Editorials & Opinion

15 Songs that could have brought the fun in 2015

There was something missing from Eurovision this year.
We were missing bombastic. We were missing outrageous. We were missing trashy. We were missing danceable. We were missing fun.
This year as country after country reigned in their performances and chose subtlety over sensational I began think back to the national finals and the songs we missed out on.
So with that being said here are 15 songs from the 2015 national final season that would have brought the fun had they made it to Vienna.

01. Iceland: Cadem – Fly

One of my favourite things to do when I’m out and about is listening to music I can strut to. It makes me feel sassy and fierce and because I’m wearing headphones nobody really knows exactly why I’m walking that way. It’s the little pleasures, y’know?
But this year there wasn’t really anything that you could strut to. Which is a real shame.
This is where Cadem would have come in to save the day. Fly is frivolous and trashy but it’s really fun and that chorus would have provided the good people of Melbourne many opportunities to see a strange man strutting and shimmying down the street in his own world.
Their vocals aren’t really what you would call spot on, but then again neither was Maria Ólafs’, so there is even the chance they could have brought Iceland a better position too.

02. Sweden: Dinah Nah – Make Me (La La La)

Have you ever wanted to go to an all-night warehouse party but then decided that it all just sounds like too much effort? Don’t worry; Dinah Nah has got your back.
Dressed like they’re going to one of those events where everyone wears all white, Dinah and her posse give us a full on three minute rave certain to get everyone’s glow sticks in a frenzy.
That’s also not to mention the fact that this did actually get quite a bit of playtime in Euroclub, imagine the frenzy it would have engendered if Dinah herself was actually competing.
However, I suspect the adding of backing singers and the enforcement of the 6 people on stage rule would have killed much of the stage effect in Vienna. As a result it is almost guaranteed that she would not have finished anywhere near where Måns did, so it’s probably best she didn’t win.

03. Estonia: Daniel Levi – Burning Lights

Looking like they’re fresh of the set of Estonia’s hottest soap opera about sexy 20-somethings we have Daniel Levi and his band serving a distinctly American pop-rock sound.
Daniel Levi and his posse are fun to watch not just because they’re all total babes, it’s because they look like they’re having the most fun on stage and although his vocal performance suffers slightly when he dives into the crowd, the handheld camera Daniel sports really amps up the fun in this performance.
Of course the hype surrounding Elina and Stig in the leadup to Eesti Laul and Eurovision ensured that there was no chance that anyone else would come close to victory, however I think that this too could have been a surprise contender in Vienna.

04. Denmark: World of Girls – Summer Without You

It feels very strange listening to a song about partying through summer as I endure the end of yet another bleak Melbourne winter, but I suppose that is my life and I have to deal with it.
World of Girls are delivering us a song that reeks of ‘generic summer hit’ but you know what, I love it. Despite not quite having the vocal ability required to quite carry the song, the four girls make up for it with their high school popular clique charm.
Much like the outfits the girls are wearing, the song is meant to seem effortless and fun while actually being very cleverly created. Despite all this I find it impossible to be seriously cynical. This song is just really super fun.
I seriously doubt that World of Girls would have done as badly as Anti-Social Media did in Vienna, so to me this would have been a much better choice and could have been this year’s big summer (or winter) hit.

05. Sweden: Samir & Viktor – Groupie

Yes that’s right. There are two songs from Sweden on this list. It was hard enough just keeping it at two to be honest, there were some tough decisions about which songs to not include (Sorry Dolly Style!).
There’s a part of me that thinks I would benefit from seeing a translation of these lyrics, but given what bits I can ascertain as an Anglophone I suspect they aren’t very sophisticated.
What they are however is catchy as hell. Samir and Viktor are good looking young guys who deliver a passable vocal performance with gusto. The song is plucky and even if you don’t speak a word of Swedish (what am I talking about, you’re all fluent in Swedish, right?) the song is able to get stuck in your head during the first listen.
Again, with Sweden winning this year it’s very unlikely this would have done as well as Måns so this was definitely a worthy not winner, but that doesn’t stop it from being crazy likeable.

