Junior Eurovision 2020: Wrapping-up this year's 12 contestants

Junior Eurovision 2020: Wrapping-up this year's 12 contestants
Saturday, 21 November 2020

  • With one week to go until the 18th edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest hits our screens lets go and take an overall look on the class of 2020 and this year's  12 contestants. 

    While the covid-19 pandemic is in waves the European continent and with travel restrictions implemented by many countries, without doubt this will be a different Junior Eurovision we will remember. Due to the covid-19 pandemic, the stage will be built in a recording studio at the headquarters of Polish Television in Warsaw at Woronicza Street. A total of 12 countries will participate in this year's contest and the contest will be held in a remote way on November 29,2020 at !7:00 CET. 

    Let go and see one by one this year's hopefuls : 


    1. Belarus ( Arina Pehtereva - Aliens)

    This year the Belarusian broadcaster opted for an internal selection instead of a televised national selection show, determining both act and entry. Arina Pehtereva was chosen to fly the flag the country in Warsaw performing the song 'Aliens'.

    Arina Pehtereva was born on March 14, 2008 in Mahiljou, the third largest city in the country. At the age of six, she began taking singing lessons and took part in several competitions and festivals. In 2017 and 2019 she was a candidate in the Belarusian junior ESC preliminary round. In spring 2019 she also applied to the Russian "The Voice Kids". In the team of the Ukrainian ESC candidate Svetlana Loboda ( Moscow 2009 ) she reached the battles.

    Pehtereva says "Aliens" was written at the beginning of the corona crisis. The act stated on her song:

    The song was written in spring when the coronavirus spread around the world. The idea of my song is simple: The world has stopped, borders have closed, people can no longer visit each other and even the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2020 is different. But I believe that the future is in our hands, and it is up to us children to save the world and make it better!


    2. France (Valentina - 'J'imagine')

     The French broadcaster has internally selected Valentina to defend the French colors at the 18th edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. For the 3rd consecutive year, the French Delegation trusts a young artist, experienced in singing competitions and on television sets .

    Valentina Tronel, was born on April 6, 2009 in Rennes. At 6 years old, she decides to participate in The Voice Kids: she will take part in season 4 of TV hook in summer 2017 (edition which was won by the representative of France at the Eurovision Junior 2018 Angélina ) where she performs during the blind auditions "Tra Te E Il Mare", one of Laura Pausini's successes.

    In May 2018, she joined the new version of the charity group Kids United , formed for the benefit of UNICEF , nicknamed Kids United New Generation (or KUNG), which consists of the original member Gloria and three other new members: Dylan, Ilyana and Nathan.

    At the start of 2020, as a member of the KUNG, she was part of the Green Team project (set up to support the Good Planet Foundation of photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand) and of the cover album " À Toi " (released on October 23 2020, created in tribute to singer Joe Dassin), both produced with the representative of France at Eurovision Junior 2019 Carla .


    3. Georgia ( Sandra Gadelia - 'You are not alone')

    Sandra Gadelia who will represent Georgia in the upcoming Junior Eurovision in Warsaw, after winning the music TV competition 'Ranina 2020".

    Sandra was born in 2010 in Tbilisi where she with her mother, grandparents, cousin and aunt. The Georgian artist says she's had a deep connection to music since she was very little and really loves to sing. 

    Behind the lyrics and the composition of the song are Giga Kukhianidze and Temo Sajaia , who are no strangers to the Junior Eurovision family as they were responsible for the entries in 2008 and 2010 till 2016. 


    4. Germany ( Susan - 'Stronger with you')

    Susan will be flying the flag for Germany at Junior Eurovision 2020 performing her song "Stronger with You". With a total of 70 singers applying , only five of them took the casting stage before a jury in the KiKA LIVE: Junior Eurovision Song Contest – Das Casting', the format Germany opted for in order to select is first ever participant in Junior Eurovision. 

    The 13 years old act started at the age of 4  to watch her sister Katja play in a band. From that point Susan discovered what she loves most and started taking singing lessons and hip hop dance classes. At that age she started playing tambourine in the band “Kids Groove”. From the international music scene she admires Ariana Grand. 

