OGAE Second Chance Contest 2021 Vote

It’s a regular fixture on the Eurovision off-season calendar — the OGAE Second Chance Contest. Various OGAE fan clubs around Europe (and the rest of the world) decide their top favourite of the national final acts who didn’t win the ticket to Eurovision. Voting has closed, but before the fan network announces the final results, we’ve decided to do a ranking of our own.

The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — has assembled after its summer hiatus and listened to all 14 contenders. We’ve ranked our top ten songs in Eurovision fashion and combined our scores to determine our absolute favourites. What entry emerged on top? Read on to find out!

OGAE Second Chance 2021 — Wiwi Jury

14. Denmark: Chief 1 og Thomas Buttenschøn – “Højt over skyerne” (6 points)

Robyn: “Højt over skyerne” is delightful and uplifting and the performers bring energy and personality to the performance. They were one of the stand-out acts of DMGP and, yeah, they would have been ok if they’d made it to Rotterdam. But the song is intense and doesn’t really hold up to repeat listenings. The listening experience is like having a really rich piece of chocolate cake. One or two forkfuls are delicious, but you wouldn’t necessarily enjoy the whole piece.

13. Spain: Blas Cantó – “Memoria” (12 points)

Patrick: Recent news reporting a new way of selecting the Spanish entrant sounds like the right way ahead. Let’s face it, the national selection for Blas was sadly a foreshadowing for what was yet to come. While I enjoyed “Voy a quedarme” in Rotterdam, I always prefered “Memoria”. It left more of an impact. It reminds me of those Spanish songs that always chart during the summer and make you feel happy and long for a Tequila Sunrise. Sure, I would have tweaked the song if it had won but the original is already a good effort. I’m not sure if “Memoria” would have necessarily done better, but I do believe the dreaded 0 points would have at least be avoided.

11. Russia: Therr Maitz – “Future Is Bright” (13 points)

🥉 — Lauren

Lauren: Russia’s national selection this season, let’s face it, was a mess. Of course, it ended up yielding a very good winner that got a top ten placement in Rotterdam. But everything else was off. It was announced almost last minute, it seemed only half-real while it was on, and they constantly cut to random news footage during the broadcast, which was… surreal. But when everything is said and done, that selection had three good songs, and Therr Maitz’s “Future Is Bright” is a great track to look back at. It’s introverted, minimalistic, but still powerful and explosive. To me, it always felt like a successor of “Midnight Gold” from Eurovision 2016. At Eurovision, it may have fallen flat, but in OGAE Second Chance the sky is the limit.

= Portugal: NEEV – “Dancing In The Stars” (13 points)

Oliver: Festival da Canção is always tough to call. Few predicted The Black Mamba would win the Portuguese national final, and even fewer predicted “Love Is On My Side” would go on to achieve the Eurovision success it did — only during rehearsals did they really pick up steam. The second alternate NEEV on the other hand had a great package right from the start. The national final performance of “Dancing In The Stars” is a tearjerker. It’s heartfelt, sincere and enchanting in its simplicity, with a sorrowful message that resonates beyond borders. With a few touch-ups to the stage lighting, one can’t help but wonder what magic NEEV might have stirred up inside the Rotterdam Ahoy had he won the Portuguese Eurovision ticket. Nevertheless, this continues to be a great song in its own right and NEEV can be proud of the success he has achieved as an FdC fan favourite.

10. Israel: Eden Alene – “Ue La La” (18 points)

Pablo: Before “Set Me Free” was the high-note record breaker we came to know it as in Rotterdam, the Israeli selection was somewhat… chaotic. After a lot of demos and suppositions, we ended up with three not-as-polished candidates for Eden. Despite the reservations, “Ue La La” stuck out the most. Full of swagger and an eclectic mix of Hebrew, English and French, it was an unusual way to go. But it had the potential to be very in tune with what’s hot on the current scene. Reminiscent of Megan Thee Stallon or Doja Cat, if they worked the magic they did on “Set Me Free” with this track, Israel could have really done a bigger number on the Eurovision stage. But even at this first draft stage, it is a fairly addictive track.

