25
November
2018

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Daily News From Minsk, Sunday 25th November

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Daily News From Minsk, Sunday 25th November
https://archive.org/download/escinsight_20181125_daily_597/escinsight_20181125_daily_597.mp3

The Jury Final is over, so half the points for this year’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest have already been decided. There’s a good chance that – thanks to the online voting – someone has taken a commanding lead. We’ll find out the winner in this afternoon’s show, but before then, let’s look back at the Jury Final and make some rash predictions.

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Daily News From Minsk, Sunday 25th November

With only a few hours to go until The Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2018, Ewan Spence, Sharleen Wright, Ben Robertson, and Richard Taylor discuss the Jury Final, the running order, and who could win.

As Junior Eurovision draws to a close, remember to stay up to date with all the Eurovision news by subscribing to the ESC Insight podcast. You’ll find the show in iTunes, and a direct RSS feed is also available. We also have a regular email newsletter which you can sign up to here.

Categories: ESC Insight

25
November
2018

The Spotters Guide To The Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2018

The Spotters Guide To The Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2018

National Pride On Show

Much of the news of the last few weeks has revolved around the fact we have a record twenty countries taking part in Junior Eurovision. Wales and Kazakhstan are debuting, and France, Azerbaijan and Israel are returning after absences.

These countries are bringing performances that all remind us of where they are from. Manw from Wales is performing as a proud dragon and Kazakhstan breathtaking eagle imagery reminds of my time transversing the barren steppe.

For Israel and Azerbaijan, my memories revert back to the Eurovision Song Contest. Noam’s performance and light show could be lifted from any combination of ‘Milim‘ or ‘Made of Stars‘. Similarly the floaty dress Fidan wears for Azerbaijan, combined with the white box and four symmetically formationed dancers is just a little bit ‘X My Heart‘.

And France. I don’t know about you but there’s a building I reckonise from somewhere. Can’t recall where I’ve seen it before.

Belarus Bring A Gamechanger

In the press room the host country entry ‘Time‘ is not being talked up as one of the favourites. Win or lose I am certain that the staging of ‘Time‘ is such a gamechanging moment in stage performance. This is the first true performance that is played out in music video style, with beach, basketball and living room scenes so effortlessly transitioned.

Delegations heading to Tel Aviv should watch and learn – the smaller scale of the show that Tel Aviv will need to be might need more creative ideas to make impact back home.

And What A Scale This Is

The Belarussian media have ensured that all the country’s eyes will be on the capital city for the Sunday evening show, with newspapers covering Minsk’s hosting on the front pages.
Minsk Arena, hosting the 2021 International Ice Hockey World Championship Finals, is a modern world-class venue that has ample capacity to run the Eurovision Song Contest with ease. It sold out within days for the show, and expect a passionate home crowd cheering on the acts.

That’s only backed up by the thousands of children that will be on the floor for the show itself. We’ve seen schoolchildren coming in to learn choreography throughout the week and we’re expecting a co-ordinated crowd not just for the interval acts but all 20 performers as well. I remember this well from the 2009 Contest in Yerevan adding to the carnival atmosphere.

Light Up My Spotify Please!

OK, having heard it in full with all twenty acts getting there chance to shine makes it run just a wee bit long (I’m just too used to songs with a 3:00 limit), but the fact is that the “Light Up” common song this year is perfectly written. It’s safe pop of course with production polished to the nines, but the hooks are infectious and I dare this it would do well as a great competitive song as well.

I just hope it doesn’t disappear into the ethers post-contest. I’ll be listening again.

A New Second Language

Our hosts exclaim Добрый вечер at the start of the show. Times have changed. Junior Eurovision’s eastern-heavy participation list means Russian is probably far more understood to many.
Yes the show is in English, but note how Ukraine opens the show with the bilingual ‘Say Love‘, with brash text on the backdrop in both Latin and Cyrillic script. It’s incredibly powerful and will send that message clearly down to viewers all around the region.

