It’s been ages since we last did a countdown and what a way to bring it back, with a mahoosive top that is our Top 50 of the Best songs from National Finals. The top will be delivered to you in five parts and we’re kicking it off today from places 50-41. So who’s just about made it onto the top by the skin of their (uncomfortably white) teeth? Well keep reading to find out!
Over the entire course of the Eurovision Song Contest, countries have held national selections – now dubbed National Finals or ‘NF’s – to help the public decide which song from those on offer would represent them at Eurovision. Of course, as a good few of the countries enjoy opting for an internal selection *ahem* UK, France, Spain, Russia *ahem*, but if a country has had an NF, expect to see them on this top! The top will be delivered to you in five parts – once a week on a Friday starting now. So shall we kick this top off? We shall!
50 – Shany Zamir – “Forever” (Israel 2013)
Kicking off the top 50 is a personal favourite of James’ – Shany Zamir, who managed to finish in sixth place in Kdam last year. The juries in the final absolutely loathed this in the final, giving “Forever” absolutely no points whatsoever, while they all gave the other songs at least 12 points – not cool, guys! The song, a relatively modern pop song with a singer with an uncanny resemblance to Stacey Solomon [Sorry James, it just had to be said!], just failed to get enough momentum, hence it stayed in the NF. But it’s definitely a good song to kick off this top!
49 – Lazar Kisiov – “Zamestitel” (Bulgaria 2011)
‘Zamestitel’ was probably one of the most stand out songs of the entire NF in Bulgaria in Year Düsseldorf when Lazar took to the stage avec Elisabeth Andreassen’s hand movements and all! Translated into English as ‘Substitute’, ‘Zamestitel’, along with ‘Forever’, is a modern pop song with his resmemblance to Boaz Mauda with hair, it just wasn’t enough for the Bulgarian public to vote him to go to Germany..why not, people? It was a perfectly good song and if you liked the hand movements like how Elisabeth Andreassen did back in 1996, then you’re bound to love it! But it seems not..although Poli was a good…’zamestitel’. OOOOOH SEE WHAT I DID THERE? 😀
48 – Elena Siniavskaya – “Via Lattea” (Belarus 2014)
Woah, we’re only at #48 and the ‘VL’ bomb?! That just shows that we all have to make sacrifices. Belarus’ standard of songs this year was a little…well..shit to be honest, and while there were some really amazing songs like ‘Starlight’ and ‘Fly Away’, ‘Via Lattea’ was definitely the best song they possibly could have picked. But did they pick it? No. They picked ‘Cheesecake’…just shows how wrong the public can get it. Elena is a fantastic vocalist and although her voice was a little bit shaky, that high note that leads onto the fabulous key change [around 2:22 in the video] is just utter amazing-ness. I’m not angry with Belarus..I’m just very disappointed.
47 – Juliana Pasha – “Një Qell I Ri” (Albania 2008)
Well…Juliana Pasha looks a bit different doesn’t she? “Një Qiell I Ri” was about as far away from “It’s All About You” as you could possibly get: while “It’s All About You” was an upbeat pop song with an incredibly catchy tune in English, “Një Qiell I Ri” is a radio-friendly jazzy ballad with a feel-good incentive in Albanian. And dayum girl, that woman can hit the high notes!! It’s like she’s the Albanian version of Elena Siniavskaya! Her look at the time though is the most surprising – she looks likes a brunette ValMon at approximately Baku in her ESC life anyway! It was an amazing song…but thank god she won FiK when she did! “It’s All About You” was a stronger song for sure!
46 – Eva Boto – “A Si Sanjal Me” (Slovenia 2012)
Compared to the eventual song that would represent Slovenia in Baku, ‘A Si Sanjal Me’ is definitely on the other end of the musical spectrum. ‘Verjamem’ was a soulful ballad which showed a vulnerable side to Eva, ‘A Si Sanjal Me’ is definitely more sassy and, to quote Mei Finegold from our interview with her, ‘woman-empowering’. What’s even more shocking to see is that the song got the least amount of votes from all three possible songs that were on offer from her..was Slovenia on something that year?! Seriously, not happy with Slovenia for that..especially with the amount of Balkan ballads that were in Baku..if this had gone, we’d have seen some diversity!! Thank god they picked well this year!
