On Saturday evening, Eurovision fans tuned in to watch 26 iconic Eurovision songs that never made it out of the semi-finals. Votes were cast, and in the end, Iceland’s Greta Salóme picked up the most votes for her 2016 entry “Hear Them Calling”, making her the winner of the #EurovisionAgain semi-final special.

The 26 featured semi-finalists had been selected by #EurovisionAgain organisers, with input from fans and a jury of Eurovision blogs and podcasts — including wiwibloggs!

A running order was put together, with the Eurovision ethos of presenting the best possible show. Fans tuned into the live stream on YouTube and commented along on Twitter.

After the Eurovision semi-final performances for all 26 acts were replayed, fans could vote for their favourites. While there were many favourites, there could be only one winner. Iceland’s Greta Salóme won with 32,007 points.

In second place was the Swiss sibling duo ZiBBZ and their 2018 entry “Stones”. The bronze went to Finland’s 2017 entry, the duo Norma John and their heartbreak ballad “Blackbird”.

“Hear Them Calling” was also the favourite non-qualifier of wiwibloggs readers in our recent poll. Wiwibloggs readers came close to the #EurovisionAgain top three. Readers had “Blackbird” in second place and “Stones” third.

Greta Salóme reacts to winning the #EurovisionAgain semi-final special

The Icelandic diva herself recorded a short message, expressing her grattitude for winning the vote and sharing best wishes for the holidays.

“Hey everyone, this is Greta Salóme from Iceland. I want to say thank you so so much for the votes and all the support and all the love last night in the #EurovisionAgain competition. I am so grateful and so thankful for all the support and all the love I have received from this amazing community, throughout two Eurovision entries and the past eight years.

“I really hope that you have a wonderful Christmas, happy holidays, and may [2021] bring lots of good things – and Eurovision – to every single one of us. Merry Christmas and happy holidays and thank you one more time.”

Greta Salóme first represented Iceland at Eurovision 2012. Singing in duet with Jónsi (who himself had already competed solo at Eurovision 2004), the pair performed the dramatic anthem “Never Forget”, which placed 20th in the grand final.

Greta then returned as a solo artist in 2016, after winning Söngvakeppnin with “Hear Them Calling”.

Going into the competition, “Hear Them Calling” had been a hot favourite to qualify, but in Stockholm it missed out, surprisingly placing only 14th. During the #EurovisionAgain special, fans on Twitter noted that the performance may have been hurt by the projection staging with its gloomy lighting doing Greta no favours. As well, the performance followed Russia’s “You Are the Only One” which also used a projection concept but with a much slicker effect. Nonetheless, the song remains a fan favourite.

#EurovisionAgain semi-final special – running order

  1. Norway: Stella Mwangi – “Haba Haba”
  2. Estonia: Koit Toome and Laura – “Verona”
  3. Belarus: Petr Elfimov – “Eyes That Never Lie”
  4. Bulgaria: Poli Genova – “Na Inat”
  5. Slovenia: Omar Naber – “Stop”
  6. The Netherlands: Edsilia Rombley – “On Top Of The World”
  7. Moldova: Eduard Romanyuta – “I Want Your Love”
  8. Finland: Norma John – “Blackbird”
  9. San Marino: Valentina Monetta – “Crisalide (Vola)”
  10. Romania: Ester Peony – “On A Sunday”
  11. Monaco: Séverine Ferrer – “La Coco-Dance”
  12. Greece: Yianna Terzi – “Oniro Mou”
  13. Denmark: DQ – “Drama Queen”
  14. Poland: Tulia – “Fire Of Love (Pali Się)”
  15. Switzerland: ZiBBZ – “Stones”
  16. North Macedonia: Jana Burčeska – “Dance Alone”
  17. Ireland: Molly Sterling – “Playing With Numbers”
  18. Montenegro: Who See – “Igranka”
  19. Croatia: Feminnem – “Lako Je Sve”
  20. Andorra: Anonymous – “Salvem El Món”
  21. Israel: Mei Finegold – “Same Heart”
  22. Slovakia: Kristina Pelakova – “Horehronie”
  23. Belgium: Kate Ryan – “Je T’adore”
  24. Czech Republic: Marta Jandová & Vaclav Noid Bárta – “Hope Never Dies”
  25. Iceland: Greta Salóme – “Hear Them Calling”
  26. Portugal: Suzy – “Quero Ser Tua

#EurovisionAgain will return next year

The #EurovisionAgain series of rewatching classic episodes of Eurovision was masterminded by journalist and Eurovision fan Rob Holley, as a way of helping to fill the gap caused by the cancellation of Eurovision 2020.

