I think this thread is the right place for my annual tradition of ranking all songs, while providing my brief opinion on each. Overall, with the exception of a few entries, I believe this year to be quite dull and safe. I've always wanted a more 'professional' Eurovision, but I was also hoping it was moving towards more experimental and diverse routes, rather than the many bland songs we got served this year. This is also the first year I dislike only four songs, which is not necessarily a good thing, because even dislike usually leads to some sort of emotional response. I hope next year will be a bit more refreshing. And with that said, here my top 43:
1. Gromee ft. Lukas Meijer - Light Me Up
Yes, an incredible save and radio-friendly song is my favourite this year. It is not particularly innovative or experimental, which were my main criticisms on this year. However, the entire vibe around this song puts me in such a good mood and lifts my spirit. It brings me back to the late 2000's, when dance music was still happy and emotional. I'm incredibly frustrated with contemporary dance-music because incredibly soulless and monotonous and never manages to make me feel dancing anymore. This song is nostalgic in a way that brings me back to my younger days, going to dance and pop-music at concerts. It might be my least strong #1 of all years, but it will keep a special place in my heart.
2. Claudi Pascoal ft. Isaura - O Jardim
I'm going to say it, this is better ...no... WAY better than Amar Pelos Dois. This song is far superior in building an atmosphere, even making you forget all your surroundings for a moment while listening. I honestly feel like I'm in that garden when I'm listening to the song. For people calling it a snoozefest of that 'it does not build to a climax', I say that these people need to listen to it from a different perspective. This song does not need to build to a climax, it is an experience that takes the listener away to a quiet and magical place for three minutes, at least it has done so for me.
3. Michael Schulte - You Let Me Walk Alone
This song ... really strikes a cord with me. I can see how some can see it as generic, but I belong to the other half of listeners that were totally gripped by the song from the first listen. I believe that anybody who has lost somebody dear to them, may it be a family member or a close friend, can relate to this song and can identify with it. My father is still alive, but it was very close or I would have lost him to a heart attack a couple of years ago. This song is not only to mourn those lost, but also to appreciate them when they are still here.
4. Madame Monsieur - Mercy
France's national selection was one of the strongest this year, and this song was one of my favourites from the very start. I still quite like although not as strongly as before, I guess the song does not have a long durability. However, it is still a moving and professional piece of music with a strong message, well done France!
5. Rasmussen - Higher Ground
Just a very good, Game of Thrones/Disney inspired piece of music. The entire package just seems to click, the singer, song and staging (although it needs to be a bit more epic in Portugal). Especially the chorus is just so good!
6. AWS - Viszlát Nyár
A Dahl is one of my favourite national selections every year. However, after listening to the boring 30 snippets I decided to give this year's rendition a pass. That was until I heard the live performance of AWS, a song who completely passed my by during the snippets. This is how a live-performance can bring a song to live! Although I do love rock, this type of music is not necessarily my genre, yet it's quality cannot be denied. I believe it will surprise everybody and will cruise to the final!
7. Eugent Bushpepa - Mall
I've been on a rollercoaster of emotions with this song. I was completely hyped when it won Festival I Kenges, already seeing very strong 'Eurovision versions' on youtube that made the song even greater by cutting down its run-time. However, I was devastated when I heard the actual stripped-down version of the song for Eurovision. Where was the power? the soul? the guitar?. Over time I started to accept and even appreciate the new version, only to starting loving it again after hearing Eugent's most resent live performances. That man can sing! I doubt it will make it to the final, but this song will stick with me, best Albanian entry in the last 10 years!
8. Ermal Meta & Fabrizio Moro - Non Mi Avate Fatto Niente
At first I did not think much of this song when heard first live, but after seeing the music video with the subtitles in different languages, everything started to click with me. Although only being able to read a few lines (mainly English and German) those lines where so incredibly strong, they gave every note of the song so much more weight. France and Italy perfectly illustrate the biggest issues of our time.
9. Eye Cue - Lost & Found
Now this is how you send in an experimental, yet professional song, absolute banger! Although first keeping it out of my top 10 or not being 'my type of music', Macedonia has once again, just like previous year, convinced me to love a song totally completely out of my music spectrum, and that can only be praised.
10. The Humand - Goodbye
Why does everybody hate this song so much? Yes it is a bit outdated, but it has so much emotion and builds really strong coupled with an incredibly strong voice. I will predict Romania will be in the final again this year.
