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Meet the winner of the Junior Eurovision 2016: Mariam!

25 November 2017 at 12:12 CET
Mariam Mamadashvili, 2016 Junior Eurovision winner Femke de Laat (EBU)
Mariam Mamadashvili managed the amazing feat of securing a record third victory for her country, Georgia, when she was crowned the winner of the 2016 Junior Eurovision in Malta. Living in America, where she studies arts at the Broadway Method Academy, she's back in Georgia for this year's contest and she told about her life since winning.

The winner of the 2016 Junior Eurovision Song Contest, Mariam Mamadashvili is feeling great to be back home in Georgia for this year's edition of the contest: "Being here in Tbilisi is amazing!". Let's set our minds back one year ago when she was about to be crowned winner in Malta: "I really had no idea, you can tell I was really excited when I won".

Back from Malta

After the victory Mariam didn't fly to America, where she lives: "I went back to Georgia for two or three months, I had a lot of concerts, especially in December, I was on TV shows, I did many interviews, that kind of stuff", she told us. After that the Georgian young singer travelled to the US again: "There I go to school, to the Broadway Method Academy, where we sing and dance and act, which is really great because we get a lot of experience!"

What happened when she told people in the US about what she was doing in Europe? "They were really shocked because in America they don't know much about Junior Eurovision, they don't know about it, but once I told them about my experience, and when they saw the videos... they really thought this is amazing!".

Growing into the Eurovision Song Contest

Back in May Mariam travelled to Kyiv to tell about her Junior Eurovision experience in the Eurovision Song Contest: "In Kyiv I experienced a lot of things. I was looking at the contestants, I think they were under a lot of pressure, I saw how much they have to work every second".

Was Mariam thinking in a future participation in Eurovision? "I was really shocked and at the same time thinking that if I participate here in the future I would have to work really hard, four times harder than for Junior, no... a million times harder!". In the Eurovision Song Contest Mariam got to host a little part of the show: "All in all Kyiv was really a very good experience, and it also prepared me for this I'm doing here in Tbilisi."

Junior in Tbilisi

The Georgian broadcaster GPB requested Mariam Mamadashvili's appearance in the 2017 Junior Eurovision Song Contest: "They asked me to host the Red Carpet at the Opening Ceremony event and also to open the show as the 2016 winner with Mzeo. And of course I'll give the trophy to the winner at the end of the show."

Mariam was wonderful as the host of the Red Carpet, but how was for her this new challenge? "In a way this is blowing my mind, it was a lot of pressure but I had a really great experience. What I take from this experience is to be very organised, you have to know every single thing in the text, also every name and title, but it kept changing every day, so it was really difficult for me to learn it!"

What does she think of the competition this year? "I like a lot of them, my favourite is of course the Georgian singer Grigol, he is so good! The Serbian girls, Jana & Irina are really great performers and their song is cute. The Australian performer, Isabella, has everything: great vocals, good dancing... Polina from Russia is also very good and her song is very strong. I have to say that I'm impressed with all of them; I have listened to them carefully and they're very good live!"

Future plans

Meanwhile Mariam continues her studies in the USA where she also attends auditions: "Now I have an agent that helps me go for auditions. I got one, in a play, they said yes and I got the role, but it was right on the date of Junior Eurovision and I had to say no since I was coming here."

Watch Mariam Mamadashvili open the 2017 Junior Eurovision Song Contest show on Sunday 26th of November at 16:00 CET live from Tbilisi, Georgia!