And no, even though France are taking part there’s not a whiff of français anywhere in this. Not even a douze points in the voting.

Blink And You Miss It

There’s no fireworks in the show itself but a precise number of one entry is using the gas cannons. It’s subtle, but will you notice with one?

There’s also only one true costume change to spot for the eagle eyed of you.

The Jury Votes Come In

Just a recap that Junior Eurovision has a system of half juries (3 adults and 2 children) alongside half the scores from an online vote (which,if you are reading before the show, is available at https://vote.junioreurovision.tv/)

Two things to keep your eyes on. The reading of each country’s jury score is read out on stage – but can you guess which have brought one of their own to read the 12 points and which are read by a local Belarussian act? I’ll let you know that one of Ireland, Australia and Wales isn’t from their country, guess who!

There’s also a puppet. A decidedly creepy vote revealing puppet. Thankfully it’s not this one.

And Finally The Online Vote

We at team ESC Insight are expecting that the spread of votes in the jury vote will be far wider than the online vote. This is because the voting system encourages votes to be spread much more uniformly across all the songs rather than just one.

Although 50/50, therefore the jury vote is arguably more important.

Expect most countries in online voting to be clustered around the 45-60 point mark with a few breakaways. The question will be if enough points are left on the board for any remaining countries to overtake the leader. The voting could be close, or could be a formality with a few countries left to receive points, as it was last year sadly.

The juries have already voted. Now the only decision is left in your hands. Who do you want to win Junior Eurovision 2018? May the best song win.

Categories: ESC Insight

24
November
2018

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Interviewing The Junior Eurovision 2018 Performers

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Interviewing The Junior Eurovision 2018 Performers
http://archive.org/download/escinsight_20181124_interviews_596/escinsight_20181124_interviews_596.mp3

Ahead of the final day of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2018, Sharleen and Ewan caught up with some of this year’s performers to find out about their Minsk experience, what they’ve enjoyed, and what Junior Eurovision means to them.

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Interviewing The Junior Eurovision 2018 Performers

Ewan Spence and Sharleen Wright interview a number of the performers singing at this year’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest, including Jael (Australia), Tamar Edilashvili (Georgia), Taylor Hynes (Ireland), Marija Spasovska (Macedonia), and Ela (Malta).

Even when Junior Eurovision ends, remember to stay up to date with all the Eurovision news by subscribing to the ESC Insight podcast. You’ll find the show in iTunes, and a direct RSS feed is also available. We also have a regular email newsletter which you can sign up to here.

Categories: ESC Insight

24
November
2018

The Importance Of The Junior Eurovision Song Contest

The Importance Of The Junior Eurovision Song Contest

Why Junior?

Ultimately, this show is not for you – and be you, we mean most of the Eurovision fervent fandom.

Whilst Junior draws upon the format of the Adult contest and its production and namesake, we cannot honestly have the same expectations between this and Eurovision which has over 60 years of history and development, working its way into the psyche of Europe, with possible kitsch connotations and developing its cult following with the gay community.

It’s all about the children. Soucre: Eurovision.tv

The key Junior Eurovision market is identified as people between the ages of 7 and 15, which seems a small age span, but it may as well be 100 years difference in the marketing world.  Those 8 years, both in the viewer base and the contestant ages, also has some great differences in education, worldliness and interest in fashion, music and hobbies.  And it draws upon a powerful consumer base that few television channels specifically cater programming to and harness appropriately.

Childrens television channels exist in every market in which it is broadcast, and in many cases, the show is specifically televised through those mediums – not the more mainstream channels that Eurovision enjoys.  That niche is inevitably going to result in a much lower viewership, thus cannot be compared to its big brother of the events.  The most recent Junior Eurovision viewing figures (dating from 2016) suggest an audience of approximately 4 million viewers over just 14 countries, compared to the more recent Eurovision, which enjoyed an audience of approximately 250 million.  Nevertheless, broadcasters will continue to be drawn to the Junior brand simply because, it represents a opportunity to have soft politics on display, it allows them to build connections with other broadcasters and, in many cases, it is a cheaper option to buy into for production – one specifically tailored to their audience age range – than to produce their own content.

