Just a few moments ago, RTVE announced the identity of the young artist who will represent Spain at Junior Eurovision 2022. Carlos Higes will take to the stage of the children’s festival next December from Armenia, hoping to bring the crystal microphone home. The announcement was made a few moments ago during prime time in a slot on the MaterChef Celebrity programme , La 1 ‘s star product that manages to gather huge audience figures week after week. The person in charge of announcing the news was the presenter Marc Calderón, a face linked to the new morning show Hablando Claro, the corporation’s new programme for this season
The youngster, aged 11, comes from Valencia. His passion for the spotlight and the world of music and acting awakened when he was only a few years old, taking part in different projects linked to the world of music and cinema in our country as well as in other corners of Europe. Our representative is completely grateful and happyfor this opportunity and can’t wait to step on the Junior Eurovision stage. This will be the eighth Spanish participation in the festival, after the brilliant and memorable participations of stars such as María Isabel, Antonio José, Dani Fernández or Melani Garcia, for whom it has been an unparalleled springboard for their musical careers.
Despite his young age, the versatile young man already has extensive musical and stage training, which began when he was just a few years old. Among his most important achievements are his participation in musical talent shows in Spain and the covers he uploads to his official profiles on social networks. Will he give us the key to success in the next Junior Eurovision Song Contest?
A SONG TO WIN
The next step for our candidate will be to launch the song with which he will flag our nation at the Eurovision Song Contest and try to defend the brilliant Spanish record in the competition. To this end, he is already working hand in hand with the RTVE team, who have in their hands a series of unpublished musical works especially designed for the children’s festival, after an active search that began last summer. They will have a wide range of songs of different styles and themes to choose from so that their final choice is in accordance with their tastes and repertoire and can shine with their own light at Junior Eurovision.
Tomorrow at 11am there will be a press conference where our representative will be officially presented to the media. It will be here where we expect to announce new details of the candidacy, especially related to the song.
We are working to get a great candidate, but we want to choose a good song firstEva Mora, head of the Spanish Eurovision delegation
THE STAGES OF THE CASTING PROCESS
This year, the Spanish entry for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest is being selected through a semi-open process in which all young people in our country have been able to take part. This is the first time since 2006 that RTVE has made an open call to take part in the process. The model is a change of direction by the public broadcaster to provide more transparency and openness to the process, while opening a new platform to create a pool of young artists in our country.
In a first phase carried out between 16 August and 15 September, all singers between the ages of 9 and 14 in our country were able to register in an online casting to be taken into account during the process. To do so, each artist had to send through a form a cover of a song already published on an instrumental basis, as well as a second video doing the same with a Spanish entry from the history of Eurovision or Junior Eurovision, this time with the possibility of doing it a capella. Additionally, the parents or legal guardians of each applicant had to attach a series of contact details, signed authorisations and photos of the contestants.
Once the period for the reception of proposals was over, RTVE invited the best candidates from this first online phase to attend live auditions in Madrid. In this last phase, which took place last Saturday, the finalists defended their musical, vocal and artistic qualities before a jury appointed by the corporation. This panel of experts ultimately determined the Spanish representative for Junior Eurovision 2022.
THE BEGINNING OF A LONG-TERM STRATEGY
The Spanish participation in Junior Eurovision 2022 lays the foundations of a new long-term strategy of the broadcaster to increase the interestof the audience and young artists in Junior Eurovision. As María Eizaguirreretold ESCplus in an interview with our colleague Fran Justicia, RTVE ‘s intention is to implement various measures to promote the children’s music format for future editions. These statements, as well as reconfirming the corporation’s intention to participate regularly in Junior Eurovision in the future, encourage the return of televised pre-selections to choose our candidates for future contests.
This is undoubtedly a declaration of intent of RTVE ‘s great commitment to the European children’s festival, which represents an opportunity like few others to export young talent and provide new generations of artists with a springboard to reach a wider audience. The festival also highlights different values such as friendship, companionship, solidarity and cultural dissemination among children.
Although this year the casting is behind closed doors, we are working to ensure that the format evolves and develops in a different way in future years.María Eizaguirre (Director of Communication and Participation of RTVE)
SPAIN IN JUNIOR EUROVISION
Spain is one of the countries with the best track record of results in the children’s festival, having finished in the top three positions in 5 of the 7 festivals in which it has participated to date, including one victory and two second places.
Spain ‘s participation in the festival is divided into two stages. The first and most mediatic was from 2003 to 2006, when RTVE decided to put an end to its streak of successful participations on the grounds that the festival promoted stereotypes that were not shared by the broadcaster and exploited the participants. During this period, Spain ‘s first and only victory to date in the festival was achieved by the Andalusian María Isabel and her well-remembered Antes Muerta Que Sencilla. Between 2003 and 2004, Spain’s Eurojunior pre-selection also took place, the result of RTVE and the production company Gestmusic’ s desire to replicate the success of the musical talent show Operación Triunfo with younger artists, resulting in a social phenomenon among young people that is still remembered today.
The evolution and modernisation of the festival and the continuous requests and wishes of Spanish fans led RTVE to return to the festival in 2019 after an absence of 13 years. In this way, Spanish public television resumed a streak of annual participation in the festival that extends to the present day and is now in its fourth year in a row. This return was a qualitative success thanks to the good general reception of our candidatures, highlighting the third places obtained by Melani Garcia and her lyrical pop Marte in 2019 and by Soleá and her danceable Palante. Despite the fact that the time of broadcast of the festival and the new patterns of television consumption make it impossible to obtain the audience figures of yesteryear, it is a real commitment to music, young talent and diversity and raises a lot of interest in the digital sphere, especially among young people.
At the last Junior Eurovision Song Contest, held last Sunday 19 December live from La Seine Musicale in Paris under the slogan Imagine, we were represented by the winner of the last edition of La Voz Kids, Levi Díaz. His song Reír got a 15th position with 77 points. Will we manage to win the coveted crystal microphone of the festival this year?
JUNIOR EUROVISION 2022
The Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2022 will be held in Yerevan, Armenia, on Sunday 11 December. The Karen Demirchyan Complex will host the show in which artists aged between 9 and 14 from across Europe will battle it out to win the coveted crystal microphone, the trophy for victory at the Eurovision Song Contest.
The organisation of the show by Armenian public broadcaster ARMTV follows the victory of Malena and her “Qami Qami” on stage in Paris on 19 December, which sparked a collective euphoria in her homeland and made the whole country take on the challenge of organising the festival with great enthusiasm and responsibility, which promises to be more special than ever as it celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2022. It will not be the first time that Armenia has hosted a Junior Eurovision, having had the opportunity to do so in 2011, also at the Karen Demirchyan Complex.
A total of 16 countries will finally take to the festival stage to bring a magical evening full of music, dance and fun to the whole of Europe, highlighting the accession of the United Kingdom as a stellar return and regretting the withdrawals of Bulgaria, Germany, Azerbaijan and Russia. Precisely, full of magic will also be the corporate identity and the motto of the edition, Spin The Magic. In this way, ARMTV invites us to travel to a fantasy universe where all the countries become innocent spinning tops, leaving light and hope in their wake. It is also a nod to the 20th anniversary of Junior Eurovision, which has been spinning and promoting European children’s talent year after year for 20 editions.