PRESS RELEASE published on 20 Nov 2016 • Department / Unit TV

Georgia wins Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2016

10 year-old Mariam Mamadashvili from Georgia has won the Junior Eurovision Song Contest (JESC) 2016, held in Valletta, Malta on 20 November, with the song Mzeo (Sun).

17 countries took part in the 14th edition of the annual singing competition for children between the ages of 9 and 14, hosted by Maltese Member PBS in the Mediterranean Conference Centre. For the first time the event was staged on a Sunday afternoon. 

It's the 3rd time Georgia have won the Junior Eurovision Song Contest following wins in 2011 and 2008, all with the same songwriter, Giga Kukhianidze.

Mariam Mamadashvili, who finished the Contest with 239 points, has been performing since she was 4 years-old. She studied at the Bzikebistudio in Georgia and also the Evgeni Mikeladze State Central Music School. The 2016 Junior Eurovision Song Contest winner has lived in the United States since 2015 and studies at the Broadway Method Academy.

Anahit and Mary singing for Armenia came in 2nd place (232 points) with Italy's Fiamma Boccia 3rd (209 points). Both were given prizes after the show.

Speaking following her win, Mariam said "I dont have any words - the moment they told me I won I was shocked - it's amazing! I want to thank my team so much for being with me and supporting me. The first person I'm going to call is my grandma!"

The Junior Eurovision Song Contest was broadcast to millions of viewers in the 17 participating countries over the Eurovision satellite and fibre optic network and online on Youtube and on junioreurovision.tv.

In changes to the show's format this year, every entry was judged by one professional music industry jury and one youth jury in each participating country. Their votes were presented separately to create an exciting finale. Three expert judges also cast votes for the first time contributing to the rest of the overall score (each judge counted for the equivalent of one additional country). The expert jury was made up of Universal Music’s Mads Grimstad, Eurovision Song Contest 2016 show producer Christer Björkman, and former Eurovision Song Contest participants Jedward.

The competition also saw electrifying performances from ESC 2011 and 2016 entrant Poli Genova and 2015 JESC winner Destiny Chukunyere who returned to the stage to perform last year’s winning entry ‘Not My Soul,’ as well as her newest single ‘La Di Da.’

Jon Ola Sand, the EBU's Head of Live Events, said "This competition is an excellent way for public service broadcasters to support young artists, and help bring their talent to an international audience. It was amazing to see all this talent on stage. Mariam's performance was incredible - we look forward to seeing more of her in years to come."

"We at the EBU are grateful for the work of PBS and all the delegations involved. This is true collaboration in Europe and I'm very proud of that," he added.

An on-stage interview with the winner can be found here. Mariam's winning moment is here.

The Junior Eurovision Song Contest has been held annually since 2003. This was the second time the competition has been staged in Malta following their hosting in 2014. For images and footage from the event visit www.junioreurovision.tv,

Participating Countries

The following countries (and EBU Members) participated in the 2016 Junior Eurovision Song Contest in order of appearance:

  • Ireland (TG4) - Zena Donnelly, 'Bríce Ar Bhríce', written by Zena Donnelly
  • Armenia (Public Television of Armenia) - Anahit & Mary, 'Tarber', written by Nick Egibyan and Avent Barseghyan
  • Albania (RTVSH) - Klesta Qehaja, 'Besoj', written by Adrian Hila and Pandi Laco
  • Russia (RTR) - The Water of Life Project, 'Water of Life', written by Rita Dakota
  • Malta (PBS) - Christina Magrin, 'Parachute', Florent Boshnjaku, Matt Muxu Mercieca and Christina Magrin
  • Bulgaria (BNT) - Lidia Ganeva, 'Magical Day (Вълшебен ден)', Vladimir 'Grafa' Ampov and Iliya Grigorov
  • F. Y. R. Macedonia (MKRTV) - Martija Stanojković, 'Love Will Lead Our Way (Ljubovta ne vodi)', Alexsandar Masevski and Marija Stanojković
  • Poland (TVP) - Olivia Wieczorek, 'Nie Zapomnij', written by Piotr Rubik and Dominik Grabowski
  • Belarus (BTRC) - Alexander Minyonok, 'Musyka Moih Pobed (Music is my only way)', written by Kirill Ermakov, Roman Kolodko and Alexander Minyonok
  • Ukraine (NTU) - Sofia Rol, 'Planet Craves For Love', written by Ruslan Kvinta, Vitalii Kurovskyi, Sandra Bjurman, Yevgeny Matyushenko and Sofia Rol
  • Italy (RAI) - Fiamma Boccia, 'Cara Mamma - Dear Mom', written by Marco Iardella, Francesco Spadoni, Alessandro Ghironi and Fiamma Boccia
  • Serbia (RTS) - Dunja Jeličić, 'U La La La', written by Vladimir Graić, Leontina Vukomanović and Dunja Jeličić
  • Israel (IBA) - Shir & Tim, 'Follow My Heart', written by Dor Daniel and Noam Horev
  • Australia (SBS) - Alexa Curtis, 'We Are', written by Ali Tamposi, Tania Doko and Boi-1da
  • The Netherlands (AVROTROS) - Kisses, 'Kisses & Dancin', written by Joost Griffioen, Stas Swaczyna, Hansen Tomas
  • Cyprus (CYBC) - George Michaelides, 'Dance Floor', Andreas Anastasiou and George Michaelides
  • Georgia (GPB) - Mariam Mamadashvili, 'Mzeo', written by Giga Kukhianidze and Maka Davitaia