The Best of the Class of 2022

There’s just a week to go until rehearsals start in Torino for the 66th Eurovision Song Contest.

A perfect time to look back at what has been an incredible National Final Season, where we had impressive 28 contests (if you count Italy’s Sanremo) and an absolute plethora of amazing songs which have been consigned to the rubbish heap.

It’s about time that the best of these are celebrated, and so the editors of ESCBubble have got together and not only have been posting their favourites on our Facebook page for our ‘song of the day’ feature for the last fortnight, they’ve submitted their choices for our annual round up of the season.

The season usually kicks off with the Albanian selection “Festivali i Këngës” and whilst they were beaten on timing by the ESCZ 2020 online Czech Republic contest, 29th December saw us glued to our laptops as the festival reached it’s conclusion.  Whilst Ronela Hajarti will be travelling to Italy with her song “Sekret”, the second place of Alban Ramosaj with “Theje” caught the eye of ESCBubble editor Dave:

For me, Alban was by far the winner of FiK this year. The song was great, and really came to life on stage. As someone who typically doesn’t like ballads, I really enjoyed the melody of “Theje” and the amazing powerful vocals Alban delivered on stage. I was honestly surprised when “Sekret” won instead.

At the end of January 2022, we had the inaugural “Benidorm Fest” where Chanel narrowly won out with “Slo Mo” and will represent Spain in Torino. It wouldn’t be a Spanish selection without some controversy however, as the Galician group Tanxugueiras were expected to win and indeed scored 71% of the televotes however due to the voting structure, they were denied the crown ending up 3rd.  It was however the 2nd place entry of Rigoberta Bandini  with her song “Ay Mama” which struck a chord with our editor Sebi

This song had me really close to tears, when I first read through the lyrics. What I love about this is that it’s so sincere. It’s Rigoberta being herself, not trying to sound like any other pop artist. It’s such an unusual song and it’s definitely hard to say whether this would’ve done well in Eurovision or not. But it would have been an iconic moment without a doubt. People would have remembered the big breast in the background for years!

The first “Super Saturday that we had to endure was 12 February, where four National Final contests were reaching their conclusion, in Ukraine, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia and it’s Latvia we go to for our Senior Editor Nikola’s choice :

There were two songs which competed for the title of guilty pleasure song of the whole national final season and those were “BAD” by Bermudu divstūris with all those cringe and funny lyrics and cool performance but I have to give the title to the song which brought me joy, had amazing performance, choreography, funny lyrics and almost became a tiktok sensation, if you haven’t guessed so far I’ll give you a final hint and that’s actually a reminder that we are one big family – that’s right it’s “He, She, You & Me” by Bujāns – if only Intars Busulis went with this one at Eurovision 2009 instead of Probka, Latvia could’ve qualify to the final!

The following Saturday, 19th February gave us 6 more songs, as Norway, San Marino, Poland, Croatia, Slovenia and Malta made their choices.  Editor Joe B. has chosen a song from Poland’s Tu bije sercy Europy! selection that gave us something a little different, Unmute’s  “Głośniej niź decybele”

Maybe this wasn’t the best song in terms of musical prowess, but I genuinely think Poland missed a trick not sending this. With Rose Ayling-Ellis just having won Strictly in the UK, conversations about accessibility have been growing, and to have the first ever Eurovision song fully in sign language would’ve been a landmark moment for Poland to claim. And the lyrics are pretty deep as well. More so than the bloke they actually picked who wants to get his feet wet.

There was a welcome return for “Australia Decides” on February 26th, it gave us a very exciting Saturday morning here in Europe.  The fan favourites seemed to be Voyager with “Dreamer”, however Sheldon Riley was a very popular winner. Our editor Cain was in the arena for the show and has chosen Voyager’s entry as his pick of the year

There can only be one winner… but what if there were two? The hashtag #voyagerforeurovision has been trending for a few years off the back of Voyager first expressing their desire to represent Australia. But in the arena on the night of Australia Decides, they brought the house down with their epic sonic and visual extravaganza of pop metal, hair and Euro-enthusiasm. The crowd went wild for as long as the song after that performance.

This article is at risk of running as long as the National Final season itself, so I’ll finish off with my own personal favourite of the whole final season and it comes from Finland.  It was always expected that The Rasmus would win Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (UMK), they’re an internationally renowned band and “Jezebel” is a bit of an ear worm.  However …. when Bess released the high impact pop song “Ram Pam Pam” it soon became a fan favourite and topped the Finnish charts. Even now 2 months later, it sits at No. 4 in the Finnish singles charts, with The Rasmus nowhere to be seen….

 

So there you go, these were some of our favourites from the ESCBubble Team – what do you think of our choices? Let us know, and don’t forget to keep following us on social media using the buttons below and we look forward to bringing you all the news from our team in Torino as we get ready for the live shows!

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