For the eight year running, the team at wiwibloggs is organising our “Wednesday Wishlist” series. 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. But before we dive earphones first into this year’s list, we thought it’d be fun to look at our past wishes that actually became a reality. Did the stars in our dreams ultimately soar high in the sky — or crash and burn on their way out of the semi-finals?
Over the seven Wednesday Wishlist editions we have done, our wishes were granted a total of seventeen times. Here’s how they fared.
Wednesday Wishlist: Eurovision Wishes Granted
Over the national final season of 2020, three acts previously featured in our Wishlists have been selected to participate in Eurovision on the year the edition was cancelled. While none of the three were one of the many acts selected to return for 2021, we wish for them to hopefully find their way to the Eurovision stage pretty soon so they can showcase their immense talents.
Belarus’ VAL — Honourable mention
While VAL — that’s Vlad Pashkevich and Lera Gribusova — had a couple of projects to their name, they were very much up and comers when our Renske put their name in the mix back in 2019. And it was a pleasant surprise to see them pop up in Belarus’ national final for 2020. “Da Vidna” emerged victorious, becoming only the second Belarusian-language song to be selected for Eurovision.
Croatia’s Damir Kedžo — Honourable mention
Damir Kedžo became the second artist to win Croatia’s Dora following its relaunch in 2019. His road to Eurovision was dramatic, tieing with Mia Negovetić at the top of the Dora scoreboard. Since he topped the public televote, the tiebreak fell in Damir’s favour and he got the chance to go Eurovision with “Divlji Vjetre”.
Russia’s Little Big – Honourable mention
Often, our wishes feel like mere pipedreams, with little chance of actually coming through. And that was the case with Little Big. When our Mikhail proposed them in the summer of 2019, they were still riding high on the viral success of “SKIBIDI” — a song that had amassed 100s of millions of views on YouTube. Surely they were too big for Eurovision? And so, their internal selection by the Russian broadcaster was met with much excitement. “Uno” became one of the last songs to be revealed for the 2020 contest. But it quickly became another hit. To date, it remains the most-watched video on the official Eurovision YouTube channel.
14. Franka Batelic – 17th place in the semifinal
Described as “a versatile, genre-hopping diva that has gone from pop to teeny bopper to house”, Franka brought her own brand of “Crazy” to the Eurovision stage in 2018. Despite not qualifying for the final, her live performance was described as pitch-perfect. Franka oozed a sultry cool that still raises the temperature today.
13. Michele Perniola (featuring Anita Simoncini) – 16th place in the semifinal
Fresh from a memorable performance at Junior Eurovision in 2013, Michele Perniola made the logical step of repping the microstate in the mother contest once he turned 16. And when that date came, he found himself in Vienna in 2015, next to his fellow Junior contestant Anita Simoncini of the Peppermints. She was the youngest-ever artist under the current age rules to participate. Sadly their “We are the World”-style duet “Chain of Lights” didn’t replicate Valentina’s surprising qualification. But to this day we are still saying that iconic “No”.
12. Srbuk – 16th place in the semifinal
After the high-octane pop explosion that was “Half a Goddess”, we were sure this Armenian bombshell would have saved something huge when our wish was granted for Tel Aviv. But while “Walking Out” had its fans, it didn’t make it through to the big final. Was it the staging? Was it the song? All we know is that it wasn’t down to Srbuk — a singer of immense poise and power.
11. Alekseev – 16th place in the semifinal
Our wish for Ukraine was granted via Belarus when, amid a bit of controversy, Alekseev ran away with their national final and punched himself a ticket to Lisbon. “Forever” underwent multiple changes before hitting the big stage, going from electro-pop to ballad, complete with an extreme display of roses. Unfortunately, he was left behind in one of the most competitive semifinals to date.
10. Anxhela Peristeri – 21st place
On to the qualifiers! There was very little doubt that Anxhela was the one to beat at Festivali i Këngës 59. After a stunning presentation, she easily punched her ticket to Eurovision, continuing Albania’s tradition of sending strong leading women. In Rotterdam, she brought the passion and dramatics that Albania is known for, qualifying from a packed semi-final to end up in 21st place overall.
