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Welcome to Junior Eurovision month! JESC Challenge 1, 2 and 3

As they often do, the title of this post pretty much says it all. This is November, and from now until December 3rd, EBJ will be bombarding you with so much Junior Eurovision-related fun that you may need a holiday afterwards. Perhaps one to Yerevan? You know, where JESC 2011 will be in JUST FIVE WEEKS?

Excuse me, I’m a little over-excited, because on the agenda today is the 30 Day JESC Challenge, the brainchild of Annika from Sternenstaub (check out her site —–>) who also put me on to the 20 Day Eurovision Song Challenge that I completed recently (check that out from here: For the uninitiated, both of these challenges are meant for Facebook, and they are a series of questions that are to be answered each day – but as it turns out, it’s a great blog filler to post them..well, on your blog, obviously. So here we are. With so much of my own JESC stuff to post for you this month, I’ve decided to combine the 30 installments into 8, and right here, right now, it’s Days 1-3! Here we go…


Day 1: Winner of the first JESC you watched

Vesenniy Jazz by the Tolmachevy Twins (Russia 2006)

You always remember your first! Although I have to confess that what I really remember most vividly about my first JESC is not the twins, but ‘Harry Potter, Spiderman!’ – thanks for the memories, Romania. In spite of that, I still listen to the twins’ winner today. In fact, any Eurovision song performed by twins seems to appeal to me.


Day 2: Least favourite winner

Bzz… by Bzikebi (Georgia 2008)

No contest (pardon the pun), this is my most despised. Its what I Wanna by Marie N is to big Eurovision: the most WTF winner of all time. Sure, they’re bees, and they’re buzzing about the stage and oh, it’s lovely…but my god, if I had a human-sized fly swat (and had happened to be in Cyprus at the time) I would have been forced to use it, just for some peace and quiet! Can this really be classified as a song?


Day 3: Favourite winner

Almost there: Antes Muerta Que Sencilla by Maria Isabel (Spain 2004) / Mama by Vladimir Arzumanyan (Armenia 2010)

But my favourite is: Ti Si Moja Prva Ljubav by Dino Jelusić (Croatia 2003)

The original and the best, in my opinion. How anyone can write songs this good when they are eleven is a mystery to me; I have written my fair share of musical, ahem, masterpieces, and none of them compare. Ti Si has it all – the up-tempo that kicks in, a key change, AND a garish jacket! Though I have to say, there is something off about Croatia’s intro postcard. Was JESC encouraging kids to commit criminal activities (like stealing dogs) or what? Dino certainly stole a few hearts (another pun! I do apologise) as the first ever  winner.


That’s it for today folks. But believe me, there’s plenty more to come…

THIS WEEK: Part 1 of my 2011 song reviews, and The Challenge: 4, 5, 6 and 7!


EBJ’s Top 10…JESC songs that could make it at the ESC

A while ago I compiled a Top 10 list of the Eurovision songs that most belonged in the contest’s younger sibling, Junior Eurovision (read it or relive it right here: With the latter’s 2011 edition fast approaching, I figured now was a good time to look back on eight years of child-friendly chansons and determine the reverse – that is, the 10 JESC songs that could have been plucked from the small stage to the big and made the transition super smoothly. In plain English, that’s the Top 10 JESC songs that could stand up at ESC…and maybe even make it to the top.

In theory, every Junior song could be a ESC song, and vice versa (although there are some topics covered in the lyrics of the older that one would not expect, nor want, to hear coming out of the mouths of 10-year-olds), so this was originally a rather long list. Here are the lucky (cough) ones that made my cut.

  1. My Song for the World by Tom Morley (United Kingdom 2003): I’m pretty sure Ireland entered this same song in every contest from about 1990 to the early 2000s! And most of the time it worked for them. Why can’t the UK bring more of this (and less of That…Sounds Good To Me) to Eurovision Senior?


  1. Det Finaste Någon Kan Få by Molly Sandén (Sweden 2006): I confess, I’m a sucker for a good ballad, and Mrs. Eric Saade (practically) delivered a textbook version five years ago. Entered at the right time, this could have won Eurovision. Or at least won my heart (cue retching from you readers).
  2. Urok Hlamuru bu Ilona Galytska (Ukraine 2007): The Mini-Me version of Svetlana Loboda and Be My Valentine (Anti-Crisis Girl). Or Tina Karol and Show Me Your Love. Or 90% of the other Ukrainian ESC entrants of the female variety.
  1. Si On Voulait Bien by Thomas Pontier (France 2004): I think this is the French-iest song I’ve ever heard! Luckily Thom wasn’t wearing a striped Breton shirt and a beret so a serious stereotype was avoided (unlike inRomania’s multicultural 2007 entry).
  1. Du by Mimmi Sandén (Sweden 2009): The Sandén sisters should be let loose at ESC rather than JESC, because apparently they attract excellent, grown-up pop songs like Dana International attracts Gaultier. I Du love this song!
  1. Allt Jag Vill Ha by Josefine Ridell (Sweden 2010): Or is thatSweden in general that should take their JESC efforts to the big show? Their most recent Junior song sounds very similar to a certain trophy-winner performed by a duo fromAzerbaijan…
  1. Čarobna Noć by Sonja Škorić (Serbia 2010): Serbia doesn’t often send ballads to ESC but loves to put them in Junior – and why wouldn’t they, when the results are so commendable? Magical Night may not have charmed the sequined socks off fans like Nina’s Magical (a.k.a. Čaroban) did had it been in Eurovision, but I reckon it would’ve had a good shot.
  1. Spit Angel by Mihail Puntov (Russia 2008): Here we have Mini Dima Bilan, in all his white-suited glory. I actually prefer this song to Believe, although the title does conjure up images of a spluttering, foul-mouthed feathered creature…at least for this English speaker (and yes, I do know what “spit” means!).
  1. Goed by Kimberly (Netherlands 2006): I’m trying not to compare all of these to actual ESC songs, but it’s too easy most of the time. This reminds me of Norway’s 08 entry Hold On Be Strong – they’ve both got the funk.
  1. Piši Mi by Nevena Božović (Serbia 2007): It’s a little humble as ballads go (are you sick of me saying the B-word yet?) but lovely all the same. In a 1980s, soap-opera theme kind of way (did I mention my love for 80s soap themes?).