9. Finland: Ilta – “Kelle mä soitan” (21 points)

🥈 — Patrick

Patrick: UMK has been one of my favourite national selections since the beginning. And when I listened to Ilta and her song the first time I was instantly enchanted. The mixture of her sweet yet strong voice together with her incredible presence helped her to stand out. The song itself presented a pure class act with lyrics as beautiful as they can get. Of course, looking at the end result for Blind Channel, they surely did everything right, but to see such a beautiful ballad in Finnish at the latest Eurovision would have surely made an impact in between all the dance songs.

6. Croatia: BERNARDA – “Colors” (32 points)

🥉 — Padraig and Patrick

Padraig: “Colors” attained legendary status long before it graced the Dora stage. For several years, it had been “that song” which had come so close to representing a handful of high profile countries at Eurovision. In the end, Croatia got the honours of presenting it to the public. Was it worth the wait? Most definitely! “Colors” is an infectiously, inspiring pop anthem brought to us by the Symphonix hit factory – it was never going to be not good. Bernarda’s own story as a blind singer added further depth to a song that could have been a throwaway number in the hands of someone else.

= Albania: Era Rusi – “Zjarri im” (32 points)

🥈 — Pablo and Renske

Renske: Eurovision is home to many tracks celebrating the power of women and “Zjarri im” perfectly fits that trend. Although “Karma” was slightly stronger in the selection, Era Rusi definitely brought the fire to the stage of Festivali di Këngës, which was held at the Sheshi Italia, an open-air venue, in the midst of December. Perhaps at Eurovision, it would have gotten lost in the bombastic extravaganza that so many countries delivered. Nonetheless, the song remains the same catchy energizer that it was in the winter, and the melody of the chorus is still stuck in the minds of many fans.

= France: Pony X – “Amour fou” (32 points)

🥈 — Robyn
🥉 — Oliver

Robyn: Let’s fondly remember the moment in the French national final when the jurors — including Jean Paul Gaultier — started giving their points and “Amour fou” was picking up 12s. It didn’t last, of course, and “Voilà” rightly took the win, but the infectious dance-pop of “Amour fou” was strong competition. The song has such a wild spirit that picks up on goofy 1960s dance trends, reimagined for the TikTok era. France made the right decision not to send “Amour fou” to Rotterdam, but the song remains one of the most enjoyable and danceable tunes of the 2021 national final season.

5. Sweden: Eric Saade – “Every Minute” (33 points)

🥉 — Pablo

Pablo: “Every Minute” surprised me over the summer. While it was an acceptable track with a well-produced show in Melodifestivalen, there was something that wasn’t entirely clicking with Eric’s performance. But the truth of the matter is, the song stands extremely well on its own. A more subdued production, leaning on a sexy groove and a beatbox-like base track, it’s a big deviation from the big productions Eric brought in the past. Overall, it would have also been a solid Swedish entry. “Every Minute”, regardless of its pretty noteworthy show, really is a track to enjoy on its own.

4. Estonia: Jüri Pootsmann – “Magus melanhoolia” (36 points)

🥉 — Robyn

Lauren: When we first saw Jüri Pootsmann on the list of participants for Eesti Laul 2021, it’s safe to say none of us were expecting this sort of track. Jüri’s 2016 song “Play” was very indie, very Malcolm Lincoln, and very far from the sharp, loud synths of “Magus melanhoolia”. But that contrast just went to show that Jüri has versatility as an artist, and when the jüry votes came in, it really seemed like he had a shot at taking gold. And he still does! Just not at Eesti Laul, at OGAE Second Chance.

3. Lithuania: Gebrasy – “Where’d You Wanna Go?” (44 points)

🥇 — Lauren and Renske

Renske: Only some national finals have a stand-out winner, but even fewer have a solid runner-up. Gebrasy’s “Where’d You Wanna Go?” was that rare solid runner-up, receiving the second position behind The Roop on all sections of the Lithuanian scoreboard. The simple singer-songwriter track was a breath of fresh air in the heats preceding the final, somewhat reminiscent of Frans’ “If I Were Sorry” in the jam-packed Melodifestivalen 2016. “Where’d You Wanna Go?” stood out in so many respects, including radio-friendliness and vocal performance, which promises that there is more to come from Lithuania after The Roop.

