Inspired by the wonderful people over at Wiwibloggs, here is a list of singers and bands I’d like to see representing their countries (adopted or otherwise) at Eurovision, either next year or in the future. I’m even adding countries that are still missing in action for reasons unknown to me and other people.
Anyway, see what you think.
PS: Apologies if this is a bit lengthy. I can’t be bothered splitting it into several posts. Sorry.
ALBANIA: Rita Ora or Bebe Rexha
Albania’s entries have all been a bit questionable over the years so here’s an idea for them: we can let them borrow our multi-award winning artist Rita Ora to sing for them, as she’s part Albanian/Kosovan. Plus, she sort of has Eurovision experience anyway, having applied for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Your Country Needs You show back in 2009 but pulled out of the show later on. As for Bebe Rexha, she featured on Cash Cash’s hit single Take Me Home, and is another artist with international success. Either of them would get Albania back up there.
ANDORRA: Nick Gain
He’s probably the only artist I know from Andorra, having performed with Anonymous in the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest and, should they decide to come back, he would be my choice on the basis that he no longer does punk rock and has some nice electro rock songs in his back catalogue instead. And that’s cool with me.
ARMENIA: Capital Cities
In the past, duos have often performed well at Eurovision and Capital Cities, one of whom is from Armenia, are far better than the last two representatives the Armenians dished up for us. Their song Safe And Sound is still one of my favourite songs and never fails to cheer me up when I’m feeling a bit down.
AUSTRIA: Nik P
Having spent thirteen weeks at number one in both Austria and Germany with a duet featuring king of kitsch DJ Ötzi, he’s no stranger to cheesy songs, which is just what Eurovision is all about. I’m pretty sure he’s even released some songs that feature the obligatory key change so Nik P would be my perfect choice to represent Austria on home soil next year.
Purely on the basis that Emin is the only Azeri artist (besides those that have already performed at Eurovision) that I’ve actually heard of. And even then it’s because a) he performed in the interval of the 2012 final and b) he recorded a decent cover version of David Sneddon’s Baby Get Higher. He would probably do better than Dilara from this year did as well.
I might not understand a word of Belarusian but, with a mash-up of dance music, kitsch and bubblegum pop, this type of music is perfect for the Eurovision stage. Not that they’d listen to me, however. They tend to change their song and/or artist more times than I change my underwear. Pity.
OK, I’m going to say it, I wasn’t keen on Somebody That I Used To Know but some of his other stuff is alright. I’m sure there are plenty of other perfectly good Belgian singers and bands but I’m going with Gotye because he’s basically the only one I could think of. And, before you say ‘he can’t represent Belgium because he’s an Aussie’, he was born in Bruges. Besides, it hasn’t stopped the likes of the UK, Norway, Sweden, Greece and Switzerland having someone from other countries representing them in the past has it?
BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA: Alen Islamović
Since the Bosnians have decided to return next year, they should send something with a rocky edge to it, rather than a sad ballad. And, having just discovered Alen Islamović through YouTube to search for good Bosnian artists (because I’d not heard of any other than their previous Eurovision entrants), they should go for him. As most people I know would tell you, I love a good rock song and he would be a perfect option for me. But, hey, what do I know?
BULGARIA: Teodora Rumenova Andreeva (Andrea)
Bulgaria decided not to come back next year but, should they decide to eventually return in 2016 and want to send a sexy female with a very Balkan-sounding sound in her song, they should go for this girl. She has it all, so skip the drums and the rubbish duets, and get back to having singers strutting their stuff on stage. No wonder they’ve been failing badly!
CROATIA: Lana Jurčević
For the past two years, Croatia have opted out of performing at Eurovision, and have decided against returning next year. However, should they decide to return in 2016, they should send this lady and go back to the dancy-pop option, rather than sending a classical-crossover band. She sounds a bit like Croatia’s answer to both Miley Cyrus and Cascada put together, although I don’t see her gyrating around starkers on a massive metal ball (though, in one of her videos, she is starkers in a swimming pool) or walking down steps that resemble a Dalek. What I do see is talent and that’s good enough for me.
CYPRUS: Marios Tofi
Marios is no stranger to the Eurovision Song Contest, having performed in the junior version in 2004 and tried to represent Cyprus again in the adult version in 2006, just losing out in the Cypriot national final. His cover of Hero is one of the best versions I’ve heard and they should choose him internally next year.
