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’re going through countries in alphabetical order. So, in this concluding week, we’re starting with San Marino and working through to the United Kingdom.
Eurovision 2022 Wishlist (Part Five)
San Marino: Sara Jane
Edd: The Eurovision 2021 results proved that nowadays authenticity is everything, and absolutely no genre is dead – so why not mix things up with a little jazz? Sara Jane Ghiotti is a Sammarinese classical jazz singer and long-time friend of Valentina Monetta, offering a smooth, funky sound. She supposedly sent a song in for San Marino’s first-ever Eurovision selection in 2008 and has built an established career, performing at jazz festivals around the world. The last jazz song at Eurovision was Italy’s “Madness of Love” by Raphael Gualazzi in 2011, finishing second in the Grand Finale. Maybe RTV should take advantage of the Eurovision hype in Italy this year and hook these two up?
Past wishes: Michele Perniola (wish granted), Irol MC, Delayers, The Slight, Jimmi JDKA, Lo Strego and Helia
Katie: If Serbia sent Zoi to Eurovision, there would certainly be no calm after the Hurricane. With Hurricane’s sultry edginess providing an exciting yet rarely-seen-at-Eurovision alternative to the typical bubblegum pop diva, Zoi would be the artist who could build upon this momentum and really slay. The 22-year-old has released a string of hits since she burst onto the Balkan music scene in 2019. Most notably, “Jasno mi je” has racked up almost 16 million views on YouTube. Zoi would showcase the future of Serbian – and European – music, rather than resting on a tried and tested Eurovision formula. Her style is less Nevena Bozovic, and more Sara Jo, Mabel, or even German singer Lune. Serbia has been craving that “Molitva” moment at Eurovision which brought them victory in 2007, but hasn’t quite been found since. Zoi really could be the one to bring it.
Past wishes: Ceca, Gnucci, Zap Me Strobe, SevdahBABY & Djixxs, Saša Kovačević, Milica Pavlovic and Edita
Pablo: Mixing traditional folk with modern production is a Eurovision evergreen and a proven standout formula — just ask Go_A. If Slovakia would ever like to return, Prešov-natives Hrdza have all it takes to make that comeback a rousing one. Mixing regional Rusyn-tinted folk with rock and polka elements, this band has all it takes for viewers to engage in that Eurovision familiarity while bringing a credible, solid song that highlights Slovak culture. And the interest of Eurovision is there: they attempted to go in 2010, so it is due time to show how much they have grown and the level they have taken their toe-tapping, high-energy sound.
Past wishes: Katarína Koscová, Celeste Buckingham, Mária Círová, Carmel Paradise, Lina Mayer, Katarzia and SIMA
Slovenia: Nina Pušlar
Jonathan: Some Eurovision fans may remember Nina Pušlar from Slovenia’s EMA 2010 and 2011, placing second in the former. Ten years on from her appearances in the national selection and Nina’s career has only grown stronger over time. The star achieved the year-end best domestic song on the Slovenian singles chart in both 2016 and 2020, with “To mi je všeč” and “Svet na dlani” respectively. It’s about time that Nina put those ten years of experience into another attempt at Eurovision and helps to bring Slovenia back to the grand final.
Past wishes: Petra Marklund, Kingston, Perpetuum Jazzile, Challe Salle, Luka Basi, Torul and Mark Zebra
Spain: Rigoberta Bandini
Luis: Rigoberta Bandini is one of the hottest names in Spain’s music industry. She began her career when she was very young, providing the voice of a cartoon character in a series, and then went on to become an electronic pop producer and hitmaker. Her breakthrough song “In Spain we call it soledad” earned her popularity all over the country and she’s been touring the country this summer. “Perra” is another one of her hits. Her catalogue includes slickly produced, fresh and quirky electronic pop, mixed with spoken word or choir-like interludes. Spain has often been criticised for picking extremely safe and sometimes lame songs for Eurovision. Any song Rigoberta Bandini has produced is anything but safe and lame.
Past wishes: Amaia Montero, Varry Brava, Yall, Sara Serena, Rosalía, Guitarricadelafuente and Lola Indigo
Sweden: Smith & Thell
Padraig: Several acts have come close to taking the folk-pop sound to the top of the Melodifestivalen scoreboard in recent times. But despite the best efforts of Anna Bergendahl and others, Sweden seems to have an insatiable diet for either soul or male pop — and sometimes both! Smith & Thell would certainly be capable of breaking the pattern. The duo of Maria Jane Smith and Victor Thel have been on the go since the early 2010s, but they’ve really come to the fore since 2018. Hits like “Hotel Walls”, “Goliath” and “Year Of The Young” have dominated the radio and streaming charts in Sweden. Now, it’s time Europe got to soak up their anthemic country flavoured bops.