It is also important to acknowledge that from a Western view, there is a cultural barrier in the acceptance of adults watching young people performing. This has been built from witnessing youth beauty contest culture and many reality TV shows where you have parents and coaches on display ultimately pushing children into uncomfortable situations or beyond their limits.  From movies such as ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ to series including ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo’, the negative painting of contests involving youth comes across loud and clear.  This overview isn’t necessarily shared by Eastern nations, who have a long history of child talent on screen, and which may go some way to explain the disparity in numbers of East vs. West countries in attendance.

Any need to compare the audiences or to judge the two contests against each other would be a unfair and calls for the Junior event to cease would be unfounded.  The best recommendation one can give if this is how you feel is to accept and move on, rather than continue to hope for something it is not and will never be.  Instead, we should be looking at the benefits for it to remain.

Testing ground of EBU

As we have witnessed over the course of its 15-year history, Junior Eurovision is very much a testing ground for the larger contest.  Many of the new technologies, voting methods, and indeed entrants, have been seen on the Junior stage before going onto Eurovision proper.

We would fully expect that before we see any electronic voting method take place in May, that it would be first used here in November.  We already have a second year of app testing occurring, and this may be just the right space to give the opportunity to be tweaked, load tested and put in place fail-safes to ensure that it can not misused.

Junior Eurovision outlines how to cast your vote. Source: Eurovision.tv

For 2018, we have special guest Kazakhstan join the party, leading many to make the connection that should they reach the podium whether that results in a further invite to the Eurovision Song Contest in 2019.  We may know soon enough.

The Contestant Experience

Speaking to the artists here in Minsk, whilst they are proud to be representing their country at the event, most also have plans well into the future to pursue careers in the music industry. They all see Junior Eurovision as essential stepping stone for this, not the echelon of their career.

Artist development is key to Junior as much as it is for Eurovision proper.  Junior is a far more relaxed atmosphere and pace, but the lessons are the same – it gives them the stage time, they learn the craft of speaking to media, and the opportunity to have a say in how they are perceived moving forward as an artist.

Few, if any, of this years contestants have the sheen of being forced through a route of talent schools or beauty pagaents.  These are confident young individuals – all wanting to be here on their own terms.  If anything, it is the parents who accompany them who are far more nervous in the lead up to the Sunday show.

Speaking to Australias’ Jael she clearly states that this is the path she chose and no-one else. Watching Eurovision this year, she  pointed out to her family watching Jessica Mauboy that it was her aim to be there on stage in the future; and is surprised even now to find herself in that very place so soon. Her hope is to return home with a greater experience for large events, and new experiences and friendships to draw from to inform her songwriting for the future, something which she does in conjunction with her father who also produces her music.

It is clear that Junior Eurovision exists well beyond just the need for entertainment from a European Broadcasting Union standpoint, and by no means is ‘winning’ the sole aim.  Looking back at the values of the original contest where it seeks to bring people and specifically Europe closer together, it is evident that this exists at Junior as well.  Here children, who you may think are thrust into a heavily competitive environment, are free from the politics and much of the PR pressures, instead having the time and opportunity to form close friendships with the other contestants, and appreciate each other’s work over the course of a week.

At Junior, the kids can overcome all obstacles

This is reiterated best with Jon Ola Sands’ speech at the opening ceremony; “when I look at all these young talented artists, it makes me so proud.  So proud to be a part of this and to follow you from here into the next steps to your career cause I know it will be there and you will make great progress”.

The Children Are Our Future

It is hard to deny that ambition is not on display with the entrants, but it’s just as important that the viewers see that camaraderie and individuality of those here.

