Jury Final: Vocal assessment of all the Junior Eurovision performances

Tomorrow, 16 countries will compete in the 2017 Junior Eurovision Song Contest. But 50% of the results will already be decided tonight! Follow the jury rehearsal with us. In this blog you can read what we think of the vocal qualities of each country, and how we think the juries will react to their performance.

NOTE: The star ratings are our indication of how likely it is that the professional jury might vote for this performance. They do not display any personal preferences.

Time display is in CET.

18:01 – End of the liveblog

Thank you for following us tonight!

17:56 – Malta or Australia?

If our estimations are correct, Malta or Australia will have won the jury vote tonight, closely followed by Belarus and Poland, and maybe Georgia. What do you think?

17:54 – Interval acts

We are not gonna stay live for the fake voting, just so you know.

17:44 – Belarus – Helena Meerai – I am the one

Helena looks more comfortable, smiling more. The second performance gave her the chance to correct any small mistakes in the first verse. The second take is visually better, but vocals are not too different. Last note slightly better. This was an improvement, but like Armenia, not one that will change the scoreboard all that much.

17:40 – Armenia – Misha – Boomerang

Misha performs and sings slightly better than in the first round, though he still only really looks and sounds comfortable when he steps off the hoverboard. The mistakes in the first twenty seconds are still there. The rerun might help him, but not massively. Camera work actually was worse, as the works of the boomerang was not shown clearly, and the camera man who gives Misha the boomerang, was visible.

17:33 – Armenia and Belarus get a second chance

The technical issues, which caused Portugal to start later, apparently interfered with Armenia and Belarus’ performance. Both countries get a second chance, and this is the tape that will be sent to the jurors. So stay tuned for two more ratings.

17:31 – Italia – Maria Iside Fiore – My choice

After a rocky start, Italy has improved vocals every performance. Tonight, too, she is without too many mistakes. When splitting hairs, though (and jurors will do that), she does not come through the notes as comfortable and convincingly as Isabella did. One big skid in the English bridge on the catwalk leads to a weaker end, with one or two missed notes in the last chorus. Still this is far better than we could have expected after seeing it on Tuesday. The song and performance are both rather mature, which will favor her chances with kid jurors.

17:27 – Australia – Isabella Clarke – Speak up

Besides one lower note at lower volume, Isabella warms up with a good first verse. She misses the first note of the second verse right after dance moves – this is however a combination that adult jurors recognize as being difficult. Isabella easily recovers with a good verse and even better chorus. The big note towards the last chorus goes well! It’s impressive so far, especially considering the combination vocals & act. Isabella is one of those persons who shows total control of the stage. Songwise, I’ve always advocated that this is age appropriate for both adult and kid jurors. Australia could win the jury vote.

17:23 – Serbia – Jana & Irina – Ceo svet je nas

The first minute, despite two or three missed notes, is better than expected. Act could work for adult jurors as Irina and Jana are definitely in control of every movement. However, this song is not difficult vocally, especially compared to Russia right before, and that means that every mistake counts double. Second minute almost without mistakes. However, when walking up the catwalk, they miss a few notes in the harmonies. Still one of their better performances of the week, this won’t be last in the jury vote.

17:19 – Russia – Polina – Wings

All week we’ve speculated on the balance between Polina’s vocal mistakes and the fact that she has a really difficult song to sing. Adult jurors can only reward her for that if she does not make too many mistakes tonight. She gets through the first verse, but misses the second note in the first chorus and one more later on. In terms of appearance and theatrical performance, I am certain of the appeal to kid jurors. Second verse good, second chorus shaky. Especially the last note of the chorus and the first of the bridge are a tough combination to listen to. It’s one of her better performances but far from flawless.

17:14 – Malta – Gianluca Cilia – Dawra Tond

Much like Destiny in 2015, the running order favours Malta. After three ballads, Gianluca comes on stage with the most happy performance of the night. The song might not be too difficult to sing, but it’s still important for Gianluca to get through it, and in the first verse, he does. Vocally one of his stronger performances. In terms of performance and appearance, he may not be as confident and master as Helena from Belarus, but his age and cute appearance will factor in here. Close-ups during the megaphone part show the best side of Gianluca. Strong performance.

17:10 – Ukraine – Anastasiya Baginska – Don’t stop

Compared to Albania – and it is quite comparable – this song is slightly more friendly to kid jurors. Vocally, Anastasiya has always been more of a question mark and tonight she produces a few hoarse notes at the start. The word “life” in the chorus almost always seems on the edge for her. As soon as the notes are higher, she overcomes her struggles, and tonight is no exception. In the bridge, again two missed notes.

17:06 – Albania – Ana Kodra – Don’t touch my tree

The prototype of an adult juror performance, both in terms of the song and especially of the performer. Ana has been strong all week long and she is on-key tonight as well throughout almost the entire performance. When she’s on the edge, she switch to the grunting part of her voice, which gets her through some difficult notes without big mistakes (but it’s not always soft on the ears). Albania’s main problem, apart from the strong competition, is the fact that kid jurors are less likely to vote for a small kid like Ana.

