Change is hard. And Junior Eurovision fans know that more than most.
Last Sunday, we saw months of format tweaking and rule changes come to fruition as Malta hosted the Junior Eurovision 2016 final. To say the end results were divisive would be the understatement of the year.
These, combined with a television production that left much to be desired, sent viewers into a spin. The contest’s former Executive Supervisor Vladislav Yakovlev was one of the most high profile critics.
Taking to Facebook, he wrote “WTF have you done with this Event?..”.
“If you’ve nothing nice to say, say nothing at all”
The dust may have settled somewhat, but Sunday’s show remains a hot topic of conversation. And we at wiwibloggs are not in the business of saying nothing at all.
So, we’ve put our heads together to work out what elements actually worked. Of course, we also have lots of opinions on what went wrong, but that’s for another post later in the week.
1. The songs
Junior Eurovision is a song contest. And the 2016 crop of songs held its own against those from previous editions. The Wiwi Jury dished out praise to all the compositions, with Russia’s “Water Of Life” receiving the second highest Junior Wiwi Jury average of all time. These songs will be on our playlists for years to come.
2. The contestants
We come for the songs but stay for the contestants. That’s the case with every Eurovision contest, and Junior Eurovision 2016 was no different. Seventeen young acts jetted into Valletta and let their talent and personalities shine. Many possessed voices and levels of professionalism that their adult counterparts could only dream of.
3. The JESC Spirit
It may share a common brand, but Junior Eurovision possess a unique spirit that sets it apart from its sister contest. The cut-throat nature of the May event is absent, and instead there’s an overarching sense of camaraderie. Whilst this may appear artificial or forced during the Common Song, the friendship is real.
Just watch the clip below, where Georgia’s Mariam Mamadashvili becomes overwhelmed during her winner’s reprise. The other contestants rush to comfort her, while Ireland’s Zena Donnelly takes control of the situation and urges them to give the newly crowned victor some space. You would need a heart of stone to doubt their sincerity
THIS MOMENT HAS JUST SAVED 2016 #JESC2016 pic.twitter.com/ZHyIG1TnIq
— Common Eurofan Girl (@CommonESCGirl) November 20, 2016
4. The green room
So far, typical Junior Eurovision. If any of the previous three elements went wrong the contest would be in deep trouble. Nonetheless, they’re still worth acknowledging.
But while these factors were constant, there were also several innovations introduced. Perhaps the most successful of these was the enhanced green room experience. Complete with runway and an audience all of its own, the 2016 green room had an atmosphere like no other. The excitement was palpable, even to those of us watching at home. We’d be more than happy to see something similar rolled out in future contests.
5. The split voting sequence
Just like the adult contest in May, Junior Eurovision 2016 embraced the Melodifestivalen style voting system for the first time. And once again the split voting sequence created a truly gripping finale. The fact that the hosts made a mess when presenting the last set of points can’t be blamed on the sequence. And while we might have issues with the lack of televote, the existence of the “expert jury”, and the confusing scenario of children announcing the points of the adult juries while adults announced the kids jury results, the new presentation format isn’t at fault.
6. The stage
Considering the limitations posed by the Mediterranean Conference Centre as a venue, the stage design team really did work wonders. It was thematically on point, with the spiral structure mimicking the Embrace logo and interacting with the graphics at the start of each performance. The impressive structure proved that it wasn’t necessary for the contest to be hosted in a massive arena. More’s the pity that much of the stage’s magic was lost due to bad camera work and poor use of space.
What did you think of Junior Eurovision 2016? Do you agree with our high points? What would you add to the list? Let us know in the comments below.
- Things Junior Eurovision 2016 got wrong
- Things at Junior Eurovision 2016 that didn’t quite work
I proposed this already, but how about Junior Eurovision changes it’s voting system back to include televoting, but instead of having it be 50/50 Adult jury/Televote like the adult contest, let’s have it be 50/50 Kids jury/Televote. That way both the kids will have the voice, and so will the people watching!
BRING BACK THE OLD VOTING SYSTEM AND TIME FOR JESC!
Let’s hope Georgia 2017 is better!!! Probably will be after that Maltese catastrophe.
I admire the attempt at a positive spin, but I think the article shows any silver lining to this big black cloud was very slim.
Malta did fantastic in 2014, but 2016 seems like they just didn’t care.
Move it back to Saturday, bring back the televote, and next time pick a bigger venue, doesn’t have to be massive, but after Christer Bjorkmans ego had managed to make it through the door there wasn’t room for anyone else.
Great songs, exciting presentation of the voting but no televote.
They certainly didn’t get the voting right. At all. Bring back the televote, or you might as well cancel the entire thing.
