Maltese broadcaster and EBU Member Public Broadcasting Services (PBS) will host the 2014 Junior Eurovision Song Contest (JESC).
PBS returned to the contest after a two-year break, choosing Gaia Cauchi to represent the island nation on 30 November, in Ukraine. The 11 year old went on to win with her self-penned composition 'The Start'.
Unlike at the Eurovision Song Contest, winning the JESC does not automatically bestow hosting rights to the following event. Instead, the honour is awarded after a bidding process overseen by the JESC Steering Group, which includes representatives of the European Broadcasting Union community.
PBS Chairman Tonio Portughese says the announcement caps off a year of musical celebration for Malta, which plans to engage thousands of school children in activities connected to next year's event.
"The JESC is a competition, but it is also a celebration of youth achievement," said Mr Portughese. "As a public service broadcaster and also a small island, our vision is to unite Europe in a musical feast."
Twelve contestants aged from 10 to 15 took part in the two-hour contest, which was hosted by Ukrainian public broadcaster and EBU Member NTU. Sofia Tarasova from Ukraine was second with her song 'We are One', and Ilya Volkov from Belarus snatched third place with 'Poy so Mnoy' (dance with me).
Now entering its second decade, the JESC underwent a number of format changes this year. Contestants conducted their own draw to determine the order of their performance, and additional prizes were offered, including the chance for the winner to attend the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest, in Copenhagen. Bringing a touch of stardust, Eurovision Song Contest 2013 winner Emmelie de Forest performed on stage.
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