CZECH REPUBLIC: Ewa Farna or Adam Mišík
Unfortunately for the Czechs, they never seemed to come anywhere at Eurovision and after their ill-fated ‘nul points’ in the semi-finals in 2009, they haven’t been back since. If they do decide to come back one day, Ewa Farna would be a good choice for them. I love her song Ticho, despite not understanding a word of it, and she’s recorded albums in other languages, which would probably help them get a few points at least. As for Adam Mišík, this young chap is like Ed Sheeran’s rockier Czech cousin. He’s ginger and he’s got talent. The only thing missing is the guitar.
Ah yes, the bubbly and friendly Alphabeat. Stine’s currently gone and released solo stuff, which I love, but the band should get back together as a six-piece and perform on the Eurovision stage. They would, however, have to go through DMGP first but, with international success already under their belts, that wouldn’t be a problem. And they can sing live as well! What’s not to like?
ESTONIA: Sandra Nurmsalu
As part of Urban Symphony, whose song I loved during the 2009 contest, this young artist already has Eurovision experience. Now she’s gone solo and her music still sounds good so it’d definitely stand out on the Eurovision stage. Let’s hope Estonia see sense next year.
FAROE ISLANDS: Týr
Unfortunately, the Faroe Islands have never entered Eurovision, and I think anyone from the Faroes who wants to sing on the big stage has to try to do it for neighbouring Denmark but, if they ever did, I’d want a bit of Viking metal there. Well, if it was good enough for Lordi…
FINLAND: The Rasmus or Sturm Und Drang
Last time Finland won the whole shebang, they sent a band full of men wearing weird costumes singing a heavy rock song. OK, so both these bands may sound a bit like Green Day’s long lost Finnish rock cousins and I love a bit of a rock, so who cares?
FRANCE: Eve Angeli
I first discovered Eve Angeli through my love of A1 years ago and, since then, she’s become one of my favourite French singers. France haven’t had much luck in recent years but, with the right song, they’ll be sure to take the title back to Paris before they know it and I think Eve could do well for the French. They just have to find the right song first.
FYR MACEDONIA: Bobby Andonov
An Australian guy with Macedonian heritage who sounds a little bit like John Legend, Bobby’s vocals are very soulful-sounding and rather soothing. And it isn’t dull and boring like most other dull and boring Eurovision ballads of years gone by. Plus, he’d bring a little piece of Australia to the Eurovision stage, which would please the millions of Aussies who love the show.
GEORGIA: Katie Melua or Toseland
Georgia need to quit with the hippy acts and get back with the times. Our very own Katie Melua was born in Georgia, and she can sing, so we could lend her to them just for Eurovision. Or maybe her other half, ex-Moto GP rider James Toseland, and his rock band could give it a go for them? They’d soon shoot back up that table!
GERMANY: Wir sind Helden
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a bit of a rock chick, and Germany have tried every other genre in recent times but failed at the last hurdle. I’m not sure they’ve ever sent a rock song though. WSH could change that. Their vocals are spot on, they have enough energy to remain long in your memory even after their performance is over, and I’m sure they’d dominate the Eurovision score board, just like the Germans dominated this year’s World Cup.
Gibraltar have finally gained UEFA status in the footballing world, so surely it’s only a matter of time before they get EBU status to join Eurovision? If and when they finally get there, might I suggest they send Jetstream? I’ve just discovered them and they sound brilliant!
GREECE: Mario Frangoulis or Nikki Ponte
Greece have had a mixed run of fortunes in recent times. They need someone with a bit of charm and charisma to liven things up a bit. Well, Mario Frangoulis has just that and, whilst I know classical crossover doesn’t always work at Eurovision he, like so many others I’ve mentioned before him, has fans from all over the world and would show Europe just what it’s missing: a guy with big voice singing his heart out with a good classical song. Just give him a microphone and he’ll do the rest. As for Nikki Ponte, she seems like a lovely girl with good looks and bags of charm. Either of them will suffice for me.
HUNGARY: The Moog
Hungary have sent some decent songs over the years and, if they want to continue that trend, they should send The Moog. Their most recent song, Unbound, has a very distinctive 80’s sound and I’m sure a lot of people would like this. They also have an impressive back catalogue and the lads themselves aren’t bad looking either. What’s not to like?
