The Eurovision semi-finals are a brutal fighting ground, where around 18 acts go in, and only 10 come out. Doesn’t sound too bad, considering the math, but it’s still always nerve-wracking to watch the votes come in and the final 10 being announced. I’m sure everyone has at least once felt the disappointment or shock when their favourite doesn’t qualify, so we’re going to continue to look back on contests past to decide our Top 5 non-qualifiers, and today we’re starting with 2016!
5. Greta Salóme – Hear Them Calling
It was a fan favourite that flopped, and for the longest time after the first semi-final of 2016, everyone was going absolutely nuts that this didn’t reach the final. It wasn’t my overall favourite of the 2016 contest, hence only being number 5 in this list, however I did still think this would have an easy run to the finals. However saying that, all the songs that made it to the final I also thought the same of, so this is definitely a prime example of how brutal the semi-finals can be. What I thought would impress audiences was the staging of the song, and was hoping the staging could distract from an otherwise quite repetitive song.
4. Sandhja – Sing It Away
Also facing the brutal first semi-final was Finland, represented by the energetic Sandhja. The song was one of our favourites of the 2016 season, and although we had an inkling that this song wouldn’t reach the final, especially against such tough competition, we were still pretty sad to see this go. Opening the show was a bit of a rough gig, and the staging was also a bit rough around the edges, but the song itself was super catchy, but it was just not meant to be.
3. Highway – The Real Thing
I may have been the only one to love this song, but knew right away that the chances of this making the final was pretty slim. It wasn’t my favourite entry to begin with, but seeing it on stage and hearing the live performance made me love this song a whole lot more, and I think they did everything right regarding the staging. To be fair, it wasn’t that far off reaching the final, finishing in 13th place, one place above Greta, and two above Sandhja. An unlikely favourite, but sometimes those are the best.
2. Lighthouse X – Soldiers of Love
Rewind back a year to 2015, and I was adamant that Anti Social Media would surprise everyone and qualify to the final for Denmark. So when Denmark picked another boyband, chances were that it would fall to the same fate as the song I so loved in the year previous. And guess what, I loved Soldiers of Love too. I hadn’t learnt from my mistakes, and thought Denmark had a good chance of qualifying but once again, Europe weren’t digging the boy band, despite the impeccable vocals, good looks and catchy melody. Total shame!
1. Bosnia and Herzegovina – Ljubav Je
Yet another entry from Semi-final 1, which totally demonstrates how rough being drawn into that semi-final really was in 2016. Our number one is Bosnia and Herzegovina for various reasons, including the dramatic nature of the song mixed with the range of vocals from all three vocalists featured in the song. It also had a rap break, and rap breaks are always amazing in my books. We rated the song highly last year, and at that time, really thought Bosnia and Herzegovina would continue their qualifying streak however just missed out, finishing in 11th place. Bonus points for national language, which is always a positive!
Read our previous posts about our Top 5 Non-Qualifiers here: