jESC 2013: My opinion about the show



It’s been over two weeks since the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2013 has ended. 12 countries participated in the 2013 edition of the contest held in KyivUkraine (for the second time, a first in jESC history on host city terms. In the previous edition, the contest was held in The Netherlands for the second time (then, a jESC first on host country terms), but Amesterdam was the host city that time (Rotterdam had hosted jESC in 2007on Saturday, 30th November 2013

And it all started with a first act full of colorful dancing, paving way to what’s already a common tradition in jESC (the “parade of nations” à la Olympic Games):

Then, the presenters of the evening came (Timur Miroshnychenko (who had previously hosted the jESC 2009 in… Kiev) and Zlata Ognevich (who had, months earlier, participated in ESC 2013 as a participant singer). They did the best they could, but Timur was better than Zlata in terms of presenting

After that, the parade of songs started. At this point, I’ll be giving my opinion on them one by one:

01: SwedenEliias (Elias Elffors Elfström) – Det är dit vi ska

A nice modern pop-rock about facing life and finding new ways to deal with it that could be easily heard on the radios with different performers and arrangements. The performance, however, was a bit of a letdown: Elias really sounded nervous vocally and I really thought he wouldn’t do really well, maybe a bottom-3 as well

02: AzerbaijanRustam KarimovMe and my guitar

With no relation or similiarities to ESC 2010‘s Belgium entry with the same name sung by Tom Dice, here we have a well-arranged cute upbeat entry about a boy’s love for music and for his guitar. A bit shaky vocally at times, but Rustam defended it as well as he could. Special attention for the equally cute and funny visual performance between the singer and the dancers

03: ArmeniaMonika (Monica Avanesyan)Choco factory

“Chocolate” is the main theme for both this catchy dance entry and the visually performance that came along. In terms of songs, there were better ones in jESC 2013 and eventhough it wasn’t pretty much spot on, Monica defended reasonably well, vocally-wise, her entry

04: San MarinoMichele PerniolaO-o-O sole intorno a me

San Marino made their debut in jESC 2013 (and, ultimatively, to the important day of a EBU contest (well, the country hasn’t qualified yet to the ESC final since they first participated back in 2008) with a retro Michael Jackson influenced pop entry about the continuing rise of a shining singing star and its effects. The song is good and he did perform it well (cool clothes, by the way, ressembling Michael Jackson‘s golden solo days. Even Michele‘s voice reminds me of the same singer), but something lacked in order to get a better placing at the voting

05: MacedoniaBarbara Popović Ohrid i muzika

Returning to the jESC family after a one-year hiatus, Macedonia sent a hyperbeat catchy entry about a platonic love relationship between a macedonian girl and a dutch boy. Visually, you could feel it was quite busy for a song of its kind, but well executed. The problem, though, wasn’t the choreography: it was Barbara‘s vocal performance. In certain parts, she was both shaky and off-key… and, honestly, I wasn’t prepared for the random high note she delievered in the middle of the performance

06: UkraineSofia TarasovaWe are one

A fusion of midtempo and uptempo with dubstep parts with a simple peacefull message is what the host country of jESC 2013 offered for this jESC edition. I applaud Sofia for her very good performance and for proving that a simple performance with nothing but the singer can do wonders as well in terms of results

07: BelarusIlya VolkovPoy so mnoy

Previously a dancer in jESC 2012, the artist in question finally represents his home country as both singer and dancer with a catchy entry that totally represents his passion for singing and dancing. Like the song, the performance was full of cool happiness and professionalism combined into a unified force that made it bigger than life. Overall, a great song aided by a exceptionally great visual and vocal performance by Ilya and his dancers

08: MoldovaRafael Bobeica – Cum să fim

Eventhough the singer was born in Lisbon (Portugal), he currently lives and represented Moldova for this jESC edition with a downbeat pop entry about a person trying to become better than what was already. Gotta love that artistical visual performance that was created for this song, as well as Rafael‘s vast range of harmonies on his unique vocal performance (the latter made some fans compared his voice to Cezar (ESC 2013, Romania)’s, but I think their voices are really different from each other)

