I have to say that the chance of not qualifying has helped my love for Eurovision. Not only do I love to predict the qualifiers, but I similarly love the drama when a favourite doesn't do well... and hands up, love getting caught in that drama when one of my own favourites falls short of the mark.
So it seems fitting to mark 30 days to go with my favourite song to not qualify.
I'll start with a few notable mentions. Andorra in 2007 came with a strong song, and I feel that Salvem El Mon deserved to qualify. At the contest in '07, they had only one semi final, with 10 songs qualifying from 28 entrants. This included great songs from that year, Hungary, Bulgaria, and the winner from Serbia (more from her later on this season). In the end Andorra finished 12th which is a proud achievement for such a minnow nation!
2008 saw Dustin the Turkey compete for Ireland and I would have just loved to have seen that qualify. Thank God for Eurovision it didn't. But Switzerland were robbed that year, Era Stupdendo was easily one of the best that year and they finished 13th in SF2, with some truly horrific songs qualifying instead. I'm not going to name countries but apart from the top 3, you could make a case for every other qualifier not having made it over Switzerland.
I fell in love with Cyprus' quaint entry 'Firefly' in 2009, despite Christina's scary vocals at times. 2010 was just rather poor. 2011 was undeniably a really strong year all around, and there were some really good non-qualifiers. Stella Mwangi and 'Haba Haba' was a shock non-qualifier for Norway, and there was also some shock non-qualifiers from previously strong countries, like Armenia and Turkey, even if both their songs were rubbish. As well as Norway, I would loved to have seen Portugal and Slovakia qualify.
Slovakia were also robbed in 2012, I absolutely loved 'Don't Close Your Eyes'. Joan Franka for the Netherlands should have qualified as well, and I was a big fan of Portugal's 'Vida Minha' and Slovenia's 'Verjamem' entries. 2012 is notable for some hilariously songs not qualifying; Austria's 'Woki Mit Dem Popo', Georgia's 'I'm a Joker', the lyrically phenomenal Montenegrin 'Euro Neuro', and last but not least, 'The
Social Network Facebook Song' from Eurovision star Valentina Monetta. Deary me, that SHOULD have qualified, it would have been incredible.
Starting with Valentina Monetta, 'Crisalide (Vola)' was a huge shout for my favourite not to qualify, but it doesn't quite make it. It was such a strong song and the fan community was heartbroken when it didn't get San Marino their first spot in the final. Hell, the song even finished a remarkable 2nd in the infamous OGAE poll. Better luck next year Valentina...oh wait...
SO WHO IS MY FAVOURITE NON-QUALIFIER?
CONTROVERSIAL? I don't know, but I was so upset this didn't make it. Latvia were probably one of my favourites in 2011, and we all know just how amazingly strong the entrants were in 2011.
"Angels in Disguise" actually came as low as 17th out of 19 for Musiqq. But oh well, positions aren't the be all and end all. Anmary actually finished a position higher a year later for Latvia. And if it wasn't for 'The Social Network Song', we would still be talking about how appallingly terribly 'Beautiful Song' was. Latvia's 2011 performance came at a time when they weren't doing well in Eurovision, with the 2002 winners failing to qualify in six consecutive attempts. I'd love Aminata's 'Love Inject' last year and wish them all the best for this year! Good Luck Latvia!