Over the past few weeks, the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — have been rating all of the Junior Eurovision 2017 songs. There’s been highs and lows, but plenty of praise for these young performers.
Now, we’ve reached our conclusion and are ready to show off our rankings for Junior Eurovision 2017.
Our jury for this edition consists of 20 jurors who hail from Australia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Spain and the United Kingdom. International flavour, y’all! Each juror assesses each song independently, and then awards each song a score up to 10.
Before calculating the Wiwi Jury verdict, we drop the highest and lowest scores to reduce potential bias and outliers.
You can see the full results with below, along with some of what the Wiwi Jury has to say about the top acts in our ranking. Click the country name for a link to the full Jury review, or you can view rehearsal footage by clicking the song title.
Junior Eurovision 2017 Wiwi Jury — Our Top 16
1. Belarus – Helena Meraai with “I Am the One”
The positive: She sings that she’s a comet burning in space — and all of Tbilisi is about to feel the heat. Helena’s contemporary number pulsates and quakes, and its drum and bass chorus takes us to the club and back. (William)
The negative: Helena brings an ode to self-confidence with slick production, strong beats and a powerful voice. There’s not a single fault on Helena’s behalf: she perfectly sells an amazingly crafted product. However, this type of mature song has had bad luck throughout the years at JESC, so it’s risky to call it a winner already. (Luis)
2. Australia – Isabella Clarke with “Speak Up!”
The positive: Guys, this is by far Australia’s best effort at Junior Eurovision in their three-year history. It’s a well produced and infectious bop with age-appropriate lyrical content to match. Yaasss Isabella, you should go out there and speak the truth regardless of your youth. Isabella is setting the standard for young female role models. (Josh)
The negative: It’s so refreshing to hear a “positivity” song at Junior Eurovision, that also sounds like something a junior artist would want to sing. “Speak Up” doesn’t reinvent the wheel too much, but it’s infectiously joyous and Isabella really does a great job with it. (Chris)
The positive: It’s extremely difficult to criticize a song for being too mature when it is done so tastefully. That’s the case of “Wings”. The slick production level that surrounds the track is combined with Polina’s vocal range and control. Girl can belt it out! It is – with no doubt – the song with the best lyrics. (Bernardo)
The negative: Polina may be young, but she understands drama and art. Thankfully she’s also got the big voice to back that up. The girl can sing! The song is a slightly different matter: for my tastes, it’s a tad too shouty and the chorus more shrill than melodic. (William)
4. Malta – Gianluca Cilia with “Dawra Tond”
The positive: JESC 2017 has quite a few serious pop ballad tracks. The best ones will do well, but the others will be swallowed by the joyous juggernaut that is “Dawra Tond”. Gianluca is a cool little dude, full of energy and sass. Malta could enter JESC with 100% English lyrics, but they’ve made the right choice to use plenty of Maltese in “Dawra Tond”. (Robyn)
The negative: Gianluca is bringing the fun to Junior Eurovision 2017. “Dawra Tond” is one of those songs you don’t mind getting stuck in your head, and its catchiness could serve it well in the contest if, after sitting through 16 entries, it’s the one song the audience and jury can still remember. (Jonathan)
5. FYR Macedonia – Mina Blažev with “Dancing Through Life”
The positive: For the second year in a row, FYR Macedonia emerges as one of the favourites. “Dancing Through Life” is an electropop banger that could stand on par with many of the current worldwide hits. (Jovana)
The negative: Mina is a beautiful flower dancing through life. Her voice cuts through the busy “ooh oohs” of her entry. It may be in JESC, but this offering could have done well in Eurovision too. The universality of love is presented here in a very tasteful manner. Unfortunately, the song’s arrangement is a little jarring and somewhat unmemorable. (Deban)
6. Ireland – Muireann McDonnell with “Súile Glasa”
The positive: “Súile Glasa” radiates very good vibes, it’s simple and it’s cute, yet it’s very efficient. Muireann has an extreme likeability and very good stage presence which totally matches with her song. It makes “Súile Glasa” stand out from all other songs, not this year, but in Junior Eurovision history. (Renske)
The negative: Muireann McDonnell is following in Ireland’s tradition of sending folk singers to Eurovision. She brings both strength and fragility to the performance and a twist with her electric guitar. But memo to TG4 — after three years of serious JESC entries, could we get something fun next year? (Robyn)
7. Italy — Maria Iside Fiore with “Scelgo (My Choice)” (7.22)
8. Poland — Alicja Rega with “Mój Dom” (7.06)*
9. Netherlands — Fource with “Love Me” (7.06)
10. Ukraine — Anastasiya Baginska with “Don’t Stop” (7.03)
11. Georgia — Grigol Kipshidze with “Voice of the Heart” (6.86)
12. Armenia — Misha with “Boomerang” (6.75)
13. Cyprus — Nicole Nicolaou with “I Wanna Be a Star” (6.61)
14. Portugal — Mariana Venâncio with “Youtuber” (6.31)
15. Serbia — Irina Brodic and Jana Paunovic with “Ceo Svet Je Naš” (6.11)
16. Albania — Ana Kodra with “Don’t Touch My Tree” (6)
* Ties are broken by preferential vote
A big well done to Helena and Belarus topping our rankings. Of course, every single act should be proud of their efforts, especially with no song scoring lower than a 6!
What are your rankings ahead of the Junior Eurovision 2017 final? Let us know all your thoughts in the comments section below!
Photo courtesy: Thomas Hanses