Since the first edition of the contest in 2003, 278 songs from 39 different countries have been performed on the Junior Eurovision stage. Over the years, we have seen many different performers and songs but do you know which of them are record-breaking? Let’s find out now.
The youngest participant ever at Junior Eurovision was also the first participant to ever perform at the contest. Nicolas Ganopoulos represented Greece in 2003 with “Fili gia panta” at the age of 8 years and 4 months. As the lower age limit for the contest was raised to 10 in 2007 and lowered to 9 in 2016, Nicolas will remain the only 8-year old and the youngest participant ever unless the rule changes again.
The oldest participant in the history of Junior Eurovision was actually someone who normally would have been too old to take part. Maria Chabo was 16 years and 11 days old when she represented Sweden as part of M+ in 2005 with “Gränslös kärlek”. It is unclear how to how Maria was able to participate despite being over the age limit. It is likely that the EBU granted her an exception because of her being only a few days over the limit and being 15 when she entered the Swedish selection.
The 2004 contest was the second edition of the contest was won by María Isabel from Spain with “Antes muerta que sencilla”. At the age of 9 years and 10 months, she remains the youngest ever winner of the contest. The song also used to hold the record for the highest amount of points scored in the contest’s history.
In 2011, Candy gave Georgia their second win with “Candy Music”. Band member Ana Khanchalyan was 15 years old when she won with Candy, making her the oldest ever winner of the contest. Unless the rule about the upper age limit changes, Ana will remain the oldest winner ever.
Belarus and the Netherlands are the only two nations that have appeared at every Junior Eurovision in history. Both took part in the first edition in 2003 and have not missed a contest since.
Belarus almost didn’t appear at the first contest. The EBU held a draw to select 15 countries that would take part in the first contest, later 16 as Cyprus was added afterwards. After Slovakia and Germany chose not to compete, the EBU offered the vacant spots to Poland and Belarus. Belarus has since gone on to win twice (2005 and 2007) and host twice (2010 and 2018). Belarus is also one of only two countries to have participated in Junior Eurovision first before the adult contest (the other being Serbia).
The Netherlands have chosen all of their entries through Junior Songfestival with the exception of 2016. This makes it the longest running Junior Eurovision national selection. The Netherlands won the contest in 2009 with “Click Clack” by Ralf. They also became the first country to host the contest twice (2007 and 2012).
Switzerland and Serbia and Montenegro both hold the record for the least appearances at the contest. Both countries only took part on one occasion.
Switzerland were represented in 2004 by Demis Mirachi with “Birichino”. RSI, the Swiss Italian-language broadcaster, organised the Swiss participation by themselves. However, they withdrew from the contest in 2005, citing difficulties in participating without the support of the other language broadcasters.
Serbia and Montenegro made their only appearance at the contest in 2005, where they were represented by Filip Vučić with “Ljubav pa fudbal”. Following the country’s dissolution in 2006, both countries went on to participate as independent nations. Serbia made their debut in 2006 and participated every year up to 2010. After three years of absence, Serbia returned to the contest in 2014 and have participated every year since. Montenegro have only participated in the contest twice, in 2014 and 2015.
Biggest Winning Margin
Viki Gabor won a second consecutive Junior Eurovision for Poland on home ground in 2019. Her song “Superhero” won with a total of 278 points, the most points received by any Junior Eurovision song. It also finished 51 points ahead of Kazakhstan, the largest winning margin in history.
Smallest Winning Margin
On two occasions, the result of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest was decided by just one point, and both occasions involved Armenia.
In 2007, Armenia initially looked set to win on their debut appearance at the contest, with Arevik receiving 12 points from five of the first seven countries to vote (Armenia was third to vote and could not vote for themselves). However, Belarus took the lead late in the voting and was the late country to vote. Belarus gave 7 points to Armenia, leaving them one point behind Belarus. Alexey Zhigalkovich gave Belarus their second Junior Eurovision victory with “S Druz’yami” and made Belarus the first country to win more than once.
Three years later, Armenia battled for the lead with Russia in the 2010 contest. After some close voting, Vladimir Arzumanyan was able to win by just one point. With his song “Mama”, he gave Armenia their first ever win in a Eurovision contest.
Least Participations Before a Victory
Two countries have won Junior Eurovision on their first try. The first country is Croatia, who won the very first Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2003 with “Ti si moja prva ljubav” by Dino Jelusić. However, as every country was debuting that year, it was inevitable that whoever won would win on their first try.
In 2014, Italy made their debut at the contest, the first Big 5 nation to appear at the contest since 2006. Vincenzo Cantiello represented the nation with “Tu primo grande amore” and brought Italy victory on their debut appearance.
Most Appearances Before a Victory
North Macedonia is currently the country with the most participations without a victory. They have participated 15 times since their debut in 2003, missing only 3 contests (2012, 2014 and 2020). The closest they have come to victory was a fifth place finish in both 2007 and 2008.
Highest Number of Participating Countries
The maximum number of countries that could compete at Junior Eurovision at any one time was originally set at 18, which was the number of countries present in 2004. This record would stand for many years until the 2018 contest. A total of 20 countries competed in Minsk, with returns from Azerbaijan, Israel and France and debuts from Kazakhstan and Wales.
Lowest Number of Participating Countries
The minimum number of countries needed for the contest to take place is 12. The 2012 and 2013 contests saw exactly that number of countries participated due to low interest from broadcasters around Europe. Only 12 will compete in this year’s contest too, with many withdrawing due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
While it may be sad to see so few countries take part this year, it’s good to keep in mind that Junior Eurovision has bounced back from these numbers before. The contest has seen many records over the last 18 years. Who knows what records could be broken on Sunday night?