It’s those Kids again – The Second half of Junior Reviews

Well before I go to Armenia and be a part of this thing I guess I had better, ya know, review what’s in the other half of the youtube play list for Junior Eurovision 2022!

North Macedonia – Lara feat. Jovan & Irina – Životot E Pred Mene

This is a song of two parts.  The first part has a girl, presumably Lara, singing a decently uptempo song with one of her friends, and then in a low budget version of West Side Story they have the boys wrapping in contrast  Next, for reasons, they have an English bit in the song and suddenly they are all dancing on a bridge with some whistling.  I’ll give it one thing, though, it has an ear worm about it and is lauded by some as favourites, my issue is that it does the ending without an ending thing ( I.e just cuts off) – It does make me smile though but I wonder how on earth this is going to be staged because it needs to be “big”.   6/10 

Laura – To The Moon – Poland

Poland are no strangers to winning this contest and have gone down the well worn path of a girl singer singing a big banger song – As its called to the moon I think we all known what to expect on stage.  As with so many songs this year it could be transplanted into the adult contest with absolutely no effort and that is no bad thing.  Laura sings it well and I am confident that it will be performed perfectly.  I do cringe at the line “Only Sky will be the limit” – They’ve missed a “the” out – but no one will care.   A solid 6/10

Nicolas Alves – Anos 70 – Portugal

What the actual….? – Last year Portugal put a boy in a grandad cap on stage and expected him to do well, this year they have gone for the younger brother of Axl Rose singing a song about the fact he should have been born in the 70’s with Nicolas being cast as the angsty teen when he really shouldn’t be cast as such.  It’s a great idea but, Portugal, kids need to be entertained rather than have to listen to something that’s deep and meaningful but I will concede that it’s a great piece of song writing with a great little guitar and bass riff and a wonderfully complex tune that Nicolas delivers, I just don’t think its right for this contest.  5/10

Katarina Savić – Svet Bez Granica – Serbia

The World without Borders – the title gives you exactly the kind of thing that this song is going to be from the get go and Kararina doesn’t disappoint.  It wanders around a nice tune but doesn’t build into anything spectacular for the first two minutes until Katerina gets her trumpet out and seemingly plays it.  It’s going to be hard to sell kids on the idea of getting through to the end of this one unless the stage show is brilliant.  Again, lovely sentiment, but misses the mark.  4/10

Carlos Higes – Señorita – Spain

Carlos is clearly auditioning to be the purveyor of cheap latin beats because this is what young Mr Ricky Martin must have been singing in his formative years.  It’s definitely Spanish and should be performed with loads of dancing and energy on stage.   It has all the ingredients to give Spain a win in this contest and that is a sentence I write very rarely in a Eurovision context.  Can Carlos sing and dance? – I fear he’s going to have to in order to get this to the position that it deserves.  That’s a Top 5 at the very least.  7/10

Freya Skye – Lose My Head – United Kingdom

It’s nice to be back after so many years away from this thing.  People have said to me “ Freya is too young for this song” and I get what they are trying to say here.  Lyrically it’s something you would expect an older singer to be twerking about on stage – maybe Ronela from Albania for example.  That being said it can not be accused of being lowest common denominator songs like some in this contest and looking past the lyrics Freya is going to have to perform this better than she did on Children in Need in order to get the high points, but not a lot better because I was hearing reports that it was really out of tune and, frankly, it isn’t and we could well treat it as a first rehearsal for the show itself and props to the BBC for getting JESC on Children in Need – that’s the right strategy! It needs the rough edges knocked off it and I’m pretty sure they will.  6.5/10

Nare – DANCE! – Armenia

Another country that gets what this contest is after.  They’ve gone for the jugular again by going uptempo with a old school dance song and calling it dance. They break down the phat beats by rapping in Armenian, which surely must give this song more Technical Merit marks and Nare is going to have to carry this off live whilst there will undoubtedly be a lot of dancing around her, otherwise it’s a missed opportunity.  This is a good Eurovision song but again, it doesn’t have an ending, it just cuts off, almost like it should have somewhere further to go but doesn’t.  Is he a young Paula Abdul? – 7/10

Zlata Dziunka – Nezlamna – Ukraine

So the last song to get a preview video and many people’s favourites to win for all the right and some of the wrong reasons as well.  People forget Ukraine have been traditionally very strong and taking away war and stuff, this is another strong song by a girl who could probably singing the phone book and it would sound amazing.   It’s full of the old symbolism as you would expect from a country who’s senior NF is coming from a bloody underground station and, yes, before you ask the song does reference the war BUT it’s not a depressing dirge it is, actually, a good pop song by someone ripping her heart out.  It’s certainly going to be up there provided it doesn’t all get too much but I personally prefer some of the uptempo songs in this final. – 7/10

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