45 – Carrousel – “J’avais rendez-vous” (Switzerland 2013)
Carrousel served as the fanwank of Switzerland’s NF and true to a fanwank’s form, it didn’t get selected to go to Malmö…but it came second, only 20% behind Takasa and such! Switzerland’s standard of songs last year was pretty low last year, but from looking at Carrousel, it was a really good song! Which begs me to ask the question – why didn’t they get to go to Sweden? Well, first of all, that stage definitely didn’t help the presentation of the song – way too small. Next, their choice of outfits. The girl looked like an emo ballerina, while the guy just looks like a randomer they pulled of the street – very incongruous. That’s the one possible conclusion I can come to..maybe you guys can come up with some ideas? Would love to hear them!
44 – Helena Paparizou – “The Light In Our Soul” (Greece 2005)
‘The Light In Our Soul’ is very mucha song for Eurovision and it was actually in the running for the Greek NF, until it was withdrawn, because it was released early by its composer..whoops! But we’re still gonna count it, because it was in the running. So what can we say about the song? Well it’s Europop, it’s a song about peace and love, very catchy melody – it’s typical Eurovision! Problem is…it’s not ‘My Number One’, which was definitely the best song out of the lot, but this was definitely the second best one. There’s only one thing that I can see why this maybe didn’t do so well in Greece – that accent she has in the video (which is surprisingly low-budget by her standards!). Like in the line “the light in our soul”, it does actually sound like “the lighting arsehole” – so thank god her accent has improved a lot since 2005! But anyway, it’s a great song and although it’s not THE best song from an NF that it never took part in, it shall happily be placed at #44.
43 – Linnea Dale – “High Hopes” (Norway 2014)
Even before I’ve heard the song, I can see that dress..I’m very sorry to say this, but that dress does not suit her. Not at all..but anyway, the song – it’s very much a mixture of pop and electronica – like Lorde, but with a tinge of Scandipop, which is COMPLETELY different to normal pop. It’s very catchy and when you listen to it for the first time, it does seem very sophisticated for modern pop, but that may just be from watching it being presented in a very chic way. Speaking of, I’m not quite sure what the presentation was aiming for – as in, the two pairs of dancers were doing completely different dance routines, but that works in her favour. Anyway, I’m straying..it’s a very good piece of music, I’m not surprised it came second..if only it ACTUALLY won!
42 – Michael Rune ft. Natasha Bessez – “Wanna Be Loved” (Denmark 2014)
From one piece of electronica to another – this time from Michael Rune and
Ashley Tisdale Natasha Bessez. If I’m honest, it was a brilliant song and we’d expect it would have been a Bombo-style summer hit after the contest – however the stage performance needed work. She was following him aimlessly round the stage like an awkward sheep trailing after a saxophone-wielding sheepdog… maybe that’s why Basim won? We don’t know, but at least they managed to win something – #42 on our top!
41 – Elitsa Todorova & Stoyan Yankoulov – “Dzupaj, libe boso” (Bulgaria 2013)
Okay, it may be a little startling to see Elitsa and Stoyan on here, especially with this song, as this one was cast off as soon as the songs were presented. However, although ‘Samo Shampioni’ was definitely the best out of the three songs, this one I would have also bet on – it’s catchy from the word go. Of course, it’s clever that English was added to it, but leaving it in the hands of a rapper and a beatboxer – more precisely, a rapper and a beatboxer called SkilleR and Jahmmi – is a bit risky..it’s probably why this came last in the final result, but I would have guessed it was a dark horse and it was to do very well..look how wrong I was! Well, I felt it was the second best song they had offered anyway!
So that does it for our top for this week from places 50-41! So what’s your favourite NF entry of all time?
Svana Lístí Agnarsdóttir from Iceland: For sure, it has to be “Amor” from this year’s Söngvakeppni. I love that song so much and it sooo should have won!
Ilias Kozantinos from Cyprus: My favourite national final songs come from Greece – this year I love Crystallia beautiful song ‘Petalouda Stin Athina’ and in 2007 I enjoy Tamta song “With Love”.
Frederik Ulriksson from Sweden: There are many I enjoy from Europe, but my favourite has to come from Melodifestivalen – “Gosa”.
So it seems like many fans have different opinions as to what their favourite NF entry is, but that’s definitely what we should be expecting, as many fans have different opinions…so what’s yours? What’s your favourite NF entry of all time? And what do you make of the top so far? Has your favourite already been seen? Feel free to tell us what you think by commenting below!