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ESC Pulse Article: Junior Eurovision 2016 Predictions

Bonswa! That’s ‘hello’ in Maltese if you’re reading this in the afternoon, if you’re reading in the morning, then it’s “bonġu”!

The jury rehearsal for this year’s Junior Eurovision has come and gone, and most of the scores are now being decided as we speak. So, with Kylie on the ground and John back in the UK keeping an eye on the news, will they agree on the eventual result?

Continue reading ESC Pulse Article: Junior Eurovision 2016 Predictions

ESC Pulse Article: ESC 2016 Semi 2 Predictions

Hej! The jury rehearsal for the second semi-final has come and gone, Kylie was there to witness it while Nicolas and Sara had to rely on videos and blogs from home. Will that show a difference in opinions and predictions between the three of us? Let’s find out…

Before we start, let’s have some quick comments about the first semi results:

Kylie: I don’t want to talk about it. At least my friends were happy, but, yeah… At least I wasn’t the only one in that press centre who was upset.

Nicolas: My god, for a split second I thought Malta wasn’t going to qualify, but then my heart was broken as Iceland was not announced last. But in general, I was very happy and, let’s not forget, for once I’m in the lead on ESC Pulse! I had 9 qualifiers right compared to Kylie and Sara’s 8! But.. I doubt I’ll keep that title after semi 2…

Sara: Iceland should’ve qualified! Go Austriaaaa!!!!! Just reminding people, by the way, that my predictions are based on a big load of statistics! So don’t blame me if I’m wrong!

Also, as there won’t be a podcast for predicting semi 2 (as we have quite a sick baby with us right now…) both Nicolas and I will actually try and predict the exact placing of every country on here instead!

 

Latvia

Justs – “Heartbeat”. Image courtesy of EBU.

Kylie: Yes. Talk about a jury performance! I just hope my heart doesn’t get broken again after Tuesday…

Nicolas: Yes. Though I’m not too fond of the song, there’s no denying he hits all the notes plus he’s very passionate. Should sail through! Will be 4th.

Sara: Yes. I don’t think this will do as well as people say it will. The staging is weak and boring and he’s pretty boring as a performer too… 6th.

 

Poland

Michał Szpak – “Color Of Your Life”. Image courtesy of EBU.

Kylie: Yes. He kind of fluffed up the jury performance but I’ve always thought of this as more of a televote song, and I think it can get through on that basis.

Nicolas: Yes. Like Kylie said, televoting will save him, though I secretly hope he misses out. Will be 9th.

Sara: Yes. I think the juries will really like this, as long as he doesn’t make any mistakes and there are a lot of Polish people around Europe, so who knows. 4th!

 

Switzerland

Rykka – “The Last Of Our Kind”. Image courtesy of EBU.

Kylie: No. It’s just so weak compared to the two songs before and the one after it, and don’t get me started on her clown wig hair…

Nicolas: No. WHY did she decide to go for the curly hair? Anyway, it’s not like straight hair would’ve saved this. I think this year might have the interesting result of having the same last places in the semis as last year: Finland and Switzerland. 18th.

Sara: No. Just curling her hair is already putting her down five places. Bad decisions all around! 18th.

 

Israel

Hovi Star – “Made Of Stars”. Image courtesy of EBU.

Kylie: Yes. Dark horse alert! I’m so sorry Nicolas for dismissing you in the review, you were right! The staging just looks so lovely and it’s very well sung, and it has THE pyro curtain of the year.

Nicolas: Yes. HAH, Kylie! At least I like that you aren’t trying to talk your way out of it. I had the feeling from the moment the final version got released that that would just wow everyone. The pyro rain will however not seem as impressive to viewers, I feel, because of Switzerland using it literally 3 minutes before. I do feel it’s one of tose that would do better in the final than in the semi, partly because of the draw. 8th.

Sara: No. I think it comes too early in the draw and too close to Poland to really have an impact. There’s nothing about this song that stands out (besides his sparkly clothes!!!). The backdrop has been done a million times before in this competition. 12th.

 

Belarus

IVAN – “Help You Fly”. Image courtesy of EBU.

Kylie: No. I dunno, I just feel that between Israel and Serbia, this seems a bit trying too hard. I’m not confident about that statement though.

