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Celebrating 15 years of Junior Eurovision

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The 15th edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest will take place tomorrow, 26th November at 16:00 CET. The competition began in 2003 and since then we have seen 14 winners of the contest from around Europe. Today we take a trip down memory lane and look back at them.

2003 - Croatia

The very first Junior Eurovision Song Contest took place in Copenhagen, Denmark on Saturday 15th November 2003. 16 countries competed in total and for Belarus, Junior Eurovision 2003 marked the country’s debut in a Eurovision event. Contestants were aged between eight and fifteen. Two popular UK bands performed during the interval in 2003; Busted and The Sugababes. Croatia’s Dino Jelušić, won the 2003 with the song Ti si moja prva ljubav (You Are My First Love). Spain finished second and the United Kingdom came third.   


2004 - Spain

The 2004 Junior Eurovision Song Contest was held in Lillehammer, Norway on Saturday 20th November. 18 countries participated including debuts from France and Switzerland. The interval act came from popular Irish boyband Westlife who performed Ain’t That a Kick in the Head? The top three featured the same countries as in 2003 but in a different order. Spain’s María Isabel won the contest with Antes muerta que sencilla (I’d Rather be Dead Than Plain) whilst the United Kingdom finished second and Croatia third.   

  

2005 - Belarus

Junior Eurovision moved to Belgium in 2005 and to the city of Hasselt. The contest was held on Saturday 26th November and was a joint production between French-language broadcaster RTBF and Flemish broadcaster VRT. A theme was introduced for the show; Let’s Get Loud. 16 countries took part in Junior Eurovision in 2004. Russia made its debut alongside Serbia & Montenegro however Cyprus, France, Poland and Switzerland did not participate. Spain’s 2004 winner María Isabel performed during the interval. Belarus won the Junior Eurovision Song Contest for the first time with My vmeste (We Are Together) performed by Ksenia Sitnik. Spain finished second and Norway came third.   


2006 - Russia

The 2006 Junior Eurovision Song Contest was held in Bucharest on Saturday 2nd December. 15 countries took to the stage including debuts from Ukraine, Portugal and Serbia which had become an independent country following the dissolution of the union between Serbia & Montenegro. Denmark, Latvia, Norway and the United Kingdom did not participate. Mihai Trăistariu, who finished 4th for Romania in the Eurovision Song Contest earlier that year, opened the show. As with the previous year the interval was provided by the reigning Junior Eurovision winner, this is case it was Ksenia Sitnik from Belarus. The Tolmachevy Twins from Russia won the contest with the song Vesenniy Jazz (Spring Jazz) with Belarus and Sweden in second and third place respectively. 


2007 - Belarus

The Junior Eurovision Song Contest moved to The Netherlands and to Rotterdam in 2007. The final took place on Saturday 8th December and saw 17 countries participate including debuts from Armenia, Bulgaria, Georgia and Lithuania. The minimum age of contestants changed from eight to ten years old and the theme was Make A Big Splash. Dutch group Ch!pz performed during the interval alongside Katie Melua. The participants of the 2007 contest also joined forces to perform the song One World. Belarus became the first country to win Junior Eurovision twice when Alexey Zhigalkovich took the trophy for his song S druz’yami (With Friends). Armenia finished second with Serbia in third place.     


2008 - Georgia

The 2008 Junior Eurovision Song Contest was held on 22nd November in Lemesos, Cyprus. 15 countries took part in total and it was the first contest where there were no debuting participants. The theme for 2008 was Fun In The Sun. Dima Bilan, who had won the Eurovision Song Contest earlier that year for Russia, performed during the interval alongside previous Cypriot Eurovision representative Evridiki. In a change to the rule only six performers were allowed on stage instead of the previous limit of eight. A jury made up of both children and adults was introduced which accounted for 50% of the overall score. The other 50% was decided by televoting. Georgia won Junior Eurovision for the first time with the song Bzz performed by Bzikebi. Ukraine finished second with Lithuania third.  


2009 - The Netherlands

The 2009 Junior Eurovision Song Contest took place in Kyiv, Ukraine on 21st November. The theme for the event was For The Joy Of People. The contest was held at the Palace of Sports where the Eurovision Song Contest was stated in 2005. 13 countries participated in total. Ani Lorak, who finished second for Ukraine in the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest, performed her song Shady Lady during the interval. Ralf Mackenbach won the contest for The Netherlands with his song Click Clack. Russia finished joint second with Armenia.    


