The Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2006

The venue


About the contest

The 2006 (4th) Junior Eurovision Song Contest was held on December 2nd in Bucharest, Romania. Or as the poster on the wall said: Bucuresti sâmbătă 2 decembrie!

Taking part this year were Portugal, Cyprus, The Netherlands, Romania, The Ukraine, Spain, Serbia, Malta, FYR Macedonia, Sweden, Greece, Belarus, Belgium, Croatia, and Russia. That is in contest order.

The contest was not broadcast on British television. The BBC don't appear to want to be involved, and ITV (who broadcast the previous competition) obviously were not interested as there was no British entry.
It has been suggested that this may be the final junior contest, which would be a shame as the precocious little darlings/brats (delete as applicable!) have shown that anything the adults can do, they can do just as well... Of course, take this "prediction" with a pinch of salt, as every year people call an end to the contest, no doubt the same sort of people that tell us we can't celebrate "Christmas" in case it offends somebody... bah-humbug, etc.

I am indebted to a good friend of mine who recorded the competition to DVD-R from the Spanish broadcaster "tve" (Televisión Española). That's why the images are of a good quality, instead of the usual output from my eccentric old digitiser.
The broadcast has a voice-over providing a running commentary in Spanish, but thankfully it isn't so intrusive.

Junior Eurovision Reloaded
You will see indented sections, such as this one. The main, original, content of this document was written as the contest progressed, as is usual for my Eurovision reviews, when it is all fresh and new. Even though I received the contest on a DVD-R, I simply put it into my player, set it going, and watched it end-to-end as if live...
These indented sections, on the other hand, are from a more critical analysis a few days later, when I can afford myself the luxury of repeated listenings, pause, and to back up if need be. These sections will go into more detail over what is right, or not so right, about the song. I feel this is important because I know that there will be a number of Eurovision nerds out there who had no access to the programme and may desire something more descriptive than "fun and bouncy"!
If this is your first reading of the document, don't worry, the indented comments intentionally make no reference to who won.


The introduction

The contest begins with a colourful circus act, which dissolves into "Tornero" (from the adult contest - a nice touch). What wasn't so good was the cameraperson got too close the the juggler and the next thing we see is the poor juggler picking up the dropped skittles.

The contest is hosted by a precocious 12-year-old girl wearing unimaginably oversized bell-bottoms, called Ioana Ivan (sounded like "yana") and... um... Dracula... yes, really! And he didn't even have the obligatory Boris Karloff accent.
Ioana and, yes, Dracula!
The precocious little darling...

Then all the kids performing do a quick run-through. It sounds like the Spanish voice-over is an excitable man (Fernando Argenta) and somebody else (Lucho) who is using Bart Simpson as their vocal inspiration!
It took almost as long to say Macedonia's official title as it did for the kids to pass across the stage. One of the Swedish girls, following, slipped over. Oops!
It was all very colourful.
Whooops 2! (the sequel)

This is then followed by a pseudo-animation to show to us why Romania is a really great part of Europe (Ioana's words), the presentation itself looking like it owed a lot to the Beatles' Yellow Submarine cartoon, or perhaps The Wizard Of Speed And Time.

Romania, through the eyes of a (drugged?) child!

Ioana then passes over to a grown-up host, dressed like a stylised schoolgirl, called Andreea Marin-Bănică (who is apparently well-known in Romania, a children's TV presenter perhaps?).
The necessary adult.

This year there are viewers in Australia and America who received a special "hello"... but nobody from Britain (unless they access non-UK channels on satellite).

A big (and one might say somewhat corrupt) change is that, for the first time ever, you can vote from the beginning of the contest, once the first song starts to play. If I heard correctly over the Spanish, I think Andreea said that you could vote up to twenty times from the same telephone number. But, of course, not for your own country.


#1 Portugal Deixa-me sentir Pedro

The group...

This was performed with plenty of aplomb by Pedro and his backing kids, and it made a good start to the contest, but it was very Eurovision, not something outstanding.

This song begins a lot like Richard Marx's "Right here waiting for you" (~1988), and in comes the Pedro, who had the whole rock-star pointing dramatically into the audience thing sussed. After a drum break, the pace picks up.
He certainly had style and charisma, perhaps his let-down was having to perform in Portuguese? The backing dancers were interesting. They would sometimes do these neat little things like a "mexican wave", and other times they'd just sort of bop side by side while clapping to the song, as if nobody thought of anything better to do in those moments.


#2 Cyprus Agoria, Koritsia Louis & Christina

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's...
Lots of vivid colours.

