11-year-old Valentina representing France has won the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2020, giving her country its very first win. Valentina stunned audiences watching at home with an incredible performance of "J'imagine (I imagine)*, finishing with an impressive 200 points.
France first took part in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2004 and returned to the competition in 2018.
Valentina, whose idol is Ariane Grande, said the favourite lyric of her song is "So it’s true, it’s not always joyful, in our hearts it’s a bit like a fight. And you? Tomorrow - what do you do? Imagine with me! because it reflects reality – life is not always easy and fun – but yet has a strong hopeful message at the end - imagining a brighter future together!"
Karakat Bashanova from Kazakhstan, picked up 152 points to finish in 2nd place with “Forever”. Spain's Solea singing "Palante” was 3rd with 133 points.
EBU Members and Associates from 12 different countries took part in the annual competition for talented youngsters aged 9 to 14.
The 18th edition was organized by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), hosted by Telewizja Polska (TVP) for the second year in a row and broadcast live from Warsaw despite the challenges faced by the ongoing pandemic.
For the first time ever, in the interests of health and safety, all performances were recorded “live on tape” before the show. Artists then joined live from their home countries to chat with the hosts and watch the exciting voting play out in a state-of-the-art show that featured the latest augmented reality (AR) technology.
This technology helped all the artists appear together on stage to sing the Contest’s theme song “Move The World”.
AR also allowed the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2019, Duncan Lawrence from the Netherlands, to perform a very special version of his song “Arcade” with the Polish winners of the 2018 and 2019 Junior Eurovision Song Contests Roksana Węgiel and Viki Gabor.
Viewers from participating countries and around the world helped decide the winner by voting online.
Juries made up of three industry experts and two children from each participating country provided 50% of the scores.
A record 4.5 million votes were received in the online poll which was split into two rounds; one before the show based on preview clips and a second that opened after the last live performance, allowing viewers to cast their votes based on what they saw on stage.
This year’s show was hosted by Polish TV presenters Ida Nowakowska-Herndon, Rafał Brzozowski and Małgorzata Tomaszewska.
Martin Österdahl, the Contest’s Executive Supervisor, said “I am so impressed with our young artists. They had dreamed about performing in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest and they managed to live that dream and bring the stage alive, despite the most difficult of circumstances.
Congratulations to our fantastic winner Valentina and her broadcaster France Télévisions. They really deserve their success and may this be the springboard for an exciting career in music.
“The EBU would like to congratulate the team at TVP who took on an immensely challenging task this year, in making what seemed impossible possible,” he added.
“Producing an event of this scale under ordinary circumstances is difficult enough but everyone in Warsaw have worked incredibly hard to ensure the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 20202 took place. The dedication of the production team and all the delegations involved this year made this very unique Contest a great success.”
Jacek Kurski, President of host broadcaster TVP added: “Today’s event is also a great victory for not only the Polish Television production team, but also for the entire community of the European Broadcasting Union. It was thanks to them with their technological talents and unique, pioneering innovations that this wonderful event was possible.”
The host broadcaster for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2021 will be announced in the coming months.
The full show can be streamed on demand on the official YouTube channel.
*Written and composed by Antoine Barrau & Barbara Pravi
Valentina was brought up in a musical environment. Her mother, an Italian teacher, used to sing sweet lullabies and, ever since, Valentina has had an unconditional love for singing. In 2018, she stood out at the Kids United Nouvelle Generation audition and successfully joined another 4 singers on an exciting journey. She quickly became the Kids Nouvelle Generation mascot, developing an impressive community of fans on social media of almost 300,000 followers.
She has recorded two albums with the group, participates in UNICEF missions and takes part in various collective projects with other artists.
Valentina also raps in French as well as singing in Italian and especially enjoys singing Laura Pausini's songs given that her mother is a huge fan.