Our New Music Friday top 10 of 2021

Check out our round-up of 2021 and how the team ranked the entries!

3. 🇸🇪🇷🇺 Måns Zelmerlöw & Polina Gagarina – ‘Circles and Squares’ – (69 Points)

Former Eurovision 2015 winner, Måns Zelmerlöw held onto his reputation as ‘Mr. Eurovision’ in 2021. Among a star-studded collection of six previous winners, Måns took part in the Eurovision 2021 ‘Rock The Roof‘ interval act. Meanwhile Russia’s 2015 runner-up, Polina Gagarina also returned to Eurovision in 2021. During a voting sequence packed with star names, Polina was the spokesperson for the Russian jury votes. As well as this, Polina mixed the 80s with Russian pop on new track ‘VCHERA‘.

However it was at the beginning of 2021 when old rivals became music allies. Together Måns and Polina showed that music unites us all on ‘Circles and Squares’. This dramatic duet was written for the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2021. So of course, the crossover sports fans among the team propelled this with a triple axel onto the New Music Friday podium.

Spotify: 1.1 million/YouTube: 104k

Best scores: 12 – Dominik. 8 – Nathan P, Nick. 7 – Isabella, Nathan W.

2. 🇮🇹 Måneskin – ‘I Wanna Be Your Slave’ – (90 Points)

Surprise! Yes, unfortunately Italy cannot win all things in 2021. But the reigning Eurovision champions have nothing to fear. Already they have set themselves apart as a global phenomenon. After the 2021 contest, Måneskin stormed the global charts with ‘Beggin” ‘I Wanna Be Your Slave’ and of course, ‘Zitti e Buoni’. As well as this, the group took the US by storm. Cracking the Billboard charts and performing on The Tonight Show and The Voice USA. Meanwhile they have been acknowledged for their breakthrough year in the music awards season too. With a win for ‘Best Rock’ at the MTV EMAs 2021 and two nominations for the BRIT Awards 2022.

Later this year Måneskin will be even busier with the hopeful return of the festival scene. Among their very busy touring schedule, includes performances at the famous Reading & Leeds Festivals and their appropriately titled, LOUD KIDS ON TOUR ’22.

Spotify: 516.5 million/YouTube: 67 million

Best scores: 12 – Bente, Isabella, Maria, Tom O. 10 – Nathan W. 8 – Isaac.

1. 🇬🇷 Helena Paparizou – ‘Apohrosis’ – (103 Points)

Always our number one at ESCXTRA, Helena Paparizou is our winner of New Music Friday 2021! The Eurovision 2005 champion released her first studio album in four years, with ‘Apohrosis’. The 13-track album showcased the many shades of Helena’s musical inspirations. Aside from this Helena also released new single, ‘Lightning‘. A hard bass anthem that is a new direction and was previewed at MadWalk 2021.

Like Måns Zelmerlöw, Helena was also among the six Eurovision winners to perform in the 2021 ‘Rock The Roof‘ interval in Rotterdam. Yet in another lifetime, it could have been Helena on stage instead of Elena Tsagrinou. Not a year goes by without a return rumour and 2021 was no different. Ahead of the contest it was revealed that she was offered the chance to perform ‘Colors’ for Cyprus. Away from music, she also become the first ever Greek ambassador for UNICEF!

Spotify: 221k/YouTube: 239k

Best scores: 12 – Lisa, Nathan P, Nick. 10 – Bente, Costa, Maria. 8 – Isabella, Nathan W, Tom O.

Do you agree with the team ranking of the New Music Friday top 10 songs of 2021? Let us know! Be sure to stay updated by following @ESCXTRA on Twitter, @escxtra on Instagram and liking our Facebook page for the latest updates! Also, be sure to follow us on Spotify for the latest music from your favourite Eurovision acts. As well as YouTube to see our reactions to the news in the run up to the 2022 contest in Turin!

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Lisa Bird

My first Eurovision memory was watching 1994 as a hatchling. I've been tapping my talons to the bops and bangers from Europe and beyond ever since! I finally spread my wings to attending the contest in Lisbon 2018 and am now a regular at many events and national finals - especially my regular nest at Eesti Laul.

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