Junior Eurovision 2008: A retrospective

JESC 2008

The sixth JESC took us to more pastures new. At long long last, we finally saw a contest taking place in Cyprus. Naturally, there was a generally sunny theme to proceedings, even though the contest took place in November. Still, a very good choice in my opinion. Host broadcaster CyBC took the contest to the coastal resort of Lemasos/Limassol, rather than capital Nicosia. In spite of this optimistic venue, we lost two countries – Portugal and Sweden. we’ve yet to see Portugal return, but Sweden would be back – thus keeping all fans of the contest happy. The EBU saw the theme as ‘Fun in the sun’.

We also saw a number of rule changes, showing that JESC continued to evolve. From this year onward, adults could help the participants to write their songs. The previous winners had demonstrated that age was no barrier to writing a good song so the change was seen as a balancing measure. We also saw the introduction of juries. As we’re now familiar with the concept, this was a new venture in which the televoters and an expert jury would each constitute 50% of the vote. Would we see a shift in how votes were spread out?

You might also recognise some of the participants’ names. Daniel Testa from Malta has tried to get to the senior event, and participated in Malta Eurovision Song Contest in 2013 and 2014. We may yet see him at the senior one yet. Viktoria Petryk has also tried to represent Ukraine at the senior ESC. She finished runner-up to Mariya Yaremchuk in the Ukrainian national final in 2014. Outside of Eurovision, Macedonia’s Bobi Andonov has been seen on Australia’s Got Talent, where he now has a large fan base.

Romania – Mădălina & Andrada – Salvaţi planeta! (Save the planet!)

Armenia – Monica – Im Ergi Hnchyune (Melody of my song)

Belarus – Dasha, Alina & Karyna – Serdtse Belarusi (The heart of Belarus)

Russia – Mihail Puntov – Spit angel (Sleeping angel)

Greece – Niki Yiannouchu – Kapoia nychta (Some night)

Georgia – Bzikebi – Bzz…

Belgium – Oliver – Shut up

Bulgaria – Krastyana Krasteva – Edna mechta (One dream)

Serbia – Maja Mazić – Uvek kad u nebo pogledam (Whenever I look at the sky)

Malta – Daniel Testa – Junior swing

Netherlands – Marissa – 1 dag (One day)

Ukraine – Viktoria Petryk – Matrosy (Sailors)

Lithuania – Eglė Jurgaitytė – Laiminga diena (Happy day)

Macedonia – Bobi Andonov – Prati mi SMS (Send me an SMS)

Cyprus – Elena Mannouri & Charis Savva – Gioupi gia! (Whoopee gia!)

The contest proved to have a runaway winner with Georgia’s Bzikebi scoring eight of the 14 maxima 12 points available. The performance was, to say the least, striking. Bzikebi actually means wasps, so singers Mariam, Georgi and Mariam adopting a yellow and black theme. The song was performed in an imaginary language (it’s been done in the senior ESC remember) so obviously struck a chord among the voters. Ukraine and Lithuania made up the 2nd and 3rd place spots, a fair way behind the winner. It was the first time all three countries had made the top three – for some it wouldn’t be their last.

As ever, what are some of the performers up to now?

Which songs did you like best?

Author: John Stanton

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