Losing the crown doesn’t always mean losing the coins. Sometimes acts that come up short in their domestic Eurovision selections go on to become massive hits, topping the charts and leaving fans wondering, “What if…”

It’s a topic that sprang to mind recently when Deban and I filmed a video naming our Top 3 songs from the ongoing OGAE Second Chance Contest. I ranked Spain’s “Lo Malo” as my number one, while Deban put it second. That led YouTube viewer Nil Erra to leave this insight in the comments section: “Lo Malo joins the list of big national bops which were number 1 hits, yet didn’t win their selections.”

And you know what? There are a lot of them. And here are five of our favourites.

Ana Guerra & Aitana — “Lo Malo”

One of the candidate songs for Spain ahead of Eurovision 2018, “Lo malo” comes with an easy-to-remember and hard-to-forget chorus, fierce rhythm and plenty of heat. It ultimately finished third in Spain’s selection show. But that didn’t stop this sizzling track from topping the Spanish Singles Chart and receiving double platinum certification. The fiery song, born in the aftermath of the #MeToo movement, became a torch song for International Women’s Day demonstrations in Spain. But it isn’t just a song of female empowerment. It’s an empowering song for us all.

Adelén — “Bombo”

In your eyes she saw love like a fire. And Norwegian viewers saw something too, putting the then 16-year-old Adelén through to the MGP final with her Latin-tinged dance number “Bombo”. The song and stage show played to countless clichés — from the familiar beat to the generic backing to the use of the Spanish word Corazon. But Adelén — who is half Spanish — proved the sum is greater than the parts, delivering the song with so much conviction and charm that you couldn’t help but wonder if your love is also bom-bom-bom-bom-bom-bo. She ultimately finished second to Margaret Berger and her track “I Feed You My Love”.

No matter. This teen queen served Latin sizzle before “Despacito” was a thing and endeared herself to millions of Norwegians. She hit #2 on iTunes hours after the final. More importantly, she ended up topping Norway’s VG-Lista and also reached #6 in Finland and #23 in Sweden, where the song was certified gold. Get it, girl!

Margaret — “Cool Me Down”

Easily the most hyped song of the Eurovision 2016 selection season, Margaret’s “Cool Me Down” pushed Poland to #1 in the Eurovision betting odds before Poland’s Krajowe Eliminacje even took place. Backed by some of Sweden’s top producers and performed by one of Poland’s fastest-rising stars, Eurofans were already whispering Warsaw 2017. And while the live performance didn’t live up to the impossibly high expectations, the single reached #4 in Poland, going double platinum, and also hit #8 in Romania and #36 in Sweden. It also featured on Spotify’s global viral charts. She’s hotter than fire, and all these years later Margaret’s track still ain’t cooling down.

Ace Wilder — “Busy Doin’ Nothin'”

The breakout star of Melodifestivalen 2014, Swedish-born, Florida-raised Ace Wilder emerged as a favourite to win Melodfestivalen with her witty and irreverent track “Busy Doin’ Nothin'”. It discussed our changing relationship to work and the desire to “make money while we sleep” without actually doing anything. Although Sanna Nielsen ended up snatching the ticket to Eurovision, she only reached #2 on the charts with “Undo”. Ace outperformed her, watching this ear worm of the first order peak at #2 before going 3x platinum.

Here’s how our Angus reviewed the song ahead of the Melfest final: “The dark horse snapping at Sanna’s heels! She might not demonstrate the killer trad. vocal that is Sanna’s chosen battleground, but Ace has carved out her own niche in the quirky pop banger category. ‘Busy Doing Nothing’ is incredibly catchy and despite not immediately connecting with it, I know see it as among the strongest contenders to lift the crown. If anyone is going to unseat Sanna at the last hurdle then I’d put my money on Ace. She has a quirky image, cracking song and she also owns the stage. All she needs is to brush up on her choreography and she’ll be a real threat.”

Freddy Kalas — “Feel ‘Da Rush”

Ahead of Norway’s final, our Edd awarded the song a perfect 10, describing it like this:

“Oh. My. God. Freddy Kalas is giving me LIFE! Tropical, epic, and dat base drop! His sound is somewhere between Kygo and Ylvis – which happen to be Norway’s biggest musical exports. This crazy fun is exactly what all my friends watch Eurovision for, but if I’m honest I can see this charting all over Europe too. I’m so sick of Norway giving us forgettable ballads when they could send something like this and actually leave a mark on the contest.”

Not a bad endorsement. And it seems that Norwegians agreed. Although the song placed second at Melodi Grand Prix behind Agnete’s “Icebreaker”, it was the clear winner in the charts. “Icebreaker” spent four weeks on VG-Lista and only hit #11. But “Feel Da Rush” hit #2 — and stayed in the charts for 21 weeks.

What songs do you still listen to that didn’t make it out of their selection? What songs should we include on our next list. Let us know down below!

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Slytherin's Horcrux
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Slytherin's Horcrux

Adelen’s live preformance was crap though! She didn’t hit one note. And ‘Feed You My Love’ did great (and was a better song!)

AngieP
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AngieP

That’s the proof that Eurovision is all about music! There are plenty of songs we loved and didn’t finally go to Eurovision but we still listen to them. This is a reason I love the contest: I discover new artists and new music from around Europe.

Blackquill
Guest
Blackquill

Some songs I still listen to… SRB ’18 – Raybass – Umoran (Guilty pleasure #1) NOR ’13 – Gromth feat. Emil Solli-Tangen – Alone (worst blunder ever that it didn’t win in MGP… it would’ve turned the whole contest upside down, just like Lordi) ALB ’18 – Akullthyesit – Divorci UK ’18 – Jaz Ellington – You SWE ’17 – Nano – Hold On (another bloody miss. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but those juries from that year should’ve washed their ears. “I Can’t Go On” was not even a song, just repetitive mess.) UKR ’18 – Kozak System… Read more »

Regina Phalange
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Regina Phalange

These are all bops indeed

Mark
Guest
Mark

Lo Malo is garbage; thank god it didn’t win.

Tobias Gemini
Guest

Since this topic is coming up (and I have already annoyed my fellow members of Eurovision groups on Facebook too much with this) I need to bring this one up: Flaka Krelani’s “S’je për mu” is not only my favorite FiK entry, but my favorite preselection entry period. I know this seems so exaggerated, but that song is one of the most beautiful modern songs I have ever heard, it’s so catchy and rhythmic, but also so cool and laid back at the same time. Since December 2015, whenever I think about good preselection entries, I think about that one… Read more »

Regina Phalange
Guest
Regina Phalange

I love that too! Flaka was great, too bad she said she won’t participate in FiK again.

ESCFan2009
Guest
ESCFan2009

My national final songs of 2018, that I still listen to, are (I’m male, 22 and from Germany, just to give context to my music taste): Saara Aalto – Queens – Finland Saara Aalto – Domino – Finland Jessica Andersson – Party Voice – Sweden Eleanor Cassar – Back To Life – Malta Emmi Christensson – Icarus – Sweden Max Cinnamon – Ailleurs – France Serena – Safari – Romania Stella and Alexandra – You Got Me – Norway Vanessa Iraci – Redlights – Switzerland Natia Todua – My Own Way – Germany Katrina Gupalo and the Black Birds –… Read more »

Croatia will win World Cup
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Croatia will win World Cup

Max Cinnamon-Ailleurs and Serena -Safari a listen too.

Briekimchi
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Briekimchi

I still think Icebreaker was a good winner and underrated at Eurovision but still, I love me some Freddy Kalas!

srulik
Guest
srulik

icebreaker was hard to listen to with the tune and melody changing back and forth

srulik
Guest
srulik

two things i have to say:
1. adelen and “bombo” woud have made a better entry than “i feed you my love”, i have no idea what made it miss the ticket.
2. id there is a worse song than “tu cancion” it is “lo malo”, boring, too much of an effort to listen to and looks cheap, espacially if it had to share the stage with “fuego”.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Nah, Feed You My love was the right choice.