11. Zibbs - Stones
By far the strongest entry of their national selection, this might be Switzerland's year to make it to the finals again. Although I was not convinced by the first live performance ,these seemed to have improved massively. It is a very strong song with a lot of attitude, but is also a risk, as you need to translate that attitude to the stage for the song to work.
12. Benjamin Ingrosso - Dance You Off
At first I wanted to put this under the 'Soulless song compensated by good production, handsome face and innovative staging' - category. It is becoming a bit of a meme that Sweden starts to send identical songs each year. I mean, try not to laugh at the similarities if you play Eric Saade, Robin Stjernberg, Mans Zelmerlow, Frans, Robin Bengtsson and Benjamin Ingrosso back to back. I already made the joke to send all of them next year as a 'Super-boy-band'. Yet this doesn't mean I dislike any of them (except Eric Saade). While trying to fight this song, it has finally caught up with me and I caught myself singing singing along with it on multiple occasions. Well done Sweden, you got me again...
13. Ieva Zasimauskaite - When We're Old While being very simple, this song is just so moving and cute, it's very hard not to like it. I even got old 'Nelly Furtado' vibes from her, I really enjoy this!
14. Ryan O'Shaughnessy - Together Of course I already knew Ryan from his 'Britain's got Talent' and I really liked his strong and though his song 'No Name' was incredibly moving. If you could come close to that, he would have been in my top 5. Although this song does not reach that level, it is still a competent piece of music with heart, which will be performed flawlessly on the night. Doubt it will be enough to advance to the final though. Oh Ireland, you're so incredibly underrated the past few years.
15. Saara Aalto - Monsters Yet, I've also jumped on the 'Saara Aalto' hype train. Although totally not my type of music, I think the song is very refreshing and Saara's attitude really brings it to live. I really hope they have a good staging though, or else this song might be in trouble of becoming the next 'Rockerfeller Street'.
16. Mikolas Josef - Lie to Me Again needing to emphasize that this is really not my type of music and I can even consider it to be a Jason Derulo wannabe. That said, the reason it is still so high on the list is totally on Mikolas. This is without doubt the most charismatic performer of this year, by far. The man has "Swag" pouring out his veins, I can't wait to see him live at Eurovision. P.S. I became a huge fan of his song 'Free', people really need to check that out!
17. EQUINOX - Bones
First off, I have massive respect for the way Bulgaria has been approaching the contest the past three years. That said, this song doesn't do anything or me as compared to last year or even the year before. It is a well composed and professional entry, but unlike previous years, this song feels empty. It is impossible for me to connect to the song, which is essential for me to really like it. Again, I respect the song to a huge degree, I just can't connect with it. It all just feels way to forced, planned and thought-out.
18. Elina Nevchayeva - La Forza You need to be born with no ears to deny that this is the best voice of this years contest. My jaw dropped the first time I heard this live and it was also very well-staged. However, that is where it ends for me, I can only admire Elina's fantastic voice, as the rest of the song does nothing for me. It's just another opera-song with a lot of high-notes to show off how well she can sing for the sake of showing off.
19. Jessica Mauboy - We Got Love I'm kind of getting tired of Australia in this contest, not because of the country, more or their bland inoffensive pop-songs. As far as inoffensive pop goes, the song is perfectly fine, nothing bad, but also nothing special to write home about. Australia is slowly turning into a poor man's Sweden, and we already got a country for that, it is called Azerbaijan.
20. Sennek - A Matter Of Time Again, the song is perfectly fine, but it seems to be lacking something. It just doesn't move me in ways other songs do. Still a solid entry though, I can hear it at a James Bond movie.
21. Eleni Foureira - Fuego Not my type of music and it feels a bit cliché, but I can still appreciate the quality behind it. I'm curious to hear and see the live performance in May.
22. Melovin - Under the Ladder There are some elements I really like about this song like the build and overall vibe of the song. Still something feels lacking, but more importantly, the strong accent just bothers me too much to fully enjoy the song.
23. Waylon - Outlaw In'Em Anybody that has read my past posts on this forum knows I'm not the biggest Waylon fan. Not as an artist, in particular not as a person. I correctly predicted this would be the song to represent us from the weird 'pre-selection' we had, as it is furthest removed from what the Common Linnets have send and Waylon wants to show he is definitely not part of them anymore. The song to me is fine, but feels disingenuous and unauthentic, forcing the American accent far too much. I hope next year we try something different from country or diva's with a good voice.
24. Aisel - I X My Heart Ah, the real poor man's Sweden sending another well-produced but outdated and boring pop-song. Despite my criticism, I still believe this song is underrated by the fandom. It's actually really catchy and has a lot of feel-good vibes. I just wished Azerbaijan would continue trying different things like last year, because they can do so much better.
25. Sevak Khanaghyan - Qami Mainly at this spot due to the voice in the live-performance, which is so much stronger than in the studio version. It needs a couple of listens to appreciate it, time this song does not have. However, it is Armenia, so a guaranteed place in the final is expected.
26. Alfred & Amaia - Tu Cancion I will repeat my initial criticism of this song to say everything, from the song, the performances and the way they were put together, feels disingenuous, like they are putting on an act. It just looks so extremely forced it made me cringe the first time I saw the live performance. That being said, hearing the studio version, there is something soothing and endearing about it. Too bad many Spanish Eurovision fans have hyped to song up to such an extend it can only disappoint. I predict another placement between 20-25.
27. ALEKSEEV - Forever One of the better songs coming from Belarus, which clearly has been stepping up its game past years in terms of quality. Unfortunately the studio version is much stronger, which is not well translated to the live version. However, the storm of hate ALEKSEEV got after his winning NF performance is in my opinion justified and I'm happy to see he is proving all this criticasters wrong in his most recent performances.
28. Cezár Simpson - Nobody But You It's good, but I face difficulties putting this any higher in my list. I think it's the fact that the songs builds to slow and the pay-off is not strong enough. It's a good entry and I love the gospel, but It's just not for me.
29. Iriao - For You What to say about this song, I cannot decide whether to put this in my top 10 or bottom 10! At first I hated it and thought it felt like a collection of random notes and noices. But the more often I hear it the more I can hear the beauty in. The song just makes so many unexpected twists and turns, some I love, other I hate. I can only appreciate this song for what it is, while also respecting Georgia for sending such a nice entry to showcase your countries culture, I wish this is more often done in the contest, rather than all bland pop-songs.
30. Julia Samoylova - I Won't Break Ugh, this song is better than her last year's entry, but only slightly so. It has some redeeming qualities about it, but it mainly feels like another self-empowering anthem nobody is waiting for.
31. Franka - Crazy This song for me is the same as Serbia last year, a decent entry, but completely forgettable, which is the last thing you want to be in this contest. The songs has no elements whatsoever that grab my attention or interest. When a song just exists without any merit, it is guaranteed that it is not going to do well.
32. Laura Rizzotto - Funny Girl I'm still angry over the results of this national final. To me, Latvia surprisingly had the strongest national Final with class acts like Madara and Sudden Lights, which ironically ended up 2nd and 3rd. And then to think they lost to this bland piece of music just baffles me. It is well sung and performed, but that's the only positive element I can mention.
33. Ari Olafsson - Our Choice Oh how the mighty have fallen. Even after this year, Iceland is still one of my favourite Eurovision countries of the past years. I know the Icelandic national selection was incredibly weak this year, but I could have convince myself to really like a couple of them, in particular 'Brosa'. But for the first time, I cannot force myself to like a song from Iceland, it's just too generic, cliché, bland in mediocre. Again, it's well sung, but the entire song just gives me vibes of a Christmas song sung by my local church choir. Sorry Iceland, I will root for you again next year.
34. Yianna Terzi - Oniro Mou Am I the only Eurovision that does not understand the popularity of Greece in this contest at all? It seems the country only has two options: 1) Sending an over-the-top pop-dive or 2) Doing some Greek stuff, because people eat that right up. Preferably both elements ought to be combined for optimal effect. The song is not even that bad, but it just feels so formulaic and doesn't bring anything new to the table, just like most Greek entries in my opinion.
35. Sanja Ilic & Balkanika - Nova Deca Oh Serbia sorry ... I forgot you were even entering. I can appreciate some elements of the song, especially the ethnic feeling surrounding it. However, it takes too long to build and feels like it doesn't go anywhere. It just feels like two song mashed together. Together with Croatia the most forgettable entry of this year.