Seeing people your own age achieve feats such as representing your country in the Arts, shows what is possible, gives them a specific event to strive for and sets up the next generation of singers, songwriters, and potential contestants.

Many of the songs at this years contests speak of experiences and make references to youth culture that are easily recognisable to the market allowing for a bond between viewer and entry.  As discussed earlier, the show’s market is a narrow span but also one that carries with it a great disparity of experience between its lowest and highest age points.  As a contestant, one of greatest challenges is to come to the contest and find appeal across the whole span; that is where the true competition lies.

One of the best examples in how to speak to the market this year is the Portuguese entry ‘Gosto de Tudo (Já Não Gosto de Nada)’ by Rita.  It uses imagery from social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook Live to demonstrate not only the themes discussed in the song but to connect directly to the audience.  And as a performer, Rita appears confident and happy, which also builds a greater connection and allows for overall potential show influence on viewers.

The message is loud and clear from Ukraine. Source: Eurovision.tv

Additionally, messages that would ordinary be seen as foolish or provocative at the Adult contest, can be sung at Junior.  Albanias’ entry from Efi may appear child-like on a first reflection, it actually speaks about her wish not to be seen as a Barbie doll but a strong and independent girl (which I argue is the little sister version of Nettas’ winning song ‘Toy’).  Likewise, Ukraines’ song ‘Say Love’ by Darina makes a direct call for her wish for people of the universe to lay down their arms and bring peace to the world.  It’s not done through a sphere of some peace-hippy-chic imgery, but rather it’s loud and aggressive, spoken through a megaphone and drowned in a deep shade of red. Neither of these are the naive entries that people who deride the contest believe are on display.   Instead, these are powerful, intelligent and positive messages that you do find our out there amongst youth but many times are not heard.

It is important that there is an outlet for children to be children, and to see others who they can see themselves in by on display.  When Eurovision put in place a rule regarding age after Belgiums’ win with Sandra Kim in 1986, it essentially cut off large swathe of creativity.  It was done with the right motives in mind, but in recent times at Eurovision we have seen that some of the youngest contestants, such as Kristian Kostov (17) and Nadav Guedj (16), bring to the stage some of the best entries and strongest performances. The existence of Junior Eurovision recognises this – it understands that age is not a definer of talent, and it gives those who are not fortunate enough to be 16, the opportunity to fulfil their dreams and to display it in an appropriate outlet to their peers.

Categories: ESC Insight

24
November
2018

Why Junior Eurovision Needs A Dedicated Children’s Ambassador

Why Junior Eurovision Needs A Dedicated Children’s Ambassador

“You have been many times before, maybe you should write an article about it,” said Jon Ola Sand, Head of Live Events for the European Broadcasting Union, at the EBU’s press conference to the ESC Insight team. (Check it out on this video)

So we did.

Why are we talking about this issue right now? Is it as simple as a show putting young people on television screens means that Junior Eurovision is always going to be under the microscope of scrutiny?

It is because the 2017 edition once more got social media comment boxes full with so called fans commenting on how inappropriate competing song lyrics and stage costumes are. From there the ethics of the show get questioned and if it’s right for children to take part in such adult games like what the Song Contest is.

Malta’s backing dancers drew criticism from press and fans alike in Tbilisi (Photo, Thomas Hanses, EBU)

But those people are not just the fans and the internet reaction brigade; they even include EBU member broadcasters putting down their very creation.

Commenting how these young people were ‘playing adults’ instead of being the children they are was actually Danish broadcaster DR, describing it as ‘fundamentally wrong’. The very broadcaster who started off this entire concept in the year 2000.

Both EBU and the Belarussian broadcaster have invited DR back into the Junior Eurovision family, but they have refused since 2006 as the show now doesn’t follow ‘Danish values’. Denmark isn’t any country on planet Earth; this is Denmark that repeatedly tops world tables for happiness and child protection.

Jon Ola Sand said in above press conference that if the EBU “see the need to strengthen the ethical side of this (contest) we will of course do so.”

