Each year, around 40 nations fight for the Eurovision kruna, but not all of them make their way to the final. Some songs are left behind in the semi-finals and many viewers will never get to hear them. This can be especially upsetting for fans because sometimes popular songs end up missing out by just a handful of points.

This is why we have decided to focus on such songs on this list. We looked at the results from 2000 to 2010 to determine the narrowest non-qualifiers of this decade.

For the purposes of this ranking, we’re going off the percentage of maximum possible points which each entry received at Eurovision and compare it to the percentage of the tenth position.

For example, in this year’s first semi-final, a country could receive a maximum of 456 points i.e 24 points from each of the other 19 countries voting. Portugal finished 15th with 51 points or 11.19% of their possible points. Belarus was the 10th qualifier with 26.75%. This marks a difference of  15.56%

This is not to be confused with the percentage of all votes cast.

Before we start, an honourable mention goes to Latvia’s Laura Risotto with “Funny Girl”. She not only miss out on making the final in 2018 by just five points — she also sits in 11th position on this list and barely misses out here too.

10. The Humans – “Goodbye” (Romania 2018)

Semi-final result: 11th place with 107 points
Non-qualifying margin: 4 points or 0.84% missing to qualify

Every elimination in the semi-finals hurts, but the first ever for a country is extremely painful.  Especially, if the distance to qualify is only four points. Before Eurovision, things looked pretty good for The Humans, having won both the semi-final and final in the Romanian  national selection. With strong vocals, futuristic dress and 25 mannequins, they seemed to impress the Eurovision  jurors, putting them in ninth position. The televoters of  Italy and Moldova awarded 12 points, but this wasn’t enough to bring “Goodbye” to the final. As the first Romanian act to be eliminated in the semis they made history — probably in a different way than intended.

9. Timebelle – “Apollo” (Switzerland 2017)

Semi-final result: 12th place with 97 points
Non-qualifying margin: 4 points or 0.83% left to qualify

From Romania to a Swiss band with a Romanian lead vocalist. Luca Hänni’s latest success was a rare phenomenon in the 2010s for Switzerland. Only three acts managed to qualify for the final. Timebelle were almost the fourth act, but an 11th place with the juries and a 10th place in the televote led to a 12th place overall. Miruna impressed with her powerful vocals during the colourful performance. “Apollo” was a fan favourite track and was expected to do better, even finishing among the top 15  in the Wiwi Jury.

8. Tijana Bogićević – “In Too Deep” (Serbia 2017)

Semi-final result: 11th place with 98 points
Non-qualifying margin: 3 points or 0.62% left to qualify

We stay in the second semi-final of 2017 and turn to Tijana, who finished one point ahead of Timebelle, but three behind Denmark’s Anja Nissen. The opening act of the semi-final took us underwater and got us in the mood for the following acts. Maybe this early start was one reason that televoters didn’t put her through. In addition, things could have looked different if cultural neighbour Montenegro had been in the same semi-final. Narrow results like this show the importance of the semi-final allocation draw.

7. Suzy “Quero Ser Tua” (Portugal 2014)

Semi-final result: 11th place with 39 points
Non-qualifying margin: 1 point or 0.46% left to qualify

After a one-year hiatus, Portugal was welcomed back to the Eurovision family. Suzy brought the Iberian heat to mild Copenhagen with dancers, fun, and drums. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to qualify to the final, because of one single missing point! However, where there’s shadow there is light because Valentina Monetta grabbed the last spot for the final and made history as the first finalist ever for San Marino.

6. Tulia – “Fire of Love (Pali się)” (Poland 2019)

Semi-final result: 11th place with 120 points
Non-qualifying margin: 2 points or 0.43% left to qualify

The last edition of the decade saw two very narrow semi-final results — and one victim was Tulia. Despite receiving 26.32% of the maximum possible points, Belarus still was two points ahead of “Fire of Love (Pali się)”. This is the highest percentage to not qualify since Sweden’s “This is My Life” in 2010, which gained 28.70%. While televoters appreciated the group’s wall of sound and put them in the eighth place, jurors weren’t as convinced. However, this defeat didn’t stop Tulia from delivering their traditional “white voice” singing and they went on tour in the weeks following Eurovision.

