Sara Markoska on “Search for a Star”

Sara Markoska Search for a Star

5 February 2011 –
Sara Markoska, who competed in Kiev for Macedonia in 2009, is now taking part in a Macedonian show called Search for a Star (M2). The show, on Sitel channel, is judged by Elena Risteska who was the Macedonian Eurovision entrant in 2006. So far Sara has made it to the semi-finals and we wish her good luck to win overall. Also competing in the show was Mila Janevska from the JESC 2009 Macedonian national final. Below you can see Sara performing “Walking on Sunshine”:


29 October 2010

laura omloop verliefd album cdLaura Omloop, the 2009 Belgian representative for Junior Eurovision and the years fan favourite, has released her debut album. It contains her JESC song “Zo Verliefd” and 11 other songs. You can buy it here or on itunes.

The song “Ik mis je zo papa” (Daddy I Miss You So) will be released as her fourth single. In ‘Verliefd’, Laura sings about her world. She is a cheerful young lady who dares to dream, about dancing and parties, about boys and love. She sings about what it’s like going to stay with grandma or a trip around the world. In Laura’s life there is also room for a little country music with “Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash” and more serious things like the beautiful ballad “Ik mis je zo papa”.

Laura on the release of her first album – it’s a dream come true: “I can’t believe this has happened. I have so much fun and friendly people who know me, the last few months have been great. Junior Eurosong, writing and singing the songs. And I’m very proud of the result. The songs are about issues that my peers and I face every day. Often fun but sometimes more serious. I hope everyone had a lot of pleasure!”

‘Love’ was recorded with the help of, among others Wiels Miguel and Peter Gillis (K3, Junior Eurosong …). They too are impressed: “A flawless voice with such passion. And whether she sings a ballad or a country song or a smooth pop, she always impresses with her boundless musical talent. She is definitely part of the musical future of Flanders! “

Laura can be seen live at Waasland Saturday, October 30 at the Shopping Center in Sint-Niklaas sag. Laura will be the local Free Record Shop to 2:00 p.m. signing autographs.

The tracklist for ‘Verliefd’ is:

1. Zo verliefd (yodelo)
2. Stapelgek op jou
3. Lekker shaken
4. Rond de wereld
5. Ik mis je zo papa
6. Te laat
7. Shout
8. Liefdesliedjes
9. Dolly Parton + Johnny Cash
10. Kiss kiss
11. Logeren bij oma
12. Cowboymeisje

SBS airing jesc 2009

junior eurovision 2009 logo31st March 2010
sbs junior eurovision
Just a quick note for any Australian readers, or anyone that has access to Aussie television – Junior Eurovision 2009 will be aired on SBS on Wednesday, April 14th at 1pm. Hopefully, in high definition! Very exciting news.. for me anyway 😉

Check out the venue guide under the 2010 menu by the way.


Ralf impersonator

ralf mackenbach

5/12/2009 – Ralf Mackenbach, the winner of JESC 2009, who is currently enjoying an 18th place on the Belgian singles charts.. has an impersonator. Someone is pretending to be him on the internet, trying to seduce young girls.

Ralf has a dirty imposter double

Song Contest winner Ralf is becoming a real star, now he even has his own look-alike. But he’s not flattered by it at all. Because this person that’s pretending to be Ralf, is trying to seduce young girls through MSN.

Ralf’s mother received a phone call from a woman who contacted the police, because someone who called himself Ralf Mackenbach was doing all kind of weird proposals on MSN to her daughters. Ralf’s mom to the newspaper: “I’m really glad she called me. Since the national contest we had to deal with someone imposing to be Ralf already.”

Ralf: “I’m afraid that this way, some girl might get in contact with a pedophile or loverboy.” Just so you know: if you ever run into Ralf online, it’s a very small chance that it’s really Ralf himself. He says: “I never use MSN.””


So be careful everyone, beware of anyone pretending to be Ralf, or any other contestant, never arrange to meet them, or give out your address or other personal details.

Georgian BastiBubu news

5/12/2009 – If you’d like to watch a 15 minute news special on the Princesses and Georgia in JESC, including an extensive interview with the Princesses vocal coach, see the links below. It is in Georgian though. I’ll post the links to a few older news reports too.

30th Nov ’09 – (part 1)
30th Nov ’09 – (part 2)

Princesses rehearsing before JESC week:

A Capella performance by the Princesses from Basti Bubu studio:

Imedi – Princesses (8 minutes including performance) –

Other news reports:
Part 1 –
Part 2 –

Here’s one from a while ago, with all the Georgian national final contestants performing, plus Mariam Romelashvili. A notable absence by Bzikebi.

