Off season is a strange time of year for a Eurovision fan. The PED (Post Eurovision Depression) cloud is just beginning to lift, but the contest is still the guts of a year away, the nearest national final is in December, and the junior equivalent won’t be on for ages. Despite the sunshine, the summer months can be bleak. It would be easy to mope until November, but the wiwibloggs team have a better plan. We’ve decided to dream.

For the next few Wednesdays our correspondents from across the world will be bringing you their ultimate wishlist for Vienna 2015. And as this is all fantasy, we’ll also be taking a look at absentee countries, both long and short term. Because in our dream contest everyone comes to the party! To make sure that no one gets left out, we’ll be working through countries in alphabetical order, so this week we’re starting with Albania and working through to Croatia.

Albania: Bleona

PadraigWhen it comes to Eurovision entries Albania seems to be stuck in a time warp. While they regularly send extremely talented singers, their song choices are rarely cutting edge, or even of this century. If Albania want to succeed they’ll need to spice things up and take risks. Step forward Bleona. Nicknamed the “Madonna of Albania”, she is one of the country’s biggest musical exports. Her music career began in 2003, with the release of her debut album “You Weren’t Man Enough for Me”. It was an instant best seller and spawned a European-wide tour. Further albums followed, earning her several awards. In 2009, she waved goodbye to her homeland and set up base in the US, working with some of music’s biggest names, including Timbaland. She has also headlined Las Vegas Pride, so she’s well prepared for the high campery of Eurovision should she ever choose to go.

Andorra: Patxi Leiva

RobynFrom the mountaintop microstate of Andorra comes musician Patxi Leiva.  As an introduction you should take a listen to his charity single “El Ritmo (Rhythm)”. The song does indeed bring some sunny Mediterranean rhythms, and the Spanish lyrics feature a multilingual chorus – all in the best Eurovision tradition. Furry hunk Patxi is a good songwriter and performer and would be a perfect match for the Eurovision stage, should Andorra fancy returning. And I think they should.

Armenia: Iveta Mukuchyan

Loosine: The 2014 contest may have only finished two months ago, but already Iveta Mukuchyan’s fans want to see her in Vienna next year and have even set up a dedicated Facebook fan page. Her first foray with fame came in 2010, when she particiapated in the fourth season of the “Hay Superstar” competition, coming fifth. She was also a contestant on the second season of “The Voice of Germany”, where she performed a cover of Loreen’s “Euphoria”. The lady doesn’t just sing. She’s got the looks too and in December 2012 she was named the sexiest Armenian by El Style magazine. As for the Eurovision rumours, last May she wrote “perhaps I’ll go next year ………….”

Austria: Andreas Gabalier

Patrick: When we hear Austria and Eurovision in the same sentence we think about a bearded lady who brought the Song Contest back to the Alpine country after 48 years. But who should they send when they host the event? I think the best choice would be Andreas Gabalier. The Styrian singer is one of Austria’s most successful artists, with several music prizes to his name. He’s known as the folk-rock’n roller and with his rocky voice and traditional influences he really invokes the spirit of the country. Andreas has had a lot of funky number ones over the years but his song “Amoi seg ma uns wieda”, which is based on the tragic story of his dad and sister, who both committed suicide, is a wonderful slow song which lets you dream. Listen and enjoy!

Azerbaijan: Emin

PadraigIf anything is to be learnt from Dilara’s poor showing in Copenhagnen, it’s that Azerbaijan thrive on spectacle. When they pare things back, the Land of Fire fails to light up. And so who better to restore some Azeri pride than Emin? The man is already familiar with the contest, having performed during the 2012 interval in Baku. On that occasion he proved to be no stranger to pageantry and extravagance as he entered the arena via the roof. Since then, he’s kept himself busy releasing several hits and winning a World Music Award. He even managed to tame the notorious Ukrainian singer Svetlana Loboda – if he can handle her he’s definitely ready for Eurovision.

