Voice Kids”, very well sung! I also liked the little contemporary modern dancers in the back.

    6. Malta 5 points – What a young little soul diva Destiny already is at that age?! And “Not my Soul” is a very good song that would also work on the bigger Eurovision stage, No doubt about that! This should be Top 5 in the end, if not going all the way?!

    5. Serbia 6 points – Lena is cute and has a beautiful and ethnic song that she bells out brilliantly in her luggage. I’d love to hear something like that for Serbia again on ESC stage in Stockholm. Loved it from the beginning!

    4. Belarus 7 points – Ruslan, the EBJJ jury winner and your personal favourite, is a very confident singer with a great song and a much greater voice. The performance to me seems too adult-like and calculated, but I liked the butterfly on his hand, that reminded me so much on Malmö 2013 in a good way. I would not be too surprised if he ended up 3rd or 2nd.

    And now on with my potential winners/ winning songs for tonight:

    3. Ukraine 8 points – Wow! Anna Trincher is amazing, I immediately loved her song, her staging and that dress. I guess we have a little Zlata here, come a few years. Hope she will do a perfect live performance, then anything seems possible in the contest.

    2. Australia 10 points – Bella Paige was my favourite first! You know I have a soft spot for everything “Delta-related”, and this song is incredibly good, just perfect for this competition. It would also stand the test on the big Eurovision stage. Maybe we will have an early “Delta/Bella” win tonight before May 2016? I’m happy you’re in again next year, Europe can only be proud to have Australia in the competition with such a high level of songs for the second time. I’m impressed!

    1. Slovenia douze points – I am #teamLina! This was the only song that gave me goosebumps during my first listen, and her live performance in the national final was stunning, if not breath-taking! My personal favourite from all the Songs and I hope for a win of Slovenia, but I would also be very satisfied if the Ukraine or Australia would take the trophy back home. 😉

    I’m through, and wish all of the kids a great evening and show, and may the best song win in the end.

    Have a great evening (Well, ‘night’ I should say!) and enjoy all of the show!

    Until some time soon and Junior ESC greets from Allemagne,

    Wolfgang 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am SO SORRY for the lateness of this reply (I am embarking on a comment/message/email-replying session and will have to apologise at the beginning of each and every one…). You probably weren’t holding your breath for a response, though, given my history of taking forever to get around to writing one.

      As always, thank you for reading even when I do think nobody is! I think you must be my biggest fan by now…or at least, most loyal. I appreciate it to the moon and back, and obviously to Stockholm and back.

      Exciting news about Germany showing interest in JESC this year. After an Irish debut, I wouldn’t be surprised by a German one for 2016 (then again, with all the Junior-reviving superheroes the EBU are firing at the moment, I wouldn’t be surprised at a very meager contest next year either). The kids of Australia and Deutschland may be going head-to-head somewhere in Malta!

      You were right about Russia, then – better than 9th. I might have to rope you in to help with my predictions next time (and then I’ll take all the credit for them, MWAHAHAHAHA…just kidding). I’m happy with that result for them. I do feel like they deserved a top five result more thus year than they did last year though 

      Why is it that everyone else is usually keener on the Australian entries (all two of them) than I am…at first, anyway? I welcome your Bella love with open arms, of course, but I was never 100% convinced by that track, and looking back on her performance, 8th is actually a slightly better position than I think we deserved. Her pants were totally douze-worthy, though!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Um, I fell asleep while posting … I was going to say ‘Éire … will come mid-range, but a bit lower than Ms Bear’s prediction, probably around 12th’.

    😛

    Like

  4. “Irelande douz…ième.”
    Has a certain ring to it, n’est-ce pas?

    Like

  5. JAZ MY EXILE IS OVER LET’S CELEBRATE
    I watched the show late Saturday night and I was relatively impressed with the success of it all. The stage was FANTASTIC, it gave me all the late-00s DMGP vibes in the best way (don’t ask why that’s where my mind went to, it just did). Most of the organization was pretty good, except those really bad sound problems that drove me to the Dutch telecast instead of the one from YT.

    And now, my quick and dirty top:

    17) San Marino
    Pretentious mess. The girl’s accent was horribly thick and she was pitchy throughout the song, which wasn’t much better. The outfits were the best part of this entry.

    16) Australia
    Don’t kill me, please! Her nerves really broke through in the performance and the song was already pretty boring and way too mature for JESC.

    15) Macedonia
    Another mess but at least this one was kinda festive and fun. Exactly what it was celebrating, though, I’m not sure.

    14) Ukraine
    Did this even happen? All I remember is she emerged from a giant glass lotus and had lots of schlager-esque train around her.

    13) Ireland
    The 90s called, they want their ESC winner back. Nice vocals but a very tired song that aged the poor girl decades.

    12) Bulgaria
    I liked the girl’s voice but it didn’t match with the boy’s. Also it just wasn’t that inspiring of a song. Nice outfits, though.

