The first Junior Eurovision Song Contest took place in 2003 in Copenhagen, 17 years ago. Since then, we have seen several of the participants, including former winners, performing in the adult version of the event, the Eurovision Song Contest. As some were also set to participate in Rotterdam in 2020, we are looking back at some of the cross-over stars that have emerged from the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.
Since 2014, the winners of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest have made annual guest appearances at the Eurovision Song Contest. The winner in 2018, Poland's Roksana Węgiel, was the last one to appear. It happened in Tel Aviv, during the first Semi-Final of the Contest in 2019:
In order to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest, all performers must be 16 or older. Over the years, several young singers have made the leap from the Junior Eurovision Song Contest to the Eurovision Song Contest itself, and 2020 was going to be no exception with two former juniors selected for Rotterdam.
The 2020 cross-overs
Malta was the winner of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Sofia in 2015, with 13-year-old Destiny and her song Not My Soul. The powerhouse singer amassed 185 points, a record for the competition at the time.
Now 17 years old, Destiny was due to represent Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 and would have become the second Junior Eurovision winner to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest. Her song for Rotterdam was All Of My Love:
But she was not the only Junior Eurovision artist planned for Rotterdam. In 2016, the Netherlands were represented in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest by the girl-band Kisses who placed 8th with the song Kisses & Dancin'.
One of the girls in Kisses was Stefania Liberakakis, who was chosen to represent Greece at Eurovision 2020. The Greek-Dutch singer is also 17 years of age and has already been confirmed by the Greek broadcaster as the act to represent Greece at Eurovision in 2021. The song she would have performed in 2020 was SUPERG!RL:
The most successful
When Russia won the Junior Eurovision Song Contest for the first time, they did so with a pair of 9-year-old identical twins, the Tolmachevy Sisters. Their winning song in Bucharest in 2006 was Vesenniy Jazz (Spring Jazz).
Later, in 2009, the twins were the opening act of the first Semi-Final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow, and in 2014, they represented Russia in Copenhagen where they came 7th. This was the best ranking achieved so far in the Eurovision Song Contest by a former Junior Eurovision act. In 2014, the Tolmachevy Sisters performed the song Shine:
We've already mentioned Kisses and the Tolmachevy Sisters, but there are 2 more girl bands to talk about in this category. Lisa, Amy & Shelley are also sisters who represented the Netherlands at Junior Eurovision 2007 in Rotterdam with the song Adem In, Adem Uit.
10 years later, the sisters entered the Eurovision Song Contest as OG3NE. Their powerful vocals took the Netherlands to an 11th place finish at the Grand Final in 2017 with the personal and harmonious entry, Lights and Shadows, a musical tribute to their mother:
At the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö in 2013, another female trio represented Serbia: Moje 3. That trio including Nevena Božović, who made her country proud at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest of 2007 in Rotterdam where she reached the top 3 thanks to her performance of Piši Mi.
But there was more to come for Nevena: last year she was chosen to represent Serbia in Tel Aviv as a soloist. In the Eurovision Song Contest 2019, at the age of 24, she reached the Grand Final with her song Kruna:
Michele Perniola represented San Marino in Junior Eurovision 2013, and then went on to represent the country again in the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest alongside Anita Simoncini who represented San Marino in the 2014 Junior Eurovision as a member of yet another girl band, The Peppermints. Anita & Michele performed Chain Of Lights which failed to qualify for the Grand Final in Vienna.