ICELAND: Of Monsters And Men
Iceland usually send nice songs to Eurovision. This year, however, they sent a pop group wearing dodgy brightly-coloured tracksuits and a dodgy song, which I still don’t like even now. They should scrap that altogether and go for the indie rock option. Of Monsters And Men are a relatively new group but they’ve already had international success with their stormer of a song, Little Talks, so I reckon they’ve got what it takes. Indie rock bands from the Nordic countries have done well at Eurovision in the past (Denmark came fifth in 2011 and Finland came eleventh this year) so why not let this lot have a go?
IRELAND: The Script or Imelda May
Ah yes, Ireland. They’ve won the Eurovision Song Contest a record seven times but have failed in most recent years. With the likes of Jedward, Dustin the Turkey and dodgy Celtic songs being entered for the Emerald Isle, it’s not hard to see why. It’s time to bin the drums and the puppets and focus on what they’re really good at: delivering a brilliant rock song. That’s where The Script come in. They’re brilliant live and they’ve charted all over Europe, so they already have a European fan-base. Which, of course, usually helps. As for Imelda May, I like her and we need a bit of rockability at Eurovision. Well, as long as it’s not some rubbish fat Belgian bloke in a shiny gold suit trying to belt out a tune, that is. That song was crap!
ISRAEL: Rosi Golan
If Israel want to get into the finals again, having failed on the last three occasions, they should probably do what the Dutch did two years ago and send someone relatively well-known. Rosi Golan is just that and her music and voice are amazing. It would almost certainly breathe a breath of fresh air into Israel’s poor Eurovision form.
Another performer with massive success in Europe is Nek. He performs songs in both Spanish and his native Italian, just like Marco Mengoni before him and, like Marco, his good looks wouldn’t go amiss on the Eurovision stage. His songs Instabile and La Vita É are two of my favourites but I do like most of his others as well. I’m sure he’d do well.
KOSOVO: Nevena Božović
Kosovo are yet another country to make their first appearance at Eurovision but if and when they do, they could send this young lady as a soloist. As part of Moje 3, she represented Serbia at last year’s Eurovision Song Contest but they failed to make the final. She’s also part Kosovan so she should be eligible to sing for them should they ever decide to take part.
LATVIA: Lauris Reiniks
Another country with poor form of late is Latvia. They need to stop raiding the costume hamper and baking cakes and get back to what they’re good at: singing. And maybe try a male soloist for a change? Lauris has experience of Eurovision, having been part of FLY in 2003, so maybe they could send him again as a solo artist? Just a thought…
Lebanon had entered Eurovision a few years ago but, for reasons unknown to the rest of us, pulled out before the contest. Should they come back, they should go for Beirut-born Mika. I could put him under France too, since he can speak French fluently, and has released a couple of French-language songs recently, plus he’s also been a judge on France’s answer to The Voice, so him representing either Lebanon or France would do me nicely.
LIECHTENSTEIN: Al Walser
Liechtenstein are another country who have yet to show their faces on the Eurovision stage but DJ and musician Al Walser may be a good bet for them in future. He was once a member of Fun Factory in Germany (anyone remember them?) and one of his singles was once nominated for a Grammy award. Dance songs have a somewhat mixed reputation at Eurovision but I’m sure if Liechtenstein ever do come to Europe’s favourite TV show and choose wisely, they’ll do well.
Oh look, Lithuania, a female singer that doesn’t need to shout to get her message across! This young lady’s music sounds like it has a mix of P!nk and The Saturdays influences. She’s also got the looks and, should Lithuania listen to me and do the right thing by sending GJan to Eurovision next year, they’ll be sure to get back into the final.
LUXEMBOURG: Deborah Schneider
If Luxembourg ever decide to finally return to Eurovision, they should send young artist Deborah Schneider to wherever it may be. She may not the prettiest girl but she does have a nice voice, so that’s good enough for me.
MALTA: Kevin Borg
Poor little Malta. They want to win it so much and have come close a few times but usually pick the wrong song and it flops badly on the big night. If Europe’s favourite tiny island wants to take that great glass microphone back to Valletta, the Maltese need to choose someone that’s already established a career in other European countries. Step forward Kevin Borg. He won Swedish Idol a few years ago and entered Malta’s Song For Europe in 2013, where he came second to Gianluca Bezzina, who went on to finish eighth in Malmö. Sadly, he isn’t in the list of potential candidates this year, but maybe in 2016 he can enter MSFE again and, hopefully, win it.
