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Celebrating songs from all across Europe (…and Australia, Israel and some other bonus countries), the annual European Song Contest often showcases the weird and wonderful our continent has to offer. While the actual competition has had to take a break this year, organisers are gearing up for a special one-off show to celebrate this year’s acts. A special Eurovision -Europe Shine A Light screening will air on 16 May 2020 to showcase this year’s diverse music, and if that wasn’t enough, organisers have also been running a weekly home concert series to stream every Friday.
Originally set to take place in Rotterdam after the Netherlands’ Duncan Laurence won in 2019 with Arcade, take a journey through each of the 41 Eurovision 2020 entries ahead of Europe Shine A Light – as we look at what could have been.
Performed By: Arilena Ara
Song: Fall From The Sky
Albania’s Arilena Ara delivers with the powerful ballad Fall From The Sky. The song teases some stripped back moments before hitting the high notes. But it would have been unlikely to have hit so high on the leaderboard, getting things off to a relatively slow-paced start.
Performed By: Athena Manoukian
Song: Chains On You
Athena sets the stage for Armenia with Chains On You, a song which wouldn’t be out of place on the UK pop charts. It’s a contemporary bop number with some clear rap and hip-hop influences, delivered with plenty of attitude and confidence. This one could have done pretty well, and remains a welcome addition to any party playlist.
Performed By: Montaigne
Song: Don’t Break Me
While Australia being part of the European Song Contest is sometimes questioned, they are massive Eurovision fans down under and who can argue with that. Montaigne delivers a chaotic and contemporary performance which matches the broken and unstable nature of the song, a heartbreak anthem on the very verge of a breakdown. Pairing nervous energy with an unstable production and jagged dance moves, Montaigne delivers a powerfully unravelled performance.
Performed By: Vincent Bueno
Despite unfolding as a ballad at the beginning, Austria’s Alive builds to a catchy chorus with a funky baseline beat. Its stylish and smooth performance brings to mind a hybrid of Bruno Mars and Justin Timberlake, and a welcome break away from Euro-pop heavy entries.
Performed By: Efendi
Efendi channels an Azerbaijani version of the iconic Egyptian queen Cleopatra in what would have been this year’s Eurovision entry. It fits right in with what you’d expect to see at Eurovision – there’s a bit of Buddhist chanting, middle-eastern inspired sounds, a big dance interval and even a bit of a history lesson about Cleopatra – all part of the eclectic Eurovision parcel.
Performed By: VAL
Song: Da Vidna
Belarusian duo VAL were preparing to bring a true bop to Eurovision this year. Da Vidna is an instantly catchy and contemporary pop song, and while you are unlikely to understand the lyrics, it’s a feel-good track that would have had viewers clapping along. Translated as “Before Dawn”, lead singer Valeria’s strong vocals build to a very danceable middle-drop that cements an enjoyable addition to our Eurovision party track-list.
Performed By: Hooverphonic
Song: Release Me
Hooverphonic are one of Belgium’s biggest bands, set to have arrived at the competition with the Bond-esque ballad Release Me. The song boasts a moody and dramatic feel with an atmospheric, orchestral background. It’s a strong song but Eurovision may not have been the best stage for this one. It should have got the critics attention but may have fallen to the side-lines for the main audience.
Performed By: VICTORI
Song: Tears Getting Sober
Bulgarian entry – Tears Getting Sober by Victoria – instantly draws comparisons with Billie Eilish. It’s a modern song of heartbreak that’s not typical of Eurovision entries in its styling. But it would have definitely been one of the better ballads this year, with a calming and atmospheric effect and the potential to have made the top five.
Performed By: Damir Kedžo
Song: Divlji Vjetre
This ballad from the Balkans is performed entirely in Croatian. Translated as “Wild Winds”, Damir Kedžo delivers with a powerful voice, and the song is typical of what you would expect in the usual Eurovision line-up. Perhaps underrated due to the language barrier, we still wouldn’t have seen this one causing much of a stir.
