JESC 2017: 16 countries to Tbilisi, including Portugal, new voting system and new venue
GEORGIA – Young stars from across Europe will eagerly make their way to Tbilisi, Georgia this November, as it is announced that 16 hopeful participants will perform at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2017. For the first time ever, a new voting structure will be introduced to allow viewers from around the world to vote online for their favourite artists.
Hoping to continue in their success after a win at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest 2017, Portugal have returned to the Junior stage after a 10-year absence, having last competed in 2007. They will join past winners Armenia, Belarus, Italy, Malta, Russia and Ukraine in the Georgian capital along with other 2016 participants Albania, Australia, Cyprus, FYR Macedonia, Ireland, Poland, Serbia and The Netherlands. Completing the 16-strong line up will be host country Georgia, who triumphed during last year’s contest in Malta.
Georgia’s public broadcaster GPB will host the event at the modern 4,000-seat Olympic Palace in Tbilisi which was considered more suitable than the previously announced Sports Palace for its numerous facilities for delegations, media and fans.
All eyes will be on Georgian capital Tbilisi, with its rich arts and cultural heritage, for the 15th Junior Eurovision Song Contest, which has been organised by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and a member host broadcaster every year since 2003. The event, showcasing talented artists aged 9-14, will take place on Sunday, 26 November 2017 16:00-18:00 CET.
In a brand new change to the voting system, audience online voting will be available this year and will initially open from Friday (24/11) to Sunday (26/11). Viewers who would like to vote will be required to watch a recap of all songs, before entering the voting platform on the JESC official website. After this, voters will also have the option to watch longer 1-minute clips from each participant’s rehearsal. This first round of voting will stop on Sunday (26/11) at 15:59 CET.
During the live show, online voting will start again after the last performance and will be open for 15 minutes. The final audience result will be a combination of both pre-show and live voting rounds, accounting for 50% of the total vote.
Jon Ola Sand, the EBU’s Head of Live Events and Executive Supervisor of the JESC, said ‘We are thrilled to be celebrating 15 editions of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Throughout the Contest’s history we have seen some incredibly talented children perform, some of whom are now successful artists in their own right. The new voting system is an exciting new addition that will allow millions of viewers to take part in the show once again”.
2017’s winner can look forward to a bright future with last year’s title-holder Mariam Mamadashvili already set for big things. After taking the crown in Malta during 2016, the 11 year-old Georgian singer has been taking private lessons at Broadway Method Academy and been accepted into a leading New York boutique talent agency. The following countries (and EBU Member broadcasters) will participate in the 2017 Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Georgia:
FYR Macedonia (MKRTV)
The Netherlands (AVROTROS)