BoNF 2019

Best of National Finals 2019

2019′s edition is the 15th BoNF, a contest that survived 14 editions between 2005 and 2018! For the first time I used these “logo makers” site to create the logo, with gold and black as main colors, with the phrase “BoNF 2019” on it was chosen, with a mic as a common singing symbol. The contest was held during the spring of 2019, in April, as explained in the rules here. It’s now anchored as a tradition for me and since 2013, when I became a full administrator on ET, I used the site to get some recognition for a silly and personal contest. 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, Jade, Anders, Guitar, Max… ad the most recent people who joined, thanks to ETSC, like Razvan, Gregor, Rosalina, Ren… 2019 here we are!

2019 is the first time after the last five years for which I write this after the contest is over. I used to be better at keeping things up to date and used to post it as soon as it was over, and more importantly before the actual contest was held in order to get some idea of what the results might be. However, this is posted a year later, as BoNF 2020 is about to kick in… while esc 2020 is canceled!

I can’t yet discuss results or patterns except for the origin of songs. The contest hasn’t seen much shift geographically, even though what I wrote in 2017 and repeated in 2018 remained true this year: “the Nordics and Estonia have declined lately and Ukraine rose”. For the first time ever, Sweden will only get a single song among the 15 finalists!

I continued to work harder on getting a good logo, personalized pics for the finalists but I won’t be posting all individual videos of the finalists on youtube because of the site new policies. Now I just create a playlist that features all 15 lives, often posted by the broadcasters themselves. 41 countries will take part in the 2018 Eurovisiong Song Contest but I am not couting Australia in BoNF, so we’re counting 40 for BoNF (it was 43 countries in esc 2018). 25 of them used some sort of national finals (29 in 2018, 24 in 2017) in which 424 songs were performed (377 in 2015, 373 in 2016, 380 in 2017, 516 in 2018) still far from the late noughties 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:

Austria | Paenda, Limits
Azerbaijan | Chingiz Mustafayev, Truth
Belgium | Eliot Vassamillet, Wake up
Czech Republic | Barbora Mochowa, True colors
Czech Republic | Lake Malawi, Friend of a friend
France | Ugo Benterfa, Ce qui me blesse
France | Aysat, Comme une grande
Georgia | Liza Kalandadze, Sevdisperi zgva
Germany | Lilly Among Clouds, Surprise
Greece | Katerine Duska, Better love
Hungary | The Sign, Ő
Hungary | USNK, Posztolj
Iceland | Hatari, Hatrið mun sigra
Italy | Simone Cristicchi, Abbi cura di me
Italy | Loredana Berté, Cosa ti aspetti da me
Italy | Mahmood, Soldi
Netherlands | Duncan Laurence, Arcade
Norway | Mørland, En livredd mann
Portugal | Mariana Bragada, Mar doce
Portugal | Madrepaz, Mundo a mudar
Portugal | Conan Osíris, Telemóveis
Portugal | Surma, Pugna
Slovenia | Raiven, Kaos
Slovenia | Zala Kralj & Gašper Šantl, Sebi
Sweden | Wiktoria, Not with me
Sweden | The Lovers of Valdaro, Somebody wants you
Sweden | Oscar Enestad, I love it
Ukraine | Khayat, Ever
Ukraine | Tsesho, Hate
Ukraine | Maruv, Siren song

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. For the 11th year, I saved the full results of the semifinal. And so we have from 30th to 16th:

30 France France | Ugo Benterfa, Ce qui me blesse (21pts)
29 Italy | Simone Cristicchi, Abbi cura di me (21pts)
28 Portugal Portugal | Mariana Bragada, Mar doce (22pts)
27 Greece Greece | Katerine Duska, Better love (23pts)
26  Austria | Paenda, Limits (23pts)
25 Azerbaijan | Chingiz Mustafayev, Truth
(24pts)
24 Sweden Sweden | Wictoria, Not with me (25pts)
23 Georgia | Liza Kalandadze, Sevdisperi zgva (26pts)
22 Ukraine Ukraine | Khayat, Ever (27pts)
21 Portugal Portugal | Madrepaz, Mundo a mudar (29pts)
20  Czech Republic | Barbora Mochowa, True colors (30pts)
19 Slovenia | Raiven, Kaos (32pts)
18 Belgium Belgium | Eliot Vassamillet, Wake up (33pts)
17  Hungary | The Sign, Ő (34pts)
16 Sweden Sweden | The Lovers of Valdaro, Somebody wantsyou (35pts)

Finalists scored: 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 46, 47, 48, 48, 49, 50, 50. This is a huge record for BoNF! The last entry still scored a very respectable 21pts (more than a 2pts average) and there is a huge number of songs that scored more than 40 pts: 12 out of 30!