Despite not receiving as high a placing as they may have hoped in Kiev, Georgia’s enthusiam for JESC has not been dimmed. Some countries see the junior version as lesser to the adult ESC, but Basti Bubu labels their videos as simply “Eurovision”, which indicates to me that they place the JESC on an equal standing. (If I’m reading too much into that, blame two years of Ancient History and analysing sources.)

Below, see the changes in Mariam since 2007!

mariam romelashvili 2009


random news 1dec09


jesc week in kiev


01/12/2009 – In some random news, Miguel Wiels (who wrote Zo Verleifd and K3’s latest single Ma Mase), is already at work on a new single for Laura. I guess they will utilise the yodelling, it will be her “thing”, like Bzikebi’s bzzing. Ralf was honoured by his towns mayor after winning the JESC, appeared on Paul de Leeuw’s show and his song is #1 on Dutch Itunes, and.. he also entered the Flanders charts at place 45! Laura is #, beaten by the Black Eyed Peas and K3. Will she beat Thor, who charted overall for the year in 2006?

Sophie Debattisa from JESC 2006, whose music is now available at:,,, itunes, Napster, Amazon,, E-music, Shockhound, Lala, Amie street, Rhapsody & Groupie tunes, is releasing a new song ‘Give it Up’. She has 10 dancers for this song, Daron, Karl, Franklin, Darren, Anthea, Miky, Raquel,Leanne, Emma and Camille. Only two familiar names. In Aruba she is now number 1 with K.I.S.S.! Ahead of the current Australian number 1, shall I add. (source: 

In the photo above, Laura is bigger than Mikaela. The youngest but not the smallest!



Wrap up 2009 part 1

ralf mackenbach26/11/2009 – And the JESC is over for another year. The hype will die down now, to be ignited again next September, which is the main national final season. The show will be hosted in Minsk, Belarus in 2010, and I think we can look forward to an exciting show. First we must commend the Ukraine on their efforts in 2009, as although initially a good JESC looked doubtful, it ended up being a great show. The stage, although it was surrounded by people trained to wave and cheer and whom were all colour co-ordinated, it did look very visually effective. It is hard to say how full the hall was, some seats were empty and the floor wasn’t entirely full. Estimates are approximatly 7000 people in the Palace of Sports. The hosts were enthusiastic, especially Ani (who did a performance of Shady Lady which was full of life, besides the miming). Their English definitely needed improvement, and introducing the countries should have been done in English.. Sakartvelo is not so indentifying. Speaking of Georgia, the country’s motto is “Strength is in Unity”. And that, is entirely true.

There were more journalists interested in the Junior Eurovision this year, despite press mixups and lack of access to the singers in Kiev. Ralf has already been invited to perform in Germany (a non JESC country), and the head of the Bosnian TV station which particpates in ESC was following JESC closely. Over 300 articles have been published on the contest in Russian language, and several hundred in Dutch. Not so many English speaking news outlets followed the contest, but extremely popular, an American news company published an extensive review of the contest (read it here:,8599,1942385,00.html).

Ralf’s win has garnered extreme media attention in the Netherlands, with the country celebrating it’s first win in 35 years. Primetime news outlets covered Ralf’s arrival at the airport, where a crowd of hundreds waited to greet him, singing along to Click Clack. He’s been in the papers, he’s been interviewed by radio and tv stations. A television crew followed him around his school, getting his classmates reactions on the win. A victory for the Netherlands should raise the spirits of not only Netherlands, but Belgium too (who came a respectable 4th). They deserve it, their national finals are shown in prime time and have a lot of effort put in!

It is interesting to see how different countries promote themselves. Georgia sent a 27-person delegation, with two vocal coaches, a stage producer, a choreographer and even a phsycologist (and about 942 costume changes), whereas Malta sent the girls and their families and their coach. We will soon examine who will be taking part in 2010, and what Belarus has in store for us. Also to come, a full review of the 2009 contest. Then, finishing the site so we can work on some fun new features!

Poll Results!

jesc voting results

This JESC season we asked you, the public, to select your favourite song of 2009. Only one vote per computer was able to be cast, and a total of 247 people made their choice. You could only pick ONE, it was hard to decide, but we did.

