JESC 2014: Déjà vu for some of the entries
EDITORIAL – It’s no secret the Junior Eurovision Song Contest entries are not composed by kids. This is actually one of the key arguments of those not liking the contest. Each year we have some Junior Eurovision entries that remind us of something related to senior Eurovision. This year is no exception.
Armenian entry by Betty is reminding us the 2011 Armenian entry “Boom Boom Boom”, The Dutch entry definitely replicates the Swedish entry of 2012 “Euphoria”, the Italian one somehow bring us in mind the Italian Eurovision entries of 2011 and 2013 and the Ukrainian entry, the 2013 “Gravity” fairytale by Zlata ognevich. Last but not least there is a part of the Bulgarian song that reminds us the 1994 Polish entry in senior Eurovision.
Is originality a key factor for Junior Eurovision? Fans and those who watch this show are not so keen to originality as in senior Eurovision. The important factor for JESC fans and audience is to see a talented child performing in the best possible way rather than an original tune.
Another debate every year is whether the kids are performing as grown ups or as children. This was the key to success for Maria Isabel in 2004. She performed a totally grown up’s song in a kid’s way! (don’t ask me to elaborate this). This was actually the case with Gaia Cauchi last year. But many people annoyed by the fact that the song was not made for children but for grown ups. Wasn’t Spain 2004 was also for grown ups? or we excuse it because it was just a flamenco song?
Some also complaint that this year’s Maltese entry is an operatic performance of a song that has nothing to do with children. It seems we have misunderstood what Junior Eurovision is. It’s not a place for childish songs but a place where children can prove they are equally talented as grown ups no matter if their song and performance is kid’s style or not.
Now the question about Junior Eurovision 2014 is for me the following: Who should win this year? The most original song or the most original performance? Yes Federica’s song reminds us (in style) the 2009 Swedish entry by La Voix but her performance is definitely nothing we have seen in JESC so far and nothing to compare to in 2014 edition (amongst other participants).
Ethnic style appealing? Ukraine and Belarus are the only countries keeping their national identity in the tune of their Junior Eurovision entries. Thankfully both countries are not using the usual ethnic kitsch tune and stage presentations we have seen in the past. In the case of Belarus besides the national instrument, the tune is sounding as if it was representing Ireland as it’s more celtic to my ears than just Belarusian.
In the case of Ukraine, the situation changes. The political developments didn’t left JESC out of it. Kids are trying to spread a peace and unification message in a period when people are dying in Ukraine and no one seems to care. We should pay attention to them, they have a story to say and they have a message to spread. They do it through a Disney movie style tune and they do it great.