http://youtu.be/JkKYCBouDkY

Belarus: Nuteki

FrancheskaI would love to see Nuteki rock the Eurovision stage. The band has been a strong contender in the Belarussian National Finals, placing 4th in 2014 and 2nd in 2013. The only problem is that Belarussian rock bands have not had that much luck at ESC (cough cough Litesound). Yet, Nuteki has a sound which is more sophisticated, with an ability to break out of the standard pop-rock genre. They went more EDM in 2013 and heavy rock in 2014, showing versatility. With a proper song and staging, they could have a great deal of potential. Eurovision may not be the most rock-friendly place, but it can be very accommodating (see: Finland this year and 2006) when the right song comes around.

Belgium: Stromae

Katie: We put him forward as a potential Eurovision artist in 2013, and one year on we still want him. Paul Van Haver, or as he’s better known, Stromae, first achieved European success with his 2010 single “Alors on Danse” and trust me, it’s a good one. He’s collaborated with the likes of The Black Eyed Peas and Kanye West and been nominated for a load of awards. After a few quiet years, Stromae came back with a bang last summer with “Papaoutai”. The dance anthem and the unique music video became one of the biggest hits of 2014. Wouldn’t he be perfect for Eurovision? He’s unique, he’s successful and he knows how to make a bloody good tune! If any of the Belgian broadcasters are reading… Please make this happen!

Bosnia & Herzegovina: Neda Ukraden

MarioDuring the seventies and eighties Neda Ukraden was a big name all across the former Yugoslavia. And her career is still going strong today, mostly because her recent releases are extremely club friendly. Although she’s 64 next month, she has a unique style and attitude which would shame many of her younger rivals. Her music style is pop with folk and/or techno elements, which could work well at Eurovision if performed with quality production. She was born in Croatia, and currently resides in Serbia, which would be a big plus for Bosnia & Herzegovina if these countries announce their comeback.

Bulgaria: Preslava

Sinan: Petya Koleva Ivanova, best know by her stage name, Preslava, is one of Bulgaria’s foremost singers, and it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that she is the queen of both pop and folk. Ever since she released her debut in 2004, she has dominated the Bulgarian music scene. She has released six albums, and in the process won countless awards, multiple times. Her award cabinet contains 11 Female Singer of the Year gongs, a Music Idol award and six Song of the Year titles. Surely it’s only a matter of time before she enters and wins Eurovision too.

Croatia: Franka Batelic

Mario: Franka Batelic first rose to prominence after winning the “Showtime” talent show. She’s a genre-hopping diva, and throughout her career she has gone from pop to teeny booper to house. She’s also famous in the Eurovision world; she won the OGAE festival in 2008 with her song “Ruža u Kamenu”. And according to recent polls, she is a fan favourite to represent Croatia at Eurovision. She was approached by HRT in 2013, but they ditched her in favour of Klapa S Mora (Why HRT? Why?). She’s also an LGBT ally, which is never any harm at Eurovision. The song below was released during the marriage equality referendum in Croatia.

What do y’all think? Have we chosen the best of the best? Or would y’all have chosen differently? As always let us know below. And check back next Wednesday to read our choices for Cyprus through to Hungary.

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Alisa
Guest

Iveta Mukuchyan is the best <3
https://www.facebook.com/IvetaMukuchyaninESC2015

ArmenianFan
Guest
ArmenianFan

Yes Iveta wants to go to ESC. But there are 3 other singers who have more chances to do ESC:

1. Lilit Hovhannisyan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRa_elGcEVo
2. Erik Karapetyan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjyiDUMT1PU
3. Qristine Pepelyan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGFMflrMeik

Chris
Guest
Chris

There goes my thoughts. Love those kind of wishlists! Albania – Besa or Elvana Gjata. Even Hersi coming back with a decent song. Andorra – Does anybody sing here? Armenia – Well, Iveta is simply awesome, but I pray for Armenia to give us the chance to see Lilit Hovhannisyan winning it all. Austria – Bring Conchy back or die, lol. I say Falco Luneau. Azerbaijan – Emin would be amazing, hell yeah! Belarus – I don’t care. They will change their mind 354 times before selecting their real entry. Belgium – Silke Mastbooms! Bosnia & Herzegovina – Maya Sar,… Read more »

anon
Guest
anon

I LOVE RONA NISHLIU !!! And I want to see her again in Eurovision representing Albania.

