Now that all the songs have been selected for the 61st Eurovision Song Contest, we enter the quiet period before the artists make their way to Stockholm in May. But fear not, as we’re launching a competition to keep the Eurovision soul pumping through your veins: Alternative Eurovision.

The contest features exactly the same artists. They’re competing in identical semi-finals for the opportunity to win the Alternative Eurovision trophy in our grand final. The twist is that they won’t be competing with their Eurovision entry – but instead with another song from their repertoire, carefully selected by our Wiwi Jury. So let’s delve into the musical history of our 2016 contestants as we search for the ultimate Alternative Eurovision entry.

*Unfortunately Germany and UK cannot participate in the contest, as they are yet to release original material (other than their ESC entries).

Armenia: Iveta Mukuchyan “Summer Rain”

Back in 2014 Mukuchyan teamed up with Armenian DJ Lazzaro to bring us the upbeat banger “Summer Rain”. With vocals stronger than Farid Mammadov’s biceps, Iveta slays on the international aqua park anthem.

Austria: Zoë “Adieu”

Say bonjour to Zoë, who is singing the French-language track “Adieu” with her signature sensuality and style. She took the song all the way to third place in Austria’s 2015 national selection for Eurovision.

Azerbaijan: Samra “O sevir”

https://youtu.be/Mk2xZCk8Dc8

If there are any straight men out there, this one’s for you. Watch the beauty that is Samra Rahimli splaying herself along a beach, whist illustrating perfectly why Azerbaijan employs Swedes each year to write their Eurovision entries.

Bosnia & Herzegovina: Deen “Deset Miliona Ljubavi”

There’s nothing like a slice of the 2002 Bosnian music industry to brighten up your evening. Let Deen take you back in the disco with one of his earlier hits, the glittery euro-dance number “Ten Million Loves”.

Croatia: Nina Kraljic “Zaljuljali Smo Svijet”

After winning The Voice Croatia, Kraljic went on to release her debut single, “We swung the world”. The song follows the similar mysterious, ethnic vibes to her Eurovision entry, but is sung in her slavic mother tongue.

Cyprus: Minus One “Shine”

National final followers will remember that Minus One attempted to represent their island last year with the rock number, “Shine”. The song won the jury vote, but came last in the televote, leaving them lingering in third place. Do you think they deserved better?

Czech Republic: Gabriela Gunciková “Cerny andel”

Don’t be fooled by the flowers in her hair – “Black Angel” is just as dark as the title suggests. Ms Guncíková sings of God, the devil and being saved from eternal darkness in her 2013 satanic rock hymn.

Estonia: Jüri Pootsmann “I Remember U”

Eesti Laul’s third place finisher, Cartoon, recently teamed up with the winner – Jüri Pootsmann (duh) – to show us a more colourful side to Juri’s stern looks, in the drum-and-bass anthem “I Remember U”.

Finland: Sandhja “Hold Me”

Finland swaps tundra and pine forests for deserts and grasslands in Sandhja’s 2013 single, “Hold Me”. This woman still oozes soul, but allows us to see her vulnerable side too.

Greece: Argo “Den mou kaneis”

Ethno-hip-hop is what they do, and ethno-hip-hop is what you will get. Europond – who changed their name to Argo for Eurovision – turn up the heat in their 2012 single “You’re Not Enough.”

Hungary: Freddie “Mary Joe”

Shortly after finishing fourth on Hungary’s Rising Star, Gábor Alfréd Fehérvári – or Freddie as we now know him – released his debut single, “Mary Joe”. Prepare yourselves for ‘pockets full of soul,’ as he swaps his Eastern gongs for a Western harmonica.

Iceland: Greta Salóme “We Are”

Let one of Iceland’s most coveted songwriters transport you to a Northern utopia with the magical ballad, “We Are”. The song features on her debut album, In The Silence, released in 2012.

Malta: Ira Losco “Shoudn’t Have To Bother”

Only Ira could make gutting a fish on a precarious pontoon look sexy. She represents Malta with her 2014 summer hit, “Shouldn’t Have To Bother” — a song even sunnier than the Mediterranean island itself.

Moldova: Lidia Isac “I Can’t Breathe”

And now for a flashback to last year’s O Melodie Pentru Europa 2015, when Lidia Isac was competing with the super saxy dance number, “I Can’t Breathe”. Hopefully y’all are feeling this more than Moldova was – in the final she finished in joint last place, with a grand total of nul points.

Montenegro: Highway “Sam”

After finishing in fourth place on X Factor Adria last year, Highway went on to release their debut single, “Myself,” in November. The band give you the unique opportunity to listen to Balkan rock whilst looking at Balkan rocks – oh you do spoil us Montenegro!

Netherlands: Douwe Bob “Can’t Slow Down”

Since winning De beste singer-songwriter van Nederland in 2012, Douwe has gone on to release two albums. In his latest album he raises the tempo from his ESC entry with the contradictorily named “Can’t Slow Down”. Someone please do him a favour and install cruise control!

Russia: Sergey Lazarev “7 Wonders”

Ever fancied travelling the world with an outstandingly attractive Russian superstar? Well, we can dream. Meanwhile, enjoy his 2014 single, “7 Wonders” – accompanied by a music video more expensive than Serhat’s bribe to SMTV.

