Is the ongoing political conflict between Russia and Ukraine spilling over into Junior Eurovision 2016?
In what will no doubt be interpreted as a very political and provocative move, Russian broadcaster RTR has decided to stage Russia’s national final at the ICC Artek in Gurzuf, Crimea.
The timing is telling. Just weeks ago Russian politicians expressed outrage following Ukraine’s win at Eurovision 2016.
In their minds Jamala’s song “1944” — about the mass deportation of Crimean Tatars from Crimea under Stalin — was a not-so-thinly veiled comment on today’s political conflict.
Most EBU members do not recognise Crimea as Russian territory, but this matters little to Russian officials who will, of course, stage their national contest wherever they’d like.
Ukraine has not yet confirmed their participation for Malta. But given their commitment to JESC — their most recent win came in 2012 — and the fact they are hosting the adult contest in a year’s time, we’d be shocked if they pulled out.
What we should all remember is that Junior Eurovision is all about peace, love and music and that the singers have nothing to do with politics. After all, they are just kids.
Junior Eurovision 2016: Russia’s national selection
The selection will be staged in conjunction with Igor Krutoy’s renowned academy of popular music, which has previously worked on large-scale projects including the Children’s New Wave and Artek festivals.
Russia, of course, is no stranger to Junior Eurovision, having won it once and having made the top five seven times. Nearly every year Russia stages a well-produced national final that puts some adult selections to shame.
The national broadcaster will accept applications from 30 May until 15 July. Five days later a professional jury in Moscow will select the songs and singers that will participate in the televised national final.
The final will take place one month later on 15 August, where all the singers will sing-it-out for the ticket to Malta. For the first time ever producers will allow Internet voting, giving the public the chance to vote from the moment the participants are announced until ten minutes after the last performance. The voting process will comprise the so called internet-vote, alongside a professional jury, with the jury gaining preference in case of a tie.
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