Almost Had It – Acts That Didn’t Make ESC (Part 1 of 3)

I pay for this space so I should probably use it and maybe some day I will be comfortable sharing deep inner thoughts with the world but until then, Eurovision!

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.

Country:  Romania
Artist and Song: Instinct – “Petale”
Why Didn’t It Make It?: Duets are always popular and this one is a well crafted and well rounded one. For the final they added the “gimmick” of being Victorian Steampunk dolls/robots but the song doesn’t connect with the gimmick so despite being a clearly well crafted adventure, it;s also a disconnected mess. Also it was up against a yodel-rap number and Romania has a long history of gimmick songs to uphold and sadly, that means they were out-gimmicked and didn’t make the cut.

Country: Finland
Artist and Song: Zühlke – “Perfect Villain”
Why Didn’t It Make It?: The studio version is all well and good but this song actually really popped on stage and made me sit up and take notice. With clear, strong vocals and a booming chorus that’s got a silly hook this seems like a great Eurovision entry for Finland but I think the topic matters at hand [comics villains and mixed metaphors] may have been too outlandish for the Finnish audience who voted to send a hyper traditional piano ballad. This entry was so good that I feel confident we’ll see her soon so better luck next time Zühlke!

Country: Estonia
Artist and Song: Rasmus Rändvee – “This Love”
Why Didn’t It Make It?: This super modern blues-inspired song would be right at home among a Black Keys set. It’s too outside the belt for Eurovision at this moment in time but it’s solidly done by a true professional that it blew me away and made the top 3 in Estonia out of 20 strong contenders (Måns really loved it too, that’s saying a lot). The camera probably could have done 15% less shaking also. I loved this so much I went and looked up this performers band [Facelift Deer] so if the hope was exposure – I feel like it’s a solid mission accomplished.

Country: Slovenia
Artist and Song: Tosca Beat – “Free World”
Why Didn’t It Make It?: Not even moving on to the finals these three and their DJ probably had no chance. A political song with muffled but still pitch perfect lyrics is a tough sell. Let alone in Slovenia who has a record of sending less than stellar and less than interesting acts. The song is worth watching for the gimmick at the end and the total novelty of the song. This song really interests me and I love that it’s just something different, it’s a shame no one else seems to agree.

Country: Finland
Artist and Song: My First Band – “Paradise”
Why Didn’t It Make It?: Let’s face it this song is kind of terrible and their front man looks like a sleezy guy who hits on you when you’re stuck waiting in line at the supermarket. The song has a solid hook that I found myself singing for days after though and this isn’t their first rodeo. Bands are always at a disadvantage in ESC and this laid back song wasn’t going to get enough momentum for the win but hey, I’m just here to have a good time so this went on my playlist right away.

That’s all there is for part one but there’ll be two more installments before I start in on this years ACTUAL contenders. Hopefully some of these songs got your toes tapping and maybe they’ll get added to your playlist too.

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