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Today the Wiwi Jury – our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — travelled to Skopje to soak in the sights of this ancient city. We felt inspired and took the opportunity to review FYR Macedonia’s entry for Junior Eurovision 2016. Did the pop vibe of Martija Stanojkovic‘s “Love Will Lead Our Way” get us dancing? Or do we think the country is destined for another last place finish? Read on to find out…

FYR Macedonia’s Junior Eurovision 2016 song

“Love Will Lead Our Way” reviews – Martija Stanojkovic

Antony: This is by far the best song Macedonia has ever entered for JESC. Extremely current and with a mellow tone, this is a potential dance hit that both children and adults will relate to. The tune embodies its title and the memorable message will resonate with voters. Martija should be commended for her maturity, which will serve her well as she transitions to adult star.

Score: 10/10

Antranig: The Macedonian entry is easily the best song when it comes to balancing a kid-friendly vibe and a potential radio hit. “Love Will Lead Our Way” oozes youthful energy, but adult juries will bob along too. Martija’s voice complements the song perfectly and carries control and sultriness that belies her age. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this achieve Macedonia’s best Junior Eurovision result ever.

Score: 10/10

Bernardo: This is my jam! “Love Will Lead Our Way” is FYR Macedonia’s best effort in JESC and, dare I say it, in ESC more generally. Mature but not off-putting, Martija’s strong vocals more than carry the track. It may not be age appropriate, but if staged in the right way, FYR Macedonia is at the front of the line to win this year’s competition.

Score: 8.5/10

Chris: A summer pop anthem that, unfortunately, is landing in November. The official video makes Martija look like a real star and we know she can sing live from past performances. The bridge feels a little basic, though, and the song gets incredibly repetitive. I don’t feel anything after listening to it: it’s fine, but that’s that. Martija will need some really big staging or “Love Will Lead Our Way” might fall a little flat.

Score: 7.5/10

Deban: Martija Stanojkovic brings the party to Malta with “Love Will Lead Our Way”. A dance track that could have a respectable outing at the mother contest, LWLOW is catchy, upbeat and memorable. Martija’s vocals have depth, her energy is infectious, and her moves are sassy!

Score: 7/10

macedonia-junior-eurovision-2016-jesc-martija-stanojkovic-11Jason: “Love Will Lead Our Way” is certainly very current (Balkan Kygo?) and could fit easily into any radio playlist. Martija’s rich vocals flirt nicely with the summery beat, and she clearly puts her all into the delivery. I just can’t help but feel that the overall package is a bit…mature. And sultry. Especially in comparison to some of the other singers this year. With some slight adjustments — maybe making it a tad more innocent and kiddy-friendly — this could be the winner for sure.

Score: 10/10

Josh: My award for Most Surprising entry goes to FYR Macedonia. From a country that often fails to see the top half of the scoreboard in both the junior and adult contests, along comes Martija. “Love Will Lead Our Way” blows it out of the water. The song is so 2016, channelling the Caribbean vibes now associated with the likes of Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, The Chainsmokers and Sia. It’s current, it’s happening, it’s FYR Macedonia. Yaaasss!

Score: 8.5/10

Robyn: While other countries are happy entering heartwarming songs that will surely bring warm feelings to all the parents and grandparents watching, FYR Macedonia is just happy to enter a song that could easily be at home on the pop charts. But that’s the problem — the charts are full of songs that sound exactly like this. It’s nothing unique or memorable. Martija, however, is a captivating performer, and on stage she could give it the lift it needs.

Score: 6/10

William: If Martija could enter adult Eurovision, she’d take Macedonia straight to the final. This mixes Balkan realness with Caribbean cool, creating something at once regional and international. Although the melody is nice, it is a tad repetitive and loses my interest rather quickly. But no matter. Martija can be proud she’s delivered FYROM’s best-ever entry at JESC.

Score: 8/10

Zakaria: Compared to last year, FYR Macedonia presents a more consistent and solid entry. Although this song is too “mature” for a kid’s contest, Martija delivers it with amazing vocals and so much passion. This is easily Macedonia’s best effort in this contest since their debut and for that they deserve any position above last.

