Adrian Kavanagh, 12th November 2016
Looking ahead to Ireland’s second appearance at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Valetta (Malta) on Sunday 20th November 2016, this post offers a brief review of the contest’s history, while specifically drawing out the geographical dimensions of this. This finds that the membership of the contest has been much more fluid than that of the (senior) Eurovision Song Contest, with the contest becoming increasingly dominated by Former Soviet states over the 2005-2013 period, having been mainly dominated by Western European states in the first two years of its existence (2003 and 2004). Wins for Malta (2013 and 2015) and Italy (2014), as well as debuts at the contest by a number of more western states (such as Slovenia, San Marino, Ireland, Australia* and Italy) over the last three years, have seen a growing Western reorientation in recent years. Despite this more recent trend, the Former Soviet states of Belarus, Georgia, Armenia and Russia, as well as Ukraine, have largely dominated the Junior Eurovision Song Contest – especially over the past decade.
The post also looks at voting patterns at the contest and finds that the geographical (“friends and neighbours” and “diaspora”) voting trends associated with (senior) Eurovision are also evident at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Finally, the geography of support for Irish acts at the (senior) Eurovision Song Contest is discussed, as a means of teasing out potential support patterns for the Irish act, Zena Donnelly, at November’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest. (more…)