All opinions expressed in this article are those of the person quoted and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the other team members or ESC United as a whole.
It’s 1 day to go until Junior Eurovision 2022, and we are counting down the 16 nations who are participating in Yerevan, Armenia on Sunday, December 11, 2022.
Every day we will do an overview of a participating nation in alphabetical order, recapping how they got to Junior Eurovision, a brief history of the nation’s participation, a brief biography of the artist, and finally, our “expert” panel of editors give the entries a score out of 10 and a brief review.
And with this review, we have reached our final competitor and the end of our 2022 ESC United series with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Scroll down to find out who wins our endorsement for Junior Eurovision 2022.
The United Kingdom’s History at Junior Eurovision:
Much like their adult counterparts in the ’50s and early ’60s, the British kids at Junior Eurovision got great performances without victory.
Tom Morley came in third at the inaugural Junior Eurovision in 2003 with Cory Spedding coming in 2nd at Junior Eurovision with “The Best is Yet to Come.”
However, Joni Fuller came in 14th with “How does it feel?” at Junior Eurovision 2005, and they withdrew.
Now ITV had been the broadcaster for Junior Eurovision (instead of BBC who do the adult version), and in 2018 Welsh broadcaster S4C were able to bring the British nation of Wales into the contest as its own entrant.
S4C intended to bring the Welsh language into the contest, and in 2018 debuted. However, Manw came in 20th and last with “Perta,” and Erin Mai’s “Calon yn Curo (Heart Beating)” only did slightly better with 18th place and second-last.
And in 2022, the year that the United Kingdom resurrected itself as a competitive entity at Eurovision with Sam Ryder, the BBC decided to bring back the United Kingdom as a full competitor at Junior Eurovision.
Before Junior Eurovision 2022:
Rumors had swirled that Scotland was going to debut at the contest, or that Wales was taking extra time off due to COVID (though low ratings for S4C probably ended Wales as a commercially viable entrant).
But the United Kingdom, this time with the BBC at the helm of both the Junior and adult versions, decided they were going to return to Junior Eurovision after a 17 year absence.
And for their return, Freya Skye was internally selected by the BBC to lead their return.
13-year-old Freya Skye is already a professional singer, having debuted “I love the way” as a single in 2020, which was featured on BBC Introducing.
Freya Skye, as a football fan, will be well used to the United Kingdom at Eurovision as she supports Tottenham Hotspur, a team that routinely threatens to win but never does.
“Lose My Head” was written by Jack Hawitt, Amber van Day and Falco van den Aker. van den Aker is one half of Dutch duo Deepend, who had a massive hit in 2016 their remix of Matt Simons’s “Catch and Release” hitting Number 1 in several European countries.
Jack Hawitt is a British singer-songwriter in his own right, having collaborated with several high profile artists including Megan Thee Stallion. Similarly Amber Van Day, a singer-songwriter with a few pop tracks of her own out.
With the background out of the way, here is what we at ESC United think of Ukraine’s entry for Junior Eurovision 2022.
Providing their thoughts for Junior Eurovision this season: Alice Christine (Washington, D.C.), Boris Meersman (Belgium), Gianluca D’Elia (New York City, New York), James Maude (Los Angeles, California), Roy Postema (The Netherlands), William Carter (Dallas, Texas), and Zephaniah Gabriel (The Philippines).
Alice – 7 – “UK’s return to JESC with a song that sounds in line with current British music is a nice surprise. But the lyrics were clearly written by someone much older than 13, which is distracting.”
Boris – 5 – “Call me a cynic but I turned against the UK entry midway through the first listen. I mostly see a calculated attempt by some adult songwriting mercs to entrall the himbot contingent of the grown-up JESC fanbase? A lowkey-sexualized dance trance in a competition for children, by children? It just doesn’t work for me, probably because the song itself isn’t good. “Lose my head” is the lowest common denominator in this contest, stress on both lowest *and* common. This contest has better on offer, especially within the same archetype.”
Gianluca – 9 – “The United Kingdom continues its Eurovision come-up with an incredibly strong JESC entry. This is definitely deserving of its status as a fan favorite. The chorus is fun and catchy, and it’s a great dance track with a moody, deep bass that makes it stand out from the pack. Plus, if the choreography at the live show is similar to what we’ve seen in the music video, I think we are in for some amazing staging.”
James – 5 – “A cardinal sin at Junior Eurovision is a child singing lyrics for a song clearly meant for an adult. Here, Freya Skye is singing lyrics of relationship experience that only an adult could have had. Spain returned to JESC with a pop opera eco-anthem by an artist who is as eccentric as she is talented. And they did well. The United Kingdom returns with a fairly generic club track if an Ibiza DJ decided to open a dayclub for kids to keep them occupied while their parents were getting blotto drunk.”
Roy – 8.5 – “To me it will be two-horse race between France and United Kingdom this year. An incredible dance tune with a good amount of clarity on the beat. Well produced and the song actually really fits the singer as well. Freya seems to have a ton of charisma as well and her first live performance sounded promising too. Now fingers crossed UK don’t mess up a good song with the staging again like they have done in adult numerous times in recent years.”
William – 7.5 – “OK, Freya! She’s got more attitude in that ponytail than most of us can ever hope to have in our lifetimes. I don’t know if I need my young female performers to be singing songs about how their man has done ’em wrong. That particular glass slipper is an odd fit. But the level of talent in display here is undeniable.”
Zephaniah – 9.5 – “United Kingdom returns to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest with a pop banger. What’s with the UK this year and doing so well? This is how you return to JESC. This is a song that I could listen to on a daily basis like “Qami Qami.” This goes crazy. It sounds so polished. I get all the hype now after just reading it all over Twitter.”
Total: 51.5 points (Average = 7.357)
United Kingdom comes into the middle of our pack, with most reviewers not straying far from the 7 point mark. And with the 16 reviews over, Serbia is our official Junior Eurovision endorsement.
1.) Serbia – 60.5 POINTS (Average = 8.643)
2.) The Netherlands – 58 points (Average = 8.286)
3.) Ireland – 56 points (Average = 8.0)
4.) Italy – 55.5 points (Average = 7.926)
5.) Armenia – 54.5 points (Average = 7.786)
6.) Georgia – 52.5 points (Average = 7.5)
7.) France – 52 points (Average = 7.428)
8.) UNITED KINGDOM – 51.5 points (Average = 7.357)
9.) Ukraine – 50.5 points (Average = 7.214)
10.) North Macedonia – 48.5 points (Average = 6.929)
11.) Poland – 47.5 points (Average = 6.786)
12.) Portugal – 46 POINTS (Average = 6.571)
13.) Kazakhstan – 45 points (Average = 6.429)
14.) Albania – 42.5 points (Average = 6.071)
15.) Spain – 41.5 points (Average = 5.926)
16.) Malta – 38.5 points (Average = 5.5)
What do #YOU think of United Kingdom’s entry? Do #YOU think the United Kingdom can snag a great result on their return? Let us know in the comments below, on social media, or in our forum.