While the 2020 series of rewatch specials has now come to an end, organisers promise that #EurovisionAgain will be back for a new season next year. As well as there being plenty of years left to revisit, there are also plenty of semi-final non-qualifiers that still deserve another listen.

What do you think? Was “Hear Them Calling” your favourite non-qualifier? Which other songs deserve another listen? Tell us your favourites below!

Read more #EurovisionAgain news here

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Shuester
Shuester
8 months ago

On A Sunday (Romania 2019) and Oniro Mou (Greece 2018) were the ones I was hoping would go the farthest. Both of those shocked me when they didn’t qualify.

Verona (Estonia 2017) is a fun song that I still listen to, but I never thought it was particularly good. Surprised to see it get so much love.

JDS
JDS
8 months ago
Reply to  Shuester

I’m honestly baffled by the love for Verona. Dated, and he is as creepy AF.

hebbuzz
hebbuzz
8 months ago

My top 10 includes a lot of Balkan songs.

1. Omar Naber – Stop
2. Femminem – Lako je sve
3. Who see – Igranka
4. Poly genova – Na inat
5. Marta Jandová & Vaclav Noid Bárta – Hope Never dies

6. Norma John – Blackbird
7, Jana Burceska – Dance alone
8. Greta Salome – Hear them calling
9. Kristina Pelakova – Horehronie
10. Kate Ryan – Je T’adore

I would have voted Selma – If I had your love, the top mark if she would have been in. ?

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
8 months ago

I watched this with my cousin. We both agreed that Greta Salome’s “Hear them calling” was the clear winner; the song, production and performance were in a different league to the rest. We also really love “Blackbird” of course, Also, “Horehronie” stands out for being unique, and “Oniro Mou” just sounds so beautiful. 🙂

Great to see Kate Ryan do so well after all these years. I wonder if she will give Eurovision another go one day? Just a thought.

Tibor
Tibor
8 months ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

Kate Ryan, the trashy cover queen. All she does is butchering beautiful songs by putting an insipid dance beat on top. She did it not only to Mylène Farmer (which I particularly resented), but also to France Gall or Cock Robin to mention but a few. Belgium can do better than sending her back to Eurovision. 😉

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
8 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

All the more reason to be redeemed. A musician should never be ruled by the studio.

Tibor
Tibor
8 months ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

Who tells you that she’s ruled by the studio? Perhaps cover versions is all she’s capable of, she has done a lot of them …
Sorry, you know it’s not personal, but when it comes to Kate Ryan, I get a little riled up.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
8 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

Of course I had no intention of getting you riled up. 🙂

Tibor
Tibor
8 months ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

You didn’t, don’t worry, Kate did. 🙂

JDS
JDS
8 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

Now I loved Je t’adore but having looked at some of her stuff on YouTube you seem to be right. Just awful dance covers of great songs by great artists. I’m amazed she was able to perform an original composition.

Tibor
Tibor
8 months ago
Reply to  JDS

I know, right? And I want to emphasize that I’m not against cover versions per se, some of them can be better than the original. But she just does the same trashy cover over and over again, there’s zero creativity in the process.

JDS
JDS
8 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

No, of course, same here, but Kate just seems to take the track and add a dance backing track and sees the job as done.

Agumon
Agumon
8 months ago

Justice for Kate Ryan, finally!

