The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — continues to rate and review the 41 songs that had been selected for Eurovision 2020. Next up, we take a look at Romania‘s internally selected artist Roxen and her Selecția Națională-winning song “Alcohol You”. Were we toasting to this song? Read on to find out!

Roxen – “Alcohol You”

“Alcohol You” reviews

Angus: It has been a long time in the wilderness, but Romania is back in business. “Alcohol You” shows a future for quality ballads at Eurovision. The chorus sticks in your mind, Roxen’s voice is intoxicating and the instrumentation builds consistently clear. The amped-up climax that the revamp added acts as the cherry on top.

Score: 7.5

Barnabas: This ethereal piece of music cannot really be compared to anything else. It perfectly fits Roxen’s voice and personality and conveys her emotions authentically. I could just listen to “Alcohol You” all day long while enjoying a glass of wine. I am beyond impressed. Felicitari, România!

Score: 9

Deban: Understated in delivery, but yet so sophisticated, “Alcohol You” is the standout ballad in a sea of dirge. The vulnerability here is compelling. Clever puns weave into infectious melodies to create a powerfully charged heady cocktail of emotions. It isn’t easy to write songs like these, and it’s even harder to give them a floaty feeling. Roxen is a rare find and excels in her delivery of this track. As of today, she’s probably Romania’s best shot for victory.

Score: 9.5

Jonathan: Many predicted that Eurovision 2020 would be the year of the sad boi. But we got our fair share of sad girls as well. Of the sad ballads, “Alcohol You” is one of my favourites. Roxen delivers a subtle yet emotional performance that takes the listener on a journey throughout. The play on words with the song title is particularly clever and adds another layer to the overall product. This is a song that has been carefully crafted and that Roxen squeezes every last drop from.

Score: 7.5

Sebastian: “Alcohol You” is imperfectly perfect. Roxen sings every word in her melodic and raw tone that brings genuine emotion to this already ethereal song. A clever play on words (Alcohol you/ I’ll go call you) adds to what is a lyrical masterpiece. Her mispronounced English brings a charm to the song that you wouldn’t get from a Scandi popstar. The only thing holding this back from a perfect score is that Roxen’s stage presence is still developing. However, this is unique and beautiful song superbly matched to a unique and beautiful singer.

Score: 9.5

Roxen – “Alcohol You” rankings

In the Wiwi Jury we have 22 jurors but only have room for five reviews. The remaining scores are below:

Antranig: 5.5

Åri: 6

Bernardo: 6.5

Calvin: 5.5

Esma: 6.5

Florian: 8

Lucy: 8

Luis: 9

Natalie: 8.5

Oliver: 6

Pablo: 7

Renske: 7

Robyn: 5.5

Ron: 7.5

Tobias: 5.5

Tom: 8

William: 9

We have removed the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. This is to remove outliers and potential bias. We have removed a low of 5.5 and a high of 9.5.

Wiwi Jury verdict: 7.35/10

What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!

See all our Eurovision 2020 reviews and rankings

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Josh Sterling
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Josh Sterling

I will give it a 10/10 . It’s my winner

ESCFan2009
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ESCFan2009

Romania – 9/10 (7th/41)

Mr X
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Mr X

Romania 6/10

Egor
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Egor

How can 5.5 be the lowest score that got removed while Edd has given it a 3.5?

Doraemon
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Doraemon

I would actually give it 9, my third-highest after Cleopatra by Efendi from Azerbaijan with a 9.5 and All of my love by Destiny from Malta with a 10

Cozmin Cozma
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Cozmin Cozma

Off topic: get a listen to ROxen’s new song and official video called “Escape” .
Just brilliant!

Meee
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Meee

Just overrated. I wont even comment on her personality and sabotaging the best song. Just no.

eurovisionaire
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eurovisionaire

overrated in my opinion.

mark dowd
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mark dowd

This wins out over Bulgaria in my opinion. For all of Victoria’s sweetness and melodic appeal, this song from Roxen had more edge, passion and cuts you to the bone. I think it would have been a three way battle: Switzerland, Bulgaria and Romania with Lithuania Iceland and Russia 4/5/6. Pity. We will never know.

PP77
Guest
PP77

I think TOP 13 left side …
1.Switzerland
2.Bulgaria
3.Russia
4.Lithuania
5.Romania is like Norway 2013 edge, passion and cuts you to the bone.
6.Sweden
7.Azerbaijan
8.Malta
9.Norway
10.Iceland
11.Italy
12.Germany
13.Denmark

Ieva
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Ieva

Absolutely stunning. My second favourite after The Roop.

