JESC 2019 Rewind!22 November 2020 at 17:00 CET
Poland welcomed the 2019 competition after their spectacular victory in 2018 with the song Anyone I Want To Be by Roksana Węgiel. At the Junior Eurovision Song Contest the winning country doesn't automatically host the next event the following year, unlike with the Eurovision Song Contest.
For a brief period of time the location for the 2019 competition was up for grabs. Prior to Poland's confirmation, other countries also communicated their intentions to host the event. It was only until 10 December 2018 that the EBU confirmed Poland as the victor and on 6 March 2019 TVP and the EBU declared that it would be held in the city of Gliwice with Silesian Voivodeship cooperation. This was the first time since the 2014 Contest that the event was not presented by a country's capital! It was then decided that Arena Gliwice would take on the huge task of housing one of the bigger international music events in the world.
By July 2019, Junior Eurovision fans discovered that there would be 19 competing countries in this year's competition. As momentum began to build for the Junior Eurovision the revelation of the 2019 theme ‘Share the Joy’ fuelled further excitement. The logo was also publicised and featured a brightly coloured kite to symbolize freedom, light and shared joyous moments. The creative concept was designed to represent how working together can make us better and stronger as well as allow us to bring joy and happiness as we celebrate beautiful things in life. Little did we know how important this message would be for all of us in 2020.
The lead up to the Contest gave even more insight into how this event would be one for the history books. Ida Nowakowska, Aleksander Sikora and winner of the previous contest Roksana Węgiel were invited to host that year. This meant that Roksana became the first former winner to host an edition of the Contest as well as the fifth person under the age of 16 to do so!
Then journalists and TV hosts Agata Konarska and Mateusz Szymkowiak were confirmed as the hosts for the Opening Ceremony.
Before we knew it, Junior Eurovision week had arrived! Excited audiences from all around the world trickled into the Polish city for the Opening Ceremony. Not only was this event a celebration of all the countries coming together and uniting through music, it also acted as a reminder that we would soon have a new Junior Eurovision winner!
The Opening Ceremony took place on 18 November in the Silesian Theatre in Katowice, the capital city of the host region of Silesia. The stadium was buzzing with excitement as the delegations were welcomed by TVP president Jacek Kurski and Jon Ola Sand of the EBU. All nineteen competing countries walked the Red Carpet in alphabetical order before they were introduced onto the centre stage for an interview with host Mateusz Szymkowiak.
The live audience was treated to a surprise performance by Polish boy band 4Dreamers singing their song Inapropro as well as a performance from Śląsk Song and Dance Ensemble.
The first, last and Polish performance positions for the live show on 24 November were drawn by Roksana and the remaining countries and positions were also assigned at random. A show of true sportsmanship was then seen during the Gift Ceremony segment where each participant gave one of their competitors a small present representing their home country. The event was finished off with a wonderful performance from Roksana Węgiel singing the common song Share The Joy.
Then the competition really started to intensify with the commencement of the rehearsals. The first set of rehearsals took place on 19 November and audiences got to see Albania, Armenia, Australia, Belarus, Georgia, France, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, and Malta take the stage. The following day, the second rehearsals began and showcased the performances of North Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Wales, Serbia, Spain, the Netherlands, and Ukraine.
The competition was fierce and the stakes were high! Every artist performed magnificently as they spread the messages of their song, but which performance resonated the most with fans and the jury? On 22 November phase 1 of the voting procedure took place and audiences were asked to select their top 3 to 5 acts before the beginning of the live show.
Then the moment we had been waiting for had finally arrived. At 16:00 on Sunday 24 November all the participants performed live and truly made their countries proud. It was a jam-packed, energy-filled, and magical live show with 19 outstanding performances. However, in the end it was up to the jury and the global audience to decide whose live performance outshone them all.
The second phase of online voting commenced right after all the performances and allowed just 15 minutes to get everyone's preferences in! The outcome was determined by a combination of the online audience votes and national juries that consisted of 3 music industry professionals and 2 children. The public vote counted for 50% of the final result, while the other 50% came from the professional juries. The combined votes were then converted into points as we all anxiously awaited the results.
By the end of the voting rounds there were a total of 3.77 million valid votes cast which resulted in a truly nail-biting finish. In third place was Melani Garcia from Spain with 212 points. Then came Kazakhstan's Yerzhan Maxim in second place with 227 votes. But of course, there could only be one winner.
With a total of 278 points from the national juries and online vote, Viki Gabor from Poland was named the winner of the 17th Junior Eurovision Song Contest with her song Superhero.
Her victory even broke records! TVP made history as the first broadcaster to host 2 Junior Eurovision competitions in a row and made Poland the first country to win on home soil.
As we fast forward to 2020, the Junior Eurovision Song Contest is looking a little bit different. No one could have anticipated the events that unfolded at the beginning of this year and continue to take place. Looking back now, the Junior 2019 theme of 'Share The Joy' stands as a powerful and timely reminder that music can be such a fantastic way to bring us all together and make us better and stronger. For many, there has been little joy and happiness this year but let's take this opportunity to unite together and 'Move The World' as we celebrate this beautiful thing we call music.
Make sure you mark your calendar for Sunday 29 November when Junior Eurovision 2020 takes place! In the meantime, you can reminisce of all the fun from last year by watching the competition on our YouTube channel!