We now know that 13 countries will participate in the 18th edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2020. What have their participation records from the past years been like? Let’s dig in and find out!
The Junior Eurovision Song Contest began in 2003 and was based on a Scandinavian song festival for children, Melodi Grand Prix Nordic. The EBU picked up the idea for a song contest featuring children and opened the competition to all EBU member broadcasters, making it a pan-European event. In 2020, the 18th edition of the event will take place and these are the 13 participating countries:
Armenia first participated in the Contest in 2007 and has been one of the most successful Junior Eurovision countries to date. The country has never finished outside the top 10 and has finished in the top 3 on 7 occasions. They added a victory to their statistics when Vladimir Arzumanyan took the trophy in 2010 with the song Mama. Armenia was the first winning country to host Junior Eurovision the year after. In 2011, the Contest travelled to Yerevan.
Belarus is one of the countries who have been in the Contest since the beginning in 2003. Their first participant was Volha Satsiuk, who represented the country in Copenhagen with the song Tantsuy and finished 4th. Belarus is also one of the most successful participating countries with 2 victories to date. Ksenia Sitnik gave Belarus their first victory in 2005 and Alexey Zhigalkovich took the trophy in 2007. Belarus hosted the Contest twice. Both in 2010 and 2018 the Contest was held in Minsk Arena.
France first participated in 2004 when the competition was held in Lillehammer, Norway. Thomas Pontier sang the song Si On Voulait Bien and came sixth. After this, the country took a big break from participating until they came back in 2018. Angélina travelled to Minsk, Belarus and almost took the trophy home with her upbeat song Jamais Sans Toi. Last year, France was represented by Carla and her song Bim Bam Toi. The song and choreography became a big hit on TikTok after the Contest.
Georgia participated in Junior Eurovision every year since their debut in 2007, when the Contest was held in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Mariam Romelashvili had the honour of representing her country and placed 4th with the song Odelia Ranuni. When you look at winners, Georgia tops the leaderboard with 3 wins: the country took home the trophy in 2008 (Bzikebi), 2011 (CANDY) and 2016 (Mariam Mamadashvili). Georgia hosted the Contest in 2017 in their capital Tbilisi.
Wilkommen Deutschland! Germany is making its debut in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest this year and they have already chosen their first ever representative: Susan! After an initial shortlisting process from 70 hopefuls down to just 5, Susan won KiKA LIVE: Junior Eurovision Song Contest – Das Casting. The 13-year-old singer will perform the song Stronger With You.
Another fairly new kid on the block is Kazakhstan. The country debuted in 2018 and reached a top 10 position in both 2018 and 2019. Yerzhan Maxim even gave the country a runner-up position in 2019 when he travelled to Poland to represent his country with the song Armanyńnan Qalma. Who will represent Kazakhstan in 2020? You can find out on 26 September when the country broadcasts their national final on Khabar TV.
Malta has participated 13 times since its debut in 2003. After a short break they returned with a bang when they won in 2013 with The Start. In 2015, Destiny Chukunyere won the Contest in Sofia with the song Not My Soul. Destiny proved there is life after Junior Eurovision as she participated in Britain’s Got Talent and secured her spot at the live shows out of thousands of applicants. She was selected to represent her country again in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2020 and will represent her country in Rotterdam in 2021. Malta hosted Junior Eurovision twice, in 2014 and 2016.
Next to Belarus, the Netherlands is one of the countries to have participated in every Junior Eurovision since the first edition in 2003. Their best result in the competition was when they won in 2009 in Kyiv with Ralf Mackenbach's Click Clack. Lisa, Amy & Shelley who participated in 2007 went on to represent the Netherlands in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2017 as OG3NE. The Netherlands hosted the Contest twice. In Rotterdam in 2007 and in Amsterdam in 2012.
Poland is the first country to have won the trophy 2 times in a row: in 2018 (Roksana Węgiel with Anyone I Want To Be) and in 2019 (Viki Gabor with Superhero). The country is also one of the original participants who took part in the very first Junior Eurovision Song Contest and have taken part 6 times in total (2003, 2004, 2016 – 2019). Their national final is set to take place on Sunday 27 September. Will they choose another Junior Eurovision winner?
Russia debuted in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2005 in Hasselt and have never missed a Contest since. Russia won the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2006 with the Tolmachevy Twins and Vesenniy Jazz. and again in 2017 when Polina Bogusevich took the trophy with her songWings.
Serbia’s first appearance as an independent nation in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest was in 2006. They have participated 11 times since then. Their best result is a third place which they reached twice; in 2010 with Sonja Skoric's Čarobna Noć/ Magical Night and in 2007 with Piši Mi by Nevena Božović. Nevena later participated in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2013 with Moje 3 and in 2019 as a soloist.
Spain has participated in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 5 times. They were one of the original contestants in 2003 and took part every year until 2006. In 2004, they even won the Contest: María Isabel honoured the country with its first victory with Antes Muerta Que Sencilla which scored 171 points in Lillehammer. After 2006, it took 12 years for Spain to participate again. In 2019, they were back with Melani Garcia, who gave the country a third place with the song Marte.
Last but not least is Ukraine. The country debuted in 2006 and has participated every year since. They have also hosted Junior Eurovision twice, in 2009 and 2013. Ukraine won the competition once, in 2012. Anastasiya Petryk and her song Nebo celebrated victory in Amsterdam where she scored 138 points.
These are the 13 participating countries at Junior Eurovision 2020. We already know two participants: Susan from Germany and Oleksandr Balabanov from Ukraine. Keep an eye out on the official channels where we will announce the 12 other participants in the coming weeks!