After weeks of build-up and days of sneak previews, the final of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2020 is upon us. On 29 November at 17:00 CET, 12 countries will vie for the mini glass microphone in Warsaw, Poland. Although, due to the ongoing global pandemic, most performances were recorded remotely and all of them were filmed weeks ago.
But only one will slay hard enough to snatch the crown. As organisers put the last few touches in place before the show, we thought we’d take a moment to walk you through what’s about to go down. Consider this our pre-recorded commentary.
So grab your popcorn and fizzy pop — and let’s do this!
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- How to vote in Junior Eurovision 2020
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Junior Eurovision 2020: Final Preview
🇩🇪 Germany: Susan — “Stronger With You”
Ever since producer-led running orders arrived at Eurovision, show openers have tended to be bold and brash. But that’s not the case with Germany’s “Stronger With You”, an anthemic ballad about overcoming adversity. Of course, Susan is kicking off events thanks to chance — she was drawn the slot during the Junior Eurovision 2020 opening ceremony.
Reflecting the themes of her song, Susan’s staging turns from darkness to bright. As the number reaches its climax, her LED is flooded with warm shades of red and orange. Some cleverly designed silhouettes give the illusion of a crowd of dancers dancing in a forest.
Memorable lyrics (translated): “You see the pictures, and it makes you speechless; Say, do you also feel fury and despair?”
🇰🇿 Kazakhstan: Karakat Bashanova — “Forever”
The steady pace continues with Kazakhstan’s “Forever”. However, the entry has more than enough drama to make up for the low BPM. The emotional number is dedicated to Karakat’s father who died at war. “I will always keep the memory of my father,” she says.
For the performance, Karakat wears a showstopping projection dress, reminiscent of Eurovision divas such as Estonia’s Elina Nechayeva or Moldova’s Aliona Moon. But unlike her adult counterparts, the young singer also dons a pair of angel wings as she strives to reach a solitary night star.
Memorable lyrics (translated): “And fly away, my pain will stay forever, I lie when I say your hand is forever”
🇳🇱 The Netherlands: Unity — “Best Friends”
The energy picks up for song number three — “Best Friends”. Since 2016, the Dutch have enjoyed top ten finishes every year bar one. And the secret to their success has been kid-friendly pop. Often sung by a boy or girl group.
The formula remains in place for 2021 with Unity — that’s Naomi, Maud, Jayda and Demi. While only three performed in the Netherlands’ national final, due to Demi testing positive for COVID, all four will be on stage this evening. They’ve retained their Junior Songfestival staging with each girl owning a brightly coloured door that matches their individual outfit. The sparkling LED further conveys the positive message of their number.
Memorable lyrics (translated): “Where ever we live, We share the same moon, always united”
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🇷🇸 Serbia: Petar Aničić — “Heartbeat”
Serbia’s Petar is our first boy of the evening and is one of only two male performers in this year’s competition. He sings of a common dilemma for lads his age — does the girl he likes like him back?
Dressed in a dapper orange and white suit, Petar sings in front of a striking backdrop. A ball of what appears to be molten metal dominates the LED, constantly changing shape amid a swell of firey orange embers.
Memorable lyrics (translated): “the Earth stops spinning in a beat, time stands still, clocks stop ticking, too”
🇧🇾 Belarus: Arina Pehtereva — “Aliens”
Don’t be fooled by the title. Belarus’ number isn’t a jaunty little pop tune about cute extra-terrestrials. In fact, it’s not about space creatures at all, but rather the feeling of being an outsider. The dark power ballad showcases Arina’s massive vocals as she sings about being cut off from others due to the pandemic.
Wearing an oversized raincoat, the budding pop star stands before a dark LED. As she hits her high note, the earth explodes, filling the entire screen with light.
Memorable lyrics (translated): “The sky is crying, but we are blind aliens”
🇵🇱 Poland: Ala Tracz — “I’ll Be Standing”
Ala Tracz bears a heavy weight of expectation on her small shoulders. For, of course, her two predecessors as Polish representative have both won the contest. Whether she wins or not, Ala already has a hit on her hands — the official music video already has over 5 million views on YouTube.
