Since Junior Eurovision 2013, Dutch entrants Roseanne and Mylene have been busy! Still popular in their home country, they have had a 128 page book published about their JESC adventue. It is written by Gonneke Huizing and costs 12.90 euros (you can order it here: http://www.bol.com/nl/p/double-me-double-you/9200000025535171/).
You can watch an interview (in Dutch) with them, Femke from 2012 and Ralf Mackenbach where they talk about their summer holidays - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdPW0pBrrsI#t=34
Finally, they released a new song "Me and My Selfie", very similar to Double Me, you can listen here: https://play.spotify.com/album/4O80pN2ngriirqo3AsAV4X
The Netherlands: The group themesong has been released, it is called 'Connected'.
Ukraine: You can listen to all the national final songs here - http://1tv.com.ua/uk/eurovision/2014/junior/national_candidate
Tickets: Tickets for the 2014 Junior Eurovision Song Contest will be out for sale in August. The tickets will be available online via a third party website, likely the same as what is used for Eurovision. The arena where JESC will take place will have a capacity of 4500 with 800 standing spots.
Volunteer: If you want to volunteer at JESC 2014 and you are aged 18 or over, look here http://www.junioreurovision.tv/page/blog?id=pbs_calls_for_volunteers - Interestingly they want Macedonian language, so hopefully this means Macedonia is in.
This week we had some sad news that Greece will not actually take part in Junior Eurovision 2014. Today however, we received some very exciting news to put a smile back on our faces - Italy will enter JESC for the very first time! We've had songs in Junior Eurovision in Italian before - Switzerland in 2004 with 'Birichino' and San Marino last year with 'O-o-O Sole Intorno a Me' (actually sung by an Italian singer, Michele!), but this year will be the first year we actually have Italy in the contest.
Italy’s participation will be managed by RAI Gulp, one of the children’s channels of national broadcaster RAI. “It’s wonderful to be able to welcome RAI Gulp to the Junior Eurovision family” said Vladislav Yakovlev, Executive Supervisor of the competition. “Italy and Malta have a special musical friendship – with both Gaia and Federica having taken part in ‘Ti lascio una canzone’, and Gaia also having been in in San Remo Junior – so it seems only natural that Italy should choose to make its Junior Eurovision debut in Malta this November”.
With Cyprus joining and now Italy, San Marino's participation is looking good. Southern Europe is really helping our numbers this year, now all we need is Spain and Portugal to announce they'll be in too. We can perhaps hope for a Macedonian and Spanish participation as both languages are requested on the volunteer application page for jESC 2014, possibly indicating negotiations are happening with these countries. For now we have 10 countries in, with negotiations still continuing by the EBU.
As for what we can expect from Italy - well while a national final would be nice, it seems much more likely they will internally choose their singer from one of their well known talent shows such as San Remo Junior.
It has just been announced that Cyprus will return to Junior Eurovision for the 2014 edition in Malta! Cyprus participated in 2003-2004, withdrew their selected song in 2005, entered in 2006-2009 but then skipped 2010-2013. But now after a four year break, they're back, perhaps encouraged by fellow island nation Malta's success last year.
“Cyprus, and CyBC, have a proud Junior Eurovision tradition, having taken part in the very first competition and hosting it in 2008” said Executive Supervisor Vladislav Yakovlev. “I’m very glad to see CyBC taking part again, and I don’t think they will be disappointed by the show Malta will put on!”
It has been officially confirmed that Junior Eurovision 2014 will be held in the Malta Shipbuilding. Let me tell you all you need to know about this venue.
Name: Malta Shipbuilding
Address: Triq il-Labour, Marsa
Transport: It's approximately a 13 minute bus trip (with bus #84 or #93) from Valletta. Check here for directions from your hotel (http://www.publictransport.com.mt/) If you're staying the full week you could look at getting a 7 day bus pass for travel in Malta/Gozo (http://www.publictransport.com.mt/ticket-type?l=1)
About the venue: There's three big sheds. One fits 4,500 people, the stage will be here. It will have space for approximately 800 people in a standing area at the front, with bleachers and raised seating covering the rest of the floor to the back of the venue. As the building was formerly used as a shipyard, there are many steel supports in both the roof and side-lines. While the roof bars will be ideal for attaching the lighting rigs above the stage and audience, the steel bars at the side will be lit specially to give a silhouette effect inside the venue. A 2nd shed will be used for merchandise and food stalls, while the 3rd shed will be for the delegations. The press centre will be next door.