Following the furore surrounding Junior Eurovision 2016, we brought you a list of everything it got right.
Now it’s time we turn our attention to everything it got wrong.
*This list is written out of love for the contest. We want organisers to learn from the mistakes and improve next year’s event. Don’t get bitter, get better.
1. The opening parade
Ever since its introduction at Eurovision 2013, the Parade of Flags has become a permanent fixture at both song contests. It makes for an exciting spectacle, giving the audience an opportunity to cheer on their favourites while introducing the acts to viewers at home.
Alas, the JESC 2016 parade was more shambolic than spectacular. Instead of focussing in on the young singers, the camera crew insisted on panning out at every opportunity. All this did was highlight how small the arena was, while giving each performer virtually no time on screen.
@EurovisionKD The flag.. parade.. walking in.. thing
Why does it zoom out in the most important part??
— KD???? #Jamala (@EurovisionKD) November 21, 2016
@EurovisionKD We don’t need to see the stage from a distance during that “cool” cracking sound
— KD???? #Jamala (@EurovisionKD) November 21, 2016
Meanwhile, the stage itself was overcrowded with an unexceptional dance troupe. With scarcely a speck of glitter or flashing light in sight, the whole ceremony had less razzmatazz than your average school play.
2. The presenters
Given the time slot and target audience, we were never going to have a Maltese Petra Mede urging viewers to grab their towels. Nonetheless, we expected PBS to leave us in the safe hands of at least one capable host. And so seemed to be the case when Ben Camille and Valerie Vella were announced as the 2016 presenters. The pair were local TV veterans and both had experience at hosting the island’s annual Eurovision selection.
But based on Sunday’s performance, they may as well have been novices. While we could just about look past their wooden delivery of a stilted script, their litany of blunders is unforgivable. To mention just two, they renamed Israel’s Tim as Tom and tripped over Poli Genova’s song title ahead of her interval set.
Thank God Ben Camille is handsome. Shir and Tom? I mean, really? #Israel #jesc2016 #jesc #Eurovision
— Jacob Stepaschko (@Jaccobabe) November 20, 2016
PBS you've had three rehearsals to get your script right. That's a basic error to get Poli's song wrong. Expect better. #jesc #jesc2016
— Ben Robertson (@Bensvision) November 20, 2016
However, proceedings turned to farce during the final few moments of the voting sequence. With just Armenia left to receive points from the kids jury, the stage was set for a thrilling finish. Would they get enough points to pass out Georgia and take victory? But the tension didn’t last long as Valerie immediately announced that there were only 110 points left to be distributed — not enough to take Anahit & Mary to the top. Realising the faux pas, the pair then proceeded to carry on as if nothing had happened, spending the concluding minutes building up Armenia’s non-existent chance of winning, “it’s still open, it’s still open”. Fail!
when you mess up big time #jesc2016 #jesc pic.twitter.com/xlo8oTd317
— Alenko (@alenko_zh) November 20, 2016
3. The interval acts
We love Poli Genova. We love Jedward. But one really does have to wonder why they were invited to perform as interval acts. Malta may be a small island, but it has a rich musical tradition. This is especially true when it comes to Eurovision — just compare its national selection to those of the UK or France. Junior Eurovision gave Malta an opportunity to sell itself to hundreds of thousands of people across 16 other nations, so why did they choose to field a Bulgarian and two Irish men as their prime entertainment? The mind boggles. At least Justin Timberlake sang a song written by a Swede when he popped up in Stockholm last May.
#JESC #JESC2016 Is Malta that embarrassed about their own singers they have to use Poli??
— Metamoro's Ugly Child (@AFC92_92) November 20, 2016
Doesn't make any sense to have Poli here. Bye already #jesc
— Joana Patrícia ?????? (@joanaplucas) November 20, 2016
Destiny Chukunyere, last year’s winner, was the sole local light during the break. Sadly, producers thought it best that Destiny lipsync instead of singing live. Viewers at home facepalmed, because of all the people on stage that night, Destiny was probably the last one that needed a backing track.
This collage says it all.
It’s an unfortunate reality that booing has almost come to be expected at Eurovision. But few expected it to seep down into the Junior Contest. Without being sensationalist, there were a few uncomfortable moments during the voting sequence as the green room crowd booed the scores coming in. The jeering came from overzealous local school children unhappy with the points awarded to Malta — so no politically motivated boos, thankfully.
However, neither the hosts nor producers made any efforts to shut it down. A point was made that they couldn’t hear it themselves from the main stage, but that’s not really an excuse in an era of earpieces and instant communication.
Not that that's any excuse. We couldn't hear the booing in the main hall, so that's probably why the hosts didn't say anything about it.
— Emalé | ?????????? (@EurovisionEmily) November 20, 2016
6. The expert jury
The 2016 contest saw a lot of changes and innovations. But out of everything, the expert jury was without question the most pointless. The concept seemed redundant in theory, and so it proved in reality. With two sets of jury points coming from each of the 17 participating countries, there were more than enough votes to go around. Ultimately, the scores from the Swedish TV producer, the Danish record executive and the Irish pop act had no effect on the final result — with or without them, Georgia would have won. Their banal comments added nothing to the show while their giant desk took up precious room in an already small arena.