    11) Serbia
    Killed by the draw. Decent enough song but not memorable at all, especially after it got followed up by the Georgian insanity.

    10) Belarus | 1 point
    Sorry again, Jaz. First I put your home country near the bottom and now your favorite at 10th xD But I didn’t get this song. Nothing really happened, aside from the pretty screens and the diva moves from Ruslan. Is it a first-timer thing?

    9) Slovenia | 2 points
    Maraaya have taken over Slovenia in all the ESC-events, it seems. This is their weakest song so far, I’m afraid. There just wasn’t any real personality injected into this. Lina was a great vocalist, though, one of the night’s best. And the snow princess theme, while a bit random, looked nice on camera.

    8) Armenia | 3 points
    A predictable silver-medalist; hooky staging and singing helped this out immensely. The song wasn’t great but passable. Mika really saved this by giving it all he had onstage. That’s commendable, as are the great outfits.

    7) Montenegro | 4 points
    This was kind of all over the place but not in a bad way? It was nice to get some positive vibes to end the show, especially in such a grown-up lineup. Shame the presentation was a bit messy; the shots on each side of the hula hoop of ribbons were laughable attempts to conceal the equipping and removal of it. But at the end of the day, it was a fun attempt.

    6) the Netherlands | 5 points
    It’s a bit mature for my taste, but in a teenage way rather than an overserious adult way. The English bits in the chorus worked well and the staging was smartly done. Only problem was the song isn’t too memorable and it had no easy time going between Italy and Australia. Definitely underrated, though.

    5) Italy | 6 points
    On that note, this was some really ridiculous 90s kitsch served up quite nicely by the twins. The singing was good enough to carry the vibrancy of a song called “Viva!” And just like the Netherlands, its 16th place is a travesty. Definitely deserved more.

    —These are the songs I liked—

    4) Russia | 7 points
    Ignoring his perfect hair (I’m so damn jealous of him), this had some boyband vibes that I’m sure you, of all people, picked up on. That combined with some weird fascination I have with mid-tempo Eastern songs probably explains why I’ve taken to this song so nicely. Smart presentation and good vocals helped this end near where it deserved.

    3) Georgia | 8 points
    What’s in the water in Georgia that gives them such hyper JESC acts? Also, where can I get some? xD The song’s on the border between danceable kids’ song and grating mess and I love that it lives there. That performance was a big help in ensuring it stayed there, as it wasn’t too crazy (even if I might’ve wanted to see some props).

    2) Albania | 10 points
    How chill. This was effortlessly catchy and memorable for all the right reasons, and a nice way to relax during what could’ve been a pretty manic show. Mishela was great onstage and the song (thankfully) found enough support to earn Albania a rightful top 5 finish.

    1) Malta | 12 points
    BEWARE THE IMPENDING END OF THE WORLD! MY FAVORITE SONG ACTUALLY WON! Aside from the 1 in a million chance of that ever happening again, I fell in love with this song immediately! Destiny’s charisma and powerhouse vocals ensured that Malta would do well but I think it was the lack of anything else that balanced childlike joy and mature sensibilities as well as “Not My Soul.” Everything about the performance was well done, from the bright graphics to the use of the catwalk. An incredibly worthy winner.

    Overall the show was pretty good, and it was absolutely refreshing to go into a Eurovision show with absolutely no expectations and ideas of what to expect. I should do it more often (but NOT with the big show, how would I spend my weekends from December to March? 😛 ) with the NFs.

    Like

    • “…I think it was the lack of anything else that balanced childlike joy and mature sensibilities as well as ‘Not My Soul.’ *that gave it the win*”

      I knew I’d mess up at least once in there xD

      Like

    • I KNOW IT’S BEEN LIKE TWO WEEKS OR IS IT THREE I DON’T EVEN KNOW BUT CAN I STILL CELEBRATE WITH YOU PLS??!??!??

      I can? Merci.

      Oh man, I am so glad we had JESC broadcast on TV over here. I would have freaked out if I’d been watching the YT stream sans sound. Just attempting to tune in to the crappy web stream in the past gives me recurring nightmares. I’m glad you found a fully-functioning alternative.

      Now, for some thoughts on your thoughts of Sofia’s seventeen (it’s thoughts-ception!):

      San Marino – have to agree. Terrible vocal, and her clear lack of confidence in Italian and recalling the Italian lyrics didn’t help matters. Couldn’t they have borrowed Vincenzo and stuck him in the mirrored dress instead? Though his voice is ultra manly now…he probably wouldn’t pass for a pre-teen girl. Anymore.

      Australia – I won’t kill you, since I watched Bella’s performance back a week after the show and thought it was quite dodgy. She definitely didn’t nail it, and she did NOT look like she was enjoying herself. Maybe she took it too seriously in the end, unlike Malta and Armenia and the like.

