I feel it is high time I give some attention towards one of Junior Eurovision’s most loyal countries – The Netherlands. They have announced the eight acts who will make up Junior Song Festival 2014, with all eight eager to follow in the footsteps of Mylene & Roseanne. Junior Song Festival will be held in September but we can expect revamps of all the songs to come before then! The finalists are:
Malta has selected their entrant for Junior Eurovision really early this year. The honour goes to 11 year old Federica Falzon after she won Italian contest Ti Lascio una Canzone (which San Marino’s entrant Michele Perniola also came from). She is a Mezzo Soprano singer from La Voix Academy and her vocal coach is Gillan Attard. This sounds familiar because JESC winner Gaia Cauchi also attended Gillian’s Acadamy. The team behind her song will also be the same as for Gaia – Elton Zarb and Matt Muxu Mercieca will help Federica compose her song. It seems evident Malta is trying to repeat their JESC success and go for the first ever back-to-back win in JESC. Interestingly, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said to her after she was announced as the contestant “If you plan on winning it let me know so that we prepare the budget..”.. would they host JESC twice?
According to her vocal coach, she is planning on holding a concert in Malta sometime after May with her singing partner, tenor Vincenzo Carni. Also according to the ‘Times of Malta’ newspaper, she has been approached by several agencies wanting to sign her up.
Federica Falzon was born on the 17th February 2003. At a very young age she showed interest in music, especially singing. Her grandpa used to take her to karaoke clubs where most of the people who heard her singing, encouraged her to take singing seriously as she had a unique voice. At the age of nine she was noticed at school by her music teacher, who heard her singing in the school yard. Maestro Zammit was impressed with her voice and encouraged her to start taking vocal coaching.
Recently Sweden revealed the eight teenagers who have made the final of Lilla Melodifestivalen 2014 (Sweden’s national final for JESC). They had over 1000 entries, which is up on recent years and a HUGE number in any case. Let’s hope this means we’ll be hearing eight awesome songs! The finalists were chosen by Linnéa Wikblad, Tine Matulessy and Christer Björkman from auditions (of the top 20 kids) held on the 5th April. The final will be on June 6th at Grona Lund, radio as usual unfortunately.
Let me tell you about the finalists:
Skyscraper is a group of 4 boys – Vilhelm Buchaus, 12 years old from Sigtuna, Anton Kyldahl (14) from Bohus-Björkö, Isak Pettersson (11) from Björnlunda, Andreas Palm (14) from Lindesberg. They were formed during Stage Academy Camp in October 2013. They will in 2014 participate inSweden’s version of Got Talent (Talang) – see their audition here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zg37ypl7kQc. They all love football but it’s still the music that they love best and even though they are of different ages, they have together found each other through music. Their biggest dream is to go on a world tour together. The immediate objective of the guys is to come out and perform for you, all the amazing fans!
Executive supervisor Vladislav Yakovlev has stated that the contest started to decline after 2006 when they failed to keep several countries in and says that his focus for 2014 will be to keep the 2013 competitors in and hopefully introduce some new countries. Possible entrants could be Germany and Hungary who sent people to Kiev last year, Poland who has returned to both ESC and Young Dancers, as well as much talked about Spain and Italy. Spanish fans especially have been clamouring for Eurojunior to return for years.
The steering group has recently met in Malta to discuss the planning of the event. The steering group is comprised of:
•Ekaterina Orlova (Chairwoman)
•Vladislav Yakovlev (EBU Executive Supervisor)
•Viktoria Romanova (NTU, as organiser in 2013)
•Anja Zegwaard (AVROTROS, as organiser in 2012)
•Tine Matulessy (SVT)
•Olga Salamakha (BTRC)
•Anton Attard (PBS, as organiser in 2014)
So far we have heard these rules:
The running order will be determined by a random draw held at the Opening Ceremony as in 2013. The kids will pick their positions in the show out of a hat. In a slight change, there will be no wildcards or host country preference – so all countries will be drawing their starting positions at random.
2013 was also the first time that trophies were awarded for the artists finishing in second and third place. This will continue in 2014, although it won’t be part of the ‘on-screen’ television show. The participants finishing second and third will be awarded their trophies in the press conference after the show.
Songs eligible for the competition may be between 2:45 and 3:00 minutes in length, and may only be released from 1 May 2014.
Sweden have confirmed their participation in Junior Eurovision 2014. They received over 1000 submissions for their NF “Lilla Melodifestivalen” and a jury picked the 8 best to go to a national final on June 6th. Finalists were informed on March 28th so if you entered and didn’t hear back, try again next year.
Also something interesting – did you know that ESC 2013 entrant for Sweden Robin once entered JESC? When Robin Stjernberg was 10 years old, he sent a song to Lilla Melodifestivalen. It came to the top 20, but not the final. It was a song about when Robin was unhappily in love with a girl.
Very exciting news for Junior Eurovision fans! The rumours are true, the Maltese broadcaster PBS has been confirmed as the host of JESC 2014! Yesterday evening Anton Attard, CEO of the Maltese broadcaster PBS, signed the paperwork to confirm PBS’ undertaking as the host broadcaster for next year’s competition.“We’re proud of our local girl, Gaia Cauchi winning Junior Eurovision in Kyiv in December and want to continue to showcase our talents here,” he said. The event will be held on November 15th, tied for the earliest JESC ever.
Malta plans to make it a big event – Mr. Attard, the CEO of PBS, stated how important JESC is for Malta: “Eurovision is a big deal in Malta, and we are looking forward to hosting Junior Eurovision big time!”. He promised a big event for November! He said that their large-scale national final for Eurovision 2014 was a kind of ‘dress rehearsal’ for what they want to do in Junior Eurovision, which is good for JESC fans because they had a rather large and good looking stage.
After taking a break in JESC 2011 and 2012, we received the brilliant news that Malta would return for JESC 2013. They didn’t hold a national final unfortunately, but they managed to produce a winner in Gaia Cauchi – The Start, and so for the 2nd year in a row the winning country will host jESC the next year, as in adult Eurovision.
PBS Chairman Tonio Portughese says the announcement caps off a year of musical celebration for Malta, which plans to engage thousands of school children in activities connected to next year’s event. “The JESC is a competition, but it is also a celebration of youth achievement,” said Mr Portughese. “As a public service broadcaster and also a small island, our vision is to unite Europe in a musical feast.” This is the first time Malta has hosted Eurovision and they will introduce an interesting concept – there will not be a designated ‘host city’ for the event but the entire island of Malta will the host of Junior Eurovision 2014!