Performed By: Sandro
Cyprus would have brought a bit of house and electronica to Eurovision this year with Sandro’s track Running. The production could have impacted how it performed in polls, as the right staging at the main electronic bridge would have boosted it to the next level. Would it have been in the running for the top spot? Probably not, but it does make a pretty decent addition to a Eurovision house party all the same.
Performed By: Benny Cristo
Kemama – meaning ‘Okay Mama’ – is about childhood and growing up in a concrete jungle. It’s upbeat, utilising its mix of hip-hop and African elements to inject some originality into the usual Eurovision track-list. However, it may have risked getting too lost in the Eurovision madness to make any real impact at 2020’s outing.
Performed By: Ben & Tan
Denmark’s entry for 2020 would have arrived courtesy of duo Ben & Tan. The duet between the two is built on a rousing chorus and an acoustic finish. The love song is easy-going with a relatively simple production. But are we saying yes? We would have to think about it.
Performed By: Uku Suviste
Song: What Love Is
This mid-tempo tune from Estonia is fairly pleasant to listen to, yet lacks a strong hook to capture attention long after it ends. While Uku Suviste is a charismatic performer on stage, the song isn’t particularly exciting, and it probably wouldn’t have made it to the left of the leader-board this time.
Performed By: Aksel
Song: Looking Back
Aksel delivers a smooth and laid-back performance for Finland with Looking Back, a song with a clear message about living in the moment and appreciating what you have. With very clear vocals, the song is pretty simple and stripped back, yet effective. The melody is very easy to listen to and it’s a very sincere performance from Aksel, so it definitely would have have the potential to become a bit of an underdog in the contest.
Performed By: Tom Leeb
Song: Mon Alliée (The Best In Me)
This one’s a bilingual ballad from Tom Leeb, with a video set on the Eiffel tower for good measure. Mon Alliee (The Best In Me) doesn’t feel very Eurovision-y, and is not likely to have stood out in the competition. However it does have an alternating chorus in both French and English, so viewers can get a French lesson in at the same time.
Performed By: Tornike Kipiani
Song: Take Me As I Am
Georgia was ready to switch it up this year with rock number Take Me As I Am. The lyrics aren’t the strongest, with references to various Europeans including a “Spanish guy”, an “English man:, and the questionable line “Why do why do you want me to smell like a French man?”. While we can’t quite answer that one, it still would have brought something different to have kept things fresh.
Performed By: Ben Dolic ft. B-OK
Song: Violent Thing
Ben Dolic and B-OK would have delivered a strong contemporary pop banger for Germany with Violent Thing. With an undeniable beat and club vibe, don’t be surprised if you hear this both on dance-floors and climbing the charts away from Eurovision. Violently good? You be the judge.
Performed By: Stefania
Aged just 17, Stefania would not only have been flying the flag for Greece this year but has already been confirmed to return to Eurovision in 2021. SUPERG!RL is a contemporary pop banger with a Greek folk-riff throughout, exclaiming a message to celebrate your differences in life. It’s a confident performance from Stefania and would have done pretty well, but could it have been the hero of this year’s contest?
Performed By: Daði og Gagnamagnið
Song: Think About Things
Iceland was the fan-favourite to have won Eurovision 2020 – and it’s not hard to see why. The official music video for Daði Freyr’s Think About Things has already gone viral with five million YouTube hits. The song is genuinely catchy, fun and more than stands up on its own with strong vocals from enigmatic lead singer Daði Freyr, along with funky electric instrumentation. The eccentric video and quirky dance routine takes it to the next level with very pop-culture friendly moves to learn at home. We don’t even need to think about this one – it would have been douze points all the way.
Performed By: Lesley Roy
Song: Story Of My Life
A break away from numerous ballads over the years, Ireland’s entry this year would have been the sugary pop tune Story Of My Life. Lesley Roy’s self-empowered pop bop yields some comparisons to an early Katy Perry and is catchy enough to have potentially done very well. Ireland own the trophy of most Eurovision wins in the competition’s history, but would this year’s entry have been enough to land Ireland their eighth win? Maybe not, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.