36. Alexander Rybak - That's How You Write A Song I hate Rybak, just to make that perfectly clear. I already hated him when he won in 2009, I hated him when he was a sore loser when his song did not win the Belorussian national final in 2015 and I hate him when he makes a half-assed attempt to win the Norwegian pre-selection due to his build-in fanbase in 2018. Many entries could have better filled that spot than Alexander Rybak....oh well, at least he provides 3 minutes of entertainment.
37. SuRie - Storm Seriously United Kingdom, is there going to be one year you are going to take this contest seriously? You can't expect to send mediocrity to the contest and then act surprised and look for excuses when you perform poorly. It's the same problem with your national Football team all over again!
38. Jessika ft. Jenifer Brening - Who We Are All this efforts to put together a national final only to end up with a song with the same or lower quality than previous years. The rap-part is also completely unnecessary. Well, I guess its Ralph Siegel again next year...
39. Lea Sirk - Hvala, Ne! The staging is the only thing this song has going for it. Just image this song without the seizure-inducing lights, it would become so extremely awkward watcher her bop up and down singing Hvala, Ne...pauze....Hvala, NE....pauze.
40. Vanja Radovanovic - Inje Montenegro is trying the same 'balkan ballad' trick, but every year it seems to be far less that the year before. I loved 'Moj Svet' in 2014, I tolerated 'Adio' in 2015, but I really dislike 'Inje' in 2018. What can you say about this song? It's another balkan balled, that's it, the song has no other merit than being a balkan ballad, as if that would be enough to reach the final. Maybe it proves me wrong regardless.
41. Christabelle - Taboo Just like Slovania, the only redeeming quality of this entry has nothing to do with the song, which is an absolute cliché of a cliché. I appreciate the music video, staging and choreography, but it just feels like a distraction from the incredibly mediocre song and terrible lyrics....sticks and stones won't hurt my soul......please.
42. DoReDos - My Lucky Day After 'meme-ing' their way to a third place year, Moldova has found its niche of sending heavily outdated dance tracks. Why does it feel regardless that this country is 20 years behind on all current trends, just look at all their entries since 2015. It is outdated and not in a good way, it feels like a lesser version of 'We No Speak Americano'.
43. Netta - TOY Yes I did it, I put Isreal on my last place this year. Although my hate for this song has subsided a bit after my first listen, to me, this entry is still the worst of them all. It has all elements I hate in a Eurovision song, a stupid gimmicky trick (the loop), a overly forced political message (#metoo) and a loud obnoxious diva so all the Eurofans can scream: "Yas Queen, Slaayyyyy". The chicken noises are annoying, the loop is annoying, this song is annoying. I can understand why other people like it and over the last weeks even started to understand how it can be a favorite to win, but to me, this song is absolutely terrible.
Grand Final This has nothing to do with predictions though. And I will never vote for Portugal, cause I don't want them to host Eurovision next year cause that's not good for their broadcaster. Though there are big changes at the top. Portugal was always a top ten member, but France and Slovenia were just somewhere around 15th fighting with Cyprus and Israel. Bulgaria went down a lot. And Norway is at the last place(which will never happen I know.)
- I am supporting the emotional songs tonight
- My home country is among my big faves.. a very weird feeling for me
- Baltic States did a good job this time (Lithuania and Estonia).Lithuania used to be one of my least favorite countries of ESC
- Big 5 finally delivered this time .. 4 of them in my Top 8 Thought never this would ever happen. And about UK... at least it's not crappy!
- The Scandinavian songs - apart of Denmark - are disappointing this time. Well, Sweden gives us exactly what we expected of them but Norway and Finland proved in the last couple of years that they can do better!
- The both top favorites Israel and Cyprus are in the bottom five of my ranking then again, the dark horses are on in the top, so the results can turn great for me after all.
One short comment on each finalist in the actual running order:
Mediocre song for me. But sometimes more fire gets you more points, at least enough for passing the semifinal.
Back to the seventies with a ballad that couldn't be more cheesy. I like ballads, but this is just too much.
For me this is fun to listen to. The staging and dancing is creative and elevates the song. And Lea is such a nice person.
Only entry of the semifinals when I had actually tears in my eyes. Very emotional and touching.
That really grew on me over the last two weeks. One of the most catchy songs.
Best voice of the whole contest and a fancy dress, but that's about it. Belongs in an opera house, not so much in the ESC.
Wouldn't even be in the final if an unknown artist would sing this childish song.
