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

Bringing up the rear are some of my absolute favorites from this years national finals! I couldn’t be happier with Estonia who you might notice have taken up 4 out of 15 spots on this list but even if I didn’t live here, I would have said the same last year. There’s a reason Estonia is called the Singing Nation! But anyway, please enjoy these 5 fantastic songs.

Country: Estonia
Artist and Song: Ariadne – “Feel Me Now”
Why Didn’t It Make It?: Young and sweet, only 18. Ariadne just barely made the finals because her performance was basically just standing still and singing. While she jazzed that up a little for the final and actually moved across the stage, it just wasn’t enough. The song is an amazing radio hit, the type that gets played over and over until you absolutely hate it but on the other hand, even Andrew likes it! This is the young stars first time on the Eesti Laul stage (or any stage bigger than a school) but I see her coming back in a year or two with a better staging and maybe a more hard hitting song that can take Estonia to glory.

Country: Slovenia
Artist and Song: Nika Zorjan – “Fse”
Why Didn’t It Make It?: I think her stylist hates her based on the sad dress she’s wearing. I loved the way this song started out and I wanted it to really let lose and it never did. The chorus is somehow slower than its verse at points which kills all its momentum making this one sort of DOA. I have absolutely no idea what the hell this song is about and I’ve never bothered to look it up – which is always a bad sign. And yet I love her dreamy voice and the strange tempo changes in the song. She got about the ranking I thought she deserved but this one went on my playlist because it might not be an ESC winner, but it’s a good song.

Country: Iceland
Artist and Song: Daði Freyr Pétursson – “Is this love?”
Why Didn’t It Make It?: This is the cutest song all year. It was 2nd place because Iceland would like lose while looking dignified unlike many other countries (and they will lose this year – like they have every other year). “Is this love?” is such pure 1980s pixel fantasy nerd electronic joy love and it’s a winner at making me feel good about life. Here’s hoping it gets you smiling and bopping along.

Country: Estonia
Artist and Song: Kerli – “Spirit Animal”
Why Didn’t It Make It?: Kerli is apparently a big name in America even and somehow I missed that. This performance screams ‘I actually sell a lot of records’ and her second place position kind of confused me as I was fairly sure she would win just based on her extravagant staging. Despite the obvious problems with the phrase “spirit animal” this song is catchy as fuck and the performance is glitter and fringe fabulous. Her English in the performance is an interesting mix of under and over enunciating but I don’t mind because I know all the words anyway. Drum banging good with second place realness.

Country: Ukraine
Artist and Song: MELOVIN – “Wonder”
Why Didn’t It Make It?: Wow. This placed second and I absolutely agree with that but also I was completely blown away by Melovin (whose name sounds more like ‘mawoven’ in Ukraine). This song starts too slow, doesn’t build enough, and then there is a long voiceless pause that really destroys it but the song still gets me to toe tap and when Melovin unleashes his vocal prowess at 2:13 I pretty much fell out of my chair. If you can do that why the fuck aren’t you just doing it ALL THE TIME? It’s also so obvious how much he loves his song and being on stage making it an absolute delight to watch. The song has weak lyrics and it’s a song I would pretend I didn’t like but secretly sing along with every time. At only 18 it’s almost certain we’ll see Melovin again at the pre-ESC stage or even in ESC but hopefully after he levels up his song writing skills.

So that’s it for this year in rejects. You’ll notice that countries curiously missing this list are my normal favorites Norway and Sweden but I felt like this year they really lagged and while some countries picked entries I didn’t like *cough* Lithuania *cough* I couldn’t really say I loved any of their entries. I can easily imagine seeing a few of the people in this list in future Eurovision adventures so there’s always hope. Don’t give up your dreams folks and I’ll see you soon with a detailed reviews for the songs that are actually going to Eurovision 2017!

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