We’ve already taken a look at the first 11 dramatic moments of the 2016 national final season, but as the weeks rolled on, the drama continued. We saw the normally smooth operation of Sweden’s Melodifestivalen plagued by three moments of Mello-drama, and Poland’s notorious “Cool Me Down” meltdown. Let’s relive these precious moments – and you can vote for your favourites.
12. Spain: Barei criticised for English lyrics
No sooner had Barei won Objetivo Eurovisión with “Say Yay!” when she found herself under attack from the RAE, the conservative organisation for the defence of the Spanish language. While the RAE had been somewhat unhappy with Ruth Lorenzo‘s bilingual “Dancing in the Rain”, they were downright fuming at the totally English lyrics of “Say Yay!”. Barei had earlier defended the English lyrics, saying “I have nothing against our language, of course, but my project is in English.”
13. Sweden: Charlotte Perrelli dropped as Melfest host
Charlotte Perrelli was all set to host the second Melodifestivalen heat when it was suddenly announced that she’d been dropped. Public broadcaster SVT doesn’t allow its contractors to be involved with advertising work — and Perrelli had a gig as the spokesperson for Comviq mobile. She was dropped from her co-hosting role, but given an even sweeter consolation prize – performing as the interval act, where she brought the house down with her schlagertastic song “Här står jag”.
14. Sweden: Anna Book’s song disqualified
Anna Book was all ready to perform on Melfest, celebrating 30 years since her first appearance, when it was horrifyingly discovered that her song “Himmel för två” had been previously released in 2014. A version with English lyrics, “Taking Care of a Broken Heart”, had been one of Felicia Dunaf’s entries into Moldova’s O melodi pentru Europa but was cut at the audition round. A sombre Christer Björkman announced that while Anna would still perform the song on the night, it would not be eligible for voting.
15. Denmark: Double diva disaster at Melodi Grand Prix
It was shaping up to be a battle of the divas – DGMP veteran Simone versus Danish-Australian newcomer Anja. When the two made it to the super final, it seemed obvious that Denmark would be sending either “Heart Shaped Hole” or “Never Alone” to Stockholm. Except in a shock result, the ticket went to the third act in the superfinal – boyband Lighthouse X and their song “Soldiers of Love”. Fans of Anja and Simone weren’t happy, but with the result chosen by 100% televote, the good people of Denmark had spoken loud and clear.
16. Moldova: Elle withdraw from O melodie pentru Europa
Another week, another Moldovan withdrawal. Despite their song “Tare” being a fan favourite, O melodie pentru Europa semi-finalists Elle weren’t happy. Their manager announced the duo would be withdrawing, explaining that “dirty business and scheming are not cute”. It took over a week for their withdrawal to finally be confirmed, but eventually the broadcaster got the message.
17. Sweden: Molly Sandén’s song is leaked
More Mello-drama, you say? A 30-second clip of Molly’s Melfest entry “Youniverse” was accidentally made available on Amazon, in breach of SVT’s strict rules. The broadcaster was sensible about it, though. To level the playing field, they released 30-second clips of all other acts from the fourth semi-final, giving this dramatic moment a happy ending.
18. Romania: Hayley Evetts withdraws from Selectia Nationala
Former UK Pop Idol star Hayley Evetts surprised Euro fans when she showed up in the Romanian line-up with “Brand New Day”, a song that reminded some of the ELO song “Mr Blue Sky”. But fans wouldn’t have the chance to see this unexpected NF performance. Hayley withdrew from Selectia Nationala after injuring her knee, perhaps a case a performer of taking “break a leg” a bit too literally.
19. Ukraine: Jamala’s song accused of being too political
The Ukraine national final was full of drama, but one moment continued after the show. When Ukraine selected Jamala and her song “1944” to make their Eurovision comeback, there was no question about the song’s lyrics, with which Jamala takes an emotional look at the 1944 deportation of Crimean Tartars under Stalin. But was the historical too political? Debate erupted and the news was reported by media around the world. But there was no trouble – the EBU’s Reference Group examined the song and approved it for the contest.
20. Latvia: Samanta Tina withdraws live on Supernova
Samanta Tina had entered two songs in Supernova. Her first – and arguably strongest – “We Live For Love” had missed out on qualifying for the final but her second song, the quirky “The Love is Forever”, made it to the semi-final. But after her performance at the semi, Samanta announced live on the show that she would be withdrawing from the competition. She felt that she did not have the best song and thought that Justs should win with his song “Heartbeat” – which he went on to do.
21. Poland: The “Cool Me Down” meltdown at Krajowe Eliminacje
Going into Poland’s first national final since 2011, the fan favourite was Margaret and her scorching hot track “Cool Me Down”. The buzz and expectations of “Cool Me Down” was so intense that Poland became the bookies’ favourite to win in Stockholm. But it wasn’t to be. At the grand final, the first place went to X Factor alum Michal Szpak with his ballad “Color of Your Life”. Poland’s odds plunged and the fandom went into meltdown.
Poll: What was the most dramatic moment of 2016?
Now that you’ve see the dramatic moments of 2016 (take a look back at the first 11), you can tell us what you thought was the most dramatic. You can vote for as many as you like, but you can only vote once, so make it count!