Héctor
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Héctor

One of the potential winners this year in mi opinion. Though it lacks that special thing of a Eurovision winner, this year’s general low quality allowed this one to be up there. The original version was good but the revamp is on another level. The last third of the song is full of emotion as it goes in crescendo. The wise production value elevates “Alcohol You” from a typical epic ballad to a Billie-esque atmospherical song where you never get tired of what you are hearing. It’s not something I would listen daily but a modern and quality entry for… Read more »

Fionn
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Fionn

My top 6:
1- Switzerland
2- Iceland
3- Malta
4- Bulgaria
5- Israel
6- Romania

Hipp
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Hipp

Off topic, update on #hugforesc2020, Victoria sent virtual hug to Roxen and Roxen sent hug to The Roop 😀

Ria van de Velde
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Ria van de Velde

This beautiful song is my nr. 1 of this year. I love it very much !!

Voxtaylor
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Voxtaylor

It’s my 13th place. It’s okay. I vastly prefer Ce-Ti Canta Dragostea to this, though.

Nils
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Nils

This would have end like a Fan Favorite Fail, I guess.
I can see why peoply do like this but compared to others this score is to overrated.

Roelof Meesters
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Roelof Meesters

Both ‘Cherry Red’ and ‘Alcohol You’ are in my playlist, they’re both just that great. This is excellent, I really wanted Romania to come back this year and damn, they did just that. I hope her song next year will be on par with this, because this is one of the highlights of 2020 for me. With a good performance this would have captured the attention of both the juries and the televoters, and a spot for Romania in the final would have been a surefire yes. 10/10 for me.

Jo.
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Jo.

I like it, but I really struggle with those lyrics…

Erik
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Erik

Alhohol you when I’m drunk and explain it

Polliu
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Polliu

6.5/10

Skiwalko
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Skiwalko

I honestly fail to understand what’s so great about this entry. It’s got pretty good lyrics containing some semi-clever metaphors and wordplays, a current, radio-friendly, yet emotionally sterile pop ballad sound and Roxen’s OK, though quite unpolished, vocal.
There’s no sincerity, no heart, just a basic formula accompanied by a bland, impersonal performance. If Roxen alcoholled me, I don’t think I would pick up the phone. 6/10

Mikey
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Mikey

My winner

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

My 4th favourite. The piano influence is evident right from the start. I love the descending scale motifs throughout the melody of the song. The biggest risk is the Chorus, which completely halves the tempo and brings the listener to an abrupt stop. Brilliantly, this “stop” coincides with the lyrics “Alcohol you when i’m drunk,” which require you to pause and reflect on anyhow. The harmony and melody of the rest of the Chorus is then extremely emotive. Larger expression comes towards the end of the song. There is real pain and struggle felt here, and Roxen is a beautiful… Read more »

Colin
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Colin

I am so happy we agree on this. 🙂 It’s currently my 3rd favorite, my favorite female-sung entry and my favorite entry in English! I love how it’s both dramatic and very introspective.

Skiwalko
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Skiwalko

Let me guess…
1. Italy & Switzerland
3. Romania

Tom
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Tom

Romania: 6/10

Mia
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Mia

“Alcohol you” is one of the few songs in the contest which will remain in my playlist. It has captured me from the first moment when I heard it- melancholic vibe, touching lyrics, Roxen’s fragile soothing voice and determined and vulnerable personality. However, I don’t like the rewamp because I think this song doesn’t need climax, it is meditative song which captures one particular moment of sadness in roller coaster of emotions after break up, tells a story which can be continued and mystery remains after song ends… I’m glad that Romanian broadcaster chose Roxen again and hope that next… Read more »

Briekimchi
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Briekimchi

Brilliant entry. Comfortably in my top five. When I first heard it, I knew it was the obvious choice from Roxen’s five and was going to be right up there when it comes to songs that could’ve won the whole thing. The lyrics fit the mood of the song perfectly. It is dreamy and hazy and I love listening to it. For some reason, even though there are other pop influences on this, it unmistakably feels authentic to Roxen as an artist. Not all entries managed that this year.

Colin
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Colin

This is the one we 100% agree on. Great song with a magnetic singer. 🙂

Emily
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Emily

Romania’s is one I’m rather indifferent about. I’d say it’s a qualifier but as far as trying to rank it goes, I’m really not sure. It obviously does have a large appeal, judging by the bulk of reactions so I wouldn’t have been surprised if this was high on the scoreboard.