Performed by: Eden Alene
Song: Feker Libi
2018 winners Israel would have been in the running again this year with a strong contender from Eden Alene, Feker Libi. Mixing four languages, African drums, house beats and buckets of charisma, Eden delivers a track that’s fun, catchy and upbeat with an original sound to get listeners on the dancefloor.
Performed By: Diodato
Song: Fai Rumore
Diodato would have brought a traditional Italian number to the Eurovision this year, courtesy of Fai Rumore. Roughly translated as “Make Noise”, the track is about missing the sound of a past love and now finding an empty and painful silence. While it may be a bit of a downer on any party spirit, this one was likely to have performed well with the critics, with some pretty beautiful keys paired with the soaring vocals.
Performed By: Samanta Tīna
Song: Still Breathing
Latvia’s would-be entry this year features an electronic beat building up to EDM interlude. Starting off with the strong vocals of Samantha Tina, Still Breathing leads to a chaotic and harsh crescendo of noise. It doesn’t quite work, serving more as a distraction rather than that an addition.
Performed By: The Roop
Song: On Fire
Electronic-pop trio The Roop would have represented Lithuania with On Fire, an up-tempo track with an infectious beat and an incredibly catchy synth drop to make the dancefloor centre-stage. The stage production would have included lots of energetic choreography, some pretty bizarre dance moves and even some magnifying glasses for no particular reason – though as we all know, in Eurovision, anything goes.
Performed By: Destiny
Song: All Of My Love
Maltese singer Destiny packs a punch in the feel-good and self-empowering All Of My Love. At only 17, Destiny would have been one of the youngest contestants this year, though already has plenty of experience. This wouldn’t have been even her first Eurovision rodeo – she already won the Junior Eurovision for Malta in 2015, appeared as a backing singer in 2019, as well as appearing on Britain’s Got Talent and winning X Factor Malta this year. Even without the live show, for Destiny, the future’s still looking bright.
Performed By: Natalia Gordienko
Natalia Gordienko would have represented Moldova with Prison, a song about the conflicting emotions and being trapped in the confusion of wanting to escape or stay in a relationship. Natalia can’t quite make up her mind, and neither can we – but we reckon Moldova most likely wouldn’t have been the breakout star of this year’s contest.
Performed By: Vasil
North Macedonia’s contestant in Eurovision was set to be Vasil with pop song YOU. With some Eastern European influences, it’s an electro-pop bop building up to an electronic bridge, with some added salsa influences. Matching its dance-related lyrics, it fits in nicely to our Eurovision party playlist, but probably wouldn’t have set the scoreboard alight – however, you be the judge.
Performed By: Ulrikke
Come the live show, Ulrikke would have represented Norway with this power ballad, balancing the instrumentation of the piano, cello and violin – fast becoming a Norwegian Eurovision staple. Sang with flawless vocals, the lyrics cover being in a toxic relationship and sees Ulrikke constantly fighting to be noticed by her lover, losing herself along the way. It would have been one of the stronger contenders in the competition, and should certainly capture your attention.
Performed By: Alicja
Poland’s would-be entrant Alicja is just 17 and a former winner of the Polish edition of singing competition The Voice. It’s a dramatic ballad about the destruction of the world with the feeling of a Bond song. While it’s pretty powerful and Alicja has plenty of talent along with a unique tone to her voice, we can’t quite see Empires conquering Eurovision this year, had the live show taken place.
Performed By: Elisa
Song: Medo De Sentir
Elise would be representing Portugal this year, singing Medo De Sentir entirely in Portuguese. Translated as “Fear Of Feeling”, it’s a classy ballad underpinned by the piano as Elisa sings solo. While it sounds lovely to listen to, we have a feeling it may have been forgotten shortly after the performance.