I have some reservations about the perceived positive effect the split voting procedure had on this year’s JESC: Firstly, with only 17 countries participating, there was enough time to present the 8, 10 and 12 points awarded by each adult jury. It was very difficult to follow the points given from 1-10 because they briefly appeared on the screen and the diagonal fashion in which they were displayed was almost unreadable. Secondly, the combined 50/50 adult and kids jury votes didn’t include the 3 expert juries. so the notion that the final score reflected a 50:50 score combination is inaccurate… Read more »
Pros 1. Songs – better than last year average for the songs. 2. Contestants – the interviews showed us very energetic and likable kids. 3. Interesting stage design but quite small. 4. Mariam crying scene. 5. The side acts. More objective voting but on the cost of losing the contest popularity. Cons: 1. Extremely bad camera work aside from the side acts where Poli and Jedward slayed. Did they actually care for the kid’s acts? Or maybe since there was no tele vote they thought it exceptable to skim over the camera work -.- 2. Stiff hosts and some mistakes… Read more »
There’s a lot fo good things to say about JESC 2016, but there’s also a lot of bad one that needs to be pointed out to the Maltese organizers.
With that said, I still enjoyed watching the show, thanks to the incredible talented acts who delivered strong performances throughout.
Adult Eurovision survived decades having been hosted by small venues so the junior edition can still deliver a good show with a smaller than the usual big-wide stage, provided that the host can actually deliver good production values to make the show even better than what we eventually got.
I agree with Vladislav, Jon Ola and his company from nordic country and western countries in refwrence eurovision group ruined JESC as they ruined Eurovision.
EBU pushed so hard some countries to win on npth conest thanks to juries and thanks to juries some countries like Russia and some others dont have any chance to win.and ezpert panel s ridicoulous Jedward from Ireland can votee for their country and gaveany points to Zara.from Ireland
contestants after first rehearsal were shoked with the size of stage, they said it’s too small. I believe this is the worst thing because cameras snapped parts of bodies, buts and made short fat gnomes from all kids with wrong angle. Escpecially I’m furious with the quality of cuts for our entry, it was the ugliest picture, completely wrong angles and stupid zoom in. I believe our representatives should refuse to attend jesc in Malta or any similar country who will provide their barn for a venue and drunk farmers as cameramen.
This year was amazing. Yes, the stage was small but this can actually be a good thing because it made the kids feel more comfortable. The quality of the entries was impressive too, many great songs that I’m still listening to.
[email protected] Maybe you should search for #teamWTF on something else rather than Junior Eurovision. I’m not trying to be your boss or anything. I’m just giving you advice. 🙂
Personally I think this was the by far the best edition! I loved all the songs and although there were a lot of ballads; they varied in style and aesthetic. Yes the camera work and stage were small, but an average viewer would not care about such things. Overall it was a great and most certainly intense afternoon (That kids voting had me screaming at my computer).
@Rafael Vivas You were supposed to respect the winner! Otherwise, you’ll only makes things worse for the Eurovision family. 🙁
@Mark It doesn’t hurt to show a little respect to a song that you hate! 🙂
@Davve Your comments will do nothing to improve Wiwibloggs’ future, or the future of the Eurovision family! 🙁
@James Everyone has their own dreams, and this year’s contest was supposed to be interesting, ok? Stop being so negative! ????
sorry, I am #teamVladislav. WTF. just WTF
I personally think this edition was the best by far: I was very happy about the rule change (I know people are gonna kill me now) and the quality was very high because, even if I didn’t like some songs, I couldn’t say there were bad or the singers were not good. The only problem was maybe the size of the stage, in 2014 the stage was bigger… but still, the rest was majestic
This was by far the very worst winning song ever and I dare to say the weakest set of songs ever in the history of JESC. None of the 17 songs were remotely spectacular or memorable. And dropping the televote to have 3 set of juries made everything to see very predictable or suspicious. The level was extremely low, breaking the good path the contest had during the last 4 editions, in which we saw variety, quality and some of the best songs ever.
I disagree. The quality of song had dropped this year
I would agree with it all except about the split voting system, especially the giving of the second group of votes as a total block. It increases the feeling of “we were cheated” by the fans of songs that didn’t win, particularly at ESC where neither the winner of the jury vote nor the winner of the public vote won the contest, and increased the severity of comments after the show, making this year’s JESC have the worst behaviour from fans after the show contrasting the excellent behaviour of the contestants. Also, having only the 12 points read out ensured… Read more »
The winner is bland. Will do nothing to further improve the torned rep of JESC. Overall an average year….
“Many possessed voices and levels of professionalism that their adult counterparts could only dream of.”
Hahahahha no they don’t
They do. I mean, did you hear Rykka and Samra in Stockholm?
The stage was so small! hopefully Tbilisi can host a better contest in 2017 #TBILISI2017!