In the lead up to this year’s Junior Eurovision, we are looking back on the previous editions of the contest to rediscover the songs we love! Our Top 5 will likely be different to yours, but that’s part of the joy! We encourage you to join the discussion by sharing your Top 5 too!
Today we are heading to Ukraine, Kyiv to be exact as they were the hosts of the 2013 Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Some familiar faces hosted the contest, Zlata Ognevich, a former Eurovision participant as well as Timur Miroshnychenko who had hosted Junior Eurovision in 2009 and then since then has hosted Eurovision in 2017. In terms of the participants, it was definitely one of the smaller editions of the contest with just 12 participants. This included debut nation San Marino as well as returning nations FYR Macedonia and Malta. Unfortunately Albania, Belgium and Israel all withdrew from this edition of the contest. Now, let’s get into our Top 5!
5. Poy so mnoy – Ilya Volkov (Belarus)
I will be the first to admit that this song didn’t catch my attention at the time of the contest, but with time I have come to enjoy this tune! Ilya is absolutely a born performer and that is made clear during this performance. He is calm and confident which is a good combination when it comes to Junior Eurovision! Not only did he have to actually sing the song, but there was a fair bit of choreography during the performance, but this doesn’t seem to faze Ilya who confidently and energetically performs this catchy entry!
4. O-o-O Sole Intorno a Me – Michele Perniola (San Marino)
It was San Marino’s debut performance at Junior Eurovision and upon the song release, it was picked that San Marino would score high with this one. Spoiler alert, the song didn’t finish in a high position, but it was a strong debut from San Marino. Michele was definitely giving Michael Jackson vibes with his vocals which matched the uplifting style of song he was performance. The entry was appealing because of its energy, but also the melody which was easy to sing along to, and in fact you can hear the audience sing along with Michele at the beginning of the song. As we know, Michele went on to represent San Marino at Eurovision in 2015 with fellow Junior Eurovision participant Anita Simoncini.
3. The Start – Gaia Cauchi (Malta)
There’s a reason why this song won, and it’s fairly clear to see that reason. The simple performance of a beautiful ballad was a stand out on the night and ultimately brought Malta their first Junior Eurovision win. This song is all about the vocals, and with some incredibly big notes, it was going to take a talented vocalist to deliver a spectacular performance and Gaia was the perfect candidate. Her voice, even at that age was mature beyond her years and she absolutely nailed every note during the performance. Now let’s hope we can see her represent Malta at Eurovision!
2. Give Me Your Smile – The Smile Shop (Georgia)
Georgia are often pushing the boundaries when it comes to Junior Eurovision, but this time around the nation tried something a little different for the contest. The song and performance were inspired by a time well before these participants entered this world but yet the style was perfectly executed. This is an uplifting song, and you would be able to guess that from the song title alone! Vocally they were on point, and it’s even more impressive considering it’s not just 1 or even 2 vocalists who have to harmonise, but six! I don’t know that their backing projections on the LED screens really matched the aesthetic of their performance but for the most part you are fixated on the charisma that each of the six performers displays.
- Me and My Guitar – Rustam Karimov (Azerbaijan)
This may not have been the most vocally spectacular entry on the night, but this is one of those songs that for me has stuck around in my memory. The studio version of the song blew me away to the point that I had probably viewed the official video an unreasonable number of times. It’s a lovely song that feels very ‘Junior’ appropriate, and overall it’s just a feel good song. At the contest, you could tell Rustam was feeling the nerves, but he did eventually get into the groove of the performance. Speaking of which, the visual stage performance was creative, from the human created bicycle to the makeshift guitar. It didn’t fare too well in the results, but despite that it will continue to be one of my favourites!
Check out the previous posts in this series here: