The first day of rehearsals for this year’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest is now complete. Kids from 9 countries took to the stage to rehearse their entries for JESC this year. I am going to comment on the rehearsals after my first watch (views expressed in this article are my own, and not essentially those of ESCUnited.com). Let’s take a look at the rehearsals:

Albania: Mishela Rapo “Dambaje”

We had only been able to listen to a bad quality live version of this song, from the national final, until now. We got to listen to the revamped version a few weeks ago, which gained a few more fans. Today Mishela took to the stage and performed her little heart out, she proved that she can sing! Obviously the rehearsal was lacking something with it being the first rehearsal, but, you can still see the potential of what the song could be on Saturday. This is a simple song with a simple performance with good vocals. I think these components added together with a good running order position, Albania could be looking at a decent result on Saturday.

Armenia: MIKA “Love”

Well this song has never been in my top 5 but after watching this performance, this kid can sing! He smashes the vocals and reminds me of a younger Nadav from Israel (ESC 2015) He owns that stage and knows how to perform. Armenia always bring it to Junior Eurovision and 2015 is no different, this little star could do big things on Saturday night and we could potentially be looking at Yerevan 2016. The song is catchy and performed VERY well. This is just full of energy and the performance on Saturday will be better if that’s even possible?!?!

Malta: Destiny Chukunyere “Not My Soul”

I can’t believe the talent in this year’s JESC, The vocals that are coming out of these kids is unbelievable. Destiny has without a doubt got the best vocals in this year’s contest and a song that would not sound out of place on the radio in Europe. Destiny is showing off how amazing her vocals are, even at this early stage. The whole performance will be different on Saturday which will give more ‘umph’ to the whole song. I love the way she uses the catwalk at the end, which I think will look great on TV. I am going all out now and saying because of the song / vocals / running order I really do think that it could be Marsa 2016!

Belarus: Ruslan Aslanov “Volshebstvo (Magic)”

This song has been my favourite on and off throughout the whole JESC season. I love this song so much and the performance just adds to the emotion of the song. Once again the vocals are amazing! I have the same feeling about this as I did about Italy last year, but with this year having a few more contenders than 2014, I think that he will do well, but, at this point I don’t see this winning, I could be wrong because the song is beautiful and he performs it amazingly. I think after seeing it performed fully I think he could then become a strong contender for the trophy on Saturday.

Bulgaria: Gabriela Yordanova & Ivan Stoyanov “Colour of Hope”

This song was way down my list I didnt think it had a hope, but after watching the rehearsal, I think it could do a lot better than expected. It is a nice song performed well, and I understand why they brought Ivan into it because his vocals do give the song something extra. I don’t see this being a contender for the trophy, but I see it doing reasonably well. Good showing from the hosts. The girls with the ribbons is quite distracting though, I understand its about the colour, but I think the song would do better with a simpler performance.

Georgia: The Virus “Gabede”

Well this is another song that hasn’t been high in my ranking, and I must say after today, nothing has changed. This is still my 17th place in my ranking. I think Georgia won with a crazy song that made no sense and has attempted to replicate that a few times in JESC, I think this song would have done well about 6 years ago, but I don’t see it doing well on Saturday, I don’t think it will end last but I don’t see this doing well. The random shouting at the end does it no favours. The kids can sing though, they really can. I think once the costumes and whole performance is put together it will look better.

Ireland: Aimee Banks “Réalta na Mara”

So many people have compared this to Federica Falzon from Malta last year, with good reason, they are similar genres. Aimee performs the song brilliantly, somehow a lot better than in the national final. I said a few weeks ago when I was angry that Ireland took so long to announce their song that none of the songs had a chance, but I retract that, I do now actually believe Ireland will do very well, The background is very simple and nice, it works well with the song. I think Ireland could have a very good debut. With a better running order position, I think Ireland could have been a contender. This is not impossible, because I think the song could be one of those that stands out no matter when it is performed.

Italy: Chiara & Martina “Viva”

I have said before that this song reminds me of Andorra 2004 (ESC), and I stand by my comment. When the chorus kicks in I just keep singing “Jugarem a estimar-nos”. I think this song is nice, nothing more. I think it lacks too much to do well on Saturday, plus their running order means the song will be forgotten. The girls stick to the old Eurovision tradition of two singers standing 3 inches away from each-other screaming. I think this is one of those songs that will look a lot better on TV with better camera angles. The girls have great voices and they blend well together, I think these girls deserve a better song. Overall good rehearsal from Italy.

Macedonia: Ivana Petkovska & Magdalena Aleksovska “Pletenka”

Well this song is a kids song, without a doubt, and would have done well in JESC 2004, but I think the contest has moved on, I dont see this doing well. I think some people will love it because it has a nice melody and really catchy, so I think it will do ok, not a contender for the trophy. It is a very basic performance but with a song like this I cant see how to stage it. I think it will end around 10th because its simplicity will attract a lot of people. I like the rehearsal but think it needs something more.

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