national final songs margaret asanda renaida tamar kaprelian emmy liyana

Our countdown comes to a close. Over the last week, we’ve been counting down Team Wiwi’s top 30 national final songs of the Eurovision season. There’s been shocks and surprises along the way, but we’ve narrowed it down to just our top five.

What will join Eric Saade’s “Sting”, Margaret’s “Cool Me Down” and Kerli’s “Spirit Animal” as this year’s winner? See the results below:

5. “Poison (Ari Ari)” — Tamar Kaprelian (Armenia)

Tamar Kaprelian’s Eurovision return has been pretty much on the cards since the moment the 2015 final came to a close. And with the revamped Depi Evratesil opening that opportunity up, the former Genealogy singer brought an all-star team together to try and make it happen.

“Poison (Ari Ari)” brought a modern pop sound with some traditional Armenian realness. It became one of the most anticipated songs of the year — which made its semi-final elimination all the more shocking.

4. “Legends” — Asanda (United Kingdom)

The highest ranking song from a UK national final in our countdown ever, and for good reason. Asanda’s “Legends” got everyone excited even before its release, with rumours of it being a BBC favourite rumbling ahead of release.

Serving true sass and attitude, it would have been something very different for the UK. Live though, some of the studio magic was lost, and Asanda was swept up in the power of “Storm SuRie”.

3. “All the Feels” — Renaida (Sweden)

Only the winner of Melodifestivalen will get the chance to perform their song four times. Unless, of course, you’re Renaida. The former Idol star racked up over 1 million votes in her semi-final, yet still ended up having to fight through Andra Chansen.

Technical difficulties meant she performed twice in the final, on her way to a strong 9th place in her debut. And clearly, those performances — and that style — meant she gave Team Wiwi “all the feels” indeed!

2. “In My Cabana” — Margaret (Sweden)

Margaret just misses out on becoming a two time winner. “Cool Me Down” went Europe-wide in 2016 even without Eurovision, making Margaret a known name in Sweden. So it was no surprise to see her as an artist in this year’s Melodifestivalen.

“In My Cabana” might not have been the absolute hit that “Cool Me Down” was, but the Swedish production certainly upped things live. With slicker staging and a better mix of backing vocals, Margaret proved she belonged on the Melfest stage. If she gets the song and staging together, could she be stopped?

1. “OK ou KO” — Emmy Liyana (France)

It says a lot about the strength of the French field that, in its first year, Destination Eurovision is just one song short of matching Melodifestivalen. But perhaps most importantly, France takes the number one spot thanks to Emmy Liyana.

The former Voice star was one of the highlights of the semi-final round. In the final, she upped her game even more. She arguably stole the show with an incredible duet alongside Slimane. Then, she took to the stage with an army of doppelgangers for “OK ou KO”.

With a reserved aggression and an incredible voice behind it, this was a standout track from the first few beats. The outcry when Emmy finished low in the public vote showed just how much international support the track had. But there’s no room for disappointment here: Team Wiwi has crowned the track our favourite national final song of the year!

So there you have it: France takes victory in our countdown. And for four straight years, a different country’s song has topped the list! Is “OK ou KO” your national final favourite? Let us know all your thoughts in the comments below.

Check out all of our top national final songs posts here

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77 Comments on "Team Wiwi’s Top National Final Songs of ESC 2018 (5-1)"

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AngieP
Guest

All good songs. I don’t know if it would be my number 1 of all NF’s but Emmy is my number one among the five for sure.

Joe
Guest

I didn’t pay attention to every single national final, but of the ones I saw, I most enjoyed:
– Legends (UK)
– You (UK)
– Forest Song (Ukraine)
– Home (Estonia)
– I mog di so (Germany)
– High on Love (Czechia)
– Esamiba (Latvia)
– You Got Me (Norway)
– OK ou Kou (France)
There was also that great song from Portugal that was withdrawn but I forgot the name of it. Would’ve been in my top 10 if they kept it, but they’re my #1 at the moment anyway.

Nimo
Guest
I honestly don’t understand #3. I felt that Renaida had a good voice (also a great smile), but the song itself wasn’t all that good. That song bored me in no time, which I felt kind of sad about since I liked Renaida. Oh well, different taste in music, obviously. Margaret and “In My Cabana” was fun and she’s a great performer. I wish she would have had an even better song, though. I personally don’t think I will repeatedly listen to any of the songs from Melfest this time. Maybe the studio version of Méndez – Everyday, and the… Read more »
beccaboo1212
Guest

Hopefully Asanda represents the UK next year.

