Top 10: ESC songs that would have been better off at JESC

Hey guys! Do you remember back in January of this year, we made a countdown of our ten picks from the Junior Eurovision that would have been better off being performed at the adult Eurovision? Well, this time we’re going to turn it on its head and tell you which ten songs from the adult Eurovision would have been better off at the Junior Eurovision. So which song could top our list here? Keep reading to find out!

Will Todomondo be the champion of this top?
Will Todomondo be the champion of this top?

I should clarify something up before we get started on this top: we aren’t slating Junior Eurovision at all in this countdown. The Contest is a fantastic platform for young musicians and it has launched so many music careers, so if anything we’re praising it! For this top, we are picking the ten songs that just didn’t really fit into their respective Eurovision years and would have been just better off performing at the Junior Contest, with individual reasons being explained as you read on. Also, most of the songs featured in this top are from 2003 onwards in order to keep in with the timeline of the Junior Contest. Right, I feel like we’re okay to go now. Let’s do it!

#10 – Anna Bergendahl – “This Is My Life” (Sweden 2010)

Anna Bergendahl might seem like a bit of a shock for you to see on this top, but at the #10 spot, it isn’t too bad. I’m not sure whether or not you felt the same way, but with “This is My Life”, I felt the song was dwarfed on such a big stage in Oslo. The song is charged with emotion and love, which should normally work in a big arena like the Telanor, but the staging of the song just didn’t really reach that same captivating feeling that she got in the Globen, and even then it was quite hard. For me, the song is more suited to smaller gigs, but not pubs or restaurants. Junior Eurovision in 2010 was quite a good year for Sweden, because they sent a really modern song with a good singer (although the live vocals were a bit shaky), so if Anna and Josefine were to switch places, I have a feeling that Sweden’s results might have changed quite a lot in both Contests…mostly for the better!

#9 – 3+2 – “Butterflies” (Belarus 2010)

Hmm…..’Butterflies’ is a hard one to really explain as to why it’s on the countdown. I suppose it might follow down the same-ish track as “This Is My Life” – the staging might have dwarfed it on the stage, despite being a six-piece group onstage. As well as that, the song is quite anti-climactic at the end of the song and Junior Eurovision songs tend to fit into the same group as ‘Butterflies’, although there are some obvious exceptions such as Sofia Tarasova, Anastasiya Petryk and Lerika. However, as Belarus was hosting Junior Eurovision in 2010 and was being represented by a song with quite a climatic ending in the form of a 5-second long note, 3+2 wouldn’t really fit into the 2010 Junior Contest either….If it was to get performed in a year where there were many ballads, which would be around 2006 or so, it would be better off…plus the butterfly gimmick would be adored by the kids, because it’s so kitsch, you can tell they’d love it…and that’s why 3+2 is here!

#8 – Laka – “Pokušaj” (Bosnia & Herzegovina 2008)

What countdown would this be without Laka? This man is possibly the most crazy Bosnian I have ever seen in my entire life…with his co-singer Mirela coming in a close second place. Although the song is really about love and luck, the staging of it made absolutely no sense….like what have four brides knitting got to do with this? Surprisingly, this song came in 8th in Belgrade and at the time, it was a big favourite of mine (it still is, but just not as much as it was six years ago 😛 ). However, despite coming in 8th place, I have a feeling not a lot of people did like it. At the Junior Contest, there have been very few songs that have the sort of energy that ‘Pokušaj’ has and although Bosnia & Herzegovina have never taken part in Junior Eurovision, a song like ‘Pokušaj’ would be a good template to base their first ever entry on, should they ever decided to take part. Plus, the staging of the song and the portrayal of the two absolute nutters on stage would send Lil’ Laka & co into international stardom…well, in the Balkans anyway..isn’t that what happened to Dino Jelusic? Why wouldn’t some want that? Go on, Bosnia, send Lil’ Laka!!!

