In our never ending bid to overcome PED (Post Eurovision Depression), we continue our Wednesday Wishlist series. If you missed the previous lists click here. The premise is simple – for the next few Wednesdays our correspondents from across the world will be bringing you their ultimate choices for Austria 2015. 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, although after last week’s accidental mix-up, we begin with Moldova instead of Monaco and work through to San Marino.

Moldova: Ionel Istrati

Bogdan: Yes, the Epic Sax Guy may have been a worldwide hit, but Moldova actually tend to be more successful and memorable at Eurovision when they draw inspiration from their traditional music. Whether they send a grandma beating the drum, an invitation to dance the hora, or a sexy man with a trumpet innuendo, the ethnic flare has it all: original sound, joyfulness and infectious rhythms. Six time national finalist Doinita Gherman, immediately springs to mind, but I’d rather see a guy, namely Ionel Istrati, take to the big stage. He is good looking, has a great voice, his English is alright (as attested by his 2014 hit “Wake Me Up”) and a song like “Eu numai, numai (I Only, Only)” would be perfect (And look! Sultry girls washing laundry by the river! Ring any bells?).

Montenegro: Dado Polumenta

Sami: After spending years throwing all sorts at the contest – from cringy political raps to space-age dubstep – Montenegro finally reached the Saturday night show in 2014, with a traditional Balkan ballad. Unfortunately, just like “Moj Svijet”, their march towards victory came to an abrupt halt, as they languished in the lower echelons of the scoreboard. But now that they’ve experienced the thrills of the final, they’ll be seeking something capable of a much higher placing next time. Perhaps some pop?  Sung by Dado Polumenta? The 31 year old has been singing for years, starting out in 2000, with the release of his debut album. Since then he’s won many awards in his homeland, and become the Montenegrin King of Youtube; all his videos have racked up millions of views. His deep voice would suit tons of different genres, making him a great choice for 2015. He would undoubtedly continue Montenegro’s new-found success at the contest.

Morocco: French Montana

LiamMorocco’s time in Eurovision was all too brief. Like a Disney princess they came to the ball for one night only, but with no Prince Charming to award them douze points (and due to some messy political stuff) they ran off into the night never to be seen again. Their 1980 performance is fondly remembered, thanks largely to their representative on the night – the fabulous Samira Said. If they were ever to return they’d need to bring someone capable of leaving just as big an impact. I think the Moroccan born American rapper French Montana would be perfect. Rap may not have the best record in Eurovision, but that would all change if French ended up in Austria. He’s a multi talented entrepreneur, founding his own record label, and is fluent in English, Arabic and French. And in his spare time he even finds time (reportedly) to court Khloé of the Kardashian clan. Granted he would have to tone things down a bit. The clip below is one of his tamer tracks, but is still laden with expletives. Proceed with caution.

Netherlands: Lisa Lois

Daphne: After the great Eurovision successes of 2013 and 2014, the Netherlands have high expectations to live up to. So, what other musical delights do the Dutchies have to offer us? As it turns out a lot! But my choice would be Wageningen born Lisa Lois. Her solo-career started in 2009, when she won the Dutch X Factor with Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”. Her deep, emotion filled voice made her a fan favourite, and that same year she launched her platinum selling debut-album, “Smoke”. She released a follow up in 2013, which spawned the smash hit single “Silhouette”. The Netherlands couldn’t really go wrong with her: a decent voice (check out her a capella version of “Euphoria”) and, most importantly, quality music. Based on recent contests, that’s all they need.

Norway: Astrid Smeplass

Colin: With 11 last places and two non-qualifications, Norway isn’t exactly the most successful country in Eurovision history. But that’s over a period of 54 years – recently they’ve actually performed extremely well! In 2009 “Fairytale” set tons of new records, and for the last two contests they have finished in the top ten. One person who could keep this momentum going is Astrid Smeplass. She became famous on Norwegian Idol. But she doesn’t just sing. One week each contestant had to write and perform their own song. “Shattered” was born, and brought Astrid to the top of the Norwegian charts. She could do the same again at Eurovision.

Poland: Sylwia Grzeszczak

JasonPoland fully utilised its best (ahem) assets this year and achieved one of its best ever results. So what next? We know that Doda, the fan favourite, would undoubtedly impress on the Eurovision stage with a seXXXed-up powerhouse performance. However, if it wants to secure its first win, Poland should change direction, in order to keep things fresh and interesting. Step forward Sylwia Grzeszczak, the talented singer-songwriter who placed second (behind Doda) in a poll over at Dziennik Eurowizynj, which asked Polish Eurovision fans to choose their ideal entry. Sylwia just missed out on the finals of the fourth series of Idol at the tender age of 15, but it was her collaboration on the album “Ona i On (She and He)” with the rapper Liber in 2008 that launched her career. Six years on and four Polish number ones under her belt, her popularity hasn’t waned. With a sound somewhere between Sara Bareilles and Christina Perri, it’s not hard to imagine Sylwia storming to victory for Poland with a raw, stirring ballad.

Portugal: Kika

Patrick: If there was an award for the most underrated country at Eurovision, Portugal would have to win. Every year they send decent songs, but almost always end up in the bottom five, and that’s only if they break out of the semis. Where is the Iberian nation going wrong? A major factor is their insistence on choosing songs sung in Portuguese, accompanied by traditional (and arguably dated) music. Like it or not, that’s not the way to appeal to a mass audience. It’s time to modernise. They need to send Kika. The 17-year old is a major up and coming talent and has the whole package – she’s beautiful, she can dance and, most importantly, she can sing really well. Her first hit was “Can’t Feel The Love Tonight”. If she was to send something similar to Eurovision, Portugal’s woes would soon be forgotten.

Romania: Antonia

Bogdan: Romania has tried almost every recipe under the sun in an effort to win Eurovision – from popera to Latin rhythms, Balkan girls to returning veterans – but so far it has failed to impress judges and audiences alike. In my opinion, the country needs to send not just a great, charismatic singer, but also a good quality song. Inna and Alexandra Stan seem like perfect choices, but their music would not sit well with juries. Antonia, with a song like “Marabou” (originally written for Vanessa Paradis), would be a better option. Not only is she drop dead gorgeous (definitely Eurovision Next Top Model material), but the song, with its vintage sensuality, would be a hit with both the public and music professionals alike. Moreover, unlike Inna and Alexandra Stan, Antonia has failed to really skyrocket internationally and Eurovision would be the perfect launch pad for her.

Russia: Natasha Koroleva

DavidNatasha Koroleva is easily the most talented Russian artist from the last 10 years. Her songs are great, her voice is compelling and she owns the screen. She is also incredibly versatile with a wide range of numbers that make you move. What she sings and how she emotes is simply perfect for Eurovision. She may not be a guaranteed win, but she would definitely be a heavy favourite.

San Marino: Michele Perniola

Patrick: Eurovision is a tough gig, especially if you never reach the final. For too long San Marino knew the pain all too well. But then in 2014, Valentina Monetta climbed inside a giant oyster shell and, well you know the rest… the little nation’s biggest dream was finally realised. The microstate tasted success and liked it! But there’s a problem, with such a tiny talent pool, it’s gonna be hard to choose a worthy successor to Val (there’s a reason she was sent three times). But not impossible. The insanely talented Michele Perniola, who represented the country in last year’s Junior Eurovision, will turn 16 in September and become officially eligible to sing with the grown ups next May. Despite the final result, his JESC entry “O-o-O Sole intorno a me” was really strong. Ralph Siegel (he seems to love the place) could even sprinkle a little magic and help produce a song capable of snagging the glass microphone for the San Marinese.

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 for the last post in the series, where we’ll reveal our choices for Serbia through to the United Kingdom.

newest oldest most voted
Notify of
James
Guest
James

I’m learning Dutch and I’m a huge Dutch music fan. I personally think The Netherlands has the best music in the world(I’m extremely biased) and it’s a shame that their songs didn’t reach the final for so long. 2011’s entry 3JS is my favourite band and I listen to them all the time and I loved Joan Franka. As a Dutch entry it’s good to stick to big artists as demonstrated with Anouk and Ilse DeLange in the last two years. Euro-fans seemed to like Tim Douwsma, so he could be a contender. Another person could be a levenslied singer… Read more »

JayEm
Guest

I think that Sweden have a lot of good potential eurovision acts (sorry if they’re not in this post) like Icona Pop. I’d also like to see Sweet California represent Spain…

LEAPerce
Guest
LEAPerce

I think Caro Emerald should represent the Netherlands, I think her album went to number 1 in the uk, and she’s fabulous. Her music is quite different as well, so would fit with what they’ve been doing the last 2 years!