(EDIT: I would have put Sharleen Spiteri here as well but I think you have to be 100% Maltese to compete at their national final. Sharleen’s a Scot with Maltese heritage. Shame.)
MOLDOVA: Radu Sîrbu
Formerly a member of O-Zone, he’s also no stranger to cheesy Europop (remember Dragostea Din Tei?) and it would be a refreshing change to not hear shouty music or see random ladies ripping their hair out on stage for no apparent reason. He’s no Epic Sax Guy but he does have the Balkan trumpet in at least one of his songs so that’s good enough for me.
MONACO: Piny Fox
Monaco once won Eurovision back in the 70’s but, having nowhere to host it, Edinburgh hosted it the following year. Following lack of success since then, they decided not to come back in 2007 and every year since then. They won’t be back in 2015 either but, if by some miracle they decide to once again enter Eurovision in 2016, they should send Piny Fox. Like Cascada, Loreen and Hera Björk before her, she’s a dance music specialist and her song Snow White is instantly likeable.
MONTENEGRO: Milena Vučić
Montenegro reached the final for the first time ever this year with a beautiful song sung by Nick Pickard’s long lost Montenegrin brother. If they want to continue that success, might I suggest they try something with a rockier edge to it? Milena is just that: a rock chick with a number of songs that, despite being sung in her native language, sound amazing. And, what’s more, she’s got the looks too.
MOROCCO: Samira Said
Morocco’s only entry came in the 1980 Eurovision Song Contest but a poor showing in the final meant that they never returned. Samira Said might change all that one day. She has some nice enough songs in her collection and, whilst I can’t understand a word of Arabic, her songs sound like they’d be perfect for the Eurovision stage.
Like the French, poor Norway haven’t had much luck at Eurovision in recent years. They won it in 2009 with the brilliant Fairytale and finished in the top ten in 2013 and 2014. One band who can keep up this success are A1. Or, at the very least, just Christian Ingebrigtsen on his own. Despite two members of the band being non-Norwegian, they came close to winning NMGP and representing Norway on home soil in 2010 but lost out to Didrik Solli-Tangen. They can also play their own instruments and write their own songs. And they can still sing in key. That’s what we need at Eurovision.
POLAND: Christina Perri
Technically, I could put her under Poland or Italy, since she’s both part Polish and part Italian, but Poland need a decent singer after the horror they sent this year. And Christina Perri is definitely that. With hits such as Jar Of Hearts and A Thousand Years under her belt, it’s not hard to see why she’s currently one of the best singers out there at the moment and, right now, the Poles definitely need someone like her right now to take them back to the top.
PORTUGAL: Michel Teló
He’s already achieved global success with Ai Se Eu Te Pego (If I Catch You) so do you think the Brazilians will let Europe borrow one of their biggest stars to sing for Portugal at Eurovision? Most of them speak Portuguese anyway so it wouldn’t be a problem. Plus it’d be better than some of the stuff Portugal have spawned in recent years and would probably push them further up the table for once.
ROMANIA: Alexandra Stan
Another artist who has had chart success both internationally and in her home country is Alexandra Stan. Her song, Mr. Saxobeat, is still one of my favourites to this day and, with her good looks and natural charm, I’m sure she’d storm the Eurovision stage and make Romania a successful country once again.
I’ll admit I know two things about Russian music: nothing and bugger all. I know the classical stuff but absolutely nothing about the modern-day era. Not really. One band I have discovered recently is Serebro. Their music is just about perfect for Eurovision (bad cheese and bubblegum pop) so that might work. As a country, however, they can still get lost.
SAN MARINO: Antonio Maggio
Contrary to popular belief, there are more singers from San Marino that aren’t called Valentina Monetta and I really don’t want to see her again in 2015. No offence to the poor girl, but they should send someone else. And now it’s time for them to send a male soloist. Antonio Maggio is actually Italian but San Marino is only tiny so maybe they could borrow him to sing in Vienna next year. Or, at the very least, someone else that isn’t Valentina.
Serbia have sent some decent songs over the years but, two years ago, they failed to get to the final so they decided to pull out of this year’s contest. They’re back next year so might I suggest they try going for the dance song option? It’s a genre they’ve never tried before and Serbia’s own Zile seems like a good bet. I’m sure, with the right song, they’ll be back in the final where they belong.
