November 08: Malta ready to host a big international event
VALLETTA, MALTA – Although oikotimes.com is not covering Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2014 as a protest to the EBU blackmail, we owe to our readers an informative post as the JESC week kicks off today in Maltese capital which seems to be prouder than ever before, hosting its very first Eurovision Family Event in the history of its EBU membership.
16 nations, something that didn’t happen since 2007, are participating this year. A spectacular stage is set at Marsha Shipyard and lots of changes in the rules for this year’s Junior Eurovision edition.
RECORD OF 16 NATIONS AFTER 7 YEARS
Participants from 16 different countries, dubbed the ‘sensational sixteen’, will line up this November in Malta for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest – making it the biggest contest since 17 took part in Rotterdam in 2007. The official list of participating broadcasters for 2014 is as follows: Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria (returning), Croatia (returning), Cyprus, Georgia, Italy (debuting), Malta, Montenegro (debuting), The Netherlands, Russia, San Marino, Serbia (returning), Slovenia (debuting), Sweden, Ukraine.
The rules for Junior Eurovision 2014 state that the running order would be decided by a random draw. Host broadcaster PBS and the production team requested permission to change this rule, and revered to a producer-led draw. This was agreed to by all of the delegations taking part in the meeting, in order to create a better flow to the show – and avoid similar songs taking to the stage one after another. The running order will therefore be formed as follows during the Welcome Reception (on Sunday 9 November): Malta randomly picks its position; The countries in positions #1 and #16 are picked at random; The remaining 13 countries choose either ‘First Half’ or ‘Second Half’ at random; PBS presents the running order, approved by the Executive Supervisor and Steering Group, at the end of the Welcome Reception.
For the first time, the countries will not rehearse in running order. This is to allow for scheduling of the school visits and social trips for individual delegations, as it would be impossible to organise visiting a school the next day if the running order is only known on Sunday evening. The rehearsal schedule (Monday-Thursday) will therefore run with a pre-determined order, which is irrelevant of the running order for the live show. The songs will perform in their actual running order for the first time on Friday during the dress rehearsals.
Junior Eurovision will revert to the ‘Top 10’ voting system, used previously in both the Junior and adult Eurovision Song Contests prior to 2013. This means that the jury will award points 1-8, 10 & 12 to the songs, whilst the televoting will also do the same. Neither the televoting, nor the jurors, will rank the songs from 1-16. The tie-break procedure for determining the winner does not change. Spokespersons will only announce points 8, 10 and 12 on stage. Points 1-7 will appear automatically on the scoreboard – this is to ensure that the show does not over-run.
THE BEST STAGE EVER MADE FOR JESC
The stage was presented to the Heads of Delegations this morning, and has been one of several ‘wow factors’ during the presentations so far. It has been designed by Claudio Santucci, of Milan-based company Gio’Forma. The concept for the set is origami, inspired by the triangle of the Junior Eurovision logo. “It’s a very flexible and easy to use shape,” says John McCullagh, who is the Creative Director for this year’s competition. “The ancient art of Origami shows us how something simple can be transformed into something much more complex with just a little patience, practiced, and understanding. Our origami set is, therefore, the blank canvas on which the delegations can tell their story”.
Overall, there will 508 square metres of LED used in the stage. The stage design features:
A 9m high high-resolution LED wall
A 28m wide stage floor, with smaller LED elements
A lighting wall behind the main LED screen if required
Two stage doors for “on and off” access
Low resolution LED mirror frames
The entire venue is 30,000 metres square. The production team will move in on 21 October, and begin pre-rigging around 30 October. They are planning to be ready and finished for technical rehearsals already on 6 November.
JUNIOR EUROPREDICTION BEGINS
We need to preserve our archive of Junior Europrediction in order for the future years, the 2014 edition not to be blank. As of today you can simply go to www.oikotimes.com/vote and rank the Junior Eurovision entries as if you were a jury or public voter. This is the new system of oikotimes’ Europrediction system which applies for the first time this year and will be implemented also for the senior Eurovision Song Contest.
REVIEW OF THE 16 ENTRIES
We will listen to the 16 entries both in rehearsals and official previews and a day before the final we will give you a final review of what we think about the songs. Fotis (Greece) and Stefan (Serbia) will comment the songs in an opinionated and free-speech way. For those who can’t wait visit www.youtube.com/junioreurovision to watch the official previous.
WATCH THE SHOW ONLINE
Don’t forget that you can watch the show on November 15th either on your national broadcaster (if your country is participating in Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2014) or through the official website at www.junioreurovision.tv/esctv at 20:15 CET.