Over the last couple of months (yes, it’s been that long!) we’ve been going back through the years to rediscover the forgotten songs of Eurovision. They’re the songs that don’t quite make it to the final, sometimes by the tiniest of margins, and sometimes these songs finish up in last place – but this doesn’t mean that they’re songs we can’t love and appreciate! Today the focus is on 2008, so without further ado, here are our Top 5 Non-Qualifiers!
5. Ruslan Alekhno – Hasta La Vista
There are many moments of the 2008 contest which have stuck in my mind over the years, especially because 2008 was the first full contest I had watched. Out of all the songs, this is one that I listened to quite a lot in the years after the contest, but only as the studio version. Funnily enough, watching the live performance back now, I really have no recollection of watching this, even though I have gone back to watch the full live show countless times. The song itself feels like a part 2 of Dmitry Koldun’s Work Your Magic from the previous year. It’s a similar song, but it definitely wasn’t executed as well as their Top 5 placed song in 2007. The staging is a bit strange, and at times the vocals are a bit strained, especially in the high impact chorus, which is definitely my favourite bit of the song. It’s simultaneously memorable and forgettable, which is a strange mix, but it’s a song definitely worthy of a Top 5 position in our list!
4. Deep Zone and Balthazar – DJ, Take Me Away
By 2008, Bulgaria were one of the newer countries at the Eurovision party, with their debut only 3 years previous, and out of those years, they managed to reach the final only once, in the previous year. With the momentum of Elitsa and Stoyan from 2007, Deep Zone and Balthazar were left with the challenge of making it two in a row, and despite the fact it’s a pretty great song, it still wasn’t enough to reach the final. It’s a song that mixes a few different genres, there’s the electro music, which occupies a pretty big portion of the song, but then it breaks into more of a ska or reggae vibe which is a unique mix which actually works in this song. There isn’t a huge amount of lyrical content in this song, as a big focus is on the music itself, and despite the fact that it’s just pure repetition of the same lyrics, the song doesn’t drag on like some other Eurovision songs, which feel like they go on for an eternity, Overall, I think this is a pretty good entry from Bulgaria, and unfortunately, it only just missed out on the final!
3. Hind – Your Heart Belongs to Me
Prior to 2013, the Netherlands really had no luck at all when it came to Eurovision. This is probably one of few examples where the Netherlands was a bit ripped off. The song itself isn’t one I listen to all that often, but the performance of this song is what makes this such a good song. Hind’s voice is pretty impressive through the whole 3 minutes, and some of the bigger and longer notes she hits absolutely reach where they need to reach. The song has this Middle Eastern feel about it, and it’s very charming, as is Hind with that beautiful costume! The song finished in 13th place, so I mean, it wasn’t that far off reaching the final, but this is a more enjoyable song in comparison to some of the more ballad-like songs of the first semi-final, so it’s a shame it didn’t make it!
2. Stefan Filipović – Zauvijek Volim Te
It’s always a bit of a challenge to be the opening song of the first semi-final, but Stefan handled it very well with a song I can’t help but smile at when it comes on. The song is cheesy, and I don’t think I even want to know what the translated lyrics are, but I just love this so much. The chorus is my favourite part of the song, which is taken to the next level by Stefan’s pretty much perfect vocals throughout the whole song. He has this deep tone of voice which is really enjoyable to listen to, and it takes away from the pretty generic backing music and contrasts well with the backing singers. The staging is a bit average, especially having Stefan wear a shirt with red hand prints, but I can put that all aside because I really enjoy the vocal performance.
1. Tamara, Vrčak & Adrian – Let Me Love You
This song is the ultimate mix of guilty pleasure and genuinely good song. Much like most of the songs in this Top 5 list, my love for this song came after the contest while listening to the official album, and song-wise, this probably should have been in the final. It’s especially bitter because it actually finished in 10th place, which traditionally makes it to the final, however at that time, there was a jury wildcard entry, which was given to Sweden who actually finished in 12th place. Seems unfair, right? There’s something about the combination between the very ethno beat with Tamara’s vocals which makes this a really catchy song, and as for the rap, I’m a rap fan, and usually I find it to be quite enjoyable in Eurovision songs – although I feel like one of few Eurovision fans who would say that! At some points the backing singers are a bit average, and at some points of the song it feels a bit two dimensional, and in that sense the studio version is a bit better, but overall it’s a song I really love, and think highly of, enough to give it the top spot in our Top 5!
Read our previous posts about our Top 5 Non-Qualifiers here: