Junior Eurovision 2016: EBU lowers age brackets, announces new broadcast time

Junior Eurovision is in flux. Ten days ago, it was announced that the 2016 contest would be moving from its traditional Saturday night slot to a Sunday afternoon. And today, the EBU have revealed yet more changes.

Junior Eurovision 2015 winner in London

Lower Age Brackets

Originally Junior Eurovision was open to children between the ages of eight and fifteen. In 2007, this was narrowed to children between the ages of ten and fifteen. Now the age brackets are being lowered to nine and fourteen. So whilst nine year old performers across Europe rejoice, 15 year olds are left in a limbo where they can’t compete in either Junior Eurovision or its parent contest. Eurovision requires entrants to be 16 or over.

This marks a significant change in direction for the contest, which had been courting a more teenage orientated audience in recent years. If the new rules had been in place for 2015, the Netherlands’ Shalisa, Italy’s Chiara & Martina and Montenegro’s Jana Mirkovic would not have been eligible to compete.

Destiny “Not My Soul” at London Eurovision Party

Broadcast time

As previously announced, the contest will take place on the afternoon of Sunday 20 November. The EBU has now confirmed that the broadcast will begin at 16.00 CET and conclude at 18.00 CET. In contrast, last year’s event didn’t start until 19.30 CET.

Junior Eurovision 2016: What we know so far

After a record win in 2015, Malta will host the 14th edition of the contest. The final will take place in Valletta’s Mediterranean Conference Centre on Sunday 20 November at 16:00 CET. The country’s national broadcaster PBS has confirmed that up to 18 countries will compete. Jon Ola Sand steps into the role of executive supervisor after his predecessor Vladislav Yakovlev was controversially fired late last year. The EBU and PBS will hold a joint press conference at the Eurovision Song Contest in May.

Destiny and Ira Losco at London Eurovision Party

What do you think of all the changes? Will they help improve the contest or are we heading for disaster? Let us know in the comments below.


Photo: Elena Volotova (EBU)