In a change of usual proceedings, we look back at what has graced (or burdened) our senses in that wacky, cheek-pinching spectacle that is Junior Eurovision!
Ah yes, Junior Eurovision; the middle child of the EBU. In what can only be described as a strange (or annoying if kids aren't your bag) mixture of pop idol and child labour, every year this cute, copycat contest throws a PG party for the kids to rock out to. If Eurovision itself was the nightclub experience, this would be the school disco so the kids wouldn't feel left out. Junior Eurovision, as under-appreciated as it may seem, continues to show off the unsung kids of Europe every November, and with this year being the nth year of the contest, it doesn't show signs of slowing down as Eurovision takes a back seat for the future of the pop industry struts it's stuff in the only fashion the EBU knows how; a camp and bright contest that stares the garish in the eye and adds a bit more glitter. Unlike its disastrous counterpart, the Eurovision dance contest, Junior Eurovision knows that it's not going to outshine the big daddy that is Eurovision, even working hand in hand to give each other the same reputation, but instead of shying away and accepting defeat, it is slowly bringing its niche, squeal-inducing style to the forefront. Soon enough, we will be seeing these bright sparks who are dominating this pee-wee party in the big leagues of Eurovision itself. But what of the winners?
This week, the 12points jury are letting the adults rest their hangovers and tend to the kids who are letting their voices (and wardrobes) be heard, as we review the winners of Junior Eurovision to see whether these children really are the future of our beloved Eurovision. These may be kids, but if they can bring it, then we are going to get our claws out.
But don't worry kids, you are still all winners...some more so than others.
11th place - Georgia 2008
Bzikebi - Bzz
Remember what I said about annoying? There is nothing more annoying than a wasp, or a loud and boisterous child, when mixed together its not pleasant. However, in sunny Cyrpus (who must like the striped little buggers) a Georgian trio of sugar happy children thought that a song in an imaginary language which consisted of buzz related sounds and other made up words would fit the bill. God knows how it did. There isn't much to say about this one, but the adults who wrote it must have been about as off their rockers as the kids, and would probably benefit by going back to school.
Who gave these children too much chocolate? I can sense they struggled to stick to their bedtime for a couple of nights after their performance, and was genuinely worried for their safety with all that jumping about. Nevertheless, as bundles of youth go, at least their not drinking and having underage intercourse, so why not let them be bees before the glory days hit puberty.
Eurovision future?: Is it illegal to swot children? Does it count if they are bees? So many questions, their winning of the contest is a large one all together. Why not give them happiness before they ultimately fade away in the music industry, I don't quite see there ever being a slot in the Eurovision market for bees.
10th place - Spain 2004
María Isabel - Antes Muerta Que Sencilla
I know what you are thinking, why is this last? Now Spain isn't my favorite country in Eurovision, they give it some and try and add a bit of Spanish flavor to their entries, but there is something about this song that doesn't set well with me. Kudos for a kid to write their own song, especially one so well structured as this, but lets just take a moment to dissect "I'd rather be dead than plain". I REPEAT. The 9 year old penned song about getting dolled up, "plastering on make up" and not letting boyfriends getting in the way OF THIS 9 YEAR OLD GIRL. I have heard about growing up quickly, but this is absurd. Let's give Barbie and race cars a few more years hey?
If we want to dance like we have just gotten out of the show, we should mimic Maria. The dancing, the try-too-hard performance, the obscene amount of fan action. Let's not forget the fact that I have heard the same coming from a 9 year old in a karaoke bar after a tiny sip of their mothers tequila sunrise. It was all very sloppy, a bit all over the place, really not for me.
Eurovision future?: Uncertain, maybe Las Ketchup are looking for a member? Still, her number one albums are going strong in Spain.
9th place - Belarus 2005
Ksenia Sitnik - My Vmeste
I never knew Belarus had a soft spot for calypso, although listening to it, I'm not sure other people do. Its a cute little song, obviously tugging at the heart strings of mummies and daddies at home who are no doubt wondering why there little kid isn't up there butchering another song in the seemingly growing list of genre's that countries really shouldn't be trying out. It was expected in junior Eurovision, a song that is obviously so cute it makes the brain boil, and for someone whose definition of cute is a small puppy in a hat, not a little Belarussian girl, it is quite an overload on the senses.
Call it a hunch, but I don't think those kids are actually playing instruments. Her voice tends to go right through me, a little bundle of energy that instead of warming my heart, it just gives me a headache. Her costume is pretty cute though, if not a tad too much, a bit like her mother dressed her. I hope she doesn't have one of those over-bearing stage mothers, I can imagine her having Jon Ola Sand against the wall with her hands round his throat if Ksenia ever got to Eurovision. Looking at this entry however, I don't see this being an issue in the future.
Eurovision Future?: I'm not too sure, I can't see it happening. Even if she did get picked, looking at Belarus' track record of being highly unreliable, she could be thrown out quicker than San Marino in a semi-final; I don't see her being so cute and fluffy after that meeting. Good luck Ksenia, you're gonna need it.
8th place - Belarus 2007
Alexey Zhigalkovich - S druz'yami
Disney called, it wants it's song back. As this list goes on, the amount of cheese I can sense is too much to bear! These songs are very peppy, wait until you get older kids, you haven't seen anything yet. But I guess having kids do this contest brings more spirit, so if the children want to prolong agonizing puberty for a few years, why not. Alexey's peppy song about friends is quite uplifting, but its overblown cheese is quite off-putting, but his naivety about friends being together forever is something to behold. For now.
You can just smell the teen movie that will use this song as its backing track. This kid tries his best but is just a tad pitchy, and once again his voice grates on me. Perhaps my disliking of children isn't going to aid me in this, long periods of listening to them sing is going to have its toll. Speaking off cliche teen movies, he definitely belongs in the 90's with costume like that. All in all it was a fair but very cliche performance, rather irritating to watch.
Eurovision Future?: Lose the denim and cheese and we will talk, right now it looks like another singer that will ride off the success in his childhood. I wonder what Macauley Culkin is doing nowadays...
7th place - Russia 2006
The Tolmachevy Twins - Vesenniy Jazz
Well isn't this a refined piece! As someone who partakes in musical theatre more often than not, this is a jazzy little number that is rarely seen. A little more class but still as juvenile so it isn't too out of place. I think its a neat little number, flawed nonetheless (it doesn't really improve in terms of the jumpiness you would find in jazz songs) but its something to snap your fingers to.
I must admit I am a sucker for a bit of jazz, even if its sung by two girls who could be in the shining. Even the costumes creep me out, because they may look sweet and innocent but I am sure they could be prone to killing their competition at any moment. They look rather awkward on stage, you would think being twins they would have more chemistry, but sibling rivalry knows no bounds. But it was still a solid performance, I can sense that we are leaving the excessive amounts of cheese behind us, but it will never disappear fully. Its just like a rash.
Eurovision Future?: I don't know about a future entry, I think that being the opening act for one of the Moscow Semi Finals will be the last train to Eurovision Stardom for these twins. Still, there is always room for singing twins with a thirst for domination in my nightmares, I shudder at the thought.
Keep posted for the final part of our Junior Eurovision round up to see where your favorites will end up, stay tuned!
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