Women, football and rock'n'roll
Guest
Women, football and rock'n'roll
Fun voting….BUT I don’t take it so seriously! 🙂 The BEST songs? I don’t think so. Typical “fan taste”. Mostly just mainstream pop songs. Such songs can be nice too. But very seldom they are the best / most original NF songs. But OK Ou KO is a nice song. Kind of perfred it to the “political ” Mercy. Even if that was good too! Many others do their list….I will write one or two faves from each NF 🙂 Sweden: Titta vi fylger, All the Feels Denmark: Starlights, Signals Portugal: Many good songs….hard to pick iceland: A really boring… Read more »
????
Guest

lmao diversity for the sake of diversity at its best

No way should Renaida or Asanda be there
OK its their taste so…

The Roop – Yes I do
MADARA – Esamiba
Elena Hasna – Revival
Tamar Kaprelian – Ari Ari
Emmi Christensson – Icarus
Nika Zorjan – Uspavanka
Camilla North – Yo no soy tu chica
Sudden lights – Eyes
Margaret – In my Cabana
Aleksander Wallman: Talk to the Hand
?ARLSEN – Standing up for love
Frankie Animal – (Can’t Keep Calling) Misty
Constantine – Misto
Jukebox & Bella Santiago – Auzi cum bate
Zsolt Sule – Zold a majus
Feli – Buna de iubit

Mae
Guest

BQL is my favorite

schuyler
Guest

TASTE OMG
The Renaida appreciation omg I almost cried

Escphbelgium
Guest
My Personal Top 30: 1. All The Feels – Renaida [Sweden] 2. Mamma Mia – Louka [France] 3. On My Mind – Desiree [Estonia] 4. Rêve de gamin – Nassi [France] 5. Safari – Serena [Romania] 6. Talk To The Hand – Aleksander Walmann [Norway] 7. Dai Laga – Adian [Malta] 8. Until The Morning Light – Jenifer Brening [San Marino] 9. In My Cabana – Margaret [Sweden] 10. This Time – Markus Riva [Latvia] 11. Younger Days – Edgars Kreilis [Latvia] 12. Ari Ari (Poison) – Tamar Kaprelian [Armenia] 13. Songburning – Mimi Werner [Sweden] 14. Try – Xandra… Read more »
Purple Mask
Guest

Interesting how most of this entire list bore no resemblance to my personal favourites whatsoever, except for the winner! “OK ou KO” was my favourite National Final non-winning song as well! A strange coincidence, or perhaps a lucky guess.

MTD
Guest

The true gay taste. LOL

Miguel
Guest

I am happy to see OK ou KO in the 1st place. I really like the song.
But this top 30… It’s too swedish and popish for my personal taste, even though i respect it.
Hungary had the best national selection by far this year, yet i didn’t see many songs in this top. I would like to have seen more italian songs also, particulary Annalisa.

Women, football and rock'n'roll
Guest
Women, football and rock'n'roll

A dal is ALWAYS great…I agree. And a perfect winner

Thiefoworld
Guest

I wasn’t expecting Ok Ou Ko to be first, but I very much agree! It’s one of my favorites too. All the feels is my top one, so I’m glad to see it here as well!

Philip
Guest

OMG EMMY LIYANA was awesome, wish they represented France this year..

esc freak
Guest

John Lundvik – “My Turn” is the best song of the year. Masterpiece.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

This national final season was weak af compared to 2017. I could only find 15 songs I liked, so I only made a top 15 lmao.

Purple Mask
Guest

Perhaps so, but more musically deserving songs won through this year, in my opinion. So, it evens out over time.

Colin
Guest

My top 30 – Top 5 of NF songs:

5. Tamar Kaprelian: Poison (Ari Ari) (Armenia)
4. Noee: L’un pres de l’autre (France)
3. Malo: Ciao (France)
2. Danielfy Gergely: Atz Mondtad (Hungary)
1. Madara: Esamiba (Latvia)

It was REALLY hard to decide between top two masterpieces, though.

Btw, as OK ou KO is my 11th, I am cool with it being 1st here.

Colin
Guest
My Top 60 all consists of songs I rated as 8 or higher and they are all very good IMHO. I only shared my Top 30 here, as that is how much Wiwibloggs made for themselves. Also, important to add is that my Top 60 is made from songs from NFs I DID follow in a whole and rated. I didn’t follow (mostly) or officially rated national finals of Italy, Montenegro, Spain, San Marino or Slovenia, which means songs like Out Of the Twilight or Arde are not included (even if I heard them later and loved them). Also, disquaified… Read more »
tvfan
Guest

Well, good news for France, since “OK ou KO” will be the French song for the OGAE Second Chance contest.

