JESC 2013 Preview: Part 2
In our first peek at who’s who in this year’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest, we got to know the crop of young talent from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, and Georgia. As of this moment, the performers have converged on Kiev and rehearsals are just ramping up. Let’s meet our next set of artists!
Song: “Ohrid i Muzika (Ohrid and Music)”
Artist: Barbara Popović, age 13
Skopje-born 8th-grader Barbara is Macedonia’s first JESC entrant since 2011’s Dorijan Dlaka (remembered by many JESC fans as the sweet, yet unfortunate young man whose voice cracked halfway through rehearsals in Yerevan for “Zhimi Ovoj Frak“). Rather than the swinging throwback style of her predecessor, Barbara is going for a more modern, high-energy number, telling the tale of how she fell for a young man from the Netherlands while they were on vacation in Ohrid. Will the story garner her points from the Dutch delegation this year?
Number of Previous Appearances: 8
Year of Debut: 2003
Best Result: 4th place, 2008 (“Junior Swing” by Daniel Testa)
Song: “The Start”
Artist: Gaia Cauchi, age 11
Like Macedonia, Malta is returning to Junior Eurovision after a break. Presenting the one of the only power-ballads we’ll see this year, 11-year-old Gaia is no stranger to musical competition, winning Italy’s San Remo Junior festival in 2012. In general, JESC has been won by more upbeat entries, but this trend was smashed with Ukraine’s decisive victory with the dark, dreamy “Nebo”. Gaia’s voice is impressive beyond her years, but will that mean victory?
Number of Previous Appearances: 3
Year of Debut: 2010
Best Result: 6th place, 2011 (“No, No” by Lerika)
Song: “Cum să fim (How to Be)”
Artist: Rafael Bobeica, age 11
Moldova’s a relative newcomer to the JESC game, only having participated since 2010. That being said, “Cum să fim” is a departure from the country’s three previous entries. Rather than serving up a bouncy pop number like “Ali Baba“, “No, No”, or “Toate vor fi“, Rafael’s song is more pensive and incorporates more vocal acrobatics (maybe taking a page from his octave-warping Romanian neighbor, Cezar?).
Number of Previous Appearances: 10
Year of Debut: 2003
Best Result: 1st place, 2009 (“Click Clack” by Ralf Mackenbach)
Song: “Double Me”
Artist: Mylène and Rosanne Waalewijn, age 13
These twins from Amsterdam seem to have cornered the market on energy and sass (at least for this batch of previews!). Both are experienced stage performers at the local level. The pair will combine forces on stage in Kiev in the hopes of duplicating the success of the last pair of twins at JESC: Russia’s Tolmachevy Sisters, who won the whole shebang back in 2006.
In the next preview, we’ll look at the final four artists, representing Russia, San Marino, Sweden, and host nation Ukraine.