Whilst last year we had just one bilingual entry, this year has seen a mega bilingual revival, with five countries opting to sing in English as well as a national language. The bilingual song has seen diminishing success over the years – the last win being Ruslana’s “Wild Dances” back in 2004. Can any of 2016’s multi-lingual entries reverse the trend?
Bulgaria: Poli Genova with “If Love Was a Crime”
Poli failed to make the final with her Bulgarian-language ballad back in 2011, but is hoping to become Bulgaria’s second ever qualifier with English-language hip-pop, teamed with a killer Bulgarian hook.
France: Amir with “J’ai cherché”
France is one of the few countries to have never sung an entry entirely in English. “Jai’ cherché” will be the first French entry since 2012 that will not be 100% in the French language — a move that appears promising judging by the betting odds. France is currently the top-ranked nation of the Big 5.
Greece: Argo with “Utopian Land”
Greece is the only country this year that’s sending a song in three languages – English, Greek and a début language Pontic Greek. Since 2012, Greece has sent three entries entirely in English, finishing 17th, 19th and 20th, respectively. Their two bilingual entries, however, finished in a far more respectable sixth and seventh place. Will this year’s multi-lingual entry continue the trend?
Italy: Francesca Michielin with “No Degree of Separation”
Italy joins France in having never sent a song entirely in English. Furthermore, 2016 will also be the first year since 2012 where we will hear English from this Mediterranean nation. Michielin is hoping to lift the song in the final chorus with an English translation of the lyrics.
Ukraine: Jamala with “1944”
For the first time since 2007, Ukraine will field a song in a language other than English. Jamala will controversially sing in English and Crimean Tatar – the language native to one of Europe’s most politically sensitive regions at the moment, Crimea.
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