My Favorites of Eurovision Song Contest 2016

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Another year, another Eurovision. This year, for Eurovision Song Contest 2016, Europe (and some other Asian countries plus Australia) is coming together in Stockholm, Sweden this year after the country’s victory in 2015 with Måns Zelmerlöw and the song “Heroes.”

Sweden's Måns Zelmerlöw won the Eurovision Song Contest last year. Also on photo is 2014's winner Conchita Wurst. (Elena Volotova, EBU)
Sweden’s Måns Zelmerlöw won the Eurovision Song Contest last year. Also on photo is 2014’s winner Conchita Wurst. (Elena Volotova, EBU)

I went through and listened to all 43 participating entries in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 and I have trimmed the list down to my top 10 favorites this year:


1 point: Russia

Eurovision 2016 - Russia - Sergey Lazarev (EBU)

“You are the Only One” — Sergey Lazarev

Although I did enjoy Polina Gagarina’s entry last year, I’m thrilled that Russia isn’t sending another “peace and love, let’s be together as one” anthem. I think this is the most Eurovision-y of all the songs this year. It’s a little bit cheesy but not lacking at all in epicness. Like can you get anymore cheesy with a line such as “Thunder and lightning, it’s getting exciting”? There’s even the all-important key change at the end. It’s a guilty pleasure of mine, this one. (Official video)


2 points: Spain

Eurovision 2016 - Spain - Barei (Raúl Tejedor - RTVE, EBU)

“Say Yay!” — Barei

Isn’t this just the most uplifting song this year? It never fails to make me smile whenever I listen to it on my Eurovision playlist. It makes me want to “raise [my] battle cry,” whatever the heck that means. Hahaha. I love the funkier sound that they added in the revamp, plus strings. You can never go wrong with more strings… most of the time. (Official video)


3 points: Ukraine

Eurovision 2016 - Ukraine - Jamala (Sasha Samsonova, EBU)

“1944” — Jamala

Ethnic instruments on breakbeat? English plus Crimean Tatar? On paper these are weird combinations, but on this song it just works. The best word to describe this song is “haunting.” You can really feel the emotion in Jamala’s voice, especially on the Crimean Tatar chorus. That series of high notes near the end is insane. (Official video)


4 points: Australia

Eurovision 2016 - Australia - Dami Im (Peter Brew-Bevan, EBU)

“Sound of Silence” — Dami Im

Australia is in it to win it! The country has been producing many pop music gems these past few years and this song is no exception. And they even chose Dami Im, one of the greatest voices in the Australian music scene, to sing for them. Oh, and can Europeans stop with the “Australia isn’t even in Europe” argument. They’ve been participating for 3 years already and have been showing the semi-finals and finals even a few years back. (Official video)


5 points: Malta

Eurovision 2016 - Malta - Ira Losco (Kris Micallef, EBU)

“Walk on Water” — Ira Losco

The gospel and drum’n’bass combo is divine. Especially that gospel-ly middle eight! I can’t get enough of this song and Ira’s vocals. I can’t help but snap along to the beat. I’m disappointed that Molly Petterson-Hammar didn’t make it to the final of Melodifestivalen, but I guess she got the best deal sending a huge contender with her name in the songwriting credits. (Official video)


6 points: Cyprus

Eurovision 2016 - Cyprus - Minus One (Demetris Vattis, EBU)

“Alter Ego” — Minus One

I’m not really a fan of rock entries in the Eurovision Song Contest, but this has to be my favorite one, not only this year but for the last five years. The band’s collaboration with Thomas G:son certainly helped add a bit more pop flavor to their sound, accessible to a wider audience. (Official video)


7 points: Croatia

Eurovision 2016 - Croatia - Nina Kraljic (Dario Njavro, EBU)

“Lighthouse” — Nina Kraljic

There’s something very mystical about this song. I can imagine that this would be a great soundtrack for my next nature trip. And what a voice on Nina too. I’m pretty sure this song will resonate to a lot of Eurovision fans. (Promo video)


8 points: Italy

Eurovision 2016 - Italy - Francesca Michielin (Stylaz, EBU)

“No Degree of Separation” — Francesca Michielin

There is nessun grado di separazione between my heart and this song. I love how the song builds up to that note near the end. Even though I don’t speak Italian, I can feel the emotion in every word Francesca sings. My only gripe is that the Eurovision edit, or rather how they cut the song to fit the 3-minute limit, is a bit… weird. Although it’s probably because I’m just used to the full song having repeated it quite a lot for the past few months. And I mean, a lot. (Official video)


10 points: Latvia

Eurovision 2016 - Latvia - Justs (Andzejs Gavriss, EBU)

“Heartbeat” — Justs

Aminata Savadogo has done it again, but this time she’s the brains behind Latvia’s entry this year. For the second year in a row Latvia has sent a great modern pop song with an even greater production backing it. Add to that Justs’ amazing live vocal, that I feel like the live performances are better than the studio recording. (Official video)


12 points: France

Eurovision 2016 - France - Amir (Renaud Corlouër, EBU)

“J’ai cherché” — Amir

You-ooh-ooh-ooh. This is the song I’ve played the most among all the Eurovision songs this year. The transition from French to English and back is smooth and not one bit jarring. The pop-folk sound is current and very radio-friendly, a first for France for the last five years. I can’t wait to see this on the Stockholm stage with everyone in the audience clapping along. Just imagining that gives me goosebumps. (Official video)


Check out my full ranking of all 43 Eurovision Song Contest 2016 songs in this video:


Don’t forget to catch the Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm, Sweden on the 2nd week of May: semi-finals on May 10th and 12th, Tuesday and Thursday, and the grand finals on the 14th, Saturday, all at 2100 CEST (that’s 3:00 a.m. Philippine time!). What’s your favorite entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016? Sound off in the comments below. 

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