It’s one of the most successful countries at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, having secured victory in 2005 and 2007, and having placed in the Top 5 on six other occasions.

And now the European Broadcasting Union is ready to honour Belarus’ achievements by letting it host Junior Eurovision in 2018.

The early announcement — which is taking place weeks before Junior Eurovision 2017 even starts — will help ease the pressures on the host broadcaster. As the EBU explained on the official Junior Eurovision web site:

“To ensure the longevity of the Contest and allow more time to prepare the event, the Junior Eurovision Steering Group decided to remove a clause in the Rules that gave the winning broadcaster first refusal to host. EBU Members were given the opportunity to apply to host Junior Eurovision 2018 and the application from Belarus was judged to be the best.”

Jon Ola Sand, the EBU’s Head of Live Events, was enthusiastic about the news. He said:

“The rule change to allow a host for next year’s competition to be chosen earlier not only gives the host broadcaster longer to prepare what is a huge production but also protects the future of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. We are therefore delighted to announce, before we gather in Tbilisi for the 2017 competition, that BTRC will be the host broadcaster of the 2018 Junior Eurovision Song Contest. BTRC’s application to host was extremely strong, and we have full confidence that they will put the same enthusiasm into the preparations of next year’s event.”

You could also say that it helps ease the pressure on the kids: Winning won’t factor into whether that country gets to host the following year.

Of course, Belarus may well have a shot of winning this year’s event. Helena Meraai — Belarus’ contestant this year — has already caused quite a stir in the fandom with her track. “Ya Samaya”.

Standing on a small raised platform, Helena delivered a mature performance that showed off her power and control. What starts off as a traditional ballad eventually morphs into a drum ‘n bass ballad with a house feel. The quickening beat gives it drive and pace — it remains child-friendly, but occupies the more mature end of the song contest spectrum.

Helena’s dramatic facial expressions and arm movements suggest she’s put a lot of thought into the overall package. With greater control of the high notes and a dramatic LED, she could be on to something big for Tbilisi.

The last time Belarus hosted, in 2010, we had the pleasure of attending and watching the event unfold live (read all about it in my account for Time magazine here). The interval included a fantastic medley of previous Junior Eurovision winners, including Maria Isabel from Spain.

We captured her magic at the afterparty as well.

Are you excited for Belarus? Will you be in Minsk? Let us know below!

 

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29 Comments on "Minsk calling! Belarus will host Junior Eurovision 2018"

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beccaboo1212
Guest

Now for the venue…Remember when people were complaining about the size of the Republic Hall in Valletta? The Republic Hall has about 1,400 seats, thus making it the smallest venue in Junior Eurovision’s history. Let’s just hope next year’s venue doesn’t break the record. It better not be the National Opera and Ballet Theater; that has about 1,200!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Opera_and_Ballet_of_Belarus

Pavel
Guest

The venue of JESC2018 is Minsk Arena. 15000 seats.
http://en.minskarena.by/

Aaron
Guest

I like this idea but I think the only difference I would have is to give countries that have never hosted a eurovision event a priority maybe? or something like that.

Purple Mask
Guest

Okay, so most of you know my opinion on JESC by now. I would scrap it completely, if I could. However, congratulations on making this decision on the hosting country in advance – I think it is a good decision, both for the organisers and the child singers. Well done. 🙂

beccaboo1212
Guest

Looks like you’re starting to have a change of heart! 😀

Purple Mask
Guest

Haha. No, I must politely dispute that assumption. 😀

Sophia Stedman
Guest

I think that this decision could be revised to somehow still include the winning country, to give a little more incentive to win, but I like this decision too

beccaboo1212
Guest

I have some ideas on how to prevent this decision from receiving further criticism.

* Say nice things about Belarus hosting JESC 2018.
* Keep having interest in Junior Eurovision.
* NEVER wish Junior Eurovision dead! Kids shouldn’t be left out anyway!
* Listen to a number of songs that have nothing to do with the Eurovision family of events, but do have references to life. (examples: “Alive and Kicking” by Simple Minds, “Staying Alive” by the Bee Gees, “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor, etc.)

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Re your last idea – we have an upcoming post that I think you’ll like 🙂

Jo
Guest

They should do this to ESC as well. Sure the tradition is “fun”, but countries would have more time to prepare, more interest on hosting and more money to create a bigger show. Some countries that send crappy entries, because they’re afraid of winning, would start sending better songs, enhancing the competition.

beccaboo1212
Guest

If Belarus wins Junior Eurovision this year, then their hosting experience of next year would be even better. If Belarus doesn’t win though, you just have to deal with it! 🙂

SW
Guest

I do not understand the critism on this decision.
It brings less pressure on the childrens’ shoulders, gives BTRC more time to prepare the show and above all: Belarus organized an a-ma-zing show in 2010.
One thing I’m not happy with: again a former USSR-country hosting the show. Poland would’ve been my favourite if the choice was up to me.

beccaboo1212
Guest

Let’s be real. Whether you love or hate the decision, you should at least enjoy Junior Eurovision for generations to come. 😉

Pavel
Guest

JESC is turning into a post-soviet Kids’ singing show (like ”Morning Star”)

beccaboo1212
Guest

No it’s not.

azaad
Guest

I don’t know…I love the ESC tradition of the winner hosting the next edition. It makes it stand out from other competitions. And to be quite frank, I don’t think Belarus’ human rights record is up to scratch for them to host JESC. Hopefully the winner of ESC still hosts the next year’s competition- where the issue of semis comes into play as well.

Still, this decision could have been made after seeing the countless tops in which Helena is ranked first.

Erasmus
Guest

Oh come on, their human rights aren’t that bad…

EscAU
Guest

umm they’re the only nation that got banned from being part of the council of europe because they still have the death penalty and have a dictator

Erasmus
Guest

I know that – but death sentence has nothing to do with JESC.

beccaboo1212
Guest

Kids shouldn’t be learning about death penalties anyway.

Hendrik
Guest

you really just said that,,,,, ok,,,,

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

I like the decision that the winning country no longer gets first refusal, and the decision now is made ahead of JESC. Tbh, while Malta put on a great show in 2014, their heart just didn’t seem to be in it last year. The hosting opportunity should go to a country that is eager and ready to host! 🙂

beccaboo1212
Guest

Exactly. Let’s just hope no one complains about next year, though. 🙂

beccaboo1212
Guest

ONE MORE THING: If Malta on the other hand participates next year, let’s hope they reach the Top 5. I’m also excited for Bulgaria to return next year as well. And who knows? Armenia could win like last time! 😀

James
Guest

I think another factor why Malta missed the mark last year was that they were also prepping up for Eurovision Young Dancers this year which didn’t materialized in the end.

beccaboo1212
Guest

Good idea! Maybe Armenia can win next year! 😀

Roelof Meesters
Guest

Great, last time they hosted it was a quality show. I hope they win JESC this year, it would fit better and it would be an amazing winner.

Vlad
Guest

Last time they made an incredible show, hope they will do such a show ones again)

beccaboo1212
Guest

That would be great! 😀