Nicolas: No. I really want this to qualify and I think that if someone like Mr Zelmerlöw (I don’t feel like going to copy the weird ‘a’, okay?!) had performed this with this staging, it’d be a definite top 10, but IVAN is still just as charisma-free as an overused toilet brush (or as Rykka’s hair, for that matter). Televoters will save this from the very bottom though. 13th.

Sara: No. He’s just too weird as a person and it will put people off. It’s a cool performance but I don’t see anybody voting for this. 13th

 

Serbia

Sanja Vučić ZAA – “Goodbye (Shelter)”. Image courtesy of EBU.

Kylie: Yes. Juries will love it and it’s not too dark or uncomfortable for the public to appreciate in my opinion.

Nicolas: Yes. If I were more daring, I’d say it’s top 5 in the final, but I need to see the performance first. But from what I’ve seen, it’s a perfect staging and her voice is outstanding. Great job, Serbia! 2nd in the semi!

Sara: Yes. I think this a really strong entry and a really good performance. She sounds spot on all the time and she’s a very likeable person. 5th.

 

Ireland

Nicky Byrne – “Sunlight”. Image courtesy of EBU.

Kylie: No. Being between two Balkan vocal powerhouses is very bad news for them. It just feels like a bit of fluff between two very substantial pieces of work. And yes, the fact that they’ve got a red backdrop for a song called freaking SUNLIGHT still makes me irrationally irritated.

Nicolas: No. I don’t think he’s chanceless just based on songs, as it’s very much in the vein of what Denmark would’ve sent between 2008 and 2011, but Nicky just can’t make it work. 15th.

Sara: No. This is just weak… Ireland doesn’t know how to stage their entries anymore. It’s so boring and the song lacks that certain je-ne-sais-quoi. 14th.

 

F.Y.R. Macedonia

Kaliopi – “Dona”. Image courtesy of EBU.

Kylie: Yes. I’m not 100% confident about this, but I’ve got a feeling that she might’ve done just enough to make it.

Nicolas: No. Though like Kylie said, not 100% sure either. I feel like this will narrowly miss out. In 2012 they only barely qualified with a much stronger song, so I feel like they might just miss out this time around. 11th.

Sara: No. It doesn’t appeal to juries nor televoting. Just too old-fashioned and her voice is something that you need to get used to and first time listeners won’t get the chance to do that and won’t enjoy it. But since they have a few friends in this semi they will get 11th anyway!

 

Lithuania

Donny Montell – “I’ve Been Waiting For This Night”. Image courtesy of EBU.

Kylie: No. I don’t know why, but today I got a hunch that this is going to fall short. I know they’ve got plenty of support in this semi, but something just doesn’t feel right here.

Nicolas: Yes. It won’t be as high as I first thought as I think the staging really fails to grab people’s attention. But Lithuania literally has all of its friends so I think it’ll manage to make it, though very narrowly! 10th.

Sara: Yes. I think this is the only song of its kind in this semi: a single male singing a real uptempo dance track. He’s a seasoned performer and I think if the camera shots are right he could impress quite a few viewers. 8th.

 

Australia

Dami Im – “Sound Of Silence”. Image courtesy of EBU.

Kylie: Yes. Unfortunately…

Nicolas: Yes. No reason why this wouldn’t qualify. 3rd

Sara: Yes. She’s obviously one of the best singers in the competition this year and I feel like her performance will look really cool on screen (even though I haven’t seen it yet). 2nd.

 

Slovenia

ManuElla – “Blue And Red”. Image courtesy of EBU.

Kylie: No. I don’t get the random acrobat and its running order position doesn’t really help.

Nicolas: No. This is the ultimate pee break material. 17th.

Sara: No. This song is too weak. Europeans don’t usually like country/pop songs like this. There’s a reason why Taylor Swift only really became popular in Europe after her change of style. And coming between Australia and Bulgaria will make her forgettable. 17th.

 

Bulgaria

Poli Genova – “If Love Was A Crime”. Image courtesy of EBU.

Kylie: Yes. It’s a really good pop song and people will appreciate that, it’s really enjoyable in my opinion

Nicolas: Yes. It should make it easily, but somehow I’m scared that if we have an Iceland 2.0 in this semi, it might be this… But loyal listeners will know that that’s just the pessimist in me talking, though I won’t let that part of me overrule the reasonable side of me! 5th.

