Video Video is back, and we have some unfinished business! We conclude our Junior Eurovision run down with our favorite hits. Question is, will your winner win?
6th Place - Georgia 2011
CANDY - Candy Music
If you have a sweet tooth, then you may enjoy this very pink and perky performance of Candy Music by the very unimaginatively named "CANDY", but for those more sensitive to this sort of thing, it is very sickly sweet. For those who don't speak Georgian (and who doesn't!), this is a fun little song about, you guessed it, Candy. It's an obese teenagers dream (AKA me)! The song gets a little repetitive after a while, and although very catchy, its also rather monotonous in terms of the tune. Still, at least it is in an actual language this time.
Man these kids have lungs! They gave it some welly, and you can tell that in this countdown, the one difference is that each are vocally stronger. One thing that lets them down is that only one or two shine when it comes to the powerhouse notes, and it really outweighs everything. Also, this isn't the kind of song that needs a lot of long, powerful runs, its about the fun and the energy; not showing off. Nevertheless, fun and energy is certainly what we got from CANDY. All you needed was a chocolate fountain, giant lollipops and a cameo from Willy Wonka and we are set.
Eurovision Future?: I cant really see a huge future for CANDY, its a very youthful act, but maybe when they are on their last legs and want a bit of nostalgia, they could follow in the footsteps of the Russian grannies! Look how well that turned out.
5th Place - Croatia 2003
Dino Jelusić - Ti Si Moja Prva Ljubav
Getting down to basics, this first winner is very just indeed. Out of all the winners, this feels a lot more mature for an up tempo number compared to the juvenile, jumpy ones that are obviously written for children. Cliche, cheesy, very much so, but this song seems a lot more written for purpose (being a contest) rather than written for kids. Something however that is always noted with songs such as this is the translation. There is an English version which is a lot more sincere, about his one and only love from his dreams (are these kids forgetting they are about 10), however in its original Croatian, literally translated, there is a bunch of random lyrics about a restaurant and passing the salt. And they say love is dead...
Never thought I would see girls screaming over a little kid, but then again the same can be said for Justin Bieber. I always admire entrants who play instruments, especially the piano, and for it to happen in Junior Eurovision is quite a talent (or years of oppressive training by pushy parents, either way it did the trick). As the song goes on, the cheese takes its place and we are reminded that this is a child singing, probably been given patronizing performance advice looking at what he does with the microphone stand, but it is fairly standard and rather enjoyable for a teenage girl to watch; what more can you ask of in the industry (well there's integrity, but who knows what that is nowadays)?
Eurovision Future?: It's weird seeing this little tyke all grown up, and slightly irritating because not only is he more successful than I am, but because his vocation has gone slightly off the wall. I doubt we will see him in Eurovision, because now he is treading the boards in the metal circuit. They grow up so fast, and boy has he grown up. It's so emotional...
4th Place - Armenia 2010
Vladimir Arzumanyan - Mama
This is where we get into the big leagues, because this is one high quality song! As soon as the song kicks in you suspend your disbelief that this is a child singing this song. The lyrics are quaint, translated into a lovely song about a boy trying to please a girl (surprise surprise). It is catchy, layered and well produced; I wouldn't be surprised if this song was actually in Eurovision, however I have a sneaking suspicion that it has been. Remember Qele Qele anyone?
He is like a little Farid Mammadov (apart from the Armenian part), he really goes for it and has a very professional sounding voice. Once again, either years of training or pushy parents, but if it gets the job done to this quality, getting children off the street and away from my house, then lets all buy them pianos, guitars and ankle shackles. It is very slick, could do with a touch up on the dancing, a little more interaction between the dancers and the set but who am I to complain, a song of this high standard in Junior Eurovision is about as rare as a Maltese Official without a bribe of Manats in his pocket.
Eurovision Future?: With a voice and charisma like that for a boy his age, I don't see why he could do it for the big boys if he put his mind to it. If only he wasn't so reliant on his mother, no one likes a mummy's boy...
3rd Place - Ukraine 2012
Anastasiya Petryk - Nebo
I know what you're thinking, bit deep for a kid. "I'm shining in the quiet sky with the light of my eyes, tears to the nonebeing. I Understand that I can be strong because the earth is calling for me" is one of my favorite translation. She is a kid for god sakes! what happened to playing with dolls in your bedroom, do we really need this pretentious "Over the head" lyrics from someone who probably doesn't know what it means, nevertheless the song itself is very broody and moving, and different! Nothing like a bit of the unusual, even in Junior Eurovision. That being said, we still could have a bit of cheese.
Enchanting as it may be, its still a little before its time in Junior Eurovision, maybe even for a little Ukranian girl, but she has quite a voice. So much so that you would probably expect it in Eurovision itself, but like songs that are ahead of its time, its usually not well received. The same however cant be said for Eurovision's junior counterpart, where if a child has a voice as big as hers, they spring to the top. It is of course a deserved win, but I still don't see it being sung by a child. Oh well, stranger things have happened.
Eurovision Future?:With a voice like hers, i doubt she will stay quiet, but at her age, being the face of junior Barbie, we don't know what the Ukranian industry might have lined up for her. We might even have a little Ruslana when she puts away the toys. maybe even a Svetlana Loboda if she picks up some new ones when she gets older...
2nd Place - The Netherlands 2009
Ralf Mackenbach - Click Clack
Get it? Click clack, tap dancing? Well I am sure this won for a reason. its very peppy, cheesy, written for a child. It has elements of a mature entry but with a few "ba dabba dee doos" thrown in for good measure. The writers have really tapped into something good here (get it?) with a fast paced song with a lot of energy. The dutch lyrics basically tell the story of a child who doesn't watch TV, but tap dances instead. Now if that isn't a warning for pushy parents, then I don't know what is?
Now I have quite the penchant for tap dancing, and for someone to be able to dance like this at his age is impressive enough, but to be able to sing at the same time and own the stage with such charm is a whirlwind! He has such a stage presence that I can't stop watching! That extremely wide smile of his is extremely contagious, but I feel that the opening segment will haunt Ralf for quite a while, but just like Dino from Croatia, seeing these kids grown up is very weird indeed, not that I am complaining in Ralf's case.
Eurovision Future?: I think he stands a very good chance of doing it for the Netherlands, I doubt he will win but hey ho. Hell I wouldn't be surprised if Disney have him locked in a cupboard somewhere...
1st Place - Malta 2013
Gaia Cauchi - The Start
The most recent winner yes, but this blows them all out the water. This is about a little girl who is definitely the start of a bright career for Malta in Eurovision. The song itself is very "Maltese ballad", following in the lines of Chiara and Thea Garrett, the difference being that she matches them vocally, and she is only 11! There is nothing more exciting then a kid with a big voice, but with a powerful, meaningful ballad, its just such a soothing song to the ears. And not a sign of shackles or whips in sight...
Don't get me wrong, this is still a faulted performance, with some weird moves and quite a squeaky voice that people may not warm to as well as I have, but this has something which not a lot of entrants have: potential. Junior Eurovision is more than just a childish version of Eurovision, it is a chance for the stars of tomorrow to come out and show us that they will have a place in the future as the next big recording stars of their country. Gaia Cauchi no doubt will, and with such a simplistic performance doing so well for her, she will not doubt do something special.
Eurovision Future? No doubt, but the world is her oyster, so lets see what we hear of Gaia, because I am certain we will hear something.
Do you agree with the results? Start the debate in the comments to see what you really think of the winners or the JESC, and whether you love it or hate it, there will always be children to either warm our hearts or annoy the hell out of us. Here's to you kids!
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