After internally selecting Kisses last year, the Netherlands has resurrected the Junior Songfestival format for Junior Eurovision 2017. The process kicked off on Saturday with Sezina winning the first semi-final.
Unlike previous Dutch selections, this year’s Songfestival will only select the act for Tblisi. The song will be chosen separately. Accordingly, last night’s show saw the three semi-finalists tackle tracks made famous by others. Sezina emerged on top with her cover of Clean Bandit and Zara Larsson’s “Symphony”.
Reflecting the 2016 rule change which saw Junior Eurovision become wholly reliant on jury votes, Saturday’s result was determined solely by an expert panel. It consisted of perennial fan hope for Eurovision Sharon Doorson, former Dutch national finalist and TV personality Tim Douwsa and two time Junior Eurovision host Kim-Lian van der Meij.
But Montana or DREAMZ may still make it to the final. They, along with next week’s eliminated acts, will do battle for the all-important wildcard. Their fate lies in the hands of a wildcard jury made up of former Dutch JESC representatives. Ralf Mackenbach (2009), Mylène & Rosanne (2013), and Kisses (2017) are tasked with picking the third qualifier.
Semi-final two is scheduled for 19:15 CET next Saturday, and will see three more sets of hopefuls take to the stage. They are Fource with James Arthur’s “Say You Won’t Let Go”, Wieke and Dylan with “A Whole New World” from Disney’s Aladdin, and Manouk with Shawn Mendes’ “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back”