Bulgaria’s Poli Genova hosted Junior Eurovision 2015 and Destiny Chukunyere won the contest.
And on November 20 officials at Junior Eurovision revealed that the two stars will share the stage once more, this time as interval acts at Junior Eurovision 2016.
Poli, who earned Bulgaria its highest-ever finish by placing fourth at Eurovision 2016, has been on our radar for the gig for a while. In late October we shared five reasons why we were dreaming of her performing as the Junior Eurovision interval act — see the list here — and the JESC gods have answered our prayers. Say it with me now: Hallelujah!
In Stockholm, Poli — a two-time Eurovision competitor — wowed all of Europe with her on-trend track “If Love Was A Crime”. Ahead of Eurovision the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music professionals — could not stop singing her praises, ranking her third out of the 42 competing acts.
One juror wrote:
Ethnic but not off-putting, “If Love Was a Crime” manages to think locally while translating globally. The opening verses build steadily and confidently, leading to a pre-chorus that is all kinds of amazing. The chorus itself could be a tad bigger, but the Bulgarian lyrics and turbo-folk feel make it sufficiently special to carry the song…Breezy, catchy and feel-good, this is easily Bulgaria’s best Eurovision entry ever.
Poli, who has also served as a judge on Bulgarian X Factor, has plenty of experience with kids music.
As a teenager, Lil Miss Genova worked every single frame of her music videos for Bon Bon — an incredibly popular Bulgarian children’s group. Whether she was immersed in water or rocking the night club, she brought that Bulgarian teenage girl with braces realness that we could all relate to. The duckling definitely became…a swan!
Destiny killed the competition in Bulgaria, serving soul, power and charisma with her song “Not My Soul”.
Ahead of the contest we wrote:
Young Destiny serves Aretha Franklin realness from the very first note. The song is well-paced, builds from verse to verse, and gives Destiny plenty of space to fill it with her enormous vocals and range. It hints at black spirituals from the American South and funky jives straight outta Motown. Yet this remains accessible to kids. They can’t take Destiny’s soul, and honey, they can’t take her voice either! My favourite song of the year.