When it comes to choosing a Eurovision contestant, some broadcasters — like Sweden’s SVT and Lithuania’s LRT — trawl through several weeks of national selection heats, giving the public a chance to have their say. Other broadcasters push democracy to the side, opting to choose a local heavyweight — and his or her song — behind closed doors.
This year 19 broadcasters have chosen their song through an internal selection. Among them are some of the bookies’ favourites, including Russia, France, Malta and Croatia. But which is your favourite? You can review each song below. Then vote in our poll. You can vote for as many songs as you’d like, but you can only vote one time, so make it count.
Best internally selected song?
Armenia: Iveta Mukuchyan with “Lovewave”
Now in its 10th year of participation, Armenia has opted for five internal selections and five national selections. Aram MP3, Armenia’s most recent Eurovision success story, was internally selected. Could Iveta better his score and bag a victory for the Caucasus nation?
Australia: Dami Im with “Sound Of Silence”
What started as a one-off event to mark the 60th anniversary of Eurovision is now shaping up to be a permanent feature. And why not? Australia’s debut entry placed in the Top 5. Will Dami Im score a victory in our poll or even at the contest?
Azerbaijan : Samra with “Miracle”
This year marks Azerbaijan’s ninth participation at the contest. Since 2008, they have never missed the final. They have featured in the Top 5 on five occasions in addition to winning the trophy in 2011. Samra is one of their emerging stars. Is she your favourite to win our poll?
Bosnia and Herzergovina: Dalal and Deen featuring Ana Rucner and Jala with “Ljubav Je”
After a three-year absence, Bosnia and Herzegovina return to the contest with a host of stars including a former participant. Deen has left the disco for good. Are you loving the transformation?
Bulgaria: Poli Genova with “If Love Was A Crime”
Always the bridesmaid, but never the bride – Bulgaria has missed the final eight times in nine appearances. This will be Poli Genova’s second attempt at the contest after narrowly missing out in 2011. Will she slay or be slayed?
Croatia: Nina Kraljic with “Lighthouse”
After failing to reach the final on four consecutive occasions, Croatia withdrew from Eurovision in 2014. Now they’re back with Nina Kraljic. She currently leads our Semi Final 1 poll. Will her lighthouse guide her to victory here?
Cyprus: Minus One with “Alter Ego”
Minus One previously tried to represent Cyprus at Eurovision 2015 with the song “Shine”, but placed third in the national final. Will “Alter Ego” take them to the top?
Czech Republic: Gabriela Guncikova with “I Stand”
After failing to qualify every year — and receiving zero points at the 2009 edition — Czech Television are handpicking their candidate in the hope of turning their fortunes. Gabriela Guncíková won the “New Artist” category at the 2011 Ceský slavík awards. Can she keep up her winning streak?
France: Amir with “J’ai Cherche”
France hasn’t tasted victory at Eurovision since 1977. But Amir has already taken them back to the top of the odds table and has been winning fans left, right and centre during Eurovision promo season. Is he the man to take Eurovision back to France?
FYR Macedonia: Kaliopi with “Dona”
Kaliopi first competed at Eurovision in 1996. She was eliminated during a non-broadcast preliminary round. She returned in 2012 and placed 13th in the final. Is third time a charm?
Greece: Argo with “Utopian Land”
With 36 appearances in the contest, numerous Top 10 finishes and one victory, Greece is one of the heavyweights of the contest. It has never missed a final. Previously known as Europond, Argo will want to show that their rebirth was worth it.
Ireland: Nicky Bryne with “Sunlight”
Ireland may have more wins at Eurovision than any other nation, but since 2000 they’ve only reached the top 10 on three occasions — and they’ve failed to advance to the final five times. Can Nicky turn the tide?
Italy: Francesca Michielin with “No Degree Of Separation”
Italy’s return to the contest after a 14-year absence has been a huge success, with four of the last five acts landing in the Top 10. Last year Il Volo won the televote and finished third overall. This year’s route to choosing an act and song was a little less straightforward than in the past. Stadio — the winners of the San Remo music festival — turned down the chance of going to Eurovision. So the state broadcaster stepped in, internally selected runner-up Francesca Michielin and then debated her song choice behind closed doors. She’s already won X Factor. Can she win Eurovision too?
Malta: Ira Losco with “Walk On Water”
Malta is a tricky one. Ira Losco was democratically selected after a gruelling competition with over 20 acts. But after her victory she scrapped the winning song “Chameleon” in favour of an internally selected song, “Walk On Water”. Was it the right move?
Montenegro: Highway with “The Real Thing”
Since 2012, Montenegro has internally picked its representatives. The results have been mixed, but their selection process is unbending. Does this highway lead to the finals?
Netherlands: Douwe Bob with “Slow Down”
The Netherlands snapped an eight-year non-qualification streak in 2013 with Anouk’s song “Birds”. The following year The Netherlands came second with “Calm After The Storm”. Both entries were internally selected. Of course, they crashed out last year with another internally selected song, so…
Russia : Sergey Lazarev with “You Are The Only One”
Russia holds the record for the most top five finishes in the 21st century with a total of eight. Last year they came close to winning with an internally selected candidate. Will Sergey go one better?
San Marino: Serhat with “I Didn’t Know”
The microstate has only used internal selections since its debut in 2008. This year, Turkish superstar Serhat flies the flag for the landlocked nation — and he’s footing the bill for participation, too. After hearing the song are you glad he splashed the cash?
Serbia: Sanja Vucic with “Goodbye”
Serbia handpicked emerging star Sanja Vucic. She’s bringing sass, energy and a huge set of lungs. Will her song about domestic violence resonate with Europe?