JESC 2012: Amsterdam is ready to Break the Ice!

Tonight the 10th edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest is taking place in the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam. This year’s contest’s theme is ‘Break the Ice’, a rather convenient theme considering the temperatures in the hall and press centre.

The Netherlands is the first country to host the contest for the 2nd time. In 2007 the contest was hosted in Rotterdam and Kim-Lian van der Meij was also one of the hosts in that year. This year she will repeat the experience, this time with Ewout Genemans who in the last couple of years is also hosting the national junior finals in the Netherlands. New this year is that there is also a kids jury who are the first to give their points.
We are lucky to have three debuting countries but unfortunately there are still only twelve countries participating as many have dropped out as well. The festival week has been shortened down when it comes to rehearsals, but still all participants have arrived in the Netherlands last Monday or earlier, for the opening party and the recording of the KidsRights song and postcards on Monday and Tuesday.
From Wednesday the rehearsals have kicked off and every country has now had two ‘normal’ rehearsals (1x 40 minutes, 1x 20 minutes) and two dress rehearsals, which were yesterday and of which the last one was the jury final. Having seen and heard most of these rehearsals, here is a short review of each country.

01) Belarus – Egor Zhesko – A more more
The opening song comes with a sparkling performance, unfortunately ‘A more more’ is rather repetitive. Also, during yesterday’s dress rehearsals, some notes came out in a quite unfortunate way so that will won’t help with the jury points. Belarus is quite successful in JESC, but this year won’t be their greatest.



02) Sweden – Lova Sonnerbo – Mitt mod
The half Norwegian Lova Sonnerbo sings the only real ballad in the contest and so far Sweden has had mixed results with them at the JESC. She and her two girls look beautiful in their dresses and the song is nice but doesn’t really catch the attention and the high notes at the end are usually a bit shaky. I hope I’m wrong as this song is growing on me, but I’m afraid this song won’t be on the top of the scoreboard either.

03) Azerbaijan – Omar & Suada – Girls & Boys (Dünya Sənindir)
Azerbaijan is the first debuting country of this year and immediately a contender for the victory. It’s one of the most childish songs in the performance, with a great performance and a mascot in the audience! ‘Of course’ it’s a duet. The voices are ok but not spectacular and they don’t have the best song, but they may get very far.

04) Belgium – Fabian – Abracadabra
Fabian wishes he could do magic to get in touch with the girl he likes and to prevent some of the world’s big disasters. I haven’t seen those tricks very well yet, but they probably add more spark to the performance than Fabian himself. His vocals are ok but the song is a bit flat and he doesn’t seem very excited on stage.



05) Russia – Lerika – Sensation
Traditionally, Russia is the first country to choose and when they did early June, the song was still called Sensatsiya. Last year Lerika participated for Moldova and that experience has clearly helped her. This is really one of the big contenders for the victory and in my opinion very deserved, as she has been very stable all week long and her song stands out. We may hear a lot of ‘Russia 12 points’ tonight!

06 Israel – – Let the music win
Israel is the second country that participates for the first time. Also they are highly regarded as possible winners, but I find this less likely because not everyone sings well all the time. And it shouldn’t happen as it is a children’s contest, but I also suspect the current developments in Israel may influence their result. However, they surely won’t end last.

07 Albania – Igzidora Gjeta – Kam Një Këngë Vetëm Për Ju
The last new country performs after the break and is Albania. Igzidora is alone on stage and her performance would benefit from some dancers. Her song is also difficult to the ear. Problems with her dress (it was too naked and a bit transparent on top) have been solved by now but I’m not alone thinking this song is destined for the last place.

08 Armenia – Compass Band – Sweetie Baby
This one and the next one are two songs that are each in their own league. I have a weak spot for this Armenian entries that is best described as an ode to the Beatles in Armenian and – amateuristic – English. Their performance is probably the most boring one, but ‘more’ wouldn’t fit this song. They also remind me a bit of Peter Nalitch who represented Russia at the big ESC in 2010 but it’s likely their result won’t be much better than his.



09 Ukraine – Anastasiya Petrik – Nebo
Here we have the smallest girl with the biggest voice in the contest. Nebo (while I still prefer the Croatian entry at this year’s ‘big’ contest with the same title) is the song that has most grown on me this week and all credit goes to Anastasiya who performs this strange song in a very moving way. However yesterday at the first dress rehearsal I discovered her dress is transparent and I only hope this issue has been solved by now.. It’s incredibly hard to rank this song, her performance and vocals are impressive but the song is very hard to get so this may win (it’d be Ukraine’s first JESC victory) or a lot worse..



10 Georgia – FunKids – Funky Lemonade
Georgia is always a country to watch at the JESC and this year is not different. They already have 2 victories and a 2nd place and I’ll be surprised if they come anything lower than top 5 this year. The Funkids, three singing girls and a ‘rapping’ boy, deliver the most cheeky performance and it sounds and looks perfect every single time. The down part on this participation for me is that it’s more of the same, it would be nice to see and hear something different from Georgia by now.

11 Moldova – Denis Midone – Toate vor fi
The Moldovan performance looks well but the song isn’t the most outstanding. The English part at the end of the song ruins a bit of the charm it has. Interestingly, apart from Belgium there aren’t many props on the JESC stage, but Moldova makes up for all of it!



12 Netherlands – Femke – Tik Tak
When it comes to the lyrics, this song is a Junior version of our ESC entry in 1997, but I think this one will have a much better result. Femke has a nice song, a good performance and hopefully a bit of luck with her draw position! The odds for the Netherlands are that again they will finish in the top 5 and since many people think last year Rachel was robbed with her 2nd place, who knows Femke will take revenge?

The show is opened by a non-Eurovision winner who sings a winning song and the interval act features more winners, one of the hosts and of course the KidsRights song. After that I expect a very exciting voting.. may the best one win!

Photos; Desirée van de Velde

Relaterte artikler
2024: Alle låtene
2024: Bekreftede land
Vi teller ned til Eurovision 2024
Utforsk historien