5. Emmy “Boom Boom” (Armenia 2011)

Semi-final result: 12th place with 54 points (lost tiebreak)
Non-qualifying margin: 1 point or 0.42% left to qualify

Emmy was internally selected and presented the Armenian public different songs in her very own song  selection show. Eventually, she traveled to Düsseldorf with the song “Boom Boom”. The boxing-themed performance turned out to be the first low blow in Armenia’s successful Eurovision history. Before 2011, Armenia had always finished inside the top ten and qualifying for the final was anything but a problem. Emmy finished in 12th position, making her the narrowest non-qualifier finishing in 12 place this decade.

4. Glen Vella “One Life” (Malta 2011)

Semi-final result: 11th place with 54 points (won tiebreak)
Non-qualifying margin: 1 point or 0.42% left to qualify

We stay in semi-final two of 2011 and turn our attention to Malta. Tied with Armenia, Glen Vella finished with 54 points and won the tiebreak, nudging him into 11th place — just point one behind 10th-placed Anna Rossinelli of Switzerland. Despite missing out on the final, Glen’s upbeat disco track remains in many playlists and would have been a great party anthem in the final. Glen Vella still has interest in Eurovision and competed in the Maltese pre-selection 2015 where he finished third.

3. Witloof Bay “With Love Baby” (Belgium 2011)

Semi-final result: 11th place with 53 points
Non-qualifying margin: 1 point or 0.40% left to qualify

2011 was uniquely narrow. The tenth and 11th places were separated by only one point in both semi-finals. The victim in semi two was the Belgian a cappella vocal group Witloof Bay. Even though they served harmonies, beatbox, and clothes from an ’80s sitcom on stage, they didn’t manage to outscore Moldova who also gave a unique performance. “With Love Baby” might not be the typical Eurovision song, but is a good example of the genre diversity the contest offers.

2. Jurij Veklenko “Run With The Lions” (Lithuania 2019)

Result: 11th place with 93 points
Non-qualifying margin: 1 point or 0.20% left to qualify

The results of the 2019 contest are home for a lot of drama and the narrow elimination of Lithuania certainly didn’t calm the storm. While voting mishaps were alleged, nothing has been confirmed and the EBU’s confirmed result remains. With all the loud drama surrounding him, Jurij really is the eye of the storm and stayed calm all along. Just like during his performance, where he focused on what he does best: singing and working those camera angles. “Run with the Lions” scored 77 points with the televote and 16 with the jurors.

1. Sofi Marinova “Love Unlimited” (Bulgaria 2012)

Semi-final result: 11th place with 45 points
Non-qualifying margin: o points or 0% left to qualify (lost tiebreak)

The first place of this ranking has to go to Sofi Marinova and her unfortunate elimination in 2012. Bulgaria was no lucky nation prior to 2012, failing four times in a row to qualify to the final. She received 45 points in the second semi — but so did Norway’s Tooji. According to the tiebreak rule, the country which received points from most nations will proceed to the final. Ten countries gave points to Sofi, but 11 voted for Tooji. This marks the first and only time that a qualification was determined by this rule. The multi-language party song with an excessive amount of fireworks remains popular with fans years later.

Do you agree with our list? What is your favourite non-qualifier of the decade? Tell us in the comments below!

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Anonym
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Anonym

Ester Peony-On a Sunday
Romania 2019??

Rasmus Bording Irlind
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Rasmus Bording Irlind

san marino qualifying for the first time in 2014 was nice but damn it really should’ve been portugal and suzy instead

North Cyprus
Guest
North Cyprus

wooahwooahwheehwhaahwhaah

Efraim
Guest
Efraim

Rumor has it that Suzy auditioned for The X Factor Spain last year… and I have to phrase it like that because her audition wasn’t aired, if it even happened at all.

North Cyprus
Guest
North Cyprus

Suzy is waiting tables in Benidorm.

