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BoNF 2017

Best of National Finals 2017

2017′s edition is the 13th BoNF, a contest that survived 12 editions between 2005 and 2016! A retro logo with many music symbols (vinyl, sound, mic) and the phrase “BoNF 2017” on it was chosen, with the black and orange visuals. The contest is being held during the spring of 2017, 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 followed the same footsteps! 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… 2017 here we are!

2017 is the fourth time after the last three 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 and Estonia have declined lately and Ukraine rose slightly. However, it’s the most spread out contest ever with 20 countries for the 30 semifinalists! Rare are now the countries with strong enough NF to secure that many entries in the Top 30: the record this year is 4 shared by Sweden and Ukraine, followed by Estonia at 3 and Iceland and Hungary at 2. Now almost no country has never featured in the semifinal at least once but Bulgaria, Poland Portugal, Macedonia, Armenia and Azerbaijan have a rare one in as they’re not BoNF favorites. Italy’s internally chosen song (even though it’s now set that San Remo winner gets to decide to go first) marks the 5th participation since the country’s return in 2011 and the first in three years 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. As usual, there were a few songs I hesitated with, so sorry to Crime Sea (Latvia), Jenny Augusta (Norway), Brendan Murray (Ireland), Les Gordons (Sweden), Elina Born (Estonia), Mercury calling (Denmark), Fernando Daniel (Portugal), Navi (Belarus), Asea Sool (Georgia) and Júlí Heiðar Halldórsson & Þórdís Birna Borgarsdóttir (Iceland) who were just outside my top 30.

Another interesting element, a record of 11 semifinalists are esc entries. So more than a third! After checking older editions, the record in the final is 8 (2012) and 7 (2008): so 2017 can definitely beat these scores. Moreover, a lot of semifinalists did come second or third in their respective national finals (Daði Freyr Petúrsson in Iceland, Malibu in Georgia, Carmell in Poland, Kerli in Estonia, Elin & The Woods in Norway, The Ludvig in Latvia and Raiven in Slovenia)! So more than half, almost two thirds of the semifinalists are top 3 materials at home! Very few returnees this year, a good thing, except for Swedes, Loreen (BoNF 2011 and 2012) and Wictoria (BoNF 2016) have both already been in the final. The other 28 are all newcomers!

I continued to work harder on getting a good logo, personalized pics for the finalists and for the fifth time I will try posting all individual videos of the finalists on youtube. 43 (as I write this, as Russia is still a question mark) countries will take part in the 2017 Eurovisiong Song Contest but I am not couting Australia in BoNF, though Isaiah 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. 24 of them used some sort of national finals (one less than the last two years) in which 380 songs  were performed (377 in 2015, 373 in 2016) still far from the late naughties figures, with a peak at 650 songs in 2009. I wrote down a list of 85 songs I liked and then came up with this top 30:

Armenia | Artsvik, Fly with me
Azerbaijan | DiHaj, Skeletons
Belgium | Blanche, City lights
Bulgaria | Kristian Kostov, Beautiful mess
Czech Republic | Martina Bárta, My turn
Denmark | Sada Vidoo, Northern lights
Estonia | Antsud, Vihm
Estonia | Kerli, Spirit animal
Estonia | Rasmus Rändvee, This love
Finland | Norma John, Blackbird
Georgia | Malibu, We live once
Hungary | Spoon 21, Deák
Hungary | Mrs Columbo, Frozen king
Iceland | Daði Freyr Petúrsson, Is this love?
Iceland | Svala Björgvinsdóttir, Paper
Italy | Francesco Gabanni, Occidentali’s karma
Latvia | The Ludvig, I’m in love with you
Macedonia | Jana Burčeska, Dance alone
Norway | Elin & The Woods, First step in faith (Oadjebasvuhtii)
Poland | Carmell, Faces
Portugal | Salvador Sobral, Amar pelos dois
Slovenia | Raiven, Zažarim
Sweden | Dismissed, Hearts align
Sweden | Loreen, Statements
Sweden | Robin Bengtsson, I can’t go on
Sweden | Wictoria, As I lay me down
Ukraine | Letay, Svit chekaye
Ukraine | Monochromea, Blue bird
Ukraine | Panivalkova, Dokuchayu
Ukraine | Vivienne Mort, Iniy

Semifinal

My friends could listen to these 30 songs thanks to a Deezer playlist, 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 the nineth year, I saved the full results of the semifinal. And so we have from 30th to 16th:

30  Armenia | Artsvik, Fly with me (15pts)
29 Sweden Sweden | Loreen, Statements (24pts)
28 Norway Norway | Elin & The Woods, First step in faith (Oadjebasvuhtii) (25pts)
27  Hungary | Mrs Columbo, Frozen king (26pts)
26 Georgia | Malibu, We live once (29pts)
25 Estonia Estonia | Rasmus Rändvee, This love (30pts)
24  Czech Republic | Martina Bárta, My turn (31pts)
23 Poland | Carmell, Faces (32pts)
22 Ukraine Ukraine | Monochromea, Blue bird (33pts)
21 Ukraine Ukraine | Letay, Svit chekaye (33pts)
20 Ukraine Ukraine | Vivienne Mort, Iniy (34pts)
19 Iceland Iceland | Daði Freyr Petúrsson, Is this love? (35pts)
18  F.Y.R. Macedonia | Jana Burčeska, Dance alone (36pts)
17 Finland Finland | Norma John, Blackbird (37pts)
16 Latvia | The Ludvig, I’m in love with you (37pts)

Finalists scored: 38, 38, 38, 39, 39, 39, 39, 40, 41, 42, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49. Last year, three 50points, this year none! And a real gap between the top 5 and the rest; obviously one of these 5 will win BoNF, but all 5 could: seven songs at 38pts and 39pts, while the songs missing are at 37 and 36. So only 3pts separated the song ranked 9th and the song ranked 18th! In general,  this was a weaker pointwise BoNF year, but also the highest for a 15th and the highest for a 18th ever!

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: when last year 10 of the performing artists wrote their own songs, only 6 did this year, and that includes mostly groups (Ukraine’s Panivalkova and Hungary’s Spoon 21)! So this isn’t a big year for song writers, when in Sweden neither G:son nor Kempe nor the Debs managed to qualify (or even win MF) or in Estonia, Sven (who did win the horrendous Verona) fail to enter BoNF! But again, it’s also good for diversity to show newcomers! Only one returnee (Wictoria, who was a finalist last year) and only newcomers. As for vocals, we are rather spread out this year (the records are 12.5 entries sung by females in 2015 and 11 entries by male in 2010): 6 male vocals, 9 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… We hit a new low, 9, out of 30 in the semifinal; so in regards, having 6 songs not in English is not bad as it means most of the non-English entries in the semi did qualify for the final! So we will hear songs in Ukrainian, Estonian, Slovene, Hungarian, Portuguese and Italian! After 2014’s debut entries for Netherlands and Armenia, this year sees two countries joining the BoNF final family: Azerbaijan and Portugal! Ukraine reigned supreme but with 4 songs in the semifinal, they only got 1 in the final; on the other hand, Sweden who also had 4, qualified 3 of them! Estonia gets 2 out of 4, Iceland and Hungary only one out of two. So… basically… Estonia and Sweden confirm their supremacy on the contest! However, with no other countries with more than 1 song, we get a record of 12 different countries in the final (the usual score earlier in the contest, in 2005-2008)… As for other countries, some are quite the BoNF favorites (Iceland, Hungary Italy) or countries which are no surprises (Denmark is regularly getting one song through). In the end, the two biggest surprises are Bulgaria and Slovenia (both getting their 2nd entry in the BoNF final). Yes the contest is very nordic, with 6 Nordic songs, and then 2 Baltic,  3 Western, 2 Balkan, 2 Eastern countries.

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
Azerbaijan
DiHaj

Skeletons
(Isa Melikov / Sandra Bjurman)

 

 

 

 

02
Estonia
Antsud

Vihm
(Aile Alveus-Krautmann)

 

 

 

 

03
Denmark
Sada Vidoo

Northern lights
(Christoffer Lauridsen, Andreas Öhrn & Alessandra Günthardt)

 

 

 

 

04
Italy
Francesco Gabbani

Occidentali’s karma
(Francesco Gabbani, Filippo Gabbani & Luca Chiaravalli / Francesco Gabbani, Fabio Ilacqua & Luca Chiaravalli)

 

 

 

05
Iceland
Svala Björgvinsdóttir

Paper
(Svala Bjorgvinsdottir, Einar Egilsson, Lester Mendez & Lily Elise / Svala Bjorgvinsdottir & Lily Elise)

 

 

 

06
Portugal
Salvador Sobral

Amar pelos dois
(Luísa Sobral)

 

 

 