Score: 8.5/10

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Our jury for 2016 consists of twenty-one jurors, but we only have room for ten reviews. The remaining eleven scores are listed below.

Andy: 5/10

Dayana: 7/10

Edd: 9.5/10

Jordi: 9/10

Luis: 7.5/10

Marek: 8/10

Mario: 10/10

Matt: 5.5/10

Renske: 9/10

Rezo: 4/10

Stanislav: 10/10

The highest and lowest scores are removed prior to calculating the average score. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 4 and a high of 10.

WIWI JURY SCORE: 8.13/10

READ ALL OF OUR JESC 2016 RANKINGS AND REVIEWS

FOLLOW OUR JUNIOR EUROVISION COVERAGE

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boyan08
Guest
boyan08

LWOW is really good song,and Modern too.The thing is,The rest of Europe doesn’t understand us how we are getting mature after 11th year !That is so normal for us.Martija want’s to show us that,she could be self-controlled now =D And all the haters won’t like it,hate it and e.t.c. But great song without haters is not great song 😉
Absolutely I am not giving this 10 out of 10 🙂 ,because I am giving it 11/10

Sanjaeurovision
Guest
Sanjaeurovision

+Rhis Oh don’t worry, I know exactly what you mean. I am glad that you’ve changed your opinion that you can’t think of Martija as a simple child. As for the rest of your comment, I can just say that Martija carries herself in accordance with her age. Also, have no worries about her parents and the team. She is well raised and you can see on her happy face that she is growing up as a fulfilled child; it is because she is surrounded by the love and care of her both parents. As for the Macedonian JESC team,… Read more »

Rhin
Guest
Rhin

@Sanjaeurovision
I still believe that you are misunderstanding something but Oh well. Go in peace, no one is attacking Martija – no matter how she looks or how she carry herself she is still a child. If I need to attack anyone it would be rather her team or parents.

Sanjaeurovision
Guest
Sanjaeurovision

+Eva OK, that’s more like it! Of course that I don’t agree with you, but you have corrected yourself and you don’t accuse Martija any more on a personal level for “playing the sexual card” as you did in your first comment which I find completely unacceptable. As for the rest of your comment, I think the very opposite, (and as I see the jurors mainly agree with me), that this is certainly the best and the most creative effort of the Macedonian JESC team because this is by far the best Macedonian entry and one of the best JESC… Read more »

Eva M.
Guest
Eva M.

@Sanjaeurovision: I don’t think you get it. of course when I comment here I, except tothe extent I criticize the vocal ability, I do not really speak of the child, but the final product that was produced. As every T.V. product, the videos and the presentations of the singers are result of the creative effort and vission of the people involved. Macedonia’s JESC team has shown a remarkable lack of understanding, good taste and what is appropriate by preparing a product in which a child is marketed as a woman. Poor judgment and lack of professionalism on their part. I… Read more »

Sanjaeurovision
Guest
Sanjaeurovision

+Eva M. Well Eva, you are so severely judgmental against Martija, that you “provoked” me to respond to what you wrote. In your first comment you say: “This is a decent song, and I would have been more inclined to put her in the top 10 IF THE 12 YEAR OLD MARTIJA WAS NOT TRYING TO PLAY THE SEXUALITY CARD”. To judge like that, that is, to be so adamant that Martija is “playing the sexuality card” one has to be in Martija’s mind, but you are not in her mind. Moreover, you don’t know Martija at all and you… Read more »

Rhin
Guest
Rhin

@Sanjaeurovision LOL You miss the point and are going on offensive. There is so much that I could answer you with that I am actually in a bind -.- But I am a bit lazy to troll you properly so I’ll keep it short. Personal opinion is exactly what our comments are based on. Hence I don’t need a certificate in order to state what I perceive with my own two eyes and senses. Obviously the same apply for you and everyone else. Don’t try to make me nearly a criminal based on my opinion or the word expressions I… Read more »

Eva M.
Guest
Eva M.

