Last year, when Poland announced its return to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, Eurofans joked that Poland would achieve its biggest success at JESC ever. Since the country had last participated, a rule had been added granting every participant 12 points.
But as it turned out Poland finished well clear of the bottom, even without the gifted douze points, coming 11th of 17 countries — a new high for the country.
And last Tuesday TVP confirmed that it will return to Junior Eurovision this November in the Republic of Georgia. JESC 2017 — get ready!
“Time to announce something!” they wrote with an exclamation point and smiley emoji. “Poland will once again participate in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.”
Last year Olivia Wieczorek proved to be a hit among fans, who praised her mature singing style, classy song and natural charisma.
She also proved to be a huge hit with our YouTube viewers, who have watched our interview with her more than 136,000 times.
TVP are probably fans of her too.
As TVP’s Information Center reported, a whopping 2.8 million viewers watched Olivia achieve her country’s best result at Junior Eurovision.
The broadcast had a 20% market share, making it the most watched show on state television that day — bucking the trend in other JESC participating countries.
Numbers dropped to an all-time low in the Netherlands and Italy, and countries from Israel to Bulgaria also saw major dips in viewers — potentially because of the show’s move from Saturday evening to Sunday afternoon.
Aspiring JESC 2017 singers in Poland will have until the 11th of September to submit their song. On the 15th of September TVP will stage a closed audition during which juries will choose the qualifiers for the country’s national final. The exact number of finalists remains unclear. The stakes get even higher on October 1 when TVP stages its national final to find Olivia’s successor for Tbilisi.
We should stress that this is an initial plan. As we saw with the adult selection for Eurovision 2017, TVP reserves the right to push things back if its selection of songs isn’t as strong as it hopes for.
Prior to their return in 2016, Polish television couldn’t stomach the contest. Its former director previously expressed his distaste for the programme, which, in his mind, forced children to grow up too quickly.
As he said: “We decided that such a project was not appropriate for public television. It’s dragging children into show business”.
But following some dramatic re-structuring and a new director in Jacek Kurski, the broadcaster’s tone changed. Kurski loves music competitions and threw his weight behind the country’s JESC participation.
Are you excited that Poland is back in the game? Who — if anyone — can fill Olivia’s very big shoes?