Chris
Guest
Chris

Can’t believe you guys skipped Polina Gagarina from Russia. She SHOULD be next Eurovision winner. And of course, let Sharon Doorson be the next Dutch star! In the other hand I truly love your Portuguese (oh, just discovered that song and I already love her) and Romanian ‘dream entries’.

Archeops
Guest
Archeops

I want Nargiz Zakirova for Russia. She have amazing voice and supports LGBT. Europe, when you’ll become more tolerant?

Comi
Guest
Comi

As a Montenegrian, NO! No Dado Polumenta. He can’t sing! And fun fact, he was born in my town so I’m ashamed even more of him 😀 Anyway, PLEASE NOT HIM!

George
Guest
George

MOROCCO?????? This is your VERY dream contestants…..

Paul
Guest
Paul

I’d rather see Serebro again than anyone else from Russia. Otherwise it may also be Artem Pivovarov.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

YES! Lisa Lois became my top Dutch pick the sooner this year’s contest was over. With a soft-rock ballad (Ilse and Waylon) finishing 2nd, and an orchestral ballad (Anouk) 9th last year, you can’t afford to abandon a strategy that has twice shown the potential for winning. This is something Lisa and her producers are capable of delivering.

Dušan
Guest
Dušan

Wow, Dado Polumenta … I thought he was from Bosnia 😀 His type of music is mostly listened and appreciated by non-intelegent, “red-neck” Balkan people. I also remember seeing Neda Ukraden in this list a couple of weeks back and I can say the same thing for her. Her style (she being like older than Cher and Madonna) is not appropriate! If you knew what she was singing about you would hear me 😀 And Dado, well him, ha… 😀 He doesn’t have a musical talent in his bone. Their songs may be popular on the web and in Balkan… Read more »

SanBeanzie
Guest
SanBeanzie

Totally agree with Moldova!! <3

Can imagine San Marino internally selecting Michele for next year :).

Marco
Guest
Marco

NO! I Want INNA or Alexandra Stan for ROMANIA!

beccaboo1212
Guest

MOLDOVA – Eh. I’m more into Aliona Moon.
MONTENEGRO – No! Sergej is better!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
MOROCCO – I don’t think Morocco’s returning next year.
NETHERLANDS – Cool beans!
NORWAY – Eh. I was thinking Adelen.
POLAND – Well…okay.
PORTUGAL – Good idea!
ROMANIA – That would be great! I actually kinda like her music!
RUSSIA – Eh. I was thinking Dina Garipova from 2013.
SAN MARINO – Good idea. And Valentina could be the spokesperson.

Melissa J
Guest

YES YES YES Michele Perniola! I really felt he could’ve won JESC, and he’s got such great talent not only as a dancer but with live vocals. But he did seem a little too old for that contest. He’d fit in well at Eurovision for sure, and get San Marino a good result. If they won, they could have the contest in nearby Imola, which used to host F1 races and surely has the hotel capacity. I certainly wouldn’t mind staring at Ionel Istrati for a few months for Moldova….He could be a strong contender for Eurovision’s Next Top Male… Read more »

Callum
Guest
Callum

@Huh – Italy and RAI would cohost alongside San Marino and SMRTV as San Marino is Italian and its broadcaster is owned by RAI.

Jeremiah
Guest
Jeremiah

Polina Gagarina for Russia! Let them boo at that!

Huh
Guest
Huh

@D: Funny that while I just saw your comment, I was currently listening to one of her songs at the same time.

Anyway, imagine if San Marino chose Michele Perniola and might win the contest. I wonder where would the 2016 contest even take place?

Youngman
Guest
Youngman

SYLWIA GRZESZCZAK <3

D
Guest
D

I wish Nyusha would represent Russia but I doubt she’d do it.

Nott
Guest
Nott

I hope Sylwia Grzeszczak will one day represent Poland, such a great talent.

Paul
Guest
Paul

I really can’t see Michele being the ambassador of San Marino for the next ESC in Austria. I’m sure that from the few people they have, there is SOMEONE who can fit the part !

Dar
Guest

I would love to see pauline gagarin for Russia .. Love her music and voice .. Also Caro emerald for Netherlands