Last week esctoday.com revealed the name of the Swiss representative for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Lillehammer. The fact that Demis Mirarchi's Birichino won the children's song festival Mara & Meo in 2002 and that it was released on the Mara & Meo compilation album in 2003, made many wonder whether Switzerland didn't offend against the Song Contest's rules.
According to Switzerland's Italian language broadcaster RTSI there is no problem. Ms Daniela Tami from RTSI told our colleagues of oikotimes.com that “the European Broadcasting Union authorized the exceptional usage of RTSI's entry. The Mara & Meo contest is also based on the format procedure of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.”
RTSI added that there was no time to organize a national final (incuding all the Swiss communities) and that therefore the European Broadcasting Union allowed RTSI to use the Mara & Meo winning song.
Mara & Meo is an annual children's song festival. The 2004 edition was scheduled for November 14th, a date which exceeds the deadlines for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. According to RTSI, from 2005 on, the Mara & Meo contest will be transformed into Junior Eurosong and become the official Swiss preselection show for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.