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. Even wiwivision is over! 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 last few Wednesdays our correspondents from across the world brought you their ultimate wishlist for Ukraine 2017. And as this is all fantasy, we also took 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 was left out, we worked through countries in alphabetical order. And now we’re finally at the end. It’s time to check out our last ten picks, starting with San Marino and finishing with the United Kingdom.
San Marino: Delayers
Robyn: San Marino might be the smallest country in Eurovision, but there’s no shortage of talent in the microstate. Case in point: the production trio Delayers. Their song “Let It Go” features guest vocals from the American singer Rhett Fisher, and it delivers a smooth blend of pop, electronica and R&B, with tones of tropical house to really give it that cool 2016 feeling. The trio have the production skills to create catchy and bold songs, just the thing San Marino needs to slide into the finals again.
Serbia: Zap Me Strobe
Edd: Dance music undoubtedly rules European charts at the moment. But it’s disappointingly rare at Eurovision – it’s about time countries take advantage of this. Zap Me Strobe is a DJ duo hailing from Belgrade, and they represent one of Europe’s maddest nightlife scenes very appropriately indeed. Their dirty bass production is oh so popular at the moment, yet the addition of traditional folkloric vocals gives them a unique edge, something that would surely appeal to viewers and juries alike. This could be one big, beautiful, unforgettable production.
Slovkia: Mária Círová
Mikhail: Some of you might remember Mária from 2009, when she was one of the contestants in that year’s Slovakian national selection. Despite being one of the favourites with “Burka”, she finished fourth. Back then she was only beginning her solo career following her stint with Trinity Group. With a Coca Cola Superstar win in 2008 and a Zlaty Slavik nomination in 2009, Mária’s career went from strength to strength. Her latest single “Unikat” topped the iTunes charts upon its release earlier this year. Her emotive music carries an important message, and she would be a great representative for Slovakia if they ever return.
Slovenia: Perpetuum Jazzile
Padraig: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know Eurovision only allows a maximum of six people on stage. It’s an outdated rule, especially when it means that Slovenia’s biggest singing export can never compete. But this is a wishlist — emphasis on the wish — and I’m including Perpetuum Jazzile anyway. Founded in 1983, Perpetuum Jazzile is an a cappella choir, best known for its covers of Toto’s “Africa” and ABBA’s “Greatest Hits”. The group has toured all over the globe, including the United States and Canada. Thus far the closest they’ve come to Eurovision is a special a cappella version of Maraaya’s “Here For You”. Since our dreams rarely come true, we’re just going to have to face reality and accept that we won’t see the group at Eurovision until Slovenia finally win the contest and need an interval act. They’d definitely be right up there with Riverdance and “Love, Love, Peace, Peace”.
Luis: Y’all, Yall had to feature on this wishlist. In 2015, the Barcelona group created the soundtrack for clothing brand Desigual’s advertising campaign. And it went bigger than they ever expected. Right now, their song “Hundred Miles” has over 28 million views on YouTube, while they’ve gone on to play concerts in France, Mexico, Portugal and Switzerland. Apart from having our favourite band name ever, Yall could work with any singer and produce yet another banger. Yall would take Spain back to the top of the scoreboard, y’all.
Sweden: Tove Lo
Sami: Rolling Stone magazine labelled her “Sweden’s darkest pop export” and her 2013 single “Habits (Stay High)” charted all over the world, including in the United States and Australia. She’s an extremely talented singer and songwriter, so it’s no surprise that everyone wants a piece of Tove Lo. Tove has written songs for Ellie Goulding and Hilary Duff and worked with Nick Jonas, Adam Lambert and Coldplay among others. And we want her for Eurovision. She’s not your average female pop star but her edgy look, honest lyrics and dark pop sound make her far more interesting. Sadly, despite being the biggest show in the country, Melodifestivalen doesn’t seem to be the right place for Tove Lo. Still, we live in hope!
Switzerland: Bastian Baker
Jason: Switzerland has seriously struggled in the contest recently, qualifying just twice in the past ten years. Next year I think that Switzerlamd should dump its usual (complicated) selection process and send Bastian Baker to Ukraine. Baker is an all-rounder: as a former judge on The Voice Belgique, he proved that he too has the voice. In 2012 he took part in Danse avec les stars and showed that he can move. And most importantly, he is cuuute (potential winner of ENTMM?). With a clean production and a song with a simple, catchy hook, Bastian Baker could smoulder his way to victory. And into our hearts.
Turkey: Murat Ceylan
Gokhan: We still don’t know when Turkey will return to the contest, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a Eurovision-ready singer. A fresh name in Turkish pop, Murat Ceylan would be the best choice for Turkey. He released his debut album Yeni Nesil after placing fourth on the popular reality show Survivor. With a number of English songs on the record, Murat promises to be an international artist. Aside from music, Ceylan also presents TV shows, meaning he’d be the first choice to host the next year should he win.
Dayana: It was difficult to choose an act for Ukraine, because the country has so many talented artists. But I think that Alekseev (Nikita Alekseev) would be a perfect choice for Eurovision. Alekseev took part in The Voice of Ukraine 2014, under the guidance of Ani Lorak. Afterwards, she helped him release “Pyanoe soltce”, the single that made him famous right across the CIS region. Alekseev’s unique voice and appealing music style will surely bring him even more success in the future.
United Kingdom: Emma Blackery
Chris: Eurovision is reaching brand new audiences, and the Eurovision fandom is becoming increasingly active online. So why not embrace the social media age and send a UK YouTube star? Emma Blackery might be best known for her comedy track about Google+, but she’s released some great self-penned tracks over the past few years. The attention she’s gained from her YouTube work even led to her supporting Busted on their recent UK arena tour. Sure, we’ve had the BBC tell us before that an act has “lots of fans in Serbia” (cough, Engelbert, cough), but the difference here is that Emma is truly relevant to today’s audiences.
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.