Magenta and RGB primaries overload! It's a very colourful performance. This would have been a much better song if they hadn't gone all the way with the annoying synth drums. This one actually grew on me during the performance, despite Christina needing a bit more amp on her voice.
A nice simple, yet effective, routine to accompany the song.

With an atmospheric start, we go straight into a song with a heavy bass line and "dancey" feel. This could have be described as a cross between LazyTown and Fragma. As said before, the biggest let-down was that Christina had a much softer voice, so it should have been boosted a little... Either way, I like this song. It is very colourful, energetic, and fun. Sort of what the Junior Eurovision should be about when the older kids aren't busy singing puke-making love songs. ☺


#3 The Netherlands Goed Kimberley

...and her backing dancers.

This was performed well by Kimberley. The let-down, perhaps, were the backing dancers who seemed to be moving too fast. They were with the tempo of the music, but I think starting with a slower movement would have been more effective. I don't want to sound really picky, this is something you'd need to see rather than read. As for the song itself, I can easily see this one turning up an a music channel in the R'n'B slot. This sort of music isn't my thing, so I can't draw any comparisons, for when I think of R'n'B, I think of Arethra Franklin! I'm sure that is decades out of date!

There is not really much to add to my previous comments. Apart from the dancing seeming out of pace to the song, it is a very good effort from Kimberley and could rival the sort of performances I have heard on things like The X-Factor. I'll leave it to Simon Cowell to find fault with Kimberley's actual performance, because I can't.


At this point, Ioana took a moment for a quick chat with one of the performers and a gag over dog-lover/cat-lover. Then she talked to Swedish Molly (cat-lover, yay).

Ioana and Molly


#4 Romania Povestea mea New Star Music

So-called superheroes...
See? Spidey's a chick! I knew it!

Coming out of a giant book are some literature heroes - Harry Potter, Spiderman... I can't name the other two, maybe they are Romanian?
Ah, from the song I think one of them is supposed to be Peter Pan. It is an upbeat song, but otherwise it didn't seem to be anything particularly special. Spiderman is a girl. Shock! Horror! Could explain a lot... ☺

This is an '80s eurobeat sort of song - I can see a kid's Buck's Fizz tribute group having fun with this one. After all, while it makes reference to Harry Potter, it is only two and a half decades out of date, oh happy nostalgia trip.
It's a blissfully daft song!

By the way, the "So-called superheroes" caption is not intended as an insult to the performers here. I was just never 'into' that whole comic-book superhero thing. When I was young, my superhero was Carl Sagan. Yeah, I am such a geek!


#5 The Ukraine Khlopchyk Rock-N-Roll Nazar Slyusarchuk

Check the hair-gel
Straight from the swingin' '60s, no?

Rock'n'roll from the sixties given an '80s twist. It's like watching Austin Powers!

Imagine Elvis as a kid, given an '80s gelled up hairdo, backed up with "sophisticated city chicks" from the '60s and some breakdancing suits. It is a complete mesh of styles. The music itself is of none of those, it seems more a '70s drum and rhythm line to which something else would have been laid down on top, only it never quite developed that far...


#6 Spain Te doy mi voz Dani

Gliding onto the stage, nice.
The whole group.

The tve presenters were obviously very enthusiastic about this song. ☺ The kids had wheels in their shoes allowing them to glide into the stage at the start. A visually impressive gimmick, though I bet it was hard to dance with those shoes! The dress was like a grunge take on a school uniform. The song itself was actually quite nice. A million miles away from last year's wailing. Dani gave it everything, so I hope the results give a lot back.
It's a good catchy song, so should do well in the final vote. In English, the title means "I give you my voice".

In the intro Dani says "my voice is my gift to you", and this is also more or less the title of the song. He'd better watch he doesn't get an ego there! It is a good performance, and a good voice but noticably lacking in power when a bit of power is called for. Overall, though, it is a pleasant contemporary song.


Three more songs down, time for another quick chat with Ioana. I only mention this so I can include the picture - check out her expression! Did Nazar (Ukraine) just propose or something?!?


At this point, obviously still lost in the excitement of the Spanish entry, the tve hosts announced Malta was next...


#7 Serbia Učimo Strane Jezike Neustrašivi Uċitelji Stranih Jezika

The group.
A little message for us at home.

Wacky costumes and dance routines accompany a crash-course in several different European languages. I bet when they made the rule that songs should be in the language of the country, they didn't expect this! How can you dislike a song that is this far out?

