Yesterday we turned East, so tonight for the last instalment of the national finals best of the rest rundown, we turn to the West. To be fair to three of these four countries, I’m very satisfied with the winners from their national finals, but these all are worthy of a shout out. In Belgium’s case, the song here is definitely better than what won!

Austria

Elly V “I’ll Be Around (Bounce)” (Runner up)

Last year’s hosts put on a great show, but sadly suffered the ignominy of being the first hosts of the show to get nul points at their own Eurovision final. Their winner this year in their national final, Wer singt für Österreich?, I think will be unlikely to suffer the same fate – and nor would this if it had won I would predict.

Belgium

Tom Frantzis “I’m Not Lost” (Runner up)

Well, I’m very disappointed that Belgium didn’t send this to the final. After the fabulous Loïc Nottet, I was hoping Belgium would break their recent cycle of sending a good song one year and a bad one next.Sadly, that didn’t happen in their national final, Eurosong, and we won’t see the lovely Tom in Stockholm this year!

Spain

Salvador Beltrán “Días de Alegría” (4th in final)

Spain have come out with a very decent Eurovison finalist from their national final, Objetivo Eurovisión, but I wanted to highlight this one that didn’t win. Sung wholly in Spanish (important when you consider the winner), it was given top spot by the international juries used in the national final, yet came bottom of the Spanish studio jury and also bottom of the televote – somewhat strange maybe given it was the most Spanish sounding of finalists. In truth, Salvador’s live performance probably wasn’t as good as he sounded on the studio version, so perhaps that contributed to its lower place.

United Kingdom

For the first time in 6 years, the UK held a national final, Eurovision: You Decide. I would have loved to attend but I was flying out on holiday to Australia that evening so it was a pretty solid reason for missing it. I’m pleased to say that the result and the general standard of all the finalist was far higher than the disappointment of the 2010 winner, though I think Pete Waterman lies at the heart of the blame that year!

Karl William Lund “Miracle” (Finalist)

Almost certainly OGAE’s choice, the singer is very good looking (and gay!) and the song is uplifting although not strong enough for a Eurovision final I think, it didn’t seem to go anywhere and wasn’t fast/dancey enough to get away with that lack of change in the song. Looking forward to seeing him perform at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern Eurofest night on 22 April though 🙂

Bianca “Shine a Little Light” (Finalist)

This was probably the other main contender to win (after Darline’s somewhat disappointing live performance). Slow start but immensely stirring chorus (always good for Eurovision) but while it would have been good to see a Leona Lewis co-written song at Eurovision, questions might be asked, why couldn’t Leona have sung it herself?

So, that’s your lot for national finalists. Any thoughts on the above, or of songs or even countries I have missed that had a song you really like and didn’t win? Let us know in the comments!