So here we are, on the final stretch. The Junior Eurovision Song Contest takes place today and now we will reveal who the ESCUnited team favourite is. We have been through fourteen songs already. Ths is what the current table is 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, lets get into it, here are our reviews of the final six songs:

15 France – Angelina – Jamais Sans Toi

Angelina is 11 and from La Ciotat in France. She is well known for winning the Voice Kids in France in 2017. She was internally selected to represent France on their return to the contest and her song was written by Gary Fico, Julien Comblat, Nicolas Stawski and Sarah Age Ali. This is what our team thinks of her entry:

Connor: Ugh the cuteness is overflowing with this one. I think it’s a very good return for the country. French pop is never a bad choice and in this case, France could contend for top marks. We’ll have to see how they fare. 8/10

James: What?!?!?! Angelina is singing some parts in English in a song from France? Is this song a sly comment on Brexit, delivered through the voice of a French teenager who misses her (subtle hints of not French) friend? I don’t care, I love it. I may even lose my Yorkshire street cred (such as it is) for it. Angelina is a very charismatic performer, the song is great, and as with Georgia, why the hell can’t you lot get it right with your adults? France returned to Junior Eurovision after 14 years out with a strong contender, and this is my personal favourite even though I suspect my Eastern European homies are going to vote Daneliya over this. 9/10

Jordan: I’m in complete love with this track. This is distinctly French yet has a universal identity and Angelina herself is adorable. Her voice suits the song extremely well and it is just a joy to listen to. This is the winner of Junior Eurovision this year as far as I am concerned. Excellent! 10/10

Sean: A well structured, well written French pop song will always be of interest to me and I’m enjoying this. It’s not quite matching up to France’s current adult efforts but certainly a welcome addition to the contest! 7/10

Stefan: Cuteness overload. Now this is how JUNIOR Eurovision Song Contest entry should look like. I am glad that France is back and I hope their return will bring us back more of the BIG countries. 8/10

Zack: For how much I heard people being excited about France’s return, I’m very underwhelmed… 4/10

Average Score: 7.33/10

16 FYR Macedonia – Marija Spasovska – Doma

Marija is a 13-year-old from Skopje and was selected internally to represent FYR Macedonia in this contest. Her song was written by a couple of well-known names in the Balkan music business with Darko Dimitrov & Elena Risteska penning her entry. This is what our team thinks:

Connor: All right, now we’re on to something. Doma is actually a really cool song, especially for the Junior contest. Give it a proper staging (something Macedonia isn’t the best at) and they could place well! 7/10

James: A nice ballad, but it never really gets going. Feels like a Céline Dion number where all the interesting progressions and passages kick in at 3:01. A nice change in pace in that it is not the hot mess we’re used to from Macedonia, but if the song’s a car, it’s a Toyota Corolla. 5/10

Jordan: Now, I may not be popular saying this, but I am really not into the Balkan ballad type stuff. This is fine, and I know it will have its fans, but it doesn’t do an awful lot for me personally. I do think it will do better than I give it credit for though. 4/10

Sean: It’s quite a mature composition for Junior Eurovision in my opinion but Marija has a strong voice that belies her years and the flow of the song carries it well throughout its three minute duration. 7/10

Stefan: I know that some find this boring, but for me this is a really suitable ballad for a kid. I can see this winning also and it’s maybe my favorite. 9/10

Zack: I had high hopes for this country but something always fails to connect year after year – 5/10

Average Score: 6.17/10

17 Armenia – L.E.V.O.N – L.E.V.O.N

L.E.V.O.N or Levon Galstyan is 12 and many will know him from his appearance on the Voice Kids in Russia. He won Depi Mankakan Evratesil to earn his place in the competition and his song was written by well known Armenian artist Artem Valter. This is what our team thinks of the song:

Connor: Well, L.E.V.O.N. is a choice, and I don’t think it’s going to pay off. I actually find the song on the annoying side, something I would play just to anger my neighbors. 3/10

James: No. Nyet. Nein. Nee. Null points. How the hell can L.E.V.O.N. sound out of breath on this? And did they write this for a lad with eight letters in his name, hence the superfluous “eh eh eh”, but since Armenia wanted to stick it to Azerbaijan with yet another pick from Nagorno-Karabakh (sorry, Artsakh) in the passive aggressive way countries do at Eurovision, a five-letter name had to do? And the fake horns give me a f%$#$^ headache. 1/10

Jordan: This is a massive guilty pleasure for me, however I much prefer the studio version to the live version. I feel his live vocals definitely need work as he seems to get out of breath very easily, which you can understand considering he is only twelve. I like it and I don’t care who knows about it! 8/10

Sean: A really fun performance, a strong and memorable production and a really charismatic performer add up to one of my favourite entries in this competition! His voice is a little scratchy in places but that’s understandable. Could Armenia be the winner? 9/10

Stefan: After last years beautiful song (that was my favorite) they’re being aggressive again. It is just to much. The title of his song is his name? Really kiddo? 4/10

Zack: This is some WTFery, but I quite enjoy it. 7/10

Average Score: 5.33/10

18 Wales – Manw – Perta

Wales stepped away from the rest of the UK for Junior Eurovision this year with 14-year-old Manw Lili Robin earning the right to represent them after winning Chwillo am Seren. Her song was written by Ywain Gwynedd and was also composed by him along with Ifan Sion Davies and Richard James Hooson Roberts. This is what our team thinks of the song:

Connor: So most people are being very critical about this entry, but honestly: I LOVE IT. It’s got this innocence and beauty about it, even though I have no idea what she’s saying. Good debut! 6/10

James: This was the debut my Nan and I were most excited about, and they done f%$^&% it up! And did I miss the memo on political messages being allowed in Eurovision, or is global warming not a political message if it’s embedded in Welsh in an anodyne ballad? Manw’s voice is perhaps a touch too reedy to stand up to her more polished adversaries in the East, but its sentiment and the sweet-natured delivery should garner enough televotes to deliver a mid-table showing. Not the exciting statement debut one was hoping for. 4/10

Jordan: This is just sweet… Being from Britain I do feel I need to support the home nation and Wales have done themselves proud with this. Sure, it’s not the most immediately arresting song in the competition but I feel it’s simplicity and sweetness brings a big breath of fresh air to the show. I’m not expecting a great result, but I am hoping Manw does well. 8/10

Sean: I was born a few miles from the Welsh border so I guess this is my adoptive home country for this year! Welsh is an interesting language that was made for music and this is pleasant but it’s nothing exciting or visionary. 6/10

Stefan: Well if BBC and ITV couldn’t do the work, thank god there is someone suitable for the job. It’s another cuteness overload song and so suiting and calming. I really hope she will do well. 8/10

Zack: Don’t be fooled by the name change; this is still classic UK fodder. (Yes, I know Wales is part of the UK, but it’s still more of the same that we get from Adult Eurovision) 5/10

Average Score: 6.17/10

19 Malta – Ela – Marchin On

Ela Mangion is 12. Not much is known on her background, but she won her place in Minsk by winning Malta Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2018. Her song “Marchin on” was written by Emil Calleja Bayliss and Ela herself and was composed by Cyprian Cassar. This is what our team thought of the song.

Connor: Certainly the best of the selection for Malta, but its a bit flat for me. She sings it well but it just seems a bit, lacking. I don’t know how to explain it, it’s just not for me. 3/10

James: A decent R&B number, though Ela has some discomfort belting out consonant heavy words in English (hard t’s and d’s get muted). Great voice, though a song in Maltese may have served her better. 6/10

Jordan: I’m not overly keen on the vocal gymnastics however, this is a very competent entry. Ela has a very mature voice for a twelve-year-old but that works in her favour. However, some may compare her to Jael as they are both a similar style in singer. I like this. I am hoping for a good result for Malta this year. 8/10

