Some Eurovision songs come into this world in their final state, while others undergo changes along the way — the notorious revamp. But is a revamp the key to success? How did revamped songs do in Eurovision 2017? We’ve taken a look and ranked the revamps!
12. Slovenia: Omar Naber “On My Way”
Semi-final: 17th (36 points)
When Omar Naber won EMA with “On My Way”, his anthem of self-reliance originally had a dramatic orchestral accompaniment with a rock edge. Before Kyiv, the song was given a revamp. It gained some edgy electronic sounds and was given more sophisticated orchestration. But this wasn’t enough. Despite Omar delivering a stellar vocal performance, the song placed second from bottom in its semi-final, with only 36 points.
11. FYR Macedonia: Jana Burceska “Dance Alone”
Semi-final: 15th (69 points)
When the original version of “Dance Alone” was released, it fast became a fan favourite. But the version that made it to Kyiv had a few alterations. The 12-second instrumental introduction was replaced by a half-chorus, while the quiet outro was entirely cut from the song. The song missed out on qualifying and placed only 15th in its semi, with 69 points.
10. Albania: Lindita “World”
Semi-final: 14th (76 points)
“World” was originally “Botë”, which took Lindita to victory at Festivali i Këngës 55. For Eurovision, it was given English lyrics and while the instrumentation moved away from the orchestration of FiK, it kept the same intensity and drama. But despite a killer vocal performance from Lindita, this wasn’t enough to get “World” in to the final. It placed 14th in its semi with 76 points.
9. Estonia: Koit Toome & Laura “Verona”
Semi-final: 14th (85 points)
After winning Eesti Laul with “Verona”, Koit and Laura’s fan favourite song was given a revamp for Eurovision. The introduction was shortened so the song started almost straightaway with Laura’s vocal, and the driving bass of the original was softened. The song was still a hit with viewers — it placed 6th in the televote — but a low jury score meant it was overall ranked 14th with 85 points.
8. Switzerland: Timebelle “Apollo”
Semi-final: 12th (97 points)
Timebelle won the Swiss national final with a stripped-down version of “Apollo”. For Kyiv, they came with a revamped version that added more synth sophistication and punched up the drama. While Timebelle’s 12th place meant they didn’t qualify for the grand final, their 97 points was the best result for Switzerland since Sebalter in 2014.
7. Georgia: Tamara Gachechiladze “Keep the Faith”
Semi-final: 11th (99 points)
After winning Georgia’s epic 25-song national final, Tamara “Tako” Gachechiladze and Anri “Joker” Jokhadze gave it a revamp. It wasn’t a huge change, but the song was given a stronger, more dramatic orchestral accompaniment. It wasn’t quite enough to get Georgia into the grand final, though. But with a particularly strong jury score, “Keep the Faith” came so close in 11th place overall with 99 points.
6. Germany: Levina “Perfect Life”
Grand final: 25th (6 points)
When Levina won Unser Song 2017 with her version of “Perfect Life”, there was a rumour the song would be substantially revamped for Eurovision. But in the end, the song was just shortened to three minutes and, oh, the introduction that sounded like “Titanium” was slightly changed so it sounded slightly less like “Titanium”. But it still only gave Germany six points at the final, resulting in a second-to-last finish in 25th.
5. Greece: Demy “This Is Love”
Grand final: 19th place (77 points)
After “This Is Love” won the Greek national final, it was given a small revamp. Most notably, the chorus lyric “This is love/Rain falls from above” was changed to “This is love/Reaching out for the stars”. But members of #teamrain were relieved to see that the ghost of the lyrics lived on in the watery staging. The revamped version got Greece into the grand final, but it ended songwriter Dimitris Kontopoulos’s six-year streak of top-ten finishes by placing 19th with 77 points.
4. Belarus: Naviband “Story of My Life”
Grand final: 17th (83 points)
Naviband won the Belarus national final with “Historyja majho zyccia” but it was given a low-key revamp for Eurovision. While the title was switched to English, the Belarus song lyrics remained. The ending of the song did, however, have more added to it so it was less repetitive. And it worked. Not only did it qualify for the grand final, but it delivered Belarus a decent result in 17th place with 83 points.