 

07
Sweden
Robin Bengtsson

I can’t go on
(David Kreuger, Hamed “K-One” Pirouzpanah & Robin Stjernberg)

 

 

 

 

08
Ukraine
Panivalkova

Dokuchayu
(Ira Luzina, Ira Kulshenko & Dasha Pugasheva)

 

 

 

 

09
Sweden
Dismissed

Hearts align
(Ola Salo & Peter Kvint)

 

 

 

 

10
Slovenia
Raiven

Zažarim
(Jernej Kržič, Tadej Košir & Sara Briški Cirman)

 

 

 

 

11
Estonia
Kerli

Spirit animal
(Kerli Kõiv & Brian Ziff)

 

 

 

 

12
Belgium
Blanche

City lights
(Pierre Dumoulin & Emmanuel Delcourt / Pierre Dumoulin & Ellie Delvaux)

 

 

 

 

13
Sweden
Wictoria

As I lay me down
(Justin Forrest, Jonas Wallin & Lauren Dyson)

 

 

 

 

14
Hungary
Spoon 21

Deák
(Péter Földesi, Márton Grósz, Miklós Adrián Nagy & Kristóf Teremy)

 

 

 

 

15
Bulgaria
Kristian Kostov

Beautiful mess
(Borislav Milanov, Sebastian Arman, Joacim Persson, Alexander V. Blay & Alex Omar)

 

 

Results

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

FULL RESULTS

38 comments on “BoNF 2017

  1. If I were to pick my 15 fave songs this year:
    01 Portugal | Salvador Sobral, Amar pelos dois
    02 Belgium | Blanche, City lights
    03 Azerbaijan | DiHaj, Skeletons
    04 Sweden | Dismissed, Hearts align
    05 Ukraine | Letay, Svit chekaye
    06 Estonia | Kerli, Spirit animal
    07 Italy | Francesco Gabanni, Occidentali’s karma
    08 Bulgaria | Kristian Kostov, Beautiful mess
    09 Iceland | Daði Freyr Petúrsson, Is this love?
    10 Macedonia | Jana Burčeska, Dance alone
    11 Estonia | Antsud, Vihm
    12 Latvia | The Ludvig, I’m in love with you
    13 Denmark | Sada Vidoo, Northern lights
    14 Ukraine | Monochromea, Blue bird
    15 Sweden | Wictoria, As I lay me down

  2. Would you know it! I almost got one for every country for my personal Top 15 out of these 30!

    1. Portugal: Salvador Sobral – Amor pelos dois
    2. Estonia: Antsud – Vihm
    3. Italy: Francesco Gabbani – Occidentali’s karma
    4. Belgium: Blanche – City lights
    5. Armenia: Artsvik – Fly with me
    6. Hungary: Spoon 21 – Deák
    7. Finland: Norma John – Blackbird
    8. Sweden: Wiktoria – As I lay me down
    9. Iceland: Daði Freyr Petúrsson – Is this love
    10. Slovenia: Raiven – Zažarim
    11. Ukraine: Panivalkova – Dokuchayu
    12. Norway: Elin & The Woods – First step in faith
    13. Sweden: Loreen – Statements
    14. Poland: Carmell – Faces
    15. Azerbaijan: DiHai – Skeletons

  3. Very good logo, Morgan.

  4. These are my 15 favourite songs among the 30 you selected:

    Armenia | Artsvik, Fly with me
    Azerbaijan | DiHaj, Skeletons
    Belgium | Blanche, City lights
    Czech Republic | Martina Bárta, My turn
    Finland | Norma John, Blackbird
    Iceland | Daði Freyr Petúrsson, Is this love?
    Italy | Francesco Gabanni, Occidentali’s karma
    Latvia | The Ludvig, I’m in love with you
    Poland | Carmell, Faces
    Portugal | Salvador Sobral, Amar pelos dois
    Slovenia | Raiven, Zažarim
    Sweden | Loreen, Statements
    Ukraine | Monochromea, Blue bird
    Ukraine | Panivalkova, Dokuchayu
    Ukraine | Vivienne Mort, Iniy

    As usual, we agree on several songs and disgree on several others as well. :)

