While our readers’ favourites to win the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2016 so far might be Russia’s Sofia Fisenko and the Water of Life Project, YouTube tells a different story – but only just.
If YouTube views are anything to go by, then it seems that FYR Macedonia is poised to take home their first JESC victory, which would mark their first ever Eurovision win of any kind.
As of October 24 — with 12 of the 17 songs revealed for this year’s contest — FYRM’s Martija had clocked 208,215 views on her official music video. That puts her well ahead of Lidia Ganeva from Bulgaria, who has recorded 146,938 views.
Over the last couple of years, in both Eurovision and Junior Eurovision, YouTube views have at times provided a useful (albeit rough) indicator of where public sentiment lies. Ahead of the Eurovision 2016 final, YouTube views put Sergey Lazarev in second — he ultimately won the televote — and Michal Szpak in third — where he did in fact finish with televoters. Ahead of Junior Eurovision 2014, YouTube views predicted that Bulgaria’s Krisia would win. She did, in fact, take the televote.
Of course, there have been plenty of instances where lots of views don’t count for much on the night. A great example is Albania’s Elhaida Dani with “I’m Alive”. She had the second-highest number of views on the eve of the contest, but finished 17th in the final. And at Eurovision 2016 YouTube predicted a win for Italy’s Francesca Michielin, who ultimately came 16th in the final.
You can see the current YouTube standings below. There are three important caveats to this. (1) These views come exclusively from the official music videos, published on the JuniorEurovision.tv web site and are correct as of 24 October at 16:00 CET. (2) Obviously some videos were uploaded before others, so it’s a very rough indicator, but an indicator nonetheless. (3) There is NO televote this year at Junior Eurovision. While views may give a hint of the public sentiment, it does not necessarily predict jury sentiment.
JESC 2016: YouTube views so far:
- FYR Macedonia: 208,215
- Bulgaria: 146,938
- Poland: 139,090
- Russia: 134,328
- Serbia: 112,499
- The Netherlands: 66,615
- Australia: 63,508
- Italy: 54,152
- Ukraine: 36,527
- Cyprus: 33,234
- Belarus: 16,249
- Albania: 10,776
YOUTUBE’S TOP JESC CONTENDERS
FYR Macedonia hasn’t had the best luck in recent years, finishing last on its two most recent appearances. But this year it has proven that it can deliver a decent entry. Martija sings 90% of the song in her native language (which is great to hear), bringing authenticity to her dance hit, with a great drop and a catchy chorus. If YouTube comments are anything to go by, the public are loving it as well!
This could be a very good year for Bulgaria. After doing a great job at hosting Junior Eurovision 2015, the country has delivered a strong song which is somewhere between a ballad and an up-tempo pop hit. Bringing a beautiful message and oozing Polina Gagarina realness, young Lidia says the colour of our skin doesn’t matter, asking, “What’s the difference between us?” We can think of one: YOU CAN SING AND WE CANNOT!
Showing their ambitions after returning to the contest, Poland hosted a proper national final. And Olivia Wieczorek — a small girl with a huge voice —came out on top. Singing entirely in Polish, she shows off her breathtaking voice and builds the song slowly over time. The song may not be completely original, but the artist makes the performance.
Do you think YouTube views hold the key for a victory? Is it relevant any more now that JES is 100% jury voting? Who do you think will amaze us all in Valletta? Let us know below.