Almost Had It – Acts That Didn’t Make ESC 2021

I love Eurovision but sometimes I feel like Eurovision doesn’t love 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.

Sissi – “Time”

Country: Estonia
Why it Didn’t Make it: Honestly, this was such an odd year because a lot of countries didn’t automatically send the same acts that won last year and didn’t get to go to Eurovision so it’s always possible that in another world this song did go. Sissi is the daughter of Estonia’s only Eurovision winner and she’s consistently been showing up at Eesti Laul with just some real. good. stuff. but I guess that wasn’t quite enough to win over Uku who was destined to go to Eurovision (finally). I do hope she comes back next year because I do really love this song and it would have probably done well.

Jorn – “Faith Bloody Faith”

Country: Norway
Why it Didn’t Make it: I’ve talked about this before but I just love someone who is absolutely doing the best their category has to offer and that is what Jorn is serving us here. This was super well received but I think it was hurt by a lack of audience. This type of song needs a bit of interactive hype energy and while Jorn is bringing as much as he can there is a limit to stadium rock…without a stadium.

Céphaz – “On a mangé le soleil”

Country: France
Why it Didn’t Make it: Presumably this isn’t “french enough” since the song they sent this year is a little too French for me but gosh, this song is just extremely pleasant without making me throw up a rainbow. Everyone is singing and dancing by the middle of the song and it sure would feel nice to feel nice but I suppose he’ll have to try again next year.

Bernarda – “Colors”

Country: Croatia
Why it Didn’t Make it: There are rumors that Croatia’s final was rigged and seeing the winner versus this absolute piece of art that is also still a bop and extremely modern I also feel this might be the case. Then again maybe I just like a lady with a deep voice who is a little strange and giving me both Yoko Ono and Ariana Granda energy at the same time. Either way I really enjoyed this song and it went on my playlist right away.

Jüri Pootsmann – “Mangus melanhoolia”

Country: Estonia
Why it Didn’t Make it: Considering last time he was at Eurovision he got last place of all the last places, you’d think he was some no talent loser but the truth is that countries really need to stop sending 18-21 year olds who aren’t quite ready for the stage because after five years of working on his presence and his art this song is such. an. improvement. I’ve been following Jüri Pootsmann since 2016 and he is only getting better and more interesting over time and this song is no exception. I think the art / jazz house vibes of this one and the full stop ending aren’t quite right for the Eurovision stage but it sure does make an impression. Can’t wait to see what he cooks up next year.

Raylee – “Hero”

Country: Norway
Why it Didn’t Make it: The 80s are back baby! And they’re never gonna die! This is kind of a mess in that way where it isn’t so much a real song as four other songs you already like smushed together and the staging at the final didn’t do it any favors (the video above is from the semi final). I think in the end this was probably just something I really liked more than something that would do well at Eurovision and its probably best left in the national final but the dedication and the love in this song is real and that should be honored somehow.

There were only a few good stragglers this year due to a general lack of national finals but I think they were some quality ones and I look forward to regular national finals again next year!

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