06. Latvia: ElektroFolk – Sundance

Now, before I say anything about this I want to say I am such a massive fan of Aminata Savadogo. To me, she is perfection.
Which is why I was annoyed watching Supernova because I was sure Latvia were going to go for the fun option once again and send ElektroFolk. Thankfully they didn’t, but if they had what they would have given us was some of the wackiness that was missing from this year’s contest.
On top of that, the lyrics to this song are heavily inspired by Latvian folk music so it’s actually a pretty cool way of showing off their traditional culture while at the same time being completely bonkers.
I would have gotten over them being selected eventually but I doubt they would have been anything close to the jury darling that Aminata turned out to be and I doubt they could have replicated Aminata’s 6th place.

07. Germany: Laing – Zeig deine Muskeln

Last year was quite a visual treat. We had a giant hamster wheel, a see-saw, a man in a parachute, a giant clam, sexy butter churning, sexy clothes washing and even a trampoline. With Ukraine away and Russia, Georgia and Belarus playing uncharacteristically subtle, 2015 offered very little in the way of gimmick.
That is where Laing could have stepped in to save the day.
Everything about the staging of this song is perfection. Staging a song like this on exercise bikes is brilliant as it makes the whole thing look like a sexually suggestive exercise video from the 80’s. I also love the attention to detail in the costuming with the sweat stains on the shirts.
I truly adore this minimalist electro-pop offering sexually objectifying the act of going to the gym and the live performance is one that would have kept tongues wagging the next day.
Given Ann Sophie’s fate in Vienna it is hard to believe that this could have done anything but better, so Germany really could have benefitted from sending this.
Phew! What a workout!

08. Finland: Opera Skaala – Heart of Light

This year we got treated to yet another slice of popera from my Mother’s favourite group Il Volo and it did very well. It was very slick and smooth and classily performed. On the other side of that Finland could have given us something a lot more fun.
Heart of Light by Opera Skaala would have provided us with a trashy alternative to the Italians and given us all the chance to scream and pretend we’re opera singers for three minutes of hectic fun.
Opera Skaala’s Essi Luttinen is also channelling Anggun with her no-pants yes-train windmachine-go stylings, which I am always a super big fan of.
In any other year this would likely have generated quite a bit more buzz than your standard Finnish entry, but not this year. However given that PKN came last in their semi-final, this likely would have done a bit better.

09. Austria: Johann Sebastian Bass – Absolutio

When you win the Eurovision Song Contest you are presented with a golden opportunity. You get the chance to send whatever the hell you want and have it in the final, with the majority of the audience screaming your name.
Back in 2013, the Melodifestivalen juries overruled the people and denied them the chance to freak Europe out a bit with Yohio, but this year, the Austrians did it to themselves.
Absolutio is a delightful hot mess mixing the styles of two Austrian music heroes; Mozart and Falco. The latter of who was famous for his song about the former which would have been so delightfully meta. On top of that there’s a whole lot of 70’s funk, a bit of Daft Punk-esque modulation and a whole lot of other references that it would take a more qualified person than I to fully recognise.
The result would have freaked Europe out and would have ensured that for the second year in a row people were actually talking about the Austrian entry, something that doesn’t often happen.
Unfortunately this year Austria tried to play it safe and was punished accordingly. If the mess that was Electro Velvet managed to get some points then I am certain that this would have at least got a few points for the sheer absurdity of the whole thing so it probably would have been a better choice than the classier I Am Yours.

10. Norway: Staysman & Lazz – En Godt Stekt Pizza

The Eurovision fan world is an unusual place. It’s the only place in the world that I’ve experienced that its straight guys that need to come out because generally you’re assumed to be gay if you’re there. This however is not the case for the audience at home, so once in a while we should let them have one.
Now despite being a quarter Norwegian myself I don’t speak any of the language so aside from knowing the title means ‘A well-cooked pizza’ I have no freaking idea what this is about.
However I do know that this is one that I am certain would have been for the straight guys. Straight guys love a hoe down and scantily clad women and a hoe down and fat dudes singing novelty songs, right?
Yeah, I know, I’m probably phoning this one in a little but the one straight guy I asked said it was “alright” when he usually doesn’t like anything that I do, so I’m running with it.
And as for whether it would have done better for Norway in Vienna? Not a chance guys.

