The voting for the annual ESC 250 celebration closed on 5th December 2021, and now we have a nervous wait to find out the results!
While we wait to find our the official results, members of the TES team will be sharing their votes for this year and explaining why they have voted the way they have. [Intro phrase eg. First to reveal their votes is…]
Why I voted how I voted
I only discovered the ESC 250 votes in 2014, following my receiving of a smartphone. While I was listening to the choices fans made on that first year I listened, I knew I had to vote to change some of the results. Since then, I have voted purely based on two things – the songs I like and the songs that tend to be underrated. There is usually an overlap in these categories and the main ones are the ones that make it into my top 10.
And with that, let’s kick off my votes for this year’s ESC 250!
1 Point: “Water” – Elitsa Todorova and Stoyan Yankoulov (Bulgaria 2007)
While Stoyan might be returning this year as part of the Intelligent Music Project, nothing will beat his first participation in 2007 with Elitsa Todorova. This song is dark, ethereal and cultural but blends folk and electronic trance perfectly. Essentially, this was the pre-cursor to Go_A.
2 Points: “Taken By a Stranger” – Lena (Germany 2011)
This partially might come from bias, as I was lucky enough to see Lena perform this at the jury final in 2011. However, this was such a shift from ‘Satellite’ that it showed Lena’s versatility as an artist. Not to mention, the staging was so left-field it did actually help it stand out.
3 Points: “Blackbird” – Norma John (Finland 2017)
Potentially controversial opinion – but 2017 is one of the strongest years in the past decade. I still listen to quite a number of songs from this year, but the one song I keep coming back to is “Blackbird”. The sheer sparseness of the song, coupled with the phenomenal graphics and Leena’s note perfect vocals should have pushed this through, but I guess we weren’t ready for Scandi-noir pop.
4 Points: “Where Are You?” – Imaani (United Kingdom 1998)
This was a new addition to my top 10, but Imaani had been on my radar for a long time. It was in fact Eurovision Again that brought my attention back to the UK’s last second-place act. This was the best representation of British music at Eurovision until “Embers” hit, but unlike James, this had a charm and hooks you in with the trap beat. The UK needs things like this again!
5 Points: “The Voice” – Eimear Quinn (Ireland 1996)
It would be criminal of me not to include an entry from my home nation – Ireland. Despite this being our last winning entry, roughly 25 years ago it has yet to age a single day. For people who argue this is not traditional Irish music, it is EXACTLY traditional Irish music and incredibly representative of Ireland as a whole. This is my favourite Irish winner and listening to it makes me feel proud to be Irish.
6 Points: “Visionary Dream” – Sopho Khalvashi (Georgia 2007)
As much as I might go on about my love for “Visionary Dream”, it might surprise you that I have the song so low in my votes. While it’s only because certain recent songs have taken over, my heart still stays with Sopho. This is so left-field and undersold by the Eurofandom and essentially laid the groundwork for Georgia’s reputation as an experimental country at Eurovision. If Sopho could resend this song, I would give Georgia ALL my money so they could win.
7 Points: “Russian Woman” – Manizha (Russia 2021)
It should come as no surprise that my #1 of 2021 is this high in my ranking. On my Spotify Wrapped for 2021, “Russian Woman” was by and far and away my most listened to song for the year, listening to it 416 times over the course of the year. The hook with the instrumentation is so addictive and the incredibly powerful female empowerment narrative means that it should have made the top 10. I just hope that Russia continues with this genuine streak!
8 Points: “Shum” – Go_A (Ukraine 2021)
This will be a shock, but “Shum” has also become of the tracks of my year. When the original version was released in January, I already knew that whether it would go to Eurovision, it would become a song I’d be addicted to. I did not like the revamped version as much, but the iconicness of the song and the band in general created a storm that meant that I could not NOT like it.
Also, I sang “Shum” at a Eurovision karaoke competition, so I had to love it.
10 Points: “O Jardim” – Cláudia Pascoal (Portugal 2018)
I’m just going to tag this tweet and say nothing more, but if we can have more songs like “O Jardim” in structure in Eurovision, I would VERY VERY much appreciate this.
And Rory’s 12 points go to… “1944” – Jamala (Ukraine 2016)
If you have followed us from the very beginning of ‘That Eurovision Podcast’ and ‘That Eurovision Site’, it really should come as no surprise that Jamala gets my 12 points. Everything about this performance is transcendent of any Eurovision context. It is art – because it is beautiful, controversial, provocative and representative. I personally hold Jamala responsible for the shift from commerciality to connection in Eurovision songs and thanks to her, we are in a golden age of the Contest. I could go on all night about how much “1944” deserved to win, but this article has to end sometime.
Now that Rory’s revealed their votes for ESC 250, what do you think of them? Who has gotten your 12 points this year? As always, please let us know what you think by commenting below. Be sure to follow ‘THAT Eurovision Site’ on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
News Source: That Eurovision Site
Photo Credit: EBU / Andres Putting