Kicking on from where we left off last time, we will now look at the next seven entries in the 2018 Junior Eurovision song contest. Last time we looked at the first seven entries here is what our current standings are looking like:

  1. 03 Kazakhstan – Danileya Tuleshova – Ozine Sen – 9/10
  2. 01 Ukraine – Darina Krasnovetska – Say Love – 6.33/10
  3. 05 Russia – Anna Filipchuk – Unbreakable – 5.83/10
  4. 07 Azerbaijan – Fidan Huseynova – I Wanna Be Like You – 5.17/10
  5. 06 Netherlands – Max & Anne – Samen – 5/10
  6. 04 Albania – Efi Gjika – Barbie – 4.67/10
  7. 02 Portugal – Rita Laranjeira – Gosto de Tudo – 3.67/10

 

08 Belarus – Daniel Yastremski – Time

Representing the host nation, Daniel is 14 and was born in Cincinnati in Ohio in the USA. He won his place at Junior Eurovision by narrowly winning his national final with 16 points, one point ahead of the runner up. He performed poorly on the jury vote only achieving him four points but winning the televote was enough to win him the competition. His song is written by Belarus national final veteran Kirill Good along with Roman Kolodko. This is what the team thinks of “Time”:

Connor: Oof. I can’t say much, I just think it’s too simple and not what I would listen to nor enjoy. Maybe I’ll change my mind during the contest. 4/10

James: What’s with the bowl cut and part down the middle making a comeback as a hairstyle for teenage boys? I thought we left that behind with Gilmore Girls’ Dean back in the early 2000s? That being said, it’s actually a nice song and his English is quite good for a Belarus lad. Possibly the singer at most risk of missteps on the night as there’s a few passages, particularly leading into the chorus, where his voice could warble. 7/10

Jordan: I’m gonna get straight to the point, I am a big fan of this one. Daniel is straddling both east and west perfectly. He has a modern sounding song which will appeal to western people, but it is still distinctly Belarusian. I feel this may be a dark horse if performed well live. 9/10

Sean: An interesting pop-RnB mix but doesn’t come far enough into either category to really grab my attention. This song, a bit like time itself, is passing me by! 5/10

Stefan: Well now everyone is expecting some kind of an over the top performance from Belarus in both Junior and adult ESC, let’s wait and see. As for the song – just another teen pop. 5/10

Zack: Another one I didn’t expect to like as much as I did; the most fit for radio play; Belarus always brings their A-Game to JESC (even during their weak year with that hoverboard mess); but I worry how well it will sound live. 9/10

Average Score: 6.5/10

09 Ireland – Taylor Hynes – IOU

Taylor is 14 and from Dublin. He won Junior Eurovision Eire and was the final act for this year’s contest to be chosen. The song was composed and written by Niall Mooney, Jonas Gladnikoff and Taylor himself. The music video of IOU also features two former Irish Eurovision contestants, former winner Niamh Kavanagh along with 2018’s contestant Ryan O’Shaughnessy. This is what our team thinks of “IOU”:

Connor: This song is extremely weird, but at the same time kind of enjoyable. The revamp has helped it tremendously and I can only hope Taylor brings it justice live. 5/10

James: Is that Niamh Kavanagh in the video?!?! I immediately listened to “In Your Eyes” again, and again, and what are we talking about? Oh right, Taylor Hynes and Ireland’s chances. Boy, didn’t Niamh just nail it in 1993? Sadly Taylor won’t in 2018. Thanks for a good memory with the name Kavanagh in it this year, though. 3/10

Jordan: This is simple, unapologetic fun, and to be honest there isn’t much of it in this batch of acts this year. It’s a good song to bop along too. However, I do think some of the other songs are distinctly stronger than this one, so Taylor is going to have to give a cracker of a performance to challenge in terms of points. Decent entry though! 7/10

Sean: I saw that there may have been a bit of negative feedback initially but didn’t expect such a bop! Irish is a really cool language for music, Taylor is likable, the song is infuriatingly catchy and I could see this as a dark horse. Well done Ireland! 9/10

Stefan: I’m a bit torn a part here. One minute I like, one minute I don’t. The lad can sing and has some charisma. I believe that he can make it top 10, but that’s it. 5/10

Zack: Cute video, the song is a bit meh, but I love that we have a kid that doesn’t look so plastic-pop manufactured coming into the JESC circuit, so kudos to Ireland. 4/10

Average Score: 5.5/10

10 Serbia – Bojana Radovanovic – Svet

Bojana is 13 and is from Serbia’s capital Belgrade. She was selected internally to represent Serbia with her ballad “Svet” Her song was written by Bojana herself and Marija Maric Markovic. This is what our team thinks of her entry:

Connor: While I appreciate the cute factor of the song, I feel like it’s really forgettable in this year’s pack. It was a bad year to play it safe. 4/10

James: Sadly she can’t bring Belgrade with her as that is the star of this video. That being said, Bojana is not a bad singer, she is not singing a bad song, though if they want stage performance points her costumers should keep their mitts out of the Anthropologie catalog. Bojana dresses like Gwyneth Paltrow’s niece and that is not a winning look for Eurovision, Junior or otherwise. 6/10

Jordan: I feel so horrible saying this because she is only thirteen, but I got seriously bored listening to this entry. There is nothing here that grabs my attention. It just plods along and goes nowhere in my opinion. I’m sorry Serbia! 3/10

Sean: A good dramatic ballad with some nice ethnic touches and sprinkles of magic, and of course being in Serbian adds to the dramatic sound. Very good job! 7/10

Stefan: I know the girl from the talent show and I can say that she should’ve had a more powerful song. I don’t know why they played it safe, but the composer could’ve done a better job. 6/10

Zack: I will have said this many times (and you will see deja vu from my comments), but a lot of these acts seem to either try too hard to sound too adult or try too hard to sound tweeny/kiddy and it comes off a bit fake and posed; this is one of the many songs that just tries too hard and I don’t get much out of it. 4/10

Average Score: 5/10

11 Italy – Melissa & Marco – What Is Love

Marco Boni is 14 and from Avezzano and will be singing alongside Melissa Di Pasca who is 10 and from Alassio. They were internally selected to compete for Italy under the name Melissa & Marco. Their entry “What is Love” was written by themselves and Mario Gardini and Fabrizio Palaferri. This is what our team thought of their entry:

Connor: This is another cuteness overload. I think Italy has found a good song and duo. It’s safe and enjoyable! 7/10

James: If Bojana can’t bring Belgrade, Melissa & Marco can’t bring Venice. A pleasant, if anodyne, number about love, particularly hinting at love crossing racial boundaries. A message that Italy and Europe at large certainly needs right now. I would have concerns about the cuteness of the kids translating into charisma on the stage. 5/10

Jordan: This is cute but then I remember Max and Anne from the Netherlands exist. They are two very similar entries in style, yet Max and Anne feel a lot more genuine. This feels like an adult wrote a song for the kids to sing. Children haven’t felt the feelings of love and heartbreak that this song is expressing. It feels forced at times. 5/10

Sean: Sorry, it’s just way too ordinary from me and I’d hope for more from Italy. They have a good vocal blend but that can only carry a mediocre song so far. 3/10

Stefan: The song is a ma zing, but why do they look so afraid one of each other? 🙁 They are so lacking chemistry and I think that will kill them (at least on the scoreboard). 6/10

Zack: I’m torn because this feels too grown up for kids to be singing, but then I find myself biased in favour of songs that don’t come across as too tweeny. 5/10

Average Score: 5.17/10

12 Australia – Jael – Champion

Jael Wena or just Jael is 12 and from Melbourne. She was internally selected to represent Australia in Junior Eurovision. Her song was written and composed by the MSquared team. This is what our team thought of “Champion”:

Connor:  It shouldn’t be shocking that Australia sends something good. That being said, it’s just another radio friendly pop song, nothing spectacular but not bad at all. Middle of the pack for sure. 6/10

James: Did Australia poach Leona Lewis’s little sister? I predict the judges will love it but the televote will deliver its usual middle finger to Australia. A fantastic R&B song and should occupy the Top 3 if Jael is a little less stiff on stage on the night. 8/10

Jordan: Now, I think this is definitely the most radio-friendly entry in this year’s contest. Jael has an excellent voice and her voice suits this style perfectly. I really enjoy the song. However, I am getting a bit sick of the same style of song every year for Australia. Can’t we get something different than a girl singing about female empowerment? I get it’s an important subject but surely there are some boys who can sing in Australia? – 8/10

Sean: It’s not that this is a bad song but it doesn’t offer me anything I haven’t heard a million times already… Come on Australia, surely you could make something at least a bit more interesting! At least she has a great voice. 4/10

Stefan: This is how you make a powerful song. Its not a ballad ballad, but it is one, at least for me. Jael will rock stage and I can say that Australia is of the few countries I see that can be the one to take the trophy back home. 9/10

Zack:  I will have said this many times (and you will see deja vu from my comments), but a lot of these acts seem to either try too hard to sound too adult or try too hard to sound tweeny/kiddy and it comes off a bit fake and posed; this is one of the many songs that just tries too hard and I don’t get much out of it – 6/10

Average Score: 6.83/10

13 Georgia – Tamar Edilashvili – Your Voice

Tamar is 13 and from Tbilisi. She was internally selected to compete for Georgia after coming to fame on shows such as X Factor Georgia and Ranina. Her song “Your Choice” was written by Aleksandre Lordkipanidze and Sopho Toroshelidze. This is what our team thought of the song:

Connor: Another country that knows what they’re doing, especially at the junior contest. I honestly think that, if she can carry the song live, then she could sneak from behind and win. 10/10

James: A safe, pleasant and sweet pop number with nice progression from Georgia and once again contrasts with the utter dog’s &%$#! Georgia sends to the adult Eurovision. It may not win due to its being a little too conventional, but whoever pairs singer and song for the kids should do the same for the adult version, instead of the inevitable garbage the winner of Georgia’s Idol will be paired with. Anyway, Tamar Edilashvili’s song just makes me mad because the kids have it together while the adults are drunk at the wheel. Is that what this song is about? 7/10

Jordan: Once again I have to feel guilty. There is nothing about this entry I can connect too. It feels extremely distant and does nothing for me whatsoever. Also, if you listen to the chorus over and over again it just feels like she is shouting at me. I am really not a fan. 2/10

Sean: The background music to this entry really does sound like background music, something you’d hear as a generic ringtone or silence-filler in a mall. But at least it’s more interesting than some of the other pop ballads on offer. 5/10

Stefan: Another amazing entry from the Caucasian country. This is also one of the songs I can see winning the JESC. From the rehearsal footage I’ve seen, I just can hope for her to loosen up a bit and everything will be ok. 8/10

Zack: Definitely had high hopes for this country that normally does well year after year bringing something new and interesting… This is one of the many songs that just tries too hard and I don’t get much out of it. 5/10

Average Score: 6.17/10

14 Israel – Noam Dadon – Children Like These

Noam is 13 and from Jerusalem. He was internally selected to represent his nation in Minsk. His song was composed and written by Eden Hason. The song did come under fire however as it did come to light that the song was actually a cover. This is what the team thought of Israel’s entry:

Connor: Such a controversy around this one. Noam has a great voice but this song is more like an adult contest song, covered by a kid. He just can’t carry it and it’s something I’d skip if it came on. Sorry Israel! 2/10

James: This song follows Georgia on the night, and I’m still mad about Georgia deep into poor Noam’s song. Why the hell did the adults elect as president someone who speaks Georgian as well as I do and pair Anri Jokhadze with “I’m a Joker” other than for the purposes of cringeworthy homophonic humor? Save us from the abyss, Tamar! Back to Israel, Noam’s song is pleasant enough, even if it is way too old-fashioned an Israeli pop ballad. This is something I’d expect from Israel c. 1985, not from a young lad in 2018. 5/10

Jordan: Like Georgia, there is nothing really of note here I can connect too. However, the song is a bit more pleasing on the ears to me personally. Noam has a solid voice and a very distinct tone but that is where the compliments end for me. Sorry! – 4/10

Sean: I personally think Hebrew really lends itself well to ballads and it reminds me of a stripped down junior version of Fire In Your Eyes, which is a plus in my book! Love the ethnic influence in this one. 7/10

Stefan: They are doing the same thing as what they did in ESC without any significant results. The song is good, but not that good. Also he looks like its too hard for him to sing it. 5/10

Zack: I will have said this many times (and you will see deja vu from my comments), but a lot of these acts seem to either try too hard to sound too adult or try too hard to sound tweeny/kiddy and it comes off a bit fake and posed; this is one of the many songs that just tries too hard and I don’t get much out of it – 4/10

Average Score: 4.5/10

So that is what we thought of songs eight to fourteen. This is what the leaderboard is currently looking like:

  1. 03 Kazakhstan – Danileya Tuleshova – Ozine Sen – 9/10
  2. 12 Australia – Jael – Champion – 6.83/10
  3. 08 Belarus – Daniel Yestremski – Time – 6.5/10
  4. 01 Ukraine – Darina Krasnovetska – Say Love – 6.33/10
  5. 13 Georgia – Tamar Edilashvili – Your Voice – 6.17/10
  6. 05 Russia – Anna Filipchuk – Unbreakable – 5.83/10
  7. 09 Ireland – Taylor Hynes – IOU – 5.5/10
  8. 07 Azerbaijan – Fidan Huseynova – I Wanna Be Like You – 5.17/10
    11 Italy – Melissa & Marco – What Is Love – 5.17/10
  9. 06 Netherlands – Max & Anne – Samen – 5/10
    10 Serbia – Bojana Stamenov – Svet – 5/10
  10. 04 Albania – Efi Gjika – Barbie – 4.67/10
  11. 14 Israel – Noam Dadon – Children Like These – 4.5/10
  12. 02 Portugal – Rita Laranjeira – Gosto de Tudo – 3.67/10

So that is what we think. What do #YOU think? Let us know by commenting below or getting in touch on our forum or social and make sure you check back later when we will go through the final six entries!

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