Almost Had It – Acts That Didn’t Make ESC 2018

I love Eurovision but sometimes I feel like Eurovision doesn’t like me because every year I end up with a playlist of songs from the various national finals that I would have loved to see on the Eurovision stage that didn’t quite make the cut. These are randomized so there’s no rhyme or reason to the order here but enjoy my list of rejected songs that pretty much wouldn’t have won at Eurovision but for one reason or another I still like them.

Indigo – Vesna

Country:  Slovenia
Why Didn’t It Make It?: While I love this song and its dreamy/ethereal vibe, this is just not really going to go anywhere on the Eurovision stage. The minimal staging, simple tune, and overall hippie vibe is probably not for everyone but it completely drew me in. This will be on my sleepy-time playlist for a long time.

Heimilistónar – Kúst og fæjó

Country: Iceland
Why Didn’t It Make It?: This is clearly before its time. This is a band of four Icelandic stars and it’s a little upbeat ditty about the awesomeness of housewife bonding as far as I could find which isn’t exactly a winner with every audience. It’s repetitive nature, laid back feeling, and camp was probably a bridge too far for Iceland who want to be taken seriously (which is why they keep NQ’ing).

Ida Maria – Scandilove

Country: Norway
Why Didn’t It Make It?: This is a train wreck from start to finish. I’m not convinced she is sober. The vocals are wonky, she trips a few times, she’s off-key half the song and that’s not even getting to the point where we have to think about the lyrics. “It’s fucking freezing” and “all night long like a Scandinavian” are catchy as hell phrases and they make me bust out laughing but she can’t quite sell it. Also Rybak was in the final so that was no chance for anyone else anyway.

Aden Ray – Everybody’s Dressed

Country: Estonia
Why Didn’t It Make It?: This is one of those songs where I thought the song was terrible before seeing it live but it kind of swayed me. Aden’s voice is absolutely golden and he spend half the song belting notes while sitting in a bathtub (!?). The song is a lyrical dump but I also kind of enjoy it anyway and I hope he comes back next year with something…different…and better.

Jukebox ft. Bella Santiago – Auzi cum bate

Country: Romania
Why Didn’t It Make It?: This song was clearly Romania’s only chance of doing well this year and while it’s absolutely was too repetitive, Bella Santiago’s vocals are absolutely stunning and worth a qualification all of their own. Also in its favor is that unlike many duet pairs, these two actually sound really fantastic together and they have a pretty good vibe going! I’m still surprised this didn’t win Romania’s national selection. I think Romania is too self conscious to send a song in Romanian. Shame.

Lord – Samo nek se okreće

Country: Serbia
Why Didn’t It Make It?: I think it’s too far out there. It’s got a lot going for it including just a fun sound and makes you bop along with it right away but there’s just an edge to the off-kilter tempo that might make people hesitant to pick it. I think this is a song that deserves a second or third listen before you dismiss it but you don’t get that chance in Eurovision. It’s giving us something really unique with the blend of jazz age horns and traditional chorus touches but Serbia went for ultra-traditional this year so this modern song filtered through the 1920s didn’t quite make the cut.

Indrek Ventmann – Tempel

Country: Estonia
Why Didn’t It Make It?: This song is a joke. The song is bad and it should feel bad. But also the song is about 6 lines long which means it gets stuck in your head CONSTANTLY. Where it shines is the staging. This should have won based on staging alone. The first three times I watched this entry I barely even heard the song, this is probably one of the best uses of stage at the national final in Estonia. Just a reminder, the song is…dribble and that meant it wasn’t enough but maybe he (or his team) have a future at Eurovision in other ways.

Vidar Villa – Moren Din

Country: Norway
Why Didn’t It Make It?: This song is comedy gold. Look up the lyrics. The staging is just boring as heck and the song is only funny if you know Norwegian. Without a full stage show it’s just another upbeat vaguely folk-inspired song that would be crushed by the likes of every other country but it’s worth the smile it brings to my face.

Hopefully we see some of these people back for round 2 next year at the national finals and maybe making it all the way to Eurovision!

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