Margaret Berger – I Feed You My Love (Norway 2013)
Despite the slightly naff title, the Berger Queen slayed all before her… well, except for the three songs that finished ahead of her. Despite the result, the song was easily the best in the competition that year, its rock-infused electro sound making it a critical hit and a solid fan favourite. Immediate streaming download purchase required now.
Blanche – City Lights (Belgium 2017)
Poor Blanche. A pre-contest favourite, her chances dropped like a stone when word came back from rehearsals that nerves were getting the better of her. She battled bravely to finish fourth, not bad for a singer who looked like she’d rather be anywhere else the whole entire time. An absolutely cracking tune that could, and probably should have won.
Lena – Taken by a Stranger (Germany 2011)
Following her win at the 2010 contest with ‘Satellite’, Lena took the slightly unusual step of defending her title on home turf the following year. Arguably a better song than her winning entry, ‘Taken By A Stranger’ finished a respectable tenth and ended up on Hollyoaks. So who’s the real winner now, Azerbaijan?
Loreen – Euphoria (Sweden 2012)
If you don’t already have this on a never-ending loop, I really can’t help you.
Nika Kocharov and Young Georgian Lolitaz – Midnight Gold (Georgia 2016)
If that band name doesn’t put you off, what will? Traditional Eurofans hated this, a two-part epic (repetitive rock riff followed by stonking club mosh) that pretty much left everyone scratching their heads. It languished in 20th place in the final, but the fact that it qualified from the semi-final in the first place was a win in itself. The bonkers video gives added value.
Loïc Nottet – Rhythm Inside (Belgium 2015)
Another stormer from Belgium’s recent Euro renaissance, the staging for this art-infused hit knocked everyone’s socks off at the 2015 final. A former contestant on Belgium’s version of The Voice, Rhythm Inside showed everyone that you could do something musically challenging at Eurovision and still finish Top 5. Get that rhythm back yo.
Nina Sublatti – Warrior (Georgia 2015)
Sublatti finished 11th with this fierce anthemic piece of pop. Just the kind of thing you need before you go out canvassing FYI.
Anouk – Birds (Netherlands 2013)
You think Ireland is bad of late? The Netherlands hadn’t qualified for eight years when Anouk took to the stage in Malmö. A beautiful sweeping ballad that builds and builds, the song flew into the final where it restored the nation’s pride finishing 9th.
Aisel – ‘X My Heart’ (Azerbaijan 2018) and Benjamin Ingrosso – ‘Dance You Off’ (Sweden 2018)
Counting these two as one, sorry ‘bout it. While everyone’s losing their shit about Israel and drooling over Australia, I’m going with former winners Azerbaijan – Aisel’s ‘X My Heart’ is this year’s purest Eurobop. Meanwhile, Sweden, Ireland’s Eurovision nemesis, are sending a rather brilliant piece of chilled out pop. More than a little reminiscent of former Eurovision interval act Justin Timberlake (who?), the bookies aren’t giving it much of a chance, but you should definitely add it to your hazy summer evening playlist.
Måns Zelmerlöw and Petra Mede – Love Love Peace Peace
OK, while not technically a Eurovision entry, if you truly hate Eurovision you’ll more than likely love this – the 2016 hosts break down what makes a successful Eurovision song during the interval act. It will reinforce every single negative stereotype you have of the contest, you utter killjoys.
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