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.

Second-place acts

  • 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!

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
120 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Davo
Davo
7 months ago

Very sad that some countries won’t qualify for the final because they chose an inferior song to the second place entry – Estonia, Ukraine, Portugal, Moldova and Finland all did this. I will especially miss Erika Vikman and her dancing bears! And, although I love The Mamas, Sweden should have sent Felix Sandman and his Boys with Emotions!

Michèle
Michèle
7 months ago

The great Francesco – love Tosca too who finished 6th in Sanremo

Danny
Danny
7 months ago

I would vote for Iva, but she was somehow not a runner up

Miguel
Miguel
7 months ago

Erika Vikman – “Cicciolina”

I also like Sweden, Albania, Lithuania, Romania, Czechia and somewhat Portugal and San Marino.
This is not a runner up, but i cant forget Jaguar Jonze.

Roelof Meesters
Roelof Meesters
7 months ago

Slovenia, Sweden,Ukraine, Albania, Lithuania and the Czech Republic.

Stella
Stella
7 months ago

dotter, erika, elvana

Jay
Jay
7 months ago

Of course Erika Vikman but also Barbara Tinoco, Lina & Kristin

Belle
Belle
7 months ago

Dotter! Should have won Melfest.

Roy Moreno
Roy Moreno
7 months ago

I voted for Elvana, Dotter and Jaagup
Though when it comes to Albania and Sweden, Arilena and The Mamas are my winners anyway

Any
Any
7 months ago

Croatia. Damir. Kedzo. Divlji vjetre

Shimi
Shimi
7 months ago

Eden Alene will sing “Feker Libi”

Pancake
Pancake
7 months ago

Voted for: Dotter, Erika, Jaagup, Roots, Lake Malawi, Elis Mraz, Obsessed, Storm

Kirby
Kirby
7 months ago

Phew… I can’t get over Dotter and Moniqué yet.

Veta
Veta
7 months ago

Absolutely, “Lucy” by Lake Malawi! The biggest loss for Eurovision this year! It could’ve brought a top 10 result for Poland!

Una
Una
7 months ago
Reply to  Veta

I agree 🙁 Not smiling though 🙁

Rasmus Bording Irlind
Rasmus Bording Irlind
7 months ago

Andromeda was the biggest loss this nf season, all it got was a 7th place in sanremo and that really blows

Guust
Guust
7 months ago

San Remo had the best NF songs for me: Andromeda (Elodie), Me ne frego (Achille Lauro) and Niente (Rita Pavone), amongst others. Listen to them, they deserve your attention, even though they are not the runner-ups 😉

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
7 months ago

1. Lithuania 2. Portugal 3. Finland

Jack Pricefield
Jack Pricefield
7 months ago

My Top 10 NF runner-ups of 2020 1. Bulletproof 2. Make Me Human 3. Wanna Be Like 4. Pray for Me 5. Beautiful Lie 6. Man Like You 7. Heartbeats 8. Almyrkvi 9. Obsessed 10. When it Comes to You Extra 3rd place mentions: 1. La-ley-la 2. Write About Me 3. Kingdom Come 4. Ples za rastanak 5. White and Black Holes OMG Eurovision could’ve had so much potential and awesomeness this year… it’s the first time as a huge devoted eurofan I feel overwhelmed by the roster of songs since following national selections in 2009, there isn’t a single… Read more »

grafton
grafton
7 months ago

Bulletproof all the way. My winner of this entier Eurovision season 🙂

Snappy
Snappy
7 months ago

I feel this needed to be multiple choice.

astro!
astro!
7 months ago

passe-partout for me. so many were fantastic but i just don’t think a song coming 2nd in an nf has made me as deeply upset as passe-partout.

Andrei
Andrei
7 months ago

Elvana, Dotter, Erika and Khayat would have been much better for Eurovision tham the actual representatives of Albania, Sweden, Finland and Ukraine…

Ashton Schier
Ashton Schier
7 months ago
Reply to  Andrei

agree except for Ukraine, I think solovey and call for love are equally amazing

Héctor
Héctor
7 months ago

Lake Malawi’s “Lucy” for me.

