Mariam Mamadashvili will sing for Georgia this year in Malta! She is 10 years old and a member of Bzikebi Studio. She was chosen by a jury comprising of Rusudan Bakhtadze (Vocal), Nato Dumbadze (producer), Zaza orashvili (Director), Nick Kocharov (singer) & JESC’s Lizi Pop. The final two were Mariam and Luke Kacharvan but Mariam won overall. She actually attended JESC in Malta as part of the Georgian delegation so she will know what to expect. The song will be written by regular Georgian composer Giga Kukhianidze, therefore despite having a national final this year, in the end the team remains the same.
Mariam has been singing since she was 4, first at studio Basti Bubu (responsible for JESC 2009 the Princesses), then at Bzikebi Studio. She also plays the piano and has acted in ‘Anna and I’. Last year she moved to the USA and atends Tomlinson Middle School and the Broadway Method Academy music school.
You can see her past music video Butterfly here.
SBS has announced that Alexa Curtis will represent Australia in Junior Eurovision 2016! She was the winner of the Voice Kids, beating out last year’s representative Bella Paige, who ended 2nd.
Music and dance has been Alexa’s passion since she was young and at just 12 years of age she is already an accomplished and experienced performer. With no formal voice training until she entered the Voice, the experience encouraged Alexa to realise her dream and pursue her passion of performing and singing professionally.
Alexa Curtis said: “I was so excited when I found out that I would be representing Australia at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Malta. I think I am still a little bit in shock to be honest. I would like to thank SBS for this once in a lifetime opportunity. I know it’s going to be a crazy experience but I just can’t wait to get over there and do what I love doing most: singing for people. I can’t wait to perform my song. I really love it and hope Australia and the rest of the world will too.”
Alexa was selected by SBS and production partner Blink TV as the perfect young artist to showcase Australia’s musical talents to the world.
SBS Director of Television and Online Content Marshall Heald said: “SBS is thrilled to be part of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest for a second consecutive year, giving Australia the opportunity to strengthen our long-standing love affair with all things Eurovision. Alexa is an incredibly talented young performer who embodies SBS’s celebration of creativity and diversity, and we can’t wait to see her take the stage in Malta where she will undoubtedly do Australia proud.”
Director of Blink TV, Paul Clarke said: “I’m sure Alexa will be a terrific ambassador for Australia – she has a vocal maturity well beyond her years, but she’s also a classic Aussie kid! We can’t wait to see her on the Eurovision Junior stage, and we’re delighted to be associated with Eurovision once again.”
SBS will broadcast the Junior Eurovision Song Contest at 3.30pm Saturday 26 November on SBS. Eurovision fans can also tune in to SBS’s LIVE coverage of the contest from Valetta, Malta at 2:00am Monday 21 November on SBS.
More details about Alexa’s song entry and Australia’s voting jury will be announced soon.
The EBU has matched the number of participating countries from last year, we have 17 countries in for 2016, only one less than the all-time high of 18. This is great news! The brilliant 17 are:
- Cyprus – returning after a 1 year absence
- Israel – returning after a 3 year absence
- Poland – returning after a 11 year absence
- The Netherlands
Sadly we lost Montenegro, San Marino and Slovenia. However Poland is a large country and will bring a much larger viewership to the contest (we hope!).
The Russian broadcaster Russia-1 was responsible for organising Russia‘s national final this year. It was held on 16th August 2016 at Artek in Crimea and the winner was Sofia Fisenko with ‘Zhivaya voda (Living Water)’. The voting was 50/50 jury and internet voting. Sofia is 14 and has previously participated in the national final in 2013, coming 3rd. She told MiaMusic after winning: “I am very pleased I won and it’s like a fairy-tale at the moment. I sang a song Living Water, which reveals what takes place in the soul and mind of a teenager when they grow older. As I am also a representative of the younger generation, I know that very well. I am really hoping for strong support from friends and fans!”
1st – Sofia Fisenko – Zhivaya Voda (jury winner, internet winner)
2nd – Maria Mirova – Padayem i vzletayem (jury 2nd)
3rd – Friends – Derzhi menya za ruku (internet 2nd place)
4th – Yulya Asessorova – Ya Ne Boyus
5th – Maria Zhuravleva – Nauchu mechtat (internet 3rd place)
6th – Alexey Zabugin – Rozhyonniye Pod Solntsem (jury 3rd)
7th – Katya Maneshina – Lyubov spasyot etot mir
8th – Lilya Verdiyan – Tantsuy so mnoy bystreye
9th – Vilena Hikmatullina – Nado Kruzhit
10th – Alisa Khilko – Golovolomki
11th – Chto Skazhut Deti – Bit Nashego Serdtsa
12th – Milana Pavlova – Navsegda veryu
13th – Liza Kuznetsova – Prisnilos
14th – Milana Zharekhina – Oglyanites
15th – Sofia Pastushkova – Pover v sebya
16th – Zhara – Papochka, Kupi Gitaru
On 10th September 2016 Ukraine held their national final for Junior Eurovision and the winner was Sofia Rol with the song “Planet Craves For Love”. She came 2nd in the jury vote with 11 points and 1st in the televoting with 2740 votes (beating 2nd place by over 1000 votes). The full results were:
1st – Sofia Rol – Planet Craves for Love
2nd – Anastasiya Bahinska – Miy svit (jury winner)
3rd – Andrey Boyko – Open Your Heart (televoting 2nd)
4th – Denis Rodin – Ukraina – mama moya
5th – Diana Sapozhko – Tviy svit
6th – Sofia Sckidchenko – Dolce vita
7th – Sofia Lozina – Uhorskyi tanok
8th – Alisa Panchuk – Pyi svoyi mriyi
9th – Polina Dashkova – Do Boha
10th – Yulia Radchuk – Moya zorya
11th – Denis Dovirak & Natalia Sadova – Ya chekayuu dosi svoho lysta
12th – Voiceland – Vidchiny svoye sertse
This year Dutch broadcaster AVROTROS opted to choose internally for Junior Eurovision, bringing an end to 13 years of Junior Song Festival. They chose a band called Kisses, a trio consisting of three girls: Kymora, Stefania and Sterre (each selected separately and brought together for JESC). Their song is called ‘Kisses and dancin‘.
George Michaelides (Yiorgos Michailidis) was chosen internally to represent Cyprus in Junior Eurovision 2016. His song, chosen from seven submissions, will be called ‘Dance Floor’. Can we expect a catchy English chorus? A junior Opa? The song was written by Jonas Gladnikoff, the same Swedish author who penned last year’s Irish entry Réalta na mara.
George recently won Sigma TV’s “The Musical Kids” going on to star in the Silver Spotlight musical production “Amanda The Musical” which from 9th January – 23rd February played in Nicosia’s Strovolos Theatre and Larnaca’s Municipal Theatre. George’s interests outside of performing are judo of which he currently holds a blue belt and takes drumming and piano lessons. He lives at home in Paphos with his parents and sister Maria and dogs Poppy and Shelby. He has already filmed a music video for Junior Eurovision and we’re excited to see it!
Belarus chose a catchy number for their JESC entry this year, it’s Alexander Minenok with ‘Muzyka moikh pobed (Music of My Victories)‘. 10 songs competed in the national final on August 26th and the results were:
1st – Aleksandr Minenok – Muzyka moikh pobed (jury winner, televoting 3rd)
2nd – Olga Konovalova – Serdtsa bit (jury 3rd, televoting winner)
3rd – Zinaida Kupriyanovich – Kosmos (jury 2nd)
4th – Maria Magilnaya – Zvuk tishiny
5th – Maria Zhilina – Vpripryzhku
6th – So-Ni-Ka – Pesenka moya (televoting 2nd)
7th – Neskuchniy Vozrast – Tyts tyts
8th – Stefanie Sokolova – Colour Game
9th – Elena Titova – Ne prosto tak
10th – Yulia Mozhilovskaya – Ver v sebya
Anahit Adamyan and Mary Vardanyan will be the representatives of Armenia this year. They have once again opted for an internal selection, for the 3rd time after 2007’s debut and 2015. Mary is part of the Do-Re-Mi group in Armenia which has previously participated in two JESC national finals for Armenia, while Anahit is from Russian city Sochi and was in Igor Krutoy’s Battle of Talents (Krutoy has many JESC associations in Belaurus/Russia/Ukraine). She also took part in the Russian Voice Kids, like Alina (the Russian 2014 singer).
MRT has confirmed that Martija Stanojković will represent Macedonia in Junior Eurovision this year. She is a 12 year old girl from Kumanovo and just so happens to have >38,000 fans on Instagram! Marija recently came 2nd in ‘Pinkove Zvezde’ behind Balkan singing sensation Marko Bosnjak. From this, Martija is currently very popular in Macedonia and this decision may get her country behind her and more interested in Junior Eurovision than ever! Click here to watch her performing. Great choice Macedonia!