Who needs what to get their Best Result: Your Nice 2023 Guide

As well as music, Eurovision fans love statistics – and both contests are an absolute goldmine for facts, figures and number-crunching! So just before everything we know about JESC gets rewritten by the scoreboard of Nice 2023, let’s take a look through the running order and see who needs what on Sunday to get them their best ever placing and best ever score at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest!


It’s been nearly 20 years since Spain last lifted the JESC trophy, when María Isabel won the second edition of the contest in 2004 with “Antes Muerta Que Sencilla” – while a big part of this is the fact the country took a hiatus from entering songs for a number of years, it still means Spain have at least one victory to their name. In terms of points, they’ll need to score more than 212 points on Sunday to surpass their current highest scoring entry, which is Melani García’s “Marte” from the 2019 contest in Gliwice.


Malta have proved their credentials at Junior, racking up 11 Top 10 finishes since their debut. Gaia Cauchi and Destiny Chukunyere both topped with scoreboard with “The Start” and “Not My Soul” respectively in a run that saw 3 consecutive Top 5 placings for Malta between 2013 and 2015. But surprisingly, neither of these songs rank as Malta’s highest scoring Junior Eurovision entry: “Parachute” by Christina Magrin placed a respectable 6th on home turf in 2016 scoring 191 points. Question is, does the Dreaded 2nd Place Curse apply to JESC?


With only 5 of their JESC entries ever landing outside the Top 10, Ukraine at Junior, much like at the adult contest, are a force to be reckoned with. Their only victory to date was in Amsterdam in 2012 with Anastasiya Petryk and “Nebo”. To get their highest scoring entry to date this year, “Kvitka” will need to score at least 182 points to equalise Darina Krasnovetska’s “Say Love”, which came 4th in Minsk in 2018.


Reigning for many years as the country with the most victories at the Eurovision Song Contest, (a feat only recently equalled by Sweden), Ireland’s much shorter track record at  JESC is more mixed. With only two Top 10 placings to their name, last year in Yerevan proved to be Ireland’s most successful go at Junior Eurovision, when Sophie Lennon and “Solas” brought them both their highest placing entry (4th) and also their highest scoring entry with 150 points. Sophie is back this year giving Jessica a hand – can she help Ireland get another best place and best score 2 years running?


Out of the 4 songs they’ve entered into Junior Eurovision, the UK have got 3/4 of them into the Top 5 – a record they’d kill to have once more at the adult contest! Their best placing to date came in 2004 when Cory Spedding came 2nd to Spain with “The Best Is Yet to Come”, but much like neighbouring Ireland the United Kingdom’s outing at the contest in Yerevan last year proved to be returning in glory. Indeed, Freya Skye’s “Lose My Head” finished 1st in the televote and 5th overall with 146 points, making it the UK’s highest scoring JESC entry to date. Will Nice prove equally as lucrative for Stand Uniqu3?


Since debuting at the first ever Junior Eurovision, North Macedonia have only ever missed 3 editions of the contest. Their best result during this time is 2 back-to-back 5th placings with Rosica Kulakova and Dimitar Stojmenovski singing “Ding Ding Dong” in 2007 and Bobi Andonov with “Prati mi SMS” in 2008. To get their best scoring entry ever at Junior Eurovision this year, North Macedonia will need to get over 150 points, which was Mila Moskov’s score in 2019 with “Fire” in Gliwice.


With their debut being only this year, Estonia’s “Hoiame Kokku” by Arhanna will have the bizarre distinction (for the next year at least!) of being the Baltic country’s highest placing, lowest placing, highest scoring and lowest scoring entry at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest all at the same time… aren’t statistics fun?!


Armenia know how to do Junior Eurovision: Fact. They’ve only topped the scoreboard twice, firstly with “Mama” by Vladimir Arzumanyan in 2010 with and more recently with Maléna’s “Qami Qami” in 2021, but ALL of Armenia’s 16 Junior Eurovisions have finished in the Top 10 – so it really says something when your lowest placing entry is 9th!! Armenia will need a score of more than 232 to beat Anahit and Mary and their 2016 entry “Tarber” to get their highest scoring entry on Sunday – and given their track record, it’s not unlikely!


Another nation with a strong track record at the contest, Poland also have two victories under their belt and were the first country to claim back-to-back victories at Junior Eurovision, with “Anyone I Want to Be” by Roksana Węgiel in 2018 and “Superhero” by Viki Gabor in 2019. The latter remains their highest scoring entry to date, and highest scoring Junior Eurovision winner ever – meaning if Maja plans to beat this, she’ll need to score more than a hefty 278 points!


While their songs are often found languishing among the DNQ entries at the adult contest, Georgia reign supreme at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, holding a record-breaking 3 1st place finishes: “Bzz..” by Bzikebi in 2008, “Candy Music” by girl group Candy in 2011 and “Mzeo” by Mariam Mamadashvili in 2016. “Mzeo” is also Georgia’s highest scoring JESC entry with 239 points, giving this year’s contestants a tall order…. but history would seem to suggest they’re at least in with a chance!


Having entered a few Junior Eurovisions in the mid-2000s, some have argued that Portugal’s return in 2017 was inspired by their landslide victory at the adults contest in Kyiv earlier that year. Their back catalogue at JESC has been more tame with many mid-place table finishes, but last year saw this change with Portugal’s first forray into the Top 10. Nicolas Alves placed 8th with “Anos 70”, giving Portugal both their highest placing entry and also their highest ever score with 121 points. Júlia asks “Where Do I Belong?” – could it be higher up the scoreboard?


Our hosts for 2023, France have only sent 6 songs to Junior Eurovision since their debute in 2004 – all bar one of them finished in the Top 5, and the one that didn’t came 6th! They’ve also claimed 2 victories to date with “J’imagine” by Valentina in 2020 and of course last year’s winner Lissandro with “Oh Maman!”. Intriguingly, 2 songs share France’s highest Junior Eurovision score – “Oh Maman!” scored 203 points and so did “Jamais Sans Toi” by Angélina in 2018. Can their 7th entry keep up this momentum? Maybe even provide a 3rd win?


In 2015, Mishela Rapo was only Albania’s second entrant into Junior Eurovision Song Contest when she secured them a 5th place with “Dambaje”. While no other Albanian JESC entry has managed to get the country into the Top 10 since, their 2022 entry “Pakëz Diell” by Kejtlin Gjata scored 94 points and gave Albania their highest scoring entry to date. Albania is one of the only 2 countries in this year’s line up yet to break the 100 mark with points – will this still be true come Sunday?


Always one to watch at Europe’s favourite TV show, Italy instantly proved their mettle at Junior Eurovision as well by winning on their first try with “Tu Primo Grande Amore” by Vincenzo Cantiello in 2014. Italy’s highest score at JESC to date came in 2016 with Fiamma Boccia and “Cara Mamma (Dear Mom)”, which placed 3rd. Italy therefore would need over 209 points from this year’s vote to achieve a new highest scoring entry.


Relative late comers to the Junior Eurovision party, Germany’s debut at the 2020 contest wasn’t terribly auspicious and saw “Stronger with You” by Susan place last in Warsaw in a field of 12. The strange thing is, as their only other entry so far from 2021 (Pauline with “Imagine Us”) finished 17th with 61 points, Germany’s 2020 entry is still their highest placing entry and also as their highest scoring with 66 points! On the plus side though, this theoretically means Germany have the most chance of increasing their highest score in Nice this year!


In 2009, Ralf Mackenbach gave the Netherlands their one Junior Eurovision victory to date with “Click Clack”. If OnEurope and assorted friends and family are to be believed, this stat could be in need of updating come Sunday afternoon! Even if Ralf won’t be sharing the winner’s pantheon, Sep and Jasmijn will still need over 186 points to claim a new highest scoring entry for the Netherlands to get more than Matheu did with “Dans Met Jou” at the 2019 contest in Gliwice.

So to recap, taking out the countries that have already claimed a win at Junior Eurovision, here’s a table of the current highest placings of the Nice 2023 line-up:
2nd – UK
4th – Ireland
5th = Albania, North Macedonia
8th – Portugal
12th – Germany
From this, it seems that Germany and Portugal have the most wiggle room to increase on their best placings and finish higher up the scoreboard, while the UK needs nothing short of a win to get higher up the scoreboard – no pressure there then! Wherever Estonia land, they’ll get their best placing. The real pressure starts next year!!

In terms of points, to beat, the rankings look like this:
278 – Poland
239 – Georgia
232 – Armenia
212 – Spain
209 – Italy
203 – France
191 – Malta
186 – Netherlands
182 – Ukraine
150 = Ireland, North Macedonia
146 – UK
121 – Portugal
94 – Albania
66 – Germany
One would think Albania and Germany stand a good chance to improve on their highest scores and they’re starting from a relatively low number to begin with. Previous winners France, Italy, Spain, Armenia, Georgia and Poland will all have to get over 200 points before they can even think of nabbing a new high score – not impossible, but by no means an easy task either!

We’re days away from the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Nice – so not long till we find out for sure!