Måns Zelmerlöw and a children's choir doing the opening act of the First Semi-final in 2016.
Is Eurovision the same through the eyes of young fans? Europe’s favourite song contest enjoys great popularity among a wide demographic but you don’t often hear what its younger fans think. We thought we would ask schoolchildren themselves for a first-hand opinion.
What is Eurovision? Eurovision is a contest that was first made to unite Europe again from war through the power of music. It involves singers from different countries – some with beautiful and powerful ballads, some with energetic pop songs, and others give you the ‘what was that?’ feeling. But is it the same through the eyes of a child? What goes on in their heads when they watch Eurovision? We have interviewed some children from schools in Longford, Ireland, asking them some questions about what they think about the contest.
What do you think about the Eurovision Song Contest?
Emily Bonsu (eleven years old): ‘Well, it is a little strange. It is awesome to watch because it’s fun, but some acts are awkward, but, mostly, the fun kind of awkward. And the costumes! Sometimes the costumes are a bit over the top. But, overall, it’s a really good show.’
Austeja Marcinonyte (twelve years old): ‘It’s so cool! I love watching it. And the songs are so awesome. I think it’s amazing!’
What song is your favourite from this year’s Eurovision Song Contest?
Oliwia Sierotnik (thirteen years old): ‘I loved Hungary this year. It’s so catchy, and I love the Hungarian language – and I love the country. I loved the chorus.’
Emily Bonsu (eleven years old): ‘At first, I really liked France’s song, but, after time, Bulgaria became my favourite. Bulgaria is such a good song, I am glad it came second. Well deserved.’
Kitija Vucena (fifteen years old): ‘I have a bunch of favourites. Italy, for example. Oh, he looks like such a fun guy to be with. It looks as if you’d never be bored having him by your side. The song is awesome, I love to sing in Italian. Bulgaria is really good, and he’s so young. He has an amazing voice being only seventeen years old. I love the guy from Montenegro – Slavko Kalezic – he is such a diva. Too bad he didn’t qualify. The song was so fun and exciting on stage – well done, Montenegro.”
Austeja Marcinonyte (twelve years old): ‘I love Bulgaria – it’s so good – it’s slow, yet has an awesome beat. Bulgaria could have easily won.’
Do you like this year’s winner?
Emily Bonsu (eleven years old): ‘Yes, I do. It wasn’t the country I was voting for, but I guess it wasn’t too bad. And the song is nice. Well done, Portugal.’
Oliwia Sierotnik (thirteen years old):‘Well … I guess someone else could have won. Portugal’s song is a very slow ballad, and I don’t really go for those songs … but it’s nice. I’m happy for Portugal.’
Kitija Vucena (fifteen years old):‘It is a very moving song with a moving message, but I think a more energetic song would be more ideal for Eurovision. I’d like to see what Portugal puts up next year.’
What would you change if you could?
Kitija Vucena (fifteen years old): ‘I would like to change the new voting system, and get the old one back. I love the eight, ten and twelve points, I prefer it than giving a big amount of points all at once to each country, because, if we use the new voting system, then anyone can win.’
Emily Bonsu (eleven years old): ‘I would make it less political. For example, why does Albania always have to give their twelve points to Italy? I know it’s to do with neighbouring countries, but I would make it so that everybody would vote for the countries they actually like.’
Why does Ireland keep getting it wrong at Eurovision?
Emily Bonsu (eleven years old):‘Well, I wouldn’t say they get it all wrong. Some songs are good, and they’re not completely terrible. This year’s entry wasn’t my cup of tea – but it wasn’t too bad either. But it didn’t qualify anyways, so that doesn’t matter. Well, Ireland hasn’t won Eurovision since twenty years or so, but I guess it’s because they don’t pick the right people. I think a pop song could make Ireland win the contest again. Something that sounds like the songs that hit the top charts nowadays. Something that sounds like Justin Bieber’s songs. So, if they enter such a song at Eurovision in 2018, I am sure they will get their eighth victory.’
Oliwia Sierotnik (thirteen years old): ‘Maybe they’re tired of winning? I mean, they won seven times, right? Or maybe they don’t know where they would host it if the show took place in Ireland? I don’t know, honestly. I guess a strong pop song would do it. Maybe like Bulgaria’s entry this year. Or maybe Hungary’s. A song like that will do!’
Alanna Foley (twelve years old): ‘Ireland does very badly at Eurovision, and I almost never really like the song they send to Eurovision, but I did like Jedward’s entries. But why does Ireland never win Eurovision anymore? I guess Ireland doesn’t want to win? Or maybe they want to let someone else win? Or maybe they’re focusing on something else? Well, I think, if Jedward represented Ireland again, I think they could win.’
What is your favourite Eurovision winner?
Kitija Vucena (fifteen years old): ‘Definitely Mans Zelmerlow, who represented Sweden in 2015. He is so handsome and talented. And I love the song. “Heroes” is such an amazing song with an amazing message.’
Emily Bonsu (eleven years old): ‘I love the winner in 2004 – Ruslana with her song Wild Dances – it’s so fun to sing.’
Alanna Foley (twelve years old): ‘I don’t really have a favourite – each winner is really good. But I have many favourite entries that unfortunately did not win. Like. for example, I like Dum Tek Tek (Turkey 2009), and, of course, I love Jedward.’
Thank you for reading this article! Do you agree with what these students are saying about Eurovision? Leave your comments down below!