Concluding my two part of best of the rest on the eve of the last Eurofest before Eurovision (always one of my favourites as we watch and score all 41 of this year’s entries), I’ve got another nine songs from x national finals that didn’t quite make it over the line. Hope you enjoy!
(You can also check out part 1 of best of the rest)
Montenegro: Montevizija 2019
Montenegro only returned to the national final format last year (after a long period of internal selections) and repeated it this year, with a small field of 5 artists. Confounding the eurofans and the commentators/punditsm, one of the least fancied of the finalists won!
Andrea Demirović – “Ja sam ti san”
Andrea represented Montenegro in 2009 with “Just Get Out of My Life” which happens to feature as one my favourite Montenegrin entries. Her song in this year’s national final but inexplicably finished last in the public vote and third place overall. Maybe it was the demon-featuring staging?!
Norway: Melodi Grand Prix 2019
Norway’s national final contest is almost as long running as Sweden’s Melodifestivalen, and this was its 57th year. My favourite song in this year’s MGP did ultimately win to much relief in the fandom. There were some other decent songs among the other finalists, including a former Eurovision top 10 finalist.
Mørland – “En livredd mann”
Mørland represented Norway at Eurovision in 2015, dueting with Debrah Scarlett and finishing in eighth place in the final. No such luck for Mørland this time though, but it’s worth including his quality (and Norwegian language) song.
Portugal: Festival da Canção 2019
In my view, Portugal delivered the most interesting, varied, distinctive and high quality of all the national finals (and semi-finals). The winner was my favourite but there were several very compelling songs and performances and I could easily have selected several to highlight.
Surma – “Pugna”
While it’s hard to imagine any song being even more distinctive or avant-garde as the actual winner, this song manages it. So different, I’m not sure it would have been appreciated at Eurovision, but credit to Portugal for having this in their line up (and did quite well, reaching the final and finishing 5th).
Romania: Selecția Națională 2019
So I won’t dwell to long on the controversy that was the Romanian national final, though you can read my thoughts on it.
Laura Bretan – “Dear Father”
This song won the public vote by a landslide but with their votes only counting the same as just one jury member, it was the jury members who decided this national selection. I suspect strongly that rumours about 16 year old Laura’s views on marriage influenced the votes she received. I still believe that this was one of Romania’s best chances to win the contest and certainly get a good result once again.
Spain: Operación Triunfo
A briskly efficient Spanish national final this year with little actual melodrama on the night and a deserving and enthusiastic winner. Against initial expectations, one of the better national finals this season!
Miki & Natalia – “Nadie se salva”
The effervescent and sweetly charming Miki was a very deserved winner, and he also managed to finish in third place with this duet – and this happened to be my second favourite after his solo song. I think this would also have been a banger and hopefully will be heard at Eurovision club nights often!
Sweden: Melodifestivalen 2019
It’s almost inevitable that the biggest national final of them all would throw up more than one song in this best of the rest. I’m glad of the winner, although it causes troubles for our own UK entry, though I think I would have loved seeing either of these other performers there instead.
Anna Bergendahl – “Ashes to Ashes”
Melfest’s 2010 winner was back this year to right the anomaly of being the only Swedish entry not to qualify for the Eurovision grand final. This was a great song and great performance this year but sadly the international juries did not agree (she did a bit better with the public vote). I am SURE this will be played in future schlager and Eurovision nights though!
Lina Hedlund – “Victorious”
Another classic schlager song, delivered by a member of Alcazar (that great Swedish nu-pop band). It was never going to do that well in the final but it was a delight to see this make it into the final in the first place.
Ukraine: Vidbir 2019
Ah, Ukraine… It’s an anomaly here in this post as Ukraine won’t be at Eurovision this year but as they only withdrew after they had held their national final, I’m giving a place to the winner in that final. It’s such a regrettable situation but Ukraine is a country at war and we can only hope they are back before too long as they often bring great staging and banging songs to the contest.
MARUV – “Siren Song”
Speaking of banging and great staging, this song really delivered a classic and great Ukrainian entry but all we can do is mourn its loss and enjoy it at Eurovision club nights. Could it have won Eurovision? Probably not, but it surely would have had done well.
United Kingdom: Eurovision: You Decide 2019
And finally to my own country. You Decide this year had a new location and a different format, but the same presenters and (witty) script writers. Michael Rice was almost certainly the best choice in terms of maximising chances of a higher finish in the contest, though my choice here was my personal favourite.
Kerrie-Anne – “Sweet Lies”
The out and out banger with a decent live performance, this took me back to the big dance tracks of the late 90s and the noughties (i.e. my youth!) A fun track though I think this would not have scored well in the contest (though would have been enjoyed by the fandom, especially in Euroclub).
Hope you enjoyed my faves – do let me know what yours were or if you share same favourites as me!