The Eurovoxx team were in the Minsk Arena where the full dress rehearsal took place. With one day to go until the televised final, the artists have very little time to make those little tweaks, which may or may not make the difference, when it comes to the final vote. Jess, and Chris were there reporting live for the Eurovoxx Twitter, and Facebook feed. We were also fortunate to be there, in the evening when the jury final took place
Wow !!!! What an opening to the show, where there were dancers, who had lots of energy, and clearly were having lots of fun. The opening felt almost like a ceremony, where all 20 countries were introduced on the stage one, by one. All remained there, proudly waving their flags, and they really did "Light Up" on the stage. Then the three hosts Eugen Perlin, Helena Merrai, and Zena were introduced. We had doubts on how three presenters would work at the Junior Eurovision stage, but they do, and it works well. The way this show has been presented is so worthy of the adult show. Jon Ola Sand said that Belarus was ready to host the adult show. The team here have to agree. Our hosts have done, and are doing a great job.
Then it was time for the voices, and stars of the show. The first country up was:
Now what a way to start the show. This is probably one of the best songs that they could have used to begin the contest. Darina just oozed confidence during her performance, and despite her young age, she has such a powerful voice. She is a talent, and one to watch for in the future. "Perfect" in every way is the only way you could describe the performance. Everything fit. Just like her rehearsals one of the ones to watch.
Rita is next for Portugal. This year the country have taken a completely different tact, and send something extremely fresh, modern and new. Her performance was really good. It was very colourful, and as performance it was confident. This could well give Portugal their best result at the contest.
One of the favourites of this years contest. You can see why it is. The team behind this have gone all out in creating an impression. It will be one of the more memorable staging, and subtly it displays the whole Kazakhstan flag in an unusual way, that stays embedded deep into the psyche. It combines well with her striking voice. The staging is incredible, and breathtaking. It is one to keep an eye on, and deserved the big applause it was given.
We have said it before, but Efi's performance is very pink, pop and perfect. It is uptempo, catchy and fun. Everyone is bopping along to this one. She looks the star on the stage. She told us that she loves us all, and we love her. This song is perfect for this competition.
Russia always go big when they come to the Eurovision, and the Junior Eurovision. They have done it again this year. Can they make it a second consecutive win? Her performance was really good, and the staging is cool. It somehow reminds us of "A Million Voices" that represented Russia at the adult show in 2015. It was another one that had another big applause.
Each performance has gotten better with Max and Anne. They look so comfortable, and have a really polished performance. It does sound so good. The vocals are really quite something especially towards the end when they hit those high notes during the key change. We really hope this one doesn't get forgotten.
It is Fidan's birthday today, and she celebrated it in style with a fantastic performance, Such a sweet, and innocent song that comes across well. The dancers which we weren't keen on at the start of the week have slowed things down, and it works so much better. Fidan really delivered at the rehearsal, this will get many votes and came second in the mock voting. Please change the outfit though.
Regardless of how this was performed it was always going to go down well being the home nation. The stage actually improves after you see it several times. However, we still feel that it is too busy with the bike, and the sail boats. Daniel really delivers though, and can sing. There is hints of Justin Bieber to this one. The girls were screaming at it in the end.
We then went on to Ireland, and Taylor Hynes. The staging is possibly the most fun, and quirkiest that we have seen. We do love it, and it is bright, colourful and fun. This will definitely help Ireland get noticed. The first ever male sent, along with a completely different style of song could see this do well. The voice was good, as well as the chemistry with the dancers. It is the best we have seen. It deserves to do well. Could Ireland winning the fake voting be a good omen?
This was the first of the Balkan ballads. It struck us how how beautiful the colours were. They complimented the song so well. Another white dress, it does look beautiful on her. She had such amazing stage presence, with her voice being so powerful. It is such a melodic, and ethnic sound. We hope it wont be forgotten. There was plenty of applause before the song ended. Will this be a good sign for the singer.
The most adorable duo were up next. Italy have shone for us in the competition, and we couldn't help go "Awwww" when they were performing. They both work so well together, the voices are spot on, and it is a pleasure to see the Italian language sung so well. In fact both Jess and I have tears in our eyes. This performance will be one to remember.
Australia's golden girl was next, and Jael is certainly one to watch and remember. She is our champion. Every aspect is perfect for the song. The beginning reminds us of Sweden 2014 performance of "Undo". We have both said this, that it could win, and both of us got goosebumps. Obviously everyone's taste is different. However, we really like this one.
Everything about this entry works so well. If it doesn't hit the top 5 we would be very surprised. it has been one of the more powerful voices of the first run through. The young singer is such an accomplished performer, and everything comes across so natural, and easy. It well deserved it's massive round of applause.
This one is very different from all the other entries. We would go far as saying it is unique. The staging suits the performer so well. Noam looks at ease on the stage despite being a shy child. There is no doubt that the vocals are flawless. We can see this doing well with the juries.
Then it was the turn of one of the favourites Angélina from France. Through each rehearsal she has constantly improved, and shone. The staging was very French, and we can see this being one of the contenders for the crown. Everything fits, and works well, and Angélina is doing France proud.
We love the staging of this. The snow effect is beautiful and Marija tells the story well. It is quite evocative, and one of the best ballads there. She sings with a black gown, that transforms into a stunning white dress. This one really deserves a high placing. There is so much talent on this stage, that it us hard to contain it all in one place. We love this one too.
Top 3 should we say. This one has it all. L.E.V.O.N performed the song so well, and he really does have it all, including that green suit, and trumpet. Of all the artists he perhaps comes across as one of the greatest performers. He owns that stage, and it loves him . He was born to perform, and it was catchy. Everyone was tapping their feet.
This is Wales debut at the contest, and goodness me they have earned their place at Eurovision. Manw is the pride of Wales, and that showed on the stage. It was lovely to see that there Belarus people behind singing the song. Could this be a good omen. The staging, dancers, and voices were perfect. Eurovoxx are proud of her performance
This song certainly has grown on us every time we have seen it. Despite her hitting her mouth with her mike, during the first dress rehearsal. Wow, what can we say. This is our dark horse of the competition. Everything is so right about this one. Ela can sing, and hit those high notes so easily. Could Ela keep Marchin' on to a victory?
What a way to end the show. Poland have really shone in this full dress rehearsal. Roksana has a strong voice, and knows how to get her song out there, and across. Not sure about the dress, and how it all goes along but it was a really solid performance, and her applause at the end was well deserved.
The mock voting was very interesting in this one too. It saw Ireland win with 319 points, Azerbaijan come second with 219 points, and finally Wales come third with 185 points. Could this be a good omen? In 16 hours we will know how you voted. Good luck to everyone.
The first full dress rehearsal finished, and tonight saw the final jury show. Who stood out for you? Tell us who you think will win? Do you agree with our reviews? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments below.