This set of songs, from 25 to 21, would all qualify for the grand final if my positions reflected who reached the final. These are my mid-table rankings, and as such, I enjoy all of them, just there are 20 more songs that I enjoy even more! A couple of these songs might be higher in my rankings than the average but these are all enjoyable I think!
#25 PORTUGAL: Elisa “Medo de Sentir”
Last year Portugal was my number 3, and had Bárbara Tinoco’s “Passe-partout” or Filipe Sambado’s “Gerbera amarela do sul” won Portugal’s national final, Portugal would have been in my top 15 or top 10. However I do still like this; there is a slow, dreamy, build up through the song – and it’s really quite a relaxing song but with the drums and percussion underneath providing a strength to it. Elisa won’t be at Eurovision next year though it seems… The rules of Festival da Canção currently state last year’s winner can’t enter the year after, though that wouldn’t rule out a return in a future year.
#24 SPAIN: Blas Cantó “Universo”
Former boy band member Blas Cantó was Spain’s entry for 2020. He formerly tried to represent Spain at Junior Eurovision back in 2004 but lost out that time. He will still get the chance to represent Spain though as it has been confirmed that he will be back next year.
This was actually the first song for Eurovision 2020 released in its final contest form – and I will confess being a little disappointed that it was more generic pop in feel than the distinctly Spanish pop I like to see from Spain. But this is a solid mid-table entry – decent mid-tempo pop and has that hook/catchiness about it – but I’ll be hoping for something a bit more Spanish sounding next year.
#23 ESTONIA: Uku Suviste “What Love Is”
A perhaps guilty pleasure this one, given so many of the other online rankings/juries etc put this really low. But Uku has been around a long while, beinga music producer as well as singer and songwriter. He’s done TV, musicals as well as entered Eesti Laul a few times, being runner up last year.
This was a bit of a surprise winner this year, and there is an argument that it is quite old-fashioned but I enjoy listening to it and much like a fine wine,
37-year-old Uku is ageing very well. He doesn’t have a direct pass for the contest next year – but he does have place in Eesti Laul – but it will have to be a new song and he will still need to qualify through a semi-final and then win the final again.
#22 IRELAND: Lesley Roy “Story of My Life”
A refreshing change from Ireland this year with a very uptempo song. This does have a quite recent retro feel – it is VERY Katy Perry. Lesley seems very bubbly, is openly gay, (she has an American wife of 10 years), and the video is a real celebration of equality and diversity. She’s been a songwriter too for a number of artists including Adam Lambert and was co-writer of this song, At time of writing this post, it is unclear if she will be Ireland’s next year – I believe she would like to be, and both myself and many other fans would be pleased if she were.
#21 ALBANIA: Arilena Ara “Fall from the Sky”
Just missing out on the top 20, I had a bit of a challenge placing this as I really liked the winning version in the Albanian national final that was called “Shaj“, and was in Albanian (although the song was apparently written in English originally). For the contest, the version was put back into English and somewhat altered and is not, in my view, quite as powerful or moving. Therefore this placing is a bit of an amalgam of the two versions.
Like many Albanian singers, Arilena has a great voice; in fact, the last 3 years I’ve really appreciated both the stunning voice of the Albanian entries, and the accompanying Albanian rock or power ballad that the voice is used to great effect.
Perhaps a less controversial set here in my mid table? Do let me know if there are any surprises here or who you would have put in these positions.