Idksmth
Guest
Idksmth

Risotto? Hmmm. Someone is hungry

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

Iknow this isnt relevant here but Spain is coming back to JESC!!!

11th
Guest
11th

11th in Semi Final 2005 POLAND
11th in Semi Final 2006 POLAND
11th in Semi Final 2019 POLAND

PP77
Guest
PP77

Serbia 10th 2009, 11th 2013,2017. 3 times out from final.
F.Y.R Macedonia 10 th in 2008,2009

Trai
Guest
Trai

Stockholm lost Olympic city bid… Stockholm can host the Eurovision instead?

Una
Guest
Una

Italy won it!!! But those Winter Olympic Games will be held in 2026. Hopefully, an Italian Eurovision win long before that.

Justice
Guest
Justice

Honestly: good riddance to all of them, except for the Polish girls.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

I save Tulia and Sofi, burn the rest.

Katariina
Guest
Katariina

Romania 2018, Serbia 2017, Poland 2019, and Bulgaria 2012 all deserved to qualify. The others could have stayed in the semis for all I care.

Southern Cyprus
Guest
Southern Cyprus

Quero ser sua

FYROM
Guest
FYROM

Macedonia is greece!

Rasmus
Guest
Rasmus

Its NorthMacedonia. Have Greece wrote wrong in their history books again? you know you cant write in those what you want right?

Mas ta priksate
Guest
Mas ta priksate

Nope! Ok, it’s North Macedonia now.. But You just got it all wrong buddy. You should read a history book!!! Your country just didn’t exist 20 years ago, so stealing an other country’s history is not an option. Sorryyyyyyy

Southern Cyprus
Guest
Southern Cyprus

Southern Cyprus is Southern

Joe
Guest
Joe

Macedonia is part of Greece. North Macedonia is a completely separate country. I understand the confusion – I was in a meeting yesterday with a guy named Joseph and if we weren’t careful we got our names mixed up! But ultimately, we were two different people, and Joseph didn’t force me to change my name to make him happy. Be like Joseph. Let North Macedonia be North Macedonia and get over yourself.

Katariina
Guest
Katariina

Is the province of Luxembourg in Belgium actually Luxembourg? I don’t think so. Grow up.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Hell, I live in NYC and we have any number of things the Dutch could get annoyed at us about. Yet when I say I’m meeting someone on Amsterdam people typically don’t assume I’m taking a remarkably short flight.

Bernard 77
Guest
Bernard 77

Ah. Like Harlem, Brooklyn, Flushing and Brunswick. The US Harlem, Brooklyn, Flushing and Brunswick. Not the Dutch Harlem, Brooklyn, Flushing and Brunswick.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Yeah. We dropped the extra a in Harlem or else they’d sue for loss of tourism.

James
Guest
James

I wonder what the Dutch feel about the show called “New Amsterdam”, both the one that starred Nikolaj Coter-Waldau and the one airing right now starring Ryan Eggold. 😀

Kim
Guest
Kim

I do enjoy these lists – just hope your university work is not suffering as a result!

Jake
Guest
Jake

If two countries are tied on points the televote should be the deciding factor. Would have put the more popular “Love Unlimited” throuh over the inoffensive “Stay”.

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

From this list, I was very sad for Tulia, and I guess, also Sofi Marinova should have qualified in 2012, although if I could put one song from the semi-finals of 2015 through, it’d be Pernilla Karlsson’s “När jag blundar” – what a loss! But there were even bigger crimes commited this decade: In 2010 the elimination of Malcolm Lincoln was as appaling as this year’s elimination of Conan Osíris. In 2015 I lost Leonor Andrade in the semis, in 2016 Jüri Pootsmann. and in 2017 Norma John. Then came 2018 and in the first semi-final it was arithmetically impossible… Read more »

Bella
Guest
Bella

“Even though Witloof Bay served harmonies, beatbox, and clothes from an ’80s sitcom on stage, they didn’t manage to outscore Moldova who also gave a unique performance”… The only reason Moldova qualified is not their “unique performance” (??), but the fact that Romania was there to give them their faithful, totally underserved 12 points. Without neighboring vote, Belgium would have qualified instead.

bang
Guest
bang

Are you talking about Zdob si Zdub, the absolute icons of Moldova and Romania, that represented Moldova in 2005, when they first participated and were 6th place?
I hope you go and brush your teeth now. You can’t kiss your children with that mouth.

