All eyes are on Warsaw, Poland on Sunday 29 November for Junior Eurovision 2020. Now in its eighteenth year, the annual song contest will beam to us from a TV studio in the Polish capital following Viki Gabor’s victory with “Superhero” in 2019. This is the second consecutive year that Poland will host JESC.
However, due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 contest will be like none before.
The show will be broadcast live from 17:00 CET — note, this is one hour later than the usual 16:00 CET start time.
Viewers will be able to watch on any participating broadcaster, although some networks may air delayed coverage. The contest will also be streamed online on the official Junior Eurovision YouTube channel.
The impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic
As the world continues to adjust to life during the coronavirus pandemic, officials behind the Junior Eurovision Song Contest are adapting, too. The EBU has announced that Junior Eurovision 2020 will be hosted from Warsaw, but all artists will perform remotely.
None of the 12 performances will be live. Most participants have recorded performances from a studio in their own country. A selection opted to travel to Poland and record their performances there.
The contest will still be hosted live with all presenters and necessary crew socially distancing.
Junior Eurovision 2020 Participating Countries, Acts and Songs
Only 12 countries will compete at Junior Eurovision 2020. This is seven less than in 2019 and is the lowest number of participants since 2013. Most withdrawals were due to Covid-19 related issues — Albania, Australia, Ireland, North Macedonia, Portugal and Wales. Armenia, however, withdrew due to the country’s political and military conflict with Azerbaijan.
Of the 12 competitors, all competed in last year’s contest except for Germany. Despite being part of the Big Five and a perennial fixture at Eurovision, Germany is only making its JESC debut this time round.
In alphabetical order, the list of entries for JESC 2020 is:
Belarus: Arina Pehtereva “Aliens”
France: Valentina “J’imagine”
Georgia: Sandra Gadelia “You Are Not Alone”
Germany: Susan “Stronger With You”
Kazakhstan: Karakat Bashanova “Forever”
Malta: Chanel Monseigneur “Chasing Sunsets”
Netherlands: Unity “Best Friends”
Poland: Alicja Tracz “I’ll Be Standing”
Russia: Sofia Feskova “My New Day”
Serbia: Petar Aničić “Heartbeat”
Spain: Soleá “Palante”
Ukraine: Oleksandr Balabanov “Vidkryvai (Open Up)”
Junior Eurovision 2020 running order
The JESC 2020 running order draw took place on Monday 23 November. Germany was drawn to open the show and France to close. Hosts Poland drew sixth place. You can find the full running order here.
Junior Eurovision 2020 Odds
Unlike the senior equivalent, there is not a major betting market for JESC. Many oddsmakers don’t take bets on underage events, while in some countries it is illegal to place bets on events which involve minors. As such, formal odds for Junior Eurovision 2020 are not readily available.
However, there are other ways to determine which songs are generating buzz.
On YouTube, the most-viewed JESC 2020 songs as of 23 November were:
- Poland: Ala Tracz — “I’ll Be Standing” — 5 million
- France: Valentina — “J’imagine” — 1.7 million
- Spain: Soleá — “Palante” — 612,872
- Netherlands: Unity — “Best Friends” — 610,813
- Germany: Susan — “Stronger With You” — 229,825
The results of the wiwibloggs “Who should win Junior Eurovision 2020?” poll saw Georgia emerge on top, followed by Spain and Belarus.
Junior Eurovision 2020 Lyrics
In contrast to Eurovision, there is a language rule in place at JESC. All songs must be written and sung in a national language of the participating country. The rules allow for a couple of lines to be performed in another language, with most countries opting to throw in some phrases of English.
Junior Eurovision 2020 Voting
The Warsaw contest retains the voting system first implemented in 2017. The result will be determined by a 50/50 split between national juries and an online audience vote.
The online vote will open on Friday 27 November with previews of all 12 performances. Voting will close just before the show, briefly opening again once all 12 acts have performed. Voters from any country in the world can vote for three entries. The upper limit of five votes has been discontinued for 2020.
Unlike Eurovision, there is nothing to stop you from voting for your own country. Points from the online vote will be distributed in line with the percentage of votes received. Jury points will be awarded in the traditional manner — 12, ten and eight to one.
Junior Eurovision 2020 Venue, Hosts and Slogan
Junior Eurovision 2020 will be broadcast from Studio 5 in Warsaw’s TVP Headquarters. The socially distant event will not feature an audience. All performances have been pre-recorded. Many participants performed remotely in their home countries.
The 2020 presenting team consists of Ida Nowakowska, Małgorzata Tomaszewska and Rafał Brzozowski. Ida was also a co-host in 2019.
Junior Eurovision 2020 Slogan and Logo
The slogan is: “Move The World”
The JESC 2020 logo is an abstract globe.
According to organisers, the meaning behind the concept is that “as children, we mistakenly believe all important things are done by renowned people: scientists, astronauts, athletes and actors. We want to become them because, in our eyes, they are the ones moving the world. But this is not the case: every day, millions of people around the world perform their day-to-day duties with capability and care. Together, they are the ones really moving the world. This year’s slogan honours the collective power we hold together”.
Junior Eurovision 2020 — Intervals and Opening Acts
The interval acts are set to come live from Warsaw. Viki Gabor will reprise her 2019 effort. The 2020 common song “Move The World” will also feature.
Junior Eurovision Schedule — Rehearsals and Opening Ceremony
The opening ceremony took place on Monday 23 November.
Due to the remote nature of the 2020 contest, there will not be a traditional rehearsal schedule. Instead, the EBU is releasing previews of all 12 performances throughout the week.