EDIT: I think my main issue with this is that I’m not the biggest fan of Roxen’s voice. I’m sure that things I don’t like are things other people love and vice versa, so I’m cool with that. 😛

Lily
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Lily

I think the opposite 🙂 I like ”Alcohol you” entry, mixture of mainstream and risky.

Alex
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Alex

Deserved score. A great song.

Kosey
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Kosey

2nd place: Romania – 9.5/10 – The dramatic heartbeat percussion and edgy piano and string arrangement perfectly mirror the aching sadness throughout. The lyrics and the way Roxen delivers them offer poignancy and disturbance in equal measure, painting a colorful picture of the darker sides of the human experience – the pain, the desperation and the resignation streaming out from every frayed thread. The revamp with the soaring vocal and strings adds intensity exactly when it is needed. I am totally in love with the last line – it is the perfect ending – so simple yet so evocative of… Read more »

Odysseas
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Odysseas

WOW!! Romania is really determined this year. It’s a ballad that stands out and it’s really difficult writing something like that. Her voice suits pretty good with the song. It has potential because she clearly loves this song more than the other 4. I really hope that next year they’ll choose something similar.
Overall:9.3/10 (4th)

Tibor
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Tibor

It’s no secret, I don’t really like this. The five songs she presented at the national final were like the five settings of the Roxen robot, like pre-programmed styles on a home organ. She sang them all in the same fashionable cracking voice, and granted, “Alcohol You” was most suited to this vocal style. Other than that it sounds well produced, but extremely manufactured and too slick, especially if you consider the lyrics. I can understand the appeal this kind of music has on some, but perhaps I’m too out of touch with the latest trends to really care if… Read more »

Kosey
Guest
Kosey

Hi Tibor, I downvoted as I personally think you’re wide of the mark on this one. You raise an interesting point about why someone would look after their teeth if they are not caring about the rest of themselves, but my reading of this song is that it is about addiction and mental health problems as much as it is about a relationship, and those things can sadly happen at any age and don’t often have rationality to them. But as always, I respect your perspective.

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

I’m sure you got what I meant when I mentioned the braces, Kosey, don’t you? You can call me vanilla or uptight and I know that teenagers start to drink when they still have braces. Do I want to hear about it in a pop song on the Eurovision stage, though?
And I cannot argue with your personal reading of the lyrics, but I have a hard time seeing how this could be interpreted as being about mental health or addiction. To me the more obvious interpretation would be that it’s about lovesickness.

Colin
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Colin

I speak only for myself, but I believe that songs speaks through metaphors on at least two levels. It’s about mental health AND about love-sickness. It’s about HER perception of her hard and one-sided relationship. It leaves you with a lot of insinuations you can interpret as facts or as her personal belief. For example ”To make me believe I deserve your weapons” heavily insinuates some form of mental or physical violence on his side. That sounds believable, as many women live in abusive relationships and make themselves believe it’s their fault. In such state, some people turn to addiction… Read more »

Kosey
Guest
Kosey

Tibor, I encourage you to listen to the song again and interpret the “you” as if she is talking to the addiction to alcohol itself – it absolutely fits! “This pain’s the only thing that I can’t refuse” – addicts know that what they are taking is bad for them but they can’t stop. “They warned me but I think it’s only fake news” – friends warning her that she’s getting addicted but she doesn’t see it. Fake news works for me as a lyric because it’s what a lot of people say to justify their own beliefs. “I need… Read more »

Colin
Guest
Colin

Cool, Kosey! I didn’t even think about that interpretation, but it’s also a believable option. Just proves how this song is multilayered and can be seen from different angles. As for the person she’s calling, we can assume he is her love interest, but even so, I think the text allows any of the following options: A) Abusive boyfriend who just took his rage on her and she thus drank herself to oblivion. B) Abusive boyfriend who left her and she wants to go back to him. C) Regular boyfriend who is just sick of her always being drunk and… Read more »

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

Kosey, as I said, I’m not arguing about personal interpretations, because that’s pointless, but I don’t think it fits if you imagine she’s talking _to_ her addiction. What is “I’ll call you (addiction), when I’m drunk/strong” supposed to mean? Now I see, you’re thinking the “you” refers to the addiction only in the verses, in the chorus it refers to a friend she calls? Personally, I don’t think that’s very plausible. And Colin, this “weapon” line is really opaque to me, but it would seem a little out of place with the rest of the lyrics to interpret it as… Read more »

