Following the success of “1944” and “Sound of Silence” in Stockholm, it seemed that almost everyone wanted to take a powerful ballad to Eurovision 2017. But how did all the ballads do in Kyiv? We take a look at the ballads entered in the contest this year — first up, the songs that didn’t make it out of the semi-finals.
Note: We’re roughly defining a ballad as a slow tempo song with a strong emotional theme to its lyrics. However, we’ve also included a few mid-tempo songs that have a ballad feeling to them. Your definition of what a ballad is may vary — but that’s ok.
17. Slovenia: Omar Naber “On My Way”
Semi-final: 17th (36 points)
Omar Naber’s ’80s-style anthem of self-reliance might have been a hit with Slovenian national final jurors, but didn’t translate to Eurovision. Slovenia performed second-to-last in their semi-final, usually a strong place in the running order. Instead the performance position was also their overall place on the scoreboard – second-to-last in 17th place with only 36 points.
16. Malta: Claudia Faniello “Breathlessly”
Semi-final: 16th (55 points)
After nine attempts at representing her country, Claudia Faniello finally got her big break. But while the classic-sounding country-tinged ballad “Breathlessly” had wowed televoters at the Maltese national final, the same could not be said about Eurovision. Malta scored nil points in the semi-final televote, and only received 55 points from the jury vote, putting it in 16th place overall.
15. Iceland: Svala “Paper”
Semi-final: 15th (60 points)
Edgy Icelandic performer Svala had the mid-tempo ballad “Paper”. Her song won the televote, jury vote and super final of Iceland’s national final, but had less luck in Kyiv. While Svala delivered powerhouse vocals, fans agreed that the song was let down by its unfocused staging. Iceland placed 15th with 60 points.
14. Albania: Lindita “World”
Semi-final: 14th (76 points)
Lindta won Festivali i Këngës with the dramatic ballad “Botë”, which was later transformed into the English-language “World”. Lindita delivered bold, dramatic vocals with long and strong notes, but it wasn’t enough to make it into the final. Albania placed 14th with 76 points.
13. Czech Republic: Martina Bárta “My Turn”
Semi-final: 13th (83 points)
Jazz singer Martina Bárta was internally selected by the Czech broadcaster, with the gentle ballad “My Turn”. While her costume of a gold jumpsuit and a flesh-tone bra puzzled some viewers, fans agreed she gave a stellar vocal performance. Juries placed it seventh, but televoters weren’t feeling the love and ranked it last with only two points. The Czech Republic placed 13th with only 83 points.
12. Ireland: Brendan Murray “Dying to Try”
Semi-final: 13th (86 points)
Brendan Murray, a former member of Irish boyband HomeTown, was internally selected. He performed the sweet but old-fashioned ballad “Dying to Try”. While the song was nicely performed, Eurovision fans were disappointed that Ireland had gone for such a dated style. Ireland placed 13th in the semi-final with 86 points.
11. Finland: Norma John “Blackbird”
Semi-final: 12th (92 points)
The duo Norma John won the Finnish national final with their gothic ballad “Blackbird”. The song was — and still is — a fan favourite, but it didn’t quite make it out of the semi-final. “Blackbird” placed 10th with televoters, but only 12th with juries.
10. Switzerland: Timebelle “Apollo”
Semi-final: 12th (97 points)
Romanian-Swiss group Timebelle won the Swiss national final with their mid-tempo ballad “Apollo”. They came very close to qualifying, placing 10th with the televote but 12th with the jury. Overall they placed 12th with 97 points — but it was Switzerland’s best semi-final result since 2014.
9. Georgia: Tamara Gachechiladze “Keep the Faith”
Semi-final: 11th (99 points)
Georgia’s Tamara “Tako” Gachechiladze won Georgia’s national final with her dramatic Bond-style ballad “Keep the Faith”. The song was a hit with jurors, who placed it eighth. However, the public were less impressed and placed it only 13th, resulting in 11th place overall, with 99 points.
Coming soon… we’ll take a look at the successful ballads of Eurovision 2017.
What do you think? Why weren’t these ballads successful at Eurovision? Have your say below!