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BoNF 2016

logoBest of National Finals 2016

2016′s edition is the twelveth BoNF, a contest that survived 11 editions between 2005 and 2015! A retro 70s logo with a blue ribbon to mark “BoNF 2016” on it was chosen. The contest is being held during the spring of 2016, in April, as explained in the rules here. It’s the last to date but definitely not going to be the last ever as I have, since 2013, become a full administrator on ET helping me make BoNF more noticed. For the 2013 edition, a few of my closed friends on ET got to follow each step of the way, even helping me select the original top 30 songs; it was repeated in 2014 and exploded bigger than ever in 2015, so a big thanks to Dennis, Ivan, Niclas, Nick, Marc, Luke, Patrick! 2016 will follow the same footsteps hopefully! And also a big thanks to my usual ET friends who have been commenting the songs along the year with me, and disagreed a lot with me, Lynn, Toggie, Shevek, Oxi, Dimitris, Donnie, Dino, Lynn,  Anders, Guitar, Max… ad the most recent people who joined, thanks to ETSC, like Gregor, Rosalina, Ren…

2016 is the third time after the last two years for which I write this before the contest is over. I can’t yet discuss results or patterns except for the origin of songs. The contest hasn’t seen much shift geographically, even if the Nordics have declined lately and Estonia and Ukraine are left with the most representation. Together they make for a third of the semifinalists! While Ukraine already had a song or two in a semi before, their amazing NF (one of the two best with Eesti Laul) assures them almot certainly their first finalist ever in BoNF! Georgia makes its first appearance in the semifinal and Czech Republic returns to BoNF semi after having two songs in the final in a row in 2007 and 2008. Croatia’s return is maked by its presence in the semi as well. Italy’s internally chosen song misses for the second time in a row since the country’s return in 2011 after making it to the actual BoNF final for 4 years in a row. Germany has dropped a lot while Finland continues with poor UMK editions but yet secured one song in the semi. Latvia and even Lithuania have been better than they’ve been in a long time and both made it to the semi for the second year in a row. As usual, there were a few songs I hesitated with, so sorry to Jamie-Lee Kriewitz (Germany), Sigríður Eir & Jóhanna Vala (Iceland), Mimi Werner (Sweden), Fehérvári Gábor Alfréd (Hungary), Samra Rahlimi (Azerbaijan), Sophia Nohr (Denmark) and Elly V (Austria) who were just outside my top 30.

Another interesting element, 9 semifinalists are esc entries and a 10th one (Georgia’s) is performed by the esc artist anyway. So a third! Probably a record! Does it show a better esc or a rather underwhelming esc season? Sadly I reckon the later.

I continued to work harder on getting a good logo, personalized pics for the finalists and for the fourth time I will try posting all individual videos of the finalists on youtube (Germany now being an almost certain country in the final makes it hard since they’re extremely protective of their online material). 43 countries will take part in the 2016 Eurovisiong Song Contest but I am not couting Australia in BoNF, though Dani would have been a sure semifinalist as it’s in my personal top 10 for this year’s contest, so we’re counting 42 for BoNF. 25 of them used some sort of national finals (just like last year) in which 373 songs  were performed, which is 4 less than last year but still far from the late naughties figures, with a peak at 650 songs in 2009. I wrote down a list of 75 songs I liked and then came up with this top 30:

Austria | Zoë Straub, Loin d’ici
Belarus | Navi, Geta zyamlya
Croatia | Nina Kraljić, Lighthouse
Czech Republic | Gabriela Guncikova, I stand
Estonia | Go Away Bird, Sally
Estonia | Jüri Pootsmann, Play
Estonia | Mick Pedaja, Seis
Estonia | Púr Múdd, Meet halfway
Estonia | Würffel, I’m facing north
Finland | Stella Christine, Ain’t got time for boys
Georgia | Young Georgian Lolitaz, We agree
Germany | Keøma, Protected
Hungary | Mushu, Uncle Tom
Iceland | Elísabet Ormslev, Á ný
Latvia | Justs Sirmais, Heartbeat
Lithuania | Petunija, Tomorrow
Montenegro | Highway, The real thing
Netherlands | Douwe Bob, Slow down
Norway | Laila Samuels, Afterglow
Norway | The Hungry Hearts, Laika
Serbia | Sanja Vučić, Goodbye
Sweden | Boris René, Put your love on me
Sweden | Frans, If I were sorry
Sweden | Oscar Zia, Human
Sweden | Wictoria, Save me
Ukraine | Jamala, 1944
Ukraine | Pur:Pur, We do change
Ukraine | Sunsay, Love manifest
Ukraine | Svetlana Tarabarova, Nikoli znovu
Ukraine | The Hardkiss, Helpless