      Belarus – Hey, at least you gave it something! I definitely would have whipped the claws out if you’d totally trashed it. If by ‘first-timer thing’, you mean ‘is this song a grower?’ then I guess it could be. I fell in love with it instantly though. Different folks, different strokes ;P And having just gotten around to previewing the final ten Belarusian hopefuls for Stockholm, I’d hope that even you would think Volshebstvo is a masterpiece in comparison! It’s so bizarre to me how a country can find something so classy and impressive for JESC and nothing but utter crap (at least at this early stage, in the sub-par, acoustic-murdering studio where they hold their auditions) for the ESC, within a matter of months.

      Montenegro – This was my loser of the night. I really like the song – it’s such a throwback to the Junior contests of yore (a.k.a. 2003-2005). But everything went wrong for Jana that could possibly have gone wrong, apart from tripping and falling flat on her face. Wrong colour scheme, unsuitable graphics, weak vocals (though I think we can partly blame an unreliable in-ear monitor for that)…the list goes on. I give a grudging tick of approval to the choreography, which was more ‘My girls, here we go!’ than Australia’s. If you know what I mean.

      Russia – More agreement here, although I’d tend towards a more gushing description. *forms Gabriela-and-Ivan hand heart*

      Albania – YAS YAS YAAAAAS. So happy and not at all shocked (read: super shocked) that Mishela made the top five. Hopefully that’s an automatic return for Albania next year.

      Malta – Well, I must congratulate you on your favourite song winning. So CONGRATS!!! It has happened to me the last two song-based Eurovision events in a row, so I know how awesome it feels (finally). I still think Destiny need some backup dancers or faux-trumpeters to really hammer home the winner vibes, but nonetheless, it’s so great to see plucky little Malta finding their feet in JESC and becoming to the contest what Sweden is to the ESC.

      I still can’t believe you went blind all the way. I am impressed. I don’t think I could manage it. The closest I get these days is refraining from listening to certain NF line-ups until they’re over and we have a winner (though that never applies to Scandinavian finals, of course!).

      Liked by 1 person

      • OF COURSE WE CAN STILL CELEBRATE

        Well, I watched the show after the fact, which is really why I got the Dutch broadcast (IDK if they streamed it live, but it doesn’t really matter, since I was having my computer inspected at the time, rendering it unusable lol).

        I still need to get to the first Stockholm hopefuls! All I’ve heard so far is some of the Swiss songs, and my favorite of that lot was the metal grandma we’ve already lost. ESC season is off to a stellar start xD. But as for the Belorussian song, I did mean it in the sense of a first-time impression. I haven’t really gone back to it since the night, but maybe I’ll make an effort to do so, especially if it’s supposed to be better than all their NF songs lol

        But the oldness is the best part! Anything to remind me of the style of past ESC gets a heap of nostalgia points from me 😛

        THIS IS SUCH A NEW FEELING I FEEL SO BLESSED xD It’s definitely exciting to see Malta hit a stride in JESC, and based on their NF list, maybe a return to past form in the big show is on the cards. Two Ira Losco songs could mean something special (although if it errs toward “7th Wonder” rather than her non-ESC stuff, I’ll be proven wrong lol).

        It’s actually not as bad as you’d think. Well, maybe seeing the chatting all about it is difficult, but knowing there’s an end in sight makes it easier. And I’ve definitely ended up doing it for a few NFs. Not on purpose, it just happens lol

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        • Here I go again with the delayed reply thing…*struts past it with enough swag to distract you from no promptness whatsoever*

          When it comes to the Swiss songs, I feel exactly the same as I always do – there’s a whole bunch of mediocre stuff, and one almost-standout that will probably win but do only okay at Eurovision. Although I haven’t listened to the song that replaced the one that was DQd yet – maybe there’ll be TWO semi-decent songs that could rep Switzerland!! What a treat that would be. #sorrybutiammadatswitzerlandfornotmakingmoreofaneffort

          I actually know someone who wrote a song that’s in the Belarusian final (but I won’t say who or which song for fear of jinxing and stuff…oh okay, it’s ‘Flame’) which is super duper exciting. Obvs I’m rooting for that to win, but I need to familiarise myself with all of the others properly to figure out which one I think is the best song eliminating all bias 🙂 But yes, I believe I’ll still think Volshebstvo rules them all!! I LOVE THE SHIZ OUT OF IT OMG.

          So the Maltese teasers (Malteasers?? Not sure if that means anything to you…do they have those in America??) proved pretty interesting. The standard’s a lot higher than usual, IMO – maybe they’re riding on a wave of JESC-related confidence or something. I think Ira Losco has a good chance based purely on the fact that she’s Ira Losco, but I did like the sound of both of her entries. A Maltese Euro win would be amazeballs, especially off the back of a Junior victory. But apparently Russia’s a shoo-in no matter what Sergey ends up singing??

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