Performed By: ROXEN
Song: Alcohol You
Romania’s entry for this year’s contest would have been a slow-paced ballad about calling a toxic lover when under the influence. A play on words (say it out loud), Roxen sings about ignoring the fake news and lamenting failing fairytales in this song of heartbreak.
Performed By: Little Big
Starting off honestly with the line “it’s going to take more than one margarita”, Russian group Little Big would have offered a punk-pop fuelled rave with their entry, UNO. Having racked up over 50 million views on YouTube already, UNO is a crazy attack on the senses featuring flares, questionable moustaches, and a signature knee swivel dance that you can try at home. Russia have taken every leaf out of the Eurovision playbook this year – it’s wacky, it’s bizarre, and it would have been (and still is) peak Eurovision.
Performed By: Senhit
Italian singer Senhit was gearing up to represent San Marino this year with disco song Freaky!. Adding a retro ’70s vibe to our Eurovision party, Senhit invites you to get your freak on to this fun and uptempo tune. Depending on its production on stage, this one could have surprised people to end up doing pretty well.
Performed By: Hurricane
Song: Hasta La Vista
Serbia would have sent fiery pop R&B trio Hurricane to represent them in 2020. Hasta La Vista is performed in Serbian and is a catchy and self-empowered song about saying “see you later” to a past lover and leaving them in the dust. It’s a confident and fierce performance packed with attitude, and may well have blown away the competition in this year’s Eurovision.
Performed By: Ana Soklič
Another country prepared to sing in their national language is Slovenia, so while we may not understand the Slovenian lyrics, it’s pretty clearly an emotional rollercoaster with some lovely instrumentation throughout. Voda – meaning “water” – throws some piano keys reminiscent of its namesake into the mix, however it’s likely to have been a drop in the ocean for Eurovision 2020.
Performed By: Blas Cantó
This one’s entirely in Spanish but has a pretty instant hook, so it’ll get your attention from the start. It’s radio-friendly and upbeat, inviting listens to sing along on the main chorus and brush up on Spanish at the same time. However, it may not be big enough to have made a mark in this year’s contest.
Performed By: The Mamas
Sweden would have continued their solid streak of sending pop perfection to Eurovision, thanks to Move by powerhouse trio The Mamas. This one has an instant feel-good crowd-pleaser with plenty of upbeat energy, hype and positive vibes, set to become a Eurovision anthem. We really would have tipped this one to place top of the leader-board.
Performed By: Gjon’s Tears
Swiss entry Repondez-moi – “Answer Me” in English – is a powerful ballad sung entirely in French, but the message is unmistakable. Gjon Muharrema, who performs under stage name Gjon’s Tears, pours emotion into each line and showcases impressive range with some falsetto high notes paired with a haunting melody. It’s the best of the ballads for us – you don’t need to understand the lyrics to this song to feel its message.
Performed By: Jeangu Macrooy
As the reigning champions of Eurovision, it was always going to be a tough act to follow for the Netherlands. This year’s Jeangu Macrooy would have offered a stripped back and almost acapella start, before slowly building up to the crescendo in the final minute. The soulful ballad would have risked losing viewers’ attention as it reaches the main crescendo so late in the game, so a double win would have been unlikely here.
Performed By: Go_A
Beginning with some funky flute music, this one’s performed entirely in Ukrainian by electro-folk group Go-A. We’re not quite sure what’s going on when some ethnic-style chanting begins shortly into the song – but such is the beauty of Eurovision. The flute intervals really boost this one and it does have a strong beat – you might even be tempted to join in the Solovey chant by the end.
Performed By: James Newman
Song: My Last Breath
This mid-tempo love song about offering a lifeline to a lover is laid back and easy to listen to with a stripped back production. It certainly has the potential to have placed much higher than last year’s disastrous final placing, however it may not have been strong enough to reach the upper tier.
Have your say and vote for your Eurovision 2020 right here.
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