BoNF 2020

Best of National Finals 2020

2020′s edition is the 16th BoNF, a contest that survived 15 editions between 2005 and 2019! Yet another logo to create, as always inspired from what’s trending, with gold and green as main colors, with the phrase “BoNF 2020” on it. The contest was held during the infamous spring of 2020, 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.

2020 is the second time in a row 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 bit late since esc 2020 was canceled after we got all 41 esc songs and therefore all NF had happened!

I still 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 were again supposed to take part in the 2020 Eurovisiong Song Contest (Bulgaria and Ukraine returned while Montenegro and Hungary left) but I am not couting Australia in BoNF, so we’re counting 40 for BoNF (it was a record 43 countries in esc 2018). 23 of them used some sort of national finals (25 in 2019, 29 in 2018, 24 in 2017) in which 375 songs were performed (377 in 2015, 373 in 2016, 380 in 2017, 516 in 2018, 424 in 2019) still far from the late noughties figures, with a peak at 650 songs in 2009. I wrote down a list of 80 songs I liked and then came up with this top 30:

Belarus | Val, Da vidna
Bulgaria | Victoria, Tears getting sober
Czech Republic | Barbora Mochowa, White & black holes
Czech Republic | We All Poop, All the blood (positive song actually)
Denmark | Maja & De Sarte Sjæle, Den eneste goth i Vejle
Denmark | Emil Vester Klausen, Ville ønske jeg havde kendt dig
Estonia | Jaagup Tuisk, Beautiful lie
Finland | Erika Vikman, Cicciolina
Germany | Ben Dolic, Violent thing
Iceland | Íva Marín Adrichem, Oculis videre
Iceland | Daði Freyr feat. Gagnamagnið, Think about things
Italy | Pinguini Tattici Nucleari, Ringo Starr
Italy | Levante, Tikibombom
Lithuania | The Roop, On fire
Netherlands | Jeangu Macrooy, Grow
Norway | Kristin Husøy, Pray for me
Norway | Ulrikke Brandstorp, Attention
Poland | Lake Malawi, Lucy
Portugal | Blasted Mechanism, Rebellion
Portugal | Bárbara Tinoco, Passe-partout
Romania | Roxen, Alcohol you
Serbia | Naiva, Baš, baš
Sweden | Paul Rey, Talking in my sleep
Sweden | Anna Bergendahl, Kingdom come
Sweden | Felix Sandman, Boys with emotions
Sweden | Dotter, Bulletproof
Switzerland | Gjon’s Tears, Répondez-moi
Ukraine | Katya Chilly, Pich
Ukraine | Cloudless, Drown me down
Ukraine | Khayat, Call for love

Semifinal

My friends got the mp3 and had nothing to do as France was in lockdown. I usually make a Deezer playlist but couldn’t this year as Katya Chilly’s song wasn’t on it. The jury graded each songs with a 1 (awful) through 5 (great) system. For the 12th year, I saved the full results of the semifinal. And so we have from 30th to 16th:

30 Estonia | Jaagup Tuisk, Beautiful lie (25pts)
29 Norway | Kristin Husøy, Pray for me (26pts)
28 Serbia | Naiva, Baš, baš (27pts)
27 Netherlands | Jeangu Macrooy, Grow (29pts)
26 Sweden Sweden | Paul Rey, Talking in my sleep (30pts)
25 Germany | Ben Dolic, Violent thing (31pts)
24 Sweden Sweden | Anna Bergendahl, Kingdom come (32pts)
23 Norway | Ulrikke Brandstorp, Attention (33pts)
22 Ukraine | Katya Chilly, Pich (34pts)
21 Italy | Pinguini Tattici Nucleari, Ringo Starr (35pts)
20 Poland | Lake Malawi, Lucy (35pts)
19 Denmark | Maja & De Sarte Sjæle, Den eneste goth i Vejle (36pts)
18 Czech Republic | Barbora Mochowa, White & black holes (37pts)
17 Italy | Levante, Tikibombom (37pts)
16 Portugal Portugal | Blasted Mechanism, Rebellion (38pts)

Finalists scored: 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 45, 45, 46, 46, 46, 47, 50, 50. This is a huge record for BoNF, with a very clear top 2! The last entry still scored a very respectable 25pts (exactly half, 2.5pts average) and there is a huge number of songs that scored more than 40 pts: 14 out of 30! I guess the lockdown made my friends nicer as well (and eager for some Eurovision even if they wouldn’t admit to it…)

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: in 2018 we broke the record of 11 of the performing artists who had written their own songs, and again in 2019 with 12! We go down to less than half this year with only 7 singers-songwriters. However, we only get new songwriters in the BoNF final (thanks also to not having a lot of returnees).

The two returnees are Swedish and already shared the BoNF final stage in 2018: Felix and Dotter, 14th and 10th then respectively. Khayat and Daði Freyr qualify to the final for the first time after failing to do so before (Khayat was 22nd in 2019, Daði was 19th in 2017). 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 and exzactly the same results than last year’s.

Native languages have resisted very well on BoNF, but this year wasn’t the best in that regards (last year 16/30 in the semi and 9/15 in the final were in native languages)! Of course, French (thanks to Switzerland) or Portuguese (with some French words) are expected to be sung in a national language (and the fact Italy failed to quality an entry in the final explains why we lost this language in the final, when we’re used to have one or two per year). Last year we had Icelandic, Slovenian, Norwegian and Hungarian… None of that this year, but we do have Danish, Finnish, Belarussian and even Latin! After 2014’s debut entries for Netherlands and Armenia, 2016’s debut entry of Georgia, 2017’s debut entries of Azerbaijan and Portugal (1s and 2nd respectively), we finally get another new comer after two years without any: congratulations to Belarus who get a song in the final at last!

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), Sweden (2), Iceland (2), Belarus (1), Denmark (1), Finland (1), Czech Republic (1), Lithuania (1), Switzerland (1), Romania (1), Bulgaria (1), Portugal (1). No surprises, most countries with more than one entries are the usual “big” countries of this competition. Estonia is missing for the second year in a row, a first since 2007 and 2008 (there was an Estonian entry every year between 2009 and 2017)! They only had one song in 2009 and 2018. Between that period, they at least had 2.

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. Iceland | Íva, Oculis videre (Íva Marín Adrichem & Richard Cameron)
  2. Belarus | Val, Da vidna (Vladislav Pashkevich, Valery Grybusava & Nikita Naydenov)
  3. Czech Republic | We All Poop, All the blood (positive song actually) (Šimon Martínek, Michal Jirán & Jakub Božek)
  4. Denmark | Emil, Ville ønske jeg havde kendt dig (Esben Svane, Emil Vestergaard Klausen, Gavyn Bailey & Tim Schou)
  5. Finland | Erika Vikman, Cicciolina (Janne Rintala, Mika Laakkonen, Erika Vikman & Saskia Vanhalakka)
  6. Romania | Roxen, Alcohol you (Ionuț Armaș, Viky Red & Breyan Isaac)
  7. Lithuania | The Roop, On fire (Vaidotas Valiukevicius, Robertas Baranauskas & Mantas Banišauskas)
  8. Ukraine | Khayat, Call for love (Andriy Khayat)
  9. Portugal | Bárbara Tinoco, Passe-partout (Tiago Nacarato)
  10. Sweden | Felix Sandman, Boys with emotions (Tony Ferrari, Parker James, Peter Thomas, Philip Bentley, Nicki Adamsson & Felix Sandman)
  11. Iceland | Daði Freyr feat. Gagnamagnið, Think about things (Daði Freyr)
  12. Bulgaria | Victoria, Tears getting sober (Victoria Georgieva, Borislav Milanov, Lukas Oscar Janisch & Cornelia Wiebols)
  13. Ukraine | Cloudless, Drown me down (Yuriy Kanalosh, Anton Panfilov, Oleksandr Lysanskiy & Mykhailo Shatokhin)
  14. Switzerland | Gjon’s Tears, Répondez-moi (Gjon Muharremaj, Alizé Oswald, Xavier Michel & Jeroen Swinnen)
  15. Sweden | Dotter, Bulletproof (Dino Medanhodzic, Johanna Jansson & Erik Dahlqvist)

Results

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