Una
Una
8 months ago

Massive congrats to Greta Salóme for her win and of course to the rest of the artists. I sobbed a bit when I watched “Verona” carrying immense gratitude for this song and thinking of my disappointment and pain back in 2017 with its NQ. Thanks so much to Sven, Koit and Laura. I am really grateful for this song. Really. “Pali Sie” which had been my winner prior to Saturday’s show became thus my second. Having mellowed down from the time of its NQ, I decided to put “On a Sunday” on third (it was my number 1 song in… Read more »

ESC8
ESC8
8 months ago

First of all, how on earth could Haba Haba win Icebreaker for Norway? Anyway, I think Hear Them Calling is a worthy winner, it is a decent song, it had a great staging and very good live vocals. It was unlucky because the 1st semi of ESC 2016 was one of the toughest. Howerver, I was not a huge fan of the song and I definitely prefer Never Forget (Iceland 2012) to Hear Them Calling. Well done though! Some other things that I’d like to comment, first of all I’m glad that Andorra was represented by their 2007 act and… Read more »

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
8 months ago
Reply to  ESC8

To answer your first question: Because “Haba Haba” is cheerful and a great show opener, whereas “Icebreaker” has those painful clash notes in the Chorus. Just kidding… I assume it is probably because “Haba Haba” was closer to qualifying than “Icebreaker” was, in terms of actual points.

Last edited 8 months ago by Purple Mask
Colin
Colin
8 months ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

The thing about points is one possibility (which would also explain having Suzy over Conan), but the other is diversifying the line-up with more uptempo numbers. As fan-favorite uptempo songs are slightly more likely to qualify, that leaves more beloved NQs on the slower tempo side. I guess that might be why in some cases where there was more than one talked-about song, the opted for the uptempo one.

If *only* points / placings were crucial, it would be Tanja over Koit & Laura, but everyone knows who is a far more desired fan-favorite. 🙂

hebbuzz
hebbuzz
8 months ago
Reply to  ESC8

2004 was the most difficult semi as this one had the most candidates in it.

Whisker
Whisker
8 months ago

My top 11:

11.Israel
10.Monaco
9. Portugal
8. Poland aka the one that didn’t qualify because of a major “starts with f end with p”.
7. Denmark: I LOVED IT! I haven’t seen this before! WHY haven’t I seen this before?
6. Iceland
5. Slovakia
4. Greece
3. Ireland
2. Finland
1. ESTONIA!

Yup
Yup
8 months ago

I was right on Iceland or Finland winning!

Denis
Denis
8 months ago

No offence to fans but I dont get the love for ZIBBZ. It is a generic folk pop song you hear everywhere and struggle to remember I dont even remember it having any fan base or outrage over it not qualifying. No one talked about it that year and no one thought it could qualify. But now it is the second greatest non- qualifier

Colin
Colin
8 months ago
Reply to  Denis

It was *one of* the songs fans talked about that it should have qualified in 2018, but it wasn’t the front runner at the time by any means. It was a liked song, for sure, but as I recall, there was even more outrage for Greece and Belgium, even if retroactively speaking, both of them had bigger staging issues than Switzerland did. In fact, their semi performance was an upgrade over the NF one. It was just a REALLY tough semi, filled with good songs.

Leo
Leo
8 months ago
Reply to  Denis

I thought Stones was a better version of Gravity the previous year in terms of the Rag & bone man Human-like beat, and it had a decent message. I liked it, but if the weakest of the 10 qualifiers was Sara Aalto, it was a testament to how good the heat was, and therefore it wasn’t really robbed, just incredibly unlucky that it had the draw it got.

JDS
JDS
8 months ago
Reply to  Denis

I agree, I’ve posted something similar below.

Valentino
Valentino
8 months ago
Reply to  Denis

If I remember correctly, it was not a fan favorite when it was released. I was even very low in the odds. But then things changed when the rehearsals started, and many of us wanted it to qualify.

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
8 months ago
Reply to  Denis

This was my major takeaway from the show. Most of the other top songs in the final ranking (especially the top 8) are favourites amongst the ESC fans but Stones isn’t one that was a particularly shocking non-qualifier.
I wasn’t happy with most of the choices that were put forward for this show but “Verona” was my clear winner. Glad to see it did well.