Sara: Yes. I think a lot of the casual viewers will really like this song and relate to it. It’s extremely catchy and everybody will be singing it all night whether they know Bulgarian or not. 3rd.

 

Denmark

Lighthouse X – “Soldiers Of Love”. Image courtesy of EBU.

Kylie: No. If they couldn’t qualify with the same schtick last year, what reason is there for them to do it this year?

Nicolas: No. Middle of the road things used to make it in Eurovision, but what statistics about this new voting system taught me is that the middle of the road songs are the ones that suffer the most from this. Juries might have this as qualifying, but televoters will forget about this completely. 14th

Sara: Yes. Just because I have faith in my Danish men, just like I had faith in them in DMGP! You’ll all see! 10th.

 

Ukraine

Jamala – “1944”. Image courtesy of EBU.

Kylie: Yes. It stands out in its semi and will be well-liked enough on both sides of the coin that they will be safely through.

Nicolas: Yes. I know that back in February I said this might be the shock failure of this year, but no way that this is going to happen. I’m even thinking this will win the semi. 1st!

Sara: Yes. It’s Ukraine. 1st.

 

Norway

Agnete – “Icebreaker”. Image courtesy of EBU.

Kylie: No. You have no idea how much it pains me to say it about my beloved Norway, so I’m just going to leave it at that and go cry…

Nicolas: Yes. I think people are being too harsh here. The song was seen as a definite qualifier at first and just because  the box went away people now think this won’t qualify? Show a bit more faith in the actual song! She sings it really well and I think she’ll still sail through! 6th

Sara: Yes. I think the song appeals to teenage girls (I’m.. sorry, Kylie?) and you either love it or hate it. 9th.

 

Georgia

Nika Kocharov & Young Georgian Lolitaz – “Midnight Gold”. Image courtesy of EBU.

Kylie: Yes. Another one that I’m not 100% confident on, but I’ve got a hunch that this might be exciting enough for people to appreciate and it MIGHT just sneak through, although I’m not entirely sure how much of that is my own personal wish…

Nicolas: No. As much as I want this to qualify, I can’t see the niche that this song appeals to pick up the phone to vote enough for this to qualify. And juries will sink it, I feel. 12th.

Sara: No. I think this song only appeals to a very small group of people and those people wouldn’t vote in Eurovision anyway. 16th.

 

Albania

Eneda Tarifa – “Fairytale”. Image courtesy of EBU.

Kylie: No. She really belts it out but it just does nothing and you will forget it by the time Belgium’s postcard comes on.

Nicolas: No. Again, if I were braver, I’d predict this as a shock qualifier, but I’m going to go safe and say that it’ll be completely forgotten between crazy Georgia and fun Belgium. 16th.

Sara: No. The song is lacklustre, lacks any type of real melody. People will be impressed by her voice but will forget her 30 seconds after the song’s over.

 

Belgium

Laura Tesoro – “What’s The Pressure”. Image courtesy of EBU.

Kylie: Yes. Not much to say other than that it’s the semi-final closer that we all needed.

Nicolas: Yes. For once I’ll show faith in Belgium! I just feel like there’s too many things going for it to go really wrong in the semi. It’ll fail to do that well in the final, but the fact that it’s the only real fun song in this semi, with good choreography, making people want to dance, makes me quietly confident. 7th.

Sara: Yes. This is a funky song that people will enjoy. She’s really cute and super likeable. 7th.

 

Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoy the show, and if you agree/disagree with us, or want to make fun of us after the show for our incorrect predictions, hit us with a comment!

 

ESC Pulse Podcast: Nicolas & Sara Review The 2016 Rehearsals (Part 2)

Nicolas and Sara are not in Stockholm, but it doesn’t mean that they can’t have a say about what they make of the rehearsal footage back home in the States!

 

Continue reading ESC Pulse Podcast: Nicolas & Sara Review The 2016 Rehearsals (Part 2)

ESC Pulse Podcast: ESC 2016 Review – Semi 2 (part 1)

The third of five shows reviewing the songs competing in the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest. In this episode, we look at the songs in the first half of Semi 2.

