We are still a fair way away from Eurovision 2019, but already certain nations have declined the opportunity to participate at next year’s contest. Some of these nations have never participated before, such as Liechtenstein, but had intentions to participate. Clearly we can’t include them in our Top 5 since they haven’t had any participating entries, but today we want to discuss our Top 5 entries from nations that have previously participated, but won’t be participating in 2019 (well, as far as we know!)
5. France Gall – Poupée de cire, poupée de son (Luxembourg)
With a total of five wins under their belt, it would be criminal not to mention at least one of the winners from Luxembourg. In the scheme of things, the winners from Luxembourg may be among the most forgotten simply due to the fact that the nation hasn’t participated since the 90’s, but the one that we all know and love is of course the winner from France Gall. It’s a playful melody backed by quite melancholic instrumentation which is an interesting contrast. Although the verses are lyrically different, the common factor is that it often goes back to the title of the song which helps keep the melody stuck in your head!
4. Mor Ve Ötesi – Deli (Turkey)
We won’t be seeing Turkey return to Eurovision 2019, but that doesn’t stop us celebrating their past at the contest. They had a lengthy history at Eurovision, but making this Top 5 is a song very sentimental to me. Having been the first year I had completely watched an edition of Eurovision, this was the song that began the true addiction. I was a fan of rock music at the time, so this was perfect. It’s a classic rock track fronted by Harun’s deep and smooth vocals which peak at all the right times. Although fellow rock band MaNga achieved a higher result at Eurovision with another rock song, I appreciate that Deli was performed in the Turkish language which gave it more character.
3. Fazla – Sva Bol Svijeta (Bosnia & Herzegovina)
This is an important song in the history of Bosnia and Herzegovina at the contest, not only as it was their debut entry as an independent nation, but also the significance of the song in the historical context. Although Eurovision is aimed to be separate from politics, it’s hard to look at this song without recognising the context. The title of the song, Sva Bol svijeta translated to ‘All the Pain in the World’ and referenced the Bosnian War which was happening at that very time. Even as someone who doesn’t understand the lyrics, knowing this context helps to understand the depth of the song, and it becomes easier to recognise the emotion that comes through the performance. Although the nation finished in 16th place out of 25 competing nations, I truly think this is one of the nation’s best and most meaningful entries that I still enjoy to this day.
2. Kamil Mikulčík and Nela Pocisková – Let’ tmou (Slovakia)
Could this be one of the most underrated entries of all time? I believe so. I remember being in disbelief that this song didn’t make the final as it was one of the strongest ballads in the competition. Kamil’s more rock oriented voice meshed well with Nela’s angelic vocals to create a beautiful three minutes. At the point of the key change, it was a bit shaky, but the duo recovered well. What I also enjoy about this song is that it is less traditional in structure, as it has many ups and downs which create a real theatrical atmosphere. The staging of the performance also added to the classical ballad style of song, and overall I think it was worthy of more than a measly 8 points.
- Hari Mata Hari – Lejla (Bosnia & Herzegovina)
Ok yes, this is a pretty obvious choice for the top spot, but there’s no denying that this really is one of Bosnia’s best songs. The nation has sent a fair few Balkan ballads to the contest, and there were a few I would have loved to have squeezed into this very Top 5, but it’s hard to go past Lejla. With the help of Balkan Ballad master Željko Joksimović, it became clear that Bosnia would be the nation to beat in 2006, and boy did they come close to winning! Watching the live performance, there is literally not one critique to make. This is a flawless vocal performance matched with a flawless stage performance. Featuring a simple stage performance backed by stage lights which gave the effect of stars in the background was simply beautiful. Even finishing in 3rd place feels like an injustice for a song this good!