In the lead up to the upcoming edition of Junior Eurovision, we are looking back on the previous editions of the contest to rediscover the songs we love!
For this Top 5, we are heading to Copenhagen, the hosts of the 2003 edition of Junior Eurovision. A total of 16 participants performed their entries on the Junior Eurovision stage. This was the first year that the contest took place, with the format based on the Eurovision Song Contest. Without further ado, let’s get into our Top 5!
- Anne Gadeegaard – Arabiens drøm (Denmark)
Performing to the home crowd in the debut year of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest must have been an incredible experience for Anne Gadegaard. The first thing I notice during the performance is how many people are on stage! At the time, 8 people were allowed on stage which helps fill the stage. The choreography is great, and while the vocals didn’t always hit the mark, the song was still incredibly catchy. I’m easily won over with songs with a middle eastern beat, and I really like those touches in the song. The home crowd enjoyed the performance, and so did the voters with Denmark finishing in 5th place in the competition.
- Bubu – Tobele sunt viața mea (Romania)
There’s something so charming about the Romanian Junior Eurovision entries, and it’s a shame we don’t see them participate in the modern-day contest. This pop-rock hybrid song is energetic and very kid-friendly. The combination of vocals works really well, and I can imagine drumming and singing at the same time is challenging. The energy in the performance comes predominately from the dancing, which at times isn’t totally in sync, but it all adds to the charm. Romania finished in 10th place, which I think is a bit low!
- Sergio – Desde El Cielo (Spain)
In terms of participations, Spain is still a relatively inexperienced nation at Eurovision, but when they do participate, they really deliver. Of course, when we consider that this was the debut edition of Eurovision, it was difficult to know what to expect from the competing nations. In the 2003 field, there were less ballad style or slower entries and as a result, Spain really stood out. Sergio’s vocals are fantastic, and there’s a real storytelling quality about his performance. The backing vocalist also gives great support to Sergio, and as the visual performance was kept quite simple, the vocals were the main focus. This was a very strong debut from Spain, and it’s clear it’s not just us who think that. Spain finished in 2nd place in the contest, just 9 points behind eventual winners Croatia.
- Volha Satsiuk – Tantsuy (Belarus)
With hindsight, we know that Belarus proved to be tough competitors at Junior Eurovision. Their debut entry, Tantsuy was a strong start to their lengthy Junior Eurovision journey. The song is catchy, upbeat and uplifting. The vocals are great, and the performance showed that Volha was a confident performer, even at that tender age. The performance is one of the strongest of this contest, but doesn’t feel overchoreographed. It’s easy to see why Belarus ended up in 4th place in the contest.
- Dino Jelusić – Ti si moja prva ljubav (Croatia)
It’s difficult to deny that this was the best song of the night. The multi-talented Dino begins the song on the piano in what seems to be a slower style song. It then kicks into gear with more rock influences coming through. The beats and melody are incredibly catchy, and even after almost two decades, it remains as an iconic winner of the contest. Dino is such a charismatic performer, really working the stage during the performance. He feeds of the audience energy and delivers a fantastic debut performance. Such a great winner!
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- Top 5 Junior Eurovision Entries of 2003
One more thing…the idea for Junior Eurovision was taken from the now-extinct MGP Nordic in 2002.