09: GeorgiaSmile ShopGive your smile

The name of the group and the title of the song says it all in a song that makes a fusion tribute of 40’s and 50’s jazz music with 70’s disco flavour. There’s no real extreme faults detected in their performance: it’s visually different and effective, while the vocal performance is in a smoothly symbiotic unison. Overall: yup, this makes me smile

10: The Netherlands – Mylène & RosanneDouble me

A tailored pop entry for jESC about the fact that both singers are twins physically, but psychologically different from each other. It’s noticeable they were visually having fun during the performance (I liked the props a lot for this performance: quite ideal for the song itself). The vocals could have been much better (a bit of shakyness every now and then), but it wasn’t really too problematic given the entry’s nature

11: MaltaGaia CauchiThe start

The second and last returning country to the jESC entry, Malta went all out with the only pure ballad of the night, very Beyoncé‘s “Listen” (one of the songs especially created for the 2006 movie adaptation of the 1981 Broadway musical “Dreamgirls”) alike about the dreams of a girl’s aspirations to become a singing star. What a moment: everything was on the right track, from song to lyrics and from visuals to vocals (I dare say she was the voice of jESC 2013). In a way, it really moved me and I even got positive goosebumps by the end of the performance

12: RussiaDayana KirillovaDream on (Mechtay)

Last but not least, here’s a powerful and well made catchy entry about making dreams coming true (provided that those dreams aren’t in vain). The performance doesn’t have real faults as well: visually, it was as impressive as it could be (I especially liked the visual effectiveness in the begining of the performance with the singer being on the little boat: it really ponctuated the song’s meaning). Vocally, she might not have been in the same calibre as Gaia, but she comes pretty close

All the songs have been performed and a string of interval acts then came up like lightning. Among them, we had:

Emmelie de Forest (ESC 2013 winner, representing her home country, Denmark) singing her ESC winning entry, “Only teardrops”

– The 12 participating countries‘ artists singing the song especially made for the event, “Be creative”

Anastasiya Petrik (jESC 2012 winner, representing her home country, Ukraine) singing her jESC winning song, “Nebo” + a new song titled “The winner”

Zlata Ognevich singing a string of continuing songs, culminating with her perfoming the song that got her a 3rd place in ESC 2013 (“Gravity”):

After that, the time came for the most anticipated moment of a song contest by EBU: the voting. Last year, the 13th jury (composed of one youngster from each pariticipating country) novelty was implemented, but s0mething new was implemented this year: the spokespersons from each country were also on the stage rather than being in their own countries (reason: all about getting closer to the feeling of the jESC experience). That means: no technical issues (as it happened, for example, last year). I liked that move and it really serves its purpose for jESC. If there’s a slight chance of EBU using that for ESC as well, I think it would look weird and would increase the broadcasters’  budget fee for the contest

All the countries + 13th jury voted and Malta were crowned the winners of the jESC 2013 edition with the pure ballad “The start”, sung by Gaia Cauchi (this was the country’s first win in jESC… and also their first win in a EBU singing contest). But (as a continuing part to a series of novelty implementations starting this year) the 2nd (Ukraine, Sofia Tarasova, “We are one”) and 3rd (Belarus, Ilya Volkov, “Poy so mnoy”) placed entries were also awarded (in ESC terms, we had to go back to 1971 to see the top-3 being on the stage after the results, eventhough only the winning singer and songwriters were awarded)

Overall, the results were fine (Malta really deserved the win: everything was spot on), but Armenia was a tiny bit overrated (how it got a 6th place?). Moldova was quite underrated (I thought Rafael did a very good job) while Macedonia only got what they got in the end due to Barbara‘s poor vocal performance and to the song’s nature (otherwise, I think it was also a bit underrated, song-wise). Suprised to see Sweden out of the bottom-3 after the rather vocally nervous performance Elias gave

Well, that’s all from me about jESC 2013. But before finishing my opinion about jESC 2013, here’s the reprise of the winning entry:

Thank you,

LAboy 456
(Rui Craveiro)


Posted on 15 de December de 2013, in Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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