The song itself is a departure from the cool teen-pop of Roxie Wegiel and Viki Gabor. It’s a peppier effort, skewing towards a slightly younger fan base. She’s the first act of the evening to have actual dancers on stage. Although, thanks to the LED, you’d swear she was joined by countless more.
Memorable lyrics: “Oh-woah-oh, oh-woah-oh, oh-woah-oh-oh”
🇬🇪 Georgia: Sandra Gadelia — “You Are Not Alone”
“You Are Not Alone” was the last of the 2020 entries to be released, coming just over two weeks before the contest. But it was worth the wait. Dealing with themes of isolation and loneliness, the dramatic, experimental ballad spectacularly shows off young Sandra’s vocals.
And the staging is just as gripping. Sandra wears an eyecatching floral outfit, while surrounded by a number of PPE-wearing woodland-nymph-like dancers. In the LED background, a meadow’s worth of flowers blows around amidst a massive whirlwind.
Memorable lyrics (translated): “On this earth, Close to the sun, Is your home”.
Malta: Chanel Monseigneur — “Chasing Sunsets”
It may be a small island, but Malta is one of the big guns when it comes to Junior Eurovision. Since its 2013 comeback, it’s come top ten almost every time and won twice. Chanel will hope to keep this tradition going with her sweet song about following your dreams.
The staging is dominated by a mostly black and white cartoon, which tells the tale of a girl and her red balloon.
Memorable lyrics: “Red and orange will blend, As the day comes to an end”.
🇷🇺 Russia: Sofia Feskova — “My New Day”
While Poland brought a little Disney-channel style pop to the stage, Russia takes its inspiration from the studio’s animated cinematic output. You could imagine any number of downtrodden princesses singing this enchanting number about making each day special.
On stage, Sofia wears a pretty gown in Cinderella blue and fireworks sparkle behind her.
Memorable lyrics (translated): “Where in the night, dreams are coloured bright, To the clouds so soft and subtle, One step ahead – go!”
🇪🇸 Spain: Soleá — “Palante”
After coming close to victory upon its 2019 return, Spain is once again in it to win it. “Palante” is probably the most contemporary entry of the 12. Many have compared it to the urban flamenco pop of the Spanish superstar Rosalía.
She might be small. But on stage Soleá is a force to be reckoned with. Dressed in a pale blue outfit with fringed sleeves and hints of gold, she leads a dance troupe of much older boys and girls. They’re wearing all black, including black face masks.
Memorable lyrics (translated): “Shake off all the bad, Shake it all away”
🇺🇦 Ukraine: Oleksandr Balabanov “Vidkryvai (Open Up)”
For the penultimate act, we get our second male performer of the evening — Ukraine’s Oleksandr. His mid-tempo effort “Vidkryvai (Open Up)” comes with high concept lyrics. In between its message of pushing on and not giving up, the song references Jason and the Argonauts from Greek mythology and their quest for the elusive golden fleece.
Throughout the performance, Oleksandr holds an orb of light, supported by futuristic LED.
Memorable lyrics: “But you are the argonaut who has found his fleece!”
🇫🇷 France: Valentina — “J’imagine”
As with Germany at the start, France’s place in the running order was also drawn during the opening ceremony. But even though it was down to chance, producers couldn’t have wished for a better closer. Valentina sticks firmly to the formula that’s secured France two top-five finishes since its 2018 return — catchy pop with that unique “je ne sais quoi”.
Valentina is a vivacious performer with a smile that shines through the screen. Her staging is just as bright as her personality. Her candy-filled dreamscape is reminiscent of Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” video, albeit a toned-down kid-friendly version… that comes with a dancing Eiffel Tower.
Memorable lyrics: “Na-na-na, na-na-na, Na-na-na, na-na-na, Na-na-na, na-na-na, Na-na-na, na-na”.
Who should win? Who will win? Let us know in the comments.