Past wishes: Hakan Hellström, Robyn, Tove Lo, First Aid Kit, Lykke Li, Winona Oak and Sandro Cavazza
Switzerland: Caroline Alves
Calvin: After two years of successful results, another solo artist seems like the logical step for Switzerland. One promising prospect is the 2021 SRF 3 Best Talent-winner Caroline Alvez. She names Amy Winehouse, Erykah Badu and Massive Attack as her main musical inspirations and you can hear that in various songs. Born in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, she moved with her mother to Switzerland in 2008. She describes her most successful song – “Sticks and Stones” – as a “melancholic, dark electro-soul song in a jazzy gown.” She released her debut album in 2020 in which she demonstrates how she is able to create variety while sticking to a coherent mood. Despite being so early in her career, she found a unique sound that deserves the attention of more ears. Switzerland has a history with talented artists unknown to big audiences. Caroline Alves would definitely bring a new side to the main stage.
Past wishes: Stefanie Heinzmann, Beatrice Egli, Bastian Baker, Anna Känzig, Vendredi sur Mer, 77 Bombay Street and Eluveitie
Turkey: Hande Ünsal
Jonathan: We’ve never been this close to having Turkey back at Eurovision. And when they do, there’s a lot of extraordinary musical talent that can bring the country back with a bang. Simmering in the mix is Hande Ünsal, who serves up a delectable slice of Turkish pop. After releasing her first single in 2016, Hande has kept the momentum going and since topped Turkey’s MusicTopTR airplay chart with four songs – “Seni Sever miydim”, “Nerdesin?”, “Daha İyi” and “Sözüm Söz”. Turkey’s absence from Eurovision has been sad, particularly in view of the LGBT-phobia that is often stated to have led to their withdrawal. But considering the music video for Hande’s latest single, “Gönder Gelsin”, features a Pride flag (albeit for a very, very split second at 1:13), perhaps she can help bring a more colourful and inclusive Turkey to the forefront once again.
Past wishes: Aynur Aydin, Atiye, Murat Ceylan, Aleyna Tilki, Edis, Simge and Tarkan
Ukraine: Artem Pivovarov
Jordi: Ukraine seems to have made a habit of mastering Eurovision. The Eastern European country has never missed a Final and boasts two victories, two second places and ten top ten performances from almost two decades of participation. This success has frequently been demonstrated by offering flairs of dynamism and originality, without losing modernity. Artem Pivovarov is here to prove no less. The just-turned-30 artist from Ukraine’s Vovchans’k knows like no other what it is to be a trendsetter while delivering formulas that carry uniqueness and appeal to the masses. “Дежавю (Deja Vu)” is an exciting example of Artem’s philosophy of creating without limits. The song – winner of the Yearly Ukrainian National Award (YUNA) for Song of the Year 2021 – accumulates almost 60 million views on YouTube (combining all versions, including a French one) and mixes forward-looking sounds with enduring beats. In the same steps as Go_A, Artem Pivovarov is here to bring Ukraine’s exciting music scene to the attention of the world.
Past wishes: Vera Brezhneva, Alloise, Alekseev (wish granted for Belarus), Monatik, Max Barskih, Vremya i Steklo and Alina Pash
United Kingdom: Estelle
Oliver: Estelle is a superstar. You’d be hard-pressed to find anybody in the country who hasn’t heard her name — or at least, her 2008 smash hit “American Boy”. But the London-born songstress has evolved dramatically since her days collaborating with Kanye West. Her R&B pop-centric stylings shifted closer to reggae, as heard on her 2018 album Lovers Rock. The record didn’t achieve the same commercial success as its predecessors, but it’s a shining example of everything the British music industry has to offer. Tracks like “Ain’t Yo Bitch”, “Better” and “Sweetly” capture Estelle’s aesthetic and artistic vision brilliantly. Sultry, sexy, and slick expertly-crafted music, with just a tinge of grit. Elsewhere, Estelle enjoys a fruitful acting career, featuring in Netflix’s Fatal Affair and voice acting in Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe — also appearing on the soundtracks of both. She’s got countless accolades and claims to fame. Perhaps Eurovision could be her next chapter.
