Before the article, a disclaimer – the below editorial is tongue-in-cheek and written from the personal opinion of the author, and does not necessarily represent the views of ESC United as an outlet, its contributors or anyone associated with Eurovision.
As we wind down the calendar year and prepare for the release of ESC Radio’s ESC 250 list, I’ve been thinking a lot about what my personal 250 list would look like. Despite only being a fan for 5 years, I’ve listened to nearly all of the Eurovision entries at least once, currently work on a podcast where we review past contests and current happenings, and of course work for ESCUnited. All this to say, I’ve done a lot of my homework on the 1,500+ songs that make up the Eurovision playbook. Every few days I will release a new chunk on my list, leading up to the grand reveal of ESC Radio’s ESC 250 on December 31st, 2019.
So enough talking, let’s dive back in shall we?
#129 – Roberto Bellarosa – Love Kills (Belgium, 2013)
This song was a lifeline for Belgium after a string of 2 strange entries and then the one that directly followed it. Everything about this song screams modern and perfect, from the melody, track, staging, and the breakdown section that I really don’t mind too much. It’s a sad thing that Robert’s career didn’t really take off, because he’s such a talented singer.
#128 – Sopho – Visionary Dream (Georgia, 2007)
Ah, what a debut this song was! From a wonderful track, Sopho’s vocal power, and Georgian warrior dancers, this song had everything a late 2000’s entry needed to stand out. Now whenever I hear this song I jump right back to what happened on this stage and it’s one of few Georgian songs that I listen to often.
#127 – Nina Kraljić – Lighthouse (Croatia, 2016)
A really great, radio friendly song that was soiled by a wacky and lazy staging, something that would not fly in such a stacked year. Despite that issue, this song is among my favorite Croatian songs in the history of the contest, and my guilty pleasure of 2016. So much so that I would scream this in the car on my way home from College. Maybe they were going for lighthouse vibes by making her as shiny as possible? We may never know.
#126 – Edurne – Amanecer (Spain, 2015)
From one guilty please to another, it’s time for Spain 2015! This song had everything AND the kitchen sink thrown into the live performance, from a costume change, dance break, LED image control, and even lighting control towards the end. Unfortunately this will go down as a massive disappointment for the Spanish track record. Still an amazing track regardless!
#125 – Norma John – Blackbird (Finland, 2017)
“Blackbird” was one of the most disappointing non-qualifications of 2017, and the best song to be left in the semi-finals (and yes, I mean that over the fan wank that was Verona). This is a song that is haunting and was so different from the standard Eurovision formula, it had soul, power, beauty, and darkness. Darkness being the key word here, because we often only receive happy happy joy joy songs at the contest, even when those topics are about heartbreak. But here is a testament that life isn’t always happy, and that’s okay.
#124 – Mørland and Debrah Scarlett – A Monster Like Me (Norway, 2015)
You know, to this day I still don’t understand the craze around this song. Sure, it’s interesting and their voices are wonderful, but overall it feels like it’s missing something and I can never put my finger on it. That aside, the studio version of this song is excellent and makes up for this weird missing factor. Great song, but not enough to move higher up.
#123 – Chingiz – Truth (Azerbaijan, 2019)
Make way, the perfect man is coming through! This song was such a triumphant return from a non-qualification the year prior, and it also possesses a strong Azerbaijani sound. The bridge section where he goes into the yell (for lack of a better description) gives me goosebumps. My only issue with this song is that the voice doubling they did live was weird and caused a few sync issues.
#122 – Juliana Pasha – It’s All About You (Albania, 2010)
Talk about an outlier to the Albanian Eurovision formula. This song is such an amazing entry and it’s so easy for modern disco songs to lean into kitschy and cliche. This song, however found the perfect balance. Also, if you’ve never heard the original version of this song from Festivali i Kenges….I implore you to listen to it. You’ll have a much better appreciation for this once you do.
#121 – Knez – Adio (Montenegro, 2015)
The king of spinning himself, Knez is our next artist on my 250 list. This was such a wonderful entry for Montenegro, which is reflected in the fact that it’s the best placement for this country ever. They did something right in this internal selection, and if they ever do return they should revisit this plan and try to replicate it…and not send under-developed songs from Montevizija.
#120 – Marco Mengoni – L’Essenziale (Italy, 2013)
Such an elegant and simplistic entry from a country that tends to ignore the “take someone off before you hit the stage” rule. Yes, this song creates an intimate connection between you and Marco’s eyes, but this was a wonderful outlier for Italian music in the 2010 decade. They didn’t even need a Gorilla on stage to get them to 7th place!
#119 – Monica Aspelund – Lapponia (Finland, 1977)
And now for something completely different! This song is a secret gem that a lot of Eurovision fans forget about, and it’s such a fun listen. It’s got many different pieces to it, from the ballad-like verses, the impactful chorus, and then her screech in the bridge. Whenever I hear this song I magically become a timpani player and it’s a wonderful experience for all involved.
#118 – Luca Hänni – She Got Me (Switzerland, 2019)
The 2019 Fan Wank is next on our list, and we all know that’s what this song is and was. I don’t mind it by any means, but it’s just another heavy dance track at Eurovision by a hot guy with vocal talent. This is a meh song for me outside of 2019, but I’d be a fool not to put it on the list.
#117 – Yohanna – Is It True? (Iceland, 2009)
It’s strange to think that this was the one year where Iceland managed to make top 3, and it was exactly 10 years after their first 2nd place in 1999. Sadly that same luck did not apply to the 2019 contest. This song is okay overall, nothing super special outside of the 2009 contest but I just love Yohanna’s voice too much to leave her off the list. Sadly I can’t put her much higher.
#116 – Séverine – Un Banc, Un Arbr, Une Rue (Monaco, 1971)
Hey remember that time when Monaco won the contest in a year full of really odd entries and then was unable to get their stuff together to host the next edition of the contest? Boy, I do! This song was such an amazing entry though, and boy she sang her heart out on that night. If you’ve never listened to this before, I emplore you to do it now. Go on, I’ll wait.
#115 – Miki – La Venda (Spain, 2019)
Eurovision 2019 Fan Wank part 2, the reggaeton remix. This staging was hella confusing and the post OT revamp really sucked some of the fun out of the song. That aside, this is still one of the best songs that Spain has sent in the last 3 years. If you just play the studio version of the song, it’s so much better than it ended up being live.
Well that’s it for this installment of the Eurovision 250 list. Tune back in tomorrow as I reveal songs #100-114 on my list!
What do #YOU think of my picks? Is there something you disagree with? Let us know in the comments, social media, or our forum!