Bella
Guest
Bella

I have no idea who that is… But I mean yeah, nothing screams quality more than “6th place at Eurovision 2005” and “placed 10th in a SF thanks to neighboring vote”. 😉

Daniel 2019
Guest
Daniel 2019

When Moldova debuted in Eurovision, they’ve sent Zdob And Zdub because they were already the most famous artists in the country, and they were equally famous in Romania too. It’s not always about blind neighboring vote, some artists are really known in both countries.

Jordi
Guest
Jordi

You should write the same article but of the past decade (2004-2009). It would be very interesting

Joe
Guest
Joe

Biggest heartbreakers for me:
Ireland 2015
Poland 2019
Portugal 2019
Romania 2018 and 2019
Finland 2010
Finland 2015 (yes, really)
Finland 2017 (saddest one of all)
San Marino 2013
Lithuania 2010 (and I’m not ashamed – better them than the butterflies)
Belgium/Switzerland/Greece/North Macedonia 2018 (first semi was a bloodbath)

Joe
Guest
Joe

There were also the ones I liked before the contest that fell flat in the semis and I therefore couldn’t feel super sad when they didn’t make the cut (Armenia and Ireland this year for instance).

VincentBoi
Guest

This is not regarding this article, but there is a petition by a Luxembourgish site for the return of Luxembourg to ESC 2020, and if they get 4500 signs they will send it to their broadcaster, if you search “Luxembourg Eurovision” on Google and go to News, and then you see The first article, click on it and you’ll see, help them back to the ESC!

And yes I copied it from my other post on the Nina Sublatti article, I just want People to see this because this is the latest article atm.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Suppose this’ll work on the 500th try? I’m not against it, but history isn’t working in your favor here. What do you think could convince them to return at this point?

Ziv
Guest
Ziv

Of course the more the merrier, but a country returns only when it wants to. Was there any petition for Czech Republic to return before 2015? And they did.

Joe
Guest
Joe

And what niche would Luxembourg be filling at this point? Like, if they made a point to send actual artists from Luxembourg, I’d be all for it. They have a really cool rock and indie scene there. But the majority of their entries from back in the day were performed by non-natives who could at least sing in French phonetically (this includes all five of their winners). If they aren’t gonna actually send Luxembourgish talent, they wouldn’t really bring anything new to the table. Heck, San Marino has already sent acts made up at least partially or entirely of people… Read more »

Joe
Guest
Joe

If I wanted a song in French, at this point, I’d just stick with France. (Or Belgium or Switzerland were they so inclined.)

marcus (Day One)
Guest
marcus (Day One)

Still hurts that Love unlimited didn’t qualify 🙁

In 2013 I was on holiday in Varna Bulgaria and love unlimited came on the radio in the bar and I sung along with the Bulgarian staff looking at me.

They said that is was surprising that I knew the lyrics especially the Bulgarian 😀

Ziv
Guest
Ziv

About Serbia 2017: “In addition, things could have looked different if cultural neighbour Montenegro had been in the same semi-final. ” Is it an intentional irony on this year’s straight 1s from Serbia to Montenegro? For non qualifiers, my top 10 include: 1. Estonia 2017 2. Romania 2019 3. San Marino 2013 4. Iceland 2016 5. Poland 2019 6. Latvia 2018 7. FYR Macedonia 2018 8. Czech Republic 2015 9. Ireland 2017 10.Slovakia 2010 Poland was pretty close to qualification, as well as San Marino and Latvia, but it still hurts to see Estonia failed to qualify, and Slovakia and… Read more »

insalata di cesare
Guest
insalata di cesare

Serbia and Romania came only close due to their diaspora. Nothing to be depressed about.

