Our Top Five National Finals of the Eurovision 2020 season
As the 2020 calendar year comes to a close and the 2021 National Final season is upon us, we're taking a look back at some of the best national finals of the year.
The Aussievision team voted on our top five favourites of the season, based on the line-up of songs plus the quality of the show and production.
The national finals that we included were all live shows that involved a competition of songs. This ruled out the Idol/X Factor selections and online voting contests.
Now, onto the results - Our Top 5 in reverse order:
5. ‘Sanremo Music Festival’ (Italy) – 22 points
The oldest and one of the longest national finals on the calendar, Sanremo exists in its own right. The festival pre-dates Eurovision itself and the winner *may* end up representing Italy at Eurovision. But it's no guarantee as many artists are interested in winning Sanremo, not necessarily going to Eurovision.
The 2020 edition held the usual prestige and drama as well as some excellent entries. The trifecta placings of Diodato, Francesco Gabbani and Pinguini Tattici Nucleari was top notch and then add in iconic entries such as Elodie's 'Andromeda' and Rancore's 'Eden' and the musical line up was one of the best of the season.
The show does go for a very long time, the humour is VERY Italian and of course there is always a drama (this year the infamous walk off between the artists 'Bugo and Morgan' ) but those are all the reasons we love it so much!
4. ‘Festivali i Këngës 58’ (Albania) - 27 points
Always the first national final of the season, it's timing sees fans comes together to celebrate in the lead up to Christmas (hence its nickname 'FiKmas!).
FiK58 saw a different approach including international jurors such as Christer Bjorkman as well as more modern staging, costuming and songs performed.
The battle between Elvana Gjata's 'Me Tana' and Arilena Ara's 'Shaj' was one of the talking points of the seasons and the result, the first shock and drama.
Add in iconic interval acts from Mahmood and Eleni Foureira and FiK58 really turned it on for Eurofans and the Aussievision team.
3. ‘Pabandom iš naujo!’ (Lithuania) – 38 points
After being what some team members described as a "basket case" of a National Final in years gone by, Lithuania made a huge revamp to their National Final and the Aussievision team definitely liked the new version, with nine out of the eleven team members voting give it points.
The tightening of the format, which saw a reduction in the number of shows, as well as the increase in song quality struck a chord with the team. The final had a whole line up of fan favourites including The Roop, Monika Marija, Monique, KaYra, Aistė Pilvelytė and Rūta Loop. Add in some iconic early round entries like Gabrielius Vagelis and Twosome's 'Playa' and you had enough quality combined with 'crazy' to win over the Aussievision team.
2. ‘Eurovision – Australia Decides’ (Australia) – 47 points
How could the team go past this? The national final that many of the team attended live, overall it was a step up from the 2019 version. Something everyone noted was the variety of artists from Triple J regulars Montaigne, Jaguar Jonze and Didirri to household names like Vanessa Amorosi, Casey Donovan and Jack Vidgen.
Additionally staging improvements to bring the crowd into the performances as well as iconic props (overturned car anyone) really grabbed our attention. And of course how can we forget the special guests - Jon Ola Sand, Måns Zelmerlöw and Dami Im! Although there will not be an Australia Decides in 2021, we can't wait to see it back bigger and better in 2022.
1. ‘Melodifestivalen’ (Sweden) – 52 points
They don’t call Melfest the Gold Standard of National Finals for no reason. Melodifestivalen, or Melfest as it colloquially known in the fandom, was once again a hit with the Aussievision team, winning our poll.
There were many reasons why the team rated Melfest so highly. The high production of the show as always plus what we perceived to be a high quality of entries this year. With The Mamas, Dotter, Anna Bergendahl, Hanna Ferm, Anis don Domina, Victor Crone, Robin Bengtsson, Mariette and Felix Sandman all in the final it was always going to be specatacular.
Then add in the incredibly tight voting seeing The Mamas win by a SINGLE POINT and it had all the features of an iconic Melfest year.
The rest of the results were:
6. ‘Melodi Grand Prix’ (Norway) – 19 points
7. ‘Vidbir’ (Ukraine) – 16 points 8. ‘Söngvakeppnin’ (Iceland) – 13 points 9. ‘Festival da Canção’ (Portugal) – 9 points 10. ‘Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (UMK)’ (Finland) – 9 points 11. ‘Beovizija’ (Serbia) – 6 points 12. ‘Dansk Melodi Grand Prix’ (Denmark) – 5 points 13. ‘Eesti Laul’ (Estonia) – 4 points 14. ‘Supernova’ (Latvia) – 3 points 15. ‘Eurofest’ (Belarus) – 1 point
‘Depi Evratesil’ (Armenia), ‘Dora’ (Croatia), ‘HaShir HaBa’ (Israel), ‘Finala națională’ (Moldova), ‘Szansa na Sukces’ (Poland), ‘Selecția Națională’ (Romania) and ‘Evrovizijska Melodija (EMA)’ (Slovenia) didn't receive a point.