For the sixth year running, the team at wiwibloggs is organising our “Wednesday Wishlists”. As the title suggests, it’s our yearly round-up of the artists we think would do a fantastic job representing their nation in the Eurovision Song Contest.
Over the five Wednesday Wishlist editions we have done, our wishes were granted a total of eleven times, with a total of twelve entries sent to the grand Eurovision stage. Will any more be granted in 2020?
And as this is all fantasy, we’ll also be taking a look at absentee countries, both long and short term. Because in our ideal contest everyone comes to the party.
To make sure that no one gets left out, we’ll be going through countries in alphabetical order, so this week we’re starting with Hungary and working through to Malta.
Eurovision 2020 Wishlist (Part Three)
Hungary: Cloud 9+
Barnabas: If there’s a country that is an expert in successfully sending unconventional entries to Eurovision, it’s Hungary. And why shouldn’t it keep doing that? Ladies and gentlemen, let me present Cloud9+, a four-piece band formed in 2013. Their music is a unique blend of hip hop, rock, dubstep and drum ‘n’ bass. It channels a current yet alternative vibe. Their electrifying live shows have made them very popular in their native Hungary. And they’ve gigged abroad as well. One of their biggest hits so far, “Hide The Pain” is a great example of their typical sound.
Sebastian: Don’t let her age fool you. BRÍET’s sound is well beyond her 20 years, melding familiar pop tropes with something uniquely Icelandic (be it a tinge of rock/indie vibes). She’s clearly a strong songwriter, with her songs a reflection and a very self-aware portrayal of young love. And while this isn’t unfamiliar territory in modern-day pop, hers comes across authentically. Chart success dictates this, with “In Too Deep” amassing close to 700,000 plays on Spotify — more than double the population of her home country. If she does decide to take the leap to Eurovision, Icelanders and Europeans must be prepared to let Briet do things her way. We’ll just be here for the ride.
Ireland: Dermot Kennedy
Padraig: He’s been labelled a dark melancholic Ed Sheeran. But Dermot Kennedy’s music has got a lot more shades than such a description implies. The breakout star of 2019 melds pop with rock and then throws in hip hop and folk for good measure. In just over a year, he’s gone from a self-publishing busker to an inescapable radio presence, on Irish airwaves at least. “Power Over Me” is the biggest homegrown chart hit in Ireland so far this year, beating Westlife and Hozier. And his latest single “Outnumbered” has cracked the top 20 in Britain. What’s more, he featured on the 2018 edition of 2FM Rising, an initiative which will supposedly play some role in Ireland’s 2020 Eurovision selection.
Ari: The pipe dream of Nightwish for Finland or Within Temptation for the Netherlands doesn’t seem very realistic. But that doesn’t mean symphonic metal is off limits in Eurovision. Scardust is a progressive symphonic metal group that has the total package. And they’re exactly what the metalheads in the Eurovision bubble crave. Noa Gruman, the lead vocalist, has a remarkable set of pipes, as well as growling skills that Max Jason Mai would envy. The instrumental diversity is outstanding, too, and most of their songs include short instrumental breaks and/or segments sung by a choir. A choir wouldn’t be possible rule and the long instrumental breaks will be hard to fit in three minutes, but you could count on Scardust to make it work. Come on, Israel, make it six finals in a row, would you?
Italy: Young Kali
Lucy: Mahmood smashed glass ceilings by bringing a new edge to the contest, and facing a lot of challenges along the way. The soulful, emotional and rap-flavoured “Soldi” came second, possibly opening doors for other rap artists or acts with more urban sounds to get involved with Eurovision. The Italian charts have plenty of rap in there, and a standout track is “Borderline” by Young Kali. It combines genres of jazz and hip hop, making it accessible to a wider European audience. It brings new softness to his work, compared to his heavier 2017 album Ade. With a couple of singles under his belt with a more poppy sound, could Young Kali consider partaking in Sanremo after Mahmood’s success?
Edd: Despite being a hub of alternative music, Latvia is yet to exploit its extensive collection of great indie bands – the most Eurovision-friendly of these being Instrumenti. Their sound has varied throughout their decade of formation, ranging from beautiful, haunting ballads, all the way to their retro, upbeat music found in their most recent album. Elements that always stay consistent, however, are their distinctive falsetto vocals, an atmospheric production, and a big anthemic chorus. Given their artistry and strong popularity they could win Supernova by a landslide, and inject some much-needed excitement into Latvia’s underwhelming presence at Eurovision.
Renske: The band SEL has a longstanding career in the Baltic States. Founded in Vilnius in 1992, the group has had many radio hits in the country and was nominated for (and won) several M.A.M.A. Awards, the most prestigious music prize in Lithuania. Eurovision fans might know them from a collaboration the group made with Donny Montell in 2017, “Nieko verta”. With their unique mix of hip hop and rock, SEL would perform an uncommon genre on the Eurovision stage.
Luxembourg: Alex Uhlmann
Robyn: Luxembourg won’t be making a special appearance in Eurovision 2020, but it’s (probably) not too late. Should RTL wish to break from its news and information format and embrace the world of Eurovision, there’s a lot of local talent to choose from. They have an ideal candidate in the form of Alex Uhlmann. The Luxembourgish singer came to fame as part of the Italian electronic group Planet Funk, who have enjoyed success in many European countries. But recently Alex has branched out with solo releases. The charismatic singer has an ear for uplifting modern pop, perfectly suited to Eurovision. Recent release “Butterfly” is an almost perfect Eurovision song, with a catchy chorus, a sense of story and it even clocks in at under three minutes.
North Macedonia: Bobi Andonov
Antranig: Coming off the back of its best-ever result, Tamara Todevska has set the bar high. One man who could jump over that bar is Macedonian-Australian singer-songwriter Bobi Andonov. Born in Melbourne to Macedonian parents, Andonov represented his mother country at Junior Eurovision 2008. He then participated in Australia’s Got Talent. He has released three excellent singles in the last two years and this would be the ideal time for a Eurovision berth, giving him the chance to perform for a worldwide audience. North Macedonia proved they can compete in 2019 and hopefully they are inspired for even greater success in 2020.
Malta: Red Electrick
Patrick: After returning to the grand final this year, Malta is definitely on the right path to big success. And there’s nobody better than Red Electrick to keep that momentum running. Formed in 2008, the band consists of five members with individual tastes. Songs like “Young Again” and “New Day” are proof of their musical talent. The band with lead singer Joe Roscoe is a well-established name and they were nominated for local music awards several times. They are also planning to release a new album in November, so it would be perfect timing for Eurovision. To continue producing music and staying current over 11 years is a big achievement and I’m sure I’m not the only one that would love to see them perform in Rotterdam.
What do you think of our choices? Who would you choose? Let us know in the comments.
CHECK OUT OUR PREVIOUS WEDNESDAY WISHLISTS.