Many countries elect to utilize a national final to determine which artist(s) and which song will represent them at the Eurovision Song Contest. However, like so many things with Eurovision, you never know what’s going to happen, and in some cases, the song that is originally chosen can change.
This is the second of two articles that will explore songs that were selected for the Eurovision Song Contest, but ultimately replaced or never performed. In the first article, I discussed songs from 2009-2012. In this article, I discuss seven songs from 1999, 2002, 2005, and 2006.
I also want to thank readers for the great comments that shed more light on the controversies that led to the disqualifications and rejections. I encourage everyone to please feel free to share their knowledge, opinions, and thoughts. I really love hearing from you all!
Virginie Pouchain – “Vous, C’est nous” (France)
Virginie Pouchain represented France at the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest after winning the National Final with “Vous, c’est nous” (“You are us”). However, Virginie complained to the songwriter that “Vous, c’est nous” did not suit her voice or style. I have to agree. The song was a bit mid-tempo with some interesting instrumentation, but would have failed to stand out in the mix of a decent Eurovision year. The song was changed to “Il était temps” (“It was time”), which did indeed match Virginie quite well. However, the song finished 22nd. I will admit that I think despite finishing 22nd, “Vous, c’est nous” would have placed worse.
No Name – Moja ljubavi (Serbia & Montenegr)
Angelica Agurbash – “Boys and girls” (Belarus)
On Christmas 2005, the Belarusian selection process began. The public voted for the top 3 songs, from which a winner was chosen by a professional jury. Angelica Agurbash won with “Boys and Girls.” However, Angelica feared that “Boys and Girls” would not fare well and stand out at Eurovision. As a result, she sought other songs as potential replacements. In the end, Angelica performed “Love Me Tonight.” Although an interesting stage show, the song failed to qualify for the finals. Despite this, in my opinion, Angelica’s concerns were correct and choosing a new song was a good idea. “Boys and Girls” is a mid-tempo song that would not have stood out and would not have made it to the finals.
Aline Lahoud – Quand tout s’enfuit (Lebanon)
Lebanon was very close to participating in the Eurovision Song Contest. Plans were made to debut in 2005 with entry, “Quand tout s’enfuit” by Aline Lahoud. However, Lebanon forbids any broadcast of Israeli content. As a result, their Eurovision website did not include Israel as a participant, and they had planned to cut to commercial during the Israeli entry. Because EBU could not get a guarantee from broadcaster Télé-Liban that these issues could be rectified, Lebanon had no choice but to withdraw. It’s a shame because “Quand tout s’enfuit” would have been a great song to have in the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest. I believe it would have qualified and could have had the potential to place very well.
B’Avarija – We all (Lithuania)
B’Avarija won the Lithunian national final with “We All.” However, they were disqualified a month later, as the song was released in Lithuanian a year prior. Officials argued that the song was indeed a new song because the song lyrics were new; however EBU disagreed. As a result, Aivaras and his pastel sweater and beret represented Lithuania at the 2002 Eurovision Song Contest. I have to be honest. I don’t know if this song would have done any better. It’s pretty cheesy. I doubt it could have done better. It kind of scares me to think this actually beat Aivaras…
Hari Mata Hari – Starac i more (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Hari Mata Hari originally won the Bosnia and Herzegovina national final with “Starac i more” (“The old man and the sea”). However, it was discovered that the song had been previously released in 1997 by Finnish artist Janne Hurme as “Sydänveri.” As a result, Hari Mata Hari was disqualified. Dino and Beatrice, who finished second in the national final were then announced to represent Bosnia and Herzegovina at the Eurovision Song Contest 1999. Since Dino and Beatrice placed so well, it’s hard to say whether Hari Mata Hari could have done better. In my opinion, they would have placed at about the same area. “Starac i more” is a great song in its own rights. I’m glad Hari Mata Hari got another chance. Had they not, we wouldn’t have “Lejla.”
CLIP of Janne Hurme “Sydänveri”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Svh_Pw99s-Q
Corinna May – Hör den Kindern einfach zu (Germany)
Like Hari Mata Hari, Corinna May originally won the national final in Germany with “Hör den Kindern einfach zu” (“Just listen to the children”). However, it was discovered that the song had been previously released by the group Number 9 as “Where Have All the Good Times Gone?” Sürpriz instead represented Germany at the 1999 Eurovision Song Contest and finished 3rd. Although I like Corinna May’s song, so much better than 2002’s “I can’t live without music,” I don’t think she could have finished 1st or 2nd against the strong Swedish and Icelandic entries.