Cocooo
Guest
Cocooo

The problem with Adelen’s song was that she was horribly out of tune all the time and had to rely on the playback to give a decent performance, I’m glad she didn’t go to Malmö.

MyName
Guest
MyName

Maybe it should be a criteria in the national selections, that people should look for songs that can do well in the charts

Polegend Godgarina
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Polegend Godgarina

Bombo is the definition of BOP. I still use heavily, whew. I Feed You My Love was also excellent, Bombo should’ve competed in 2012 tbh!

Joe
Guest
Joe

Then we wouldn’t have had to bother with Tooji!

Joe
Guest
Joe

Here’s some sad news: apparently an interview planned between British commentator Rylan Clark-Neal and another country was asked because it’d be “provocative” due to his sexuality. I personally don’t think it was any of the countries that actually competed (while some have better track records than others, none are draconian enough to erase LGBTQ references from the show). Rather, given that he says it connected to a larger issue with the country at Eurovision, I’m gonna hazard a guess and say it’s China, given that whole mess.

MyName
Guest
MyName

Off topic. And I think the contest is “gay enough” anyway

Med
Guest
Med

Out of the twilight ))

Markus
Guest
Markus

Some songs that I still love and listen but unfortunately didn’t make it to the finals are:
Nassi – “Reves de gamin”
Isabell Otrebus – “Delirium”
Sara de Blue – “Out of the twilight”
Kerli – “Spirit Animal”
LeKlein – “Ouch!”
Tayana – “I love you”
Jon Henrik & Aninia – “En värld full af strider”
Simone – “Heart shaped hole”
Würffel – “Im facing north”

up!
Guest
up!

I still listen a lot to Bombo – it’s one of my favourite songs being connected to Eurovision and in opposite to some of the other mentioned acts, Adelén delivered a perfect live performance…

Bfs
Guest
Bfs

Dunno if I was listening to the same video but her vocals sounded like the dying cat parade.

Also doesn’t help she prounces corozon incorrectly.

up!
Guest
up!

Yes, she’s admittedly a little off in the verses. But here, it doesn’t bother me ’cause she’s making up for it with a very energetic, sexy and strong performance. The chorus sticked to my head over all the years and I still think it a pity that Norway had two great songs in that preselection to choose from. Because there were many years when I thought their songs mediocre at best…

ivan from slovakia
Guest
ivan from slovakia

where is kamil show

MyName
Guest
MyName

Somewhere in Armenia 🙂 And perhaps best so

Katy
Guest
Katy

Some of the candidates:
– ABBA – Ring Ring (obviously)
– Alcazar – both NASNAS and Alcastar
– Max Barskih – Dance
– Bryan Rice – Breathing
– Sukkerchok – Det det
– Q-Feel – Dancing In Heaven
– Deuce – I Need You
– Sonia & Selena – Yo quiero bailar
– Staysmann & Lazz – En godt stekt pizza
– David Bisbal – Corazon latino
– Vanilla Ninja – Club Kung Fu
– Scooter – Jigga Jigga
– Belle Perez – El mundo bailando

Alex
Guest
Alex

MARUV & BOOSIN – Drunk Groove don’t making to ukrainian Vidbir this year, but it became a very big hit in Ukraine, Poland, Turkey, Russia, Estonia

TheDrMistery
Guest
TheDrMistery

It competed in the Ukrainian preselection? I thought it was a Western production.

Bartosz
Guest
Bartosz

The problem with these songs is that while they sound nice on the radio, they’re not that good during live performances. They are big let-downs when it comes to NF performance

Albin
Guest
Albin

Some of them maybe, but i think Freddy Kalas made his song even better live. His vocals were good too.

ESCFAN19
Guest
ESCFAN19

COOL ME DOWN WILL BE FOREVER IN MY HEART, I WANT MARGARET ON ESC STAGE , SOON AS POSSIBLE, I LOVE HER SO BADLY!

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

Lo Malo is such an annyoing song, IDK how people can call it a bop. Its such an easy song, and for me it leaves no impression. Would it have won the NF I would be very delighted if it would have finished dead last on the scoreboard.