Deven O'Kearney
Guest
Deven O'Kearney

This would be the DREAM Eurovision Song Contest Albania: Rita Ora (She is from Kosovo. But she went for Eurovision in 2009 (UK).) Armenia: Serzh Tangyan (He looks like an older Aram MP3.) Azerbaijan: Emin Algarov Austria: Nadine Bieler Belgium: Tom Dice Belarus: Alyona Lanskaya (She is pretty hot.) Bosnia Herzegovina: Dino Merlin Cyprus: Ivi Adamou (I wish I was her boyfriend.) Denmark: Bryan Rice (He reminds me of Brian McFadden.) Finland: Softengine Germany: The Baseballs (I love that style of music.) Greece: Sakis Rouvas Hungary: Andras Kallay Saunders Ireland: Brian McFadden (It would be a battle royale with Denmark’s… Read more »

marinek
Guest
marinek

AS FOR GREECE I WOULD LIKE TO SEE MARINA AND THE DIAMONDS!THE GREEK GIRL!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPWwqz-UXUs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3Rp_0hoNTY

Karl
Guest
Karl

I don’t know why this is a wishlist for Vienna 2015, when it will be Graz 2015 😉 Also, I like this list. Especially Stromae!!!!

Rashad
Guest
Rashad

I don’t think Emin is eager to take part at Eurovision. He seems to set bigger goals for himself. He’s hired the former marketing director of Michael Jackson, and he’s been working with a huge team.
Stromae is already a popular performer. Eurovision would probably not work well with him.

Calvin
Guest
Calvin

If they enter Franka, then I’m almost ready to start making arrangements for Dubrovnik 2016.

Vladimir
Guest
Vladimir

I agree with the suggestions for Belarus and Croatia. Nuteki and Franka would be truly worthy entrants.

Pedro
Guest
Pedro

Hi,
So my suggestions woudl be

Armenia–> Lilit Hovhanissian
Austria–> Julian Leplay
Croatia–> Franka is great but after her I would like to see Jelena Rozga

D
Guest
D

Albania – Besa or Blerina Braka
Andorra – Won’t take part so doesn’t matter
Armenia – Agree
Austria – Don’t know many Austrian artists
Azerbaijan – Agree but I doubt it
Belarus – IOWA but Alexander Rybak is gonna pick some young Belarusian girl apparently
Belgium – Agree
Bosnia and Herzegovina – Don’t know many Bosnian artists
Bulgaria – Andrea
Croatia – Lines and Colours

Leon
Guest
Leon

Wow the Armenian singer can move, and sing! She can definitely win! Love the dub-step in the song. I think from now on everytime I think of Armenia, I think of dub-step.

AndreaIT
Guest
AndreaIT

Elhaida Dani is an albanian singer who won the voice of Italy 2013, she is amazing, i hope she’ll go to ESC
I would really like to see again Sofi Marinova 🙂
I don’t like Stromae but most of the people do, i think Belgium with Stromae could be an hard contestant..

Euiseiseki
Guest
Euiseiseki

Belarus should be Bianka

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Even though bleona is good, i’d still prefer Elvana Gjata (the diva of Albania) to take part – she is AWESOME!!!!

UOrated?
Guest

I hope for more rock music 🙂

Stefan
Guest
Stefan

Neda Ukraden represent Yugoslavia in 1981 as backing vocalist for Vajta https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKUHoZ5Hzxg

Jak
Guest

I hope Hozier for Ireland and Emily Karpel/Riff Cohen for Israel. And Luisa Sobral for Portugal of course.

peris
Guest
peris

winner belgium azerbaijan 2015 eurovision