The Australian flag was flying high in Eastern Europe in support of Melbourne teen Bella Paige as she took to the stage on Saturday November 21 in Sofia, Bulgaria as Australia’s first representative in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. And she certainly didn’t disappoint, delivering a fabulous rendition of her first single, the Delta Goodrem co-penned “My Girls”, in Arena Armeec backed by two dancers and swathed in a golden backdrop.
Prior to the landing in host nation Bulgaria, Bella had said that she was “humbled” by the “talent” of the other 16 competitors vying for the title of Junior Eurovision.
And as she also predicted, Bella’s opposition brought it. From Slovenians in virtual snow-globes (Lina Kuduzovic, who took 3rd place with "Prva Ijubezen") to Ukranian’s emerging from mirrorball blossoms to the best Dad-dancing ever by an Armenian lad in a hot pink suit (MIKA, who took 2nd place with "Love"), this was a contest with all the hallmarks of the adult version and a sprinkle or two of craziness.
But the night belonged to Malta’s Destiny Chukunyere, whose CeeLo Green inspired “Not My Soul” proved to be the standout song of the evening. Malta was awarded its second Junior Eurovision victory with a record breaking score. But it was a close run race… and it was not until the final votes of the night were awarded that a clear winner became apparent.
Bella finally finished the evening in a very respectable 8th position and is now a permanent part of Australia’s growing Eurovision performer history.
Talented Aussie teenager Ellie Blackwell also had her moment on the international stage, professionally delivering the Australian vote for the contest - minus the histrionics of a couple of the other nation’s presenters.
Congratulations Bella and Ellie – we could not be prouder.