For me the second best entry Portugal has ever sent. Beautiful melody, sung with believable emotion. Great!
Catchy song, appropriate staging. But sounds to me like I've heard similar songs many times. Does not stand out enough.
One of my biggest growers, was happy they made it to the final. Best balkan entry this year.
Decent song which touches emotions in many people, but the current "betting odds hype" is unrealistic. A place between 15 and 20 would already be a huge improvement over the last five years for Germany.
The singer has a good voice but the song is not catchy in my ears. I am neutral on this one.
Beautiful song with a deep, important meaning. Strongest message in the whole contest. This will touch people who build their lives upon humanity and compassion.
Young girls will vote for this: Who cares what he sings if he's so cute and dances so sexily?
The stage presentation works as a package and the song is quite catchy. Deserved finalists.
Cheap, generic, boring pop song which we've heard thousands of times before. But people seem to hype this country no matter what they send.
One of the most catchy songs, powerful and creative stage presentation. Deserved to be in the final.
I like it when a song dares to be a little dark and not "eternal sunshine and happiness". And the stage presentation has the matching atmosphere, very good entry.
No other country is so professional when it's about distracting the audience from the song with the stage presentation. And it works quite as fine as last year. Not my cup of tea, though.
And Sweden is showing its middle finger to Europe again: We can send whatever we want and you will still vote us in the top 5. It's almost like some kind of mass hypnosis. It's Sweden? Let's vote for it!
I prefer singing over screaming. This is the only entry of all 43 which actually evokes feelings of disgust and repulsion in me.
This really stands out, it's creative and powerful. One of my biggest growers, actually I would be fine with Israel winning.
It's not really bad but not good either, so I am neutral on this one. Liked "Calm before the storm" from 2014 much much more.
I am still angry that this boring song takes away a final spot from more deserved entries. The connection to the gay community might be their biggest hope for getting points.
They play the "sexy dance" card and it seems to work. Although the song is not that bad, I don't like the method of making people vote for it.
I really hope that many people get the important meaning of the song lyrics and that the entry gets the appreciation it deserves.
Any feedback is welcome. I know that I deviate from the mainstream opinion on several entries.
Equinox - Bones
Michael Schulte - You Let Me Walk Alone
Cesár Sampson - Nobody but You
Waylon - Outlaw in 'Em
Rasmussen - Higher Ground
Ryan O'Shaughnessy - Together
Eleni Foureira - Fuego
Alexander Rybak - That's How You Write a Song
ZiBBZ - Stones
Sennek - A Matter of Time
11 Netta - Toy
12 Elina Nechayeva - La forza
13 Mikolas Josef - Lie to Me
14 Benjamin Ingrosso - Dance You Off
15 Eugent Bushpepa - Mall
16 Amaia & Alfred - Tu canción
17 Ermal Meta & Fabrizio Moro - Non mi avete fatto niente
18 MÉLOVIN - Under the Ladder
19 Iriao - Sheni gulistvis
20 Madame Monsieur - Mercy
21 AWS - Viszlát nyár
22 DoReDoS - My Lucky Day
23 Eye Cue - Lost and Found
24 Ieva Zasimauskaitė - When We're Old
25 Cláudia Pascoal - O jardim
26 Aisel - X My Heart
27 Vanja Radovanović - Inje
28 Jessica Mauboy - We Got Love
29 Alekseev - Forever
30 SuRie - Storm
31 Sevak Khanagyan - Qami
32 The Humans - Goodbye
33 Laura Rizzotto - Funny Girl
34 Sanja Ilić & Balkanika - Nova Deca
35 Lea Sirk - Hvala, ne!
36 Franka - Crazy
37 Christabelle - Taboo
38 Saara Aalto - Monsters
39 Ari Ólafsson - Our Choice
40 Yianna Terzi - Oniro Mou
41 Gromee feat. Lukas Meijer - Light Me Up
42 Jessika feat. Jenifer Brening - Who We Are
43 Julia Samoylova - I Won't Break
Here's my full ranking of this 2018 edition thanks to Gerbear's tool. Some changes might occur in the following months, but I don't think it'll be significant enough to be noteworthy. Contrary to most people, I think this was a very weak year musically. I had trouble making my top ten since I only love three songs and like a handful of others. Hopefully next year will be better because there were too many "okay" songs that weren't doing much to me in Lisbon.