How to describe this? If they made Sesame Street songs in Serbia, they'd sound like this! Watch the three girls in the background, their routine is one of the best bits, as are their costumes. There's no other word for it - it's wacky, wacky, wacky!


#8 Malta Extra Cute Sophie

The bike, and the training wheels!
Is she extra cute, or extra trouble?

She rides in on a little motorbike. Might have looked much better if it didn't have training wheels on it!
I guess it isn't bad to reach the eighth song before I start talking about legally-permitted additives and E-numbers. Sophie? Sophie is an entire crate of Sunny Delight mixed with singing in the shower! ☺

The drums in this are way too heavy, almost bordering on the tribal, and - sorry - but I think this one is danger of becoming annoying through repeated viewings!
Sophie oozes charisma, but puts it across as one of those kids that discovers the karaoke, belts off a dozen songs, and ensures that everybody leaves the party with a headache. She could easily handle better material than this noisy cacaphony...


#9 FYR Macedonia Vljubena Zana Aliu

She looks quite '40s, doesn't she?
Nice to see a few good visuals thrown in.

A girl group performing a quirky song that appears to be inspired by this year's Croatian entry into the adult contest (remember "Moja Štikla", the song that seems remembered for the line 's-s-s-seks'!).

Time and thought has gone into the routine, and it gives us some good visuals. Unfortunately Zana's voice is the problem here. Was this nerves? She looked a bit freaked.


We then have a brief interlude of raving kids at a party hosted by, and themed upon, Dracula. Probably time for an ad-break somewhere in Europe?

It's the monster mash, it was a graveyard smash...


#10 Sweden Finaste Någon Kan Få Molly ☺☺☺

A lovely song brilliantly performed. There's nothing more to say, except, here is the winner.

Molly's song is about "you're beautiful, just the way you are" (her words in the intro). From the first chord, a very subtle start like a Celine Dion power ballad, you know this one is going to be serious.
It is no surprise the audience cheer when the song notches itself up a gear. Molly does considerably more than stand there looking pretty. The music itself is very subtle all the way through - it doesn't really reach a crescendo and there is no electric guitar solo, it only provides the necessary accompaniment. The backing singing is barely even present. This song is entirely led by Molly (rather than being loud to cover her deficiencies). Even during the emotional parts, it is her performance. She could have pulled this off a cappella.
This is what happens when the voice, the person, and the material all come together correctly. My favourite song of the night by a million miles, and ... my favourite junior Eurovision song overall.
Now please excuse me, I'm going to chapter-back and listen to it again... maybe a couple of times.
And if anybody has the words and a translation...?


#11 Greece Then Pirazi Chloe Boleti

A nice upbeat song performed by somebody who looks old enough to be in the adult contest. I bet it'll get 12 from Cyprus... ☺

A fun and bouncy song with an energetic routine to go with it. Like last year, it is co-ordinated in dance and the clothing. The Greek kid's entries have been fun to watch (so where did it all go wrong with S.A.G.A.P.O.?).
If I was going to make a negative comment, I would tell Chloe that people should do a lot less of the "whoa-oh-oh-oh" in their songs. Sometimes it works (like in the Swedish entry), but when it is just thrown in, and when you have a voice such as Chloe's, it sounds like moaning and wailing, as if in pain. People shouldn't moan so much in songs. And I should stop being so damn picky! Even Hayley Westenra makes a few moaning noises here and there, and as for most rock divas, it is practically obligatory to sound like you're in the act of giving birth...


#12 Belarus Novyi Den Andrei Kunets

With the hair and voice, he looks like his inspiration was Roger Daltrey back in the '70s! Interesting costumes, though it isn't the first time I thought the children were better dressed in their introductions. A good performance of a very Eurovision song by Andrei.

It starts off well but quickly goes into "just another song" mode (of the popish early '80s european style), which is a shame as Andrei is not lacking in personality.


Here followed a brief behind-the-scenes segment of some worried-looking kids getting made up, hair done, etc.

She looks fairly laid back...
...while these two look more worried.


#13 Belgium Een Tocht Door Het Donker Thor!

I see we're back to comic-book superheroes...
And LED torches, it's like "Are You Afraid Of The Dark?"

Acoustic guitars, torches, and a very music-led routine all come together in a performance that has a sort of a hippy-cum-horror-movie vibe. I'd absolutely love to see those little orange things on the BBC THREE introductions performing this song!
Really we should have had a bit more animation from the boy singing (who looks a lot like Jodie Foster in Freaky Friday).