Sean: The marching band percussion suits the song well and adds an energy to what would otherwise be an average pop ballad. It’s still unfortunately fairly generic and I’d hope for more from one of JESC’s stronger performers. 6/10

Stefan: Guuuurl OK, we understand that you have a big voice, but no one likes a show off. This is a complete opposite of some countries, here we have an overuse of a powerful voice. The song is good, but I think Malta’s time has passed. 7/10

Zack: More unnecessary vocal acrobatics from Malta – 5/10

Average Score: 5.83/10

20 Poland – Roksana Wegiel – Anyone I Want to Be

Roksana is 13 and was born in Jasio in Poland. She is well known for winning the first series of the Voice Kids in Poland. She was selected internally to represent her nation and her song was composed and written by a big team of Maegan Cottone, Nathan Duvall, Cutfather, Peter Wallevik, Daniel Davidsen, Malgorzata Uscilowska and Patryk Kumor. This is what the team thought:

Connor: I’m very conflicted by this entry. It feels like this is on the cusp of a winning song but they stopped right before they got there. It’s lovely and I like the track, lyrics, and language flips, but its just missing something. 7/10

James: Is it me or does “Anyone I want to be” kick off like Kim Wilde’s “Kids in America”? The bass drops at 1:20 date this song a bit. That being said, I like it. Roksana doesn’t go too overboard, transitions from Polish to English back fairly effortlessly. 6/10

Jordan: Um… what’s all the hype about? I’m sorry but this is a distinctly average entry. There is nothing here that makes it immediately stand out in my opinion. It’s fine but nothing astronomically amazing. I feel it will be quite a good show closer though. 6/10

Sean: A pleasing mix of Polish and English in this power pop song. Poland are carrying their commercial sound over from the adult version to the juniors and it’s really working. Not particularly my style but can appreciate this. 7/10

Stefan: I couldn’t pick a better song to close the night. This is going straight to the top! From what I’ve seen, there’s some performance, so I hope she will work with camera and charm the voters and jury. 10/10

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 – 5/10

So, that’s all twenty songs reviewed. Now let’s see who our group favourite is and who we think should walk home with the trophy later today:

  1. 03 Kazakhstan – Daneliya Tuleshova – Ozine Sen – 9/10
  2. 15 France – Angelina – Jamais Sans Toi – 7.33/10
  3. 12 Australia – Jael – Champion – 6.83/10
    20 Poland – Roksana Wegiel – Anyone I Want To Be – 6.83/10
  4. 08 Belarus – Daniel Yastremski – Time – 6.5/10
  5. 01 Ukraine – Darina Krasnovetska – Say Love – 6.33/10
  6. 13 Georgia – Tamar Edilashvili – Your Voice – 6.17/10
    16 FYR Macedonia – Marija Spasovska – Doma – 6.17/10
    18 Wales – Manw – Perta – 6.17/10
  7. 05 Russia – Anna Filipchuk – Unbreakable – 5.83/10
    19 Malta – Ela – Marchin On – 5.83/10
  8. 09 Ireland – Taylor Hynes – IOU – 5.5/10
  9. 17 Armenia – L.E.V.O.N – L.E.V.O.N – 5.33/10
  10. 07 Azerbaijan – Fidan Huseynova – 5.17/10
    11 Italy – Melissa & Marco – What Is Love – 5.17/10
  11. 06 Netherlands – Max & Anne – Samen – 5/10
    10 Serbia – Bojana Radovanovic – Svet – 5/10
  12. 04 Albania – Efi Gjika – Barbie – 4.67/10
  13. 14 Israel – Noam Dadon – Children Like These – 4.5/10
  14. 02 Portugal – Rita Laranjeira – Gosto De Tudo – 3.67/10

So that is what we as a team thought of the songs. We think that Kazakhstan should win later today! But what do #YOU think? Do you love Kazakhstan’s entry as much as we do? Who is your favourite to win? Was there anyone we were too harsh on? Let us know by leaving a comment below or contacting us on our forum or social media pages!

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