Wales has chosen their Junior Eurovision Star

Wales has chosen! Erin Mai is the winner of S4C’s Chwilio am Seren and she will represent Wales to take part in the final round of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Belarus in November.

13-year-old Erin, from Llanrwst, North Wales, was chosen in a live public vote during a live special event held at Venue Cymru, Llandudno tonight (September 24).

“I never in a million years imagined that I would win Chwilio am Seren Junior Eurovision! Everyone who has competed tonight on the stage have been amazing. Thanks to everyone for all the support, to Tara and to everyone in Llanrwst! I can’t wait to represent Wales in Poland.”

Over the summer, S4C and production company Rondo Media went on tour to find young stars-in-the-making to represent Wales in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. A series of public auditions saw local halls full of young performers, eager to win their place as a Junior Eurovision star.

In September, in a series of four programmes Chwilio am Seren on S4C, individuals and groups faced a panel of highly experienced mentors – Connie Fisher, Lloyd Macey and Tara Bethan.

They had to choose 20 performers to move on to the mentoring process – then the three had to choose the final six to compete in the finals in Llandudno tonight.

Tara Bethan was Erin’s mentor: “The Chwilio am Seren Junior Eurovision journey has been wonderful. Thanks to everyone who has competed – each and every one of the performers tonight could have represented Wales in the Junior Eurovision. I’m so proud of everyone, and huge congratulations to Erin!”

But, at the end of the day – it was not the mentors that got to choose the winner but the viewers. During tonight’s programme, the public had their say by voting for their favourite to represent Wales.

Tara added: “I got the privilage last year as a mentor to win with Manw, and travelled with her to Minsk to compete in the Junior Eurovision. Winning again this year with Erin is absolutely amazing.”

This year is the second time for Wales to compete as an individual country in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Manw Lili from Rhostryfan won her place to represent Wales last year in Minsk, Belarus, performing Perta by Yws Gwynedd on the European stage.

This year, the song that has been specially created for the competition has been composed by former Eurovision competition performers, Sylvia Strand and Jonathan Gregory, who live in the Rhondda Valley. The song is called Calon yn Curo (Heart Beating), and the lyrics are written by rapper and composer Ed Holden.

The Eurovision Song Contest is a hugely popular event in Europe and across the world. The Junior Eurovision competition for young performers aged between 9-14 years is an equally high profile show and attracts attention from every corner of Europe and beyond. Thousands come to see the live show and millions more watch the programme on television.

Joining Wales in the grand final of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest will be 19 competitors from countries including Ireland, Spain, France and Australia.

The final will be broadcast live from Gliwice, Poland on S4C on Sunday afternoon, November 24 at 3pm.