It’s that time of year again when we ponder and dream about which artists would be fantastic picks for their countries at Eurovision. And so, we’re back with our annual “Wednesday Wishlist” series. Over the seven Wednesday Wishlist editions we have done to date, our wishes were granted a total of 17 times. Will any more be granted in 2022?
As this is all fantasy, we’ll also be taking a look at absentee countries, both long and short term. Because in our ideal contest everyone comes to the party. To make sure that no one gets left out, we’ll be going through countries in alphabetical order, so this week we’re starting with Hungary and working through to Malta.
Eurovision 2022 Wishlist (Part Three)
Katie: Nemazalány is one of Hungary’s brightest rising stars, who could bring Hungary back into Eurovision with a fresh, urban flavour, igniting a much-needed and long-overdue Hungarian renaissance at the contest. The 23-year-old is most famous for her duets with fellow female artists. She’s released several singles with Lil G, including “Petőfi Sándor” which has racked up almost 34 million views on YouTube. The pandemic hasn’t slowed Nemazalány down either, as her single with Sofi, “Üres Szívek”, released in January 2021, is on its way to reaching 20 million YouTube views. Perhaps Nemazalány wouldn’t be on the Eurovision stage alone, so that Hungary could treat us to a moment of Béyonce and Gaga-style fabulosity? It goes without saying, campy, diva-esque content from Hungary is something the world is waiting to see.
Iceland: Aron Can
Calvin: The Icelandic music scene may be relatively small, but it showcases a huge variety of different artists. As Iceland isn’t afraid of bringing this diversity to Eurovision, a streaming-friendly rap sound would surely be the next logical step. Aron Can ticks all the boxes. The singer with Turkish roots started his career in 2016 with the release of his mixtape Þekkir stráginn. He was only 16 at the time. Several songs left a mark on the local music landscape. Musically, his style can be located somewhere along the lines of Young Thug and Travis Scott often with a The Weeknd-like electronic beat. Some people even argue that he introduced trap hip hop to Iceland and see him as a pioneer. His career is a success story. He’s published several albums, with the latest coming earlier this year. He was nominated for several Icelandic Music Awards, performed together with the Black Eyed Peas in 2019 and rules large parts of the Spotify charts in Iceland. Aron Can would be a great contrast after two years of the happy and bright sounding Daði Freyr.
Ireland: Picture This
Padraig: Almost from the moment of their 2015 launch, Picture This have been one of Ireland’s most in-demand acts. They are Ryan Hennessy, Jimmy Rainsford, Owen Cardiff and Cliff Deane. Together they’re responsible for three albums (including two chart-toppers), a slew of hit singles and multiple sell-out gigs and tours. They’ve also developed a sizeable cult following beyond Irish shores including in the UK and US. In fact, the foursome recently recorded a special performance for The Late Late Show with James Corden from inside Croke Park — Ireland’s biggest stadium. As Måneskin just proved, Eurovision can now offer the potential to take an already popular act to superstardom. And if their recent comments are anything to go by, they might actually consider giving the song contest a go.
Israel: Ninet Tayeb
Lauren: You know how the stereotypical Brit reacts to a poor Eurovision result by saying they “could send Adele and still lose”? Ninet Tayeb to us Israelis is a lot like Adele to them. It’s so much of an obvious choice that it’s almost crazy that she never represent us. And yet, I don’t feel unoriginal wishing for her to represent the Middle Eastern nation – in Eurovision, she would be a very creative choice. We’ve seen some rock music in recent years, but not so many fierce femmes. On the 2020 wishlist, I wished for Scardust – a very heavy metal female-led band. I’m hereby toning down the aggressiveness — it doesn’t have to be too heavy. Accessible hard rock would do the trick just fine. And Ninet’s live performance abilities are it.
Italy: M¥SS KETA
Pablo: The time to kick the habit for safe host entries is well overdue. With a guaranteed spot in the final and no added pressure, one can take the task with a mixture of laissez-faire and pizazz. And when M¥SS KETA enters on the track, the party begins at last. An anonymously mysterious yet captivating character, the lady with the mask and glasses is all the rage in her homeland. Everything KETA does is to the extreme — a marriage of clever and addictive, all in celebration of the outré and absurd, and with Italian media in the palm of her hand, conquering Eurovision would be a walk in the park. Plus, those who choose to stan her in an homage via disguise will find the win-win situation of keeping themselves safe and protected in a crowd.
