Spain Should Have Sent Le Klein
Monty Moncrieff (On Europe)
The saga of the Spanish selection has been well-documented, and the ire of many Spanish fans was still evident even by the time Manel Navarro got to Kyiv.
Tie-breaks are nothing new at Eurovision, and always seem to be controversial in the way they are broken (or aren’t, as 1969’s result demonstrated). 1991’s dead-heat between Carola and Amina came before a rule change to reward wider popularity by achieving votes from a larger number of countries, over fewer, but higher, sets of 12s and 10s.
Popularity ought to have prevailed in Spain’s tie-break too: audience members were infuriated when the people’s choice, Mirela, was ousted by the whim of two jurors to one, amid a cry of foul when favouritism (and some suspicious links to the artist) were revealed. Manel Navarro’s last place will be viewed by many as TVE’s just deserts. Whether Mirela’s flimsy ‘Contigo’ would have fared much better is a matter of conjecture: in fact, LeKlein’s ‘Ouch!!’ may have proved their best option. But I’ll be surprised if we don’t see a rule change to support the public choice next year.
Malta Should Have Sent Janice Mangion
This year the Malta Eurovision Song Contest switched to a one hundred percent televote to select the winner. To nobody’s surprise (least of all mine) the bridesmaid became the bride and Claudia Faniello was duly selected.
Given that ‘Kewkba’ from newcomer Janice Mangion managed to achieve second place given those circumstances should tell you something about the strength of song, the first National Final song in Maltese for a ridiculous number of years. In Kyiv all four non-English songs made it to Saturday night. If Malta had chosen a song instead of a personality the island nation could have made it five, and stood up proudly to say ‘We Are Malta’ with a unique sound, instead of the overwrought ballad by numbers.
Albania Should Have Sent Something That Doesn’t Need An Orchestra
Ross Middleton (Piff Paff Blog)
Forgive me with this one because I feel I’m only going to repeat what was said last year. However, since nothing has changed all the criticisms are still valid. Festivali i Këngës is a fine competition in it’s own right but it does not work for the Eurovision Song Contest. Even though the Song Contest ditched the orchestra over two decades ago FiK persist with this more archaic method.
This doesn’t produce poor songs, I actually didn’t mind ‘Botë’ and last year’s ‘Përrallë’ before they were revamped. However, when you take away the orchestra from both they end up rather limp and lacklustre. You have to go back to 2015 to get a qualifier and even then Elhaida Dani only qualified in tenth. If Albania want to keep up with the modern Contest they’ll need to stray from FiKmas.
Lithuania Should Have Sent Aistė Pilvelytė
Not only did Lithuania have an experienced National Final singer in Aistė Pilvelytė (ten appearances and one disqualification in 2002), but ‘I’m Like The Wolf’ also came with the talismanic songwriting prowess of Aminata Savadogo.
Lithunaia’s National Final process provides a huge amount of domestic exposure for the performers who make it to the later stage, but this biases the selection towards local heroes with strong support – which cannot be relied on when you step in from of the Song Contest’s international juries and viewers.
Iceland Should Have Sent Da∂i Freyr
It should have been Da∂i Freyr. His song about the process of introverts attempting to flirt with one another, with hilarious and adorable results, would have been a lovely thing to see in the first Semi Final, even if it’s qualification chances wouldn’t actually have been much higher.
Yes, Svala is incredible, but did her comeback really need the Eurovision Song Contest as an anchor? Also, I feel like there would most likely have been either a Salvador Sobral or NAVIband cover of ‘Is This Love?’ which would have been a nice added bonus.
Germany Should Have Sent For A New Format
Five artists… five cover songs, three versions of ‘Wildfire’, then two versions of ‘Wildfire’ and two of ‘Perfect Life’, then perm two from the last four for a final round of two songs, and only then do you have a winning artist and a song for Germany confirmed. Not even Lithuania would consider something so convoluted.
For me, connecting with an artist is also about how well the artist connects with a song. The assault of multiple artists singing multiple versions of a song over a multi-hour show dulled any emotional connections that might have been made.
I don’t think I could answer the question of why it was Levina that won though and why it was ‘Perfect Life’. The only real emotion was Helene Nissen’s inspired lunacy of ‘Folsom Prison Blues’… which might have busted the September 1st deadline.
There has to be a better way to do this.
Israel Should Have Sent Diana Golbi
Wivian Kristiansen (EscXtra):
To me, Israel is possibly the country which more than any got it all wrong this year. Imri’s performance of ‘Halo’ in the National Final should have told everybody all they needed to know; he should stick with dancing.
Instead they should have selected Diana Golbi. If they had picked her and let her perform some serious rock, or perhaps a rock ballad, I think she would have taken Israel to the final. What she did with both ‘Euphoria’ and ‘Purple Rain’ in that Final (and also ‘My Immortal’” in the quarter final), has me convinced she would have been a far better choice than Imri.
Estonia Should Have Sent Kerli
Actually I need a little bit more space to talk about Estonia. Come back tomorrow for a full article looking at Eesti Laul…
We’ve already looked at the National Finals that got it right – read that article here. As for the big mistakes of the year, do you agree? Let us know in the comments!