Continue reading ESC Pulse Podcast: ESC 2016 Review – Semi 2 (part 1)

Euro Dummies Article: Junior ESC 2015 Predictions

Здравей! That’s “hello” in Bulgarian for those who don’t know. The jury rehearsal has come and gone, Kylie was there to witness it while Nicolas and Sara had to rely on videos and blogs from home. Will that show a difference in opinions and predictions between the three of us? Let’s find out…

Kylie: First of all, I just want to say that everyone has one hell of a show to look to, very well produced, no spoilers of course! If only you guys (Nicolas and Sara) were here, you would’ve had a blast here in Sofia, we’ve been treated well here and the food is cheap!

Nicolas: Oh great, Kylie, rub it in even more! We really wish we could’ve been there with you, but at least we’ve got a good reason to stay at home this time! We’re breeding our own little Junior artist… 😉 Anyway, from what I’ve seen from the show, the stage, the lighting, it’s all pretty impressive!

Sara: Well, I probably wouldn’t like any of the food anyway… But other than that, I’ve been pretty disappointed this year, mostly by the songs, the performances and the lack of interest coming from the fans. The stage on the other hand is really pretty! I can’t wait for the postcards either. As Vlad said before: (cue heavy Russian accent) ‘Sofia good host!’

 

01) Serbia

Lena Stamenković – Lenina pesma

Kylie: Very classic Balkan performance of being simple yet very very effective. Lena has great stage presence which prevents it looking empty. She properly gave it some welly in the jury rehearsal. If it was later in the draw it would’ve been a possible winner, but being on first, they’re going to have to settle for 3rd once again.

Nicolas: At first, I was disappointed that we didn’t get the very pretty staging we saw on RTS’s presentation show. Based on the videos we’ve seen, the stage looks so empty and it just feels like it’s lacking something. However, what the press have been writing is really reassuring me in that she fills the stage with her movements etc. once you see it on screen. I hope this will do really well! I love the ‘Care’ and ‘Empathy’ bits on the screen as well. 🙂 I’ll go with 3rd as well!

Sara: The performance is pretty boring… I’m really disappointed that she’s by herself and I don’t find her to be charismatic at all. She’s just kind of stands there with her arm up the whole time. I just don’t like it. It’ll get 2nd anyway because people are stupid. And God, please do something with her hair, she looks like she just rolled out of bed!

 

02) Georgia

The Virus – Gabede

Kylie: Certainly a big palate cleanser after Serbia. I feel like the boy’s facial expressions are too much, but they certainly bring an element of crazy fun, their jury rehearsal was very energetic. I think about 9th or 10th would be fair enough.

Nicolas:  First video I saw of this, I was cringing all throughout the performance. The girls are amazing, they have good voices and a lot of charisma. However, the boy’s performance just doesn’t feel right… In the first part, his singing doesn’t seem on point, in the chorus his dancing is really out of sync with the girls and then the worst is yet to come: that shouting. There’s nothing wrong with rousing the crowd a bit, but the way he does is just feels so wrong. I fear juries and the draw will sink this one: 14th.

Sara:  Getting past the fact that the boy is obnoxious with his screaming and yelling, the performance is surprisingly surprising. I expected a mess, but it’s actually well done and the girls sing well. Their outfits are decent too. I thought at first they were going to get last, but I think they saved themselves and will get 13th.

 

03) Slovenia

Lina Kuduzović – Prva ljubezen

Kylie: Coming after such a crazy song like Georgia is going to hurt this, it feels like a party-pooper after the craziness. She had a strong jury performance, but there’s something missing I feel.  I can’t see it cracking top 5 this early.

Nicolas: There’s literally nothing wrong with this song. Lina gives a perfect performance, she’s very confident, the staging is pretty, the song is so well produced. But somehow, there’s just something missing to give it a top spot in this year’s competition. I’m guessing 7th for this one.

Sara: Well then, this is pretty and very Disney-like! Lina is beautiful, has a beautiful voice which always sounds perfect. I think both juries and televoting will like it, so congratulations on winning, Slovenia!

 

04) Italy

Chiara & Martina – Viva

Kylie: Nice strong performance, simple but effective staging, not much else to say. They should do OK here, juries will be kind to them after that performance, definitely lower top 10.

Nicolas: I hope I’m wrong, but I think this will actually fail to make the top 10. It’s not a bad song, not a bad performance either, but it lacks a bit of oomph, I feel. That, paired with a forgettable draw, means I’ll put it 12th for now.

