Hey guys! Sorry for the lack of posting over the past few days, we’ve been rather busy on both ends! But we’re back now and we’re going to take you through our ten picks for the most underrated songs in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest. So which song can now redeem itself and gain the place it should have gotten in its respective year? Keep reading to find out!
The definition of ‘underrate’ is ‘to underestimate the extent, value or importance of something’. With this in mind, we’ve picked out the ten songs that were denied of such recognition as a good song by the public. For the record, the majority of the songs featured in this top are after the introduction of the semi-finals, as the fandom grew bigger over the years, more people liked a lot of the featured songs. Enjoy!
#10: Luiz Ejlli – “Zjarr e ftohtë” (Albania 2006)
Luiz Ejlli starts this countdown off with his entry in 2006 – ‘Zjarr e ftohtë’. This was a song that was probably quite Marmite for the year it was in – you either liked it or you didn’t. However, whether you liked the song or not, you can’t deny that Luiz actually sang very well. The song was also the first song ever sung in Albanian and that’s noteworthy because the song in general was an orgy of culture from Albania such as sheep bagpipes, traditional dancing and costumes, things we haven’t really seen from them afterwards. And okay, I will admit – the live performance was a bit disappointing (other than those two guys in the traditional hats – they were hilarious and a delight to watch), but as a standalone song, it actually sounded like it would qualify. The only tow major things I could fault about it would be the live performance and his struggle to get to some of the high notes towards of the song. Those two points aside, however, it was a good song that showed off culture – the point of the Eurovision Song Contest – and yet it failed to qualify, finishing in 14th place…what gives, Europe??
#9: Vilija Matačiūnaitė – “Attention” (Lithuania 2014)
Now I’m not going to lie, before this year’s Contest, I was not a fan of Vilija and her song – especially in the studio version which sounded diabolical. However, now that three months have passed and countless watchings of the 2014 DVD have taken place, I’ve started to really take to “Attention”…well, the live version anyway. Vilija just missed out on qualifying for the final, finishing in 11th place in the second semi-final and there are points on both sides as to why she didn’t qualify. The dress she was wearing was probably what either caught people’s ATTENTION! *cliché I know* or what put them off voting for her – the way you look also helps! On a vocal point of view, however, Vilija got every note right on the night, even if she was “dancing” around the stage with her dancer..something not everybody could live up to *ahem* Tanja *ahem*. ‘Attention’ is the epitome of what current music consists of – modern electronic pop and sure, it’s not the best of songs, but it is what many people listen to and it’s catchy and that’s what counts in a song. There needs to be a catchiness – a hook – to make the song stick in your head..which it did when I was doing my State exams…great! Well done Vilija for that so…and for winning the Barbara Dex Award too, so there is a silver lining?
#8: Gerli Padar – “Partners In Crime” (Estonia 2007)
After her brother triumphed and gave Estonia its first win in….ever six years previously, Gerli Padar had a lot to live up to when it came to her participation in Eurovision in Helsinki. Her song, ‘Partners in Crime’ was sleek and sexy and she definitely gave it her all, dancing with those rather nice looking guys (the guy in the black shirt in particular – LOOK AT THAT ASS THOUGH!!!!!!) while using her wide vocal range to give a performance to remember…and yet it came joint 22nd – alongside Montenegro – in a field of 28. How can that be? Like I said just now, the song was smooth and sophisticated and the live performance was just as sexy and sleek. Maybe it was the lyrical content or the ability to cause epileptic seizures or maybe it was the unnecessary view into her mouth when she kept singing ‘ We’ll always be partners in criiiiiiiime’ and ‘And that’s how the story goooooooes’, but for some reason, Europe just didn’t seem in a ‘We’re going to vote for songs that are singing about amorous activities’ mood. In terms of the vocals, Gerli did start off a little nervy, but she eventually found her feet and she gave a great performance in the second half of the song..was it too late by then? I doubt it.
#7: Javine – “Touch My Fire” (United Kingdom 2005)
From one sleek and sexy song to another. We had talked about Javine before when we were talking about if it would be a good technique for the UK to try to ‘go Eastern’ in future Contests, but now we’re here to talk about the song being wrongly placed in Kyiv. The song was practically made for Eurovision, and although that can be construed as being a bad thing, for the UK it was a technique that was worth having a go at..it’s obvious that it failed in its attempt to win Europe over, as ‘Touch My Fire’ seemed to burn too many fingers and it came in 22nd place of 24. I’m not entirely sure what to say that could justify for its low placing. Of course in the last 45 seconds of the song, Javine lost her sparkle and her voice just disappeared and that last she did…that’s just as bad as hearing Alf Poier! But then, I’m not sure what else could contribute to the bad placing. It was a smooth song that did its best to bring the East to the West and vice versa. Could anyone really give an explanation as to why Javine did so badly? Do you think that the UK should stay in the West and not send Eastern-style songs? Tell us what you think after reading this!!
#6: Remedios Amaya – “¿Quién maneja mi barca?” (Spain 1983)
Oh dear me, who have we got here? Remedios Amaya is a great friend of us here at ESC Views, and she’s already featured in a few of our other countdowns, but for now she is here as she was cruelly put in last place in 1983 when she sang “¿Quién maneja mi barca?” – or “Who is sailing my boat?”. Now most of you will probably be looking and thinking “SHE DOESN’T DESERVE TO BE HERE! NOBODY LIKED HER!!”, and to that I say ‘Listen to the audience afterwards!’ Remedios was sent to represent Spain with the genre of music that defines the tradition of her country and like our #10, Luiz, she was showing off her culture, which is what the Eurovision Song Contest is about! As well as that, she utilised the stage and tried to bring the viewer into the hall which is vital in order to appeal to the juries (if it was post-1997, I would say it would also be vital to get votes from the public, but only juries were used in 1983..oh well). However, not only did Remedios come last, she got NO points whatsoever…why? She may have sounded like a goat, but the song was catchy and showed off Spanish culture!! I’d have voted for her…to quote Iris, would you?
