JESC Rules

The first ever Junior Eurovision Song Contest (JESC ) took place in Denmark, in 2003. There are some differences between JESC and ESC 

Winning country is not given right to automatically host next edition of JESC as it happens inESC. Up till 2009 the next hosting country was selected before the current edition to avoid extra pressure on kids and was usually made in spring-autumn of the previous year, however, since that it has usually been delayed till December/January after current JESC with winning country getting first refusal option in opportunity to host next year.

Maximum of 18 countries are allowed to take part in the JESC, while currently up to 45 countries are allowed to take part in ESC.

Originally it was the competition for children between the ages of 8 and 15, however since 2007 the age limit has been narrowed and only children aged 10 to 15 (inclusive) were allowed to participate. In 2016 the age limit has been changed and currently only children aged 9 to 14  are allowed.

Up to 2013 in JESC each artist representing his country must be selected from the National Selection with Tele-voting, while in ESC selection method is free to broadcaster to choose. The obligatory pre selection rule has been dropped in 2014. The change of the song after national selection is not allowed in JESC . It is recommended to organize national selection within 3 months prior to the contest.

Songs, taking part in JESC should be less than 3 minutes long ( before 2013 the limit was set between 2:30 and 2:45). Thus currently same rules as in ESC applies.

Songs should be performed only in national language of the country, with a maximum of 25 percent of the full lyrics may be in another language; while ESC is favoring free-language rule.

Since 2008 the rules allow professionals to officially help children in the process of writing and composing the contest entry, provided that song rights still remain solely with children.

Up to 8 participants were allowed on stage in JESC till 2008, however in 2008 the rule has been changed and now is same as at ESC – 6 persons on stage. Prerecorded backing vocals are allowed in JESC.

In 2008 final score of the songs in each country of the Participating Broadcasters which broadcast the Contest live be calculated on both the results of the televoting and of the Back-up Jury’s votes on 50-50% basis. Same system has been brought into ESC since 2009. At JESC, compared to ESC, separated results of televoting and Jury vote are not published.

Starting from 2008, national juries have to include 6 persons, all of them music professionals older than 16 years. The ESC uses five people all of them being music professionals. In 2012 Junior Jury was introduced, that includes one kid from each of participating country.

Every contestant in JESC has automatically been awarded 12 points to prevent the disappointment of children getting low score or zero points.

At present a total of 31 countries with broadcasters being members of the EBU have taken part in the contest. The Most successful countries are: Georgia (2x1st); Belarus (2x1st); Armenia (1x1st, 2x2nd); Russia (1x1st, 2x2nd) and Spain (1x1st, 2x2nd).


It was announced that the 2016 contest would be moving from its traditional Saturday night slot to a Sunday afternoon, these changes are to make the contest more suitable for a younger audience.

Originally Junior Eurovision was open to children between the ages of eight and fifteen. In 2007, this was narrowed to children between the ages of ten and fifteen. Now the age brackets are being lowered to nine and fourteen. So whilst nine year old performers across Europe rejoice, 15 year olds are left in a limbo where they can’t compete in either Junior Eurovision or its parent contest. Eurovision requires entrants to be 16 or over.

EBU, alongside the Maltese broadcaster TVM, have revealed still more adjustments. They made the announcements during the JESC press conference at Eurovision 2016 in Stockholm.

The biggest change to the competition is the elimination of the televote. Moving forward voting will consist of a 50/50 split between a professional jury and a kids jury. In recent years the program has experienced a significant decrease in the number of viewers casting votes, so they’ve decided just to skip that step altogether.

The voting presentation will also change. The points total from the adult juries will appear on the scoreboard first, before child representatives from all competing nations come onto the stage and award the points from their kid’s jury.

New voting method for 2017

The voting rules for 2017 Junior Eurovision Song Contest (JESC) have changed. For the first time in the history of the musical competition, the audience will have the opportunity to vote online in support of their favorite contender.

Voting on JESC official page will begin as of November 24. The viewers will be able to support no more than 5 candidates.

Online voting procedure will stop on November 26 before start of the grand show and will resume for 15 minutes after all the 16 contenders will have performed on stage. Online votes will appear on the board as points.

The winner of the contest will be revealed jointly through evaluation of the international jury and number of online voting points.

Voting method for 2018 JESC