#7 – Schmetterlinge – “Boom Boom Boomerang” (Austria 1977)

Well….this is a bit of a throwback, isn’t it! The notion of a Junior Eurovision Song Contest wasn’t even born in 1977, as the adult Eurovision was only a little baby, going into its 22nd year. However, if there was a Junior Eurovision in 1977, this would have gone into it. Austria came in the penultimate position in London 37 years ago with 11 points with this…….’song’. I can’t really describe what makes this song adult-Eurovision worthy…maybe it was because the song was in both English and German, although even in German it’s quite strange about what they’re singing..”Kojak, hijack, me and you” – not exactly three things that go together. The guys are wearing suits in black and white, which are supposedly to slim them down, as well as have another person on their back as well..the performance and song in general is just pure cheese and as much as I don’t want to say this, I’m sure that kids would like this song (if they remove the ‘hijack’ line!), because it’s bubbly and fun and also has some product placement in the form of Big Brother…I wonder if they were to go how well would they do, because if they didn’t do well in the adult Eurovision, who knows how good/bad they could have done in Junior Eurovision…let us know how well you think they’d do by commenting below!

#6 – Sieneke – “Ik ben vieliefd (Sha-la-lie)”  (The Netherlands 2010)

Would it surprise you to see Sieneke in this top? Sure, it was the singalong of the 2010 Contest, but you really have to take this seriously – the Netherlands wouldn’t have qualified anyway, even if so many fans liked it. The song is just very fairground and carnival-y and I’m not sure how it managed to even make it to Norway. Written by Pierre Kartner, the man responsible for so many Smurf songs, co-penned the song and although, yes, it is catchy and it was the singalong song of 2010, it was just too immature for such a prestigious stage. If it was to somehow qualify for the final, it would get little to no points. I’m sorry if I come across as hating the song, which I don’t; it’s just my belief that ‘Ik ben verliefd’ was sent to the wrong Contest. If it was to replace Anna and Senna in Minsk for the 2010 Junior Contest, I have a feeling that the Netherlands would have done a better job at defending their title at the time. The staging on that small stage in Belarus would have complimented the song more than how Oslo did…like our #10 and #9, they didn’t utilise the stage and therefore, dwarfed the performance. It would have definitely stood out had it been sent to the Junior Eurovision and possibly the song would appeal more to a younger audience, what with the love story of the two people who normally out of the cuckoo clock at the top of every hour……and is it just me or does Sieneke TOTALLY not look like an 18-year-old? She looks more late 20’s/early 30’s in my opinion…..I’m going to move on now before I dig a hole for myself.

#5 – Todomondo – “Liubi, liubi, I love you” (Romania 2007)

The thing about Todomondo is that they were quite in the “no man’s land” of this particular topic, i.e. they could have fit into either the adult Eurovision or Junior Eurovision quite well. At Junior Eurovision, we had something like Todomondo grace the stage one year before in Bucharest, when Serbia debuted with that horribly long named group who sang in just about every language they could learn, from Serbian to English to Japanese (for some reason). They managed to score a respectable 5th place in Romania, so it’s quite ironic how the following year, the country sent its own little Serbian group. This is where the lines get blurred a little, because the song’s lyrics seem quite childish to go to the adult Eurovision, so it would be better off going to the Junior Contest, but yet, I cannot really visualise a song like ‘Liubi, liubi, I love you’ being performed on a show like Junior Eurovision, so it should be on the adult Eurovision. However, as the Junior Contest reason outweighs the adult Eurovision, it’s why this is on this top. I’m not entirely sure how Todomondo would fare at Junior Eurovision as the aforementioned multilingual trick has already been played in Junior Eurovision and if you were to repeat the same thing the year right after it was already done, it might seem a little bit…..iffy. Nonetheless, the song is quite cliché for Eurovision and it might show love has all languages, but it just seems quite messy for the adult stage, so to be honest it would look better on the Junior stage….I do think though that if they were to take part with that song, it would be best to read the whole thing and change any lyric that don’t really conform…you don’t some international swearing to happen, do you?