Can you tell we don’t want to see them back next year?
7. Removal of televote
For the first time ever, Junior Eurovision had no televote. And that made us sad. While we will obviously never know what impact this would have had on the final score, we can assume that it affected some entries more than others. If juries continue to have the ultimate say in future years, will we lose the crowd pleasing pop songs in favour of technically challenging jury fodder? Does this mean no more entries like Russia 2012 or Cyprus 2014?
Of course, abolition of the televote also removes a key element of audience engagement. With no say in the final result, why should viewers sit through a three hour long show? Aside from national pride or a pre-existing interest in some of the acts, there’s no emotional connection to keep them tuned in.
8. The Jury Final
Junior Eurovision, like its big sister, has two finals — one for the juries and a second that’s broadcast live for TV audiences. JESC 2016 was no different. However, given that there was no televote, this meant that almost all the points were awarded based on a show that no one at home saw. Only the expert jury voted on Sunday’s performances. In theory, Georgia’s Mariam could have sung perfectly during Saturday’s jury show, lost her voice completely for Sunday’s show and still won. While this didn’t happen, thankfully, it’s ridiculous that there’s a possibility that it could.
9. Age limit
Did the new age limit make any noticeable improvement to the 2016 show? No. Let 15 year olds take part again!
What did you think of Junior Eurovision 2016? Do you agree with our low points? What would you add to the list? Let us know in the comments below.
- Things at Junior Eurovision 2016 that didn’t quite work
I kinda liked Ben he Was like Fredrik Kempe that Was the judge of the Swedish idol IT Maybe Quincy Jones III. Vallerie was Missing something like Nikki Amini or Amani
I agree with almost everything mentioned in the article. After watching the live show on YouTube I’ve got a feeling of some home studio production instead of the national broadcaster one. I don’t mind the age limit, I wouldn’t even mind lifting the song language limit. But what concerns me the most is the authorship of the songs. In few this year entries a performer is at least an co-author of the song. And we are talking about JUNIOR SONG contest. But all we got is a contest of songs written by adults and it seems for adults to be… Read more »
Jesc 2015 had much bigger venue but there was practically no booing. So it is possible.
These are my opinions on some of the matters discussed in the above article; I would have the voting as Adult/Kids juries and Televote leave the expert jury out of it. With the hosts Valerie was probably nervous as it was getting towards the end and slipped with how many points she had left to give but hey everyone makes mistakes. Age wise I think that it should be 8-15 as once they turn 16 they can compete in the grown up Eurovision Song Contest. Booing: You’ll get that in any competition it doesn’t matter if it kids or adults.
I don’t understand the criticism of Poli being the interval act. And the argument backing it up about JT singing a Swedish song is kinda weak if you ask me. Swedes write lots of pop songs. Doesn’t make JT any more or less Swedish. Also, I say keep the voting to the juries. Maybe it’s just because my opinions are often not the same as the popular non-jury ones. Mzeo deserved to win. It would not have won if the televote was done.
Who had voted for that bzzz bzebi song…..my god!! Such a headache…….georgia’s this win is way better than that
Well I remember when I was young and visited JESC in Rotterdam in 2007. This event has changed SO much. Idk, but when I was young and I saw the ads on Dutch television about writing and singing your own song, it was only the coolest thing you could do back then. But now, it seems everyone has producers behind them, a big team, and nothing has to do with the kids anymore. I heard the Russian singers wrote their own song but that was all. I guess its for the better so that we never get bees winning this… Read more »
Make JESC great again
Yeah it’s true that many things sucked – but the overall quality of the songs was high, that’s the most important thing after all. Just take a look at 2005 edition for example and try how long you can take it… they are like 2 different contests in that sense.
there’s no justice in people’s votes and there’s no hope it ever be. new Verkas, Russian pop divas, boys with voilins, all kind of grannies, figure skaters, hoverboardists, alpinists and even Godzilla will appear in show in attempt to deliever jaw dropping performance. You know, if you stun someone they lose focus and can be manipulated 🙂
this contest is to entertain or to fight for the most classy proper song? if only we can know the answer
one of the reasons why good singers have to be autotuned to death is lack of technical possibility to let them sing live. I won’t be surprised if it’s the reason why such jewel as Destiny had to lipsync.
one word that can describe this edition of jesc – CHEAP
I also want 5 biggest crimes
Cyprus 2014 is the second best JESC song of all time (1st Love will lead our way!!!) Results should be at 1. Not anything else. The results were sad, Macedonia and Malta please quit, you both deserved so much more.
Cyprus 2014? Typo or awful joke?
I’m sorry, Ethan1994, but things are different now. People like to be involved as they have possibilities. With chances to put up gimmick trash, there’s also shared love to music gems and normal pop stuff.
William has explained, dear…
One month ago: TEN GREAT REASONS WHY POLI SHOULD BE THE INTERVAL ACT AT JESC
Today: POLI WAS AN INTERVAL ACT?! BUT WHAT ABOUT THE MALTESE TALENTS!?