Past wishes: Mutya Keisha Siobhan, Hurts, Emma Blackery, Little Mix, Nina Nesbitt, Florence + The Machine and Sam Fender
What do you think of our choices? Who would you choose? Let us know in the comments.
OMG Hrdza are so awesome! Too bad Slovakia doesn’t participate anymore : (
Your wish for Switzerland didn’t match with mine this time unlike in the two previous years. This year I really recommend Miss Helvetia to everyone, this woman is a total fire, her song “Angeli im Schnee” is an absolute accordion+yodel banger, and she is a born performer, so much stage charisma!
For the UK I wold like to see Twin Atlantic, Nina Nesbitt or something completely different like the Scottish Gaelic band Niteworks.
Other Artists I wold like to see:
Celtic Woman – Ireland
Sheppard – Australia
Im from the UK but I’ve been a huge fan of SevdahBABY for the past five or six years now, only discovering them by accident on YouTube. I think that they should be chosen to represent Serbia with something incredibly modern.
As for the UK, I would love to see any of the following:
My Eurovision Song Contest 2022 wishlist (S-U)
San Marino – Camille Cabaltera or VAL
Serbia – Sandra Afrika
Slovenia – zalagasper
Spain – Rosalía or Pol Granch
Sweden – LÉON
Switzerland – James Gruntz
Ukraine – KAZKA
UK – Paloma Faith, Moss Kena, Mabel, Becky Hill, Tiggs Da Author, Dutchkid, or KOVEN
Sweden has so many incredible artists, and I would really like to see Tove Lo and Axwell & Ingrosso representing Sweden! It’s a great pity that Avicii cannot do so anymore 🙁 🙁 🙁
I would REALLY like to see ALL the Sanden sisters and both Petryk sisters representing Sweden and Ukraine, respectively! Yes, and I would also like to see Joksimovic og Serifovic representing Serbia again! 😀
I would like to put Katy B into the mix of representing the UK. She can write her own songs which is a good sign because most of music artists in the Top 10 of Eurovision Song Contest were part of writing their own. Her music is very edgy and she represents the current UK music scene very well. Also Eurovision is in her roots because her dad was a singer for Les Humphries Singers for Germany in the 1976 Eurovision Song Contest. I also think she is a realistic possibility because she hasn’t been in the spotlight much throughout… Read more »
My knowledge for many countries’ music industries is mostly through their NFs (and some of these artists’ other music), so pardon me if my spectrum isn’t as broad as it perhaps needs to be. Still, with the knowledge I have, these would be my preliminary wishes for 2022: Albania – Arilena Ara Andorra – Susanne Georgi or Nick Gain Armenia – Athena Manoukian Australia – Nick Cave (Not gonna happen, but one can dream). Austria – Azerbaijan – Belgium – Bulgaria – Croatia – Damir Kedzo Cyprus – Czech Republic – Karelll Denmark – Rasmus Faartoft Estonia – Juri Pootsmann… Read more »
as for Slovenia, I don’t know, maybe it will sound strange, the more Janza accelerates authoritarianism in this country, the more I appreciate Slovenian artists, and additionally I asked Challe about Eurovision, the main problem of refusal is jurors in Slovenia
Ukraine never disappoints. One of my favorite countries.
Hurts for the UK would be great!
San Marino should send Italian singers and not random singers/writers from Turkey, Malta and Germany.
San Marino can send whoever they want. Other countries has sent artists not from that country before.
”Altin Gun” better pack their stuff because they’re so going to Italy to raise Turkish flag
They were nominated for Grammy Awards for ”best world album” . There should be more folk songs in Esc
I second the last sentence of your comment.
My Eurovision 2022 Wishlist
San Marino – Willie Peyote
Serbia – Lena Stamenkovic
Slovenia – Younite (Band) from EMA 2020 (Evrovizijska Melodija)
Spain – Ladilla Rusa
Sweden – Oscar Zia
Switzerland – Sebalter
Ukraine – Eria (Iryna Boyarkina)
United Kingdom – Grace May Holden
Estelle….. Is this a wind up. She’s hardly lit up the charts in recent years. I also had the misfortune of hearing her sing live. Not my choice…. She was a support act. Her vocals were all over the place. Pitchy and shouty are the key words. Please do not think about her representing the UK. It is a guaranteed recipe for failure.
