From the time artists first present their Eurovision songs to the big moment when they compete with them at Eurovision, there is plenty to do. This includes promotional tours through Europe, performing in Amsterdamcourting positive PR, making music videos, and going through rehearsals, interviews, and press conferences. There is no time for anything to go wrong. But sometimes something does—and the artist has to start over with an entirely new song. Although no songs were thrown out this year, this has happened several times in the past couple of years. Today, we ask you: Which withdrawn entry would you have enjoyed watching in the Eurovision semi-final and final?

Quand Tout S’Enfuit

This was due to be Lebanon’s debut entry back in 2005. Sung in French (a language nearly everyone in Lebanon speaks fluently) by Aline Lahoud, who later went on to participate in The Voice of France, this entry was withdrawn when the broadcaster learned that they would have to show the Israeli entry. Since everything Israeli is banned in Lebanon, the broadcaster had no choice to withdraw and except a three-year ban from the contest. Israel went on to place fifth with the wonderful Shiri Maimon, who recently coached a lesbian careworker to victory on X Factor Israel.

Kismet

This was Bulgaria’s original choice for Elitsa Todorova and Stoyan Yankoulov in 2013. This number was quite light and featured Elitsa and two of her friends harmonizing in very short verses. It was withdrawn after officials learned that composer Jonatan Tesei was not originally credited and that he refused to give up the copyrights to BNT. Since Eurovision rules state that broadcasters must have possession of each song’s copyrights, this entry was disqualified and replaced with Samo Shampioni, which had tied in the national final but lost because televoting prevailed over jury votes.

Imperija

Bulgaria’s neighbor, FYR Macedonia, also had a bit of trouble in 2013 when their beautiful ethnic club song, Imperija, was suddenly replaced with the mish-mosh that is Pred da se razdeniThis was done, reportedly, after Macedonian music critics panned the song and its artists. Wiwibloggs, however, would beg to differ, after a previous poll found 70% of readers to favor Imperija.

Far Away

Now we move to Belarus, who rules the roost in changing up their song in a heartbeat. The band 3+2 originally won their national final with the (extremely loud and annoying) song Far Away, which is much more club-ready than their cheesy ballad (the one that became their Eurovision entry), Butterflies. There was no explanation given for the change.

Rhythm of Love

While we are on the topic of Belarus, let’s look at Alyona Lanskaya. Twice in a row, her original entry was replaced. The first time, it was her ballad All My Life, that was disqualified after President Lukashenko conducted a search to find that she and the producers had rigged the results. Since she was replaced by the (dreadfully underrated) Litesound, instead of going with another song, let’s look at her other entry instead. Rhythm of Love is a more clubby song, but Lanskaya felt as if she wanted more songs for her new album to use as potential Eurovision entries. She decided to send the beach-inspired Solayoh instead, without any formal explanation.

Which of these would you have liked most in Eurovision? Vote in the poll!

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Ajit
Guest
Ajit

Fun fact: Rhythm of Love, Far Away, and Alyona’s original winning song from the 2012 Belarussian NF was written by TEO!

That’s why he didn’t want to change his song this year – he had enough.

Erin
Guest
Erin

@Ali Nella Houd – Aline Lahoud is the eponym of Lebanon for the fan base, so at least something positive came out of that withdrawal after all…

Ali Nella Houd
Guest
Ali Nella Houd

Well, no-one will be surprised that Ali Nella Houd has voted for his namesake Aline Lahoud. Great insights into the granular Lebanese background, Erin – Thanks!
And thanks SpirK for reminding us of “Born in Byelorussia”, a classic, with its great Soviet-style male chorale in the background refraining lines like “You’re my passion, do it old-fashioned, you and I …”.

Ranting Ruby
Guest
Ranting Ruby

Sopon, question: Did 3+2 also change their line-up,or did the twin girls just dye their hair before ESC?? It looks like two different singers to me.

D
Guest
D

“Quand tout s’enfuit” easily, I hope if Israel does withdraw this year some Arab countries such as Lebanon and Morocco will compete. I kinda like “Far Away” which surprises me since I don’t normally like songs like that and “Rhythm of Love” isn’t terrible. 3+2 and Alyona both should’ve sent their original songs as their new songs were both horrible. Can’t stand “Kismet” or “Imperija”, I liked “Samo shampioni” so I’m happy that got replaced but “Pred da se razdeni” was horrible too. Lozano should’ve represented Macedonia as a solo artist and it would’ve been amazing, Esma ruined everything.