So Europe, and the rest of the world, I present you with the official results of the Favourites Poll 2009!

sara markoska 1st – Sara from Macedonia (26.32%)

laura omloop 2nd – Laura from Belgium (23.08%)

francesca and mikaela 3rd – Francesca & Mikaela from Malta (12.15%)

mimmi sanden 4th – Mimmi from Sweden (11.74%)

ralf mackenbach 5th – Ralf from the Netherlands (6.88%)

ekaterina ryabova 6th – Ekaterina from Russia (5.26%)

nista licno 7th – Ništa lično from Serbia (4.05%)

andranik aleksanyan 8th – Andranik from Ukraine (2.43%)

Princesses Georgia JESC 9th – Princesses from Georgia (2.02%)

rafaella kosta 10th –  Rafaella from Cyprus (2.02%)

luara hayraptuan 11th – Luara from Armenia (1.62%)

yuriy demidovich 12th – Yuriy from Belarus (1.62%)

ioana anuta13th – Ioana from Romania (0.81%)

Kateryna tymoshenko

jesc 2009 host10/10/2009 – Kateryna Tymoshenko, the host who will be conducting live broadcasts together with Artem Nikiforovfrom backstage during Euroweek has given an interview with the official site. Katerina wishes to be a children’s English teacher, thus JESC will be the perfect opportunity for her to practise.

How did you decide to take part in the casting for the hosts?

First of all, I like children very much, and my first degree is a teacher of English language. Secondly, I think I will be a good host because I have hosted events at several Ukrainian TV channels and have certain experience of TV audience. I am very interested in this format – it combines work with children, usage of English and live broadcast. Combination of these components helped me to make a decision to attend the casting.

How are you getting ready for the 21st of November, for the Final?

I studied the data on every participant of the 2009 Junior Eurovision Song Contest, available at the official site of the contest. I also pay much attention to my English – watching films, programmes, talk with the Americans who help me to improve my language level. And I am thinking how to build my conversation with kids the best, how to find the appropriate words.

You will be hosting the contest together with Artem Nikiforov, and your synergy is very important. Well-balanced mutual support and understanding will pave the way to success. Do you have any plans to train as a pair, together?

Currently we do not communicate and are preparing separately. But during the casting rounds we talked, had coffee together. After winning the casting, we’ve been recommended to start team training, because it is highly important that we understand and feel each other. I am certain that we have time to talk and to get to know each other. But I can say that we’ll find common language easily.

Do you remember when you’ve found out that this year’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest takes place in Ukraine?

I found out at the same time when I read about the casting for the hosts on the Internet. I was very glad as I saw it as a chance to join the contest, to see and feel the Junior Eurovision Song Contest from within, to socialise with the participants and the organisers. In 2005, when Ukraine was welcoming the “big” Eurovision Song Contest, when I watched the contest, its hosts, I started thinking that I want very much for our country to host it again, and to host it myself. And my dreams came true at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.

Do you link your career with TV?

Yes I am thinking about creating my own social talk-show, where we could discuss important and delicate issues yet without being obsessed with the negative things, search also for something positive in the life of the Ukrainians. But I want to focus on children. As a child I dreamt of being a teacher and dedicating my life to the kids. And precisely because of the TV I can influence the Ukrainians, helping them to pay more attention to both their own kids and orphaned children.

What would you focus on as the host of 2009 Junior Eurovision Song Contest?

I am yet to discuss this with the producers of the contest. But as for me, I see this contest as a celebration for children. And this is why I must behave not as a teacher, but rather as a friend, supporting the participants in any possible way. I shouldn’t accent their attention on competitive streak of the contest, on the fact that there will be only one winner. I must create the atmosphere of celebration.

Please tell a bit more about yourself. What are your hobbies, how do you spend your free time?

I am a volunteer for an international human rights organisation. I am working on such important social problems as human trafficking, prevention of cruelty to children, gender inequality issues. In the past I was very serious about ballet. But when I had to choose – foreign languages or professional ballet, I chose studying languages. But every year on the 31st of December I visit the Opera Theatre for the Nutcracker ballet show, this is my tradition. Ballet will always be in my heart. Apart from English language I also know German, but I thought this isn’t enough and I recently started learning French, too. I have an active life – sports, dances, education, I also dedicate much time to my lovely pet dog Umka.

What do you expect from the Junior Eurovision Song Contest for yourself?

I want new impressions, socialising with kids, and experience in hosting such a massive event. I want to experience back-stage Internet broadcast. This year this will be a new feature of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest and I am very keen on seeing it in process.

What does it mean for you, the Junior Eurovision Song Contest?

When I worked at one of the TV channels, we were visited by Nazar Slisarchuk, the very first participant from Ukraine on the Junior Eurovision. We had a conversation and I thought, such a young kid, he’s already been through such a large-scale event as this contest. I do not remember exactly his age at the time, but he conducted himself very much unlike a child, he was self-confident, adult-behaving singer who knows what he wants from life, who already sees his future and links it to music. At that time I thought that the Junior Eurovision Song Contest is a perfect chance for children to blossom, to discover leadership qualities. This international contest helps young gifted singers to open up to the world, to show their talents and, possibly, to choose their future profession.

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