#4 – DJ Bobo – “Vampires are Alive” (Switzerland 2007)

*Yeah, there were no videos of the performance in Helsinki. Someone’s got copyright issues….*

Well, everyone knows that themes run in the Eurovision. Take this year for example, it was about cake, last year it was the elements and so on. It’s obvious that Switzerland didn’t get the memo in 2007 that specifically said “no gimmicks”….vampires, Switzerland? Really? We’re trying to move AWAY from the Twilight thing, not to it!!! Eesh…The one thing that you could always get a good reaction from the audience because even though the song was very gimmicky, it did have a lot of fans on its side…that is, until it failed to qualify for the final, finishing in 20th place in a field of 28. I don’t think that first-time listeners were too amazed at the live performance of “Vampires Are Alive”, and the whole thing with the zombie-ish mannequins probably didn’t do them any favours either. Now, at Junior Eurovision, they have more child-friendly themes; candy, dreaming and others, so I’m not entirely sure if Switzerland 2007 would exactly fit into the little niche that Junior Eurovision has made, but hey – everyone loves a trendsetter! The one thing I will give this song credit for is the lead female’s studio vocals. Live; I wasn’t overjoyed at, but that might have just been the dancing getting to her. If they would have scrapped the mannequins and maybe the dancer with the incredibly weird mohawk, I have a feeling they could have done well…plus – and it really does pain me to say this – the amount vampire-loving-teens around would have showed this to any non-believers and would be like “THEY EXIST!!!!!” would help….I sincerely, really….sincerely…..hope not though..

#3 – Kreisiraadio – “Leto Svet” (Estonia 2008)

Hmm…….what could I POSSIBLY say about “Leto Svet”? It’s just a big pile of random weirdness that just so happens to be in Serbian, German and Finnish….for some strange reason. I really don’t think anyone liked Kreisiraadio from the minute they were selected to represent Estonia all those years ago, and that’s pretty obvious in the one flag that was shown being waved post-performance in Belgrade. Now, you may think differently, but I’m not sure whether or not it would be a good idea to have this anywhere near the EBU…although, it did provide some laughs in a Contest that was just so weak that Dima Bilan won. This view was echoed in a comment I received while posting for your views on the topic: our good friend Nikita Volkov (who managed to get us some amazing interviews in London just before Copenhagen – THANK YOU!!) did say this about the song:

The only show “Leto svet” would remotely fit in would be in a second-class circus. Would even be too ridiculous for the Junior festival. Hideous.

I think that really just is the elephant in the room here. However, it might be just so crazy that children might just like it. I mean, of course their sense of humour may not be fully developed yet, but they might just laugh at the utter randomness of what they’re watching. I know I would! 😀 But in all seriousness, they would laugh but they would not vote and I think that the little Kreisiraadio would just sink so low, not even a helium-filled Gaia Cauchi would be able to save them. But as long as they never grace the stage of Eurovision again, I think we can all breathe a sigh of relief. Agreed?

#2 – Scooch – “Flying the Flag (For You)” (United Kingdom 2007)

What is it with the UK and gimmicks? In 2005, they sent an Eastern-flavoured song (which I’m not dissing) that didn’t exactly fare very well. In 2006, they sent a song about what “Teenage Life” is all about and then THIS year, they send Scooch dressed in airport gear……*sighs, facepalms* WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU, UK?! YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE GOOD AT THESE SORT OF THINGS!!!! You can probably tell that I’m not a big fan of this song, and I have good reason to, it’s just utter cheese like!! However, saying that, I can just envisage the song getting performed in the Junior Contest in Rotterdam, had the UK decided to return to the Junior Eurovision in 2007. I mean come on, what sort of plonkers sing about flying all over the world….this is like Anja Veterova all over again. Plus the whole “Duty free, madam?” and the extra-pervy “Would you like to suck on for landing, sir?”, just make for some unpleasant viewing and listening. The one good thing about this I can say is that they could sing reasonably well…Junior Eurovision would become sooooooo much creepier if they let that song compete, which I would, post-innuendo-removing. It just oozes cheese, this song, and it can’t be taken seriously. No wonder so it came in 22nd place with 19 points, which tied them with France….I don’t think I have much more to say about this, so let’s move on to our #1!