Jon Ola Sand at the EBU/RTP Press Conference in Lisbon (Photo: Andres Putting, EBU)

With DR not just absent but actively criticising how Junior Eurovision portrays itself, I believe it is time the EBU actively strengthened their role in ensuring an ethical Junior Eurovision experience.

What Are These Danish Values?

It therefore seems paradoxical that Denmark still runs their precursor to Junior Eurovision, MGP, and even more that it’s a big deal for the broadcaster.

From the visual production there’s little to differ the two at first glance. MGP recycles the stage from the Danish National Final, meaning this is no small production and the YouTube views for the performances are well in the hundreds of thousands. This is also a big deal.

However watching clips side-by-side alongside those from Junior Eurovision makes those small differences seem like chasms.

Melissa and Viktoria performing ‘Jag Elsker Deg’ at MGP 2018 (Photo: DR)

There’s a overly-youthful innocence to the Danish children, and not just down to them being on average a handful of months younger than their European counterparts. They also dress down, looking more like kids going to a birthday disco. The song lyrics are simple – no heavy hitting here; with the best friends singing ‘I Love You’ on repeat the best example of a genre only found on children’s television.

Russia’s Junior Eurovision winner from last year isn’t just leagues more mature, it’s packing a combo of an emotional jab at the heart with a forceful vocal hook and a sombre message that plows deep into your stomach. It’s a story that many have said doesn’t have place in a children’s setting, but the authenticity of Polina’s delivery says otherwise. Children know what hurt is, after all.

The cosmetic approach to this question of Danish values is to judge this purely by the types of songs on show. That would be unfair for numerous reasons. Firstly we have seen that in Junior Eurovision usually it’s adults who award more points to the more child-like performances whereas child voters favour big impressive and more ‘adult’ acts instead. Secondly that ignores what else happens off the stage at MGP.

Jan Lagermand Lungme, the Head of Programming for DR and also a Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group member, surmises there “should be more focus on the kids” rather than making Junior Eurovision a mini-me of its bigger brother. Look for example at MGP’s website – heavy on vlogs, games and quizzes to tap into their target audience. In comparison junioreurovision.tv is the same serious frontage as the main eurovision.tv and full of content aimed at broadcasters rather than the 13-16 audience the EBU are targeting.

Jan Lagermand Lundme was also DR’s Head of Show for Copenhagen’s hosting in 2014 (Photo: Sander Hesterman, EBU)

There’s also the fact that the young artists in Denmark get so much more education through their national final process. Songs are written by the children themselves and songwriting sessions are run around the country, meaning hundreds of young people benefit. We can see the artists and their songs slowly transform over the weeks and months and the students gain skills that are not just used in a three minute performance window. That isn’t visible at Junior Eurovision and, no, I don’t want to return to the unpoliceable minefield of children wrote their own songs. However in comparison to the Danish experience Junior Eurovision lacks the chance to make the experience educational – viewers at home will only ever get three minutes on stage.

Finally, there’s a relaxed freedom to MGP that isn’t there at Junior Eurovision. The Danish green room is a candy paradise with kids bouncing off their sugar-highs at each other having a whale of a time. I’m not saying that the kids in Junior Eurovision are not having fun, but the toil of the voting sequence and the ‘smile at the camera’ preparation is perhaps too much like what happens on a Saturday night in May. I love my statistics like everybody else, but perhaps Junior Eurovision should stop being a testing ground for gimmicky voting ideas and should not have such tense voting sequences played out to the cameras. We can focus on celebrating the successes not the failures at the after show party.

Those Danish values don’t mean we have to dress up our performing children in braids with songs only about love, love, peace and peace. They mean we make Junior Eurovision a style in its own type and celebrating what they want to do. Ratings are not the biggest driving force. Neither is making hit records. Making an educational and safe experience is.

