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!
Christina Magrin has won the right to represent Malta this year in Valletta! She is 13 years old and was one of the pre-contest favourites, having already gained much attention in last year’s national final when she came 3rd. She sang ‘No More Tears’ during the final, however PBS will now organise an original song for her to sing at JESC. It’s bound to contain many powerful notes but whether it will be a power ballad or an uptempo remains to be seen. 2nd place was group Fusion and 3rd place went to Lisa-Marie Tabone.
On July 16th the Maltese national final will be held and as usual, it’s shaping up to be a big affair.
How will it work?
The winner will be selected by 75% jury/25% televoting. During the show, the contenders will perform original songs and covers, but the winning artist will perform a different song at Junior Eurovision.
Meet the singers:
One of the countries who still holds a traditional national final for JESC is Belarus. We thank you Belarus! Today they announced their 10 finalists for 2016. They are:
- Aleksandar Minyonok
- Yuliya Mozhilovskaya
- Olga Konovalova
- Stefaniya Sokolova
- Neskuchniy Vozrast
- Elena Titova
- Zinaida Kupriyanovich
- Mariya Zhilina
- Mariya Magilnaya
All are from Minsk or Mogilev except So-Ni-Ka who are from Vitebsk. Notable names include Zinaida (fan favourite in the 2015 national final), Yuliya (2013), Elena (2014) and Neskuchniy Vozrast who also participated in 2015. These finalists were chosen from 45 candidates. Stay tuned for the songs.
Lidia Ganeva was chosen by Bulgaria to represent them in Junior Eurovision 2016. She was selected on 11th June through the televised national selection “Decata na Bulgaria sa super”, organised by the Bulgarian broadcaster Bulgarian National Television (BNT). The song will not be released until September but it has been revealed it will not be written by the same team as last year. The national selection was done in three stages with some kids being knocked out every stage.
The top 5 who made it to the finals wer Preslava Petrova, Simona Krusteva, Bon-Bon, Lydia Ganeva and Dimitrina Germanova. Lidia is only 10, making this year a very young year so far with Albania’s entrant being only 9.
Lidia hails from Plovdiv where she has been singing at Art Voice since age 6. So far she has received a total of 22 first prizes in various competitions. At the age of 7 she won the international singing competition Golden Dolphins in Romania, an achievement she is very proud of. Last year she won the Sofia Grand Prix Contest. She has been a special guest of the international competition Zlatno Slaveyche in Skopje and later her performance was included on the anniversary album of Macedonian Radio and Television (MRT). Last year she was also part of the celebrations of the winning bid of Plovdiv for European Capital of Culture 2019, where she performed.
Following the success of Mishela Rapo in last year’s Junior Eurovision, Klesta Qehaja will be aiming for the crown come November as she won the Albanian national final for 2016. Praise must be given to Albania as they made a good effort in their national final this year and even had last year’s winner Destiny appearing, singing Dambaje with Mishela.
The kids who were competing were:
Zhaklina Veizaj – “Bote miresie kerkoj”
Dario Zela – “We need love”
Rajan Kukaleshi – “Vetem nuk je”
Jasmina Hako – “Si fluturim”
Michelle Prodani – “Prinder”
Xhesika Pengili – “Largoje trishtimin”
Marko Strazimiri – “Music makes my day”
Vivian Biaxhorni & Xhamerino Bollati – “Ne mes yjesh”
Endi Muça – “Dua te jem”
Klesta Qehaja – “Besoj”
Klea Mema – “Dua te jem e lire”
Eda Muça – “Lulja qe me dhurove”
Dea Çobo – “Mirese erdhe flutur”
Vivian Kokeri – “Portat e gëzimit”
Lucky Klesta won with her song Besoj and this is not her only success, she recently gained 2nd place in Gjeniut të vogël (Little Genius), singing Suus in the final round. Funnily enough, Besoj is very similar to Suus. So expect some powerful vocals from this little nine year old (the youngest kid in JESC since they changed the age rule to 10+!).