Article by Emma Garrie
With Eurovision 2019 fast becoming a distant memory, attention now turns to the Junior Eurovision to be held on 24 November.
Where is it being held?
The lucky host city is Gliwice, Poland, home country of last year’s winner Roksana Wegiel. Unlike senior Eurovision, the host country is not automatically determined by the nationality of the previous year’s winner. However Poland’s TVP made a successful bid on the back of Roksana’s win, bringing the Eurovision Song Contest to Poland for the first time.
The competition will be staged at Gliwice Arena and this year’s theme is Share the Joy (#ShareTheJoy), something that Poland and the representatives of the participating countries will be hoping to do.
Who is competing?
Overnight the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) confirmed the 19 countries competing in this year's contest. Spain makes its return to the competition for the first time since 2006, last year's debutantes Wales and Kazakhstan will be returning again for 2019, whilst last year’s participants Azerbaijan and Israel have withdrawn.
This year’s attendees are
At this stage only Georgia and North Macedonia have announced their competing artists. 12 year old Giorgi Rostiashvili, winner of children’s talent show Ranina, will represent Georgia. 14 year old Mila Morskov has been internally selected to represent North Macedonia. Both will reveal their songs closer to the competition. Malta, The Netherlands, Russia, Ukraine and Wales all have national finals coming up in August and September whilst the remaining countries are electing to choose their artist internally.
No word yet on Australia’s 2019 entrant but if last year is anything to go by we should receive an announcement from Blink TV and the ABC around early September. Australia has made the Top 10 every year it has competed, including two 3rd place finishes in a row.
Why should I watch?
Junior Eurovision doesn’t get the same amount of attention as its senior cousin and the voting method differs quite considerably. However the competition has proved to be a fertile breeding ground for young talent, some of whom have gone on to compete for their country in Eurovision proper. Notable examples include Serbia’s Nevena Bozovic, OG3NE from The Netherlands, San Marino’s Michele Perniola and Anita Simoncini and the Russian Tolmachevy Sisters. Zena, who co-hosted last year’s junior competition in Minsk, also went on to represent Belarus at this year’s senior competition. Apart from witnessing the fun of the show and the camaraderie between the contestants, the Junior Eurovision Song Contest is well worth watching as there is a fair chance we will see some of this year’s artists on the stage in the Eurovision Song Contest a few years down the track.
We will bring you more information on the contest as it comes through.