This has a very late-'70s feel to it. And please excuse my earlier horror movie reference, it was the product of an overactive imagination - however if you are "into" the horror movie genre then you might follow my train of thought. If not, I'm sure it'd be gibberish (like most of what I write!). The group do a great job of the "da-da da-da da" bits, I just feel we should have had a bit more animation from the boy singing, as - despite the Superman top and naming the group after a famous Nordic God, his performance was somewhat lacklustre.


#14 Croatia Lea Mateo

Even Bill&Ted did better air guitar!
That's better, hold the mic stand and forget the power chords.

I think, in the introduction, he said Lea is his one true love. Ugh! Too much noise (you could hardly hear him) and too much unconvincing air guitar (that looked too much like something else)...

Don't want you to think I missed this song, I just have nothing to add.


#15 Russia Veseniy Jazz Sisters Tolmachevy

One of the Tolmachevy sisters.
Kinda cute, aren't they?

Oh my god, it's the Olsen twins all over again! ☺ I don't know if it would ever pass as jazz, but I think Scatman John would be proud, ba-doop-a-baba...

Look at what they're wearing. Look at the hats. Look at their ages. The dresses. Colour-coordinated shoes. The whole guacamole. While these two girls may have the talent to go on stage and perform their song, there's no way you can convince me they aren't aiming for max cute points. If Sophie from Malta thinks she was going to be extra cute, however can we classify the Tolmachevy sisters?
The song is not jazz in the accepted sense of the word. And, to be honest, while the two girls scat, can it be called scat if it is scripted? I thought you kinda had to make it up as you're going along?


Well, that's it!

Andreea said that even though the voting is not over, there was already a clear winner. Then there was a recap of the songs. Along the way, our two hosts had another costume change.

She's going for her own cute points with a simple dress.
And what is that necklace?

Here is my top 5 pick:

  1. Sweden, absolutely miles ahead of the rest
  2. Spain
  3. Serbia (it's just so weird!)
  4. Greece
  5. Cyprus
What I am pleased to report that while a number of songs were bizarre, and maybe a tad sucky, there were none that I outright hated. For this reason, there is no list of songs that I hated the most.


Interval act

Kseniya (later: looked like it was credited as 'Xenia'), the winner from last year, sang again her winning song, including the freaky dress and keyboard on giant spring. Kseniya is now 11, and just as thin as last year!
Boing Zebideeeee!
Someday she'll get bigger...


More interval act!

Following yet another recap of the songs, the next interval act (this interval seems to be going on as long as the contest) is a contest between breakdancers and "coloosh" (phonetic) dancers, which were a lot like Morris dancers.

The 1980s meets the 1680s!
Oh my god! This looks like the result of a car crash!


Then pictures from an outing...

Someone's found a furry friend.
Well, that would have been me 20 years ago...
Chloe finding a little solitude in a group of people.


And more non-contest singing - a medley of previous Romanian entries. Keep us all in suspense forever!

One of Romania's past entries.
Don't tell me you've already forgotten Alina Eremia?



Finally we have a word from Svante Stockselius, who needs no introduction to Eurovision regulars. I've seen the woman sitting to his left before, perhaps she is a representative from Digame?
Digame is, I believe, a German company. You'll see then credited in the Eurovisions - because they are the ones that coordinate and oversee the televoting around Europe.
Interestingly, "diga me" (say like dee-ga-may) is a Spanish phrase which means "speak to me". Kinda makes sense when you think about telephone voting!
Ioana then made Svante invite her to the next Junior Eurovision, which will be held in The Netherlands.
Making sure the voting goes correctly.

Talking of The Netherlands, isn't the girl giving their votes the same girl, Tess, who should have won it in 2005?

This is Tess, isn't it?


From the outset, it looked as if the Olsen twins (sorry, the Russian sisters) would win the contest. As usual, everybody received 12 points before voting began, so a truly awful entry wouldn't go home with the infamous "nul pwah".

Perhaps this is some idea dreamed up by a child phsychologist, so a kid need not get depressed by having no votes as they have 12, not 0. I'd like to think most children have the intelligence not to fall for that, which is perhaps more than we can say for the adults in charge! ☺

About halfway through, the leader board looked like this:

Russia 92
Belarus 80
Sweden 76
Romania 49
Spain 49


It looks as if the Greek announcer is the boy from last year's Greek entry.

Isn't this Andross?

Haha! The Greek kids gave 12 points to Cyprus! And, likewise, the Cypriots gave their 12 to the Greeks!