#5: Anna Rossinelli – “In Love For A While” (Switzerland 2011)
In the year 2011, Switzerland was probably in desperation of qualification, as they hadn’t qualified for the final since 2006..five years of non-qualification was starting to take its toll..so they send the sweet and charming Anna Rossinelli and her two good looking co-musicians. Anna LITERALLY scraped into the final, with only just one point between her and Malta/Armenia, but in the final, she didn’t get as much support and came in last place with only 19 points. With a charming song and amazing stage presence, how could she have come last? It’s possible that the song may have been dwarfed on such a large stage, but Anna definitely did her best to restore it. “In Love For A While” is definitely underrated, as it was sweet, catchy and generally an all round feel-good song. The UK definitely took to it and they gave Switzerland 10 of its 19 points, so Anna shouldn’t have gone home thinking not many people liked the song, if the near majority of a country votes for your song, that just proves it, doesn’t it! Well done ANNA!!
#4: Evridiki – “Comme ci, comme ça” (Cyprus 2007)
Where can I start with Evridiki? She entered Eurovision twice before in the 90s and finished in 11th place both times, so that is a participation record to be proud of. She then entered Eurovision one more time in 2007 and decided to sing this song – the gothic, haunting, electronic ‘Comme ci, comme ça’. This was Cyprus’ only ever entry in French and she actually performed like an amazing diva! Sadly, she only came in 15th place in the semi final, when she easily deserved a place in the final! In terms of the vocals, she offered a raw voice that was ready to let rip! Her actions as well were totally connected to the song as well and did anyone see her demented little nod towards the end of the song..like, I think she was trying to say ‘Yes, I’m crazy but enjoy my singing!’..the song was electronic and gothic rock – two things which normally don’t go together, but it definitely did in this song!
#3: Aurela Gaçe – “Feel the Passion” (Albania 2011)
In third place is everyone’s favourite person who can turn into an eagle at any time – Aurela Gaçe. Other than Lena, she was the name on every fan’s lips and everyone was expecting her to do well with her powerful ethnic rock-ballad “Feel the Passion”. She literally gave it her all on the night in Düsseldorf…maybe a little bit too much? She ended up finishing in joint 13th place in the first semi-final alongside Turkey. I’m not entirely sure why Aurela did so badly, as the fans really did seem to like her and the song in the run up to the Contest. She delivered well vocally and the performance was very strong..maybe it was the whole ‘and when I feel that I thirst for you, I dab my lips on your morning dew.‘ It’s only that that I can see being a bit borderline a reason for them not to qualify..Albanian and English never really get on well, do they? P.S. Did anyone recognise Bledar Sejko, who represented Albania two years later in Malmö, playing the guitar? Heh, small world!!
#2: Krista Siegfrids – “Marry Me” (Finland 2013)
Narrowly missing out on our #1 spot is Krista Siegfrids who could have been a potential winner before the Contest took place in Malmö. ‘Marry Me’ was catchy, bubbly and absolutely just happy. This was a song that had potential to take the Contest back to Finland in six years and everybody was in love with Krista, for obvious reasons. She was easy to make a connection with and you and performing live, she was almost like a Queen! So if everyone loved her, why did she come in 24th place in the final? It could be obvious that the gay kiss could be to blame for the low score..but I’m not sure that’s the case. The song was poppy and fun, but maybe the whole gimmick of the bride asking her man to marry her just blew a little thin when it came to Europe? I would seriously hope not. Krista was fun and bubbly and if that’s not liked by Europe, then I don’t want to know those people..she should have AT LEAST been in the top 10!!
An ESC Views’ #1 for the Most Underrated Song in ESC History is……
#1: Pernilla Karlsson – “När Jag Blundar” (Finland 2012)
Pernilla Karlsson is literally the definition of ‘underrated’. Everyone thought she would be dull and the song would be dreary and as a result, it wouldn’t qualify. They were right…but very reluctantly. Pernilla deserved a place in the top 5 in Baku and with such simple staging, it should have only furthered her chances. How could she not have qualified? The song was just pure bliss and despite being a ballad, it still managed to captivate the entire audience, both in the Crystal Hall and at home and touch their hearts. I was so disappointed that Pernilla didn’t qualify from the semi-finals, and I think James would certainly agree with me on that. If we were at all able to fix the results, we’d put Finland in the final and in the top 5. Maybe the staging of the song was a little bar for such a big stage, but with Pernilla’s amazing long cyan-coloured dress, it makes up for that. I’m ashamed in you Europe, for putting this in 12th place…she should have come in the top 5!!!!
So congratulations to Pernilla and Finland for winning ESC Views’ Award for the Most Underrated Song! What’s your favourite though?
Michel Schena from Italy: Modio was my winner in 2008, and it came last!
Peadar MacAindriú from Ireland: I absolutely love Comme Ci Comme Ca, I still listen to it regularly. I also love Beautiful Song (Latvia, 2012) – a lovely, overlooked song!
Julie Ann Mulvey from the United Kingdom: Valentine Lost. How that never qualified mystifies me even now. It’s a fabulous song, one of the very best Iceland ever sent.
Minos Alexandrou from Greece: Israel 2013 and 2014. They should have qualify because they were very good on stage.
Well it just goes to show that every fan has a different opinion on their favourite underrated song, and that’s just fine! Everyone can have their own opinion and they can respect each other’s as well! So what do you think of our top? Did he right song come in #1, or would you have picked another song to be in the top? Feel free to tell us what you think by commenting below!!