Oleksandr Balabanov backstage during the recording of his performance
Oleksandr Balabanov backstage during the recording of his performance Photo: EBU / Stijn Smulders

Check in with Oleksandr!

Welcome to the world of Oleksandr. Get to know the 'Vidkryvai' (Open Up) singer before his Junior Eurovision performance on Sunday 29 November. To find out everything from his favourite thing to do in Kyiv to his playful rivalry with Susan from Germany then keep on reading!

What inspired you to sing folk at the age of 4?

One day my parents asked me if I wanted to learn how to sing. I thought I would just try it so I said "yes". There was a local choir where we sang some folk songs and at the time I thought it was really cool to learn!

What is it about Michael Jackson and the British band Jungle that inspires you?

Michael Jackson is such a wonderful artist and is one of the greatest entertainers of all time. I am so curious about how he made his songs and how they have stood the test of time for so many years.

I think Jungle make really great music too. They create a great combination of retro sounds and modern music that I find really interesting.

You also mentioned that you support the environmental movement. Why is that important to you?

When you get older and start to live in the same environment you start to care about it a bit more. You start to care about the rubbish you see on the street and you want to make it better.

You also met Susan from Germany and some other participants on your Youtube and Instagram channel. what was it like to catch up with your fellow participants?

I made a few Youtube and Instagram streams that I also did with some Eurovision fan clubs where I spoke with many of the other Junior competitors such as Arina from Belarus, Petar from Serbia and Susan from Germany. I have actually known Susan for a long time. I got to know her when we went to a singing competition in Belarus. I won and I think she came 2nd. When we both found out that we were also going to compete against each other again at Junior Eurovision, she said: "this time I will win" hahaha.

Oleksandr Balabanov backstage during the recording of his performanceEBU / Stijn Smulders

Oleksandr fills in the gaps!

We played a game where Oleksandr had to 'fill the gaps' in our sentences. Let's find out what he had to say:

If I could describe myself in three words it would be: Honest, humble, and polite.

You might not know this about me but I am also very good at: Playing board games!

But I do wish I was good at: Languages. I wish I would know more languages like French, Spanish, and Chinese.

If I could meet a previous Eurovision star from the past it would be: Jael who represented Australia at Junior Eurovision 2018. Her song Champion was my favourite and I think I would like to meet her!

When I found out that I would be representing Ukraine I felt: Very happy! We all came home and saw the news and just started jumping up and down!

My favourite thing to do in Kyiv is: To walk around the city centre. It's really beautiful and there are so many cool things to do there that you can find along the way.

My favourite Ukranian word is: 'Сяйво' which is a word in my song Vidkryvai (Open Up) and it means 'shine/radiance'.

What's the story?

Oleksandr tells us what's behind these 3 Instagram photos.

Here is a photo of myself and Sophia Ivanko who represented Ukraine last year. She came over to my house with her parents. We had some dinner together and just hang out. We also did a live stream on Instagram together too. As a present she brought these t-shirts that had images of me on it! It was pretty cool and funny!

This is a photo at home with my little sister Poly. We recorded this little video of us singing together which was a lot of fun.

This is a photo of me in the studio. We did a photo shoot where we used speakers, TV’s and radios from the UA:PBC museum. The phone you see in my hands was actually brought in by my grandma!

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Oleksandr Balabanov

Oleksandr Balabanov

Vidkryvai (Open Up)

Ukraine