Sara: Sadly, it’s a pretty mediocre performance. It’ll be forgotten even though I really enjoy the song. It’ll get 15th.

 

05) The Netherlands

Shalisa – Million Lights

Kylie: Eh. It’s just nice, had a safe jury rehearsal, nothing more. It’s just not outstanding or memorable enough to encourage a lot of votes, I still stand by my earlier prediction of this doing badly in the end.

Nicolas: Ah, isn’t this nice? Nice is really the key word here. Everyone watching, especially adults will say something like ‘oh, this sounds really nice, I like this’ on their way to the kitchen to get a new drink. And they’ll have forgotten it completely by the end of the show. I’m sorry, neighbours, but this time I feel you’ll get 15th…

Sara: Yesh, well the Netherlandsh have a performance that jusht doeshn’t make shenshe. I don’t understand why they have hiphop dancers dancing to a ballad that has nothing to do with hiphop. The outfits are ugly, but then again, it’s the Netherlands. They could’ve at least had pretty ballet dancers and an actual backdrop instead of a live video that is delayed by a second. They’ll get 12th and the delegation will be pissed again… Sorry, not sorry.

 

06) Australia

Bella Paige – My Girls

Kylie: I apologise for saying this will flop, I’ve changed my mind this past week seeing how it looks on TV.  Although in the jury rehearsal she was too screamy in my opinion. They can get top 10 but I can’t see them cracking top 5 at all.

Nicolas:  I think after all the fuss about this song and performance, I feel like not getting top 5 IS kind of a flop for Australia… But I think it’ll definitely make it there, just short of winning because of the weak jury rehearsal. It’s still a strong performance with a very jury friendly song and by a country no one will forget: 2nd.

Sara: Well, I’m glad she bombed the jury rehearsal because I was really scared that she was a contender for the win. It looks good, she sounds good in rehearsal videos, the dancers are a bit off, but that’s their own fault for wanting to break the rules (Nic.: the Australian dancers were over 20 years old, so they had to go with locals instead…). I’m going to go out on a limb here and say they’ll get 11th. Hahahahahaha!

07) Ireland

Aimee Banks – Réalta na mara

Kylie: Really classically Irish-looking, it looks very pretty. I do kinda worry about it following an ad break, but I think juries will really like this and will push it up the scoreboard. The Irish delegation who watched it in the press room were very happy with that jury rehearsal.

Nicolas: I really hope so much this cracks into the top 5, but I think it’ll end up just outside of that, sadly. It just doesn’t have enough appeal, but I hope I’ll be proven wrong. They fixed everything about their performance and it’s just completely perfect! I say 6th.

Sara: Thank you for fixing the backdrop, but I find her kind of boring on stage. She has a really pretty voice but the song just kind of stays flat for three minutes. Because of this, I think televoters will get bored unless they’re old grannies (ciao Italia!). The fog is beautiful, though, and so is she! She’ll get 8th and I think Ireland will be happy with that!

 

08) Russia

Mikhail Smirnov – Mechta (Dream)

Kylie: This one grew on me over the week, I think the whole performance has a very dreamy feel (see what I did there), jury performance was very good, they will safely get another top 5 but I don’t think they have enough to crack top 3.

Nicolas: I think it’s a really pretty performance, but I don’t like his very Bilan-like mannerisms after each sentence sung. He’s obviously a great singer and the song is gorgeous, so I think it’ll have the usual Russian JESC result: 5th.

Sara: He’s cute, he’s a good singer, he’s got a nice performance, nice stage, nice hair and a nice song. And with that he’ll get 9th. 🙂

 

09) FYR Macedonia

Ivana Petkovska & Magdalena Aleksovska – Pletenka (Braid of Love)

Kylie: The performance does the job done on being a simple kiddie pop song. They had to perform their jury rehearsal again after their mics failed and did fine, technically being the last to perform for the juries might help them a little, although not much.

Nicolas: It starts of so well! It looks cool, fun, pretty and then they start singing, you get to the chorus and it all falls flat in my opinion. It’s the usual Messydonian staging we’re used to. It has a lot of friends in the contest, but they’ve got better things to vote for. I still think this will be our last placer: 17th.

