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SongHunt: The History

by | Feb 26, 2021 | Eurovision, Featured, SongHunt

SongHunt: The History

by | Feb 26, 2021 | Eurovision, Featured, SongHunt

Since 2013, we at escgo! and the #esc chat have been running our annual quest to find the best national final song of the Eurovision season. First called “Chat Charts”, the mission was rethought from scratch and renamed “SongHunt” back in 2015. Finally, after a few further changes, the year 2016 saw the SongHunt as we know it (more or less), with no chosen Eurovision entries allowed. Ever since, SongHunt has been synonymous with our endeavour to find that one song that really should have gone to Eurovision.

Join us as we dive into the SongHunt history together!

2013 and 2014: Chat Charts

The first version of this post began with the Chat Charts 2014, suggesting it was the origin of SongHunt. Little did we know about our own history, as only a few days after this post was published, we rediscovered the existence of the Chat Charts 2013! We can’t reconstruct the whole thing very well, but we do know the final result, and don’t want to leave it hiding in our cellar:

Final results of the Chat Charts 2013:

1. Adelén – Bombo (Norway)
2. Margaret Berger – I Feed You My Love (Norway)
3. Cascada – Glorious (Germany)
4. Lys Assia ft. New Jacks – All In Your Head (Switzerland)
5. Anton Ewald – Begging (Sweden)
6. Valentina Monetta – Crisalide (Vola) (San Marino)
7. Zlata – Gravity (Ukraine)
8. Mary N’diaye – Gosa (Sweden)
9. ByeAlex – Kedvesem (Hungary)
10. Anouk – Birds (Netherlands)

The original idea of the Chat Charts and later SongHunt was to establish something that would meet the following goals at once: First, to find our community’s favourite song of the season. Second, to create a simple and fun way for everyone in our community to find what other fans enjoyed in those national finals that they weren’t able to follow themselves. And third, to connect members of our community more beyond the regular national final viewings in the chat. While the latter wasn’t realised until later (there were no dedicated events in the chat until 2017), the general idea was already out there by 2014. The results of the final were revealed later in the year, in the “Chat Awards”, a last-decade tradition that didn’t live longer than six seasons (2013 – 2018).

Final results of the Chat Charts 2014:

1. Helena Paparizou – Survivor (Sweden)
2. MarieMarie – Cotton Candy Hurricane (Germany)
3. Linnea Dale – High Hopes (Norway)
4. Sil – What’s The Time In Tokyo (Belgium)
5. Mahan Moin – Aleo (Sweden)
6. Elena Sinyavskaya – Via Lattea (Belarus)
7. Oda & Wulff – Sing (Norway)
8. Catarina Pereira – Mea Culpa (Portugal)
9. MarieMarie – Candy Jar (Germany)
10. Ásdís María Viðarsdóttir – Amor (Iceland)

2015: Introducing SongHunt

It was a sleepless night in the second half of 2014 when the idea of SongHunt was born. It was indeed a new idea of how we could achieve what we had on our minds from the start. We rethought that underlying idea from scratch and came up with a system of heats, semi-finals and a final. Again, the final results were only revealed in the Chat Awards towards the end of the year.

Final results of SongHunt 2015:

1. MNTHA – Nefelibata (Latvia)
2. Mørland & Debrah Scarlett – A Monster Like Me (Norway)
3. Dinah Nah – Make Me (La La La) (Sweden)
4. Aminata – Love Injected (Latvia)
5. Elina Born & Stig Rästa – Goodbye To Yesterday (Estonia)
6. Alexa Feser – Das Gold von Morgen (Germany)
7. Isa – Don’t Stop (Sweden)
8. Elhaida Dani – Diell (Albania)
9. Siru – Mustelmat (Finland)
10. Molly Pettersson Hammar – I’ll Be Fine (Sweden)
11. Maraaya – Here For You (Slovenia)
12. Sunday – Fjaðrir (Iceland)

2016: SongHunt – our answer to Second Chance

If it wasn’t for five national final winners ending up in the final Top 12 of the previous edition, we might not have felt the need to change anything, at least not at this point. But we saw one of the three basic principles on the verge of being corrupted. One of SongHunt’s missions was supposed to be to introduce fans to national final songs that they had missed, and to give good national final songs in general a second life and the attention they deserve. So it became clear to us that national final winners – which already are in everyone’s focus anyway – should stay out from now on. In a way, SongHunt became our answer to OGAE’s Second Chance contest, with the difference that we never defined the number of songs that a country could have in our race: neither a minimum nor a maximum. It was always just about the songs and how they resonated with our community.