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 in 2018 we broke the record of 11 of the performing artists who had written their own songs, 12 did this year, at least in parts! So a rather strong year for singer-songwriter, and while 2017 had G:son and the Debs returning, we only get newcomers in songwriters, including Kjetil Mørland who did not qualify in 2015!

The two returnees (Wictoria and  Raiven) failed in semifinal so all 15 performing artists are new to BoNF. As for vocals, we swing towards the guys this year (the records are 12.5 entries sung by females in 2015 and 11 entries by male in 2010): 8 male vocals for 7 female vocals, which is very well spread!

Native languages have resisted very well here, eventhough NF use less and less national languages, and in Eurovision it’s even now out of the ordinary to hear a national language… But BoNF is still trying to defend diversity so we still had 16 out of 30 entries in the semifinal using native languages… more than half of them, 9, qualified! Of course, French, Portuguese and Italian entries are expected to be sung in a national language but we also heard Icelandic, Slovenian, Norwegian and Hungarian! After 2014’s debut entries for Netherlands and Armenia, 2016’s debut entry of Georgia and 2017’s debut entries of Azerbaijan and Portugal (last year 1s and 2nd respectively), there are absolutely no countries new to the final this year. We even get the very regular countries in.

And though we had power houses in the semis, which are still present in the final, no country managed to smash the competition: only 3 countries scored two entries in the final and 9 others only one: Ukraine (2), Italy (2), Portugal (2), France (1), Sweden (1), Slovenia (1), Czech Republic (1), Germany (1), Hungary (1), Norway (1), Iceland (1), Netherlands (1). No surprises, most countries with more than one entries are the usual “big” countries of this competition. A nice revenge for Portugal who had 2 songs ranked 16th and 17th last year and now scores two songs (out of 4 in the semifinal after a great year for FdC) with Italy and Ukraine scoring two for the second year in a row). The shocker? Estonia is gone. A first since 2008! They only had one song in 209 and 2018. Between that period, they at least had 2. As for Sweden, it’s the first time ever they only get one as well! A warning? It’s Czech’s 5th entry but third in four years and Hungary secures a fourth BoNF finalist in a row! The total of 12 countries in the final is therefore a record, on par with 2017.

Now, I used a computer “random playlist” to get the running order for the final. I made a playlist which you can watch on BoNF’s youtube page. In the meantime, you can click on the postcard to check it out:

  1. Italy | Mahmood – Soldi (Dardust, Alessandro Mahmoud & Charlie Charles)
  2. Ukraine | Tsesho – Hate (Marusia Ionova, Nadiia Holubtsova, Katrusia Petrashova, Marichka Shtyrbulova & Ihor Mytalnikov)
  3. Germany | Lilly Among Clouds – Surprise (Elisabeth Brüchner & Udo Rinklin)
  4. Czech Republic | Lake Malawi – Friend of a friend (Jan Steinsdoerfer, Maciej Mikolaj Trybulec & Albert Cerny)
  5. Portugal | Conan Osíris – Telemóveis (Conan Osíris)
  6. France | Aysat – Comme une grande (Aysat & Mohamed Zayana)
  7. Slovenia | Zala Kralj & Gasper Santl – Sebi (Zala Kralj & Gasper Santl)
  8. Hungary | USNK – Posztolj (Dániel Somogyvári & Alex Márta)
  9. Norway | Mørland – En livredd mann (Kjetil Mørland)
  10. Iceland | Hatari – Hatrið mun sigra (Einar Hrafn Stefánsson, Klemens Nikulásson Hannigan & Matthías Tryggvi Haraldsson)
  11. Italy | Loredana Berté – Cosa ti aspetti da me (Gaetano Curreri, Piero Romitelli & Gerardo Pulli)
  12. Portugal | Surma – Pugna (Surma & Tiago Félix)
  13. Netherlands | Duncan Laurence – Arcade (Duncan de Moor, Joel Sjöö & Wouter Hardy)
  14. Sweden | Oscar Enestad – I love it (Emanuel Abrahamsson, Parker James & Oscar Enestad)
  15. Ukraine | Maruv – Siren song (Anna Korsun & Mikhail Busin)

Results

2019 bonf

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