For the last three years, Team Wiwi has been counting down our favourite songs of the Eurovision national final season. So far, we’ve crowned “Sting”, “Cool Me Down” and “Spirit Animal” as winners. This year, we’re doing it all over again — but with so many national finals to choose from this year, the choice has been harder than ever!
Public selections started all the way back in October, with Latvia’s Supernova online selection round. Fast forward to December, and Albania’s Festivali i Kenges giving us the first selected song.
And on one final weekend in March, Melodifestivalen, MGP and Eurovizijos atranka brought the season to a close. Now, it’s time for us to celebrate all the artists and their songs who didn’t quite make it!
Over the next week, we’ll be covering the top 30 songs of the national final season, as voted for by our wiwibloggers. In total, there’s 16 different national finals represented in this list — that’s how competitive it was, y’all!
Of course, these are just our favourite songs that didn’t make it. We’re not saying they should have made it through — just that we enjoyed them!
Honorable Mention: “Arde” — Aitana (Spain)
A face of just how competitive this ranking was is that a song which achieved points — and high ones at that — from several of our team didn’t even make the top 30. “Arde” missed out on countback, in fact.
Still, much like in the actual OT Eurovision Gala, Aitana has another chance in our rankings. Will “Lo Malo” feature, we wonder…
30. “1 2 3” — Paula (Lithuania)
From the first week, it seemed that this year’s Eurovizijos was a foregone conclusion in favour of Ieva. That didn’t stop Paula from trying to change things up though, with her electro-pop number “1 2 3”.
In fact, Paula changed things up so much that the song ended up being an acoustic guitar song. Even if she only scraped through each week, Paula’s never-give-up attitude made the number even more endearing. It might seem to go on forever, but there’s always some quality in Lithuania.
29. “Lisboa Jerusalem” — Igit (France)
Given Israel’s current position in the odds, we’re not certain Igit wasn’t predicting the future of Eurovision travel with “Lisboa Jerusalem”. Igit’s ranking here perhaps shows the true depth of France’s Destination Eurovision, one of the highlights of the year’s national final season.
With Igit’s quirky charm matching the chanson qualities, “Lisboa Jerusalem” cleverly weaved its way through cities. Thoroughly French, but all the better for it.
28. “Party Voice” — Jessica Andersson (Sweden)
Schlager is not dead! Yes, Jessica might have finished last in the televote in the Melfest final. But it was the journey getting there that proved that the traditional Swedish hit was not over yet.
Qualifying direct to the final — even topping the odds at one stage — Jessica proved without a doubt she could kill it on stage. Now if you don’t mind us, we’re going to dance like a mother for 3 minutes.
27. “Ciao” — Malo’ (France)
Another French NF entry and (spoilers), certainly not the last. With a hint of Chris Martin, Malo’ won over quite a few people on his way to 3rd place in the DE final.
Malo”s bursts of enthusiasm certainly weren’t to everyone’s tastes, certainly. But for those who did appreciate his performance and vocals, “Ciao” could have been a very worthy entry indeed.
26. “Ngrije zërin” — Orgesa Zaimi (Albania)
A remarkably high quality year for Festivali i Këngës meant that there was always going to be disappointment with some of the songs left behind. Whilst Eugent Bushpepa proved to be a very worthy — and popular — winner, Orgesa Zaimi remains a “what if…” candidate.
Perhaps hindered slightly in the live version by the traditional FiK orchestra, “Ngrije zërin” still packs a real punch. Orgesa’s unique “librarian-turned-pop star” look also was a highlight. Hopefully she’ll be back for another attempt soon…
Those are our first five songs in our countdown. Are they some of your national final favourites? Let us know all your thoughts in the comments section below.