20 Years on from its debut, the Junior Eurovision Song Contest is going as strong as ever. This year, we are in the French seaside city of Nice thanks to the winner Lisandro who represented France in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2022 with the jazzy, electric number, “Oh Maman!”. This year, 16 countries have selected songs and artists to participate in the show, and with less than 10 days until the new winner is decided, the excitement is ramping up. We at EurovisionFam don’t usually write on Junior Eurovision, but because the program is arguably just as fabulous as the adult show with a lot less of its adult stress, I think we should have a closer look into what makes the kid version of this show so special, by highlighting the songs of this year.
ALBANIA – Viola Gjyzeli – Bota ime
A trap-esque beat accompanied by a swaying, dramatic vocal cadence creates an ethereal space that only Viola can deliver. The Albanian entry takes us to a fantasy world where anything is possible. Modern, rustic, and sleek; this song captures a rare emotion that heightens the vocal expertise of its singer, and the competitive stance of Albania. Something about this song has a quality that reminds me of Rihanna, and I cannot quite put my finger on it…
ARMENIA – Yan Girls – Do It My Way
A potently modern entry in the contest with a signature Kpop flare, the girls in this group know how to deliver a bassy, confident number with slayyy vocals and choreography. The beat and lyrics of this track are arresting and present. The Yan Girls are taking the contest incredibly seriously, and Armenia should be so proud of them!
ESTONIA – Arhanna – Hoiame Kokku
An anthemic, catchy debut number about friendship and the golden bond of having a loyal best friend, this entry gives us a rare and intimate view of what makes friendship so special and unique. As this is Estonia’s debut in the contest, Arhanna drives forward a powerfully sweet message that we are excited to see leavened in Nice.
FRANCE – Zoé Clauzure – Cœur
Now, strut! Have you ever felt so enchanted by something or someone so strongly that your heartbeat feels like it was written for them? The melody of the heart was interpreted by Zoé and her team to deliver a memorable 3 minutes of punchy, colorful fun that brings a new definition to what we understand host entries to be.
GEORGIA – Anastasia and Ranina – Over The Sky
Complex harmonic structure meets an invincible message and electric delivery, this track is an example of Georgian musical excellence, which they often display exclusively for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Inspiring, layered, and invigorating; Anastasia and Ranina are more than ready to give it their all.
GERMANY – Fia – Ohne Worte
Fia is providing an extremely rare experience for the casual JESC viewer in that she is performing her song in two languages at the same time: German and German Sign Language. Lyrically powerful, refined, and steady; the sonic wavelengths and lyrics of this song give us three minutes of magic and promise to stand the test of time after the contest as an anthem for kids of all abilities.
IRELAND – Jessica McKean – Aisling
Ireland once again puts forward an ethereal and timeless song delivered by Jessica’s voice of an angel. Full of storytelling and incredibly dreamlike, this song moves like a poem written in old days that comes back to life with Jessica’s vision. The visuals are also quite stunning. JESC fans might also recognize last year’s alum from Ireland, Sophie Lennon!
ITALY – Melissa and Ranya – Un Mondo Giusto
A hopeful and seasoned duet between two dissimilar voices, the Italian entry shows us the power of music as it coincides with a sense of wanting to change the world to be more just and fair. The style of this track reminds us of the signature Italian Sanremo-esque flavor we see in its lyrical density and cadence. There are highs and lows abound throughout these three minutes that promise an eventful, exciting number on behalf of Italy. Go, girls!
MALTA – Yulan – Stronger
Vocals, vocals, VOCALS! With a number of key changes and belts only executable by a true professional singer, Yulan will take center stage with one of the most structurally complicated and electric entries of this year. Key changes and high notes erupt everywhere you look, and you’ll definitely be left impressed. Malta has a winning track record in the contest, largely in regard to the challenging vocal numbers they put forward, and Yulan Law is ready to be part of the Maltese dynasty as a shining show-stopper.
THE NETHERLANDS – Sep and Jasmijn – Holding On To You
The spirit of Eurovision lies in the fact that we are all looking for a great party. The Dutch duo is ready to get the crowd up on their feet with a strong rhythm, electric melody, and contagious lyrics. The production in this track is very reminiscent of some of the greatest Eurodance songs we’ve seen in the adult contest.
NORTH MACEDONIA – Tamara Grujeska – Kaži mi, kaži mi koj
Unusually mature and incredibly sleek, the entry from North Macedonia delivers a gripping song that invites a new expectation of production professionalism to the show. Tamara’s voice is very mature, which is displayed with a level of grit that is generally unknown to the track record of North Macedonia in JESC. The full package allows us to have a look into the emotional layers and prevailing modernity of this song, which we are hungrily anticipating in its performance following the release of the music video.
POLAND – Maja Krzyżewska – I Just Need A Friend
There are few remedies to loneliness that compare to having a good friend for life. Anthemic and wistful, Maja creates a space that highlights invincible friendship. Once again, Poland has created a song that expertly blends the sounds of English and Polish, which serve as a good way to extend a hand of love out to the world. The power Maja brings to this song will be remembered by Europe and beyond!
PORTUGAL – Júlia Machado – Where I Belong
Intimate, demure, and personal are the first ways I would describe this track. With that said, the lyrics of this song are quite sad. Julia dives into a set of emotions no one else in the contest is willing to risk, and by telling this story, we get to appreciate a dimension of art that is unusual for JESC in that despite its sadness, it is warm, radiant, and sympathetic. The contextual maturity of this track and its sound delivery should make the nation of Portugal very proud.
SPAIN – Sandra Volero – LOVIU
An earworm in the greatest sense, Sandra shows us her expertise in singing a song in four languages that all come together for a track so cheerful and energetic, it gets us excited for both Christmas and dreaming in every other language at the same time! Described in the song is the fact that there are countless ways to tell someone you love them, and it is a message we need to hold close to our hearts. Let Sandra lead!
UKRAINE – Anastasia Dymyd – Kvitka
Cheeky, dancey, and adorable are three words that tell you some idea of what the experience of this song is like. The melody and delivery of this number are so sweet and catchy that you’ll most likely be singing it to yourself after the show is over! Never be afraid to show kindness and let your true colors radiate like Anastasia, who blossoms onstage like a flower in spring.
UNITED KINGDOM – Stand Uniqu3 – Back To Life
Magnetic and CONFIDENT with all capital letters, the United Kingdom returns for their second entry in JESC with a spooky and poignant number from the girls in Stand Uniqu3. In their song, they highlight the fact that there are few problems to be had when a track is hot and we’re in the mood to dance, and these girls are ready to bring a whole other level of energy to the party. Let that beat drop, and let’s start the show!
With these 16 songs in the contest and no clear winner at all, we the viewers from the participating countries and all around the world will get to vote on jesc.tv to determine who receives the trophy after Lisandro. The international televote, summed after all the voting sequence, will be combined with the 16 juries from each of the delegations. The jury teams for each country comprise of adult professionals, and most importantly, other kids. 20 years from the first contest in Copenhagen, the Junior Eurovision Song Contest has established a title and reputation of its own for kids across Europe and beyond to express themselves, share their magic, and dare to dream. Come see the show!