    Levent Geiger"Your-Song" finalist 2019, composed the German entry for the Junior ESC the official video of which you can watch below: 


    5. Kazakhstan ( Karakat Bashanova - 'Forever')

    Karakat Bashanova won the country's national selection with her song 'Forever', a song the 12-year-old performer has dedicated to her father.

    Karakat started singing at 5 years old and started having vocal lessons at the age of 9. Not long after, she began to practice vocals from singers on YouTube. She is now enrolled at a music boarding school named after famous Kazakh opera singer Kulyash Baisetova, where she plays the piano and violin.

    Karakat has participated in several singing contests in the region, as she was a finalist in 'The Voice of Children 2018' and also took 3rd place at the II open children's vocal festival 'Happy Child 2019'.

    The song 'Forever' was written by Khamit Shangaliyev, the same composer who wrote Yerzhan Maxim’s song for Junior Eurovision Song Contest last year. It's official music video was filmed at the country's biggest city, Almaty, and was directed by Malik Zenger who is nationally popular amont the artists and has graduated from New York Film Academy.


    6.Malta (Chanel Monseigneur - 'Chasing Sunsets')

    The Maltese national broadcaster, TVM, held this year a national selection with 12 candidates voted 50% by the public and 50% by a jury. Chanel Monseigneur won the national selection with her entry 'Chasing Sunsets'.

    Chanel was born on the 2nd of January 2011 and lives in Mosta. It was at an early age that she showed interest and passion for singing. Her first singing and music theory lesson was 3 years ago but she always showed interest in learning the piano, so she added piano lessons last year. 

    Chanel started participating in various local competitions where she was always praised and encouraged to keep on nourishing her talent. Last December she was awarded as the ‘Best Singer of The Year’ in a local competition. 

    In 2018 she participated in her first-ever international competition held in Lithuania (Music Talent League) achieving a 1st place in her age group. Last summer she also had the opportunity to participate in ‘Talent World Contest’ (Italy) and in ‘Riga Symphony’ (Latvia) last December, placing 1st in both competitions with only a few marks away from winning the Gran Prix award.

    Chanel's entry was penned by Emil Calleja Bayliss and composed by Aleandro Monseigneur, Peter Borg & Joe Rosco , while its official video was filmed in locations across Malta: 


    7. Poland ( Alicja Tracz - ' I'll be standing')

    Alicja Tracz winner of the Polish junior eurovision national final Szansa na Sukces-Eurowizja junior 2020, will be representing the host nation with her song 'I'll be standing'.

    Alicja Tracz was one of the youngest participants in the third edition of "The Voice Kids 3" - she was 9 years old then. In the second episode (blind auditions), she performed "I'll be there" and chose Dawid Kwiatkowski (who was also the juror of the episode "Szansa na Sukces" in which she performed) as her mentor . In the battles, she performed "Don't Worry About Me" together with Karina Kowalska and Józia Karnkowska and she was promoted further. In the sing-off, she again presented "I'll be there" and entered the first round of the final with Marcin Maciejczak . 

    Alongside with her older sister, Ola, recorded the song "Przed nami cały świat" ("The Whole World Before Us"), and performed together at the concert on the occasion of the hundredth anniversary of the birth of John Paul II. They also took part in Domowy Graniu z Eska.pl. Ali's vocal instructor is Agnieszka Wiechnik , and the singer is under the care of the Janów Cultural Center. It was there that she recorded her cover of the Eurovision film "To nie ja". She also performed this song as a representative of Poland during the "Smiles of the Sea" competition in Bulgaria.

    I'll be standing has been written by Gromee ( Poland ESC 2018) and his wife Sara Chmiel- Gromala, the official video of which you can watch below: 


    8. Russia (Sofia Feskova - 'My New Day')

    Sofia Fescova is Russia's hopeful at Junior Eurovision with her entry titled "My New Day" which won the 2020 national final among 11 contestants. The outcome  of the national final was determined 50% a vote by the jury and 50% by the audience and was organized by the Igor Krutoy Academy.

