Eurovision 2016 — the Little Songs

In compiling my last post of 2016 Eurovision entries, modern songs category, I finished and realized several songs that fell through the cracks.  And then I realized that every year brings a new batch of small, unobtrusive entries that tend to be forgotten.  But most years some of these songs are the ones that go on to surprise fans and sneak through into the finals, and often achieve high scores. Last year Cyprus and Hungary were not on anyone’s radar to succeed, but both made it to the Grand Final.

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This year there is a batch of little songs, some of which are likely to break through anedd do well in the voting. Most of these are performed my solo female vocalists, with a few male-artist songs as well.

Poli Genova of Bulgaria entered Eurovision for her home country before and failed to make the finals, though fans remember her and her previous entry fondly.  This year’s Bulgarian entry by Poli is a strong, catchy little song that most of us hope will succeed for her this year, “If Love Was a Crime”.

Croatia has entered ESC2016 with an entry that was hotly tipped for top ten at least, though some of the enthusiasm has already cooled down. Here is Nina and “Lighthouse”, which should be popular enough to at least make it through to the finals.

Germany has a recent history of doing very well or very badly in the Grand Finals (as a member of the Big Five, they proceed directly without competing in any semis). This year, Jamie-Lynn and “Ghost” is a fine little singer-songwriter entry that is held back by a rather silly look for its artist, a 17-year old who loves performing in a kooky Japanese street-fashion getup.

Israel has not had many entries succeed past the semifinal stage in r local recent years until last year’s party hit “Golden Boy”. This year they have gone for an androgynous boy with a well-performed but rather anonymous ballad, Hovi Star and “Made of Stars”.

Italy has done well since its return to Eurovision in 2011, mustering up a second and a third-place finish. This year’s entry is lovely and small, and may not be enough to catch voters’ attention when it counts Saturday night. Here is the pretty bi-lingual “No Degree of Separation”.

Poland returned to ESC two years ago and made the finals both years since then. This year they have a fine singer and pretty ballad, but will it be enough to keep up their string of qualifications? Here’s Michal Szpak and “Color of Your Life”.

Switzerland have not had an easy time reaching the finals lately, and don’t seem likely to this year with their Canadian singer Rykka. “The Last of Our Kind” is a pleasant song, but with neither a strong singer or big impact they might get lost in the shuffle this year.

The United Kingdom has bombed out in the finals for several years after choosing their entry internally, so this year they added a selection show and public vote. Joe and Jake are not likely to get anywhere near the top five this year, but their results shouldn’t be the embarrassing bottom that the UK has reached in the last five years or so.

Are we likely to see a winner from this group? Not likely, though at least one or two dark horse surprises are likely to emerge Eurovision week in Stockholm.

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