When you’re suffering from a case of PENFSD (Post-Eurovision National Final Season Depression) which is not as devastating as PED (figure that one out yourself) but still difficult to deal with, don’t despair; you can still sift through the songs from said NF season and find some new music to lift your spirits.
Doing so is one of my favourite parts of the pre-ESC period, but as a (sometimes) busy woman I have to mainly focus on the songs that could have been – the second-placers. With that, I bring you the best runner-ups of 2012!
The list is a personal one, of course, so feel free to tell me how silly I am for excluding so-and-so from Somewhere. But this is my top five:
#1 Dance by Max Barskih (Ukraine)
What I like: A shorter answer would be to the question ‘What don’t I like’. Ukraine left a cracker behind in this, a song that could have provided a winning formula: good-looking guy + eyeliner + super catchy club track + for God’s sake this is UKRAINE = douze points in a nutshell. How this didn’t win the NF I will never understand. Couldn’t the whole thing have gone to the dogs like it usually does so Max could step up and represent, in both the Eurovision and ghetto senses of the word?
If Max had beaten Gaitana, I would: be waving a Ukrainian flag from my couch come May, because this song kicks total butt! As it stands, Gaitana’s not quite flag-worthy, although I might wave an imaginary one for her if I can be bothered. Imaginary flags are so much heavier than real ones, for some reason.
#2 Somewhere Beautiful by Nora Foss al-Jabri (Norway) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dR_xdihoJe0
What I like: Spine-tingling ballads, that’s what. Considering the amount of ballads that are going to Baku, it’s probably a good thing this one isn’t, but still…I won’t stop sighing over it, or being mildly annoyed that Nora is yet another teenager with incredible vocal prowess, when I am out of my teens but my vocal talents extend only to the shower.
If Nora had beaten Tooji, I would: be pleased, but still wishing Tooji was going to Baku. Stay was my favourite song in the MGP final but I actually didn’t think it would win over Nora or Plumbo. Also, I would not be fending off Eric Saade comparisons left, right and centre (although if you chopped off Nora’s hair, put her in a leather jacket and squinted…)
#3 Home by DAR (Lithuania) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LV2ZjDCvc8k
What I like: This is a song that should be saved for those days when you know you should never have gotten out of bed, and you need something to cheer you up ASAP. It’s a happy song of epic proportions.
If DAR had beaten Donny, I would: be very happy, and possibly have no knowledge of the now infamous blindfold. Having said that, I am happy with Donny, and amused by his blindfold. Who doesn’t like to be amused by something visually ridiculous every now and then?
#4 Amazing by Danny Saucedo (Sweden) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuFj1CeFVCs
What I like: Mr. Saucedo can do no wrong in my eyes. Even his MF costume (a puffy white affair with built-in lights that made him look like a camp astronaut) worked for me. Amazing is definitely amazing IMO. I’m especially partial to the dubstep break.
If Danny had beaten Loreen, I would: have died of shock before his Melodifestivalen reprise and consequently not been here blogging now. 2011 was Eric Saade’s MF year (why does he keep coming up?) and this year it was Loreen the Machine’s. Even if she’d been super-glued to the ceiling of her dressing room for the entirety of the final, she still would have won.
#5 Take Our Hearts by Jesper (Denmark) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgiSXh_OIvs&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PL7A533282C2E4FDAB
What I like: If all the members of Coldplay bar Chris Martin spontaneously combusted, and Chris found a time machine so he could go back and stop it from happening only to discover that wasn’t possible, Take Our Hearts would be the mournful but hopeful-for-the-future song his younger self would pen to get over the whole ordeal. Aww!
If Jesper had beaten Soluna, I would: be mopping the pool of my melted heart up off the floor. He is tres adorable…and probably better at French than me even if he’s never spoken a word of it in his life. Oh, and I would also have enjoyed his song at Eurovision (note to self: write more about the music and less about everything else).
But wait, there’s more! There were so many strong entries in the 2011-12 preselections, even among the runner-ups, that I couldn’t limit myself to just five. Here are those that tickled my fancy and proved yet again that the songs that make Eurovision are just the beginning of the music us fans get to discover every year thanks to the contest.
Austria That’s What I Am by Conchita Wurst
Belgium Safety Net by Iris
Bulgaria Chance For Better Life by New 5
Cyprus You Don’t Belong Here by Ivi Adamou
Estonia Mina Jään by Lenna
Finland Lasikaupunki by Ville Eetvartti
Hungary Learning to Let Go by Gábor Heincz
Iceland Stattu Upp by Blár Ópal
Malta Pure by Claudia Faniello
Moldova Open Your Eyes by Dara
Russia Back To Her Future by Dima Bilan & Yulia Volkova
What are your favourite songs of the 2012 national final season?
NEXT TIME: A month of Düsseldorf in Rewind begins with a recap of last year’s German extravaganza!