    The 11 year old young talented act hails from St. Petersburg has participated in several competitions among which the Junior New Wave contest where she reached the final. She began singing in her early childhood. In kindergarten, her teacher drew attention to her musical talents and advised her to  develop it further. From the age of 5,  she joined a music school and started dreaming of becoming a successful singer. Her idol is clearly the Russian super star Polina Gagarina. 

    Sofia appears in the video as a young artist with drawings that inspire same aged  children to believe in her dream. Sofia alongside with the other singers show to follow this year's inspiritional slogan of the contest "Move the World".


    9. Serbia (Petar Aničić - 'Heartbeat')

    Petar Aničić was internally selected to represent Serbia at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2020 with his song titled " Heartbeat ".

    Born in 2006, the yung act studies in the 8th grade of primary school in Belgrade, and has been involved in music since he was 4 years old. When he was six, he enrolled the "Mokranjac" Junior Music School in Belgrade, the piano section, and as soon as the following year he composed his first piece titled "I run fast"

    During his education, Petar performed at numerous concerts, public lessons and contests where he won several awards. At the National Competition for Students of Music Schools in 2017, he won the second prize, at the municipal-level contest for solo singers "Golden Mermaid" - Demus 2017/2018 he won the first prize, and then also the first prize at the city-level contest, winning a landslide victory with 99 points.

    In addition to music, Petar is also a fan of history and geography, languages and sports. He is currently practicing rowing at the Rowing Club Partizan and he would recommend this sport to everyone because, according to Petar, the water has a calming and inspiring effect, while rowing activates all the body muscles and helps develop both physical and mental strength. 

    Behind the music of the original version are Petar Aničić and Vladimir Graić. The lyrics were written together by Leontina Vukomanović ,  Petar Aničić and Charlie Mason, while the arrangement was entrusted to Vladimir Graić and Nemanja Filipović. Notable that Vladimir Graić is no stranger to the Eurovision family as he has been involved in six Eurovision/Junior Eurovision entries. Namely he was inviolved in Serbia's ESC winning entry 'Molitva'  in 2007,  'Verjamen' (Slovenia ESC 2012) and Beauty Never Lies (Serbia 2015). In Junior Eurovision he was part of the team in Montenegro 2015 and Serbia 2016.Leontina Vukomanović  was behind the lyric of the ESC 2004 entry 'Lane Moje' that came 2nd and has contributed to several ESC entries in North Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia.

    Recently the Serbian act released an english version of his JESC entry


    10. Spain ( Soleá - 'Palante')

    Soleá was internally selected by RTVE to represent Spain at its second participation after the country's comeback at the contest and its 13 years of absence. 

    Soleá Fernández Moreno was  born in Seville on June 19, 2011 in the bosom of an  outstanding saga of  dancers  and artists from Spain . Daughter of Farru, niece of Farruquito, granddaughter of Farruca and great-granddaughter of Farruco, it can be said that  art and flamenco run through her veins  and from a very young age she showed faculties for  singing, dancing and interpretation.In 2014,  when she was only three years old, she  made her debut as a singer at  La Maestranza in Seville during a family show Farruquito y familia . In 2015, she was the star of  the Christmas family show  where she made her debut as an actress and dancer at the  Quintero Theater in Seville.  In 2016 he starred in another Christmas show created by his father, which took him on a tour of some of the best theaters in the country, such as  the Apolo Theater (Barcelona) and the Rialto Theater (Madrid).  That same year he made his  first television appearance  thanks to the Canal Sur program Menuda noche.

    In 2019, she was one of the special guests at Ketama's  concert  at the  Cartuja Center in Seville. During Christmas of that year, the girl took part in  La zambombá flamenca , with which she  toured Spain  and shared the stage with artists such as  Pitingo, Tomatito or Rosario Flores.  At the beginning of 2020, he participated in the last album of the singer  Lya Manuela.

    Solea's JESC entry has been composed by  César G. Ross, Hajar Sbihi (ASHA) and Bruno Valverde , and produced by the latter,  winner of a Grammy  for "La mordidita", by Ricky Martin in 2015. Palante is an urban pop song with a flamenco touch, ethnic sounds  and percussion elements that sends a  positive and encouraging message  to the world. lyrics  talk about those who, if you encounter obstacles, don't back down, don't give up. You have to face everything without fear and keep going until you can't," Words that are even more  striking and moving  when spoken by a  9-year-old girl.


    11. The Netherlands ( Unity - 'Best Firends')

    The girl group Unity won the Dutch national final , Junior Songfestival 2020  and will be representing the Eurovision 2021 host nation at the upcoming Junior Eurovision in Warsaw with their song "Best Friends". The girl-group which consists of the four members Naomi , Maud, Jayda and Demi. 


    Naomi is 13 years old. When she was 6 years old, she joined a theatre school just for fun. When  she realized how much she loved it, she decided to work hard for it. Her idols are the Dutch singers Maan and Davina Michelle.


    Jayda us 13 years old and has been singing since she can remember herself. However from the age of 9 she took things seriously and began developing her talent. From the established acts she admires Beyonce and Dutch singer Maan.


    Maud is 14 years old and has started singing and performing when since was very young. When she was 6 years old, she started singing lessons and has  never stopped doing it since then. Singing, dancing and acting are her greatest passions. Favorite act is the Dutch singer Maan. 


    Demi is a 14 year old act that has been singing since she could talk and  joined musical lessons at the age of 8. Her parents both play music in the church band and so she  was motivated to sing with them. Like the other group's members she admires the Dutch singer Maan. Before the national final began  Demi  was tested for Covid-19 and were found positive. Thus she had to withdraw from the national final leaving the selection, while Unity appeared as a group with three members instead of four. However Demi will be able to join the group at Junior Eurovision in Warsaw. 

    Their song 'Best Friends' talk about the power of friendship that can overcome distances and difficulties and can become a factor for unity and major achievements. 

    12. Ukraine ( Oleksandr Balabanov - Vidkryvay’ ) 

    Oleksandr Balabanov is Ukraine's JESC 2020 hopeful after wiinning the national selection with 11 shortlisted acts performing the song ‘Vidkryvay’ which means ‘Open up’ in Ukrainian.

    The 13-year-old act was born in Donetsk. He has started singing from the age of 4 in a folk singing group! When he turned 8, he moved to the capital of Kyiv with his parents so he can attend the music classes at the art school there in order to evolve his talent as a pop vocalist as well.
    He has won about 40 national and internations festivals and competitions already and is fluent in English already, all while studying German and Turkish as well! He has experienced been a finalist in the Ukrainian preliminary round for the JESC twice, namely in 2018 and 2019. In addition, he won the Slavianski Bazar Kids in 2018 and was at the Ukrainian The Voice Kids successfully.

    His idols are Michael Jackson and British band Jungle.Meanwhile Oleksandr will be the first male act to represent Ukraine at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest since 2009, when Andranik Alexanyan represented the country in the edition Timur Miroshnychenko hosted!


    Due to the covid-19 pandemic, Junior Eurovision 2020 2 will be held in a recording studio at the headquarters of Polish Television in Warsaw at Woronicza Street. 
    More precisely, it will be a studio where the program "Name that tune?" in which Brzozowski acts as the host. It is the largest studio of the 5th block F on TVP , where until 2008 national preselections for Eurovision were organized.  It is there that the official stage of Junior Eurovision will be built, where the hosts and guests will perform as part of the Interval Act and Opening Act. Viki Gabor , the winner of Eurovision Junior 2019 and the ambassador of this year's competition , will also perform there . 

    With just a week to go EBU and the Polish broadcaster, TVP,  are in full steam making the final preparations for the 18th edition of the Junior Eurovisuion Song contest .It has also been confirmed that the voting system will remain the same with slight changes. 


    News Source: JuniorEurovision.tv