3. United Kingdom: Lucie Jones “Never Give Up on You”
Grand final: 15th (111 points)
Lucie Jones won Eurovision: You Decide with a stripped-down performance of “Never Give Up on You”, accompanied by just a piano and a cello. For Eurovision, the song was revamped with a more melodic piano sound and given moody electronic touches. While the song didn’t do as well as fans were expecting, it still gave the UK its best result since 2011, in 15th place with 111 points.
2. France: Alma “Requiem”
Grand final: 12th (135 points)
After Alma was announced as France’s act for Kyiv, “Requiem” was given a revamp. Most notably the chorus was switched to English, but the song was generally given a lighter feeling, toning down the more dramatic sounds. The song made it to the televote top 10, with an overall finish of 12th place and 135 points.
1. Italy: Francesco Gabbani “Occidentali’s Karma”
Grand final: 6th (334 points)
The version of “Occidentali’s Karma” that won Sanremo was three-and-a-half minutes along and needed to be reedited for Eurovision. The first verse was cut down and the second verse was removed entirely, and some fans thought this was to the detriment of the song. While it didn’t give Italy the win some were predicting, Gabbani and his ape still managed sixth place with 334 points.
What was your favourite revamped song from Kyiv? Is a revamp the key to success or is it a desperate attempt to polish a turd? Share your thoughts below!
Oh Lucy, so beautiful an entry. It deserved so much better.
If it were me, I would have placed it #2 in the grand final (I still think Bulgaria was a tidbit better).
In cases like Slovenia and Germany, I think the song was too bland to be saved by a revamp.
On the other hand, revamps like Switzerland, Estonia and U.K. improved the song and made it stronger.
Thank God “rain falls from above” was changed in the Greek song.
Now the Italian revamp didn’t change my opinion about the song. I don’t think it was damaged.
However, I was a bit dissapointed by the final version of “Requiem”. I don’t mind the english chorus and it fitted the song, but the original was better to be honest!
Switzerland tried hard they did their best but the semifinal was too strong. The backdrop was too colorful, i’d rather them improve the one from the national final. Also the singer’s make-up was too natural.
UK had a great revamp but the song was too monotonous 🙁 Not sure if the piano verison would have stood up among the competition..
France should have kept it in French.
Slovenia finished with juries like Poland 2016 . And what is different in song from Slovenia and song from The Netherlands, Denmark who are overrated in points by juries in semi and final. Old sound outdated .
If 3 sisters from Netherlands or Anja from Denmark sang All my way, they would get 100 + points in semi and final.
I’m pretty sure Rain Of Revolution was also revamped, am I right?
But Wiwibloggs won’t mention it because they have preferences.
I had never listened the new version of Occidentali’s Karma until Eurovision. I thought my ears were bleeding. Big shock!
Best revamp UK then Georgia and Albania
Worst revamp France (with english lyrics) ,then Switzerland and Italy ( when they cut song to be 3.00 ).
Next year Albania need to keep their song in Albanian for Eurovision.
They have a beautiful language, the public votes for that version of the song, and whenever they revamp a song it flops (2015 is no exceptions)
Yup. 2014, 2016, now 2018. The big problem here is, with “Botë (World)”, I think that, even if Lindita and her team had kept it Albanian, they still would not have qualified. With the other 2 (from Hersi and Eneda), they would have qualified, because not only did they go English, but they watered down the music to make them more pop-friendly or ESC-friendly, and ended up making those songs worse. For 2015, though, Elhaida’s song “Diell” was not going to qualify, period, and they knew it, and that’s why they gave her a new song (“I’m Alive”). Either that,… Read more »
In the case and Albania i must say that i liked the original version a lot more, I didn’t liked the english version of it and the dress/staging wasn’t that great.
In the case of France it should have been totally in French, the english part awful for me and out of place, being that the backgound was about the Eiffel Tower and Paris.
