The Kiddy Contest is a tradition in all German-speaking countries since 1995. It is a singing competition for children between 8 and 13 years old who sing up-to-date pop hits, albeit the lyrics are in German and adapted to a younger audience.
This year Zoë was invited to sing as a guest performer between acts at the big finale. It was not by chance, Zoë participated twice in the Kiddy Contest when she was younger. We asked her to tell us the story of her very own Kiddy Contest.
Did you used to watch the Kiddy Contest on TV?
Absolutely! Although the Kiddy Contest is an Austrian format, the contestants come both from Austria and Germany, sometimes even Switzerland. As a child I thought of it as a huge thing, so exotic! The first time I watched it I was maybe 6 years old, it must have been 2002, and I remember I immediately jumped and said “I want to do that!”.
Did you enter the contest as soon as possible?
(laughs) My parents made me wait until 2006, by then I was 10 and they couldn’t resist my complaints any longer! I made a video and sent it to the production. I was hiking in the mountains with my grandparents when my mom called with big news, the Kiddy Contest had invited me to the audition! I was so excited I cried from joy.
Now that I think of it, there was a lot of crying involved with the whole Kiddy Contest affair!
What happened at the audition?
I was competing directly against this girl, we had the same song assigned and normally only one child per song gets selected. She was chosen instead of me because she could dance – in my childish opinion, of course – and I was so sad that I cried.
What happened to her?
She won the Kiddy Contest, imagine! I was so mad that I cried again! That could have been me!
The following year my grandmother took things in her hands and helped me. She bought me a new dress especially for the occasion and even took me to a dance teacher…
(laughs) The fact that I couldn’t dance crushed me! I had ballet classes when I was 7, my best friend wanted to do that together, and I thought I was a super dancer! In reality I only looked at the teacher, not at my reflection in the mirror, so I only imagined I was doing the same movements as the teacher… there is this pic my mother took during the class that tells a whole different story: I was always out of time or doing an entirely different move! My best friend was as untalented as I and at the end of the year’s school performance the teacher hid both of us in the very last row. And after that she told my mom “Zoë shouldn’t really focus on dancing in her future”. That’s why I was so mad, because my thing with dancing went back in time a lot…
What did you learn?
Not much, to tell the truth! I was, and still am, a bad dancer! (giggles) He taught me a little choreography, just some basic movements, really, but I felt more confident and that was important.
How did it go the second time?
At the audition I met this girl from Carinthia, Julia, and we immediately hit it off. Unfortunately she was also my direct competitor as she got the same song assigned as myself. It was a strange situation – to compete against someone you consider your best friend. And – again! – she was a terrific dancer! Really, my nemesis, she’s a professional dancer now! (giggles) We compared our routine before performing the audition and I was so intimidated by her dancing… the moves I was so proud of looked very, very basic compared to hers.
We performed separately and then waited in the same room with all the other children for the names of the chosen ones to be called. When I heard her name I understood I was out – dammit! – I was about to cry, then I heard my name too! So we cried together.
They kept both of us and assigned me a different song. It was a cute slow song about me loving my parents so much… so cute! Then there was a three day Kiddy Contest Camp, then the big show. It went pretty well.
The cutest girl! (laughs) It’s always the cutest ones!
I probably looked too old, actually. I remember one year later the Kiddy Contest discarded me for a job as a host because I looked older than the age limit, which was 12. So strange, I couldn’t understand why. I was 12.
How do you remember the Kiddy Contest overall, was it a good experience?
Oh yes, I have very fond memories of the Kiddy Contest. It was a nice way to collect some early experience in the show business.
The big live finale takes place Nov. 7, 2015, in the Wiener Stadthalle, Vienna, Austria.