The 2011 Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Yerevan, Armenia has wrapped up, and after another close result, one nation has reigned supreme. Congratulations go out to Irinia, Mariam, Gvansta, Ana and Irina (again!) from Georgia. Claiming the nation’s second victory with 108 points, girl-group Candy nabbed the top spot with their disco-throwback number, “Candy Music”.
Coming in a very close second place was pre-contest favorite Rachel, representing the Netherlands, with “Ik ben een Teenager”:
There has been some measure of grumbling from ESC fans that Georgia’s entry appeared overly manufactured, and not as “child-forward” as many of the other entries, which had been entirely composed by the kids themselves (Co-writer George Kukhianidze was also at the helm of the nation’s 2007, 2008 and 2010 songs). Others point to Georgia’s votes this year, which gave low points to favorites Russia and the Netherlands. While many people have been disputing the victory of “Candy Music” over “Teenager”, “Angely Dobra”, “Romeo and Juliet” or any of the other entries, we need to remember one simple fact: this is a contest marketed towards kids. While I’m sure there were more than a few grown-ups voting this year, it’s the “J” in JESC that counts. I’m sure that most of us would look back at the music we listened to as kids and think “how far I’ve come” (or, more than likely, “what was I thinking?”). If there wasn’t an evolution of musical preference between kids and adults, I’m sure that I’d still be listening to Debbie Gibson and arguing with my friends which of the New Kids on the Block was the cutest. (It’s still Joey, for the record.) We all grow up, and for every one of us who shakes our head at Justin Bieber, there was someone doing that same thing with Britney Spears, The Bay City Rollers, or Elvis.
If My personal stance is that “Candy Music” was a well-crafted and catchy little number that played the same strategic game that helped “Bzzz…” win back in 2008. While the Georgian language isn’t widely spoken outside of its home country, children the world over have a shared love of animals and sweets. (I’ve looked it up…the word “chocolate” translates into a cognate in all of the languages represented at this year’s competition.) If the ultimate goal of Junior Eurovision (and, by extension, the adult version) is to get people of the continent together under the banner of music, then “Candy Music” has tapped into that universality with great results. I look forward to seeing what will happen next year!
What do you all think? Let me know in the comments!
(JESC Logo Copyrights: EBU, AMPTV)