France had no choice but to revamp the song. Word has it that the first time it was performed was in January 2015 (EBU violation); which means the first recording probably took place back then as well.
Well, we won something hahahaha
The best revamp of the decade is Lucie Jones’, though. That song went from unlistenable snoozefest to quality modern ballad.
I 100% agree with this opinion.
Lucie Jones’ song by Emmelie De Forrest was criticised at the UK National Final for being “dull” and “boring.” But, the re-orchestration provided a total transformation of the song into potential winning material. Add to that, the final live staging was magical. For the first time since 2002, I was completely happy with the UK entry. 🙂
I personally preferred Lucie’s national selection version. I think it could have been a very strong contender to Salvador. The new arrangements diluted the power and made the song less distinctive from other songs. And I loved her performance!
It had a quiet power yet it stood out…..
Also her facial expressions during the final were not a cute look…… She seemed twitchy in constipated instead of emotional, though she was vocally perfect.
Try to sing for 3 minutes without being able to breathe, you’d make the same faces.
I think there was a problem with her make up. She had too much of a “natural look”, possibly contrasting with all the glitter of the staging, and the camera was very closed to her. Same issue for Poland, actually. But vocally and performance she “slayed”. Being native speaker makes such a difference…
With Alma’s song my HoD has done a bad communication. They revealed her song in French and then switch to it in a Frenglish song. So it was bad, they should have released only the ESC version but her song was already available in French so they had not lot of choices. I think it was useless to do it though. But I like the new ending , it’s more memorable than singing ce qu’il a donné 4 Times in a row. I think we will have a bilingual song next year too, with what they said on radio. For… Read more »
Estonia and Belarus improved.
Switzerland was better in the national final.
Albania got so much worse…. I know the original version was in english but they should have sang it in albanian. Albanian is a very beautiful and musical language. Also the instrumental arrangement was better before.
France changed the chorus to english i have no idea why…. It hads nothing to the song. The song sounds better in french.
The remaining songs i didnt notice the difference.
In the end, only the albanian revamp made a difference.
I loved and still Love Occidentali’s Karma for me Francesco Gabbani is the Winner of Eurovision 2017
My favorite revamp has to HAS TO be Belarus. For me the song went from being a happy-go-lucky song to sheer magic on the stage. While I’m happy the song qualified, it deserved higher than 17th place. Even here in America at our Eurovision party, this was a fan favorite. My least favorite revamp is, sadly, Italy. But it wasn’t really possible to reduce a smart song by 30 seconds. It lost a lot of meaning and became more gimmicky. I showed the Sanremo version to my friends after the show, and they agreed it was far better. Unfortunately, rules… Read more »
Belarus won our Eurovision party’s voting as well here in Orlando. Maybe it appeals to American ears more than European. I completely agree with your assessment of elevating the song to sheer magic.
Our party had Belarus notably higher as well. Hit our collective Top Ten. I think it’s the enduring popularity of folk-pop in the US: for all that the song is in a foreign language, more of us are familiar with (and appreciative of) the song’s basic stylings.
Depends if you count every slight tweak as a ‘revamp’. I would consider only France and Albania as true revamps, since they actually sounded different. Italy and Estonia were shortened, but I think the remaining content stayed the same. UK sounds a bit different, but not that much. Tweaks of other songs sound minimal.
Basically every song that had a revamp flopped this year – Italy and France were favourites and most of the others did not qualify.
Yep. Barring a bare couple of improvements, most of the songs that got revamped did not do as well as their original version’s enthusiasm.
Yup; I feared as much with regard to Francesco’s song. The way they cut out the 2nd verse made it obvious to everyone’s ears that a cut-and-paste job had been done on the song, and you don’t want to leave such a clue so obvious. There were better ways to edit this song without losing any essential part of the message; but they rushed into the edit without giving it any significant thought. That, and the fact that he should have put the band on stage as his backups, is why he slipped to 3rd on my card for his… Read more »