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Winners or not, there are several Eurovision songs worth listening to.


  • The first "gimmicky" entry goes all the way back to the second contest in 1957. The Danish entry, "Skibet Skal Sejle I Nat" ended with performers Birthe Wilke and Gustav Winckler engaging in a Big Damn Kiss which lasted 11 seconds and caused an outcry in some countries.
  • Eurovision's first smash hit was "Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu"note  by Domenico Modugno, which finished third in 1958 but nonetheless became one of, if not the most famous Italian pop song of all time also thanks to its success in the contest, to the point many people don't even know it was first popularized by Eurovision. Matter of fact, when ESC made a popularity poll for the contest's 50-year anniversary in 2005, it came second while the 1958 edition's winner and runner-up weren't even present.
  • The most famous export of Eurovision is ABBA - who according to That Other Wiki were peculiarly credited as "The Abba" in preview specials - with "Waterloo" in 1974.
  • "E Depois do Adeus", the Portuguese entry for 1974, was famously used as one of two secret signals for the start of the Carnation Revolution, a coup d'etat that overthrew Portugal's fascist regime in 1974. The song tied for last with Norway, Germany and Switzerland at the contest. Nowadays, it can be heard on a television program by the RTP television channel, also called Depois do Adeus.
  • Portugal's 1975 entry, "Madrugada" by Duarte Mendes, was notably a celebration of the revolution. According to the book The Eurovision Song Contest - The Official History by John Kennedy O'Connor, the performer was going to appear in army uniform and carry a gun onstage(!), but had to be talked out of doing so.
  • In 1977, for reasons unknown to history, Austria selected Schmetterlinge, a left-leaning folk-rock band who hated Eurovision and all it stood for, as their entrants. Their song was "Boom Boom Boomerang," an acerbic parody of the sort of inane "Schlager" entries with nonsense lyrics that were popular at the time. The more coherent lyrics of the song suggested that such songs were only written to increase record company profit margins. The performance was rather unforgettable, too.
  • The jurors of 1977 must have been rather perplexed by 1977 at the beginning. Austria were fourth in performance order and their crazed performance came right after the Netherlands' Heddy Lester, singing her tune while wearing the most outlandish pink satin dress, which appeared to be made from Venetian blinds and wedding cake frosting.
  • Norway in 1978 received zero points with "Mil etter mil" by Jahn Teigen, who sabotaged his own entry with affected vocals and stage antics because he disliked the song's brassy arrangement. His squawk at 1:30 sounds like a climaxing Muppet. Despite its utter failure at the contest, "Mil etter mil" wound up dominating Norway's charts and Teigen released it in an album titled This Year's Loser.
  • Dschinghis Khan, "Dschinghis Khan". 1979 West German entry (with Jerusalem as the host city). Imagine a German lovechild of ABBA and the Village People. That pretty much describes them. They went on to become a supergroup. See the video here. Their other hits include:
    • "Moskau." The unofficial song of the 1980 Olympics at Moscow. This subject of Memetic Mutation thanks to YTMND and one very, very unique dance - based on traditional Russian folk dancing, believe it or not. Please enjoy.
    • "Rocking Son of Dschinghis Khan." The dance and lyrics of this song must be seen and heard to believed. Watch this here.
    • Dschinghis Khan song changed Jewish weddings forever when an Israeli songwriter added Hebrew lyrics and the song become known as "Yidden." It has since became a standard for Jewish weddings.
    • Interestingly enough, some thought the song to be inappropriate. Think about it: Germans singing about Jenghis Khan in Jerusalem... And somehow, they got away with it. In fact, it's beloved in Israel, partly for the audacity of it, and partly for the fact it's a darned cool song!
  • Sophie & Magaly's "Le Papa Pingouin", Luxembourg's 1980 entry, is a song in French about a penguin with wanderlust and features a grown man and backup singers in penguin suits.
  • Telex's "Euro-Vision", Belgium's 1980 entry. Telex - a quirky synthpop band known for not taking themselves seriously - they obviously didn't take the contest seriously either: "We had hoped to finish last, but Portugal decided otherwisenote ". They finished 3rd last. Not that that prevents them from having towels around their necks and singer Michel Moers from throwing confetti on himself. Moers also snaps a tourist photo of the audience at the end. It's probably the first song in the final where Eurovision itself is the subject. And definitely the first song to be performed on synthesizers.