Latvia: Bermudu divstūris
Jordi: Latvian duo – Marats Ogļezņevs and Emīls Balceris – won’t leave you, or anybody, indifferent. Under the name, The Bermuda Triangle, and the stage names Biceps (Marats) and Triceps (Emīls), the band has claimed many fans with their humorous lyrics and addictive rhythms. The band was created to offer something different to the modern songs “with four chords” that dominate the radio stations. Bermudu divstūris rise to fame has seen them earn millions of views on YouTube, millions of Spotify streams and four Annual Latvian Music Recording Awards, including Song of the Year 2020 and 2018, and Best Hip Hop or Dance Music Album in 2015. With two studio records in their repertoire, the Latvian pair keep leaving their fans dazed as new singles are released. Among their recent releases, “Rododendri (Rhododendron)” is an exciting and different offering with proper Latvian essence. No party of Bermudu divstūris is not loud enough, and surely, they are more than ready to follow in Triana Park’s footsteps and bring the much-missed party to the grand final.
Tom: Jazzu is an artist that’s made for the Eurovision stage. This girl isn’t a wannabe, she has a serious singing background. She started singing jazz music when she was 13 and went on to perform at multiple jazz projects in Lithuania and abroad. After finishing music school, she moved to London to continue her music career and her big break came when she met music producer Leon Somov and became involved with electronic music. Together, they went on to win multiple M.A.M.A awards – Lithuanian Music Awards. Including five gongs for Best Band and two for Best Album. Now she is owning it solo. Smashing out tracks both in English and Lithuanian and in so many different genres and styles – she can do it all! Her excellent recent single “Vasara” sees Jazzu dipping back into her jazzy roots. But for Eurovision, I would love her to perform something akin to her upbeat electronic pop track “Keep it to Myself” which is a collab with another brilliant Lithuanian artist Jovani. Have a listen! Jazzu has the voice, the versatility to sing any style of song at the contest and just look at her, she is just so cool!
Luxembourg: Francis of Delirium
Robyn: Francis of Delirium is a rock duo fronted by the super talented rock chick Jana Bahrich. The group’s official bio describes their sound as a combination of “90’s grunge and millennial DIY” — and that’s a good way to put it. Francis of Delirium serves up a fresh take on pop-rock, like an edgier version of the rock-infused pop that acts like Olivia Rodrigo and Willow have been serving up lately. Francis of Delirium’s 2020 single “Quit F***ing Around” serves loads of attitude and comes complete with a power chorus, just right for a Eurovision audience to shout along with. But it’s not all snarly rock — Lana can get emotional, as seen on a recent heartfelt orchestral performance of “I Think I’m Losing”. When Luxembourg decide to make a Eurovision comeback, Francis of Delirium is well poised to represent them.
North Macedonia: LARA
Luis: LARA (Lara Ivanova) is one of North Macedonia’s rising stars. She serves some very slick and finely produced mid-tempo tracks, enriched with her deep voice. She’s a relatively new artist, but her catalogue goes from English titled ethno ballads to urban pop. Her song “Nekogas ke pomine” already has already over 670,000 views on YouTube. It features a glossy music video shot around the streets of Skopje. After a streak of established artists, maybe it’s time for North Macedonia to try with a teen pop princess.
Patrick: Malta might have just sent Junior Eurovision winner Destiny to Eurovision, but that doesn’t mean that we cannot repeat history another time. Gaia Cauchi won the junior competition back in 2013 and boy, has the sweet girl turned into a breath-taking woman. Since her victory, the now 18-year-old has never stopped and continues to make herself an even bigger name in the Maltese music scene. Gaia ventured outside of her home country when she took part on X Factor UK in 2018. She reached judges’ houses. Recently, the young starlet revealed that she’s signed with the US-based label Kobalt Music x Prolific Songs, and that she’s working on a five or six song EP that should be released in the coming months. That sure is exciting when you consider her latest releases like “Why Should I?” or “Message” scream pop heaven. Gaia has everything a Eurovision success needs: talent, style, edge and surely a voice that is instantly recognisable. Grace us with your presence Gaia, we will welcome you to the big stage with open arms.
What do you think of our choices? Who would you choose? Let us know in the comments.