πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί National finals revisited: From The Mamas to Juliette Moraine [Part 1]

Oliver, Tim, Lisa and Nick share their first favourites

The national finals are officially over. It all ended last week when Sweden selected Tusse as the winner of Melodifestivalen 2021. However, we all know that some songs have been left in the fields of the season… We’ve had to leave them behind to instead move on with songs other people liked best.

So, we take a trip down a short memory lane. It’s only been a few months, but we want to highlight some of our favourites. In the next three weeks, we’ll revisit the Eurovision national finals, with each of our partaking editors sharing some of their favourites.

Today, we’ll see Oliver Lewis, Tim Jumawan, Nick van Lith and Lisa Bird sharing one of their favourites… Check the first four out below!

Lisa Bird:
The Mamas – In The Middle (Sweden)

Quite simply a trinity of talent! On the one hand they did have their Eurovision experience with John Lundvik already. However it is still a shame that they rightfully won Melodifestivalen last year and with the cancellation of the 2020 contest, have unfairly lost that opportunity to showcase themselves to the world, front of stage. But we know winning Melodifestivalen back to back is almost impossible. What The Mamas bring to every song, is the way they honour their friendship and the power of music through their uplifting vocals and storytelling.

While gold did not prove to be a winning colour, it was great to see them looking glam and having fun. With ‘In The Middle’ itself being a wonderful tribute to ‘Move’. After the hell ride of 2020, this song spoke to many of us and gave us hope again. These three are gospel serotonin and if Disney’s Hercules ever gets a modern remake, they need to play The Muses!

Tim Jumawan:
Inis Neziri – Pendesë (Albania)

First National Final into the season and my Eurovision choice was robbed. The fact that Inis did not even place within the top three is crazy, and I would not be surprised if this entry is selected for the OGAE Second Chance. Pendesë is such a lovely song and I instantaneously connected with the emotions of the words. The way Inis interpreted the lyrics of the song, really got to me, and the live performance was out of this world. I really applaud her for performing such a vocally difficult song, in such conditions, I’m surprised how much effort she has put in, and it really shows.

Ever since the FiK 59 album was released, this has been on repeat, and fast forward to now, with the 2021 contest, swimming with ballads, if this had won FiK, I think that it would’ve stood out, and they could’ve gotten a great result. Now we’ll never know.


Oliver Lewis:
Suured Tüdrukud – Heaven’s Not That Far Tonight (Estonia)

This national final season we’ve been saturated by songs inspired by the 80s, with varying levels of success. However, few this year attempted to go back a decade earlier and give disco a whirl. While some might call this song dated or old-fashioned, Heaven’s Not That Far Tonight gives us all a package of unparalleled fun and feel-good energies after a universally tough year. This not so guilty pleasure is incredibly catchy and stood out like a sore thumb (in the best way) to this year’s Eesti Laul line-up! Suured tüdrukud, also known as Kaire Vilgats and Dagmar Oja, are an incredible vocal talent. Indeed, you only need to go to the Eurovision archives to see the two singers have been providing backing vocals for Estonian entries (with a stray Ira Losco assist in 2002!) since 2000! With powerful, uplifting ad libs and tight harmonies – you can see why Estonia is colloquially known as the ‘singing nation’!

Speaking of, I love how a wild Koit Toome appears in the final chorus. Not only was he on the songwriting team, but the ladies provided backing vocals to Koit in Kyiv: complete full circle! Though simple, the performance leaves space for these two ladies to finally get a spot centre-stage – I hope we see them again in the future!

Nick van Lith:
Juliette Moraine – Pourvu qu’on m’aime (France)

I did my first ever reaction video to Juliette Moraine’s stunning entry Pourvu qu’on m’aime and I’m still mesmerised by the song. Juliette Moraine is a vocal talent that France should treasure in the best way possible. She can deliver a chanson like very few others. Her ability to convey emotions through a language not everyone will understand is out of this world. There’s a certain urgent feeling or force when she sings this and she just pulls me in completely. Mind you, I adore Voilà by Barbara Pravi and I think it will do well, but this to me is of the same quality – if not more accessible.

I love how this came second despite being written off before the show. Thank you, Juliette Moraine for introducing me to your qualities. This really is how I would like to see France in the Eurovision Song Contest… And of all national finals this year, perhaps my favourite song.


That’s it from us when it comes to the first few national final songs we wanted to revisit once more. We will be back next week, when we make a trip all around Europe, including the national finals in Finland, Portugal and Norway… Stay tuned!

Let us know which of the songs you liked best today! Who was robbed the most? Make sure you tell us on social media @ESCXTRA!

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