Last week, we started our countdown of Team Wiwi’s top national final songs from the Eurovision 2017 season. With some surprises along the way, we’ve finally reached our top five. We’ve gone through and counted, checked and verified all the votes once more to make sure we have a winner.
Believe us when we say this is the tightest result ever in our countdown — it went down to the very last wiwiblogger to decide who would be our number one. So let’s cut the tension and start our top five…
5. “I Love You” — Tayanna (Ukraine)
With the added bonus of being the host nation’s act, there was even more on the line in Ukraine’s national final than usual. One of the real standouts was Tayanna, whose song “I Love You” seemed a clear favourite.
The song — penned by former NF act Max Barskih — was perfectly structured to show off Tayanna’s great vocal. Whilst she was the jury’s favourite in the final, the televote went against her and ultimately a tie-break sent O.Torvald instead of her.
Wiwi Jury: “One word sprung to mind, when I listened to ‘I love you’: wow. This one is dynamite, y’all! The power here is beyond everything. She puts her heart and soul into the performance, and strikes you like lightning. I actually had to take a moment, and just gather myself after first listen.” (Kristin)
4. “As I Lay Me Down” — Wiktoria (Sweden)
Wiktoria’s return to Melodifestivalen seemed to be perfectly set up for a win. “As I Lay Me Down” laid on more country than last year’s “Save Me”, but also allowed her more freedom on stage. Easily beating the likes of Loreen and Jon Henrik in her heat, everything pointed to a Wiktoria win in the final.
But once again the international juries scuppered her chances. With the app vote bunching votes too close together, she had no chance to catch up. After two near misses in a row, will she come back for third time lucky next year?
Wiwi Jury: “Wiktoria ticks so many boxes: girl-next-door charm, innovative staging, pitch-perfect vocals that balance power and control. Taken together she has the broadest demographic appeal — she’s the woman girls want to be and who guys want to be with. The production is slick and, unlike so many other entries, somehow pared back.” (William)
3. “A Million Years” — Mariette (Sweden)
After a great debut at Melfest in 2015, Mariette’s return this year was one of the most anticipated.
“A Million Years” certainly delivered too, with Mariette’s pitch-perfect vocals matched with a great song and performance.
And as she did in our 2015 list, Mariette also places a great third place here.
Wiwi Jury: “Everything about Mariette is just flawless, stunning. “A Million Years” allows you to be carried away by the excitement of the song, driving you crazy. I want to dance and she radiates excitement while owing strong and sublime vocals. It feels heavenly. I wish it would last more than three minutes. What a gem!” (Jordi)
2. “Statements” — Loreen (Sweden)
There was arguably no moment more anticipated in the national final season than on February 25. Loreen’s return to Melodifestivalen with “Statements” was set to be a highlight — yet from the first moment it was clear this was not going to go the way many fans hoped. The on-screen Melfest heart failed to beat until too late, and Loreen found herself relegated to Andra Chansen. There she was beaten by Anton Hagman, failing to even make the final.
Loreen had told us from the start that this was not about winning — this was about Loreen sending a message. The former Eurovision winner may not have succeeded in returning to the contest, but she certainly knew how to get our attention once more.
Wiwi Jury: “I want to make a statement right now: this is art! Forget everything you’ve heard and experienced…Loreen’s voice takes all those listening to another planet. Captivating and powerful, it’s renewal, it’s rebirth, it’s drama.” (Bernardo)
1. “Spirit Animal” — Kerli (Estonia)
In a year with a Melfest mostly derided as subpar, it was Eesti Laul that had everyone excited. With a whole range of songs and genres on offer — some of which we’ve already highlighted in this list, some who just missed out — there was one name that stood out more than any other. Kerli’s return to the national finals was much anticipated and “Spirit Animal” certainly did not disappoint.
Different and visually arresting, this was a performance piece from start to finish. Kerli knew what she wanted to do and delivered: a clear reason why she stands out amongst so many other national finalists this year. Koit and Laura may have had the edge all along, but we suspect this will go down as one of the best “could have beens” for a long time.
Wiwi Jury: “Catchy and slick with a seasoned professional, as an entry this would pack some punch. Yes, it is slightly repetitive but most successful Eurovision entries are built around a hook. And visually, this will undoubtedly be stunning.” (Jason)
So Kerli joins the list of our winners, including 2015’s Eric Saade and 2016’s Margaret. Was “Spirit Animal” one of your top national final songs of the year? Shout out all your thoughts on the wiwibloggs app, or in the comments section below!
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