Veta
Veta
7 months ago
Reply to  Héctor

Same. Still can’t get over how cool it would have looked on Ahoy Arena stage.

Una
Una
7 months ago
Reply to  Veta

Same.

Lolek
Lolek
7 months ago

Wow, its a smidge depressing seeing so many songs I would have loved to see at eurovision (though I STILL wish the best of luck to the winning entries of national finals)!! Just means that the Second Chance contest has a lot of really strong candidates, hehe. Anyway, I will limit myself to the ones I REALLY wished would have been chosen: Dotter with Bulletproof, Elvana with Me Tana, Erika with Cicciolina, and Jaguup with Beautiful Lie. I really think those would have made amazing entries. Of course there are a bunch of other runner ups I really liked (such… Read more »

Una
Una
7 months ago

Russia was supposed to drop today, right? Does anyone have news on the release?

Una
Una
7 months ago

I haven’t followed all selections. My faves runner-ups are:
1. Pray for Me – Norway.
2. Lucy – Poland.
I like both more than the winning songs.

ZittaR
ZittaR
7 months ago

Eden’s “Roots” is the best in my opinion, by far!

Nicolas
Nicolas
7 months ago

Uno for Russia

Poli
Poli
7 months ago
Reply to  Nicolas

Yes it will be UNO after all, although they denied it xd

Zoli
Zoli
7 months ago
Reply to  Nicolas

I’m dissapointed. 🙁

Lili
Lili
7 months ago

Erika’s staging would’ve been epic on the stage in Rotterdam. Dancing bears forever!

Xavi Jofre
Xavi Jofre
7 months ago

Not very good year for me! These are my favourites:

Czech Republic – At Least We’ve Tried – Karelll
Sweden – Take A Chance – Robin Bengtson
Lithuania – Tave Cia Randu – Gabrielus Vagelis

Kanini
Kanini
7 months ago

This list is better than the actual entries. So many missed opportunities, like Albania, Finland, Estonia, Sweden etc

UmBv
UmBv
7 months ago
Reply to  Kanini

These were the 4 biggest robberies

Andi
Andi
7 months ago

Erika Vikman, Katrina Dimanta and Elis Mraz (in that order)

Talentina Monetta
Talentina Monetta
7 months ago

This poll is making me sad… there were too many missed opportunities this year 🙁

Albert
Albert
7 months ago

We lost Me tana, Bulletproof, Beautiful lie, roots, make me human and more, so sad 🙁

Sabrina
Sabrina
7 months ago

Voted for Bárbara Tinoco, Dotter and Moniqué. But I agree with Colin that Jaagup is the one that would be the highest upgrade for his country.

Lolek
Lolek
7 months ago
Reply to  Sabrina

Agreed, Dotter and a few other artists shall be missed but I really do think that not chosing Jaagup will really hurt Estonia this year.

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
7 months ago
Reply to  Sabrina

I think Portugal and Finland are just as big upgrades tbf.

Philip
Philip
7 months ago

Revamped version of ALbania’s Elvana Gata and “Me tana” would have fit better in ESC than Arilena’s Shaj/Fall from the sky (which is obviously struggling to find its place)… considering all of the other countries’ songs, now

Alex
Alex
7 months ago

Viceversa

Voxtaylor
Voxtaylor
7 months ago

All the Blood (Positive Song Actually) was my favorite national final song this year, love the message and vibe of that song. Out of entries that made top three, I’d pick Filipe Sambado’s brilliant “Gerbera Amarela do Sul.” And of the ones listed in the poll, ima go with our robbed queen Erika Vikman (I am partial to some Passe-Partout and Viceversa tho)

Philip
Philip
7 months ago

So how do we call a group/list that consists of artists who could have win ESC or at least reach TOP 5, but never had an opportunity (it was taken away from them in some way) even to participate, such as:
Aly Ryan (Germany 2019, “Wear your love”); MARUV (Ukraine 2019, “Siren song”); Dotter (Sweden 2020, “Bulletproof”) …

Serpent
Serpent
7 months ago

Make me Human was so boring and dull and bland and unoriginal, Lithuanians, please stop voting for your country in polls all the time.

