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Where are they now? Vlad Krutskikh... and Misha Puntov

"Junior Eurovision, for me, is like long-term memories from the film "Inside out” and a big "Personality Island” in my soul. I’ll never forget it, there’s so much special about it” says Vlad, recalling his experiences of the competition in 2005. "I’ve always been dreaming of getting on TV - that was the main idea in my childhood. So, I was dreaming a lot and… my dreams came true in unexpected way – Junior Eurovision!”.

"The casting closed, and I got news about my participation while being in hospital in a camp. It was so great that I suddenly started to get better! So, everyone should dream – dreams really come true!” continued Vlad, who is still in contact with a couple of the singers from previous competitions. "I have very close friendship with guys from Belarus. Also I often met Kseniya Sitnik (the 2005 winner) at different events nowadays too, and we have a nice talk”.

Vlad finished ninth on 66 points with his song "Doroga K Solntsu”. SO what happened when he returned to Russia? "There were lots of interviews, TV programs, new TV projects and shootings, that was awesome!” re revealed. "Some TV channels even came to my home for an interview.”

And what about being the first ever singer from Russia to take part in the competition? "Russia is an enormous country - the biggest in the world! For me it was a big honour to represent the country for the first time. Thanks to everyone who supported me then!”.

Ten years later, and Vlad is now part of the well-known boyband Geroi – or Heroes in English. "Heroes started in 2011,” he told us. "We have a wonderful team, brilliant authors and producers – Vitaly and Nataliya Ososhnik. It took us 4 years to have an army of loving fans. And I think that’s the main reason to be proud of. Thanks to everyone who’s with us. We have lots of great times to share ahead. "

Special surprise!

However, as we discovered, Vlad is not the only former Junior Eurovision participant in the group Heroes. Michael (Misha) Puntov also represented his country in the competition back in 2008 with "Spit Angel” – and we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have a word with him as well!

"Junior Eurovision gave me a lot of experience, and opened my mind. It was a turning point in my life: after the Contest, every day was totally filled with music” says Misha on the experience he had in Lemesos. "I still keep in touch with some of the entrants from back then – and also I’m friends with the Russian singers from 2006, and 2007 – and 2005, of course!”

Misha and Vlad as stars of group 'Heroes'

So now we know that both Misha and Vlad work together nowadays, do they still watch Junior Eurovision? "Yes, sure! I always watch JESC – it’s a tradition already. Wherever I am, I manage to find time to watch the show and root for Russia - even when I’m on tour” Vlad told us. And as for Misha – the same! "Of course, we we watch JESC every year with great pleasure. It’s interesting to follow Contest developing” he added.

Thinking back to their Junior Eurovision experiences, what has helped Misha and Vlad now with their careers in a boyband? "We learned how not to be afraid of the stage, overcome stress and take only pleasure while performing” said Misha, while Vlad also added: "I think such a big stage experience while you’re a child helps a lot. Millions of people were watching us. When I remember this moment I think: "That was the biggest show ever!”  And then I feel calm and comfortable on any stage.”

Recently we’ve seen singers graduate from Junior to gronw-up Eurovision, including Russian twins the Tolmachevy Sisters. Is this something also on the cards for Misha and Vlad with Heroes? "We’ve never discussed it together. So, I suppose that we don’t have it in our plans now, but everything can happen, who knows!?” says Vlad.

Finally, what would the young role-models say to artists thinking about taking part in Junior Eurovision this year? "Sing beautiful songs and work on yourself. You’ll make it!” says Misha, while Vlad added: "And it’s important to keep in mind that JESC is not only about songs – people love to watch the show and something memorable.”

Excellent words from two young men who have made very successful careers for themselves since taking part in Junior Eurovision.

A special video greeting!

Misha and Vlad, together with Andrew who is the third member of Heroes, kindly took the time to send you a video greeting! Watch below:

Follow their progress!

You can continue to follow their progress as part of the group Heroes, and as individuals, on the following links: 

With thanks to Nataliya Zhukov from Heroes' PR team!