Eurovision: Best Semi-Final Non-Qualifiers
Best Semi-Final Non Qualifiers– Over two weeks, hundreds of our readers have voted for their Top 5 Best Eurovision entries that did not make it to the final. Each voter had ten points to distribute: 5 to his favorite, 4 to the second place etc. Out of these points we calculated the ultimate Top 15 of your favorite Semi-Final non qualifiers! Here you can see the Top 15:
#15: Lise Darly – Tout de moi
In 2005 in Kiev, Monaco sent young French singer Lise Darly to Kiev. It was only Monaco’s second participation since their return (after a 25-year break) the previous year. Darly had come second in the casting process to find Monaco’s Eurovision entrant for 2004 and was thus chosen to represent the microstate in 2005. “Tout de Moi” (“All Of Me) is a dramatic ballad in which Darly tells her lover that she would give all of hers to be with him. She sings that “I would fight against tempests and storms” and “I would be your angle”. She would “give you all my time and lay down my weapons”.
Monaco received 10 points from France, 2 from newcomers Moldova and 10 from the Andorran jury thus coming second to last in the semi-final.
#14: Tamara, Vrčak and Adrijan – Let Me Love You
In 2008 Macedonia sent a pop-rap trio to neighbor Serbia. Tamara Todevska, Vrčak and Adrian Gaxha performed their R’n’B song with several hip-hop verses in English, despite the fact that they had won the Macedonian national final in the national language. The song had won despite technical difficulties (the backing track could not be heard in the hall or on TV). At Eurovision, they did not face technical difficulties. Tama performed in a black dress, the two men wore white clothes, one baggy pants, sunglases and a vest showing his chest, while the other wore shorts and socks pulled to the knees. The men were responsible for the rap parts. The song is the plea of a woman: She asks her lover: “let me love you”, which is also the English title of the song. Macedonia came 10th and would have qualified under 100% televoting, but the juries helped Sweden to qualify.
#13: Kuunkuiskaajat-Työlki Ellää
In 2010, Finland sent two members of the folk band Värttinä to Oslo. Susan Aho and Johanna Virtanen called themselves Kuunkuiskaajat (‘Moonwhisperers’). They performed their driving flok song “Työlki ellää” (“One can work for a living, too”) in a Karelian dialect of Finnish. They sing that “One lives by working too, but gets rich by trading” and sing to the sun: “shine, sun, walk your route, dear moon”. They performed in all white dresses, one accompanying the singing with a white accordion.
#12: Omar Naber – Stop
In 2005, Slovenia sent a casting show winner to Kiev. Omar Naber had won the Slovenian version of “Battle of talents”. He competed with the song “Stop” which he composed himself. Despite the English title and there being two versions of English lyrics for the song, Naber performed in Slovenian. The song features rock elements and is directed at the singer’s lover who cheats on him with another man. Naber sings “In your embrace, because of lies, I bleed out” and “You’ve been marked by his kiss”. At the end of the song he goes to his only (female) backing singer, hugging her. Coming 12th, the song failed to qualify to the final.
#11: Feminnem – Lako Je Sve
In 2010, Croatia sent the girl group Feminnem to Oslo, which had previously represented Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2005 with the ABBA influenced song “Call Me”. The band consists of members from Croatia and Bosnia. In 2010, they returned to the Eurovision stage with the Croatian ballad “Lako je Sve”. The song is directed at the singer’s lover, whom she has betrayed. They sing “Because betrayal is written on my face“ and „Please forgive me, I love you, really love you”. They performed sitting on a bank on stage, then standing up. In 13th place they failed to qualify for the final.
#10: Kate Ryan – Je t’adore
One of the biggest stars in the Eurovision Song Contest 2006 in Athens was Kate Ryan. She had had some European-wide hits with dance covers of popular Mylène Farmer and France Gall hits, such as “Désenchantée”, “Libertine”, and “Ella, elle l’a”. Ryan performed the song “Je t’adore” (“I adore you”) which despite the French title is almost completely in English. After the contest the song had moderate success in numerous European countries. The bad result of the entry in Eurovision was thus a surprise to many. The performance with neon-tubed microphone stands that Ryan used for singing and dancing was notable as well as the orange dress she wore, which was the most expensive of the competition. “Je t’adore” was the 999th song performed on a Eurovision stage, but only came 12th and thus failed to qualify for the final.
#9: Evridiki – Comme Ci, Comme Ça
In 2007, Cyprus sent an experienced singer to Helsinki. Evridiki had already represented the island in 1992 and 1994 and finished 11th both times. Her entry in 2007 was “Comme ci, comme ça”, the first entry by a non-Francophone country entirely performed in French. The song is moderately up-tempo and features rock and techno influences. In the lyrics, Evridiki complains to her lover that he comes home too late on Monday and is falling asleep just as her “heart wakes up”. On Tuesdays he always promises that they will see a movie together, but does not hold this promise. She then sings that like this, like that life passes and it becomes apparent that she is planning to leave him. With 65 points the song came 15th.