@ Rhin- thank you for your comment. I actually volunteer now for about six years approximately once a month teaching kids (mostly girls) 10 to 13 here in San Diego, California. I am sorry to say, but Martija’s mannerism and movements are sexually suggestive and extremely off the chart of what kids that age are like. This is not Martija’s fault, but the producers, stylists, photographers, who have produced photo shots and video approriate for Ivetta Mukuchian and not for a child.   I can understand that some of the viewers here may have not had exposure to kids, but I… Read more »

Sanjaeurovision
Guest
Sanjaeurovision

+Rhin Well, your comment is prejudiced, sexist and judgmental against the personality of a twelve-year old girl, based not on how she really looks, but how she looks to YOU. One of the arguments you state to substantiate your opinion that she is “showing off” and is “not a simple child” are her artificial eyebrows. After this condemnation of Martija, you round up your argument saying that your “mind is dirty and there is NOTHING WRONG HERE”. So there is nothing wrong that your mind is dirty, but Martija is guilty because her eyebrows look artificial to you and she… Read more »

Rhin
Guest
Rhin

@Sanjaeurovision the way she looks is too provocative and I certainly don’t mean her clothings in the video. Well she obviously likes dressing in style and taking care of her appearance (no one could possibly believe that her eyebrows are natural… right?). The song lyrics could be misinterpreted somewhat but no! What make me agree on many points with Eva M is Martija herself. I can’t think of her as a simple child. She likes showing off and even if she don’t intend to I perceive her as provocative. For argument’s sake lets conclude that my mind is dirty and… Read more »

Sanjaeurovision
Guest
Sanjaeurovision

For Christ sake, I don’t see any Lolita references in the video. Is Martija to be burnt at stake in the 21st century for the way how she looks or even worse for the way how some dirty pedo maniacs might behold her. There is nothing inappropriate in the modern teenage styling and dancing of Martija and the girls. All those who behold any Lolita references in this video are potential pedophiles and psychos. We should not let our lives be ruled by the norms of the abnormal people. Martija has been dancing since 3 or 4. There is even… Read more »

Erin
Guest
Erin

@Eva M. – I understand where you’re coming from and you do make some valid points, but I’m more upset that boys are excluded from the clip because there is no feminist or girl empowerment message there. Instead it’s more of ‘girls just wanna have fun’ with some suggestive and risque innuendos that could have been subdued, but that doesn’t cross an unforgivable line in my view. It’s a question of good taste and propriety, but I suppose the adult mind behind it intended to commercially exploit the potential of this track beyond the realms of JESC. Showing Martija in… Read more »

(J)ESC Fanatic
Guest
(J)ESC Fanatic

@Eva M.

How was Kamilla sexually provocative?

Blake
Guest
Blake

Martija is clearly the winner of the JESC 2016 edition , don’t you ? =) =) =) I love Macedonia 2016 entry ! And I hope the country will win its first trophy at the little Eurovision Contest ! =) Martija is sooooooo charismatic and she has a great voice. Her song is one of the most modern entries of all the history of the JESC and has the profile to succeed to Destiny’s ‘Not My Soul’ as the winner. I’m gonna be generous with the country for the first time, and I’ll give to Martija and to ”Love Will… Read more »

Sanjaeurovision
Guest
Sanjaeurovision

Go Martija go! By far the best song at 2016 Junior Eurovision: the catchiest one with the most charismatic performer. Just look at the views on youtube on any JESC video in which Martija appears and everything is said: 2017 JESC will take place in Skopje

Eva M.
Guest
Eva M.

This is a decent song, and I would have been more inclined to put her in the top 10 if the 12 year old Martija was not trying to play the sexuality card and feature some sultry looks in the video. I am bewildered by some of the comments of the Wiwi Jury, which actually think that “her maturity will serve her well.” Really? Which part of the world do you live in? I can understand that for many men, (men being generally visual), if a woman is sexually appealing they cannot help but think that this is a good… Read more »

Maxime
Guest

Love will lead Macedonia very high, at least in the top 5, maybe even to the 1st place!

Jua Geng
Guest
Jua Geng

My winner, Skopje 2017!!! 10\10

Jocelyn
Guest

I don’t like it. Too mature for Junior Eurovision. 12th out of 15 in my top.

MTD
Guest
MTD

@R+ – Mans (helped by the juries in 2015) & Dammi (helped by the juries in 2016) beg to differ. 😉

Graph
Guest
Graph

This song puts me in an odd mood. I agree it sounds like summer, but more of a cloudy summer day. It leaves me a little dazed, like I feel when I’ve just woken up from a nap in the afternoon and don’t know where I am yet.

Maybe this is the mood they were aiming for; if so it definitely has a sense of style. But personally it’s not quite my thing.

Z24
Guest
Z24

No brainer. 10/10. I feel this is the one to beat. It is a bit too mature, but it has everything going for it when it comes to the appeal. And that chorus hook STICKS to you on first listen. Skopje 2017?

Lianne
Guest
Lianne

This song and video remind me of Bieber’s “Sorry”. Unoriginal

Savvas
Guest
Savvas

Alexander the Great and FYROM have no connection. Alexander the Great came from the Greek region of Macedonia. Therefore Josh you must change your article asap!!!

R+
Guest
R+

3/10. Being radio-friendly doesn’t mean the song is good.

1944 is a perfect example, even though it has lyrics that may be considered political, it has a strong instrumental base that uses ethnic instruments.

Love will lead our way is another trashy song. Hopefully adult juries will see this, but kids jury will probably vote for this song.

@MS Exactly my thoughts.

escphilippines
Guest

modern with sounding cliche. will get vote from the kids jury not sure if the adults would like it. potentially a winner unless the staging is bad or israel has some knock out song

MTD
Guest
MTD

For the ones above and below commenting about being “too radio-friendly” – are you joking or? Look at the past winners of both JESC & ESC (excluding Jamala) or just look at what juries prefer and the top 5 of both contests.

Yup, radio-friendly seems to be THE thing there. So, keep your “regular” ESC sound within your house.

Erin
Guest
Erin

The song showcases superb vocals, sass and good vibes, but is as mundane as it gets. No arguing that it’s Macedonia’s best effort in years, but I’m afraid people are confounding the success of a potentially radio friendly hit with a richer texture expected from a Junior Eurovision winning song. 7.5/10

Meh
Guest
Meh

Don’t like it. Too mediocre and average.
3.5/10

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

This song’s production is beyond horrible, I can’t at y’all hyping it up like this. I usually support Macedonia, but the good sis of contouring Martija is NOT the tea. Honestly, it sounds like a cheap k-pop song.

(J)ESC Fanatic
Guest
(J)ESC Fanatic

This is a very good song. It’s modern and memorable. A tad overrated though. People think FYR Macedonia will win but I’m sure they won’t. This will not appeal to the juries mainly because there are better vocalists than Martija this year.

Score: 7.5/10
Rank: 8th/15

xESCx
Guest
xESCx

This needs a top 3 finish or it will be criminally under rated!

MS
Guest
MS

Typical boring mainstream song. 3/10 for simple listening but not for us, who understand music. Jury will choose better one. Macedonia will be on 6th place.

Ben Rafter
Guest
Ben Rafter

Very harsh. 10/10 easily. Don’t care if it is too mature or whatever. Its the best song, just ahead of Malta and Armenia. Rezo is deaf, 4/10 is better for Georgia’s song maybe. Clean your ears out.

EF0912
Guest
EF0912

10/10
This was the only song this year that initially really hooked me and it stands out. For me, Russia and this are the ones to best.

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

This. Is. The. Best. Song. Ever. In. Junior. Eurovision. I’m in love with this 🙂 This is modern, and it would fit on the radio perfectly. Macedonia was last on it’s last two attempts, and came last three times in JESC, and tied on trhe same place two times. If she could win that would fuel Macedonia again so they would stay in the JESC fun 🙂

10/10 (another one 🙂 )
Rank: 1/15

AzeriBoy96
Guest
AzeriBoy96

10/10 too. I hope that she will give her country first ever victory at both JESC and ESC! Best of luck!

DenizNL
Guest
DenizNL

10/10
I love this.