Preview Junior Eurovision 2020: ‘Belarus and France are contenders for the win’

Some of the participants of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2020

This Sunday the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2020 takes place in Poland. A unique edition, as there will not be a show where all the artists share the same stage, but all kids will perform in a studio.

Our editor Anita Maratheftis listened and watched all 12 participating songs and reviewed them on her website Eurovision Union. You can also vote along in a poll to decide who should win the competition.

In this article we highlight her conclusions as we look ahead to the show on Sunday. The running order for the show can be found here.

The favourites

Belarus – Arina Pehtareva – Aliens

I can say without hesitation that Belarus is a very strong contender to win. With a strong vocal and visual performance, I don’t see why it wouldn’t win in this year’s field. It’s an incredibly strong ballad, and dare I say, significantly better than what we usually get from Belarus at Eurovision. Top 3 at minimum, and I’ll be surprised if it doesn’t pan out that way.

Score: 10/10 – Full review here

France – Valentina – J’imagine

J’imagine has the potential to really stand out this year as one of the strongest upbeat songs in a ballad heavy year. Mixed with the fact that this song itself is one of the best of the year, I think France is in a strong position to take out the competition. If it doesn’t take out the top spot, I think top 3 will be a certain. This is the only Junior Eurovision entry this year that I’ve had on repeat, and I think it will be a Junior Eurovision favourite of mine beyond this year’s contest.

Score: 10/10 – Full review here

Spain – Soleá – Palante

Spain aren’t here to play, they’re here to win. This is yet another strong contender, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this comfortably finish in the Top 3. Easily one of my favourite Junior Eurovision entries this year, and I’m sure many would feel the same.

Score: 9/10 – Full review here

Ukraine – Oleksander Balabanov – Vidkryvai

I think this song is probably too niche for Junior Eurovision as was last year’s entry from Ukraine, but nonetheless it’s actually one of my favourite songs of this year’s competition. It could definitely surprise and reach the top end of the table, but it’s one of those entries where it’s hard to predict right up until the votes come in.

Score: 9/10 – Full review here

The middle pack

Russia – Sofia Feskova – My New Day
Overall, this is a nice entry from Russia. While it doesn’t give me winner vibes, I think this will be rewarded by the jury for the strong vocals, and may even get a decent televote, putting it in the middle region of the table.

Score: 7/10 – Full review here

Serbia – Petar Anicic – Heartbeat
I wish this was more of traditional Balkan ballad, especially with his stunning voice, but Heartbeat is becoming more and more likable with each listen. It will probably be a mid-table finish for Serbia this year, but nonetheless it’s a nice song that will appeal to audiences.

Score: 7/10 – Full review here

The Netherlands – Unity – Best Friends
This song has the potential to do well, but it will all come down to the vocals during the performance. If they don’t improve on the harmonies, and their vocal performance is reminiscent of the national final, I think they will finish in the 7-10th place territory.

Score: 7/10 – Full review here

Poland – Ala Tracz – I’ll be standing
This is another decent entry from Poland, but I don’t think it’s a winner. It’s the type of song that I’ll enjoy while listening, but not actively seek out to listen to, as it just doesn’t appeal to me as much as some of the other competing entries. Saying that, I think a Top 5 result is a reasonable expectation for this song.

Score: 6,5/10 – Full review here

Kazakhstan – Karakat Bashanova – Forever
This is a touching song that will appeal to many people, but unfortunately isn’t among my favourite entries of this year. In terms of its potential at Junior Eurovision, I definitely wouldn’t be surprised to see this in the Top 5 in keeping with the nation’s previous success.

Score: 6/10 – Full review here

The weaker entries

Georgia – Sandra Gadelia – You are not alone
Even after a few listens, I just don’t think I’m on board with Georgia this year. I like the ‘traditional’ ballad sound of the first verse and chorus, but my mind just can’t get around that middle section. This song has a strong following, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see it do well, but it wouldn’t be my top pick by far.

Score: 5/10 – Full review here

Malta – Chanel Monseigneur – Chasing sunsets
This song has the potential to do well with the juries, but looking broader at its competitors, I think there are stronger ballad style songs in the field. We can expect strong vocals from Chanel during the performance, but I think the deciding factor will be the visual performance. It needs to be strong enough to hold the attention of viewers, as the song itself lacks interest. Definitely not my favourite, but it may have a niche audience to help it along in the voting. My prediction is mid to low table for Malta this year.

Score: 5/10 – Full review here

Germany – Susan – Stronger with you
It’s probably not on the same level as Italy on debut (where of course, they won), but it’s a nice, safe entry to begin their Junior Eurovision journey. I had hoped for a stronger song, or at least a stronger revamp, but the performance snippet looks to be significantly improved from the previous performance. I don’t think this song will make a big impact on the results table, and I would place it somewhere on the lower end.

Score: 5/10 – Full review here

How to watch the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Australia has decided to withdraw from the competition, as did a lot of other nations. All countries will perform from a studio in their own country, making the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2020 an interesting testcase for the contest in May 2021 as well.

Make sure to tune in on Sunday 29 November at 17:00 Central European Time. The show can be seen on your local public broadcaster or on eurovision.tv and/or their YouTube account.

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