Eurovision 2020

# Here Today Gone Tomorrow Special : Where are the non- returning 2020 acts now? Part 3 #Openup

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We can all recall the disappointment of the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest being cancelled last year and probably no-one was as disappointed as all the 2020 performers , who were putting their hearts and souls into producing great performances for us in May 2020 . However, whilst many were invited back for a second chance this year, there were 15 of those 2020 performers , who were not, or were entered into their National Finals , only to lose out to another performer, or declined the offer of participation in 2021, preferring to give the opportunity to someone else . We at Eurovision Ireland, think those acts deserve a bit of a mention in the run up to this year’s contest , so we are bringing to you in the weeks building up to the 2021 contest , a Here Today , Gone Tomorrow, special series , which focuses solely on those acts and asks the question , what are they doing now ? Last week, we covered Part 2 , including the 2020 representatives of France, Germany, Albania, Cyprus and Italy . This week , in our third and final part we are looking at the remaining 2020 representatives who are from Croatia , Portugal and Poland. Even though Armenia and Belarus are not participating this year , we felt their 2020 entries deserved a mention too.

Athena Manouikan -Should have represented Armenia in 2020

Athena is a Greek-Armenian singer who has been in the music industry since 2007 when she participated in and won first prize at a talent contest ” This is what’s missing”, produced in Greece .She was already no stranger to the Eurovision Song Contest as in 2008, she competed in the Greek National selection for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, with the song “To Fili Tis Aphriditis”, unfortunately , she was not selected to represent Greece that year , coming 7th overall. She released her first hit single in Greece in 2011 called “Party Like a Freak “.She has followed this up with more hit singles in Greece. In 2018, she did a guest audition in the UK’s X Factor series , which made headlines in the UK media, talking of her “fierce stage presence “. Athena won the Armenian national final Depi Evratesil in 2020 with the song ” Chains”, the song being written by Athena herself and her producer DJ Paco .Unfortunately as we know now , the contest was cancelled due to the Corona Virus pandemic .

Since the contest was cancelled , Athena has released a ballad “You should know ” and is working on her first full length album . This year , Armenia have withdrawn from the 2021 contest. Will we see Athena back to attempt another chance to appear in the Eurovision Song Contest, either for Armenia or perhaps Greece in future years?

Damir Kedzo -Should have represented Croatia in 2020

Damir is a Croatian pop and folk singer , who started his career in 2003 by participating in Story Super Nova Music talent show and really started to make himself known in Croatia after winning the Croatian version of ” Your Face Sounds Familiar” . He has also performed in musicals , appearing in the Croatian version of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat . Damir had ambitions to appear in Eurovision as early as 2011 when he applied for Dora 2011, the Croatian National selection for ESC . He competed in Dora 2020 and won the right to represent Croatia in the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam with the song “Divlji Vjetre”. Sadly the contest was cancelled and his dream of appearing in one of the biggest live events in the world disappeared .He was not invited back by the Croatian broadcaster to have another opportunity of representing the country in the 2021 contest. Instead , Croatia will be represented by the winners of this year’s national selection , Albina with the song “Tick-Tok .

Since cancellation of the contest , Damir has continued his music career and released more singles ; “Nedodirlijva”, “Sjeti se” and “Hram”,all reaching respectable positions in he Croatian music charts.

Alicja -Should have represented Poland in 2020

Alicja won The Voice of Poland in 2019 and then went on to win the Polish National Selection Szansa na Sukces in 2020 with the song “Empires”. She would have performed in the second semi final in Rotterdam but we know what happened next !

Sadly, despite having expressed a desire to represent Poland in the 2021 contest, Alicja was rejected by Polish broadcaster TVP , in favour of Rafał Brzozowski  and the song “The Ride”. Nevertheless , Alicja is continuing her music career, has released more singles since her Eurovision National Final performance and did get the chance to appear on a Eurovision stage later in the year when she made an appearance at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2020 in Warsaw .

Elisa -Should have represented Portugal in 2020

Elisa is a pop /jazz singer from Madeira. She is a relative newcomer to the music scene , only being active since 2019. She won Festival da Cançao in 2020 with the song Medo de Sentir and would have represented Portugal in Rotterdam. Sadly , she lost her chance to perform on the big stage with the cancellation of the contest .

Elisa was not invited back by RTP as an internal selection , instead the broadcaster went ahead with its National Final , Festival da Cançao , which Elisa did not participate in . Portugal will be represented this year by The Black Mamba with the song “Love is on my side”. Elisa is continuing her music career in Portugal .

VAL -should have represented Belarus in 2020

VAL are a Belarusian band consisting of Valeria Gribusova and Vladislav Pashkevich , whose genre is mainly pop, indie and electronic. They have only been on the scene since 2016. They won the National Selection to find a representative for Belarus in Rotterdam in 2020 with the song Da Vidna ,the contest was cancelled so they lost the opportunity to appear on the big stage .

Due to apparently breaking an agreement with the Belarusian state broadcaster , whilst being interviewed by an independent publication, the broadcaster declared that they would not reselect VAL for the 2021 contest . Belarus are out of this year’s contest as their selected act Galasy z Mesta had utilized lyrics in their song which were not compliant with the EBU rules of the contest and despite requests to amend or change the entry , they were then disqualified . VAL continue to be part of the music scene in Belarus .

So, that completes our special Here Today , Gone Tomorrow series on the 20202 acts that didn’t make a second chance in 2021. what do you think? Do you think that any of these acts deserved a second chance to hit the big Eurovision stage? Please leave any comments in the box below .

With the contest in Rotterdam fast approaching , look out for Eurovision Irelands coverage , which we will be bringing you in quite different circumstances to that of previous years due to the ongoing pandemic . And keep a look out post contest for more Here Today, Gone Tomorrow articles where we will look at what previous contestants over the years are doing now .

Author : Sarah Rudman

Source: You Tube , Eurovision.TV ,VAL ,Eurovision Ireland

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