  • In 1985, The Bobbysocks gave Norway its first victory with "Let it Swing", a rocking tune with throwbacks to both 80's and 50's music, that is one of Norway's most recognizable songs, even to this day. It's also one of many songs (at least in the Nordic countries) during that era to be performed in this style; Sweden and Denmark had similar entries. Norway had placed last on six occasions up to that pointnote  and did not make the top ten on 15 of 17 occasions between 1967 and 1984 (the only exceptions being 7th in 1973 and 9th in 1983), making their 1985 victory all the more remarkable.
  • The 1989 contest got a bit of flak because the Israeli and French entrants were 12 and 11 respectively. This led to an age restriction being implemented starting with the 1990 contest in Zagreb, and indirectly led to the creation of the Junior Eurovision in 2003.
  • 1990 is the year that started another, broader trend in ESC. The French and Spanish entries were straightforward pop songs with heavy hints of calypso and flamenco respectively. Joelle Ursull's "White and Black Blues" and Azucar Moreno's "Bandido" placed 2nd and 5th respectively and both became big hits. While there were a few ethnically-flavored entries in the previous 35 years, it wasn't until these songs came out that they became popular, and to this day national music elements are quite common in the contest.
    • A third ethnic entry, "Gözlerinin Hapsindeyim" by Kayahan, represented Turkey that year as well. Unlike France and Spain, it didn't fare too well, and finished 17th.
    • France followed up "White and Black" with "Le dernier qui a parle", which was considered one of the favorites to win the 1991 contest. However, by the time the last jury voted, they were tied with Sweden - the first tie since the four-way win in 1969. This resulted in a "count back". It turned out that both received the same amount of 12-point scores, but Sweden got 5 10-point scores as opposed to France's two, giving Sweden its 3rd victory. This was the closest France came to winning since 1977.
  • Norway in 1995 won with "Nocturne" by Secret Garden, a slow Celtic-flavored piece with only thirty seconds of song. The rest is a lengthy, gorgeous violin intermezzo that has little in common with Eurovision's usual pop ballads and dances.
    • In a similar spirit, Croatia's entry "Nostalija".
    • That same year, the UK sent the contest's first ever rap song. This being Europe in The '90s, it's fairly cheesy and just barely cracked the top 10.
  • The UK's 1996 entry "Ooh Aah... Just a Little Bit" by Australian guest singer Gina G only finished 8th, but later that year it became a very rare example of a Eurovision song catching on in the United States. The song reached the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100, was nominated for a Grammy and remains a pop radio staple in North America.
  • Dana International, the first openly transgender person to enter the competition, triumphed in 1998 amid strong competition from the UK, Malta, Netherlands and Croatia. In fact, up until the last moments, Malta was expected to get the last douze and win with a margin of 4 points, but the douze instead went to Croatia. Video here.
  • The 1998 German entry was performed by a keet named Guildo Horn. His spectacular performance climaxed with him climbing the scaffolding on the side of stage. Though initially criticized for lack of seriousness by the press, he became hugely popular in the weeks leading up to the contest, and placed 7th.
  • Germany in 1999 sent "Journey to Jerusalem", a rousing anthem with lines in German, Turkish, English and Hebrew (this was the first contest held after the "native language only" policy was dropped), and placed 3rd.
  • In 2000, Nightwish entered Finland's national final with "Sleepwalker" (which is fairly atypical of their style, but worth a mention regardless). They won the public vote, but the jury eventually decided on Nina Åström.
  • Two years after Guido, that song's composer represented Germany in 2000 with the song "Wadde Hadde Dudde Da". The mere fact that it finished 5th is either proof of Stefan Raab's absolute awesomeness or the joke value of the entire show. To make it short: he competed with what was virtually a Voice Clip Song about a woman asking her dog in baby speech "what have you there" with full-on Narm Charm and made it work.
  • In 2002, Greece brought their first ever English-language entry, "S.A.G.A.P.O.", a Depeche Mode-esque number about getting your lover to say your "password" (spoiler: it's "I love you" in Greek). Of course, it also involves robotic choreography and the band members dressed in body armor for some reason.
  • "Sanomi", Belgium's 2003 entry, was the first Eurovision song to be sung in a fictional language.
  • "Everyway That I Can" by Sertab Erener brought the contest home for Turkey in 2003, and it's easy to see why with its sensual melodies and a maelstrom of fanservice courtesy of a full belly dancing routine. To this day, it is regarded as one of the greatest winning performances in the contest's history.
  • "Wild Dances" by Ruslana codified Ukraine's status as one of Eurovision's heavyweights; it was the country's second-ever entry and it brought them their first win with an extremely charismatic performance inspired by the rituals of the old Slavic populations that inhabited the region before the advent of the Kievan Rus.
  • "Boonika Bate Doba"/"Grandma Beats The Drum" from 2005. With grandmother on stage.
  • Germany 2006, with the heavily old-country influenced "No No Never" by Texas Lightning.
  • In 2006, Lithuania entered "We Are The Winners", a cheesy sports chant which basically just consisted of 6 middle-aged Lithuanian men (most of whom were not even musicians, but newsreaders and TV presenters) bellowing "We are the winners of Eurovision!" into a megaphone. Although it was only the fourth Eurovision entry ever to be booed while performing, it managed to come 6th with 162 points, and the president of Lithuania is reported to be a fan, inviting the band to his offices for a private performance.
  • Lordi, "Hard Rock Hallelujah" in 2006. Imagine a Finnish version of GWAR. And they won... with 292 points, the highest point total ever at the time. Plus, that got Finland's first win at Eurovision.
    • Extra notable because the band never actually took off their costumes, or at least, not where anyone could see. They were even seen lounging by the pool in full monster regalia.
    • Part of Lordi's success could be attributed to Moral Guardians mounting a campaign to get them banned from entering the contest. It backfired spectacularly.
  • Iceland's 2006 entry, "Congratulations". The performer (a fictional character, no less) was, for lack of a better word, a troll, and the whole act was one big joke at the expense of the competition. The song is hella catchy, though.
  • Germany's entry in 2007, "Frauen Regier'n Die Welt". A swing song featuring a big band, real instruments, and Roger Cicero, a singer with a genuinely good voice. It even had a Switch Into English!! Naturally, due to it not being cheesy Europop, it went down like a lead balloon, finishing a lowly 19th.
  • The 2007 Serbian entry, "Molitva". Ignoring the factor of political voting, it won the competition despite featuring a homely lead singer, no revealing costumes, no dancers, no pyrotechnics and no gimmicks of any variety. Although viewed in another light, many people inferred a tale of lesboromanticism from the performance.
  • Verka Serduchka "Dancing Lasha Tumbai", runner-up of the 2007 contest and considered by some as bar none the greatest non-winning Eurovision song of all time. Must be seen to be believed. This is the closest live action interpretation of the Disney Acid Sequence to exist.
  • Britain resurrected camp pop collective Scooch for the 2007 contest (the one Terry Wogan famously didn't announce had been chosen as Britain's entry). The bridge of the song is a sexualised aircraft safety briefing. And it was one (male) group-member's exclusive task to stand at the side of the stage making smutty, airline-related innuendos such as "would you like to suck on something before landing?" and "salted nuts, sir?" All this went down about as well as expected, and they ended up finishing 22nd out of 24 participants. The commentator in the Finnish broadcast made a Freudian Slip which may or may not have been intentional:
    And next we have Britain performing their song "Flying the Fa"- I mean "Flag".
  • Croatia 2008's "Romanca" isn't eccentric Europop in English but a nostalgic ballad in Croatian. The old man's narration (not rap) is a bridge.
  • Belgium tried the fictional language again 5 years after the above-mentioned "Sanomi", but the song sadly didn't get to the final. What the entry "O Julissi" did accomplish was dressing the lead singer of Ishtar in a swirly dress that evoked Campino sweets.
  • The 2008 Bosnia & Herzegovina entry, Elvir Lakoviæ Laka - "Pokusaj". Knitting brides and lyrics that translate like "We wasted many years lying on our backs eating bananas."
  • The 2008 Spanish entry, "Baila el Chiki Chiki" is a parody of the reggaeton music genre, sung by an actor in an Elvis wig whose character started as a sketch in a comedy TV program, and with a toy guitar providing musical highlights. After not having won Eurovision since 1969, the Spaniards just can't take the contest seriously (it doesn't help they actually got their best place since 2004).
    • The chorus, "Perrea! Perrea!" is a parodying a frequent exclamation in reggaeton. In Caribbean (where most reggaeton originates) Spanish, it refers to a type of sexually explicit dance. In European Spanish, however, it translates, roughly, to "Be lazy! Be lazy!"
    • By the way, the dancer that falls over and in general messes up the choreography? Don't worry about her, it's All Part of the Show.
  • On the other side, the guy that jumped the stage in the 2010 contest was definitely not part of the show. The guy is called "Jimmy Jump" and apparently was already famous for jumping sports events around Europe.
  • "Leto Svet", 2008. Estonian comedians parody the contest with a deliberately So Bad, It's Good entry, complete with Special Effects Failures and Word Salad Lyrics in three languages.
  • Finland in 2008 with Terasbetoni, a Power Metal band.
  • Alexander Rybak's "Fairytale", winner of the 2009 edition for Norway. On the national charts it went on to cause a large portion of Norway to absolutely loathe it on account of over-exposure.
  • For ESC 2009 in Moscow, Georgia sent a song titled "We Don't Wanna Put In". The entry was disqualified.
  • France's entry in 2009, Et s'il fallait le faire by leading chanson singer Patricia Kaas. Three minutes of one woman in a black dress singing, with barely any light or stage show (watch until the end for a bit of dancing, though) and no other people on stage. Only finished eighth, in what might have been a case of Too Good For Eurovision.
  • Sweden's entry from 2009, "La Voix" by leading Swedish opera singer Malena Ernman. A pop-opera song with a rousing chorus in Gratuitous French that unfortunately only finished 21st; however, many took notice of this song after knowing who her daughter was.
  • On a slightly different take of Take That! from a former Soviet Republic, Lithuania's 2010 entry , "Eastern European Funk", once you get past the catchy tune and sparkle shorts uses lyrics that calls out Europe on its views of Eastern Europe.
  • Black Metal band Keep of Kalessin tried out to represent Norway in 2010 (though again the song they entered, "The Dragontower", was not typical of their style). They came in third place, and Didrik Solli-Tangen was selected to represent Norway. Late 90's boyband A1 placed 2nd.
  • Turkey in 2010 brought ManGa, whose progressive and unique blend of space rock was unlike anything Eurovision had seen before. "We Could Be the Same" may have finished second, but it was not quickly forgotten.
  • Germany's contest-winning entry for 2010, "Satellite" by Lena, has a case of Lyrical Dissonance; while on the surface the song is a pretty run-off-the-mill schlager, the lyrics are very much about a Stalker with a Crush. Surprisingly, it went on to win the contest despite initially being a non-favorite. Just don't mention that among Turks, though.
  • Serbia in 2010: What's interesting to note are people's reactions to Marija Serfovic's (2007 entrant) gender (female), and three years later they sent an even more gender bamboozling entry by Milan Stankovic. Despite that incredibly effeminate appearance, yes, that's a man.
  • The Moldovan entry for the 2010 contest Run Away experienced Memetic Mutation with its hip thrusting saxophone player's choreography and gaining internet celebrity status as the Epic Sax Guy as a result.
    • The 2011 contest, from the makers of Grandma Beats The Drum: a tale of dunce caps and unicycles, titled "So Lucky".
    • In 2017, the Sunstroke Project and their sax guy returned again, with the song centred more around him, and staged around a slapstick wedding - and placed 3rd!
    • In 2018, mixed-gender trio DoReDos took things to new levels for Moldova. With each member wearing a costume in a colour of the national flag, they had a comic love story with body doubles behind opening and closing doors.
  • The French entry in 2011, Sognu, a very beautiful Groban-esque piece sung by Amaury Vassili, a young opera singer. Finished in 15th place.
  • Italy's 2011 entry, Raphael Gualazzi's "Madness of Love", is in a similar musical style to the 2007 German entry (if quite a bit more uptempo). Counter to expectations, it finished second and actually won the jury vote.
  • Sweden's "Euphoria" by Loreen swept Baku 2012 with 372 points, the fourth-highest score in the contest's history as well as the song with the most douze points until Ukraine in 2022 (18), through an epic dance track and subtle visual effects.