2. Norway: KEiiNO – “Monument” (48 points)

🥇 — Patrick
🥈 — Oliver and Padraig

Padraig: KEiiNO arrived into Norway’s Melodi Grand Prix with a monumental weight on their shoulders. Not only did they have to at least match the expectations set by “Spirit In The Sky”, they also had to overcome TIX — Norway’s biggest domestic artist at the moment. Sadly, they failed on the latter. However, Alexandra, Fred and Tom certainly came very close to equaling their 2017 entry in terms of quality and appeal. “Monument” is a soaring triumph, that captures the magic of “Spirit In The Sky” while throwing in some special flourishes especially for the juries. The fan love for this was real, and “Monument” will definitely live long in the canon of potential Eurovision songs that never were.

1. Italy: Irama – “La genesi del tuo colore” (66 points)

🥇 — Oliver, Pablo, Padraig and Robyn
🥈 — Lauren
🥉 — Renske

Oliver: In a post-Måneskin world, it’s hard to imagine any other Sanremo act topping everybody’s new favourite four-piece rock band. But with a song that still hits as hard as it did upon release, Irama might have come close. “La genesi del tuo colore” was a contender for the top five at Eurovision, and now it’s easily a huge contender to take home the OGAE Second Chance trophy. Every ingredient is stellar. The production is clean, the lyrics mysterious, the instrumentation eclectic. And on stage, this would surely dazzle audiences and jurors alike. It’s a shame Irama never got to showcase this song live in its full glory — RAI broadcast rehearsal footage at Sanremo after a COVID scare forced the superstar to self-isolate. Even then, he earned a respectable placement. An Irama return to Sanremo, if only to prove he can go all the way, would be very welcome indeed.

Wiwi Jury Scoreboard

Wiwi Jury OGAE Scoreboard 2021

Voting in the official contest might be closed. But there’s still some time to choose your favourites in our OGAE Second Chance 2021 reader poll.

What do you think of our rankings? Who are your favourites? Let us know below.

Read more Wiwi Jury reviews.

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Iamme
1 month ago

I like Maneskin a lot as a band but I am not particularly fond of Zitti e Buoni; I do prefer La genesi del tuo colore.
The most popular Sanremo song in Italy is still Musica leggerissima by Di Martino e Colapesce, while my favourite are Amare (a joyful song, a hymne of love by La Rappresentante di Lista, dressed in Sanremo like Goa at Esc) and Glicine (Whisteria, by the power and charming voice of Noemi).

nycforeverever
nycforeverever
1 month ago

Irama no doubt is the only possible winner. Like actually many of the Sanremo artists these year. I would like to see Fedez and Francesca instead but Irama is superb, too. And why Eric instead of Dotter?!

meri
meri
2 months ago

Norway should win this!! 😀 Their song is incredible and could have won Eurovision 2021!!

Nya
Nya
2 months ago

1. Monument
2. Magus melanhoolia
3. Where’d you wanna go
4. Zjarri im
5. Every minute
6. Kelle ma soitan
7. La genesi del tuo colore
8. Højt over skyerne
9. Amour fou
10. Colors
11. Dancing in the stars
12. Memoria
13. Ue la la
14. Future is bright

Alo
Alo
2 months ago

Irama is the only possible winner in my opinion. He is way above everyone else.

Alvaro
Alvaro
2 months ago

Among my personal picks: Finland, Lithuania, Estonia, Portugal.

Honorable mention: Italy

My personal winner: Norway -KEiiNO all the way.

Sot
Sot
2 months ago
Reply to  Alvaro

Wow you’re really into ballads

Alvaro
Alvaro
2 months ago
Reply to  Sot

And I didn’t even include Memoria ngl

Sabrina
Sabrina
2 months ago

This top 4 would also be my top 4 and Irama would also be my winner. I’m more than satisfied with Maneskin winning Sanremo and then Eurovision, but “La genesi del tuo colore” will always make us wonder what could happen if Irama wasn’t represented by a rehearsal tape for 4 nights. 5th place under those conditions was a great result. I’m glad that Amadeus is back for another dance in Sanremo, because he came up with a lineup that had at least 10 very good entries.