LMAO Wiwi… at least keep it consistent.
I have to agree that the pomp and circumstance surrounding JESC 2016 was a farce mostly put on for the adults. Sure, adults have to pay for this contest, but they’ve forgotten that the contest is about the children. And the children are there to share their talents with the world. Everything outside of the actual performances was extremely forgettable (or in the case of Valerie’s slip at the end) an embarrassment. That said, the best moment of the contest was unscripted. The moment where all the children prop up Mariam during her winning performance showed that the children were… Read more »
yassss you guys read the show to FILTH. i love it! <3
The mistake Valerie made… I mean, yes, we are humans, not Gods but that mistake is just inexcusable.
Also, shame on everyone who boos, for whatever reason. You barbarians!
One wrong thing is Sunday at 16:00. Watching Eurovision not in the night?
The vantage points set up for the camera were clearly a fail, as shown in the first 10 minutes of the show. I like the stage but the camera work leaves a lot to be desired. While I think that the EBU is trying to align JESC with its other continental wide “junior” contests by having an expert jury, it doesn’t seem necessary to have one at all if the adults and kids’ juries control two-thirds of the outcome and theirs will will barely change much, whereas Young Musicians this year only had to rely on such a panel who… Read more »
Removing the televote was a bigger mistake than all the others combined. JESC should be 100% televote because historically it’s never been really that affected by neighbor and migrant voting.
There is actually one damn mistake it this whole thing …. it’s this junior thing existence … just leave the kids sing for joy …. not for competition ….dragging them into this post-2000 mess that Eurovision has become where everybody wants to have a say or a fight will be started right in front of you … those Maltese kids booing like the gay fans booing for Russia when not represented by a naked-torso-male-singer is just one door open to the whole possible chaos ahead of us … It all sounds nice and fluffy that televoting brings people together and… Read more »
I’d definetely add the new time slot to this list. I didn’t like any of the changes tbh…
JESC has so much potential. I hope they figure something out and make it bigger and better.
To be honest, I don’t agree with the notion that the televoting is “essential”, considering how the main Eurovision went on through most of its history (41 years, in fact) without a televote. If you went and got rid of the televote in the main Eurovision as well, it would really be a return to normality if you think about it.
Wiwi must be careful with this piece. EBU are notorious about criticism. They REALLY do not like it, and they are very vindictive towards people who dare criticize them.. Be careful!
@mawnck For one-millionth time, Junior Eurovision is not getting cancelled!!!
I understand where you’re coming from… but given the woeful lack of support for JESC worldwide… instead of slagging off the host country… maybe.. just maybe.. we should thank them (faux pas and all) because I’m guessing the queue to “take this gig over” is pretty damn short…..
OFF TOPIC: Breqquette has revealed the lyric video for ‘No Enemy’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snMfX8l75lU
Observation: With the ratings gone kablooey, they probably wouldn’t have had enough of a televote in most countries to get a valid result. Perhaps the EBU anticipated this? Other than that (and anything nice that was said about Jedward) I pretty much agree with this article. That may have been the last JESC. I can’t imagine why any participating broadcaster would want to air something like THAT again, let alone spend money to participate in it. And Destiny needs to change management. Aside from the lip-sync thing, that song is a waste of her talent. Why would you take a… Read more »
JESC 2016 was an absolute train wreck
BRING BACK THE TELEVOTING, BROADCASTING TIME AND AGE LIMIT!
ESCFannn: LOL Ben repeated the points again. She is aware of the mistake and signal him about the mistake 😛
What did Ben Camille say to the lady during that voting sewuence which the lady popped out 110? Can anyone understand pls?
I’m not really interested in jesc but we all know how much Malta loves both contests- did they do a good job hosting two years ago? Does this not bode well for if they ever host the adult show?
Missing 12 points for all countries. While it doesn’t change anything in reality it shows a good will and remove the possibility any child to receive one digit score or even zero. Also the gap between the contries’ acts and the adult’s interval and side acts. The camera actually worked both for Poli and Jedward. Unfortunately I cant say the same for most of the main acts. As for Poli and Jedward’s appearances in the show, if it was handled better probably there wouldn’t have been any issue. Honestly I kind of hoped Poli to bring out a new song… Read more »
Easy way to get viewers disengaged: Remove the televote.
Seriously if the audience is not able to influence the outcome with their votes, then many will choose not to bother.
There’s something not quite right about adults watching a contest for kids aimed at kids. If the kids watching and who participated enjoyed it, let it be.
I love Poli ! I don’t like Jedward. But my country seriously should have used local singers 🙁
What about the time slot. Every country is used to watch JESC and ESC on saturday night. Maybe not Poland, who hasn’t been in the contest for 12 years, but isn’t it the only country so far that hasn’t hit all time low.
Because there where no other Maltese acts exept Destiny. Ira Losco should have been there 🙁
You missed out the new time slot. Clearly that went wrong because viewing figures are down.
First you wrote an article saying “reasons for Poli Genova to be invited as an interval act for Junior Eurovision 2016”, now you put it into “everything wrong with Junior…”. Where is your logic, Wiwibloggs?