That really seems to be the big problem with UK entries. They just don’t sing that great and always seem to hold back during the jury final, where the UK should be looking to get some serious votes.
i would LOVE to see Zivert for either ukraine or russia. her music is amazing
honestly, i feel like she will represent russia next year. that’s my gut feeling, but then again i thought the same about manizha in 2017 (?) whenever she was hinting at it
At least we did later on get Manizha this year
artem pivovarov is a great choice for ukraine honestly, well done… he could easily be top 5 again
For the UK I’d love Yungblud. He’s exciting, a great singer, very open & accepting of everybody & has great energy. His music is fantastic & he is one of the sweetest, most likeable people there has ever been. He’d also be out of the box, with his mix of punk, metal, rap & pop. I don’t think anyone would expect it of us. lol
I wish for my country a returning of Sebalter, but this time in his mother tongue: italian! Especially when the contest is located in Italy, it would be very cool! A second wish from me is, the swiss rapper Stress, because rapping in french is something special and something new for Eurovision… I think one of his most famous hit is On a q‘une terre. And the third wish is a group: Fäaschtbänkler is it called and they play music inspirated by folksmusic. They al play brass instruments and they became popular with their legendary Genre Hit-Mixes. They are well-known… Read more »
Thank you for the latter music recommendation!
If you want Italian, how do you view Vad Vuc? I think specifically Ticinese dialect of Italian would be a more unique choice than just regular Italian!
P.S.: your country is the best Eurovision country for me.
I loved how one of the most diverse top 10 in Eurovision’s History inspired what may have been the most diverse Wednesday Wishlist to date. I hope the same happens when national finals start (still 4 months to go…). I know I can trust some countries to keep this trend going and hopefully some others will take more risks this time.
Estelle is a good shout. I’ve been meaning to watch Steven Universe, I’m aware it has a big fanbase and it would be good to tap into that. She also sings the theme tune to We Bare Bears. I do wonder where things will go for the UK, hopefully partnering with BMG should be helpful, we just need someone with more stage experience/presence. I liked James, but his talents are more suited to writing and producing (and recording a bit)
spain really should send Nia to Eurovision. her operación triunfo performances are just sooo fun to watch and energetic
Another teen pop singer representing Spain after the failures of the last five years? Spain needs something different.
I’d love us here in UK to send something a bit different I was thing maybe something classical like Catherine Jenkins or Charlotte Church, but I’d love something folky like Marina and the Diamonds or Florence and the Machine
I love your choice for Ukraine! I’ve been listening a lot to Artem’s music recently, and I personally find it amazing.
Caroline seems like a neat choice of Switzerland! So sad that the series ended for this year, see you back in 2022!
Mine is (there can be more than one option as always): San Marino: OK, this is a tricky one, since the microstate seems to be good at sending in singers from outside their own country. But if I have to throw in random choices (be it from 1 in 360 or some American or Asian pop artists), it would be either Tinashe Makura, Sara de Blue, Giovanni Montalbano, Ne-Yo, or Kim Jae-hwan. Serbia: Goran Bregovic, Bojana Radovanovic, or Weeekly Slovenia: Ula Lozar, Lina Kuduzovic, or Prospect (they’re a progressive metal band) Spain: Blas Canto (again), Alejandro Sanz, Daddy Yankee, Bad… Read more »
I was mostly with you until doja cat for Switzerland???? girl no
LOL, ramdom choice. Is she connected to Switzerland in any ways?
I just say hail for BoomBox for Ukraine! I strongly support this suggestion.
My twin brother would really love that choice – Estelle is very talented. Beverley Knight is another choice he would love, and I would love Natasha Bedingfield – both Knight and Bedingfield appeared in one of Estelle’s early videos, and Bedingfield follows Netta and Loreen on insta. Ella Henderson is another choice I would want.
Ooh Beverley Knight is a great choice!!
A genre crossover like her 2004 hit Come As You Are would be brilliant for us! Energetic, atmospheric, soulful and strong vocals.
I thought Natasha Bedingfield is from New Zealand? I know it’s a former British colony, and we’ve had Brendan Cole at the Dance contest. But would she be willing to do it? Would she get a bit of stick of it back home?
The Bedingfield family were raised in NZ but British (the same applies to Perrie from Little Mix, my dream choice but one that is probably not realistic). There are the obvious risks that apply to all acts, but, as I mentioned, she knows the show enough to follow 2 of its greatest modern winners (not necessarily a sign but still…), and I’m sure she’d do well, if her voice is utilised correctly. I think we’d do another internal selection but of a better known act rather than the sibling of one.