The first semi-final of Eurovision 2014 is just a few hours away. Sadly six acts will go home and among them will be some very deserving singers. Here are five acts that fell at the first hurdle, but shouldn’t have.
MONTENEGRO, 2013: WHO SEE FT. NINA ZIZIC – IGRANKA
I know dubstep isn’t really everyone’s cup of tea. However, I think this entry really deserved to go through. One of the wonderful things about Eurovision is how it, sometimes belatedly reflects even minor changes in musical subculture. Dubstep is the only dance sub-genre worth giving a damn about right now. To date, it has only been done justice by Who See.
The song was immensely catchy, and on stage it was interesting to watch. Certainly, it deserved to go through ahead on entries that were so boring they made me want to cry (ahem, Andrius Pojavis and Dina Garipova). Admittedly, they were better on the record than live on stage, but then again, the influence of the darker elements of the European bass scene were never going to resonate with a Eurovision audience.
FINLAND, 2012: PERNILLA KARLSSON – NAR JAG BLUNDAR
Several genres apart from Igranka, Nar Jag Blundar was neo-classical pop entry that narrowly missed out on qualification, finishing in 12th place. It was a refreshing cello-driven sorbet in a feast of pop music, and I think it deserved better critical acclaim than that which it received. More than that, it was sung beautifully in Swedish by a young lady named Pernilla Karlsson.
It was Finland’s best entry since Lordi – but it was let down by voters. In my view, it exceeds the quality of Krista Siegfrieds entry in 2013 by quite some way. The real tragedy in all this is that it was beaten by songs I wouldn’t give a second listen to if I were paid. Compact Disco qualified ahead. Why?
BELGIUM, 2011: WITLOOF BAY – WITH LOVE
An acapella entry, With Love missed out even more narrowly on qualification, finishing in 11th place. If it had been my decision, it would have won the semi-final outright. There are two words which I’d use to describe this song: raw talent. I had trusted that it would get through on the strength of the beat-box section, which I had mistakenly thought might capture the vote of “da youth”. Unfortunately, “da youth” were too busy sending more terrible acts through – worst of all, the woman with the world’s most annoying backing dancers – Getter Jaani – and the ironically named So Lucky by Moldovan ska-gnome outfit Zdob ?i Zdub.
LITHUANIA, 2010: INCULTO – EASTERN EUROPEAN FUNK
There is a general consensus that politics should really have no place in Eurovision. However, in 2010 a small band of sparkly-trousered men named InCulto took the stage in Oslo. It was a tongue in cheek jibe about the state of the Eastern-European in Western civilisation: “survived the Reds and two World Wars” particularly stuck out. However, the song was above all else ferociously catchy, with a trumpet line to die for. The lyrics were catchy, had a message and far exceeded the the talents of acts in the final.
Perhaps it was the seeding of performance number one that did for InCulto in the end, but it really should have qualified over the entries of Niamh “Very, very far away from past glories” Kavanagh, and Chanée and N’evergreen, whose song sounded rather uncomfortably similar to The Police’s “Every Breath You Take”.
THE NETHERLANDS, 2008: THE TOPPERS – SHINE
…just kidding. I’d like one of their suits though.
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Chris Wood contributed this report from the UK. Follow him on Twitter at @crwexe. You can also keep up-to-date on the latest Eurovision news and gossip by following the team on Twitter @wiwibloggs and by liking our Facebook page.
Photo: Sander Hesterman (EBU)