Also in this week’s newsletter, a look at how the betting industry is reacting to the full lineup for this year’s Contest, Israel draw their position in the Grand Final and the Heads of Delegation meet in Tel Aviv for the first time.
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National Selection Season – The Ones That Got Away…
With National Selection Season now officially wrapped up, we have 41 contenders in place to battle for this year’s Eurovision trophy. But what about the ones that didn’t quite make it? The ESC Insight team selected some of their personal picks for the songs they’re going to miss the most in May…
It’s been a relatively painless National Selection season for me, with most countries either making what I consider to be the best choice or at least an acceptable alternative. The sole glaring omission is Montenegro. With this punchy electro number from 2009 veteran Andrea Demirović, they could have had one of their most competitive packages in years. Instead, Montenegro made another choice… We’ll see what happens in May, but I have a strong suspicion they’re going to regret the outcome. – John Lucas
Great hooks in both verse and chorus, a stunningly attractive singer and a disappearing dancer gimmick that was jaw-droppingly effective. – Ben Robertson
There’s something so exuberantly infectious about this song. It would have been an incredible inclusion in this year’s international roster, both for general quality as well as for linguistic and cultural diversity. The beautiful thing about National Final also-rans, however is that even if they don’t make it to the show in May, nobody can take those songs away from you. I’ll continue to turn the volume up and jam out to this for many years to come. – Samantha Ross
On the first night of Albania’s Festivali i Këngës, Eurovision lost ‘Babela’. There was something in the first listen hooked me in – not much, but then we didn’t have many National Final songs at that point. Kujtim Prodani’s ballad/spoken word romance has been a slow burn, but it’s arresting and heart stopping every time it comes round on my playlist. – Ewan Spence
I had this down as a potential best ever result for Lithuania if selected. It was uplifting, with excellent vocals and the chorus stuck in my head for days after first hearing. It filled me with Emeli Sande vibes. Unfortunately I feel Monika did herself a disservice and pushed herself out of contention by the issue of going into the final with two songs and then withdrawing the other one – leaving a sour taste in the mouths of the locals. – Sharleen Wright