Israel comes in 14th place at Junior Eurovision

Poland took the top prize at the song contest for children held this year in Minsk.

NOAM DADON performs at a rehearsal last week for the Junior Eurovision in Minsk (photo credit: ANDRES PUTTING)
NOAM DADON performs at a rehearsal last week for the Junior Eurovision in Minsk
(photo credit: ANDRES PUTTING)
Israel's Noam Dadon placed 14th at the Junior Eurovision competition in Minsk, Belarus on Sunday evening.
The big winner of the night was Poland’s Roksana Węgiel, a 13-year-old singer who performed “Anyone I Want to Be.” The song, in Polish and English, was an upbeat power anthem with lyrics like “Life’s never really black or white/ There’s more to it than meets the eye/ I speak my mind and now I know I can be/ Anyone I want to be.”
While Dadon came in just 14th out of 20, the 13-year-old from Yeruham performed his sweet, simple Hebrew song “Children Like These” admirably. Among just the online voters, Israel came in 11th out of 20.
Twenty countries participated in the Junior Eurovision competition this year – a song contest for 9-to-14-year-olds organized by the European Broadcasting Union. This is the largest number of participating countries since the contest began in 2003.
Dadon, a shy teen whose father owns a pizzeria, performs at weddings and bar mitzvah celebrations of friends and family – and loves playing soccer.
“My dream is by age 20 to appear at the Caesarea Ampitheater,” Dadon said in a short video introducing him produced by Israeli public broadcaster KAN.
And at age 30? “To appear again at the Ceasarea Ampitheater.”
Earlier this year, Dadon beat out five other Israeli children for the right to represent Israel this year at the Junior Eurovision.
This year marked just the third time Israel has participated in the Junior Eurovision contest in the competition’s 16-year history. In 2012, Israel came in 8th place out of 12, and in 2016 it placed 15th out of the 17 countries competing.
Unlike in the Eurovision, voters from all across the globe were able to cast their votes for the Junior Eurovision competition. Countries were also able to vote for themselves online, leading to some criticism that such a system favors those countries with larger populations. The final score at the Junior Eurovision is composed of 50% the online vote and 50% of national juries made up of both industry professionals and children.
This year, Israel's jury gave its highest number of points to Georgia, and its second highest to Malta.
Second place in the 2018 contest went to France, while Australia came in third.