Today I'm revealing my best 5 from the big 5. This is my 5 favourite entrants since the inception of the big four in the year 2000 (and then since Italy came back in '11).
The big 5 are always such a contested issue and I really don't know where I stand on it. This year my favourite track is France and I genuinely am of the opinion that France should walk away with the trophy. So for some reason, that makes qualification important to me. As in, it would mean more if they also had to go through a semi.
Nevertheless, I whole-heartedly support the big 5 rule. If it wasn't for us, the show wouldn't be able to go on air. The reason I am pro this, quite frankly obnoxious opinion, is because ESC is first and foremost a live entertainment television show, created to encourage, promote and deliver cultural relativism in a diverse hybrid of rich socio-political and economic history. It is not a sporting occasion, or an ideological race, it is plainly a television programme. I believe we get so lost in the competition that without seeing the contest in defined monetary numbers, a big 5 rule appears an unyielding display of power. I won't lie, on face value, that's what it is. But the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy put the money in the EBU and we should reap the reward. Nuff said.
(and if you don't like it, well get over it, those and the rules and that is that)
SO NOW ON TO MY FAVE 5.
Well for me the UK is a tough choice because I am from the UK. I am proud we have had a null points, it makes me happy that despite our lousy finishes since then, it will always be better than 2003 (touch wood). However I absolutely fell in love with Molly back in 2014 and she's a good pick.
Next up I'll do France. Slightly easier because they haven't been great. I wish it could have been
the original Conchita Sebastien but unfortunately not.
Instead it's easily one of the funnest songs to have been entered. Allez Ola Ole by Jessy Matador in 2010. Thank you France.
Next up let's do Italy. Such brilliance when they came back in 2011 after such a long absence. Italy have truly given us some absolute diamond songs in Eurovision history. One of the highest selling songs (in the world) of all time is an Italian Eurovision entrant. Since rejoining and becoming part of the big 5 they have done very well, and this isn't an easy choice.
Madness In Love was one of my favourite entrants back in 2011, and I'm going to put it in over Grande Amore. Yes I loved Grande Amore and hoped it was going to win at points last year, and hello Gianluca Ginoble
...but it's not enough. Madness in Love - extended is even better.
Spain haven't been that exciting as part of the big four. They haven't been terrible, but they haven't been great. Beth from 2003 would have been a worthy choice had it not been for 2012's Quedate Conmigo. It's shocking this finished as low as 10th - I'd probably have put it top 3 that year, and if the year wasn't so ballad-centric then this would have done even better. Plus it was Euphoria year and well everything else is kind of forgotten from Baku.
Last but not least it's Germany. When I say Germany have probably been one of my favourite countries since 2000, I mean it. From Wadde Hadde Duda Da to Miss Kiss Kiss Bang, I've loved pretty much all of them. When Dusseldorf hosted the contest in 2011, they did an absolutely magnificent job so hats off to them. One of the worst entries last year for me was Black Smoke, couldn't really stand it and so love the fact that Deutschland have also grabbed a nul points.
My choice is therefore pretty hard. It seems such a cop out to choose Satellite, but it is a cracking little track which gets everyone dancing. However I've gone back the years and selected a proper 00s ballad. It's Michelle's 'Wer Liebe Lebt' from 2001, which I think translates to something about 'whoever loves, lives'. I like the message.