Sara: Pletenka! They’re kind of awkward on stage, but the song is pretty fun and really ‘Junior-like’. I hope they get some points from the Kids Jury at least, but I don’t think juries will like this. I also think televoting will overlook it since it’s between Russia and Belarus. Sadly, I predict 14th. Pletenka!

10) Belarus

Ruslan Aslanov – Volshebstvo (Magic)

Kylie: In my opinion it seems to be an ESC 1991-esque scrapfight between two totally different songs running back-to-back, and Belarus is the Amina in this equation due to it having more “artistic” merits. Hopefully it won’t get to the stage where we need a tie-break unlike back then. Jury rehearsal was near perfect, so they will definitely score very high with them.

Nicolas:  What an amazing live voice! He just delivers perfectly, but I can see this one being forgotten, sadly… I hope I’m wrong, as it’s one of my favourites. The backdrop is by far the best of the year. I think it’ll come 8th.

Sara: Ruslan has the voice of a winner, but not the song. I mean, I wouldn’t mind if this wins, but I just can’t see that happening. Then again, I said that last year with Vincenzo, and look what happened… Great performer and my favorite backdrop of the year. Coming before Armenia it might get lost. So I’ll say 10th.

 

11) Armenia

MIKA – Love

Kylie: They are the Carola of my 1991 equation as being the big well-performed happy pop song, although Armenia certainly don’t have any big wind machines here!  Another strong jury performance here, although I think Armenia will have a stronger televote score which could push them over the line.

Nicolas: I still think we’ve got the winner here! Perfect draw, great performance that could be liked by kids and adults alike and a country that has enough friends in this contest. 1st!

Sara: I like pink and sparkles and it seems like Armenia has a lot of those this year! He is one of the best performers of the year, never missing a note, very professional. It’s a fun upbeat song, so he’ll get 3rd!

12) Ukraine

Anna Trincher – Pochny z sebe

Kylie: I still cannot get over how ugly the backdrop is (for those who have followed this site’s Twitter feed), and I find it quite an achievement that you can have a performance that throws everything in the kitchen sink and still be rather forgettable. She was fine in the jury rehearsal but I don’t think it’s enough.

Nicolas: I really like the backdrop, and I don’t think it’s that gimmicky. It’s a really pretty intro and the song is really good too. It just has a weird ending and coming after Armenia might make it forgettable. I’m sadly saying 10th for now.

Sara: I like Ukraine. She looks beautiful on stage with her flower and dress thing. I’m not a huge fan of the backdrop but I think it’ll look good on screen. But sadly, this isn’t getting many points from anybody: 16th.

13) Bulgaria

Gabriela Yordanova & Ivan Stoyanov – Colour of Hope

Kylie: The consensus here is that this is going to do badly. It’s nicely staged but it doesn’t peak interest and the two clearly don’t want to be on the same stage together. Gabriela also messed up big time during her part in the jury rehearsal. It will go big in the hall though for obvious reasons, but in terms of the voting it could suffer from what I like to call “Host Entry Voter’s Apathy”.

Nicolas: I actually think it won’t do so badly. I see a midtable result for this one, and I think Bulgaria would be happy with that. The staging is really pretty and I think having her on the satellite stage works. I’m saying 9th.

Sara: I’m glad she’s wearing a dress! It’s a very pretty dress, too! It looks really classy and it’s also one of my favourite overall performances. I like the ribbon dancers and rhythmic gymnasts, but I still don’t really like the song. I feel like they scream instead of sing, especially in parts that should be sung more quietly. In the end, they’ll do well for their country and get 5th!

14) San Marino

Kamilla Ismailova – Mirror

Kylie: Oh dear god, it’s a good thing Sara wasn’t here because she might have gone into labor from laughing so much at the dress jokes in the press room. It is a rather special dress to say the least… Her makeup also looks a bit harsh. She was fine in the jury rehearsal until the final chorus where her voice cracked badly. I still don’t think it will come last, but it’s not doing well on the scoreboard at all.

Nicolas:  The staging is absolutely genius, and I won’t expand on the gory things some ESCInsight members are spreading. :p The main problem is Kamilla herself. She’s obviously a sweet girl, but she lacks a lot of charisma and voice. Her not knowing Italian also makes her lose confidence, I feel. 11th.

Sara: Everybody is underestimating San Marino this year! I don’t care what anybody says, this is the most professional performance this year. She may not have the greatest voice and she may make weird facial expressions, but she’ll get 6th, you’ll see!