Semifinal

My friends recieved the mp3 of these 30 songs and they have graded each of them with a 1 (awful) through 5 (great) system. You can also download all 30 songs on this page! For theeighth year, I saved the full results of the semifinal. And so we have from 30th to 16th:

30 FinlandFinland | Stella Christine, Aint got time for boys (22pts)
29 Serbia Serbia | Sanja Vučić, Goodbye (24pts)
28 Sweden Sweden | Oscar Zia, Human (26pts)
27 Austria Austria | Zoë Straub, Loin d’ici (27pts)
26 Ukraine Ukraine | Sunsay, Love manifest (28pts)
25 Estonia Estonia | Go Away Bird, Sally (29pts)
24 Germany Germany | Keøma, Protected (29pts)
23 Ukraine Ukraine | Pur:Pur, We do change (30pts)
22 Belarus 28 Belarus | Navi, Geta zyamlya (31pts)
21 Montenegro Montenegro | Highway, The real thing (31pts)
20 Estonia Estonia | Würffel, I’m facing north (32pts)
19 Netherlands Netherlands | Douwe Bob, Slow down (32pts)
18 Lithuania Lithuania | Petunija, Tomorrow (33pts)
17 Iceland Iceland | Elísabet Ormslev, Á ný (36pts)
16 Norway Norway | The Hungry Hearts, Laika (36pts)

Finalists scored: 37, 37, 37, 37, 38, 40, 40, 42, 43, 47, 48, 48, 50, 50, 50. Last year, no 50points, this year three! And a real gap between the top 6 and the rest: four songs at 37pts, one song at 38 barely making it! Sadly two songs at 36 are out for only 1pt!

Final

So now I had all 15 finalists! As usual by now, I also managed to get the songwriter and the composer down for each of them. A quick analysis first: as usual in BoNF, a lot of them are self penned which is good as 10 of the performing artists wrote their own songs, and that includes female song writers as Svetlana, Jamala, Yulia Sanina (from Hardkiss), Laila Samuels all wrote their songs too! And of course Aminata, Latvian representative in Eurovision 2015 and a BoNF finalist, is back as a composer as well! Actually, Estonia’s Stig and Latvia’s Aminata are both back, both in esc and in BoNF! As for vocals, females don’t win this year… after last year insane record (12.5 entries were sung by females)! But it’s very close, 8 male vocals, 7 female vocals! Native languages have dramatically sunk, probably related to the heavy electro turn for BoNF lately, but also because in general NF use less and less national languages, and in Eurovision it’s even now out of the ordinary to hear a national language… The two songs that barely miss from Iceland and Norway were not sung in English but failed to qualify. So we now have Russian and Tatar in two of the Ukrainian entries and one song in Estonian, which is the only song in 100% national language! After 2014’s debut entries for Netherlands and Armenia, this year sees two countries joining the BoNF final family: Georgia and Ukraine! Ukraine reigned supreme and with 5 songs in the semifinal, they secure 3 songs in the final! And Georgia qualified after hosting one of those rare but often successful NF with only one artist having different songs to chose from: usually, as it was the case for Israel in the late 2000’s, this means the best song gets to BoNF and another song is sent to the contest! Estonia and Sweden confirm their supremacy on the contest as they too get three songs in the final, as much as Ukraine! Together these three countries get 9 out of 15 finalists… All other 6 entries come from 6 different countries who are quite the BoNF favorites (Latvia, Norway) or countries which are no surprises (Hungary, Czech Republic and Croatia are all getting their 3rd time in the final this year). Yes the contest is very nordic, with 4 baltic entries and 4 nordic songs from 4 different countries! But more shocking, BoNF 2016 is very… central and eastern european! No country west of Czech Republic qualified this year!

