Almost Had It – Acts That Didn’t Make ESC (Part 2 of 3)

Here we are back again with part 2 of my 3 part series about the rejected national final songs that deserve a second look and a second listen. There’s plenty of great songs here so please enjoy.

Country: Ukraine
Artist and Song: Сальто Назад (Salto Nazad) – “О Мамо” (Oh Mama)
Why Didn’t It Make It?: This song starts off boring enough and honestly it’s kind of instantly forgettable but I’m including it here because of what happens about a minute in to the song. I won’t ruin the surprise but it’s absolutely delightful. Unfortunately that’s about the only sweet note of this mediocre entry.

Country: Estonia
Artist and Song: Antsud – “Vihm” (Rain)
Why Didn’t It Make It?: They are channeling some hardcore Estonian forest feels. I imagine this song is exactly what happens if you take acid and wander out in to the forest. This song does a great job straddling the line between contemporary and folk and it picks up some bonus points from me for being in Estonian but the performance just wasn’t strong enough to advance on to the finals against some of the bigger names in Eesti Laul and so it got left behind in the rain.

Country: Spain
Artist and Song: LeKlein – “Ouch”
Why Didn’t It Make It?: I’m just going to say outright that at this point I 100% know Objetivo Eurovision was rigged. I don’t know if this song would have won or not without that rigging but it was easily my favorite of the offerings. This song has exceptionally terrible English and the chorus includes her yelling “ouch” a lot but I just can’t help but love the energy in her live performance and LeKlein herself. I hope she hasn’t been turned off Eurovision by this experience because her sound/style is just perfect for Eurovision and in the end, I kind of love this song.

Country: Slovenia
Artist and Song: Nuška Drašček – “Flower in the Snow”
Why Didn’t It Make It?: Anyone who says I’m a ballad hater (which, for the record, I’m absolutely not) should be shut up by the fact that I wanted this song desperately to win in Slovenia. Its loss to [rejected Glee member] Omar Naber cut me deep. Nuška’s life as an opera singer means that she really breathes an impressive amount of emotion in to this somewhat cliche ballad. This song reminds me of a mix of “Kiss the Rain” [Billie Myers] and “Kiss from a Rose” [Seal] and I love it! Her live performance was not as pitch perfect as Omar’s and I think she paid for that which is too bad since his song is literally the song version of plastic. Win some, lose some.

Country: Hungary
Artist and Song: Tóth Gabi & Freddie Shuman ft. Lotfi Begi – “Hosszú Idők”
Why Didn’t It Make It?: The vocal performance on this was weak. We can all admit that but I don’t know, something seems really special about this song to me. The cool staging, restrained power, and the fun tempo changes made this song an early fan favorite. The song absolutely lost to a less than perfect performance so I’d suggest you listen to the studio version at least once as well to find out what we were missing out on by not letting her practice for two more months on her vocals.

Alright, there’s just one more set of 5 songs to go before we break in to the “good” stuff. Honestly most of these songs are better than half the songs that went to ESC and some of them just had the misfortune of having to compete with each other! Ah well, until tomorrow!

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