  • For the 2012 edition, San Marino tried to send 37-year old Valentina Monetta with the song "Facebook Uh, Oh, Oh". However, they ran into two little problems: Firstly, everyone thought it was awful or reminded them too much of Rebecca Black. Then, they got in trouble for daring to mention a brand name. They did edit it to be in compliance though, resulting in "The Social Network Song (Oh-Oh, Uh, Uh, Oh)"
    • Many of those who think it's awful never realized that the song is very, very satirical.
    • She returned in 2013 with "Crisalide", a relatively better-received power ballad. Once again, she did not qualify for the final.
    • She returned again in 2014 with "Maybe (Forse)" and managed to qualify for the Grand Final - third time's the charm it seems once again. She finished 24th.
    • In 2017, she returned again - this time paired with American singer Jimmie Wilson. They placed dead last with only one point.
  • Austria in 2012 has "Woki Mit Deim Popo" by Trackshittaz, a dance-rap song that narrowly beat a certain singer by the name of Conchita Wurst at the national final. The song's national final performance notably featured female dancers (sometimes on poles too!) in body suits with glow-in-the-dark clevage and booty, and the YouTube comment sections featured users producing disturbing alternate lyrics that often involved "poo-poo." They finished dead last in the first semi-final.
  • Russia in 2012 sent Buranovskiye Babushki, six grandmothers from Udmurtia (near the Urals) in traditional dress, who pantomimed baking buns onstage and then sang "Party for Everybody". Amazingly, they came second.
  • The Russia entry in 2012 was not the only memorable one. Turkey's won't be easily forgotten, especially by those that love shipping characters.
  • Montenegro in 2012 with Euro Neuro, sung by Rambo Amadeus, a self-confessed 'media manipulator'. It didn't make it to the final. The performance features evil villain laughter, a barrage of forced rhymes pulled straight out of a dictionary and lyrics making fun of the poor economical situation within the EU. The song then gained a cult following, with some fans considering it one of the best (if not the best) troll entries in the history of the contest.
  • Romania in 2013, with the song It's My Life by Cezar, a performance which can only be described with the phrase "Vampire Dubstep Opera."
  • Finland's 2013 song "Marry Me" gave us the first girl/girl kiss on Eurovision. Sweden would later up the ante and give a male/male version in the interval performance.
  • Greece's 2013 song, "Alcohol Is Free" by Koza Mostra and the late Agathon Iakovidis, is a ridiculously catchy hybrid of Ska Punk and traditional rebetiko which hides lyrics dealing with the Greek debt crisis beneath its cheery instrumental. Although the jury vote snubbed it, a strong showing in the televote (getting especially high grades from other Balkan countries) propelled it up to sixth place.
  • Austria's 2014 performance of "Rise Like A Phoenix" by Conchita Wurst, a heartfelt Gender Bender act done in a completely gorgeous dress and a full beard. In a move that surprised no one, it ended up winning the competition that year.
  • Ukraine's 2014 entry had Mariya Yaremchuck sing her song "Tick Tock", while a guy runs and does tricks on a lifesize hamster wheel behind her. She ended up in sixth place.
  • Poland's 2014 entry "My Slowianie - We Are Slavic" got instantly famous for their hot Slavic girls hoping to achieve a Male Gaze from the audience out of their choreography accompanied with cameos from the official music video played on the screens behind. The song was not made for Eurovision in the first place and was making fun of Polish stereotypes who were portrayed as out-going and wearing Polish traditional dresses while performing Polish dancing. Some people must have gotten the joke, because it was qualified for the final. Unfortunately, their gimmicks didn't take them far and they ended up in 14th place that year. The split vote results revealed quite a difference between the public and the jury, with the low placing attributed to the latter. Countries like the UK and Ireland had the televote place it in first place while the jury placed it in last place, thus cancelling each other out and taking away any possible points given.
  • 2014 is also a year where there were no less than three country songs, the most prominent from the Netherlands. After the success of Anouk the previous year, ending an 8-year non-qualification streak, the Netherlands sent the duo The Common Linnets with the song "Calm After the Storm," a mature, low-key ballad that nearly won the contest and gave the Netherlands its best result since 1975. It was the only song from the year's contest to chart internationally on iTunes and even managed to win the Composer Award and the Artistic Award.