Philip
Philip
7 months ago
Reply to  Serpent

Make me human is a very good song, that would have been a decent contender (though from this perspective it reminds me a bit of Alcohol you, and later on came the bulgarian song which is also similar in style).. On fire is slightly more appealing and considering all of the other ESC songs now, it was not a mistake to select it.. Lithuania could win

Gab
Gab
7 months ago
Reply to  Serpent

Only an ignorant nolifer could write such comment. No, we don’t vote for it just cause we are Lithuanians. And yes, you’re dull and bland yourself.

Kosey
Kosey
7 months ago

I want to add Iva, Rein Alexander, Andrija Jo and Throes + the Shine into the mix as well. Some great songs that didn’t make it.

Ashton Schier
Ashton Schier
7 months ago
Reply to  Kosey

and Andromeda

Danny
Danny
7 months ago
Reply to  Kosey

Throes + The shine were SOO underrated. That would have been in my top 5. And Iva would have been top 3 for me

Just a Tiger
Just a Tiger
7 months ago

Bulletproof – the song that I have listened the most from this Eurovision season. I still feel badly for Dotter.

Mikey
Mikey
7 months ago

We all poop??????????????

Fabio
Fabio
7 months ago

I still don’t get the fuzz about Dotter, her song was absolutely ordinary.

Adam
Adam
7 months ago
Reply to  Fabio

I agree that the song isn’t spectacular but it had the full package – the staging was phenomenal and Eurovision-ready. I liken it to MARUV’s Siren Song from last year: the song didn’t do much for me but the Vidbir performance was incredible.

dxi
dxi
7 months ago
Reply to  Fabio

Same, but with Me Tana. It’s a cute song, but I don’t get all the hype. People are acting as if she for sure would’ve won Eurovision if she had been chosen. Meanwhile, Shaj/Fall from the sky is a great song (though, I think, not a winner either).

Tom
Tom
7 months ago
Reply to  Fabio

Like your coment

Logical Person
Logical Person
7 months ago
Reply to  Fabio

Sometimes, doing ordinary to perfection, is better than being original and mediocre.(And The Mamas are even more “ordinary”)

dxi
dxi
7 months ago

We All Poop and Rein Alexander. It’s a shame they didn’t even come second.

Nils
Nils
7 months ago
Reply to  dxi

Agree, Rein Alexander is epic

Milla
Milla
7 months ago

DOTTER! I miss you..

Philip
Philip
7 months ago
Reply to  Milla

I will never vote for MAMAS, and while they sing I will turn on bulletproof.. minus me to death if you want.. i don’t care.. i know what i like and what i don’t like..

CRISTIANO MESSI
CRISTIANO MESSI
7 months ago

Go Aksel from Finland, very underrated entry this year. People say “This will stay in the semis” but they are just so salty because their pormstar Cicciolina lost. People always says sh*t like this, but everyone can qualify. The Eurovision will be cancelled anyway, so I don’t know why im writing this lol. The Roop is a good winner, but maybe too trollish. I don’t get the Iceland hype btw. It’s not better than Iceland 2011, for example. Iceland was best in 2010 and 2011. Hera and Sjoniis friends <3

Colin
Colin
7 months ago

You are right about Aksel. He is awesome and underrated, even if I loved Erika’s song too. But please don’t spread fear and unchecked information! Nothing is getting cancelled. Perhaps postponed or altered, but not cancelled. Even so, we won’t be sure by the mid April at least.

Bonny
Bonny
7 months ago

my favs were Erica, Dotter and Khayat, heartbroken they all came second….

CoochieStank
CoochieStank
7 months ago

My baby daddy Khayat will forever be in my heart <3

Skiwalko
Skiwalko
7 months ago

Vocal-wise: Casey Donovan – “Proud”
Staging-wise: Jaagup Tuisk – “Beautiful Lie”
Lyric-wise: Francesco Gabbani – “Viceversa”
Song-wise: Barbara Tinoco – “Passe-Partout”
(honorable mentions: “Pray For Me”, “Roots”, “Bas bas”, “Cicciolina”)
As every year, a lot of good songs were left behind in the NFs, I’m curious to see who gets chosen to compete in OGAE Second Chance Contest, the competition is gonna be tight!