Rotterdam 2020 – National Final Injustices

27 March 2020

We all have them. Songs we feel were cheated at Eurovision Song Contest national finals. It doesn’t always mean they were denied a win (although, that is the most egregious injustice when it happens), it could be missing the final or deserving a higher place. Or we simply want to acknowledge them in a year they were unfortunate enough to strike superior competition. With Rotterdam 2020 now cancelled, if you had to be cheated out of Eurovision, this was certainly the year for it.

Moldova – Pasha Parfeny – My Wine

We all remember Pasha Parfeny, right? He appeared at Eurovision 2012 in Baku with Lautar, finishing 11th in the grand final. He also composed O Mie for Aliona Moon the following year in Malmo, again finishing 11th. Both appeared on stage for each other in their respective years: she as a backing singer and he on piano. He popped up in Moldova’s national final for 2020 with his trademark sound and catchy style, and finished a unanimous second on 20 points behind Natalia Gordienko, who won with maximum points of 24 (12 each from the jury and televote). Not quite an injustice, because Prison is far superior. It was just nice to see him back on stage. This performance video is not from an official source so here’s the official video if it gets deleted.

Estonia – Renate – Videomäng

I always need to pick something from Eesti Laul, and I’ve gone for Renate and Videomäng. It’s that classic Estonian pop sound, and a song about videogames, so what’s not to love? Weak vocals aside, Renate was only 11 votes from making the final as the second public wildcard. Weak vocals was actually a problem with many artists, so there might have been some technical issues too, as the artist that just beat her for that spot – Laura – was dreadful, and I’m saying that as a Laura fan.

Norway – Tone Damli – Hurts Sometimes

It was an interesting Melodi Grand Prix with the online voting system collapsing so the final four were decided by a citizen jury based on studio recordings of the songs. No great harm done as Norway picked the right winner in Ulrikke Brandstorp with Attention, and the right runner-up in Kristin Husøy with Pray For Me. Outside the Gold Final was Tone Damli with this super pleasant song. It was my favourite song at MGP in a pure listening sense and she presented it well. It’s nice we can now remember her for something more than just finishing second with Butterflies to Alexander Rybak in 2009.

Denmark – Jasmin Rose feat. RoxorLoops – Human

This was my favourite entry heading into Dansk Melodi Grand Prix, and unfortunately it just didn’t work out. There’s a distinct lack of energy, made worst by the late decision so close the event to the public due to the Wuhan Coronavirus (COVID-19). A few dancers, or some sort of activity around Jasmin, would have done wonders. The pair couldn’t even make the three-song super final. Still a great song.

Australia – Jaguar Jonze – Rabbit Hole

Only Australia’s second year with a national final, and the artists are beginning to put more thought and effort into their stage presentations. While only one did it last year (the winner, Kate Miller-Heidke), three of them dialled it up in 2020: Vanessa Amorosi, the winner Montaigne and, of course, Jaguar Jonze. Arguably she was the most innovative of the lot, and Rabbit Hole was a great song too. About 40 seconds in she dislocated her shoulder, later describing the moment: “You can actually see that I was wanting to come up but I had to stay in that position a little while longer, put my arm back out and it luckily clicked back into place. Adrenaline took over and I pushed through.” She laughed: “I think it ended up adding a more angsty, intense flavour to that particular performance as the pain was felt physically and emotionally too.” She’s right about the end result! She finished an unjust sixth, which included the jury placing her a ridiculous second last.

Lithuania – Monika Marija – If I Leave

It was a strong Pabandom Is Naujo this year, with the top 3 songs all good, and after the strong (and unjust) second last year with Light On, it was hoped Monika Marija could go one step better. Instead, she went one step back. Song not as good, nor did it showcase her beautiful vocals like last year. Anyway, perhaps 2021.

Lithuania – Monique – Make Me Human

One of the most striking presentations this year, and with a compelling song and voice, it’s easy to see why Monique finished second. In fact, it’s easy to see her as the rightful winner. Of course, The Roop won with On Fire, which is a bit of a fan favourite, so can’t really complain about the final result.

