Following the success of “1944” and “Sound of Silence” in Stockholm, it seemed that almost everyone wanted to take a powerful ballad to Eurovision 2017. But how did all the ballads do in Kyiv? We take a look at the ballads entered in the contest this year — first up, the songs that didn’t make it out of the semi-finals.

Note: We’re roughly defining a ballad as a slow tempo song with a strong emotional theme to its lyrics. However, we’ve also included a few mid-tempo songs that have a ballad feeling to them. Your definition of what a ballad is may vary — but that’s ok.

17. Slovenia: Omar Naber “On My Way”

Semi-final: 17th (36 points)

Omar Naber’s ’80s-style anthem of self-reliance might have been a hit with Slovenian national final jurors, but didn’t translate to Eurovision. Slovenia performed second-to-last in their semi-final, usually a strong place in the running order. Instead the performance position was also their overall place on the scoreboard – second-to-last in 17th place with only 36 points.

16. Malta: Claudia Faniello “Breathlessly”

Semi-final: 16th (55 points)

After nine attempts at representing her country, Claudia Faniello finally got her big break. But while the classic-sounding country-tinged ballad “Breathlessly” had wowed televoters at the Maltese national final, the same could not be said about Eurovision. Malta scored nil points in the semi-final televote, and only received 55 points from the jury vote, putting it in 16th place overall.

15. Iceland: Svala “Paper”

Semi-final: 15th (60 points)

Edgy Icelandic performer Svala had the mid-tempo ballad “Paper”. Her song won the televote, jury vote and super final of Iceland’s national final, but had less luck in Kyiv. While Svala delivered powerhouse vocals, fans agreed that the song was let down by its unfocused staging. Iceland placed 15th with 60 points.

14. Albania: Lindita “World”

Semi-final: 14th (76 points)

Lindta won Festivali i Këngës with the dramatic ballad “Botë”, which was later transformed into the English-language “World”. Lindita delivered bold, dramatic vocals with long and strong notes, but it wasn’t enough to make it into the final. Albania placed 14th with 76 points.

13. Czech Republic: Martina Bárta “My Turn”

Semi-final: 13th (83 points)

Jazz singer Martina Bárta was internally selected by the Czech broadcaster, with the gentle ballad “My Turn”. While her costume of a gold jumpsuit and a flesh-tone bra puzzled some viewers, fans agreed she gave a stellar vocal performance. Juries placed it seventh, but televoters weren’t feeling the love and ranked it last with only two points. The Czech Republic placed 13th with only 83 points.

12. Ireland: Brendan Murray “Dying to Try”

Semi-final: 13th (86 points)

Brendan Murray, a former member of Irish boyband HomeTown, was internally selected. He performed the sweet but old-fashioned ballad “Dying to Try”. While the song was nicely performed, Eurovision fans were disappointed that Ireland had gone for such a dated style. Ireland placed 13th in the semi-final with 86 points.

11. Finland: Norma John “Blackbird”

Semi-final: 12th (92 points)

The duo Norma John won the Finnish national final with their gothic ballad “Blackbird”. The song was — and still is — a fan favourite, but it didn’t quite make it out of the semi-final. “Blackbird” placed 10th with televoters, but only 12th with juries.

10. Switzerland: Timebelle “Apollo”

Semi-final: 12th (97 points)

Romanian-Swiss group Timebelle won the Swiss national final with their mid-tempo ballad “Apollo”. They came very close to qualifying, placing 10th with the televote but 12th with the jury. Overall they placed 12th with 97 points — but it was Switzerland’s best semi-final result since 2014.

9. Georgia: Tamara Gachechiladze “Keep the Faith”

Semi-final: 11th (99 points)

Georgia’s Tamara “Tako” Gachechiladze won Georgia’s national final with her dramatic Bond-style ballad “Keep the Faith”. The song was a hit with jurors, who placed it eighth. However, the public were less impressed and placed it only 13th, resulting in 11th place overall, with 99 points.

Coming soon… we’ll take a look at the successful ballads of Eurovision 2017.

What do you think? Why weren’t these ballads successful at Eurovision? Have your say below!

READ MORE OF OUR LISTS HERE

44 Comments
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Pablo
Pablo
4 years ago

Quick proofread: Timebelle placed 11th in juries. Not 12th 🙂

Justin K.
Justin K.
4 years ago

I’m still slightly irked Greece placed higher overall than both Georgia and Finland (heck, maybe even Albania despite the 24s long Aguilera-esque note). Either of these ballads would have been good in 16th position between Spain and Norway. Ultimately, the majority of these ballads just weren’t songs you’d pick up the phone for to vote. Estonia was pretty much robbed though, since they at least finished 6th in the televote albeit with only 20 points over 10th; Finland was surprisingly underrated by the juries; Georgia didn’t quite connect with the public; and the Czech Republic failed to get enough of… Read more »

AngieP
AngieP
4 years ago

My favourite “non successful” ballad this year is Finland!
It was the perfect ballad, well presented and well sung! That was amazing!