Agumon
Agumon
8 months ago
Reply to  Denis

It’s your typical Swiss entry: it’s not bad, but it’s bland af. It’s good enough that people think it’s deserving to qualify, but it’s not compelling enough to make people pick up their phones and actually vote. So at the end you’re left with a seemingly good song that did not qualify, you wonder why (even though you probably did not vote for it yourself) and you struggle to even remember how it goes.

JDS
JDS
8 months ago

I’ve already posted these comments in the wrong story (Wiwi’s own vote for best qualifier). But here they are again, because they are meant for the Eurovision Again vote: I’m really confused with Switzerland 2018 coming 2nd. I had no recollection of this being any sort of fan favourite at the time, and I don’t recall any outrage at all that it didn’t qualify?  Now apparently it’s the second-greatest non-qualifier of all time? It’s barely even the second-greatest Swiss non-qualifier. How did Monaco 2006 make it in?? One of Eurovision’s top 10 biggest train wreck performances for sure, not one of… Read more »

Leo
Leo
8 months ago

It was interesting but I have points to raise *Why weren’t Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Serbia and Armenia in there, when they had the ace songs Az En Apam, Eastern European Funk, Cake To Bake and In Too Deep and the fan fave Walking Out, which was the Hear Them Calling of TA in the eyes of many? *Why no songs from 2008 and 2012, 2 important contests in the maturity of the ESC? Vrag Naj Vzame should have been the Slovenian entry in this list, not Stop. *However, glad that Quero Ser Tua and Haba Haba were in there rather… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by Leo
Dimos
Dimos
8 months ago

Just a tiny correction. You’ve written “Never Forget” as her 2016 entry instead of “Hear Them Calling”. Great article by the way

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
8 months ago
Reply to  Dimos

She just couldn’t forget. 😀

James
James
9 months ago

This Eurovision Again special has more diversity in languages than your actual modern Eurovision final: English, Bulgarian, Croatian, Polish, French, Tahitian, Swahili, Greek, Montenegrin, Slovenian, Catalan, Portuguese, Italian, Slovak, and Hebrew.

Last edited 9 months ago by James
Tibor
Tibor
8 months ago
Reply to  James

Yes, because the general public votes a lot of the native language stuff out in the semis, a fact that part of the fandom refuses to acknowledge.
And even with these non-qualifiers, the first song sung entirely in a native language finishes only 7th with the fans.

Last edited 8 months ago by Tibor
Colin
Colin
8 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

Voters often prefer English songs, but they have nothing on the juries in that regard. In fact, a majority of national language songs had higher televote score compared to their jury score. Sure, there are exceptions (Hungary 2019, for example), but mostly it’s the juries who botch most non-English songs’ chances. Which is absurd, in my opinion, because they’d *have to* be contractually obligated to read the lyrics, but I’m not sure if they are or is that enforced at all. Still, there are plenty of non-English songs with great results, so I would still encourage people not to give… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by Colin
Leo
Leo
8 months ago
Reply to  Colin

In 2018, we saw Albania fare very well with the tastemakers, proving that OLS songs in a language with less than 25m speakers, can fare well with them, and, in TA itself the next year, Italy, proving that the juries do like both Italy and R&b.

Last edited 8 months ago by Leo
Colin
Colin
8 months ago
Reply to  Colin

Continues – Now the finals in 2019: ITALY – 3rd in televote, 4th with the juries ICELAND – 6th in televote, 15th with the juries SLOVENIA – 11th in televote, 15th with the juries (tie with Iceland) SERBIA – 13th in televote, 19th with the juries (rotating from their semi stance) SPAIN – 14th in televote, 25th with the juries ALBANIA – 17th in televote, and 17th with the juries * FRANCE – 18th in televote, 13th with the juries * So, out of 7 songs in non-English in the finals, juries helped one and left one with the same… Read more »