2010 - Armenia

The 2010 Junior Eurovision Song Contest was hosted in Minsk, Belarus. It was the first time that a Eurovision event was hosted the country where a total of fourteen countries participated including a debut from Moldova. The slogan for the 2010 contest was Feel The Magic and it featured all winners of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest from 2003 until 2009: Dino Jelusic, María Isabel, Ksenia Sitnik, The Tolmachevy Twins, Alexey Zhigalkovich, Bzikei and Ralf Mackenbach. They performed a medley of their entries. Vladimir Arzumanyan from Armenia won the 2010 contest with the song Mama whilst Russia and Serbia finished second and third respectively.   


2011 - Georgia

The 2011 Junior Eurovision Song Contest was held in Yerevan, Armenia. This was the first time in Junior Eurovision history that the competition was hosted in the previous year’s winning country. 13 countries participated and the theme was Reach For The Top which reflected the ambition of the contestants. Russia’s Ekaterina Ryabova became the first artist to return to Junior Eurovision having previously participated in 2011. Georgian band Candy scored the country’s second victory in the contest with the song Candy Music. The Netherlands finished second with Belarus in third place.  


2012 - Ukraine

The tenth edition of the Junior Eurovision Song contest was hosted at the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam, in The Netherlands. It was the second time the country hosted the contest. 12 countries took part in total including three debuts from Albania, Azerbaijan and Israel. The slogan for the 2012 contest was Break The Ice. Previous Dutch winner Ralf Mackenbach performed during the interval with Kim-Lian van der Meij, who was one of the hosts, alongside the other participants. Ukraine scored its first victory in Junior Eurovision with the song Nebo performed by Anastasiya Petryk. Georgia finished second with Armenia third.   


2013 - Malta

The 2013 Junior Eurovision Song Contest was held in Kyiv, Ukraine making it the second contest in a row to take place in the winning country of the previous year. 12 countries took part including San Marino which made its debut. The slogan for 2013 was Be Creative. Zlata Ognevich, who represented Ukraine in the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest, co-presented the show in Kyiv and performed her song Gravity during the interval. The 2013 edition also saw Danish Eurovision Song Contest winner Emmelie de Forest take to the stage. Malta won the contest with the song The Start performed by Gaia Cauchi. It was the first time that a winning song at Junior Eurovision had been performed entirely in English. Ukraine finished second with Belarus in third place.   


2014 - Italy

Just like in 2011 and 2013, the Junior Eurovision Song Contest took place in the previous year’s winning country. This meant that Malta hosted the 2014 Junior Eurovision Song Contest. The 2014 Junior Eurovision Song Contest had a slogan: #Together, and its logo was inspired by the Maltese cross. 16 countries took part in 2014 including debuts from Montenegro, Slovenia and eventual winner, Italy. The winning song, Tu Primo Grande Amore, was performed by Vincenzo Cantiello. Bulgaria finished second with Armenia in third place.   


2015 - Malta

The thirteenth edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest took place in Sofia, Bulgaria, marking the first time since 2010 that the contest did not take place in the winning country of the previous edition. 17 countries participated in total including debuts from Australia, which had entered the Eurovision Song Contest in 2015 and Ireland. The slogan was #Discover. The contest was presented by Poli Genova who represented Bulgaria in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2011. Malta’s Destiny Chukunyere won the 2015 contest with her song Not My Soul, making it Malta’s second victory in three years. Armenia finished second with Slovenia in third place. 


2016 - Georgia

The 2016 Junior Eurovision Song Contest was hosted in Valletta, Malta following Destiny Chukunyere’s victory the year before. 17 countries participated in the contest which had the slogan Embrace. Poli Genova, who presented Junior Eurovision the year before and finished fourth in the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest performed during the show as did Jedward from Ireland. The 2016 contest took place on a Sunday afternoon for the first time which was deemed more suitable for the target audience. The winner was decided by a combination of jury and votes from a professional panel. Mariam Mamadashvili from Georgia won the contest with her song Mzeo, leaving Armenia in second and Italy in third place. Georgia became the first country to win Junior Eurovision three times.   


Tomorrow a brand new winner will be crowned! The 2017 Junior Eurovision Song Contest will start at 16:00 CET. Don't miss it!

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