Deven O'Kearney
Guest

I have 1 question for Lebanon- WHY??????????????????????????

Your song is amazing. It is so powerful and passionate. Lads and ladies, this would have been the Molitva of 2005. Lebanon, do you realise that your song could have gotten you Beirut 2006.

Leaf
Guest
Leaf

Also, Tina Karol back in 2006 replacing “I am your Queen” with “Show me your love”

ESCaddict
Guest
ESCaddict

I like the Lebanese song. I wish they wold join us. Samo Championi better than Kismet so I’m glad they changed songs. I recall a bad on-line reaction to Imperija when it was announced so it did not surprise me when FYR Macedonia changed songs. I like Pred da se Razdeni very much so I’m OK with the swap. Far Away is OK but it does not showcase the vocalists abilities like Butterflies, that way have been a consideration when changing songs. I can live with either. I don’t like Solayoh so anything would be better. The Rhythm of Love… Read more »

Dhani
Guest

imperija is much much better than ridiculous pred da se razdeni

Marcelo N
Guest

@ Erin – that’s what I meant, mostly 😉

Erin
Guest
Erin

I don’t believe IMPERIJA would have succeeded on a Eurovision stage for aesthetic reasons and for the fact that Lozano and Esma don’t complete each other but rather overshadow one another on various levels instead of complementing one another. I am sure there are so many good intentions behind this collaboration between a Macedonian diva like Esma and a promising young talent such as Lozano, but it couldn’t have boded well on a live stage with all the vocal and stylistic contrasts that this pair embodies. There are uplifting parts in this song on the one hand, and then there… Read more »

beccaboo1212
Guest

“Quand Tou S’Enfuit” (sorry if my French is bad). “Imperja” is also good. And I like “Kismet.”

Marcelo N
Guest

PS @ Sopon – Sorry to write it here “in public” (I didn’t have a choice)… it is “accept a three-year ban”, not “except” 😛

Marcelo N
Guest

“Imperija” actually WAS a song, it sounded like it and had appeal, unlike the excuse for a mess they sent. Moreover, Esma could not live up to the hype and that was also a let-down. The alleged reasons behind the withdrawal were the official discontent and a supposed political message which made it disliked from within, if I remember rightly. Interesting points made by Erin, which are provable (though some of us may not be really interested at this juncture LOL) and sound most likely. That sort of inadequacy when it comes to countries with dubious regimes/state organizations is what… Read more »

Erin
Guest
Erin

“Since everything Israeli is banned, the broadcaster had no choice to withdraw…” That is simply not true, so here’s a quick history trivia: the Lebanese broadcaster LBC which is a veteran private network in Lebanon aired the 1995 ESC contest in its entirety including the Israeli entry ‘Amen’ sung by Liora. The problem in Lebanon is both religious and sectarian which partially explains why it can’t engage itself in the ESC whether Israel is in or out of the contest. Going back to 2005, Lebanon was still occupied by Syrian forces (the Syrians withdrew from Lebanon in April 2005). Its… Read more »

SpirK
Guest
SpirK

I think that this poll should’ve also included Ukraine’s first entry in 2010, ”I Love You” which was sung by Vasyl Lazarovich. And also their next pick ”To Be Free” by Alyosha. Belarus’ first pick in 2011, ”Born In Byelorussia” also could’ve been included.

Reglect
Guest
Reglect

Imperija!

It’s a shame that they changed it, because otherwise i’m sure they would’ve gone to the grand final instead of one of the last places.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Kismet is just a mess. No other words for it.

Thiefo
Guest
Thiefo

The Lebanese entry was amazing, it would’ve been a good debut in the contest in my opinion, what a pity.

Imperija was 100 times better than the mess of Pred da se razdeni, I think it combined both Esma’s and Lozano’s voices together a lot better, with a good staging I think it would’ve made Macedonia qualify that year.

Now, I prefer Samo Championi and Solayoh a lot more than the original choices… and both options for Belarus 2010 are just bad 😛 but Butterflies was sooo boring, I think I prefer Far Away slightly more.