  • 2014 also showed Hungary getting their second-highest placement ever in the contest with "Running" by András Kállay-Saunders; it is especially notable in that it's a Drum and Bass song, a genre that was never represented in Eurovision up until that point, with lyrics that deal with a subject as touchy as parental abuse. It ultimately placed fifth, and has since then captured the imagination of many fans as one of the most underrated bangers in the history of the contest.
  • From the 2015 contest, "Heroes" by Måns Zelmerlöw of Sweden, an energetic pop-rock hybrid whose creative visuals (where he interacts with an animated background) proved strong enough to clinch his country's sixth win.
  • Italy in 2015 sent operatic pop trio Il Volo with "Grande Amore"note , a hair-raisingly beautiful and grandiose love song which mopped the floor with everyone else in the televote but only placed third due to the sixth place in the jury vote. To this day, it is widely regarded as one of the greatest non-winning songs in the contest's history, and Il Volo themselves have since then maintained a huge following in the ESC fandom despite being seen as a bit of a joke within Italy itself. They returned for the 2022 edition to perform a symphonic rock version during the second semi-final, and it is every bit as awesome as you might expect.
  • Belgium 2015 sent the song "Rhythm Inside," which featured modern choreography, monochrome visuals, and an austere backing track reminiscent of Lorde or Sia. It brought Belgium to 4th place.
  • Latvia 2015 sent the minimalist R&B song "Love Injected" by Aminata Savadogo, of Latvian-Russian-Burkinabe descent, which featured a striking red and white light show to complement the sultry vocals in the verse and the bridge and the vocal blast in the chorus. It placed 6th, their best result since 2005 (5th).
  • In 2015, Finland sent Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät, a punk band composed of four men with intellectual disabilities, with the song "Aina mun pitää"note , also notable for being the shortest song to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest at 1 minute and 27 seconds. Unfortunately, they placed last in their semifinal and did not qualify.
  • Belarus's 2016 entry was "Help You Fly" performed by IVAN. While the 2016 contest was notable for little to no gimmicky, campy acts, "Help You Fly" stands out. Pre-contest rumors of IVAN wishing to perform naked with a live wolf on the stage (nudity and live animals are both expressly prohibited by the EBU on the stage) were proven half-true when the act opens with a screen projection of IVAN singing to a wolf about helping it learn to fly.
  • 2018 included Israeli Netta Barzilai, a multi-instrumentalist whose feminist song "Toy" includes chicken noises, and references to Wonder Woman and Pikachu (which is explained by Netta herself being a fan of Pokémon) - and gave Israel their first win since 1998, and Czech Republic's Mikolas Josef, whose Worth It style groove "Lie to Me" has some rather risqué lyrics, all of which he wrote himself, as well as "Fuego" by Albanian-born Greek representing Cyprus Eleni Foureira becoming perhaps the most iconic runner up since Dancing Lasha Tumbai with her tight outfits and high-octane and energetic approach, where Greek music is influenced by latin and Israeli styles, and getting compared to Jennifer Lopez, Shakira and Beyoncé.
  • In 2019, Australia sent Kate Miller-Heidke (trained Opera singer) with "Zero Gravity", a pop song incorporating opera elements, and Kate wore an outfit that can fittingly be described as "statue of liberty covered in silver glitter". Both she and her back-up singers were suspended on sticks a few feet in the air, swinging around during the performance, with an animated earth superimposed below them (sadly, only in the TV broadcast)... it has to be seen to be fully appreciated.
  • Norway's 2019 entry was "Spirit in the Sky" by KEiiNO, an upbeat, pro-equality song that is notable for being the second Eurovision entry evernote  to incorporate the Sami (Native Scandinavian) language in their song. They ended up winning the televote, but a poor showing in the jury vote meant they only finished sixth.
  • Italy's 2019 entry, "Soldi"note  by Mahmood, continued the Boot's hot streak ever since their return to the contest. It ultimately placed second, but a lot of fans considered it even better than the winning song thanks to its creative blend of R&B and Middle Eastern sonorities together with a bridge partly sung in Arabic.