#8: Pernilla Karlsson – Näg Jar Blundar
In 2012, Finland sent a folk ballad in Swedish, the second official language. The complete newcomer Pernilla Karlsson performed the song “När jag blunder” (“When I close my eyes”) in a green and black dress that did not really go well with her fiery red hair and the atmosphere of the song. It was her brother Jonas who had written the song for his sister. Both belong to the Swedish minority in Finland. After 1990 it was only the second time that Finland used Swedish in Eurovision. It was also the first song in Swedish in 14 years. The viewers were not too impressed and Finland came 12th.
#7: Stella Mwangi – Haba Haba
Norway sent a Kenian-Norwegian singer born in Nairobi to Düsseldorf. Stella Mwangi is a singer, songwriter and rapper. She writes songs about the situation in her home country Kenya. “Haba, haba” showcases African influences and is sung in English and Swahili. It was the first time that language was heard on a Eurovision stage. The song recounts an episode of Mwangi’s childhood, when her grandmother told her “Haba haba, Hujaza Kibaba” which has the same meaning as “slow and steady wins the race”. Her grandmother also tells her that she can amount to anything she wants to in life if she is patient. The song thus has a motivational nature. Despite it being one of the favorites to win the competition it only came 17th in the semi-final and failed to qualify for the final.
#6: Sinplus – Unbreakable
In 2012, Switzerland sent two young brothers from the Italian-speaking part of the country. The two called themselves Sinplus and performed their rock song “Unbreakable” in leather pants and cheeky hairstyles. Gabriel, the lead singer had quite some problems with English pronunciation but the energetic performance and quite catchy song made up for that. As complete newcomers, the brothers had won the Swiss national final (among others against Lys Assia) almost half a year before their big day and had promoted their entry in several other national finals. In the end it were the juries that destroyed the Swiss dream of a qualification for the final. The televoters had them in 10th place. The combined result was only enough for the dreaded 11th place, though.
#5: Malcolm Lincoln – Siren
The winners of Eesti Laul 2010, the band Malcolm Lincoln represented Estonia in Oslo. The band’s name originates from the quiz show “Who wants to be a millionaire”, in which a woman incorrectly answered Malcolm Lincoln (the right answer being Abraham Lincoln). The band characterizes their style as “electronic pop with a slightly quirky undertone”. Their song “Siren” was in that category. In the lyrics, the singers describes his life as lame: “Has been oh lame so far I wasted years, I wasted time” and asks for a second chance: “Give me time and give me strength Give me strenght to carry on Give me bit of hope now, help me through the night”. During the performance the camera spun around the lead singer several times. Estonia came 14th and thus failed to qualify for the final.
#4: Anonymous – Salvem El Món
In 2007, Andorra sent the band Anonymous. They performed a punk rock song called “Salvem el món” (“Let’s Save theWorld”). In the song, the lead singer talks about his disbelief at the state of the world and criticizes the egoism of humanity. He calls upon everyone to unite and to try to improve the world. The song was performed in Catalonian with the chorus in English. The 12th place is still Andorra’s best result in the contest to date. After the contest, the song achieved some success on the Spanish charts.
#3: Eva Boto – Verjamem
The youngest performer of the 2012 edition was sent by Slovenia: Eva Boto was a complete newcomer after she had won the Slovenian casting selection “Misija Evrovizija”. Her song “Verjamem” (“I Believe”) was written by Vladimir Graić, the composer of the 2007 winning entry „Molitva“ and accordingly had a lot in common with Marija Serifovic’s song: A dramatic Balkan ballad which Eva and her backings performed with lots of drama. In a semi with tough competition from other Balkan countries, Slovenia failed to reach the final and ended in second to last place.
#2: Kristina – Horehronie
In 2010, Slovakia sent the popular young singer Kristina to Oslo, after she won the national final by a landslide. Her song “Horehronie” is an ode to the homonymous region in Slovakia. Kristina sings that “The most beautiful trees are in Horehronie” and that she ”come[s] back here when [she feels] sad “ The trees telling her to shake it off. The stage outfit was apparently supposed to be an homage to these trees as Kristina and her backings all wore green outfits with leaves and roots as accessories. In 16th place, the song failed to reach the Eurovision final.
THE WINNER: #1 Anna Bergendahl – This Is My Life
The 5th of Swedish Idol 2008, Anna Bergendahl went on to participate in Melodifestivalen 2010. The odds were against her. She was not well known and her song “This Is My Life” was a folk influenced ballad. Since 1998 no balladhad actually been able to win the Swedish national final. However, Anna and her song were chosen by the Swedish public and sent to neighbouring Oslo. What followed was one of the biggest failures in Swedish Eurovision history: Anna, conceived as a small favorite, failed to qualify for the final. This marked the first time since 1976 that no Swedish entry was performed in the Eurovision final. Maybe the performance was a bit too stuffed: The Swedish delegation had brought along lights for each audience member that were supposed to create a great atmosphere in the stadium.