Eurovision 2019

#Eurovision semi -finals:The shock Non-qualifiers : #Dare to Dream

So , during the last week , we’ve had the initial rehearsals of the participating countries in semi finals 1 and 2 and now eagerly await the live shows on Tuesday and Thursday to find out who will be joining Israel and the Big 5 in Saturday night’s Grand Final. Over the last weeks we have seen an abundance of fan views on social media , bookmaker’s odds and polls as to who we think will be the lucky 10 from each semi final to qualify .

However , as we all know from past contests, sometimes things haven’t quite gone as expected and we have certainly seen some shocks and surprises when it comes to semi-final results . Countries losing their 100% qualification record , countries , who having been predicted to do very well, even tipped as a possible winner , actually failing to qualify and countries that pre-contests were not expected to do well , actually qualifying .

With this in mind , I decided to take a trip down memory lane and have a look at what have been considered by many to be shock non-qualifiers in years gone by.

Belgium 2006 -Kate Ryan ” Je t’adore “

Kate went to Athens as probably one of the most well known stars in Europe at that time having had major hits with dance covers of songs such as “Désenchantée” and “Ella Ella “. It was no wonder that she was therefore established as a firm favourite pre-contest to qualify Belgium to the final and even win the whole contest . Unfortunately , Europe didn’t seem too happy with the staging of the performance in Athens, with a complex routine of using neon -tubed microphones and the sole dancer in the national final having been replaced by four dancers strutting around, passing the microphones around . Kate failed to qualify, coming 12th with 69 points and this probably remains one of the biggest semi-final shockers so far in the history of the contest since semi -finals were introduced.

CYPRUS 2007-Evridiki ” Comme ci, Comme ça”

Evridiki came to Helsinki in 2007 as a known quantity to the contest , having already represented Cyprus in 1992 and 1994 . With an uptempo number and her previous experience of taking part in the contest, many thought she would qualify to the final with no problems. Unfortunately , in a very full semi-final of 28 acts , Evridiki failed to make it,coming 15th with 65 points . This was the last year that there was only one semi -final, could Evridiki have stood a better chance if she had entered the contest with the two semi-final system we have today?

SWEDEN 2010 -Anna Bergendahl ” This is my Life “

Prior to Oslo 2010 and the change in rules in 2008 of the qualification system where everyone except the Big 4 ( as it was then ) and the host country had to go into the semi -finals , rather than the top 10 of the previous year getting automatic qualification , Sweden had 100% qualification record and there was no reason to think this would change , other than the fact that Anna came to the contest as a relatively unknown performer. Anna was among the favourites to qualify from the semi finals , however what followed is very likely one of the lower points so far of Sweden’s long association with Eurovision, she became the first semi-final act to not qualify Sweden to the final! This was also the first time since 1976 that no Swedish entry was performing in the final .Maybe a folksy ballad just wasn’t appealing enough ?

ISRAEL 2014 -Mei Finegold ” Same Heart”

Israel went to Copenhagen with Mei ranked as one of the favourites to get to the final and possibly even win the contest . With a catchy , up beat number, it was thought that this would be a certain qualifier. Unfortunately , Europe didn’t agree on the night and Mei failed to qualify, coming 14th with only 19 points!

ICELAND 2016 -Greta Salome ” Hear them calling “

This came as a real shocker in 2016 and there are probably many fans who are still puzzled as to how Iceland didn’t make it out of the semis in Stockholm. Greta went to Stockholm as an established performer with already previous experience of taking part in Eurovision in Baku in 2012 with Jonsi . She was a pre-contest favourite and looked a certainty to qualify to the final , unfortunately , despite a good performance, she failed to qualify , coming 14th with 51 points. Could it be that Europe felt that her stage performance was too similar to Sweden 2015 , with the interaction with choreographed graphics ?

ESTONIA 2017 -Koit Toome and Laura ” Verona”

Koit and Laura both went to Kyiv with previous experience of the contest and widely tipped as a sure qualifier, by both fans and bookies alike .Unfortunately , they failed to qualify , coming 14th with 85 points. The televoting put them 6th , but this was not enough to get them to the final as the juries had put them in 17th place .

These are just some of the shocks we have seen in the semi -finals over the years since the semi -final system came into place in 2004 ,there are many more that I have not mentioned here that you may be able to think of . Which countries and acts do you think deserved to go to the final in the last years but didn’t ?And who do you think may give us our shocks this year ? Please feel free to leave your thoughts and comments .

Author : Sarah Rudman

Source : Eurovision Ireland ,

Image Source : Eurovision.TV

1 reply »

  1. Greta was amazing great staging, and Same Heart was one of my favourites going into that year but I think the music video on YouTube was amazing but then on the night the staging was bland but still shocked about those, loved this article a trip down memory lane and a reminder that Eurovision never stops surprising us.

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