Kosey
Guest
Kosey

True Tibor, in hindsight, I shouldn’t have downvoted. For me, this is a fun game, a bit like panto – upvotes for the cheers and downvotes for the boo’s – I mean no personal attack by it, just a bit of fun, but I appreciate not everyone thinks like me and it can be hard to see a negative against your post, so I’ll try and be more mindful going forward. I respect that you don’t like the song, that’s absolutely fine. And songs are all about emotions anyway, it’s pretty hard to objectify them. But I guess we all… Read more »

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

I’m not mad at you for downvoting, as I said, in this case, there is something to disagree about, so if you downvote because you disagree, then so be it. But just yesterday I was chatting with Briekimchi about how this year we seem to have different opinions on almost every song, and several people were voting me down for a comment that neither concerns them nor is something anyone could disagree about. I suppose, there are some people who just vote you down out of principle.

Colin
Guest
Colin

”I reserve my downvotes for offensive or stupid comments which neither of your comments are. If you ask me, we can disagree about this song without any hard feelings. ” This! All this! 🙂 ”By only talking about the lyrics, we shouldn’t lose sight of the music that I don’t really like for the reasons I mentioned. So even if I considered the lyrics as poetry, which I don’t, it wouldn’t help with that.” Of course! But I find the instrumental incredibly rich and intoxicating as well. I love how it goes with the flow of a dreamy oblivion. Your… Read more »

Mia
Guest
Mia

Wow what interpretation Kosey, I didn’t think about that,but it makes sense too. “Alcohol you” is going grunge, like Alice in Chains “Would?”, now I love the song even more 😀
Anyway “Alcohol you” is great introspective song about your doubts, inner demons, drowning in dark hole of sadness and determination to escape from there, I think many of us have been there…

Anita
Guest
Anita

Did you watch the wiwijury video and Edd talking about the lyrics? He gave a rating of 3.5
Edd seems very young agewise and I appreciate his judgement every season. And in spite of me English is his mother tongue…
I wrote this only to upvote your comments

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

If you respect his perspective, don’t downvote his point. 😉
I don’t agree with the dismissal of this song but am going to look at Tibor’s responses to certain other songs to get some bearing on his (rather unpopular!) opinion. I think a lot of the reasons he dislikes the song are more applicable to other entries but we’ll see!

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

Oh, I’m getting tested. 🙂 Okay, Briekimchi, but then I expect you to tell me when you think I’m inconsistent, so I can make my case.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

LOL. I was once 18, with braces, and very drunk a lot. Just one example.

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

PM, I’m not saying that you can’t have braces at the age of 18 anymore. But where I live, braces are typically a feature of younger children, that’s perhaps different in the UK. So for me personally with my cultural background hearing a very young looking performer singing about drinking herself into oblivion seems a little jarring. It’s a bit like this thirteen year old from Sweden last year who was singing about having sex with his girlfriend. I know it happens, but that’s not the point. 🙂

Kosey
Guest
Kosey

Tibor, I can see where you are coming from. I may be completely wrong but I wonder if the songwriters are older than Roxen? There is a deepness about these lyrics which comes from life experiences. It may be sad and far from ideal, but it’s definitely true that some people have very bad experiences from a young age – and I think it’s important those things are not hidden away from society but instead appreciated and supported.
As to the braces thing, you would be surprised how many people in their 20s, 30s and even 40s wear braces.

Colin
Guest
Colin

Roxen is 20, hence, an adult. Hence, singing about getting drunk isn’t quite jarring. The Swedish kid singing about his sex life at 15 on the other hand, yeah, that was a cringe.

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

Yes, Colin and Kosey, but it’s not about her factual age or if she personally wrote the song. For me there’s a mismatch _in the performance_. She may well be 20, if she looks like 14, there’s a mismatch (and the braces don’t help with that impression is all I’m saying). Same goes for the lyrics, they may be written by someone in their midlife crisis, if they choose a performer who looks like a teenager, it’s a mismatch.

toby
Guest
toby

you want it , you got it 😉

Colin
Guest
Colin

ROMANIA – This is an extremely interesting and unique song! The melody progression is stunning and it really creates the feeling of drowsiness. It takes you deeply into it’s world. Word-play in the lyrics is very smart and feels raw and sincere. What I appreciate a lot is that Roxen is not afraid to be seen as vulnerable and emotionally unbalanced. Usually, the song’s ”protagonist” is always strong and unbreakable, but here we get a glimpse of that only at the end. She bares her soul and you can easily empathize. It’s very powerful, creates strong visuals and allows you… Read more »

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Yeah, I feel the same about this one as well. 🙂

Erasmus
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Erasmus

My first place. I love everything about, Roxen’s voice is just outstanding for me. Think Romania will turn into a powerhouse. Nothing more to say, because there is not a single thing wrong about this song, the lyrics are good, her voice is good, the song is modern, but not generic.

