MINSK (Reuters Life!) - Former Soviet Armenia won the Junior Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday as a new generation continued eastern Europe’s domination of the continent’s most popular song competition.
Ancient political rivalries drive voting in the contest for 10-15 year olds, just like the grown-up version, as nations across Europe vote for each others’ song and dance routines.
And like the main contest, former communist countries from central and eastern Europe dominate.
Vladimir Arzumanyan, a 12-year-old from former Soviet Armenia, won the show with his song “Mama,” beating Russia into second place by one point. Serbia was third, followed by Georgia and host country Belarus.
Commentators in some west European countries have suggested pulling out of Eurovision in exasperation at the success of eastern countries, who they say tend to vote for each other.
Western nations had dominated the competition until east European countries joined in large numbers in the 1990s after the collapse of communism in Europe.
Writing by Moscow newsroom