Eurovision is a competition — and that competition always starts at home. In 2020 — as in every other year — many favourites fell short in their domestic contest, leaving some fans clutching their faces and drying their tears. As we all keep our fingers crossed for Eurovision 2020 in Rotterdam, we’re helping pass the time by reflecting back on the songs and artists who almost made it to Eurovision. We’re launching a poll for you to show your love for your favourite NF entrants who, on a different day or with slightly different staging, may have made it through. So pray tell us: Who are your favourite national selection runners-up of 2020?
Runners-up in Eurovision 2020 national finals
The Nordics had their share of second-place icons. Rockers DIMMA came second in Iceland’s Söngvakeppnin, Denmark saw Sander Sanchez take second place at Dansk Melodi Grand Prix and Swedish popstress Dotter was the Melodifestivalen runner-up — despite bringing one of the most epic light shows of recent memory In Norway, gold-finalist Kristin Husøy turned up the heat at just the right moment during the final of Melodi Grand Prix, while Finland’s Erika Vikman rode a wave of media hype headed into UMK 2020. We can still see her pink latex.
The Baltic region also saw many fan-favourites reach second place. ESC 2014 rep Katrīna Dimanta brought passion and plenty of guitar strums to Supernova in Latvia, singer-songwriter Jaagup Tuisk went artsy in Estonia’s Eesti Laul, and domestic pop icon Moniqué pleaded with voters to make her human in Lithuania.
Not far away, in Poland, Albert Černý and Lake Malawi almost notched up a second consecutive Eurovision participation. Over in Belarus, Yan Yarosh won the jury vote, but a low televote score pulled him down to second.
While most of the Balkan countries selected their song internally, Albania’s Elvana Gjata — perhaps the most talked-about NF act of the year — finished second. Croatia had one of the closest finishes. Mia Negovetić tied for first and lost in the tiebreak. Naiva was a distant second in Serbia, while JESC veteran Lina Kuduzović lost the superfinal of Slovenia’s EMA.
One of the first countries to select their entry, Czechia, saw Elis Mraz feat. Čis T finish second in ESCZ. Also early in the Eurovision season, Australia selected Montaigne over televote winner Casey Donovan in a tight Australia Decides battle. Later that day, a close finish in Italy’s Sanremo Festival put ESC veteran Francesco Gabbani in second. Meanwhile, in the enclave of San Marino, a one-artist final was held to determine Senhit‘s song. “Obsessed” came second. Romania and Israel also went all in for this uncommon selection format. While Roxen saw “Storm” placing second, Eden Alene‘s “Roots” lost out to the public’s favourite, “Feker Libi”.
Other fan favourites ended up losing by one place in their respective selections. For example, in Ukraine, Khayat was your favourite to win Vidbir 2020 but finished as the runner-up. In Portugal, the same happened with Bárbara Tinoco, who lost to Elisa by only two points.
In Armenia’s Depi Evratesil, ERNA played the role of the dark horse and came second. In Moldova, Pasha Parfeny sang “My Wine”, and finished second both with the jury and the public vote, and second overall.
- Albania: Elvana Gjata – “Me tana”
- Armenia: ERNA – “Life Faces”
- Australia: Casey Donovan – “Proud”
- Belarus: Yan Yarosh – “Fire”
- Croatia: Mia Negovetić – “When It Comes to You”
- Czechia: Elis Mraz feat. Čis T – “Wanna Be Like”
- Denmark: Sander Sanchez – “Screens”
- Estonia: Jaagup Tuisk – “Beautiful Lie”
- Finland: Erika Vikman – “Cicciolina”
- Iceland: DIMMA – “Almyrkvi”
- Israel: “Roots” (Eden Alene)
- Italy: Francesco Gabbani – “Viceversa”
- Latvia: Katrīna Dimanta – “Heart Beats”
- Lithuania: Moniqué – “Make Me Human”
- Moldova: Pasha Parfeny – “My Wine”
- Norway: Kristin Husøy – “Pray for Me”
- Poland: Lake Malawi – “Lucy”
- Portugal: Bárbara Tinoco – “Passe-Partout”
- Romania: “Storm” (Roxen)
- San Marino: “Obsessed” (Senhit)
- Serbia: Naiva – “Baš, baš”
- Slovenia: Lina Kuduzović – “Man Like U”
- Sweden: Dotter – “Bulletproof”
- Ukraine: Khayat – “Call for Love”
So there you have them: This year’s lists of acts who almost made it to ESC which songs are you still streaming? Have a think and then click the box next to all of your favourites you can vote for as many acts as you’d like, but you can only submit your votes one time, so make it count!