Greece = Cyprus << 12
Cyprus = Greece << 12
(if you wonder why that amuses me a lot, you're obviously new to Eurovision! hang around, you'll learn...)


If you are going to put up the now-obligatory cityscape backdrop, it might be useful to make sure it works!

Here's how not to do it. I won't say who, save embarrassment.
Here's how to do it; probably the pretty city of Stockholm.


Along the way we were treated to another comic gag where Dracula walks on stage with Kseniya, trips over, breaks the carefully-sculpted award... only for Ioana to walk on with a surprise-surprise, she has it, it is okay.

Can I take this now? Is it mine? Ooooh goody!

For the readers who didn't see the contest at all, the "surprise-surprise" is a reference to Ioana popping up every so often saying that she has a surprise-surprise for Andreea.


Well, here it is, the final scoreboard (looks best on a browser that fully supports CSS):

Russia 154   Ukraine 58
Belarus 129 Croatia 50
Sweden 116 Malta 48
Spain 90 Netherlands 44
Serbia 81 Greece 35
Romania 80 Portugal 22
Belgium 71 FYR Macedonia 14
Cyprus 58    


The winner

The Sisters Tolmachevy have a kind of charm, I can see why they won, though I feel Sweden deserved it more.

This is one of the sisters. As Ioana said: don't cry, you won, you're supposed to be happy!

After yet another change of dress, Ioana herself was upset that it was all over. She had been a good child host. Kooky, for sure. But fun.

As the sisters started their song again, all kinds of everybody took to the stage.

I guess it takes an exceptional young performer to keep it together with all that chaos going on, though there were moments when they looked a little less with-it.

There's always time for a congratulation kiss.

And some hugs, as the credits roll.

And, a quick kiss for us in the final message, just before the fade-to-black.



There was a fair gap between the top three and the rest, though perhaps the biggest gap was between first and second place. I'm pleased Sweden was in the top three, though I will still maintain it was the best song/performance of the night.

I absolutely do not get the attraction of the song from Belarus. You don't want to upset the poor kid by asking "what the heck are you doing in the top ten", but... what the heck are you doing in the top ten!?!?

It's a hard call for the Netherlands song. I didn't like it. It was well performed, for sure, but it isn't the sort of thing I'd listen to. And that's why it is a hard call - you see perhaps R'n'B is more an acquired taste - and if everybody else says "it isn't really my cup of tea", then that would explain the mere 44 points. I think with a different song she could have doubled that score, as it was undoubtedly the song that let her down, not her abilities.

My heart goes out to Greece, as the song was not that bad (remember Cyprus gave them 12, so the rest of Europe only offered 11 points). If it is any consolation, Chloe, I liked your song!
I also feel very sad for FYR Macedonia, who only got two points out of the rest of Europe. The song was odd, certainly, but it was nothing like as cheesy and naff as the Croatian entry (which came in with 50 points).



Femme Actuelle (the most widely read magazine in France according to AEPM 2004/2005) carried a picture and a couple of column inches in their 18-24 December 2006 issue (#1160). My translation is on the right.

Click the picture to view a larger version
(1240×1240, 285Kb).
Eurovision in the cradle - we are twin sisters.
Not necessarily born under the sign of the twins (Gemini), but raised in order to win. With their strawberry patterned dress and their disco ballet shoes, Nastya (Natascha) and Masha (Mariya), the little Russians only 9 years old, knew how to handle the microphone in front of the jury of the Eurovision Junior. On 2nd November, they exploded the SMS and votes of the contest. A quarter hour of glory which won't last, because the Eurovision is, as we all know, simply a device for manufacturing ephemeral dreams.
Better than school are the fans!
It is mom who must be happy; her two girls have apparently learned by heart their singing and dancing lessons.


If you have any Eurovision-related material,
please scan it (200dpi max) and send it to me,
along with a translation if not in English.



Well, that's it. See y'all next year!

Originally written 2006/12/13
Revised 2006/12/16, 2006/12/31-2007/01/01, and 2008/01/01


Completely written by hand using Metapad 3.51, and initially designed with the help of Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.
Images extracted from DVD-R using MPEG2Viewer 1.01, and tidied up with PhotoImpact 5.
Then tested with Mozilla Firefox 1.0 and Opera 8.5; though the design is such that it
should revert reasonably sanely on older, less capable browsers, such as Fresco...

Carry on to JESC 2007 ! !

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Copyright © 2006-2008 Rick Murray
Images copyright © 2006 EBU-UER
Recorded from a 4:3 aspect broadcast by tve