Indiana07
Guest
Indiana07

Lithuania too

escinjected
Guest
escinjected

kinda glad a few of these didnt made it… but timebelle, tulia and sofi really wouldve deserved a qualification ?

Una
Guest
Una

I liked Apollo the song but the highschool prom feeling and the colour scheme (yellow and pink and white) and the staging in general was a very bad choice by the Swiss broadcaster. Shame, the song was very good and Miruna’s performance quite respectable.
And Suzy (Quero Ser Tua) talking about depicting things from Portugal’s colonial past in the song and staging was very bad taste altogether. Glad it didn’t qualify.

Azaad
Guest
Azaad

Staging let Timebelle down. It would have qualified otherwise I think.

escinjected
Guest
escinjected

If Timbelle kept their national finals’s staging, they wouldve qualified for sure imo

Azaad
Guest
Azaad

Yes- especially because Miruna sounded better than ever in SF2

Una
Guest
Una

My first major LOL of today: things looked good for The Humans before the contest? REAAAAALLY? This very site and the reviews on youtube showed a very different picture. They narrowly missed qualification – yes. But the picture presented here is very different from what happened last year.

EZz
Guest
EZz

Sofi Marinova and Timbelle were the 2 most robbed Eurovision acts ever, and more than likely had they qualified they would of probably got a well deserved top 10 position.

ESCFan2009
Guest
ESCFan2009

Timebelle with “Apollo”. Amazing song! If there was a definition of “robbed” in the dictonary, a picture of Timebelle would be next to it…

Desrk
Guest
Desrk

In this list should be Croatia 2012, Nina Badric with “Nebo” only 3 points to qualify.

Ugnius
Guest
Ugnius

No, because their margin to qualify was as high as 1.39%

EuroSluuuuutty
Guest
EuroSluuuuutty

I remember i used to twerk to Boom Boom back in the days ^____^

Africavision
Guest
Africavision

My 13 favorite non-qualifiers, since the introduction of the semi-finals:

Haba haba – Stella Mwangi (Norway, 2011)

Dona – Kaliopi (North Macedonia, 2016)
Soldiers of love – Lighthouse X (Denmark, 2016)

Apollo – Timebelle (Switzerland, 2017)
Blackbird – Norma John (Finland, 2017)
Dance alone – Jana Burceska (North Macedonia, 2017)
Rain of revolution – Fusedmarc (Lithuania, 2017)
World – Lindita (Albania, 2017)

For you – Ethno-Jazz Band Iriao (Georgia, 2018)
Oniro mou – Yianna Terzi (Greece, 2018)

Keep on going – Oto Nemsadze (Georgia, 2019)
Telemóveis – Conan Osiris (Portugal, 2019)
Walking out – Srbuk (Armenia, 2019)

Vlad
Guest
Vlad

I sang Boom Boom yesterday and now it’s in an article 😀

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

justice for sofi omg she sure wouldn’t have come last like norway in the final. also suzy didn’t qualify bc of start a fire which got like 15 televote points in the semi… idk why the juries voted for that out of tune mess

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

What do they say about “one man’s trash…”?
“Start A Fire” was SO my winner that year.

Agree with you on Sofi over Tooji though!

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

My heart still bleeds for Sofi Marinova…

Southern Cyprus
Guest
Southern Cyprus

and for Southern Macedonia

Ksenija
Guest
Ksenija

Same :/ and she sang without in-ear, she was like, i don’t need it, i know what I’m doing!

Azaad
Guest
Azaad

Belgium 2011 was really unique- would love to see some more acapella songs at the contest.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

latvia 2006

Azaad
Guest
Azaad

Thanks for the headsup 🙂

Ieva
Guest
Ieva

Loooove Latvia 2006!

MyName
Guest
MyName

I agree! Best song of ESC 2011 🙂 With Moldova 2nd!

KESC
Guest
KESC

Seeing Boom Boom in this list makes me distrust the people’s taste 😀

Btw, Sofi Marinova should have qualified that year. Love Unlimited is one of the best Bulgarian entries!!

Seviyorum Senii..

Southern Cyprus
Guest
Southern Cyprus

eu qeuro seu sua ooooooh