My score: 10/10

1. Romania 10/10
2. Belgium 9/10
3. Portugal 8/10
4. Italy 8/10
5. Russia 7,5/10
6. Albania 7/10
7. Ireland 7/10
8. Cyprus 6,5/10
9. Moldova 3,5/10
10. Macedonia 3,5/10

Michael Malone
Guest
Michael Malone

During this global pandemic of no Eurovision in 2020 I and others are seeking out deeper dives into prior year’s national finals. Is there any repository to review video/audio during all this down-time during Eurovision season?

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

EUROVISION 2019 NFs (PLAYLISTS/FULL SHOWS)

Albania – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6Hj2673ct8&list=PLlviZgJt338PyBgpG6-YU4FRQG0v5iyXg
Australia – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIKugmzW3bs&list=PLX7x9EcO4s0wOTU3PWdNQylNWDd2JlehF
Belarus – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnCvOVH-kV0&list=PLWNFdnKoKgTipQVRzBGCYm26yBETKWjpI&index=5
Croatia – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXUYVjdpkI0&list=PL01L6lGBoNb6ufZq_VWtrsTNz5eDSPzid
Czech Republic – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjtRX2wt2HI&list=PLCDijr_CcLx_Tsour28prVKYhAHWkvKTf
Denmark – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgA2BqvwEcI&list=PLWBDEqNchKCpnhbXjVPk4GDaElc_c45OZ
Estonia – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuZUk5KaRHg&list=PLSybBJ5pu0VmAzoLuWQdXr1ktnUL2zT-Z
Finland – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cC2Yj0WRDRU
France (music videos) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dw7WqoSHtgU&list=PLaNIxzWPG9TKmFhe–ZEt13wImrRmqV9m
Georgia – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCygRv1LNHA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1wj7EYZDlA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXIbXgwjCUM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnbrUf31rCI
Germany – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHCLVsmJda4&list=PLxeDWjW-1i33cvHAE92Z62psQ1HOUzWLP
Hungary – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5HKN0lj5FY&list=PLm8OlBbs2Ntxgs0ICQT5QAl3LHJc-otwl
Iceland – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9VWSF_WuIk&list=PLr3r5ZhK0uFwUZ4wd2xukUb9M4X01ryZQ
Italy (music videos) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22lISUXgSUw&list=PLiHcDh7suj9i4tDz3ubuJjvsAm3_JA5uA
Latvia – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ww9naJq09DI&list=UUnkvpqWK35lfk0bFIP93UWw&index=21
Lithuania – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0old13f18g&list=PLsNtjGy5YSLBVUpclJloub00bK3lYrxur
Moldova (audio) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BiETwAWBo_s&list=PLCy3Z9mdvWVffwF3yGUYtCRQguKGYCCU9
Montenegro – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMm8H_5xYWo
Norway – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlMZfQRi9hw
Portugal – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IrNfYeWZWI&list=PLMedIwg0kZw_xcxE7G-mhVB_SgLEvjrKo
Romania – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3ANM1Rkocc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-4_TkjrzZc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4xrqL6K0RU
Serbia – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Jxpri3tiwU&list=PLCxUEcqz3AEvsjf7TNSVWCs6boBVIWnQW
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSPoBngLZis&list=PLCxUEcqz3AEuS5mUvZFmzNFn4tFjjmoqN
Slovenia – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBKBAuT9uYQ&list=PLTxtSrKS7kPXBSvJKP_9r9L118atKp1ng
Spain – https://www.rtve.es/alacarta/videos/ot-2018/ot-2018-gala-eurovision-2019/4945811/
Sweden – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nc0lL0mL2EI&list=PLorbgCC1N0Ysm8gHNogmLp8NDa2ey7Dqn\
UK – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAKDkXC1_iA&list=PL62Rpnyw5e0CF5j_-XVJzDvMcgqIjPuiE

ESCFan2009
Guest
ESCFan2009

Wow, amazing work 😀