  5. These are my 15 favorites in a no specific order:

    Sweden: Loreen – Statements
    Finland: Norma John – Blackbird
    Estonia: Antsud – Vihm
    Azerbaijan: Dihaj – Skeletons
    Sweden: Wictoria – As I lay me down
    Iceland: Svala Björgvinsdóttir – Paper
    Georgia: Malibu – We live once
    Italy: Francesco Gabanni – Occidentali’s karma
    Bulgaria: Kristian Kostov – Beautiful mess
    Belgium: Blanche – City Lights
    Hungary: Spoon 21 – Deák
    Armenia: Artsvik – Fly with me
    Sweden: Robin – I cant go on
    Macedonia: Jana Burčeska – Dance alone
    Estonia: Kerli – Spirit animal

    (seriously gets some Frans vibes from this Ludvig)

  6. After one week, we’ll get the 15 finalists soon! Of course prepare to be shocked, surprised, disappointed… ;)

  7. Very good show opener ;)

  8. 2/2 so far with Vihm

  9. If I were to pick my top 15 out of these (no order)
    Azerbaijan | DiHaj, Skeletons
    Estonia | Antsud, Vihm
    Belgium | Blanche, City lights
    Denmark | Sada Vidoo, Northern lights
    Finland | Norma John, Blackbird
    Georgia | Malibu, We live once
    Iceland | Daði Freyr Petúrsson, Is this love?
    Italy | Francesco Gabanni, Occidentali’s karma
    Latvia | The Ludvig, I’m in love with you
    FYROM | Jana Burčeska, Dance alone
    Poland | Carmell, Faces
    Portugal | Salvador Sobral, Amar pelos dois
    Sweden | Dismissed, Hearts align
    Ukraine | Panivalkova, Dokuchayu
    Ukraine | Vivienne Mort, Iniy

    I still miss :
    Festina Mejzini, AnnaElza ft. Juli Kása, Crime Sea to name a few

  10. 4/4 :)

  11. Can we skip Svala? :P
    Great, Portugal is in !!!
    G’night :)

  12. My ranking in the Final
    1.Portugal | Salvador Sobral, Amar pelos dois
    2.Ukraine | Panivalkova, Dokuchayu
    3.Azerbaijan | DiHaj, Skeletons
    4.Belgium | Blanche, City lights
    5.Italy | Francesco Gabanni, Occidentali’s karma
    6.Estonia | Antsud, Vihm
    7.Sweden | Dismissed, Hearts align
    8.Denmark | Sada Vidoo, Northern lights
    9.Sweden | Robin Bengtsson, I can’t go on
    10.Hungary | Spoon 21, Deák
    11.Sweden | Wictoria, As I lay me down
    12.Iceland | Svala Björgvinsdóttir, Paper
    13.Bulgaria | Kristian Kostov, Beautiful mess
    14.Slovenia | Raiven, Zažarim
    15. Estonia | Kerli, Spirit animal (Sorry Morgan)

    PS : Songs that made it through the real contest dominate my top 5 :)

  13. Sad to see Blackbird and Iniy missing the Final.
    On the other hand I’m not surprised “Fly with me” and “Statements” ended last

  14. Obviously im a very dissapointed of Loreens placement. Taking my ott love for Loreen aside for a moment, I still feel that it is a very interesting and unique song, however not an instant one and that could have hurted it in the end here.

    ”Blackbird” however should have made it hands down. There is soo much raw emotion in that song and it just have this beautiful melody and powerful lyrics. #DISSAPOINTED!

    Well getting that sorted out. Antsud or Dihaj FTW!

    • I feel like only the esc bubble loved Loreen’s song. If it wasn’t for Loreen (and my friends probably forgot her), the song itself is not coherent musically and the lyrics are hard to grasp on just one listen!

  15. Here’s my ranking of the Final:
    1. DiHaj – Skeletons (Azerbaijan)
    2. Blanche – City lights (Belgium)
    3. Salvador Sobral – Amar pelos dois (Portugal)
    4. Kristian Kostov – Beautiful Mess (Bulgaria)
    5. Francesco Gabbani – Occidentali’s Karma (Italy)
    6. Antsud – Vihm (Estonia)
    7. Dissmissed – Hearts Align (Sweden)
    8. Sada Vidoo – Northern lights (Denmark)
    9. Robin Bengtsson – I Can’t Go On (Sweden)
    10. Svala Björgvinsdóttir – Paper (Iceland)
    11. Panivalkova – Dokuchayu (Ukraine)
    12. Wictoria – As I lay me down (Sweden)
    13. Spoon 21 – Deák (Hungary)
    14. Kerli – Spirit animal (Estonia)
    15. Raiven – Zažarim (Slovenia)

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