Eurovision scores are made up of a 50/50 split between the public televote and juries of music experts. Most of the time they both agree on the best, but every year there are a few songs that the juries like a lot more than the public. We’re ranking the songs that didn’t make it out of the semi-finals but still were placed in the top ten with the juries.

Note: we’re looking at songs from 2010 onwards, when the televote-jury split was first made public. To determine the ranking, we’re looking at the televote top ten placings, using the percentage of available points for tie-breaks. In the case of songs from 2013, when the split scores were not made public, we’re just using the rank and our general wiwi instinct for any tie-breaks.

22. Highway – “The Real Thing” (Montenegro 2016)

Jury: 10th place (46 points)
Televote: 17th place (14 points)
Overall: 13th place (60 points)

While the X Factor Adria boy band Highway placed second to last in the televote, they had better luck with juries. Jurors in Armenia and San Marino were especially taken by their edgy rock, awarding 10 points apiece.

21. ManuElla – “Blue and Red” (Slovenia 2016)

Jury: 10th place (49 points)
Televote: 17th place (8 points)
Overall: 14th place (57 points)

Televoters weren’t so impressed with ManuElla’s country pop and placed her second to last, but it was a different story with the jury. ManuElla’s skilful vocals (and her pole dancer) made it to 10th place in the jury’s rankings.

20. Gjoko Taneski, Billy Zver and Pejcin – “Jas ja imam silata” (FYR Macedonia 2010)

Jury: 10th place (62 points)
Televote: 15th place (30 points)
Overall: 15th place (37 points)

Eurovision tradition dictates that rap songs do better with televoters than with juries — but “Jas ja imam silata” is a notable exception. The song combined dramatic rock with a bold Balkan rap that would impress jurors and pave the way for Jala’s guest rap in 2016.

19. Tanja – “Amazing” (Estonia 2014)

Jury: 10th place (61 points)
Televote: 16th place (13 points)
Overall: 12th place (36 points)

Experienced musical theatre performer Tanja could sing and perform complicated choreography at the same time. While juries recognised this talent and ranked Tanja tenth, to viewers it seemed impossible and looked like Tanja was miming, so “Amazing” came last in the televote.

18. Valentina Monetta – “Crisalide (Vola)” (San Marino 2013)

Jury: 10th place (8.40 average rank)
Televote: 12th place (9.47 average rank)
Overall: 11th place (47 points)

Valentina was back for her second attempt, this time with a much stronger song than the novelty pop of 2012’s “The Social Network Song”. The jury were feeling her IKEA lamp and Italian pop ballad realness, and ranked San Marino tenth, narrowly missing out in 11th place overall.

17. Malcolm Lincoln and Manpower 4 – “Siren” (Estonia 2010)

Jury: 9th place (64 points)
Televote: 16th place (22 points)
Overall: 14th place (39 points)

So there was the Estonian indie pop act, with a moody stripped-back sound, velvet jackets, and a thing for silent L’s. The viewing public weren’t impressed, ranking Malcolm Lincoln last in the televote. But the jury liked what they heard and put “Siren” in ninth place.

16. Moran Mazor – “Rak Bishvilo” (Israel 2013)

Jury: 9th place (7.95 average rank)
Televote: 14th place (10.67 average rank)
Overall: 14th place (40 points)

While “Rak Bishvilo” did have a fan following, the Hebrew ballad wasn’t popular enough to win over televoters. But juries had a different perspective, and were sufficiently impressed by Moran Mazor’s vocal abilities and the raw emotion of the song to rank Israel ninth.

15. TWiiNS – “I’m Still Alive” (Slovakia 2011)

Jury: 9th place (71 points)
Televote: 16th place (40 points)
Overall: 13th place (48 points)

“I’m Still Alive” was criticised for being repetitive, with an monotonous and intrusive drumbeat. The public agreed, ranking Slovakia 16th. But the jury were kinder, perhaps seduced by the TWiiNS’ sweet vocal harmonies, and ranked tham 9th.

14. Hersi – “One Night’s Anger” (Albania 2014)

Jury: 9th place (64 points)
Televote: 14th place (23 points)
Overall: 15th place (22 points)

After winning Festivali i Këngës 52, “One Night’s Anger” went through the usual revamp, dropping the orchestral dramatics but keeping the Albanian guitar solo. The public weren’t so impressed, but the jury recognised Hersi’s gentle but powerful vocals and the journey of the song and ranked it ninth.

13. Izabo – “Time” (Israel 2012)

Jury: 9th place (72 points)
Televote: 16th place (16 points)
Overall: 13th place (33 points)

Indie rock band Izabo brought the quirky “Time” to Baku. Rock doesn’t always do well at Eurovision, so it wasn’t all that surprising that it wasn’t a hit with televoters. But the infectious pop hooks worked their magic on the jury who ranked Israel ninth.

12. Anri Jokhadze – “I’m a Joker” (Georgia 2012)

Jury: 8th place (62 points)
Televote: 18th place (15 points)
Overall: 14th place (36 place)

“I’m a Joker” was a Marmite entry – televoters didn’t like it and placed it last, while the jury were fans, ranking it eighth. What was it about the crazy Georgian cabaret number that so impressed the jury? Well, it could be the substantial vocal talents of Anri Jokhadze, with the song showing off his versatile and expressive vocal range.

  • Also see the definitive ranking of non-qualifying jury favourites – part one and part two.