And ESC Views’ #1 song that should have gone to Junior Eurovision instead of the Adult Eurovision IS………

#1 – Rodolfo Chikilacuatre – “Baila El Chiki Chiki” (Spain 2008)

Come on. You have to admit that this should have never gone to the adult Eurovision at all! This song was practically made for the Junior Eurovision. First off, the song opens with one of those very annoying toy guitars, to which he plays “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” – babies are immediately pleased there and are sorted. Then, you have the humourous dancer in pink cannot “dance” for her life and although we consider it to be very cringeworthy, children find it utterly hilarious. You also then have the dance instructions – “Breakindans, Crusarito, Maiqelyacson, Robocop”. It’s very infectious and you do end up dancing to it just a liiiittle bit and you can’t deny it. But in my own opinion, it’s like “Baila el Chiki Chiki” was made to go to Junior Eurovision. I can actually vouch for what I have said because yesterday, I showed my seven-year-old niece the song ans she laughed a lot at a lot of it and when I asked her if she would vote for that, she said “yes”. This gives you a proper insight into a child’s mind and trust me, when I say laughing, I mean proper ‘ROFL’-ing. In the adult Eurovision, it came in a quite surprising 16th place with 55 points. I don’t know whether Spain would have done any better at Junior Eurovision, seeming as they haven’t been in the Contest since 2006, but if they were to have returned, I could tell you now that a little Rodolfo would have a huge amount of support. This is, however, the case with most comedians and Eurovision – they make a song to be laughed at. Other examples would include: Silvía Night, Rambo Amadeus, Alf Poier, Anri Jokhadze, The Teapacks and others… so if it was going to get 55 points in the adult Eurovision, just imagine how many points it’d get at the Junior Contest. Just to clarify, Rodolfo is only here as he would do better in the Junior Eurovision than he would have done at the adult Contest….nonetheless, he is our #1! Congratulations Rodolfo! So what are your own thoughts on the topic?

Your views:

What do you think of our top?
What do you think of our top?

Nadine Glöck from Germany: Ehm. By only reading the question my first thought was Leto Svet. Further songs that would have fit: Estonia 2011, the Netherlands 2010, Portugal 1982. Because they are songs that could be performed well by teenagers. Also Croatia 2003 and all songs performed by 16 years and younger artists. Also Satellite. But all songs fit in both contests. Satellite: I am sure because it was performed in “The Voice Kids”.

Rosie Owen from the United Kingdom: Daz Sampson – Teenage Life and Scooch – Flying the Flag.

Rafael Vivas from Venezuela: Haba Haba, Shalalie, Leto Svet, Let’s get Happy, Mother… so many songs good for a JESC.

Karl Downey from the United Kingdom: United Kingdom 2007, Scooch might have done better in front of a child audience. After all, they did perform on a lot of kids tv shows in the UK after they won the national final. Ireland 2008, Dustin the Turkey was a puppet, so I guess he could have done well in front of a young audience too.

Well it just shows how some people can have the same opinions or totally different ones at the same time. It’s also great to see so many people coming together and say that this song doesn’t really do it for them…free speech, that’s what we’re here for at ESC Views! So what’s your opinion on this top? Is there anyone we should have put in? And which song is your #1 on this topic? Feel free to tell us what you think by commenting below!!

Possible Artists 2015: United Kingdom

Hi there guys! Hope you all are having a great weekend, as we continue our ‘Possible Artists’ series for this upcoming season for Eurovision. So far this year, we’ve covered Portugal, the Czech Republic, Iceland and Ireland and know we’re going to tackle our joint home country of the United Kingdom! So who would we think do the UK justice after this year’s disappointing result? Keep scrolling to find out!