Final results of SongHunt 2016:

1. The Hardkiss – Helpless (Ukraine)
2. Elouiz – History (Norway)
3. Ace Wilder – Don’t Worry (Sweden)
4. Robin Bengtsson – Constellation Prize (Sweden)
5. I Wear* Experiment – Patience (Estonia)
6. Margaret – Cool Me Down (Poland)
7. Laila Samuels – Afterglow (Norway)
8. Laura – Supersonic (Estonia)
9. Wiktoria – Save Me (Sweden)
10. Eini – Draamaa (Finland)
11. Elísabet Ormslev – Á ny (Iceland)
12. SaRaha – Kizunguzungu (Sweden)

2017: The SongHunt final becomes a chat event

Two years of SongHunt (three including the Chat Charts) and a few adjustments brought us very close to what we had on our minds, but there was one thing that we suddenly developed a desire for: to give SongHunt more of an event character, and to make it more independent from the Chat Awards. We wanted to give it its own celebration, and to crown the end of the SongHunt season with the reprise of the winning song. The first song that ended a SongHunt season with its own reprise as part of a chat event was Romania’s “Petale”, and in the eyes of this very editor, it was the best and most deserved SongHunt winner we had so far.

Final results of SongHunt 2017:

1. Instinct – Petale (Romania)
2. Ariadne – Feel Me Now (Estonia)
3. Loreen – Statements (Sweden)
4. Roger Pontare – Himmel och hav (Sweden)
5. Inês Sousa – Se o tempo não falasse (Portugal)
6. Holly Brewer – I Wish I Loved You More (United Kingdom)
7. Wiktoria – As I Lay Me Down (Sweden)
8. Nano – Hold On (Sweden)
9. Mirela – Contigo (Spain)
10. Rúnar Eff – Make Your Way Back Home (Iceland)
11. Ace Wilder – Wild Child (Sweden)
12. Paula Rojo – Lo que nunca fue (Spain)

SongHunt 2017: Full results

2018: Editors’ Choices introduced

Our “now-traditional method of finding the best national final song of the year”, as introduced in the article accompanying the launch of SongHunt 2018, came with another change to the format. Before 2017, actual entries eliminated before their national final were also counted in the elaborate calculation for SongHunt qualification. It became too much work to keep track of all the chat votings on all the shows and rounds of the various national final formats, so in 2017 we began only counting the national final shows themselves; songs that didn’t reach their national final still had the chance to qualify via a “Second Chance” poll. In 2018, we got rid of that in order to make things even more flexible. From now on, each heat consisted of nine songs that qualified by their good result in the rolling SongHunt list, and an additonal three songs that were picked by the editors’ team. In this way, we could respect what our chatters enjoyed in the various semi-finals or give our own favourites another chance, without having to stick to specific lists and rules (which always equate to “more work”). SongHunt became simpler for us, and more fun too. In a way, this was a necessary measure that would guarantee the longevity of the format we love, and it’s still at the heart of how we determine the SongHunt entrants now.

Final results of SongHunt 2018:

1. Dora Gaitanovici – Fără tine (Romania)
2. Aitana & Ana Guerra – Lo malo (Spain)
3. Inis Neziri – Piedestal (Albania)
4. Rebecca – Who We Are (Norway)
5. Emmy Liyana – OK ou KO (France)
6. Tamás Horváth – Meggyfa (Hungary)
7. Felix Sandman – Every Single Day (Sweden)
8. Nassi – Rêves de gamin (France)
9. Margaret – In My Cabana (Sweden)
10. Asmik Shiroyan – You And I (Armenia)
11. Lisandro Cuxi – Eva (France)
12. Aitana – Arde (Spain)

SongHunt 2018: Full results

2019: SongHunt: An established tradition

When there’s nothing new to announce for something like our SongHunt for a year, we think you can call it a real tradition. Unchanged from the 2018 format, SongHunt 2019 brought us a lot of unforgettable classics like “Tower Of Babylon” or “Passiò”. After two years of Romanian champions, it was now time for another new country to be added to the winners’ list: Albania.

Final results of SongHunt 2019:

1. Artemisa Mithi & Febi Shkurti – Dua te besoj (Albania)
2. Aly Ryan – Wear Your Love (Germany)
3. Mørland – En livredd mann (Norway)
4. Lorena Bućan – Tower Of Babylon (Croatia)
5. Electric Fields – 2000 And Whatever (Australia)
6. Battista Acquaviva – Passiò (France)
7. Kerrie-Anne – Sweet Lies (United Kingdom)
8. Arja Saijonmaa – Mina fyra årstider (Sweden)
9. Hanna Ferm & LIAMOO – Hold You (Sweden)
10. Lidija Bačić – Tek je počelo (Croatia)
11. Anna Bergendahl – Ashes To Ashes (Sweden)
12. Chimène Badi – Là-haut (France)

SongHunt 2019: Full results

2020: Not cancelled.

