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Ireland’s hopeful queen: Jessica McKean is dreaming of the crown

18 November 2023 at 19:00 CET
🇮🇪 Ireland - Jessica McKean - First Rehearsal - Junior Eurovision 2023 Corinne Cumming / EBU
Jessica McKean is leaving behind her dairy farm in Lifford to represent Ireland in Nice, France with her song ‘Aisling.’ It’s au revoir cows, bonjour Junior Eurovision 2023!

At 10 years old, Jessica has been singing all her life, kicking it all off by performing Happy Birthday To You at only 9 months old, followed by performance after performance of Let It Go. She won the hearts of the public in Ireland’s national final, where Jessica sang 2 cover songs, Always by Gavin James and Hold Me Now by Irish Eurovision legend Johnny Logan. Jessica is used to being on the stage, and has an impressive collection of cups and medals from singing competitions. With a king and queen featuring in her song Aisling, will she be able to add the Junior Eurovision crown to her winnings?

Ireland got it’s best ever result at Junior Eurovision 2022 with Sophie Lennon’s Solas in 4th positionAnd guess what? Some of that team are behind Jessica’s 2023 entry, including Sophie Lennon herself and Niall Mooney, who’s written both Eurovision and Junior Eurovision entries. Jessica's Junior Eurovision entry Aisling is in Irish Gaelic, with a sweeping Celtic sound.

If the other Junior Eurovision artists are lucky, they might get to sample some of Jessica’s cooking. She loves baking and decorating cakes, and says that she’s very happy to give them out to her neighbours. 

But in one cookery faux pas, Jessica once put a rubber egg in her nanny’s fridge as a joke, and then forgot about it. She only remembered when her nan phoned after trying to cook some lunch for friends and whacking the egg off the side of the frying pan. No rubber eggs in our Junior Eurovision gateaux please, Jessica.

This young singer listens to a huge range of music, from country and pop to theatre and opera. Her interest in the dramatic certainly comes out in her Aisling music video, which is like a fantasy movie in itself.

Jessica is inspired by some real heroes of the pop world. Think Adele, Whitney Houston, Taylor Swift, and Harry Styles. And of course, the Eurovision legends, ABBA. 

Talking to her social media followers from inside a huge pile of bubbles, Jessica says: “As you can see, this is my unsensible side of me. I cannot wait for the big day in France, I’m getting ready for the big day in Nice, singing my song Aisling.”

You can learn more about Jessica McKean right here.

Junior Eurovision 2023 took place in Nice, France on Sunday 26 November and was won by Zoé Clauzure from France! You can rewatch it live via the official Junior Eurovision YouTube channel (if available in your country).

All 16 songs are available to watch on our YouTube channel and listen to the official album on all streaming platforms, and of course, you're invited to vote for your favourites too! How do I vote in Junior Eurovision? Here's how...

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