At the press conference on stage were: Vladislav Yakovlev (Executive Supervisor of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest), Anton Attard (Executive Producer of the Maltese national broadcaster PBS), Tonio Portughese (Chairman of PBS) and Luke Fisher (Junioreurovision.tv).
They opened the event by showing a short video, which had a recap of the first ten winners of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest from 2003 (when it was staged in Denmark) through to 2012. Then last year's winner Gaia Gauchi from Malta performed The Start live for the journalists at the press conference. (Gaia will also feature as a guest in this year's Eurovision Song Contest final).
Since the Junior Eurovision Song Contest started in 2003, some 32 countries have at some point participated in the contest. 16 partcipated in the very first edition in 2003, and peaked at 18 the following year. Since then, there has been something of a decline, with just 12 participating last year.
Some notable firsts for the Junior contest
However many of the innovations seen at the Eurovision Song Contest were actually first tried out at the Junior editions, such as the 50/50 split between Juries and Televoting was first seen in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Cyprus in 2008 before being used in Moscow in 2009.
The opening sequence of performers with their flags as seen last year in Malmö, was first seen at the Junior event, whilst one country, Belarus, made their debut at the Junior contest in 2003, before appearing in the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest. a number of performers that have appeared in the Eurovision Song Contest, or in national finals, first made their debut at the Junior edition.
Some other differences with the Junior Eurovision Song Contest is that prizes are awarded now to the top three performers, and that the international spokespersons actually appear on stage, and therefore are more a part of the actual show. Also, the running order is determined by a draw at the Opening ceremony by the young performers themselves. There is no pressure on Heads of Delegations or Producers to determine who will perform in what order.
The aim of this contest is to promote young talent in popular music, by encouraging competition among child performers, who sing in their national language(s), although they have the freedom to have 25% of the lyrics in another language (usually English).
Vladislav Yakovlev explained that they want to make the contest more teen orientated, and to be less childish in future, and although many people view the Junior Eurovision Song Contest as being very Eastern European in nature, it does attract Western European countries such as Sweden, Netherlands and this year's hosts Malta, and negotiations are taking place with other countries.
Having pointed out all the connections between the Junior edition and the Eurovision Song Contest it seems appropraite that 'connection' is one of the main themes of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2014 and Anton Attard from PBS presented the logo for this year's event, which features segments that can be put together and will connect people.
#Together is designed on the elements of the Maltese eight pointed cross and its different segments are connected together in such a way that specific shapes are created. The dynamics of the connections make the logo clever, changeable and challenging.
The colour palette is bold and dynamic and takes its inspiration from the richness and diversity of the Maltese landscape: Sand, Sea, Stone, Grass, Sky, Dusk and Sunset. The harmonious blend of colours provides flexibility and vibrancy to all communication materials
Have a look at the examples of the use of the logo.
PBS are very proud to be hosting the 2014 contest, as the Eurovision Song Contest means such a lot to the people in Malta. As the contest is aimed at the youth, the Maltese have been working closely with schools in the country, to share the experience of the event. It will be a huge task for the broadcaster and will be one of the biggest television events that they have ever hosted - but they are ready for it, and looking forward to welcoming everyone to the country.