  • "Arcade" by Duncan Laurence, the Netherlands's 2019 entry and subsequent winner, is alongside 2011's "Running Scared" one of the most divisive winning songs in recent Eurovision history; those who hate it say it snubbed other, much more original entries like "Soldi" or "Spirit in the Sky" and consider it too one-dimensional and bland for a winner, but those who love it point to Duncan's heartfelt delivery, surprisingly creative lyrics for being a piano-driven ballad about unrequited love and for being a prime case of Simple, yet Awesome at work. Despite its base-breaking status in the ESC fandom, it went on to be the most streamed Eurovision song of all time on Spotify also thanks to a boost in popularity due to its usage on TikTok, at the expense of "Soldi" no less.
  • In 2019, Sweden brought "Too Late For Love" by John Lundvik - a ridiculously catchy new jack swing song with a case of Lyrical Dissonance to boot. It only finished fifth, but it is regarded as one of Sweden's finer non-winning entries.
  • Iceland's 2019 entry... well... they sent Hatari, an "anti-capitalist BDSM techno performance art group" (their words, not ours) who sang "Hatrið mun sigra", which literally translates to "Hatred will prevail".
  • It was nothing on their lost 2020 entry from singer songwriter Daði Freyr (2.08m tall), and his band including his long term wife, sister and three friends, all wearing jumpers with 8-bit depictions of themselves, with "Think About Things" - a catchy synth-pop song about Daði and his wife’s baby daughter sung in a distinct monotone. The song had a bizzare music video which was shared by many renowned anglophone celebrities and journalists, and was seen as the would-be winner.
  • "Fai Rumore" by Diodato was Italy's lost entry for 2020 - a powerful, angelic ballad that was seen as a likely candidate for the final win alongside "Think About Things". And if the studio version didn't convince you at first, then let the performance in the empty Arena di Verona or the interval act performance for the first semifinal of the 2022 edition change your mind.
  • The Ex-Soviet Bloc countries all would have brought rather interesting entries for 2020:
    • Armenia: "Chains on You" by Athena Manoukian, a racy female r&b and rap-inspired effort, which is comparable to many songs from the Beyoncé inspired craze where renowned female musician release songs centred around distinct rap (such as on Ariana's "7 Rings" and songs on Little Mix’s LM5 album like "Joan of Arc") - and whose song she said she wrote in half an hour (its distinct production was added to by an intense atmosphere in a revamp, which was released with the song's video - where she writhes on a giant prop diamond - just before the show was cancelled), with Norton saying it was unlike a standard ESC song, something Athena herself had stated prior to the song's selection as the winner of its process - she stated she submitted the song to it to take a risk.
    • Estonia: "What Love is" by Uku Suviste, a power vocalist who had been known to impersonate Robbie Williams.
    • Ukraine: "Solovei"note  by Go_A, a psychedelic, leftfield act whose own language music blends screamy white noise with folk music and EDM.
    • Latvia: "Still Breathing" by Samanta Tina, an electro singer whose song has a strange intensity, bizzarre video and short middle 8 rap.
    • Georgia: "Take me as I am" by Tornike Kipiani, a rock singer whose electro ballad attacks stereotypes associated with big nations and then has him singing “I Love You” in their languages.
    • Belarus: "Da Vidna"note  by VAL, a Clean Bandit-esque act that sings in Belarusian.
    • Lithuania: "On Fire" by The Roop, an electro/deep house trio whose song is an ode to individuality with bizarre gesticulating. It very quickly won the hearts of many fans and was seen as a likely top 5 candidate, and the Roop gained themselves a chance to represent Lithuania for good in 2021 with the just-as-well-liked "Discoteque" — which ultimately finished eighth, giving the country their best finish since 2006.
    • Azerbaijan: "Cleopatra" by Samira Efendi, a Shakira-like ode to the Ancient Egyptian ruler with traditional Azeri instrumentation, a Japanese mantra and crazy lyrics including a joke about Marc Anthony, and an unexpected celebration of fluid sexual orientation in a conservative nation. Like with "On Fire", the song became an instant fan-favorite, to the point Efendi was given another chance to represent Azerbaijan in the 2021 contest with the equally sensual and empowering "Mata Hari".
    • Russia: "Uno" by Little Big, a Die Antwoord-esque internet sensation who blend rave and bubblegum, who get hundreds of millions of views for their videos; their entry is an over-the-top banger about picking up chicks at a nightclub with a chorus sang in Spanish and was regarded as the edition's potential dark horse. As of May 20, the song's music video on the ESC's official Youtube channel reached 100 million views, the second to pull off such a feat after Israel 2018, and, on July 19, it overtook Toy's view count to be the most viewed song on the ESC Youtube channel.