SLOVAKIA: Peter Bič Project
The Peter Bič Project are no strangers to viewers from the UK, as their song Hey Now was featured in an advert for Škoda, but they have other good songs as well so, should Slovakia decide to return to Eurovision in 2016, they know what to do.
SLOVENIA: Tina Maze
Fans of skiing may recognise this young lady. She’s very multi-talented and, with her skiing fan-base behind her, she’s sure to get points from all over Europe. She’s only released one song thus far but it was still a good one nonetheless.
SPAIN: Enrique Iglesias
Comparing Spain’s Eurovision career could be compared to a yo-yo. One year, they bounce up. The next, they come crashing down back down with a massive bump. Well, it’s time to break all that. With a very big international fanbase and some absolutely belting tunes, I believe Spain would do well with a big number sung by this guy. He’s also performed to big audiences all over the world, so performing at Eurovision would be a piece of piss. Plus, of course, he’s also good looking. Need I say more?
SWEDEN: The Royal Concept or Alcazar
The Royal Concept are sort-of Sweden’s answer to The Script. They can sing, they can play their own instruments, they have international success and they achieved fame in the UK when their song On Our Way was played over here as well on both Radio 1 and Radio 2. Their album isn’t too bad either. If, however, Sweden want to go for the cheesy pop option, they should send Alcazar. They fit the ‘schlager’ tag perfectly and tend to go for the key changes in almost all their songs. They’d be perfect for Eurovision and it’s been a while since we saw a band representing Sweden. It’s about time they sent one again.
SWITZERLAND: Dania Giò
Fans of British band Ivyrise may recognise this young lady, having duetted with them on their song Line Up The Stars, and she sings in many different languages, which may help them in the semis. Plus, Switzerland haven’t had a solo female singer singing for them for a while. It would be a nice change.
THE NETHERLANDS: Caro Emerald or Within Temptation
There was a time when the land of all things orange failed to qualify for the final but successes over the past two years has changed that. They have high expectations to live up to these days. But besides Anouk and Ilse DeLange, what other musical delights to the Dutchies have to offer? Why, none other than Caro Emerald and Within Temptation! Jazz and Gothic rock songs have usually performed well at Eurovision (remember Italy in 2011 and Finland in 2006?) and I think either of them would cut the mustard on the Eurovision stage. And, what’s more, they’re also well-known all over Europe. So come on, Holland, choose wisely. Choose Caro Emerald or Within Temptation internally and I shall DEFINITELY vote for you next year!
TURKEY: Aynur Aydin
Turkey have gone off in a bit of a sulk in recent times and refused to come back next year but, should they decide to return in 2016, they should pick German-born Aynur Aydin internally. She’s probably the best singer they have right now.
Ukraine have decided not to enter Eurovision next year, citing financial difficulties as the reason but, if they decide to come back in 2016, maybe they could line up Kamaliya? Female singers tend to do well for them in the contest so, to continue that trend, they should go for this lady. And, maybe, get some use of the obligatory wind machine (previously used by very careful Swedes) in the process. That would be nice.
UNITED KINGDOM: Joe McElderry or Ella Henderson
Oh dear, United Kingdom. What are we going to do with you? We used to be so good at Eurovision but, since our infamous ‘nul points’ in 2003, we’ve only really had two good years of actually finishing on the left-hand side of the scoreboard (2009 and 2011). We’ve tried internal selections since 2011 and only really had success the first year we tried it. We need a change. Keep the BBC Introducing platform by all means but let US do the choosing again. My personal choices, however, would be Joe McElderry or Ella Henderson. Or maybe even a McElderry-Henderson duet? They may not have come via BBC Introducing, but both have been on The X Factor, plus Joe has experience of Austria, having won Channel 4’s The Jump in Innsbruck earlier this year. They’ve also got masses of charm and charisma, which I’m sure the European audience would love. Come on, Auntie Beeb, be nice to us!
VATICAN CITY: Cristina Scuccia
The nun who won Italy’s version of The Voice should maybe enter Eurovision for the Vatican. Yes, believe it or not, even Europe’s tiniest city has EBU status, though they’ve still yet to enter Eurovision. And, if it’s good enough for Malta to have a group of nuns vying to sing in Vienna next year, it’s good enough for the Vatican!