2020 changed all our lives, in one way or another. We don’t even need to explain to you what 2020 meant for nearly everything, including Eurovision. Unaffected: SongHunt. We kept searching for a song that should have gone to Eurovision, and this premise wasn’t changed by the fact that the contest itself was cancelled. Why stop the fun?

Final results of SongHunt 2020:

1. CHАKRАS – La-ley-la (Belarus)
2. Dotter – Bulletproof (Sweden)
3. Sara Bajraktari – Ajër (Albania)
4. Erika Vikman – Cicciolina (Finland)
5. Anna Bergendahl – Kingdom Come (Sweden)
6. Indira – You Will Never Break My Heart (Croatia)
7. Iva – Oculis videre (Iceland)
8. Olga Lounová – Dark Water (Czech Republic)
9. Didrik & Emil – Out Of Air (Norway)
10. We All Poop – All The Blood (Positive Song Actually) (Czech Republic)
11. Paul Rey – Talking In My Sleep (Sweden)
12. Tone Damli – Hurts Sometimes (Norway)

SongHunt 2020: Full results

2021: More compact, but also more glamorous

The aftermath of 2020 meant a whole bunch of national finals being cancelled until 2022, as many countries decided to send the same representatives to ESC 2021 that should have gone to the previous year’s contest. This completely changed the map of the national final season, resulting in fewer shows and fewer songs, but also more room to enjoy them. After the tough time that most of us had been through with uncertainty as to what the future might look like, the 2021 national final season brought some fun, light and colour into many of our lives that we’d been thirsting for, more or less conciously. It was also the first time in many years that a national final season was so compact. As a result, SongHunt 2021 had to become more compact, too: We cut the total amount of songs from 96 to 48, and the amount of rounds from 15 to 6. But on the other hand, we decided to stage the event bigger than before, giving each round its own event in the chat, and introducing a 50/50 voting rule to give the chat more power regarding the results.

In a way, SongHunt has now become our own national final, deciding what we would have sent to Eurovision – and staging it similarly with an even bigger final event in the chat, in which 15 songs competed for this year’s title of “SongHunt winner”.

Final results of SongHunt 2021:

1. Clara Klingenström – Behöver inte dig idag (Sweden)
2. Danny – Sinä päivänä kun kaikki rakastaa mua (Finland)
3. Pedro Gonçalves – Não vou ficar (Portugal)
4. KEiiNO – Monument (Norway)
5. Raylee – Hero (Norway)
6. Klara Hammarström – Beat Of Broken Hearts (Sweden)
7. Juliette Moraine – Pourvu qu’on m’aime (France)
8. Teflon Brothers x Pandora – I Love You (Finland)
9. Emma Nicoline – Står lige her (Denmark)
10. Ilta – Kelle mä soitan (Finland)
11. Charlotte Perrelli – Still Young (Sweden)
12. NEEV – Dancing In The Stars (Portugal)
13. Valéria – Na mais profunda saudade (Portugal)
14. Inis Neziri – Pendesë (Albania)
15. Tess Merkel – Good Life (Sweden)

SongHunt 2021: Full results

SongHunt 2022

2022: A normal year

We liked the innovations of 2021 so much that we decided to keep the format. It just worked. So, once again, we held four semi-finals, one Last Chance round and one Grand Final. The competition was a tighter one compared to 2021, with only two points separating the two songs on top of the final scoreboard.

Final results of SongHunt 2022:

1. Rigoberta Bandini – Ay mamá (Spain)
2. Younghearted – Sun numero (Finland)
3. Xeinn – Eco (Spain)
4. Sara Jo – Muškarčina (Serbia)
5. Blanca Paloma – Secreto de agua (Spain)
6. Lisa Miskovsky – Best To Come (Sweden)
7. SOA – Seule (France)
8. Tanxugueiras – Terra (Spain)
9. Theoz – Som du vill (Sweden)
10. Medina – In i dimman (Sweden)
11. BQL – Maj (Slovenia)
12. Pongo & Tristany – Dégrá.dê (Portugal)
13. Varry Brava – Raffaella (Spain)
14. Sofie Fjellvang – Made Of Glass (Norway)
15. Cyan Kicks – Hurricane (Finland)

SongHunt 2022: Full results

The future

There’s no such thing as a certain statement about things to come, especially not after 2020 happened. But our dedication to SongHunt shows no signs of declining. Maybe it even reached new heights with the most recent events. What the future brings? We’ll see – but whatever happens, we hope you enjoy traveling further on the SongHunt journey with us!

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