Sweden – Hanna Ferm – Brave

Now we know the right decision was made not to send Hanna Ferm to Rotterdam because Eurovision got cancelled. Sweden certainly picked the right year to totally stuff up their national selection, as this year’s Melodifestivalen was one of the best ever and I count six songs that could be an injustice: Dotter (2nd), Anna Bergendahl (3rd), Anis don Demina (5th), Paul Rey (6th), Victor Crone (9th) and Mariette (10th). Instead Sweden chose The Mamas with Move. Sorry, even if Eurovision 2020 wasn’t cancelled, Sweden still haven’t chosen a female act since 2014. The Mamas are an American/Swedish soul/gospel act that benefitted from being the backing singers of John Lundvik (a man) last year. In Hanna Ferm, not only would they have chosen a 100% home-grown product with a far superior song, they’d have chosen a woman that did it all on her own. No crazy lighting effects off her chest, no posse of half-naked male dancers, no flashy graphics. Only Hanna herself doing her stuff with her sultry vocals and her sterling and brave 100% solo performance. Sweden, you should be ashamed!

Finland – Erika Vikman – Cicciolina

In a year of so many boring solo males, Finland had the chance to send something unique, something special, and something distinctly Finnish. What they do instead? They sent another boring solo male. Let’s be real, while the international jury were the obvious ones to blame for ruining Erika’s chances, the 18 point deficit was small enough that the televote should easily have compensated. Instead Erika could only finish five points ahead of Aksel Kankaanranta – the overall winner. Let’s also be real: Cicciolina was a high risk entry. It could win Eurovision or it could bomb in the semi-finals. None of that matters because, ultimately, we remember Eurovision for the songs, not whether Finland could sneak into the final and finish 18th with an inoffensive entry. Cicciolina was pure Eurovision: A catchy song, a charismatic performance, and a distinct genre (Finnish disco). It had everything! This could be the worst National Final Injustice ever and makes the cancellation of Rotterdam 2020 seem like poetic justice. If Erika Vikman couldn’t go, no one should!

Erika Vikman with Cicciolina at UMK 2020 - National Final Injustices

The Cicciolina song became a symbol of something bigger
Interesting article that suggests the shy Finnish mentality surfaced to sink Erika Vikman. It’s in Finnish, so put it through a translator (Google Chrome does this automatically). It translates quite well.

I avoided checking the English translation of Cicciolina, feeling it would spoil the vibe of the song. Not understanding anything made it that much more interesting. Now you see how it aligns with her UMK 2020 presentation.

Cicciolina

It’s useless to teach me to sit with my legs crossed
I was born as a sinner, sorry if it bothers you
When you want something, you’ve got to say it out loud
You can pass the line if you wear shining white

I don’t need love
I need proper touching
Take a tight hold of me

When some beautiful day I shall come to you
Not even wearing a nun gown will save me
Nor the whole Argentina crying after me
If you’ve lived like Cicciolina

I put a flower crown on my head on behalf of pleasure
And if I order, you’ll kneel before me
You can see the world as such a beautiful place
If you’ve lived like Cicciolina

I caress my teddy bear, I’m full of love
Yeah, I’m turned on by attention, I don’t need to hide it
Being free and lewd is beautiful
Too many people here are strangers even to themselves

I don’t need rings
Not baby pink dreams
Take a tight hold of me

When some beautiful day I shall come to you
Not even wearing a nun gown will save me
Nor the whole Argentina crying after me
If you’ve lived like Cicciolina

I put a flower crown on my head on behalf of pleasure
And if I order, you’ll kneel before me
You can see the world as such a beautiful place
If you’ve lived like Cicciolina

When there’s currency under the shirt
I’ll always have the upper hand in a situation
Glares and commenters are horrified: “No, not like that!”
If I were a man, I’d be an envied playboy

When some beautiful day I shall come to you
Not even wearing a nun gown will save me
Nor the whole Argentina crying after me
If you’ve lived like Cicciolina

I put a flower crown on my head on behalf of pleasure
And if I order, you’ll kneel before me
You can see the world as such a beautiful place
If you’ve lived like Cicciolina
Source

 

One response to “Rotterdam 2020 – National Final Injustices

  1. Pingback: Rotterdam 2020 – The Fab Five! All Songs Reviewed and Ranked | Mr Eurovision Australia·

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