With just over two months to go until Junior Eurovision 2016, officials are ready to live up to this year’s motto and are poised to embrace the children of Europe, sequins and all.
And now Serbia‘s state broadcaster RTS has confirmed that it will walk into that warm embrace, as it has finally confirmed its participation for this year’s edition.
Serbia’s confirmation will ease fears that the Balkan countries are over JESC, which many have suggested is on life support. Last month Montenegro — the other half of the former state of Serbia & Montenegro — announced its withdrawal. And Croatia pulled out last year.
A total of sixteen countries have now confirmed their participation, putting the EBU on track for its goal of having 18 acts in the house this November.
Judging from tabloid speculation, there’s definitely interest in Serbia’s mini pop stars and rising talents.
In recent weeks tabloids have suggested that Mateja Vukasinovic — a finalist on the popular series Pinkove Zvezde finalist — had already been internally selected to represent Serbia.
But Duska Vucinic — the Head of Press and PR at RTS — told Kurir that this simply isn’t true.
“We have not yet determined the way we’ll select the representatives for this year’s competition,” she said.
Over the last two years, RTS has internally selected their act for Junior Eurovision.
Last year Serbia’s ten-year-old contestant Lena Stamenkovic was the most viewed Junior Eurovision 2015 star on YouTube ahead of the contest. Expectations were high — and boy did she impress, ultimately coming seventh.
During her first rehearsal of her song “Lenina Pesma” we were totally feeling it, writing:
As the song opens, we’re greeted to a desolate backdrop of grey skies, snow and barren trees (yes, yes, more Eurovision trees). But as Lena picks up pace, it explodes into a collection of “shining” red diamonds before these too transform into a skyscape of glittering lights. Lena looks stunning in a red gown, which matches her staging perfectly. Vocally, the girl was flawless. Some had questioned her ability to reach those high notes, they needn’t have worried. All in all, it feels very Polina Gagarina, but with considerable more sass. And remember how well she did!
Before taking the stage Lena told us that her song was a call for the world to unite and keep every child safe. It’s enough to make us jaded old bloggers melt. Let the children sing!
Are you excited for Serbia’s confirmation? Do you think they should held an open selection or go internal once again? Let us know below!