Now, I used a computer “random playlist” to get the running order for the final. I will upload them all individually on youtube, so you’ll be able to just click on the song titles to watch each song and I also made a playlist which you can watch on BoNF’s youtube page.

01 Ukraine - Svetlana Tarabarova - Nikoli znovu 01
Ukraine
Svetlana Tarabarova

Nikoli znovu
(Svetlana Tarabarova)

 

 

 

 

 

02 Sweden - Boris René - Put your love on me02
Sweden
Boris René
Put your love on me

(Boris René, Tobias Lundgren & Tim Larsson)

 

 

 

 

 

03 Norway - Laila Samuels - Afterglow03
Norway
Laila Samuels

Afterglow
(Laila Samuelsen, The Beatgees & Jan Weigel)

 

 

 

 

 

04 Estonia - Jüri Pootsmann - Play04
Estonia
Jüri Pootsmann

Play
(Stig Rästa, Vallo Kikas & Fred Krieger)

 

 

 

 

 

05 Estonia - Púr Múdd - Meet halfway05
Estonia
Púr Múdd

Meet halfway
(Oliver Rõõmus & Joonas Alvre)

 

 

 

 

 

06 Sweden - Wiktoria - Save me06
Sweden
Wictoria

Save me
(Jens Siverstedt, Lauren Dyson & Jonas Wallin)

 

 

 

 

 

07 Georgia - Young Georgian Lolitaz - We agree07
Georgia
Young Georgian Lolitaz

We agree
(Nika Kocharov & Vazha Marr)

 

 

 

 

 

08 Estonia - Mick Pedaja - Seis08
Estonia
Mick Pedaja

Seis
(Mick Pedaja)

 

 

 

 

 

09 Hungary - Mushu - Uncle Tom09
Hungary
Mushu

Uncle Tom
(Izsák Palmer, Örs Kozák & Antal Kert)

 

 

 

 

 

10 Croatia - Nina Kraljić - Lighthouse10
Croatia
Nina Kraljić

Lighthouse
(Andreas Grass & Nikola Paryla)

 

 

 

 

 

11 Ukraine - Jamala - 194411
Ukraine
Jamala

1944
(Jamala)

 

 

 

 

 

12 Ukraine - The Hardkiss - Helpless12
Ukraine
The Hardkiss

Helpless
(Yulia Sanina & Valeriy “Val” Bebko)

 

 

 

 

 

13 Czech Republic - Gabriela Gunčíková - I stand 13
Czech republic
Gabriela Gunčíková

I stand
(Christian Schneider, Aidan O’Connor & Sara Biglert)

 

 

 

 

 

14 Latvia - Justs Sirmais - Heartbeat14
Latvia
Justs Sirmais

Heartbeat
(Aminata Savadogo)

 

 

 

 

 

15 Sweden - Frans - If I were sorry15
Sweden
Frans

If I were sorry
(Frans Jeppsson Wall, Fredrik Andersson, Michael Saxell & Oscar Fogelström)

 

 

 

 

Results

Vote 1 ; Vote 2 ; Vote 3 ; Vote 4 ; Vote 5 ; Vote 6 ; Vote 7 ; Vote 8 ; Vote 9 ; Vote 10

FULL RESULTS

35 comments on “BoNF 2016

  1. If I were to pick 15 of these:
    Croatia | Nina Kraljić, Lighthouse
    Estonia | Jüri Pootsmann, Play
    Estonia | Mick Pedaja, Seis
    Estonia | Púr Múdd, Meet halfway
    Georgia | Young Georgian Lolitaz, We agree
    Hungary | Mushu, Uncle Tom
    Latvia | Justs Sirmais, Heartbeat
    Lithuania | Petunija, Tomorrow
    Norway | Laila Samuels, Afterglow
    Norway | The Hungry Hearts, Laika
    Sweden | Frans, If I were sorry
    Sweden | Wictoria, Save me
    Ukraine | Jamala, 1944
    Ukraine | Sunsay, Love manifest
    Ukraine | The Hardkiss, Helpless

  2. On first screening, the semifinalists do make sense, considering the fact both Estonia and Ukraine ruled supreme this esc season!

