March 2020. Eurovision had just been cancelled. The world had entered lockdown. But when darkness seemed ever present, a ray of light appeared in the form of Eurovision Again. What started out as a simple re-watch of past contests has since become an unmissable event for many Eurofans. The EBU itself even got involved and helped to provide HD versions of contests from as far back as 1974, thanks to the archivists of national broadcasters from across Europe.
Tonight, Eurovision Again will broadcast its last show before the 2021 national final season begins. However, this show will be unlike any other because this show will be looking to crown the greatest non-qualifying entry of all time. One entry from each country will be chosen to feature in this show. You have been voting on the daily Instagram posts on the official Eurovision Instagram account on which entries you would like to see in tonight’s show and this accounted for 50% of the vote. The other 50% came from the votes of 11 Eurovision fan and news sites, of which Eurovoix is one.
So without further ado, here are our top 10 non-qualifiers and why we think they deserve a second chance:
10. Serbia 2013: Moje 3 – “Ljubav je svuda”
Emily: This entry is a guilty pleasure of mine. I love the story behind it, and the outfits are so colourful and memorable. It’s one that I think should have qualified for sure!
9. Israel 2014: Mei Finegold – “Same Heart”
Franciska: Same Heart has been one of my favourite Israeli entries as it is a powerful song with a message that unites us all. Even though I consider 2014 to be a very strong year song-wise, I was still bitter when it didn’t make the Grand Final.
8. Montenegro 2013: Who See – “Igranka”
Neil: This should have definitely been Montenegro’s first final qualification. The vibe, the beat drop, the vocals; this never fails to get me pumped up. While I’m glad Sergej got Montenegro to the final the year after, it really should have been Who See who got them there first.
Chloe: This entry had it all. I remember this being the first year I watched the semi finals and this just called to me. I don’t know what 11 year old me was doing loving rapping astronauts mixed with dubstep but it is iconic and will never lose its place in my heart.
Ewan: The thing about a Eurovision semi-final is that you never quite know what to expect but from the moment two Montenegrin rapping astronauts appeared through billows of thick smoke, I knew this was a Eurovision classic. When Nina the Cyborg emerges from underneath the stage to lay down some fierce vocals, that assumption was confirmed. This is a Eurovision classic with no comparison in Eurovision history. Maybe it was just too ahead of its time.
7. Poland 2019: Tulia – “Fire of Love (Pali się)”
Gerry: There is perhaps no Eurovision semifinalist more robbed than Tulia. Official results have it being just two points away from qualifying the 2019 grand final — and it may well have qualified if a certain juror didn’t vote in error — so fans’ indignation at the Polish girl group staying in the semis is well founded. After all, what’s not to love with Pali się? Intense, hair-raising traditional vocals, staging and costume overflowing with flowers, all tied together with a powerful rock instrumental: just under three minutes of pure fire. If you aren’t left burning by the fire of love at the end, you might as well be made of ice.
6. Bulgaria 2011: Poli Genova – “Na Inat”
Anthony: “Na Inat” is one of the best songs that Bulgaria has sent to the contest and Poli truly deserved to make the final in Dusseldorf. In one way I wish it had qualified, but had it actually qualified would Poli have come back in 2016 and brought Bulgaria to only their second final, who knows?
Ewan: Poli Genova showed us what she was made of in 2011 with this rock banger. In a tough semi she narrowly missed out on the Grand Final but we all know the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice as Poli proved in 2016.
5. Belgium 2006: Kate Ryan – “Je T’Adore”
Ewan: It was such a shock that Kate didn’t qualify in 2006 that in subsequent years non-qualifiers were frequently said to have “done a Kate Ryan”. This is still a europop anthem which lodges itself in your brain, even if it sounds a little dated today. What a shame that a dodgy camera shot of a Greek cameraman’s shoes might have cost her a place in the Eurovision final.
4. Iceland 2016: Greta Salóme – “Hear Them Calling”
Chloe: Honestly just robbed. The staging.. iconic. The song… dramatic and haunting. Greta herself, vocals were amazing. I still don’t know why this never qualified but it should have.
Alistair: In the run up to the contest in 2016 I genuinely believed this was a contender for the crown. Even as far as being in the arena on the night and with 2 qualifiers left to be announced, it never even crossed my mind that this was not going to make it.
3. Finland 2017: Norma John – “Blackbird”
Neil: This was one my favourites from 2017 and I was shocked when it didn’t qualify. It is one of those songs that doesn’t need much to stand out and that’s what makes it so hauntingly beautiful. This deserves redemption!
Alistair: This was one of the most disappointing results in Eurovision history for me. It was such a simple performance which Norma John did beautifully. It was a real shame that Europe couldn’t find a space for it in the final.
2. Czech Republic 2015: Marta Jandová & Václav Noid Bárta – “Hope Never Dies”
Anthony: “Hope Never Dies” was so fundamentally different to everything that the Czech Republic had sent up to that point and showed the promise that they delivered. The staging was dramatic and the story on stage was fantastic, it shows how a powerful ballad can be done properly.
Chloe: Honestly this was the best song for them to return with, the drama, the shoe-throwing and guess I should mention the song. It ticked all of my boxes and the fact it didn’t qualify….. CRIME!
Alistair: Although I understand why this didn’t make it, I still very much enjoy this song and it was good to see Czech Republic back in the contest.
1. Switzerland 2018: ZiBBZ – “Stones”
Alistair: ZiBBZ were one of my favourites in 2018. With Switzerland’s track record I was sad but not surprised to see them sadly miss the final, but I believe it was still a great performance and really got the crowd going.
We would like to thank the EBU and Eurovision Again for allowing us to be part of this very special show. Make sure to head over to the official Eurovision YouTube channel on tonight at 21:00 CET to see if any of our picks make it into the lineup!