Bercolata
Guest

You have to be deaf to put Ari Ari in fifth rank. Wtf seriously?

Fast Food Music Lover
Guest
Fast Food Music Lover

I can’t see the hype for Tamar’s song but I agree with the top 4. 🙂

MESA
Guest
Emmy wouldn’t be in my personal top 5, but I’m happy to see you guys have Renaida and Asanda in there. On seeing this list, I remembered some of those racism claims made about Strictly Come Dancing voters in the UK, after so many seasons of black contestants (and particularly female ones, if I remember correctly) exiting the competition very early on. I wonder if perhaps black female artists in the national finals don’t get the votes they deserve (I was definitely surprised that Renaida finished so low in the Melfest final, and that Asanda didn’t get as many votes… Read more »
Lily
Guest
Asanda didn’t get as many votes as SuRie because Asanda choked on the night and SuRie didn’t. You are right in that Legends is a better song than Storm but you have to pull it out of the bag live and sadly Asanda didn’t. I would have preferred to see Jaz Ellington take Asanda’s place in this list though, because DAYUM! That man can sing. Best voice live and in the studio if you ask me. It’s just a shame he chose to sing a song about infidelity. Never goes down well in Eurovision does that. :/
MESA
Guest

Great performer and great voice, but unfortunately I found his song quite forgettable. I think Asanda could have improved her vocals before the final and done the UK proud with that song. It doesn’t matter how good SuRie is vocally, that song is just WEAK in my opinion…beyond saving. I was totally baffled by the result.

go/went/gone
Guest

This is poor joke and disrespectful to put high class entries like Madara ‘Esamiba’, Feli ‘Buna de iubit’, Janeiro ‘Sem Titulo’ or Ifi Ude ‘Love is stronger’ behind cheesy, non melodical and unoriginal entries like All the feels, Scandilove or Legends I mean I thought that Wiwibloggs will take this for more granted and review them professionally, because from the jury side these songs which I mentioned as first are really good. Its kind of shame that one of the most opinion-forming site about Eurovision prefers ‘fast food music’.

TheDrMistery
Guest

I was really disappointed with “Love Is Stronger” not making the list too.

Pasadena
Guest

I can’t believe that no entries from Hungary or Portugal made the Top 30, there were so many gems in these national selections. In my mind A Dal, Festival da Canção and Destination Eurovision were the best national selections this year. I also miss Ailleurs and Last breath on the list.

Janro
Guest
So all five songs in the top 5 are all up-beat Female dance songs (except OK ou KO to a degree) I’d expect nothing less from a site that worships everything and anything to do with Saara Aalto… 😉 How about we show some of the men some love for a change??? haha I jest of course! 😉 These are songs I really liked from national finals in no-particular order that didn’t win. Czech Republic – Pavel Callta – Never Forget Estonia – Stig Rasta – Home Estonia – Vaje – Laura (Walk With Me) Estonia – Karl & Karl… Read more »
Weißbrot
Guest

My favourites of the Season:.
Sudden lights – Just fine (Latvia)
Felix Sandman – Every single day (Sweden)
Tamas Horvath – Meggyfa (Hungary)
Ryk – You and I (Germany)
Samir & Viktor – Shuffla (Sweden)
Madara – Esamiba (Latvia)

Elfi
Guest

Malo – ”Ciao” (France), if this was the entry on ESC 2018, i would vote!!! Greetings from a Portuguese Fan

Costa
Guest

We love a flawless, all-female top 5! Especially happy to see Renaida getting some love for my favourite Melfest track of the year.

I’m still astounded at some of the songs that were snubbed in favour of the entries this year (I’m looking at you – San Marino and Romania).

Mari(o)Vision
Guest

~ Ryk – “You and I” (Germany)
~ Nassi – “Rêves De Gamin” (France)
~ Malo – ”Ciao” (France)
~ Igit – “Lisboa Jérusalem” (France)
~ Lasse Meling – “Unfound” (Denmark)

Kyle
Guest

I wish Aidan “Dai Laga” made the list.

Costa
Guest

Such an underrated track, probably my favourite from Malta this year!

Ana
Guest
One big disappointment. I know, there are various tastes, but some songs just scream to be on such a list. My choices (in random order): From UK: Jaz Ellington “You” From France: Lisandro Cuxi “Eva”; Igit “Lisboa Jerusalem” (!!!) From Sweden: Felix Sandman “Every Single Day”; Liamoo “Last Breath” (both “!!!”) From Norway: Stella & Alexandra “You Got Me”; Ida Maria “Scandilove” From Hungary: Horvath Tamas “Meggyfa” (!!!); Danielfy Gergely “Azt Mondtad” From Latvia: Madara “Esamiba” From Italy: many songs (I love their style), especially Giovanni Caccamo “Eterno”, The Kolors “Frida”, Noemi “Non Smettere Mai Di Cercarmi” From Estonia: Vaje… Read more »
Liam Lindsay
Guest
The BBC/UK needs a major revamp on how it handles Eurovision. High-Quality songs like ‘Legends” should of been interally selected, I mean does the UK actually give a f**k about the contest. Short awnser…NO!! They send crap upon crap upon crap every year I mean the in the past 20 years (1997 – 2017) the UK has: – Won once. – Has had 2 Top 5 results. – Came last 3 times. – Got nul points in 2003. – and has almost consistently missed the mark and mocked the contest at every turn. And they wonder why no-one votes for… Read more »
Ben ESC
Guest
The UK does care, otherwise it wouldn’t have changed its selection process in the first place. The problem with Eurovision and the UK is that, even tho that wiwiblogg article denies it, it is a BIT political (not completely), and the UK isn’t very well liked. BUT BEFORE YOU ALL KILL ME, it is also due to the fact the UK doesn’t send the best songs. As far as I’m concerned, at least half of the songs in Eurovision You Decide were written at a songwriting camp run by the BBC. This shows that they are trying, but the only… Read more »
4real
Guest

“In my cabana” in second? Really? You cannot be taken seriously after this! And you call yourselves “music experts”… What a joke!

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Screaming! 😀 We have never called ourselves “music experts”. We don’t claim to be music experts – just fans of Eurovision and music lovers.

brunowskii
Guest

It would be so great if we had Feli, Asanda & Tamar this year….
but ok… life goes on…

vangelis vt
Guest

Yes actually this sort of typical ESC-taste has left us a long time ago but old habits die hard…

Héctor
Guest
Margaret’s “In My Cabana”? She has to be the most overrated artist ever. My NF’s top 30 (I posted it some days ago, but…): 1. Sudden Lights – “Just Fine” – Latvia (9.25/10) 2. Yesyes – “I Let You Run Away” – Hungary (9/10) 3. Chiara Dubey – Secrets and Lies – Switzerland (8.25/10) 4. Aitana – “Arde” – Spain (8/10) 5. Stig Rasta — “Home” – Estonia (7.75/10) 6. Sibyl Vane — “Thousand Words” – Estonia (7.75/10) 7. Felix Sandman – Every Single Day – Sweden (7.75/10) 8. Eva Buresova – Fly – Czech Republic (7.5/10) 9. Asanda —… Read more »
Sabrina
Guest
Well, my taste is definitely very different from the bloggers. But I’m glad to see Emmy Lyanna getting the first place. My favorite non-qualifier songs (I won’t rank them though): Orgesa Zaimi – “Ngrije zërin” (Albania) Inis Neziri – “Piedestal” (Albania) KARUI – “Signals” (Denmark) Anna Ritsmar – “Starlight” (Denmark) Sannie – “Boys on Girls” (Denmark) Frankie Animal – “(Can’t Keep Calling) Misty” (Estonia) Iiris & Agoh – “Drop That Boogie” (Estonia) Sibyl Vane – “Thousand Words” (Estonia) Malo’ – “Ciao” (France) Emmy Liyana – “OK ou KO” (France) Igit – “Lisboa Jérusalem” (France) Ryk – “You and I” (Germany)… Read more »
Sabrina
Guest

Oh, I forgot Etnopatsy – “Külm” (Estonia).

Sabrina
Guest

And also Sara de Blue – “Out of the Twilight” (San Marino), just like Hector’s list remembered me. I guess now I’m fine.

Anna
Guest

Omg! I don’t understand. UK could send Legends and send this stupid storm????

Ivy
Guest

Asanda had ”Jana Burceska syndrome” 😛
Strong song like ”Legends” requires strong performer, otherwise it fails..

schuyler
Guest

don’t do jana dirty like that smh

ALO
Guest

Crazy to think it was only the first Destination Eurovision… Already can’t wait to see what France prepares for 2019!

vangelis vt
Guest
“Poison” and “Legends” along with two MF failures in the top5 (!!!!) and the Amandine clone at #1? Lol…. My top30 of NF non-winning songs for 2018: 30. Sudden Lights – “Just fine” (Latvia) 29. Dilemma – “Na party” (Ukraine) 28. Biber & DJ Niko Bravo – “Svatovi” (Serbia) 27. Anna Ritsmar – “Starlight” (Denmark) 26. Noée – “L’un près de l’autre” (France) 25. Lo Stato Sociale – “Una vita in vacanza” (Italy) 24. Emmy Liyana – “OK ou KO” (France) 23. BQL – “Promise” (Slovenia) 22. Ifi Ude – “Love is stronger” (Poland) 21. Peu Madureira – “Só por… Read more »
Briekimchi
Guest

Best song not to go to Eurovision this year: (Germany) Ryk – You And I.
Seriously….where is it?

Paul
Guest

Agreed

Weißbrot
Guest

YES! I voted for Ryk as often as I could…. We should have selected him internally. Michael is of Course not bad, but I’d rather have something as unique and outstanding as ”You and I” that Michael’s song, which is kinda mediocore.

Tibor
Guest
Asanda has certainly a more contemporary sound than Surie, and I think she would have had better chances at Eurovision. Surprisingly, I like the marching band bit. Her vocals are indeed a bit shaky, but I’ve heard much worse. She has one strikingly false note at the end, but up until then it’s okay, if you consider the nervousness of the first big live performance. I would have loved seeing her at Eurovision. The gem you missed (in my humble opinion, I know you weren’t that fond of it) is Shuma’s “Hmarki” from the belorussian final. A bit avant-garde for… Read more »
LoveWave
Guest

Tamar Kaprelian is #5? Seriously?
She had around 15 rehearsals , but she didn’t make it well. I call her “Alekseev #2” , who has lame voice in the performances. Adding to it, she’s a real hypocrite, because she showed her reality before and after competition.
I am glad for Sevak. Honest guy with honest soul and he is respected to represent Armenia this year.

CharlieChan
Guest

Why is she a hypocrite? What did she say?

LoveWave
Guest

Tamar blamed Asmik for an idea of dancer’s mask, as for Sevak, she told everyone that he was her best friend, but after competition she said that Sevak rigged her votings.

Nimo
Guest

Really? In Sweden, Danny Saucedo behaved like a really sore loser too, once. Said openly that the winner of Melfest wouldn’t have a chance in ESC while he could do much better.
The winner that year? Loreen. XD
But anyhow, sore losers like that are awful, and really awkward, to see.

Roelof Meesters
Guest

Ok ou ko would have been My winner This year, it is such a perfect song. SO much wasted potential.

Ugnius
Guest

Dotter not in top 30 ?!? Are you joking ?

Weißbrot
Guest

Oh my Lord….Literally all of These are SO bad! Except for Tamar of Course. Who voted for These?

Weißbrot
Guest

I didn’t mean Tamar, I meant Emmy. Tamar was also bad…

Briekimchi
Guest

(Besides Tamar) I agree completely.
Were you guys actually watching the national finals this year?

Eve
Guest

Nothing from Hungarian and German selection in top 30? those were very good imo.
Don’t get that Tamar hype, Sevak is much better choice, wonderful voice and song, he will go straight to the final. Also Surie is better choice than Asanda, both Tamar and Asanda have weak vocals and performances.

KYLLITO
Guest

I was more impressed and have enjoyed the songs that made your 11-30 rankings better than most of the songs in your top ten (except OK ou KO, that is deserving of top 5). Some I have enjoyed that didn’t make the Wiwijury’s top 30 were YOU ARE MY WORLD (Latvia), DROP THAT BOOGIE (Estonia), PARADIS (from France), ETNOPLASTY (Estonia), I WON’T CRY (Belarus), NG RIJE ZERIN (Albania) DELIRIUM (Poland), and SONG FOR DAD (Malta)

Sander
Guest

Ngrije Zërin did get in the top 30. 26th place if I remember correctly. Also, Etnopatsy’s song was called Kulm.

Steve
Guest

If Nassi and Louka from France would have made the cut, I would come up with a proposal to join the WiWi jury next year.

Steve
Guest

My favourite songs. We will miss them all. We share with WiWi the same taste. Shame these lovely songs are out.

bartosz
Guest

I’m glad that Emmy won, her song was amazing and I was really disappointed in its televote result
However that’s a bit sad that it is the only song from my NF favourites that got featured in this list 🙁 I loved Etnopatsy and Sibyl Vane from Estonia, as well as Ifi Ude and Happy Prince from Poland

Martin
Guest

So you have included in the top five two of the shakiest live vocals of the entire NF season? Tamar and Asanda had great visual concepts but if you can’t sing on the night…

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

We’re not necessarily considering the live national final performances here. It’s more the song as a whole, what we’re still listening to weeks later. 🙂

If you want to know what we think of the songs as national final contenders, see the Wiwi Juries for each. 🙂