Submissions to MGP 2019 opened on July 1st and closed on September 1st

When Your Green Room Isn’t A Safe Space

I have been proud to attend many Junior Eurovision contests as accredited press and have investigated previously the roles of young people in the Song Contest. I’ve seen them have the time of their lives.

I’ve also seen some of the lows.

I’ve written about one performer and her visible tears in the green room on a previous ESC Insight newsletter, and don’t want to echo the full story here. All we need to know is one child was left in an unsafe space, stuck, without an adult who could spot this or be turned to for help. That is completely unacceptable.

The EBU have made it a requirement that a parent/guardian is now a part of the delegation team, and as Jon Ola Sand says, “who better to take care of the kids than the parents.”

He’s not wrong. The problem here is that the parents can not and should not be everywhere in the production.

Parents will never pop up in the green room with a tissue to cry into. Parents comfort on stage if the lights go out. Parents won’t be there to check the child understands what to say or do in a press conference which for some is a significant challenge.

There’s also the issue of what actually happens during Junior Eurovision week itself. Now I’ve been on many of the tours and excursions and they are generally excellent, the countries that host really enjoy showing the visiting young people great parts of their culture. However there are still parts of the programme that would never be acceptable to the eyes of child-centric broadcasters.

Take for example the after-party or the opening parties – the most fun occasions of them all. To keep spirits high at these events I have often witnessed adults welcome to partake in a glass of wine or two or four, until all of them have enough liquid confidence to take over the dance floor from the teenagers. Children in this setting should never be exposed to the combination of free-pouring alcohol and adults. Those adults can go and party afterwards or elsewhere or frankly while still being sober and responsible if they still insist.

As another example take the scheduling that took place in Sofia 2015, with a jury final late on the Friday night. With clothing to change out of, a fake voting to sit through and delays waiting for buses acts arrived at the official hotel in the early hours of Saturday morning. They were also hungry, and many trotted over the road to the only location open…McDonalds. The duty of care levels have to be higher.

Big Macs were the only thing available to fill up the little stomachs in Sofia

While feeding and looking after the delegations should absolutely be a broadcaster responsibility the EBU need to have insist on greater guarantees on what and when the pieces come together. The backstage arena should have healthy, nutrious food available whenever for example, and I would argue that no events, rehearsals or activities should take place after a set time in keeping with the body clocks of children. The children go first.

Who Is There To Help?

It’s not only the Danish broadcaster that has been discussing these issues in recent months. Gert Kark, EBU’s Project Manager for Junior Eurovision expanded at the press conference that the welfare of young people was an agenda point at a recent meeting of the EBU Steering Group in Minsk. The conclusions from that were that the Belarussian broadcaster was going to put in special measures and that as always there are support staff and volunteers.

To their credit, Jon Ola Sand followed up in their Press Conference in Minsk saying there is a reduced schedule for the acts for this year. That helps to give the acts enough downtime to chill, relax and prepare for the show.

I also have much time to say thank you to the many thousands and thousands of volunteers that have helped the Eurovision Song Contest bubble year upon year. However we are looking here for a qualified expert, not just some enthusiastic young people or television executives.

In terms of the duty of care required Junior Eurovision is comparable to a school field trip and the organisation surrounding that. Now to go on a school field trip requires the school to plan accordingly and be aware of any risks that are involved. The school would be in this sense take up the role of the delegation. The camp would be filling in the role of the host broadcaster and the EBU.

So for a school to prepare for a trip they have to fill in a standard form where possible risks are identified and steps presented to reduce any risks. Pre-trip visits are essential to get approval for any trip outside of the school. Even small details such as working out where the toilets are and how to cross the road need to be thought out and included. Yes this might seem like overkill, but it is the reality of 21st century child care. I should know, it’s my day job.

