Editorial: If At First You Don’t Succeed…Part 2

Picking up where we left off (way too long ago…pardon the delay!), here’s another look at a handful of National Final stalwarts who really deserve their big break at Eurovision.

From Malta, the land that brought us Chiara, Glen Vella, and Kurt Calleja, brothers Wayne Micallef and Richard Edwards have each submitted a handful of strong entries to the National Final.  First appearing in a trio with their sister Michelle as “The Mics” in 2003 and 2005, the siblings came in 14th with “Take Me Back Again“, and came in a disappointing 21st place with their disco-fied entry “It’s Up To You”.  It was Wayne who first struck out on his own, with his 2009 submission “Where You Belong“.  He improved upon his 7th-place finish that year with his 2010 follow-up, “Save a Life“, and came in 8th place in 2011 with the more upbeat “Everybody Sing“.  His 2012 entry, “Time“, with its Wisconsin-filmed video, brought him a 12th-place finish, and he is showing no signs of stopping. 

Not to be outdone, Wayne’s brother Richard (who uses his middle name for the sake of performance) submitted his first National Selection entry in 2010, but failed to reach the Final with “Change“.  Undeterred, he returned with a vengeance in 2011, nabbing a silver medal for “Finally“, followed by a 5th-place finish with 2012’s “Look at Me Now” (see below).  It seems like it would be only a matter of time before one of these two talented brothers makes it to the big show, but knowing Malta’s penchant for sending either upbeat pop numbers or big ballads to Eurovision, will guitar- or piano-driven singer/songwriter entries get lost in the mix?  Let’s see what 2013 brings…

Over in Portugal, the 2011 and 2012 bronze medal at the Festival Da Canção went to Rui Andrade, for “Em Nome do Amor (In the Name of Love)” and “Amor a Preto e Branco (Love in Black and White)”, respectively.  Since then, the double-threat (he’s also a popular soap-opera actor) has kept his hand in the Eurovision pot, even performing at OGAE Portugal’s annual party in Setúbal.  With his powerful voice and rugged good looks (and yes, that is, in fact, a dimple in his chin), Rui has melted more than a few hearts with his performances in recent years; will the third time be the charm for this Lusitanian?  And if so, could he possibly bring Portugal their first Eurovision Top Five position?  Check out Rui’s 2011 attempt below:

One of the countries with the roughest track records in Eurovision (and often unjustifiably so) is Slovakia, having failed to place any higher than 18th in a Final, or 13th in a Semi.  Since their return to Eurovision in Moscow, they’ve tried their hands at a number of different genres, from operatic duets to ethnically-influenced dance to pop ballads to metal, with no major success.  Why not go back to basics and send a happy, crowd-pleasing pop-rock number?  Much like the aforementioned Rui Andrade, Slovak singer Tomáš Bezdeda has participated in two National Finals, with 2009’s “Každý z nás (Each of Us)” and 2010’s “Na strechách domov (The Roofs of Houses)”, coming in third place with both entries.  Tomáš originally gained notoriety through his participation on the first season of “Slovensko hľadá SuperStar” (Slovakia’s version of the “Idol” series) where he came in third, and he quickly followed that up with a turn on “Let’s Dance“, where he came in…third.  Hmm.  I’m noticing a pattern here.  So, why not give Tomáš the ticket this time around?  It might not guarantee a bronze for STV, but it can’t hurt, can it?

So, did any of these four talented lads hit your switch?  Leave a comment, a suggestion, or a greeting!  Now that we’re a stone’s throw away from Eurovision season starting up again (songs released after early September may be eligible for the competition, depending on the country), the ESC Insider will be heating up once more, so stay tuned!

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Posted on August 18, '12, in 2012, Malta, Portugal, Slovakia, Special Comment, Wish List. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I thought this might be a place to drop in a good word for a certain Melodifestivalen entrant that was undeniably different. Remember OPA!? Seeking to find out more about them than was available on their site opaband.com (the Face Book page had a country restriction which has been lifted since, but they are still not available on Spotify outside of Sweden), I was in contact with one of the band members, who offered me a signed copy of their debut album, which I had delivered to my mother for Mothers’ Day! Great album! Greek-style folk-pop sung in Swedish, if you could not already tell, by a Greek expatriate to Sweden. Well? Someone must show Timoteij who is boss!

    One can even get a free download of their single “Himmelskt” through this link: opaband.com/himmelskt

    Over in Finland, Stig is the UMK alumnus who is going farthest. Very Finnish, his material is. Definitely not a contender internationally, which is probably why we did not send him, but he has appeal here in Finland.

    You know who we should absolutely send? Look no further than http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjJNPSdvjp0! Arm these guys with a tune by the guy responsible for the Angry Birds soundtrack (Ari Pulkkinen), and I think we are sitting on a winner! I got their debut album as a gift for friends with children over in America, and they enjoyed it immensely, as I did, in fact. Heavy-metal music for children; perfect idea, no?

    We should also keep an eye out on the Albanian Ikonomi (Më Ler Të Të Dua was very pretty, and it would have only sounded more beautiful after the customary revamp). In fact, I question whether Albania wants to continue sending its Festival winner each year, or rather take a page from Italy’s San Remo. Before Eurovision, their national Final was not just a national Final. but Festivali i Këngës, the supposed sum of the best in Albania. Who wants to be told that the very best of one’s own country is not good enough to succeed in such an international event that has entries that vary so greatly in quality? I am just glad Rona Nishliu pulled it off this year coming fifth, but should they continue to send their overall winner to Eurovision beyond this point? What do you think?

  2. Just remembered it might be worth mentioning a 2010 Euroviisut alumna whose debut album appeared: Remember Heli Kajo? Jos Mä Kuolen Nuorena (If I Die Young) is her first single.

    I also heard on the radio that UMK is starting again for 2013. Why not just internally select Hevisaurus? They already have a following in Hungary and Argentina, believe it or not.

  3. You know… while I thought to drop another name from the Finnish national Final 2011 (Milana Misic with her latest single “Linnun Kokoinen”), it occured to me at the same time that you might be looking more for participants likely to return to Eurovision national Final, and they really don’t do a whole lot of “returning” here in Finland, now do they? She still turned out a fantastic song, though. Where there were imperfections with her Euroviisut attempt (namely the continuous flow of it), there are none to found with this one, I can tell you! She refined that Finnish-Balkan fusion she was attempting earlier, in other words.

  1. Pingback: Malta: “Coming Home”, Going to Copenhagen | The ESC Insider

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