11. Albania: Lindita Halimi – S’të fal

For the entire duration of of Lindita Halimi’s performance of ‘S’të fal’ the audience sits there in stunned disbelief not quite sure how to handle what is happening on stage. Perhaps this is all a bit too much for the conservative Festivali I Këngës audience who would rather just wait patiently to quietly crown Elhaida Dani and her power ballad. But you know what?
Lindita Halimi does not give a shit what the audience thinks.
Lindita is the very definition of someone feeling their oats. She’s there to have a good time and perform the hell out of her song. She’s not wearing any pants. Why, you may ask? Because she didn’t want to wear any fucking pants. Lindita is there to do her. Lindita for sure hopes you enjoy her song, but she has no time for you if you’re not buying what she’s selling.
Now just imagine how amazing this would have been in front of an audience that was as into it as much as she was.
I personally think this could have done quite a bit better that Elhaida’s 17th place. Or it might not have qualified at all. But who cares. I LIVE for this and so does Lindita.

12. Greece: Shaya – Sunshine

Another thing this year was missing was a complete vocal train wreck. Poor Anita from San Marino looked so young and so full of hope that at least personally I can’t derive any pleasure from her bad live performance, but the same would not have been said about Greece’s Shaya.
This trashy ethno-pop number is pretty much everything you expect from Greece. There’s a costume change from something Grecian into something short, sparkly and covered in fringes. There’s that dance move where everyone stands behind her and moves their arms about. There’s a hot, muscular guy on a drum and for some reason some guy on a clarinet and then there’s of course the poor live vocals.
Not that her lack of vocal prowess stops her. Shaya performs like she thinks she’s Beyoncé when in reality she’s barely even Michelle, which makes the whole experience all the more enjoyable.
Overall there is no doubt in my mind that Greece made the right choice in sending Maria-Elena Kyriakou but this song would most definitely have brought the fun.

13. Switzerland: Timebelle – Singing About Love

Did anyone else notice a lack of accordion this year? For me the presence of Alpine Europe’s favourite folk instrument*is a treat and one thing I love about Eurovision.
Timebelle’s song is sugary sweet and fun and has healthy amounts of accordion! There’s even a saxophone solo, albeit with considerably less thrusting than we’ve become accustomed to in the contest.
There isn’t really much to this song to be honest. It’s a cute little ditty about feeling like you’re in love. Not complex no, but it’s fun and I honestly need more accordion in my life.
Would this have done better than Melanie René? Well she did come last because she was totally and utterly unnoticeable and honestly this probably wouldn’t have been remembered at the end of the voting either but I think it probably would have gotten a few more points.
*I mean my favourite Alpine folk instrument. I mean the Swiss seem to like Alpine horns so I shouldn’t speak for people.

14. Belarus: Milki – Accent

Okay so we’ve all heard Fairytale so we know that Alexander Rybak can write a damn good pop song. This concerns me, because this is not very  good by comparison. The English part of the lyrics make only a little bit of sense.
That being said, the topic is one close to my heart. Eurovision is for sure a place for accents. Accents are like a vocal passport filled with little imprints or deep gouges of influence that show you where someone is from and where they have been by their voice alone.
And if Milki had gone to Eurovision, this means we would finally have had a Belarussian song half in Russian, so that is something good.
Honestly I still don’t really feel this, it’s just on the list because Peter told me to put it here.
Would it have done better than Uzari and Maimuna? I think so, because Milki at the very least do something on stage.

15. Moldova: Doinița Gherman – Inimă fierbinte

And finally we have Doinița Gherman and this feels like the perfect song to end on. It’s fun, bright and cheesy. Doinița is serving up some dinner-and-a-show realness here with her amateur musical theatre track.
But that’s okay. She’s giving it her all, she’s having a blast and you know what? I’m having fun too. Music doesn’t need to always be complicated. It doesn’t need to be serious. It doesn’t need to be highbrow. It doesn’t need high production value and it doesn’t necessarily need to be original.
Sometimes you need a song so cheesy it zooms so far past being a guilty pleasure and right back into being a regular pleasure again, and nothing gives me quite as much happiness as that overly enthusiastic dance break.
You keep doing you Doinița.
As for how this would have done? My first thought is that it would probably tank hard, but given that both Sabrina and Suzy almost qualified for Portugal with similar tracks, who knows!? Probably about the same as Eduard Romanyuta, but at least this was Moldovan.

So there you have it. Now given that there are literally hundreds of songs every year that get airtime in national finals but never make it to Eurovision there are bound to be more out there that would have brought the fun in Vienna that I have missed. But this is the internet, So why not tell us what you think!

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