TobGor
TobGor
2 months ago

Why didn’t they choose Silver Bullet for Denmark – It is so much better!

bartosz
bartosz
2 months ago

Ilta is a bit underrated here 🙁

Tom
Tom
2 months ago

Eric Saade deserved better

Bombalurina
Bombalurina
2 months ago

You made the right choice 🙂

Michèle
Michèle
2 months ago

Absolutely love Irama’s song and the amazing video – would have been a contender to win Eurovision also. Italy really on a roll the last few years!

Sot
Sot
2 months ago

Oh wow! I’m actually ok with that ranking. Irama 1st seems fair and Denmark in last place was expected lol

Whisker
Whisker
2 months ago

THUNDER AND GLORIA!
I eat rich chocolate cake with TWO hands. I dive my hands into the cake, smother it all over, and by the time I’m done not one molecule is left. “Højt over skyerne” is a GREAT song!
I also loved “La genesi del tuo colore” and “Where’d you wanna go”.

Una
Una
2 months ago

Can anyone explain the spiel with the “legentary status” of “Colours”? I think that songs that float from a country to another (how many and which countries in this case?) are kind of “problematic”. No *strong song* should travel that much and that far.

Colin
Colin
2 months ago
Reply to  Una

Some excellent songs can get lost and be underappreciated by the organizers. But Colors is not one of them IMHO. There are some nice ideas in it, especially the groovy chorus. But it gets very repetitive really soon, and the stale performance didn’t help its cause either*. Albina was much better, but so were Nina, Mia, ToMa, and Cambi.

  • Bernarda is an excellent singer. I am referring to the staging around her.
Last edited 2 months ago by Colin
Una
Una
2 months ago
Reply to  Colin

I watched Dora 2021 live and I agree with most of what you’ve said.

Jonas
Jonas
2 months ago

Wiwi have picked the rightful winner.

Martin Palmer
2 months ago

I think your reader’s poll is far more realistic as to who is going to win this year’s OGAE SCC – Norway effectively killed it off from the start by going for KEiiNO.

Just remember that it is OGAE members who vote for this and have a look at what entries normally win most years! Eric Saade might even be higher than 5th…

Chessguy99
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin Palmer

Agree with this assessment. I would go further to say some OGAE members will purposely leave Italy off their ballots because they bypassed the Sanremo runner up, former ESC contestant Francesca Michielin. That’s just how isolated some of them are from non-ESC music.

Alex
Alex
2 months ago

Neev so underrated
At least Gebrasy was very high

Colin
Colin
2 months ago

Several of these songs are on the very top of my overall NF ranking list, so I’d say a job well done from those picking them. I agree that Italy has an excellent Second Chance song, and if they win, I’ll be glad. Still, I have Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, and Norway ranked even higher. All of these songs have a 10/10 rating from me, so these would be my personal picks. If I had to pick one, it would have to be Lithuania, my overall NF winner.

Ashton
Ashton
2 months ago

la genesi del tuo colore should win this. no shade to maneskin, but it’s a better song than zitti e buoni.

fionn
fionn
2 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

agreed, i think voce was even better tbh and i’m still a little bitter it didn’t win

Ashton
Ashton
2 months ago
Reply to  fionn

I loved voce (it was my 2nd or 3rd in Sanremo) but I do prefer lgdtc better. zitti e buoni was like, my 8th lmao

Sot
Sot
2 months ago
Reply to  fionn

Voce slaps hard, my fav from Sanremo

pastel de nata
pastel de nata
1 month ago
Reply to  fionn

I’m not very surprised that Manskin won bu,t if Madame or Irama was to represent Italy, I think they’d win it as well.

Mark
Mark
2 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

Voce is the true masterpiece from Sanremo 2021, just like Andromeda in Sanremo 2020 #period

Luc
Luc
1 month ago
Reply to  Ashton

Completely agree! I love Måneskin and I’m glad their career’s taking off, but I liked lgdtc way more than Zitti e Buoni