Earlier today, a press conference about the upcoming Junior Eurovision Song Contest, to be held in Minsk, Belarus. The informative briefing, which took place in Lisbon at the Eurovision Song Contest press centre, was attended by the EBU's Executive Supervisor Jon Ola Sand and Project Manager Gert Kark, as well as last year's winner, Polina Bogusevich from Russia.
The 2018 Junior Eurovision Song Contest will be hosted by Belarusian public broadcaster BTRC. Belarus is one of the countries with the longest and most successful history in the competition, having participated in every contest since its beginning, and winning in 2005 and 2007.
The 2010 Junior Eurovision Song Contest was also held in Minsk.
Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, explained about Belarus' broadcaster, BTRC, hosting the show: "We decided to give the host broadcaster more time to prepare for the event, that’s why we announced it earlier. We had several bids proposed the to the Steering Group of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, which then decided on the host broadcaster. One of the most important factors is to make sure if they can move the project forward, and that has actually been the case of the Junior Eurovision every year."
The Project Manager of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, Gert Kark, added: "The preparations of the upcoming contest are going very well, even though at the moment we’re very busy with the Eurovision Song Contest but, as we started working very early with BTRC, we've already progressed a lot. We have now got the venue Minsk Arena, announced the slogan #LIGHTUP and released the logo."
Last year's winner of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, Polina Bogusevich, also attended the Press Conference: "I want to say that my world changed around me, but not inside me since I won. I've had more plans, more stages, more things to do, more work. I’m working hard and I’m trying to do my best, and very soon there will be new songs from me."
Would Polina like to represent Russia in the Eurovision Song Contest in the future? "I think that is a very, very big responsibility so, if people believe in me, if they want to put this responsibility on me, I’d do it. I’d be the happiest person in the world! And I’d be ready; I’m always ready."
Polina will also make an appearance at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final next Saturday: "I’m always nervous before going on stage but, to be honest, I can’t wait to appear in the Grand Final and to be in front of so many people."
Answering questions from the attending media, Gert Kark confirmed that "we’ll continue the online voting implemented in the last Junior Eurovision, and we have also worked in improving the platform in the last few months."
About having back some previous participating countries or even new ones in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, Jon Ola Sand concluded that "Eighteen countries is the limit of participating countries we've set. We are in constant talks with broadcasters and, at the end of this week, we might have some good news that we can share."