The 2009 Junior Eurovision Song Contest recently wrapped up its 7th season, seeing its largest viewing audience in its history. An estimated 13 million viewers watched 13 competing countries onstage, beaming alongside 22 Clay Paky Alpha Beam 1500 fixtures. The show was held on November 21 at the Palace of Sports in Kiev, Ukraine, the same location of the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest.
The show is a spin-off of the 53-year-old Eurovision Song Contest, produced by the European Broadcast Union (EBU). It is hosted by the public service broadcaster of the host country, which this year was NTU in Kiev. The show is the biggest song contest in the world for performers aged 10 to 15, who must each compose their own music and lyrics.
The theme of this year's show was “Tree of Life” based on the artwork of renowned Ukrainian folk art painter Maria Primachenko. Lighting Designer Per Sundin created the lighting scheme using a wide array of colour and effects to compliment the theme. The staging incorporated circles, both in stage elements and LED effects, so fat beams felt the obvious choice.
22 Clay Paky Alpha Beam 1500 fixtures were the show-stoppers, with 18 placed at the back of the stage at a 7-metre trim height. “We kept the fixtures a bit low,” explains Sundin, “because we really wanted them to be visible and deliver a really high impact. I used them in every song.” Another 4 fixtures were hung underneath the followspot bus stop over the audience. “They absolutely blew us all away,” said Production Manager Ola Melzig, “They made everything, including Showguns and even the followspots, look like pin spots!”
All lighting equipment was supplied by Zinteco Design in Kiev. Olga Kushpitovska, Co-Owner of Zinteco and Local Production Manager for the show said, “All the warmest words about how happy we were working on this production, how good it was to see the team again and how bright were the Beams! I was very happy over the mutual efforts to put Clay Paky into the equipment list. They made all the difference in the world!”
The conclusion of the show involves a live voting sequence. Citizens of each participating country vote by telephone and SMS, which accounts for 50%. Each country's 10 favourites are awarded 1 to 8, 10 and 12 points based on the number of votes. A jury in each country also has a 50% say in the outcome.
At the end of the evening, The Netherlands took top honours with Ralf singing his song ”Click Clack” and earning 121 points. 14-year-old Ralf Mackenbach is the oldest contest winner in the show's history. Congratulations Ralf!
Next year the show will be held in Minsk, Belarus. For more information about Junior Eurovision, visit www.junioreurovision.tv/.
For more information about the Alpha Beam 1500 and other Clay Paky products, visit www.claypaky.it.
Photos: Sundin Design