Kazakhstan are still very much in the infancy stage of their Junior Eurovision participation, having made their contest debut in 2018. They had a strong debut entry, and although many expected it to be more of a threat to the trophy, Kazakhstan still managed to achieve a very respectable 6th place. This year Yerzhan Maxim will represent Kazakhstan with the big ballad, Armanyńnan qalma. Will we see Kazakhstan top their previous result?
Song + Vocals
Rewind back a year, and you’ll remember that Kazakhstan managed to score a 10/10 score from us in our Junior Eurovision reviews, so Yerzhan Maxim had big shoes to fill. In short, this doesn’t quite reach the heights of Ózińe sen, at least for me.
Although I feel slightly biased towards upbeat entries, there’s always a place for big ballads at the contest, both Eurovision and Junior Eurovision. Armanyńnan qalma is certainly one of the biggest ballads of the contest this year, and they have gone the Disney route with this song. The individual elements of the song are impressive, from the intricate instrumentation to the huge vocals from the young star, but as a whole, the song feels predictable and unimaginative.
The clear highlight of the song is the vocals, and if Yerzhan can pull off those massive notes on the night, Kazakhstan has the opportunity to do fairly well. I don’t believe that this song has been performed live yet, but if we look back at Yerzhan’s previous live performances, it’s clear to see that he has a spectacular voice. For me, this is the saving grace of a song that I’m not to keen of, but juries could definitely award this based on vocals alone.
Act + Performance
Yerzhan seems confident on stage, and as mentioned before, can clearly hold a note, so it’s understandable to see why the broadcaster selected him for this year’s contest. I can see him commanding the stage well, but much like the music video, I suspect that the broadcaster has something very big planned for the stage show. It wouldn’t surprise me to see every staging technique used in this, and I’ll be shocked if there’s no sort of pyro as part of the performance.
For me personally, this entry falls somewhere from mid table to bottom, just based on the fact that I’m not the biggest fan of the theatrical style ballads. That’s not to say that this will finish in that region of the results table, and in fact I think this could go either way. If they create a good stage performance and his vocals match those of the studio version, I think Top 10 is very achievable, however it might be forgotten amongst the other performers. Running order might also prove to be a big factor for Kazakhstan.
If you support Kazakhstan at Junior Eurovision this year, vote in our Poll here.