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JESC challenge: #22 – #26

Day 22: Best lyrics

My Song for the World by Tom Morley (UK 2003)

“…if I became a star, I’d try so hard to move this world with my heart. Singing songs of hope and peace so people know it can be achieved…”

Corny? Yes. Do I care? No; I just get all teary and patriotic…even though I’m not British.  

Anders by Trust (Belgium 2007)

“…mama, do I have a heart, mama? Look at me standing here, mama, what did I do wrong, mama? Is this what I deserve? Am I bad? I feel pain, mama. I’m not made of stone…”

This is probably my favourite JESC song to repeat ‘mama’ an infinite number of times. My favourite of all time is by the Spice Girls, but that’s irrelevant.


Day 23: Favourite non-JESC song by JESC artist

Malena/ Prošao Sam Sve by Dino Jelusić

I have to admit, I had trouble with this one, because I generally spend more time delving into the back catalogues of big ESC artists than the little ones. Luckily Dino saved me, thanks to what I like to call the ‘Eric Saade’ effect: insanely attractive male singer has me listening to anything they produce whether I like it or not because I am shallow and I can’t help myself. Having said that (and having also exposed one of my many pathetic tendencies) I genuinely do like these songs (and most of Eric’s as well), especially the latter and the story behind it.


Day 24: Best group song

A Day Without War (2010)

Good old Princess Diana! Er, I mean Dima Koldun. Potayto potarto. His collaboration with the 14 participants of 2010 (the backing dancers missed out) for this song remains one of my favourite bits of Minsk.


Day 25: Favourite JESC country

Almost there:





But my favourite is:

Serbia. I’m aware that they are currently M.I.A from JESC (see below), but thanks to such musical amazingness as Učimo Strane Jezike (2006), Piši Mi (2007), Uvek Kad u Nebo Pogledam (2008) and Čarobna Noč (2010), I can’t choose any other for my favourite.


Day 26: Withdrawing country you miss most

Almost there:



San Marino (because we had hardly been acquainted when we parted. Sob!)

But my most missed is:

Serbia, as hinted above. Naturally I’m going to miss my favourite participating country! I’m just grateful the withdrawing didn’t extend to big Eurovision as well, both because I love Serbia in that too, and because all my Christmases have come at once with the announcement of Zeljko Joksimovic’s representation, something that would never have happened had they opted out of Baku. Obviously. Please come back to Junior next year, la Serbie.


COMING UP: The finale of the epic JESC challenge; another Time-Warp Tuesday; my top 10 Junior songs of all time; aaaaannnnnddd (insert drum roll here) my all-important prediction special for the rapidly approaching 9th edition! You don’t want to miss any of it. Well, I hope you don’t.


JESC Challenge: #4, #5, #6 and #7!

Day 4: Favourite song by a female soloist

Almost there:

Arabiens Drøm by Anne Gadegaard (Denmark 2003)

Det Finaste Någon Kan Få by Molly Sandèn (Sweden 2006)

Odelia Ranuni by Mariam Romelashvili (Georgia 2007)

Du by Mimmi Sandèn (Sweden 2009)

But my favourite is:

Zo Verliefd (Yodelo) by Laura (Belgium 2009)

The Sound of Music has nothing on this, a yodel-pop-fest that I think was robbed of second place – two times over – in Kyiv. If it wasn’t for that darned wonderful Ralf guy I would have gone as far as to say this should have won. I love everything about it – especially the way it starts out all ballad-like before unexpectedly launching into one of the catchiest choruses ever heard on a Junior Eurovision stage (well, it’s unexpected if you’re hearing the song for the first time. You kind of know what’s coming on subsequent listens). The yodeling makes it memorable; the up-tempo makes it fun; and the little choreographed jumps and bends make me nostalgic for other songs-with-dances…ah, how I miss you, Macarena.


Day 5: Favourite song by a male soloist

Almost there:

Ti Si Moja Prva Ljubav by Dino Jelusić (Croatia 2003)

Een Tocht Door Het Donker by Thor! (Belgium 2006)

Shut Up by Oliver (Belgium 2008)

Prati Mi SMS by Bobi Andonov (FYR Macedonia 2008)

Junior Swing by Daniel Testa (Malta 2008)

Mama by Vladimir Arzumanyan (Armenia 2010)

But my favourite is:

My Song for the World by Tom Morley (United Kingdom 2003)

Ireland spent a great deal of the 1990s and early 2000s sending message-ballads to big Eurovision. Unfortunately for them, I think the UK beat them at their own game at JESC in Copenhagen– by sending a 10-year-old boy. For me, this song is a classic of the contest: a really good ballad with a message that doesn’t make me want to shoot myself.


Day 6: Favourite song by a duo

Almost there:

Sinnsykt Gal Forelsket by 2U (Norway 2003)

Vesenniy Jazz by the Tolmachevy Twins (Russia 2006)

Get Up! by Jill & Lauren (Belgium 2010)

But my favourite is:

Ding Ding Dong by Rosica & Dimitar (FYR Macedonia 2007)

I don’t know whether it’s the relative lack of duos in comparison to soloists and groups, or just my taste, but I found it hard to come up with more than a few duets that I like. Ding Ding Dong is the one I like most, which is odd as I usually stay as far away from the boom and bang and tiddly diddly doo songs as I can. I swear I like the song itself too, and not just the fact that Dimitar totally looks like Draco Malfoy.


Day 7: Favourite song by a group

Almost there:

Pigen Er Min by Cool Kids (Denmark 2004)

Erazanq by Arevik (Armenia 2007)

Anders by Trust (Belgium 2007)

Bonbolandiya by Bon-Bon (Bulgaria 2007)

But my favourite is:

Učimo Strane Jezike by Neustrašivi Učitelji Stranih Jezika (Serbia 2006)

If Serbia has their own version of Sesame Street then they would surely have adopted this song as their theme. I get pretty into the regular Sesame theme song (What? It’s catchy!) so naturally I love this song to pieces. It may be the kind of ‘childish’ effort that those not in the know would expect from Junior Eurovision, especially lyrics-wise, but who wants to see a kid in a tux/ball dress belting out a heart-wrencher umpteen times over? Sometimes we need to hear a bunch of kids count in umpteen different languages instead.


NEXT WEEK: Time-Warp Tuesday, JESC style; the challenge continues with days 8 to 12; and Part 2 of my 2011 reviews will be posted for your viewing pleasure….


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?).