Category Archives: 2013

A Champion, a Heroine: Malta’s Gaia Cauchi

Well, it was a hard-fought Junior Eurovision this year, with a dozen entries battling it out for the top spot in one of the world’s most prestigious youth song festivals, but only one pint-sized powerhouse could nab the victory.  After a nailbiter of a vote, it was Malta’s Gaia Cauchi who took the win with her power-ballad “The Start”.  Ukrainian Sofia Tarasova came in second place on her home soil, with Belarus’s Ilya Volkov taking the bronze, but the night truly belonged to Gaia, who had just turned eleven. Read the rest of this entry


JESC 2013 Preview: Part 3

250px-JESC_2013_logoThe moment of truth is just about here!  Tomorrow, November 30th, young talent from a dozen nations will set foot on stage at the Ukraine National Palace of Arts in the hopes of bringing home this year’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest championship trophy.  In our first two previews (viewable here and here), we looked at eight of the acts vying for the title; let’s look at our last group! Read the rest of this entry

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!

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JESC 2013 Preview: Part 1

Well, we’re just about at the apogee of the Eurovision calendar, when we’ve got as much time behind our last ESC experience as we do before the next one.  For some, that means that broadcasters are just beginning to publicize their plans, and the first names are beginning to be announced for a few early-bird nations.  However, as the plans for the grown-ups lie somewhat dormant, their younger counterparts are gearing up for their turn in the spotlight.

This year’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest will take place on November 30 in “Ukraine Palace of Arts”, located in the heart of Kiev.  The event will be hosted by 2013 ESC representative Zlata Ognevich and 2005 JESC host Timor Miroshnychenko (try saying that five times fast!), with musical appearances from Ruslana, Emmelie de Forest, and Zlata herself. Read the rest of this entry

Semifinal 2: Hopes and Expectations…

ESC2013_butterfly_backgroundOk, so it looks like I guessed seven out of ten for Semifinal One, swapping Croatia, Serbia, and Austria in for actual qualifiers Belgium, Estonia, and Lithuania.  Will my predictions fare any better for Semifinal Two?

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Eurovision 2013: Semi 1 Predictions and Hopes

ESC2013_butterfly_backgroundWe’re only a few hours away from tonight’s First Semifinal, where sixteen songs will vie for only ten spots in Saturday’s Final.  After over a week’s worth of staring, examining, and likely over-analyzing each entry and presentation, most people here in the Press Centre have come up with their list of likely qualifiers, as well as their personal favorites.

…and who am I to argue with tradition? Read the rest of this entry

Impressions from First Rehearsals: Semifinal Two

Days Three and Four in the Press Centre (or, at the very least, at the Euroclub, which served as our makeshift work space) brought us our first glimpses of the Second Semifinal.  Ballads, ethnic touches, hints of rock, whiffs of theatricality…we’ve got it all!  Here are my general thoughts on what May 16 will bring to the table:

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Impressions from First Rehearsals: Semifinal One

ESC2013_butterfly_backgroundThe days are long here in the temporary Press Centre at Slagthuset, and news flies fast and furious as we catch our first glimpses of rehearsals.  Monday and Tuesday brought the first run-throughs from the first Semifinal (we’ll see Semi 2 on Wednesday and Thursday), and there were many impressions to be made!  Let’s take a quick glimpse at what the past few days held…

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Samantha’s Unranked Rankings – 2013 Edition

ESC2013_butterfly_backgroundWell, here we are.  From here in Malmö, the first rehearsals are about to start.  After months of speculation over how Song X will look on stage when all of the lighting, costuming, camera angles, and final arrangements are presented, we’ll finally get our first impressions.  Before those images settle into our collective psyches, however, I’d like to present my own personal list of “unranked rankings”.  Regardless of how I think a song will place, or if it will qualify, I simply judge these songs on how they hit my eardrum!

And with that, away we go!

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Snark and Spanakopita: The ESC Insider’s Preview Party

Last weekend, in preparation for my impending trip to Malmö (and to temporarily back myself out of the echo-chamber of Eurovision fandom), I scrubbed my apartment clean, set out the extra chairs, whipped up some meatballs and invited some of my closest friends over to my place for my now-Annual ESC Preview Party.  While we’re all living in Minnesota now, we were actually a pretty global group, with some of us having lived or studied in Germany, Greece, Austria, Bosnia, China, Japan, and Chile.

The majority of my guests had not heard any of the songs before the event, and so all scores were based purely upon first impressions.  Some had attended my little shindig last year, but others were complete and utter Euro-virgins.  As we munched on spanakopita and sipped Belgian beer and Portuguese wine, we let our snarky sides run wild and free, rating each song on its own merits on a scale from one to ten.  There was almost no talk of running order, cultural voting blocs, or previous Eurovision history (except for a wink and a nod to Valentina Monetta’s other contribution to the ESC).  Here’s how the dozen or so of us voted: Read the rest of this entry