Who do we think should represent the UK? Laura Mvula would be #1 on our list!
Who do we think should represent the UK? Laura Mvula would be #1 on our list!

It would be fair to say that pre-Copenhagen, the UK was regarded as a high favourite to win the Contest, as the BBC finally managed to get out of its rut and send a modern artist with a modern song. So much so, that on the escXtra livestream Contest that took place a month before the show, the UK managed to gather the most amount of votes from nearly 1,000 viewers to come out on top. However, come the 10th of May and a Molly who was struck by illness on the night, the UK sadly didn’t live up to its expectation and finished in 17th place…on the bright side however, it was still an improvement from 2013’s result! So now that the BBC has gotten out of its rut, who would be the best artists that would carry on the baton that Molly took off? Here are our recommendations:

Artist #1: Laura Mvula

Laura Mvula is our first recommendation for the BBC to pick for Vienna, and she is something I can tell that Europe would love. Laura is a relatively new musician to the scene, but has already cracked the US market with her début album, Sing to the Moon which was released in March of last year. Laura’s style of music is very much a mixture of pop, soul and R&B and has been called ‘the next Nina Simone’. Her look as well is very unique, most notably her hair (or the lack of it, but she is growing it back now!). She wrote the entire album on her own, with the help of her friend Steve Brown and this song was the first single to be released from her album: ‘She’.

If you’ve heard this song before, you’ll know that this song was used in a couple of American shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, but the song doesn’t reflect the storylines it was used for. The song is very much like Ed Sheeran’s “The A Team” in terms of the lyrics, where she ‘walked towards you with her head down low’, it’s just an awful lot like the same story as the woman who Sheeran sings about…with the lack of drugs of course. The song is indeed a ballad, but it’s a very soulful one and the way that Mvula delivers the song, with her distinctive voice, it just makes you feel very….humbled, to say the least. At Eurovision, I don’t think this particular song would fare too well, as ballads such as that tend to be a bit dreary to a wider audience. So why don’t we go a bit more uptempo?

‘That’s Alright’ is more upbeat than ‘She’ and most definitely a song that the viewer at home would probably end up bobbing their head along to, as the beat is just so infectious and the lyrics are incredibly easily to get. Lyrically, the song is basically a story that is telling the listener that she isn’t what we want her to be…and in any way, she really doesn’t give a fuck. She’ll just do whatever she wants to because she ‘plays her own damn tune’. Like ‘She’, Laura’s distinctive voice soars over the orchestra that brings the song to life. This song’s beat is a bit more complicated than the previous song, but she uses this to her advantage and using time signatures that most other artists wouldn’t use. It makes the song less square than most other songs would be. If this was to go to Eurovision, I can already see the staging coming to life. Whether or not the general public would ‘get’ the beat that this consists of is another question.

Laura is a fantastic singer live, as demonstrated in her performance of ‘Green Garden’ on The Graham Norton Show. If the BBC was to send her to Austria, it would be a bold move as the UK has only tried sending “soul” music before, and it placed them last in 2008. However, with Laura charting in countries like Australia, Belgium, France, New Zealand and the US, it’s an artist that I feel should definitely get considered for a good placing!

Artist #2: Fenech-Soler

If, however, the BBC are stupid enough to overlook an artist like Laura, we have a great alternative that they should consider – Fenech-Soler. I am not particularly familiar with their discography, so that’s why I shall leave you in the company of James who will guide you through their reasons to be considered for Austria next year.