What do you think? Should any of these songs have made the final? Should the juries have more power? Share your thoughts below!

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Colin
Guest
@Neil I agree about Estonia 2010. A very different song which was still quite good and somehow haunting in an oddest way possible. I like it. Hersi – One Night’s Anger is a whole different story for me. It could have been good, but they had to do what Albania does best (or worst) and that is translate it. What’s funny is that despite that the lyrics managed not to be f-ed up to a degree of losing it’s purpose. But, the issue was Hersi couldn’t pronounce two straight words in English – she sounded like her mouth was full… Read more »
Doorioo
Guest

@ Maya – I agree with everything you write!

Doorioo
Guest

@Neil – I agree with you when it comes to Estonia 2010

But not about calling Armenia 2013 bland. It was composed by the Tony Iommi of the legendary Black Sabbath. Quite a remarkable name at the list of ESC songwriters. I think the song is a good hardrock ballad. Could have been a bit more powerful maybe. Rock songs are always welcome

Neil
Guest

Moran was robbed, end of. How could a bland song from Armenia make the final over such a passionate and heartfelt ballad? Granted she should have covered her titties up, but she has a fantastic voice.

Estonia 2010 – another robbed song. Very “British” sounding and would have scored well if we voted in that semi with both the British jurors and public. Something totally out there and different.

Maya G
Guest

@Robyn I also LOVE ‘Time’ and I think it’s one of the best songs we’ve sent. If you’re watching ‘Orange is the New Black’ you may have noticed Izabo’s song ‘Cook Me’ was featured in the last episode.
It seems they made an effort with the stage presentation, but I think they took it in the wrong direction. Should have had a grungier Indie feel to it IMO, something more in the spirit of their second video (the one with the animated xeroxed heads https://youtu.be/rQ1jkbQOfUM ).

Maya G
Guest

Of the songs in this article I really love Montenegro 2016 and Estonia 2010, both are incredible songs with a great performance, both are avant-garde in Eurovision terms. Kudos to Montenegro and Estonia for making bold choices, it may not always pay off scoreboard-wise, but some times, as sang and demonstrated by Lordi, “it’s who dares, wins”. And it also makes for a much more exciting and diverse show. Imagine having to sit through three hours of nothing but Swedish pop.

Colin
Guest

A mixed bag as usual. Some great songs were snubbed by the televote while some awful ones thankfully didn’t pass despite juries surprisingly liking them.

Clyde
Guest

I have to correect myself. What I meant to say was:

All of these songs are good – apart from Israel 2013. Thus – not Israel 2016. But I didn’t like that one either, for that matter.

Some of the songs are pure gold. Esp. Israel 2012 – “Time” is really a fantastic song in my opinion.

Denis
Guest

Love how everyone moans about the jury being clueless yet in most of these cases they actually did right. Like choosing Izabo, while the viewers who supposedly know much better didn’t like it. Same with Moran Mazor who was flawless in her performance, despite the outfit

Kris
Guest

I’m still alive was better than half the songs that were in the semi that year……..repetitive maybe but repetition of something good is still good

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

Only Crisalide and I’m Still Alive deserved it out of this bunch. Still, I’m #Team100%Televote

Maria
Guest
I LOVE Jas Ja Imam Silata. It really deserved a better position, because it simply combines rock with rap, and the guitar solo might be the best in the history of Eurovision! And great, two songs I hated back in 2012 are now two catchy songs imo. I’m a Joker is epic and Time is actually really good. I’m digging indie/brit pop a lot at the moment. That’s why Midnight Gold became one of my favourites after the show! I still can’t stand Rak Bishvilo and One Night’s Anger, though. The rest of the list is great (I now appreciate… Read more »
Briekimchi
Guest

Some good songs on here (not from this year, of course!). Particularly think the jury got it right with Anri Jokhadze. I still listen to that, now.

(J)ESC Fanatic
Guest

Most of these entries deserved to qualify, especially “Rak Bishvilo”, the robbed masterpiece!

I know everyone is going to bash me for saying this but I think the juries should have more power. 75% jury and 25% televoting. Also, more jury members per country and the voting system would be perfect.

DoubleH
Guest

With those examples… i should say no ! No more power to the Jury !

Kris
Guest

Love the article…..thanks Robyn 🙂

Denis
Guest

Not saying they all deserved a spot in the final but I get why the juries liked them. Montenegro was a very edgy entry that perhaps was before it’s time. And Georgia had vocal talents which the song showed off. And Izabo was great, don’t know why the tele-voters didn’t like it.

Nicola
Guest

Were the juries in Georgia’s semi final on crack????
That song DID NOT deserve to come 8th with the juries. That song was one of the worst in 2012.
(Pls respect my opinion)

Clyde
Guest

Thankfully we have juries – they sometimes give less “commercial” songs a chance to do well! Commerical pop songs can be nice too though, but they are seldom among my personal favourites.

“Time” is one of the best ever ESC-songs I think. Brilliant mix of rock, indiepop and britpop. Three music styles I love a lot!

I also think the juries hit the right spot this year concerning Slovenia and Montenegro. i like country music. As for Montenegro, it’s perhaps the most underrated song this year.

The only song I dislike here is the Israeli entry of 2016.

Doorioo
Guest

Some original quality songs:

MacedonIa / Estonia 2010
Israel / Georgia 2012