Almost Had It – Acts That Didn’t Make ESC 2022

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.

WELLBOY – “Nozzy Bozzy”

Country: Ukraine
Some Thoughts: I didn’t like the OG winner at Vidbir and I really don’t like the act that is actually going to Eurovision but I understand that this song was a very long shot no matter what but I kind of love it! It is very…country mouse. The genre is not quite rap and not quite folk and not quite true pop so it doesn’t exactly have an audience to pander to sonically. It came in third and all the top three kind of have a similar theme so at least he was on to something, hope he comes back in a year or two because most of all I really love his playful style.

Reykjavíkurdætur – “Turn This Around”

Country: Iceland
Some Thoughts: Okay. I’m going to be very honest with you, this is a mess. This is like the Spice Girl x Pussy Cat Dolls but then you took a bunch of cocaine and now it’s 4am and you own 25% of Microsoft’s stock and there’s 40 paper mache heads in your kitchen but the real important thing is the friends you made along the way. It lost only by a small percent to an extremely “legit” act that was 200% more professional and less…7 women screaming covered in blood but like, where is the fun in that? Iceland!? You should have chosen darkness.

Bujāns – “He, She, You & Me”

Country: Latvia
Some Thoughts: Everybody who tries to bring back the 80s needs to bring it AT LEAST this hard. While they lost (rightfully) to Citi Zeni in any other year I would have loved to see this go to Eurovision because it’s a song that understands the absolute exuberance, joy, and obsessive loudness of the 80s in a way we rarely see (I’m looking at you every sad song with a back beat and neon ascetic who thinks that’s enough). Also this song is about a very queer polycule and you can’t tell me it isn’t. It just wasn’t polished enough *single tear*.

Eric – “I Found You”

Country: Croatia
Some Thoughts: This is so cute and sweet it could give cavities. This kid has to be like 18 and he’s very talented and adorable so I hope he comes back because this is such a nice little bop that I hum around the house. It’s nothing really too incredible but it’s just uncomplicated and delightful without being overwhelming and that’s so rare in music right now.

Pauline Chagne – “Nuit Pauline”

Country: France
Some Thoughts: I have no idea where this lady came from but I want to follow her back to her planet. Please let me into your night Pauline! Give me the dark 80s! This is basically the French equivalent of city pop and I’m in love with how weird and sexual and enchanting it is. Also I don’t think we’ve had a giant harp at Eurovision so that’s a big loss for everyone.

Cazzi Operia – “I Can’t Get Enough”

Country: Sweden
Some Thoughts: If you threw a bunch of early 00s songs in a blender it might spit this out and I kind of love it because I suppose I was just drenched in the late 90s/early 00s dance pop trend. This woman has written dozens of those K-pop songs everyone is so hot on these days. Like, literally, she’s written for Black Pink and BTS so it’s no shock that this song is catchy and silly and plastic but also kind of delightful. It goes down a little too easy. She’s also living a Lisa Frank fantasy and that’s a big plus but sadly she can’t quite cash the check vocally and the song is probably “annoying” to most people.

Oda Gondrosen – “Hammer of Thor”

Country: Norway
Some Thoughts: I’d probably be madder at Norway for not sending this if the BANANA song didn’t exist. The energy of this song is unparalleled and amazing. Truly believe this woman smacked the shit out of Thor, stole his hammer, and just jumps up on the table in every room she’s been in and brags about her robbery. Love it, no notes.

Maël & Jonas – “I Swear to God”

Country: Germany
Some Thoughts: This is very Weezer, but wholesome? I personally love it. It’s bizarrely college radio but it keeps getting stuck in my head. It’s so earnest. I don’t know, I just really liked it and I wanted to remember it was something Germany could have picked but they hate themselves too much.

There are plenty more interesting ones but I think this is enough for this year, I look forward to the hectic and strange national finals next year!

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