 

15) Malta

Destiny Chukunyere – Not My Soul

Kylie: It’s looking much much better after that underwhelming first rehearsal, and having finally seen all the songs in order, it does stand out, Malta really have got a plum draw here (sorry Sara). She absolutely killed it for her jury rehearsal and had the charm turned up to 11, that’s top 5 locked for them after that.

Nicolas: Malta must be so happy with this draw, one between four fairly hopeless songs. She has an amazing voice, but I’m not a fan of the backdrop. I’m not sure about her charisma and look either. I feel like she needs to wear something more colourful. Still, this will do well: 4th.

Sara: So, Destiny. She has a really strong voice that juries will wank over (note from Nicolas: this is Junior, Sara, keep it clean, please!!!!) and televoters will love her bubbly personality and her ridiculous facial expressions. Too bad she doesn’t have dancers. Also, the background is cheap. 4th.

16) Albania

Mishela Rapo – Dambaje

Kylie: Here comes the winner of the Junior Barbara Dex Award! That dress really looks like a primary school art project. Her jury rehearsal was fine, but Albania is a bit of a dampener after Malta and are suffering a bad case of Empty Stage Syndrome. Despite the really late draw, this is going to do SO badly here.

Nicolas: The staging is comparable to Serbia. She’s alone and moving along a bit to the rhythm of the song. However, Lena has the charisma to pull this off. Mishela is sweet and is a good singer, but it just falls flat after about one minute of this song. I’m sorry, Albania, but at this point, I guess 16th.

Sara: I’m quite surprised by Albania this year, but I’m disappointed again by the lack of dancers and performance. She just kind of stands there and walks around, which makes it reminiscent of their 2012 entry… But I think the running order saves her and she’ll get 7th! Stop laughing at me, Nicolas.

 

17) Montenegro

Jana Mirković – Oluja

Kylie: Well, certainly an interesting end to the show with their random yellow ribbons. Vocally she was fine in the jury rehearsal, but she is the most awkward performer of this year’s bunch and always looks so uncomfortable on stage. The pimp slot will not save this song from being bottom 5 in my opinion.

Nicolas: Oh Montenegro… Her voice just isn’t strong enough for this song. I think it’ll be helped a bit by the draw, but I can’t imagine a lot of people picking up the phone for this, except the closest neighbours. And as Croatia’s result in 2014 showed, even that’s not a given… 13th.

Sara: Last in the running order, last overall! 17th! There’s nothing that stands out here, she doesn’t perform well, doesn’t smile enough, the dancers are just bad and I don’t understand the backdrop.

Final Predictions

Kylie: It’s gonna be a tough contest this year for sure, and I’m still not 100% sure of how it’s going to pan out outside of the top 4. If I’m going to stick my neck out and make a prediction, this would be it:

1) Armenia
2) Belarus
3) Serbia
—–
4) Malta
5) Russia

6th to 10th) Ireland, Slovenia, Australia, Italy and Georgia (in any order)

Last) Albania

Keep an eye out for the Kid’s Jury votes on Saturday, ever since they were introduced in 2013 the eventual winner has been in their top 2.

Nicolas:  Well, here we go then. I’ll probably be royally wrong yet again, but this is the top 17 I’m going for:

1 Armenia
2 Australia
3 Serbia
4 Malta
5 Russia
6 Ireland
7 Slovenia
8 Belarus
9 Bulgaria
10 Ukraine
11 San Marino
12 Italy
13 Montenegro
14 Georgia
15 Netherlands
16 Albania
17 FYR Macedonia

Sara: Nicolas thinks I’m joking, but I’m being serious with my predictions, okay?

1 Slovenia
2 Serbia
3 Armenia
4 Malta
5 Bulgaria
6 San Marino
7 Albania
8 Ireland
9 Russia
10 Belarus
11 Australia
12 Netherlands
13 Georgia
14 FYR Macedonia
15 Italy
16 Ukraine
17 Montenegro

So that’s it! We’ve made our final judgement on the possible outcome of this year’s Junior Eurovision. Will we be right? Will we be wrong? Who knows, be sure to watch the show and we’ll be back on the podcast shortly after we find out the winner. Enjoy your Saturday night Junior fans!

Photos courtesy of junioreurovision.tv