*swaps*

Okay, so as Rory said, Fenech-Soler are more within my field of expertise since I am one of their most enthusiastic fans currently in existence! A four-piece band named after one of its members’ Maltese surnames, their music is an anthemic blend of electronic and indie, and it comes out sounding pretty awe-inspiring. Have a listen to my favourite one of theirs, “Magnetic” –

I’m sorry, right, but WHAT A TUNE. I don’t know about anyone else, but I absolutely adore the sheer energy of this song. The intricate production and percussion sustains interest long enough for that chorus to kick in, and from that point onwards, it just soars. Just like the Finnish entry earlier this year, there are a few different hooks at work here, all of which are allowed their moment to shine, before being overlaid with each other during the middle 8 which builds maximum excitement for the final chorus. Lead vocalist Ben knows exactly where his vocal range can stretch to, and uses this to his advantage, as he can really sell that hook in a way that has you singing it back by the second chorus.

It’s hard to cram this into a neat little box as far as genre is concerned, and that’s something I think could really work in favour of a Eurovision entry. Just look at Aram Mp3 from this year: that song kept on changing before Europe’s very eyes, and left us all guessing – and therefore engaged – with regards to its conclusion. A lot of their music is like this – pitched somewhere in the vast experimental landscape between electro and rock. I don’t know about you, but I think this is where popular music could – and perhaps should – be going. It’s a really interesting place where pretty much anything is possible.

Having seen these guys live myself, I can vouch for both their vocal capacity and their masterful ability to connect with a live crowd. I’m not 100% sure the amazing atmosphere in the hall would translate as well down a camera lens, but then again, how many times in ESC history has the crowd’s enthusiasm really lifted an entry? Case in point being the Olsen Brothers. I reckon a potential Fenech-Soler Eurovision entry could have a similar effect. We KNOW they can write a killer hook, we KNOW they can sell it live… and given the fact that these guys recently completed a European tour which stretched from Russia to Germany, one would hope that they’re going the right way about getting their name out there to a wider voting audience. Now all we need is the song, and the selection. Please, BBC, please. I will love you forever.

If you like the sound of them, you might also want to check out “Last Forever“, “Demons” and “Stop & Stare“.

*and swaps back*

Well thank you very much for that, James! One thing you have to say about our James, when he sees an artist he likes, he gets stuck in! 😉

Other Artists:

Last time around, we recommended that Emilie Sandé and Pixie Lott go to Eurovision, but our lovely requests were sadly denied, but it was okay, because Molly was the best choice for them. However, we’d love for these guys to represent the UK as well!

Clean Bandit – “Rather Be”

MNEK – “Every Little Word”

Jake Bugg – “Lightning Bolt”

Birdy – “Wings”

Bastille feat. Ella Eyre – “No Angels”

The 1975 – “She Way Out”

Charli XCX – “Boom Clap”

George Ezra – “Budapest”

Hattie Briggs – “Old Eyes”

Kyla La Grange – “Cut Your Teeth”

Your views:

Who would you like to see fly the British flag in Austria next year?
Who would you like to see fly the British flag in Austria next year?

Hillary Smith from the United States: If England was to send someone like Elton John to Eurovision, we would be going to the UK for the 61st edition of the ESC. WHEN WILL THEY REALISE THIS!

Gréta Danielsdóttir from Iceland: I would like it if Laura Mvula did get gone to Eurovision. She has soul and something like that is needed in a Contest like this.

Shaun Underhay from the United Kingdom: [With Laura], Would never happen; she’s regarded as too much of a serious, critically acclaimed artist. My ideal candidates would vary dramatically from my realistic candidates. There’s a few in mind, but I’m not holding my breath.

Jack Cuffe from the United Kingdom: I’d love to see [Laura] represent the UK in Vienna… she’s amazing! I love her voice. I think she would be a fantastic choice!

Well it seems that everyone wants someone to represent the UK, and it’s great to see that people are taking an interest in the UK music scene, even though the country as been doing very bad at Eurovision in recent years. So who would like to see at Eurovision on the UK’s behalf? Is there an artist that we’ve missed out? Who would have the best chance of doing well in Austria, in your opinion? Feel free to tell us what you think by commenting below!