The side of the organising team also has these requirements to upkeep. For example I have been looking through Kingswood Adventure Centre from the United Kingdom for an equivalent understanding, advertising all of their risk assessments for activities on their website. Even the very low risk activities such as craft making are full documented to assist schools in ensuring all safety checks in working with young people have been up kept. Furthermore they ensure centrally a 24 hour first aid worker and a Duty Manager to help any of their schools or youth groups in need. If Junior Eurovision has even one of these things I have never seen evidence of that in my experience of four years of attending as press.

Kingswood’s risk assessment template for a simple session of percussion

And this is part of the problem. Junior Eurovision as an event should be seeing itself at the pinnacle of children’s entertainment programming. That means the best stage production and the most fun, but also the highest standards of care. And if those standards of care are so high, Junior Eurovision needs to be shouting about them to ensure that every broadcaster and media representative knows what a good work they are doing. Only then is there any chance of putting a halt to the comments that kids shouldn’t be taking part.

That is one side of what the EBU need to ensure happens, the other of course happens during the frantic week itself. Being an ambassador to those young people means being there for them. Being at their events, driving their karaoke night, mini-disco, homework catch-up and whatever gaming competition they love. Somebody who loves being the heartbeat of the ‘Come Together’ community. Within the EBU team there isn’t a role for anybody to actually get to interact with these children, and most of the time I’ve witnessed adults and artists stand well apart from each other and exchange only the most polite of handshakes.

You may argue that the loving community of Junior Eurovision runs by itself, but so much would be a trifle naive. I have witnessed enough in my time to know that it is absolutely fabulous, but just sometimes things happen that are not. Having parents to turn to is one thing, but there needs to be a contact centrally to deal with such matters and who can be there to support the welfare and the coming together of everybody. Somebody who knows the troubles a teenage life can bring, and can step in and make sure such issues are able to be addressed. Prevention is far better than any cure.

Only This Role Can Make Junior Eurovision Grow

They might be ‘Danish values’ stopping Denmark from entering, but they are far away from the only country not entering based on how Junior Eurovision operates. Sure we may look at the record number of entrants and countries like France and Wales entering this year as a sign that things are improving, but in reality both of those moves are far more likely to be to do with getting more exposure to one of the EBU’s big events than anything operational.

We need a focal point of stability to improve the trust of everybody in the set up. Somebody with years and years of experience in working with children, especially those with less native English experience and with those who have spent lots of time on stage. Somebody who is able to work alongside host broadcasters in planning their events so that the welfare of children is put first, and for ensuring each broadcaster can get all the risk assessments and documentation they need. Somebody who will dedicate their Junior Eurovision week to those contestants as their ambassador – to be the person leading the support for each and every act while also being there in times of need.

And yes, to make being there so much more…as the Danes put it…focus on the kids.

So Jon Ola Sand, that is your answer. Junior Eurovision needs to move in that direction. We are not just looking for smily faces on the camera for one hundred and fifty minutes of programming, we are looking at the highest levels of care for the children involved from start to end.

Junior Eurovision should be that best example.

The job description is outlined above, the question now is…will you make it happen?

Categories: ESC Insight

24
November
2018

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Daily News From Minsk, Saturday 24th November

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Daily News From Minsk, Saturday 24th November
http://archive.org/download/escinsight_20181124_daily_595/escinsight_20181124_daily_595.mp3

The ‘free time on stage’ rehearsals are over. While there are the full show run throughts, the camera angles, props, and choreography are pretty much locked in. What’s been tweaked, what’s been tightened. and what’s been left alone since our performers last took to the stage? Let’s find out.

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Daily News From Minsk, Saturday 24th November

Second rehearsals are over, and all that’s left is a few run throughs before the big show. What final changes have been made? Ewan Spence takes note with Nathan Waddell and Chris Hannaford in Minsk at Junior Eurovision 2018.

Now we are reporting from backstage at Junior Eurovision, remember to stay up to date with all the Eurovision news by subscribing to the ESC Insight podcast. You’ll find the show in iTunes, and a direct RSS feed is also available. We also have a regular email newsletter which you can sign up to here.

Categories: ESC Insight

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