Out of the thousands of songs submitted to national broadcasters across Europe, Seth and I have somehow managed to choose 5 (plus a few more honourable mentions) national final songs which we absolutely adore, even a year later. Here are our top 5’s!
5. Rocco Hunt – Nu Juorno Buono
Although this wasn’t really on the radar to represent Italy, especially with the nation deciding on internally selecting their artist, I still think that Rocco deserves a place in my top 5. Rocco Hunt, for those who are new to the Italian music scene, is a young and talented Italian rapper. He won the newcomers section of the San Remo Song Festival with ‘Nu Juorno Buono’, and rightfully so. I’m not usually a huge fan of rap music, but the mix of pop sounds and his lyrics make for good listening. I’ve really enjoyed the music he has released, and some of his songs would have easily succeeded on the Eurovision stage. Maybe sometime in the future we’ll see him perform at Eurovision… here’s hoping!
4. Anton Ewald – Natural
I think the only people who genuinely liked this song are the ones who only listened to the studio version, and teenage girls (or potentially teenage boys?) hypnotised by his attractiveness. I know this one’s sure to be a bit controversial, but man, I love this guy. I’m usually not this into such cliché pop music, which is what his music is, but I just can’t help but be caught in his web of pop. Yes, I know what you’re thinking – ‘But Anita, his live performance was terrible!’ – and yes, I will agree, it wasn’t his best, but as far as producing a high quality pop song and a Eurovision worthy stage performance, Anton hits the nail on the head. It’s a shame he ended his Melodifestivalen experience at last place, but he has produced some cracking songs since the national final, and he deserves some love – and he’s got it from me.
3. Sverrir Bergmann – Dönsum Burtu Blús
Oh my gosh. When I first heard this song, I immediately fell in love. This is genuinely one of the happiest sounding songs I’ve ever heard. I can’t help but dance around with a huge smile on my face when I hear this song, that’s just how good it makes me feel. I was absolutely shattered when I heard it didn’t make the Songvakeppnin final, Deep down, I knew it wouldn’t reach the Eurovision stage, but let a girl dream! Despite being unsuccessful at the national final, it still holds a special place in my heart (and my top 5).
2. Ace Wilder – Busy Doin’ Nothing
I’m sure many of you will agree with me on this one, but this song is so fabulous. I guarantee this song is so relatable to many of us, I mean, who wouldn’t want to make money while they sleep?! I absolutely love the studio version of the song, although admittedly I think her live vocals were surpassed by Sanna, who ended up finally representing Sweden at Eurovision. I often find myself singing along to this song, and I think that’s a pretty good reason to place this in my top 5.
1. Vaidas Baumila – Attention
For every year I’ve indulged in Eurovision national finals, I’ve always managed to find that one song that even after months, I still wish entered Eurovision instead of the national final winner. Vaidas is my man for 2014. For those who have watched the Lithuanian national final more recently, you’ll recognise that it can be a bit of a mess. Choosing the song separate to the singer seems to be an interesting way to approach choosing their best option for the contest, but hey, if they think it will work, good luck to them.
So in 2014, the song ‘Attention’ was chosen, but there were still three possibilities as to who will sing this song. I suppose the positive part of this unorthodox process is that each singer can interpret the song in a different way, and that’s what happened in Lithuania. Both the female artists took the song and made it quite punchy, quite bold, whereas Vaidas took more of an acoustic approach. Ultimately, this approach suited him perfectly, and I honestly cannot fathom why Lithuania didn’t choose Vaidas.
In my honest opinion, and i’m sure many would disagree, but I think Vaidas was the only artist out of the three finalists in Lithuania to interpret the song in a much more consumable and enjoyable way. It still had the sass which the girl’s relied on, but it was way less harsh. I still listen to his version of ‘Attention’ regularly, and for those reasons, this is my top national final song for 2014.
As many Eurovision fans would know, sticking to 5 favourite songs is really quite a difficult task, so it seems fair to give a few honourable mentions, for those who just missed out on my top 5, in no particular order:
- Daniel Testa – One Last Ride
- Mikko Pohjola – Sängyn Reunalla
- Linus Svenning – Broder
- Hukka Ja Mama – Selja
- Clarissa ft Josh Standing – On top of the World
- Alcazar – Blame it on the Disco
- Yohio – To the End
- Brequette – Más (Run)
5. Linda Kiraly – Eveything
When I heard Linda would be participating in A Dal 2014, I was genuinely excited about her song. For me, the song was beyond my expectations. I know Linda from her entry in A Dal 2012 as the group The Kiralys. I was expecting that the jury won’t vote it directly to the semi final, but I was very surprised it wasn’t chosen by public voting! For me the song was perfect. It has a certain vibe I always love in songs. It had swing, soul, and Linda sang it quite well. There are only a few songs from the national final season of 2014 that I love more.
4. NeAngely – Courageous
Granted, the performance was pretty shouty, but it doesn’t take away the fact that it is an amazing song. I think the fact that these women had such a deep singing voice made me even love it more. Growing up in the Netherlands, I hear dance songs from time to time. This was a song that certainly stood out for me. I am glad Maria won the selection, but, of course, I preferred NeAngely.
3. Crystallia – Petalouda Stin Athina (Butterfly in Athens)
Greek ethnic songs always do well for me! Crystallia’s song was one of them. The performance wasn’t the best one of hers, but it certainly was captivating for me. Just the mix with violins, other Greek instruments, and, of course, the Greek language made it an entry for me that I will never forget. I was genuinely angry when she only came third in the national selection. Ah well, time to move on!
2. Helena Paparizou – Survivor
Now how can I forget Helena? She’s my idol since the day I became a fan of Eurovision. I have almost all of her songs on Spotify, and I was very surprised when she was one of the candidates who would compete in Melodifestivalen 2014. Now, I might be a bit biased, because I know Helena the most from the five artists I am talking about, but in my opinion, it was the best entry in Melodifestivalen 2014 (suck on that, Sanna!). Everything was spot on. The performance, her voice, the humble at most times but amazing when it had to be staging. And the song, heartbreak power ballads always do well for me. I would have torn down the house of happiness if it would have won, but I was pretty sure that wouldn’t happen. Still, tack så mycket Helena!
1. Klodian Kaçani – Me Ty (With You)
I love Festivali i Kënges! The orchestra gives a classy vibe to the songs, though I have to say that’s not always a plus. This time, it was a plus. Klodian is an amazing singer. While I am not usually a fan of opera like voices, this was the one time that I did. Every part of the song has a special thing in my opinion. I don’t have a lot of things to say about this song, other than you have to listen to it a couple of times to appreciate it.
And of course, like Anita, I have quite a few entries I love too, but couldn’t write about:
- Gigi Radics – Catch Me
- Venera Lumani & Lindi Islami – Natë e Parë (First Night)
- Rezarta Smaja – Në Zemër (In the heart)
- Ace Wilder – Busy Doin’ Nothin’
- Jasmin Michaela – Kertakäyttösydän (Throwaway Heart)
- Clarissa feat. Josh – On Top of The World
- Sandra Nurmsalu – Kui Tuuled Pöörduvad (When the Winds Turn)
- Brequette – Más (Run)
- Alcazar – Blame It on the Disco
What are your top 5 national final songs of 2014? Let us known down below, or via twitter or facebook.