9. Freddie – 19th place
This raspy-voiced Hungarian stunner took the 2016 version of A Dal by storm, rocking his “Pioneer” all the way to Stockholm. Arguably the biggest alum from the Hungarian version of Rising Star, he earned an impressive fourth place in the Eurovision 2016 semifinal. But he could only muster a right-hand-side finish on the scoreboard of the Grand Final.
8. Tamta – 13th place
After years of waiting and dreaming from fans, superstar Tamta finally got the opportunity to sing at Eurovision in Tel Aviv. This Greek beauty went via Cyprus to grace us with her banger “Replay”. Serving Britney at the VMAs during the final, she ended up in the bottom half of the table. However, after fixing the scoreboard following that EBU jury gaffe, she found herself on the left side of the scoreboard. See: Good things come to those who wait!
7. OG3NE – 11th place
This sisterly trio had been on the Eurofan radar ever since they rose to success on The Voice (and, if you’re a fan of JESC, ever since they sang at the Junior edition as tweens). So when they were recruited as the Dutch act for Kyiv in 2017, expectations were high. Their flawless harmonies elevated the Waylon Jennings-themed “Lights and Shadows” to the status of fan favourite, and they managed to achieve a very respectable 11th place — just as their predecessor Douwe Bob.
6. Iveta Mukuchyan – 7th place
Hey, it’s her. Iveta took the plunge — and won Eurovision Next Top Model — during the 2016 edition in Stockholm. The art-pop piece “LoveWave” became iconic from the moment she hit the rehearsals with her undeniable sensuality and vocal power. She earned a hard-fought seventh place in an extremely competitive edition of Eurovision. To date Miss Mukuchyan is the last Armenian artist to place in the top ten. It’s a place where we hope to see them again soon — and hopefully with a diva who slays as hard as she did.
5. Mikolas Josef – 6th place
This was more of a premonition than a wish, since we all had a taste of what Josef offered Czech Television in 2017. His submission left us craving more from the suave singer at Eurovision. And we didn’t have to wait for long, as “Lie To Me” was sent to Lisbon. No back injury could stop Mikolas who, backflip and all, skyrocketed the Czech Republic to its best placing to date. And that’s no lie.
4. Sergey Lazarev – 3rd place
Arguably the most successful Russian pop star, Lazarev had long been the top of many a wishlist and fans clamoured for him and his banging pop style. It whet the appetite of bookies and fans alike once he went to Stockholm. The staging of “You Are The Only One” is among the most impressive of the decade, pushing the boundaries of special effects and showmanship. It won the televote convincingly. But a divisive jury vote saw it finish third in the end. But this wish had more than one life….
3. Sergey Lazarev – 3rd place
…it had two! Three years later, the wish returned at Eurovision 2019 in Tel Aviv — this time with Sergey offering a more theatrical take with the help of the Moscow Symphonic Orchestra. With impressive rain and reflection effects, he managed to repeat his bronze feat, scoring another podium finish for Russia after the country failed to qualify for the final the year before.
2. Eleni Foureira – 2nd place
The Gods did it again, granting our wish for Greece to the island nation of Cyprus. And what a way to grant it! After trying for years, Eleni Foureira had her Eurovision dream come true in 2018, where she changed the contest as we know it, one hair flip and “aye aye aye” at a time. “Fuego” rose through the ranks as soon as rehearsals started, at one point becoming the favourite to take it all. In the end, Eleni’s second-place granted Cyprus its best-ever finish and the performance remains one for the ages. Yeah yeah, fire!
1. Måneskin — Winners
Way before they were on the radar of Eurovision and a month before they released their first-ever big Italian hit “Torna a Casa”, our Pablo nominated this four-piece band of promising young rockers. He commented that “their style will seal the deal” and that “their retro-yet-contemporary melodies are a winning formula”. Three years later, Damiano, Ethan, Thomas and Victoria won Sanremo before snatching the crystal microphone with the explosive “Zitti e Buoni” in Rotterdam. And they’ve climbed up the charts all around the globe. Wishes sometimes just don’t come true, they become a worldwide phenomenon.
What do you think? Do you have a wish you want fulfilled for 2022? Do you think any of our previous wishes has what it takes to win it all if they get selected to go? Let us know in the comments.