San Marino: Serhat “Je M’adore”

If you’re in the mood for some Turkish-Sammarinese electro-swing realness, then look no further than Serhat’s 2014 single, “Je M’Adore”. Mr Hacipasalioglu follows the first rule of making people like you, by telling the world that he adores himself.

Now that you have heard all 18 entries, it’s time to cast your vote. Just like at the actual Eurovision, you can vote for as many countries as you like — however you can only vote once, so choose wisely. Be sure to click the box next to each act you want to support before pressing submit.

The 10 acts with the most votes will advance to the final, along with the qualifiers from semi final 2 (which we will launch imminently) and the automatic qualifiers. Europe… start voting NOW!

View semi-final 1 results here

Vote in more of our Eurovision 2016 polls

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Guest

malta 12 points

Nari
Guest
Nari

Guys, It’s not the aqua park of Armenia, it is the center of the city Yerevan, during the Vardavar festival .
Cool contest btw

Mariam
Guest
Mariam

Dear wiwiblogs,
Thanks for using this cool video. I think that it will be interesting for you to know that Armenian video hasn’t been shoot in any waterpark, it is small decorative lake in Yerevan’s heart so called Swan Lake (Kanye West jumped in this lake during his concert, maybe you heard of it). Every year in summer Armenia celebrates holiday “Vardavar”, it is day when all water others in the streets, yards, everywhere everyone… This video is taken from one of Vardavar’s cool days.

Diane
Guest
Diane

Shouldn’t Have To Bother – Ira Losco

MALTA <3

Brian Kelly
Guest
Brian Kelly

Blah-blah-blah. All of voters just vote for their eurovision favourite: TOPs are the same. What sense of this trash?.. By the way, #offtop, Jamala will be on LIVE of Hromadske TV tomorrow. I hope there will be something interesting C:

Munnipea
Guest
Munnipea

I think Jüri Pootsmann’s “Aga Siis” would have been more interesting choice.

Bobica
Guest

Better choice for Bosnia ( Deen) would be this song.He is that blonde singer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRIkVZ1F4Vw&nohtml5=False

Shona
Guest
Shona

Sergeys 7 wonders is OK. But i love his song take it off much better. Had he taken that to eurovision he could’ve got an easy winning. You are the only one appeals only to some.

cheesecake
Guest
cheesecake

1 Estonia !!!
2 Russia !!
3 Armenia
4 Austria
5 Moldova

WTF
Guest
WTF

Some of these are much better than their actual Eurovision songs, like Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic and Finland… Estonia, Netherlands and Hungary are nice choices, also.

Hayley
Guest
Hayley

Lol, Douwe’s song is like a replay on his Eurovision song xD

Héctor
Guest
Héctor

Estonia, Czech Rep. and Armenia

Objective
Guest
Objective

“Hold Me” by Sandhja is classy and emotive – people should give her a chance and not just gloss over her because of her Eurovision entry.

John Doe
Guest
John Doe

@Florence
I don’t think so. Andras Kallay-Saunders wrote the song, that’s it.

Florence
Guest
Florence

Freddie sounds a little bit same as Andras Kallay-Saunders in Mary Joe 😀

John Doe
Guest
John Doe

Zoe, Nina, Minus One, Jury, Freddie, Douwe Bob

Tom
Guest
Tom

Croatia, no competition. Had Nina sent Zaljuljali smo svijet it would’ve been my outright favourite. Such a beautiful song and ethereal vocals.

Rekli su nam nemoj, mi smo sanjali, leptirovim krilom zid pomaknuli.. <3

Timbardur62
Guest
Timbardur62

Sandhja’s Hold me – a world class smashing song. Listen to and not just vote after the names of the countries.

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

@oooops

well i also quite like San Marino, it’s so bad, that it’s really funny it puts a smile on my face 🙂

but i like your 10 favourites

oooops
Guest
oooops

“La Vida Sola es Una” is a copy of ARGO’s song.
Here are my 10 favourites(alphabetic order):
Armenia
Austria
Azerbajdzjan
Estonia
Greece
Hungary
Iceland
Malta
Moldova
And my last finalist(and Favourite)…
San Marino

But Germany and UK could be represented by another finalist in their finals, Germany could be represented by Avantasia and “Mystery of a blood red rose” and UK could be represented by Darline.

And Sweden will sing “Who’s da man”

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

Ira of course 🙂

but Samra is a good 2nd

#TeamIra&Samra 🙂 🙂

Daniel
Guest

For me it’s either 7 wonders or Mary Joe

suzy
Guest
suzy

Azerbaijan’s song is way better than what Swedes composed for them. They need to come up with their own production next years!! Loved the song.

Anton
Guest
Anton

40 countries in Stockholm, but nothing that compares to you!

Zagreb2017
Guest
Zagreb2017

Nina Kraljic and her amazing Voice 😀 #ZAGREB2017

Hugh
Guest
Hugh

Not choosing Aga Siis for Juri is a crime. A crime I say!

Olga from Latvia
Guest
Olga from Latvia

I wonder what you’ve chose for Justs, as he don’t have much to choose from.

Gugl
Guest
Gugl

Zoe, what else 🙂

Antranig Shokayan
Editor

Estonia is a cut above the rest out of this lot!

OhYeah!
Guest
OhYeah!

Serhat all the way to the victory.

#SerhatRepresentsMe