Tibor
Tibor
8 months ago
Reply to  Colin

You can always find examples for songs in native languages that did well with the public, but that is not the issue (although I have to say, half of your examples cite songs that wouldn’t have made with either the juries or the public, so I’m not really sure what that is supposed to prove 😉 ). I was reacting to James saying that this line up is more diverse than a standard Eurovision final – the fact is, these are non-qualifiers. Then I was reacting to the fact that even without juries and even in a linguistically more diverse… Read more »

Colin
Colin
8 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

That is the fact I am not trying to dispute. English songs do tend to have a slightly better result on average. I was just emphasizing that juries tend to be the ones derayling them down even more than the public does. By a place, three or five… 😉 However, the fact that most songs *are* in English also gives a big statistical push for them to win. We could also make an argument of them being sparse, but mostly evenly distributed throughout the voting. Remember in 2017, how every single song in a language other than English advanced to… Read more »

Tibor
Tibor
8 months ago
Reply to  Colin

Yes, today you have a lot more English songs in the competition as a whole. But that is precisely a reaction to the prevalence of the English language in the national language rule era. Ireland and Great Britain didn’t always have the best songs back then. And when for a brief time during the seventies the national language rule was dropped, two non-English speaking countries won with songs in English (Sweden with ABBA and the Netherlands with Teach-in). When it comes to victories, singing in English is more than a slight advantage. And the juries might treat national language entries… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by Tibor
Una
Una
8 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

I would love an edition whith all countries performing in their native language meaning the UK participating as UK would be the only one with a songh with English lyrics.
As for the rest that have English as an official or national language (de jure or de facto): Ireland would sing in Gaelic. Malta in Maltese.
What I understand by native language: one of the official languages (not English) so it could be either Finnish or Swedish (Sami too?) for Finland; a regional language could do for Spain or France and so on.

Tibor
Tibor
8 months ago
Reply to  Una

In my opinion, artists should perform in any language they’re comfortable with, I don’t think a language rule ever made a lot of sense. And you can always wish for Ireland to perform in Gaelic (the UK also has Gaelic/Welsh speaking communities in Wales and Scotland, so why do they get to perform in English?), but even under the national language rule, it would be strange to allow Finland to perform in Swedish, but not Ireland to perform in English … 😉

Last edited 8 months ago by Tibor
Colin
Colin
8 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

I agree. I am always prone to hearing more languages (as well as styles and genres) for the sake of diversity, but imposing such rule feels artificial and actually closes more doors than it opens. I would like some countries to decide for themselves to change a pace at some point (for example, the Nordics, Azerbaijan and Russia haven’t opted for national language in awhile, but also, it would be nice to hear Portugal or Italy switching to English for one time). We cannot force that to happen, though. Even the national language rules enforced by some selections seem counterproductive,… Read more »

Una
Una
8 months ago
Reply to  Colin

Have Azerbaijan ever sung in Azeri? I can only remember English and mostly Sweden or Greek-made songs and plenty of word salads as to why. One exception being 2017 with a local song AFAIR.

Tibor
Tibor
8 months ago
Reply to  Colin

That is precisely my point: You cannot impose such rules, it leads to injustices as long as everybody votes as they vote. So if you want linguistic diversity, you have to find ways to make artists who sing in their native languages, feel appreciated. The Eurovision fandom as a whole, isn’t very good at that, though. Just for the record: I am against any constraints on language, but my top 5 had three non-English language songs in it, had the fandom chosen Conan for Portugal, it would have been 4. The fans’ top 5 has zero non English language songs,… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by Tibor
Una
Una
8 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

I didn’t talk about a language rule. Just a wish of mine for an edition with countries using their own language and English for just one country.
Some of my favourite songs are in sung in languages other than English and they give me a lot of joy even though I don’t understand the words of some of them.

Tibor
Tibor
8 months ago
Reply to  Una

I am aware of that, but I’m afraid the only way to make your wish come true is the reinstatement of the language rule. 🙂

Truth
Truth
8 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

Swedish is also an official language for finnish people so that type of rule where Finland could only send finnish entries would discriminate the population that speaks Swedish as their main language and would eventually end up for Finland to leave Eurovision