NEWS published on 18 Nov 2016 • Department / Unit Media

Malta counts down to 14th Junior Eurovision Song Contest

Reheasals have been taking place all week in Malta ahead of the 2016 Junior Eurovision Song Contest (JESC) which for the first time takes place on a Sunday afternoon (20 November). 

The new timeslot (1600 CET) is one of a number of changes for the 14th annual edition of the competition for young talented singers from across the EBU Membership.

The age range for participants has been lowered this year to allow performers between the ages of 9 and 14 years old to take part. Jon Ola Sand, the EBU's Head of Live Events, says this, along with the timeslot change, is to make the show more appealing to younger viewers and help the competition become more diverse:

"Within the JESC Steering Group we discussed how to improve and further the JESC format. Many Members, including some not taking part, felt that the previous Saturday evening timeslot was not suited to children and family viewing, so we have tried to bring the competition to a time more fitting for this type of event. We also feel changing the age range has encouraged more boys take part in the competition, which of course makes for a more balanced show."

17 countries in total are taking part in this year's competition at the Mediterreanean Conference Centre which is being organised for the 2nd time in 3 years by Maltese EBU Member PBS.

Polish Member TVP has returned to the event after a 12 year absence and IBA from Israel are back after 4 years away.

This year, each entry will be judged by one professional music industry jury and one youth jury made up of children from every participating country. Their votes will be presented separately to create an exciting finale.

In another format change, an expert panel will also vote live during the show. 

The first ever expert judges panel will comprise of Irish singers Jedward, who participated in the Eurovision Song Contest twice, Denmark's Mads Grimstad of Universal Music, and Swedish show producer for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, Christer Bjorkman. 

The expert panel will give the young participants the opportunity to receive invaluable feedback from professionals with experience in the music business and established careers.

The EBU's Media Director Jean Philip De Tender is looking forward to Sunday's live show:

"The JESC is a great opportunity for public service broadcasters to support young talent, and help to bring their talents to an international audience - millions of viewers in a wide range of countries both in Europe and Australia."

Go behind the scenes at this year's event in the video above and tune in to the show in the 17 participating countries or online at junioreurovision.tv from 1600 CET on Sunday 20 November.

Full list of participating countries

The following countries (and EBU Members) are taking part in the 2016 Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Malta:

  • Albania (RTSH)
  • Armenia (Public Television of Armenia)
  • Australia (SBS)
  • Belarus (BTRC)
  • Bulgaria (BNT)
  • Cyprus (CyBC)
  • Georgia (GPB)
  • Ireland (TG4)
  • Israel (IBA)
  • Italy (RAI)
  • Malta (PBS)
  • F. Y. R. Macedonia (MKRTV)
  • The Netherlands (AVROTROS)
  • Poland (TVP)
  • Russia (RTR)
  • Serbia (RTS)
  • Ukraine (NTU)