  3. It was a horrible NF season imo, probably the worst I can remember, and I couldn’t come up with a top 30 at all. I only enjoyed the Ukrainian NF, A dal and Eesti laul. :(
    Out os the songs listed above, only the following are worth paying attention to imo:

    Croatia | Nina Kraljić, Lighthouse
    Estonia | Jüri Pootsmann, Play
    Estonia | Mick Pedaja, Seis
    Estonia | Púr Múdd, Meet halfway
    Georgia | Young Georgian Lolitaz, We agree
    Germany | Keøma, Protected
    Hungary | Mushu, Uncle Tom
    Iceland | Elísabet Ormslev, Á ný
    Latvia | Justs Sirmais, Heartbeat
    Lithuania | Petunija, Tomorrow
    Norway | Laila Samuels, Afterglow
    Serbia | Sanja Vučić, Goodbye
    Sweden | Boris René, Put your love on me
    Ukraine | Jamala, 1944
    Ukraine | Pur:Pur, We do change
    Ukraine | Sunsay, Love manifest
    Ukraine | Svetlana Tarabarova, Nikoli znovu
    Ukraine | The Hardkiss, Helpless

    I will only buy around 10 NF songs this year. :(

  4. We mostly agree. I don’t have the passion or energy to make a fair Top 30 list myself, but I imagine I would have a some more songs from A Dal this year. And Kaliopi of course. :p

  5. Estonia | Jüri Pootsmann, Play
    Estonia | Mick Pedaja, Seis
    Hungary | Mushu, Uncle Tom
    Iceland | Elísabet Ormslev, Á ný
    Ukraine | Jamala, 1944

    These + Gergö from A Dal form my absolute top this year.

  6. And oh, almost forgot, hope that certain BoNF jury member who always agrees with me will keep her good record. ;)

  7. This season has been below average, I agree. These are 15 songs that I would choose from the list posted above; in random order:

    Croatia | Nina Kraljić, Lighthouse
    Czech Republic | Gabriela Guncikova, I stand
    Estonia | Go Away Bird, Sally
    Estonia | Jüri Pootsmann, Play
    Estonia | Mick Pedaja, Seis
    Georgia | Young Georgian Lolitaz, We agree
    Iceland | Elísabet Ormslev, Á ný
    Latvia | Justs Sirmais, Heartbeat
    Lithuania | Petunija, Tomorrow
    Netherlands | Douwe Bob, Slow down
    Serbia | Sanja Vučić, Goodbye
    Ukraine | Jamala, 1944
    Ukraine | Sunsay, Love manifest
    Ukraine | Svetlana Tarabarova, Nikoli znovu
    Ukraine | The Hardkiss, Helpless

    ‘Á Ný’ and ‘Seis’ are probably the best songs of the season. It’s too soon to say, as far as I am concerned.

  8. 1. Justs
    2. Mick Pedaja
    3. Laila Samuels
    4. Nina Kraljic
    5. Jüri Pootsman.

    Shame Laika missed final!

  9. These final 15 are not what I would choose, but I wish tem all good luck!

  10. I scored 12/15 so I’m happy, sad for Sunsay, Petunja (whom I thought was a favorite to qualify) or Laika, of course. To be fair, during the votes, I also found myself cheering for Navi who were always “close enough” but never quite in it. Now let’s hope we get a common sense universal winner! And I do think we’ll get one again.

  11. The best songs got the most points and that is good.

  12. Cheers for perfect Top 3! Go Baltics!
    Bit worried about Nina now, I must admit.

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