17:02 – Georgia – Grigol Kipshidze – Voice of the heart

The misbalance that Georgia has, is that this type of song is more for adult jurors, while Grigols mature appearance fits better with kid jurors. With the possible effect that neither will go for them. Then again – his vocals are flawless, and confident. As one of the very few tonight, he does not seem to suffer from nerves. This is the typical kind of thing that will do much better with juries than televoters.

16:54 – Halfway through

Poland and Belarus will most likely top the jury vote so far. Now it’s time for interval act The Virus.

16:52 – FYR Macedonia – Mina Blazev – Dancing through life

Songs with a big musical switch (like this one has between verse and chorus) are a red flag for adult jurors. Mina misses two notes in the first verse, and one more in the chorus. She is unable to display her control of the stage during the performance, although for televoting audience she does her work with the cameras well. Second verse and chorus are without missed notes, however she’s sometimes on the border. Not convincing, not easily. Not giving anything to hold on to. Still the type of song and appearance could work for kid jurors. Mina gets the high notes at the end right.

16:48 – Ireland – Muireann McDonnell – Suile Glasa

Indie styled songs are generally not for jurors in adult Eurovision. I would hope them to notice that this song is relatively difficult to sing, but it might not be enough of an excuse for Muireanns performance. She is not strong, misses a few notes too many throughout both verses and chorus, and she has an almost constant thriller in her voice. Second chorus seems better, but the long note towards the bridge goes wrong. Last chorus on the catwalk is alright.

16:43 – Portugal – Mariana – Youtuber

Mariana makes a couple of mistakes in the first verse that she has not made all week. It might be because of the unfortunate situation that preceded her performance. Still she might be punished for it as the song is relatively flat, something adult jurors will notice. While kids jurors will consider this to be too childish for their taste (given the background + Mariana’s appearance). Towards the end, Mariana makes fewer mistakes, but I cannot see this top the jury vote.

16:37 – Technical problems

Portugal’s performance is slightly delayed. Will it make poor Mariana nervous?

16:35 – Belarus – Helena Meerai – I am the one

This song is the classic example of kid jury material – question is whether the adult jurors will find it too mature or not. The opening two lines sounded slightly nervous though not off key. After that, Helena picks up and performs strongly. She definitely has the “Mans-factor”, meaning jurors will vote for the artist that masters the stage and is in total control of his/her performance. Helena is over-all strong in this performance. She’s on the edge during one long note in the bridge, and she misses one of the last chorus, but it should not hurt her too much.

16:31 – Block nr 2, with Belarus among them

Also FYR Macedonia, Ireland and Portugal coming up.

16:30 – Armenia – Misha – Boomerang

Misha showed signs of nerves earlier this week, and definitely starts out nervous tonight with a couple of missed notes in the verse. Chorus alright. This type of song normally works for adult jurors much more than for kid jurors. Second verse, Misha makes a couple more mistakes. He was stronger in the afternoon. The ending remains visually strong (and was vocally stronger than the beginning, too).

16:26 – The Netherlands – Fource – Love me

The first two solo lines go surprisingly well, but in the harmonies a few notes are missed. This song may not be traditional jury material, but the boys have the perfect age appearance that could work with both adult and kid jurors. For adult jurors, their performance is slick enough yet not too professional. Solos in the second verse again quite good, this is definitely their strongest performance so far. But the harmonies are off-key every now and then.

16:22 – Poland – Alicja Rega – Moj Dom

Alicja seems slightly nervous in the first verse, but she gets through it without missing a note. Her voice seems to stabilize in the first chorus, and the second verse follows with more confidence. Vocals are the stronghold of this performance and Alicja delivers once again. Songwise this is also the type of ballad (traditional and classic in its build-up) that regularly works for adult juries. Add to that the more mature appearance that Alicja has, and kids jurors should also be on board. There’s a slight hiccup in the last note but over-all this was solid.

16:18 – Cyprus – Nicole – I wanna be a star

The traditional ethnopop songs have generally not been a recipe for jury success. This might be too adult for adult jurors and too kiddie for the smaller jurors too. Nicole misses a couple of lower notes in the first verse already. She then gets through the first chorus without too many mistakes in the high ones, but the second verse is again far from perfect. Altogether better than during some of the country rehearsals, but still vocally weak. As far as the performance goes, the Cyprus camera work is strong but it can’t fully reveal that Nicole is uncomfortable on stage.

16:15 – The first block of 4

Let’s go Cyprus, Poland, Netherlands & Armenia.

16:13 – Slow start

As we’ve noticed this afternoon during the first rehearsal, the start is quite slow with a lot of talking and not a lot of music. However, once the performances start, they go quite quickly after each other.

16:08 – Isabella took her rest

We spoke to the Australian HoD after the rehearsal from this morning. She told us that Isabella really needed a break from the bubble. Therefore, the delegation left the arena quite soon and did not return until right before this jury show. It’s an important night for Izzy!

16:04 – Mzeo

We are underway, with Mariam, last year’s winner, on stage. This blog will not go deeply into the interval acts, postcards, presenters etc. We focus merely on what the jury will see & do tonight.