From the ballads I am not a fan of, Tamara was vocally on point, she literally slayed!

Looking forward to the other half of the article about the succesful ballads this year! Portugal and Bulgaria will be definetely in. And Croatia was definetely a song that succeded in this competition!

sollis
sollis
4 years ago

I will never like jury. Never. They kill the music.
If somebody has charisma, energy, voice, will be killed by jury to make place for something boring.
Why a rich country like Germany doesn’t bribe them all, at least to prove how promiscuous they are.

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
4 years ago
Reply to  sollis

I 100% agree with this. Juries are pointless after 2017’s televoting results which were completely unbiased.

Colin
Colin
4 years ago

How are Paper and Apollo ballads? The definition of ballad here obviously includes every slow to mid-tempo song that tackles love. What are the remaining 8? I count only 4 ballads in GF – Bulgaria, UK, Netherlands and Australia. Assuming these 4 are the others you listed – Portugal (Jazz love song), Croatia (popera), Denmark (pop song) and Armenia (alternative pop).

kris
kris
4 years ago
Reply to  Colin

I know one is Greece….Poland…..Denmark

James
James
4 years ago

Love song= Ballad

M_K
M_K
4 years ago

Some statistics concerning Malta and the juries: – Since the re-introduction of the juries in 2009, Malta took part in 12 shows (including semi finals and finals, excluding the 2009 semi finals with televoting only). 10 times out of 12, the juries put Malta in the top ten. – According to the juries, Malta would have qualified from every semi final they competed in during that era. On the other hand, Malta was only ranked in the top ten of the televoting in the semi finals twice (2013 and 2016). In 2009 however, Malta had qualified through televoting alone as… Read more »

escterrace
escterrace
4 years ago
Reply to  M_K

2013 Malta has such a special place in my heart!Do we know if he wants to participate again?He really needs th make a comeback

PP
PP
4 years ago
Reply to  M_K

Juries like Malta, Australia, Sweden, Azerbaijan, Israel , from 2013 they love The Netherlands, from 2014 they love Belgium, and from 2011 to 2013 they love Italy from that period Italy is not good with juries like before. Sometime join in the gropu Austria, Denmark.
Juries don t like Poland, San Marino and from 2013 countries from ex Yugoslavia

Jo
Jo
4 years ago
Reply to  PP

Italy and the juries are like sex and fight.

Marc
Marc
4 years ago
Reply to  PP

They basically feel blind love for Malta, Australia and Nordics. (But not Finland)
So much corruption there.

Azerbaijan also does better with juries. Israel and Netherlands are a bit darlings as well.

Belgium? No.
Loïc and Blanche did much better with televote.

They hate Poland, Switzerland or Estonia.
Also Hungary 2013 and 2017. ridiculous.

kris
kris
4 years ago
Reply to  Marc

Kedvecem!!

PP
PP
4 years ago
Reply to  M_K

Malta is good with juries from 1991 . And in last few years juries members in malta national final was members from other HOD fof Eurovision.

deli
deli
4 years ago

Still don’t get why Finland didn’t qualify.

Jenni Vartiainen for ESC 2018!

M_K
M_K
4 years ago
Reply to  deli

I agree. I still can’t find a proper explanation why they didn’t qualify.

jinbeizaki
jinbeizaki
4 years ago
Reply to  M_K

I find that song extremely depressing, sure she can sing but for me the reason why they didn’t qualify was because of how by the end of the song you could jump from the window + that semi final had so many ballad, women singing it so in the end they are all sounding pretty much similar to the audience. The jury hadn’t particuraly damaged it that much, after all the points were pretty tight around that place (60s-40s points) Sure it had been a favorite but it wasn’t 100% sure to qualify (like any other songs) and I guess… Read more »

L'oiseau
L'oiseau
4 years ago

I am still not over Finland… It was my 3rd placed this year. I still fail to understand what went wrong with the jury placing them 12th. I get it that might not be crowd pleaser but it turned out that the public wanted her to pass… Also disappointed with Iceland…

L'oiseau
L'oiseau
4 years ago
Reply to  L'oiseau

For the rest I am not surprised they didn’t pass, except maybe for Ireland.

Tara
Tara
4 years ago

I will cry for Finland until 2018. My heart is so broken. Such an unpredictable nation sending all kinds of songs and having a varied, interesting and perhaps one of the craziest national finals and Europe doesn’t respond. When… pardon my Finnish but F*** THE JURIES!
Not even Jenni Vartianen could pull off a win for Finland these days.

Jo
Jo
4 years ago
Reply to  Tara

Yes. Me too. I’m heartbroken for Finland.

123
123
4 years ago

I don’t see “Paper” as a ballad. For me it’s modern pop-song, with some club vibes.

PP
PP
4 years ago
Reply to  123

I agree Paper is group with song from Serbia. They are modern pop song with influence of ballad.

Fatima
Fatima
4 years ago

I think poor old Omar Naber is being done a disservice. Everyone is bandwagoning about the song being dated. Some say 80s, some say 90s, some say 2007. I say that is meaningless. If I like something, I like it. I don’t check first to see how old it is. I though he had a great performance, connecting with the cameras, not playing imaginary instruments and not struggling at all with the big notes. I’m more likely to watch his clip again than I am for some of the songs which scored more.

Crystal
Crystal
4 years ago
Reply to  Fatima

I don’t feel sad for that sex offender. Well-deserved placing, but should’ve been last instead of Latvia.

Nickc
Nickc
4 years ago
Reply to  Crystal

Who is a sex offender???

M_K
M_K
4 years ago
Reply to  Nickc

He is not a sex offender. He was sentenced to a suspended seven months jail sentence for battery (apparantly he pushed someone in a night club), but all other charges were dropped. Someone mistranslated a Slovene newspaper article and wrote on English wikipedia that he “was sentenced to serve seven months in prison for sexually assaulting a woman” and since then these rumours have been circulating around the internet…

Ariana
Ariana
4 years ago
Reply to  M_K

He was convicted. Do you know what that means? He’s been proven guilty of sexually offense towards a woman.

M_K
M_K
4 years ago
Reply to  Ariana

He was not convicted for sexually assaulting someone, he was convicted for battery (which means assaulting someone, but not sexually).

PP
PP
4 years ago
Reply to  Fatima

If Omar sang for Australia, The Nehterlands he would be in TOP 5 with juries in semi and final and in final he would be in TOP 12 .

Justin K.
Justin K.
4 years ago
Reply to  Fatima

I’m not musically trained, but during the sound checks uploaded to YouTube and during most of his performances, his long notes (the focal point) of the chorus sounds quite flat. To be fair, his best performance was probably that Semifinal performance for the televoters, but the song is still underwhelming.

Mattias Sollerman
Mattias Sollerman
4 years ago

What is a ballad exactly? A silly question perhaps.
Is it just tempo, or does ‘mood’ and content/lyrics play a role?
To me Switzerland and Iceland don’t feel like ballads. Neither does Denmark for instance. I assume there is a large grey area.

Kris
Kris
4 years ago

Denmark Is most definitely a ballad…..Iceland and Switzerland are mid-tempo emotive songs.

Crystal
Crystal
4 years ago

Denmark was a powerballad.

azaad
azaad
4 years ago

This might seem out of the blue, but will you be reviewing Alma’s new album once the results dissection finishes? Loving the post ESC commentary though.

Jo
Jo
4 years ago
Reply to  azaad

I’m waiting for Francesco’s as well.

Amor A.
Amor A.
4 years ago
Reply to  Jo

Yes. This!

James
James
4 years ago

Part 2 a.k.a. the Kuula’s of 2017. 😀

Marc
Marc
4 years ago

The question is why Juries wanted to qualify Malta? But they hated Slovenia.
Why did they support Denmark, but not Ireland? Also Switzerland.
It has no sense.

Charli Cheer Up
Charli Cheer Up
4 years ago
Reply to  Marc

Perhaps the intial reaction from online ESC fans rubbed onto the juries before the contest began. The same thing happened with Spain and Germany at the grand finals who’s entries had a sour reception upon being chosen.

Kris
Kris
4 years ago

Spain and its cockatoo/rooster weren’t good at all.

Cathal
Cathal
4 years ago

“Why juries wanted Malta to qualify”, $$$$$$ Malta up to their dirty tricks.

Jo
Jo
4 years ago
Reply to  Marc

It does make sense. Malta, Denmark and Austria sound like something that you would listen on the radio, much more than Ireland and Slovenia. None of those entries are among my favourites, but if I had to pick someone then it would be the first three. Not sure about Switzerland.
Spain and Germany were just undeniably bad.