  • Italy's entry for the 2021 edition is Måneskin, a Funk Rock band from Rome whose name means "moonshine" in Danish. Their song, "Zitti e buoni"note , was originally written as a ballad all the way back when the band first formed in 2016. Its combination of an unusually aggressive sound for an ESC entry and confrontational lyrics, together with the band's David Bowie-influenced imagery, threw fans and critics on a loop and were widely regarded as a potential dark horse. They ultimately won after a boost in points from the public vote. 2021 was the first time since 1995 (when the national language rule was still in effect) that the top three was entirely composed of non-English songs (winning song "Zitti e buoni" is in Italian, while France's "Voilà" and Switzerland's "Tout l'univers" are both in French), assuaging concerns of those who believe that European audiences only want to hear songs in English. Not only that, their win also lent them a ticket to worldwide stardom; the song managed to land on the American charts, no small feat for a European band whose songs are mostly not sung in English.
  • Finland are no less transgressive with their 2021 entry: their choice fell on Nu Metal/Post-Hardcore band Blind Channel with "Dark Side", a rap rock song reminiscent of Hybrid Theory-era Linkin Park. Despite concerns that sharing the stage with Måneskin would hurt one or both of the two rock acts in the voting, they actually placed sixth in the final giving Finland their best result since Lordi's win.
  • Senhit represents San Marino for the third time in the 2021 edition counting their canceled 2020 entry with "Adrenalina", a pop song featuring a rap verse courtesy of Flo Rida of all people. Such a high-name feature, and coming from such an unexpected country, shocked a lot of fans and critics alike, and has been immediately viewed as a potential winner as a result (though they only placed 22nd in the final).
  • Fourth place went to 2020 Breakout Character Daði Freyr and his group Gagnamagnið from Iceland with a quirky, colourful and heartwarming act dedicated to his wife (who performed on stage next to him). The kicker? They didn't even perform live. Due to a COVID-19 case among Gagnamagnið, they were forced into hotel isolation and footage from their second rehearsal was shown instead. That's right, their rehearsal was so strong that they gave their country their best result since 2009.
  • Ukraine, once again represented by Go_A in 2021, this time with "Shum"note . Much like their previous act, it blends traditional Ukrainian folk music and EDM... and the song even speeds up at the climax. Thanks to a very strong conceptual performance they became one of the dark horses of the contest, getting second place in the televote and fifth overall, and being beloved by all of the other acts.
  • Israel's 2021 entry features a whistle note, which is infamous for its difficulty to sing, and was popularized by Mariah Carey, of all people. It set the record for the highest note ever performed in the contest (B6).
  • While Cyprus' 2021 entry, "El Diablo" by Elena Tsagrinou, is mostly known for inspiring protests in its home country due to the lyrics, the actual song is a "Bad Romance"-like bop.
  • The 2021 Junior Eurovision Song Contest wasn't to be outdone by its critically-acclaimed adult counterpart. This year was deservingly won by Armenia's Maléna with her space-pop tune "Qami Qami", but it was a close race. Runner-up Sara James from Poland provided the motivational anthem "Somebody"; Italy and Portugal decided to replicate their successful formulas from the senior edition, sending hard rock and a fado-inspired ballad respectively; Ukraine's Olena Usenko nailed her rock ballad "Vazhil", which she wrote herself; and so on. In truth, all of the young musicians who duked it out in Paris deserve the warmest congratulations.
  • One of the first confirmed entries for the 2022 edition is from Spain, who introduced the Benidorm Fest after their string of poor placements in recent years; their entry is "SloMo" by Cuban-born singer/dancer Chanel Terrero, a dancefloor-filling Latin pop/reggaeton banger reminiscent of Jennifer Lopez and Wisin & Yandel complete with alluring choreography and a whole lot of fanservice. It ultimately placed a very respectable third, being well-loved by both the audience and the judges and giving the country their best placement since 1995.
  • On "Sekret", Albanian singer Ronela uses some intense hairography and revamped with Dutch producer Diztortion, largely known for his work with British rappers such as Lethal Bizzle, and provides a major approach change for a nation who have mostly sent out power-ballads.
  • The novelty factor seems to have returned to this contest, with the return of Moldovan icons Zdob Zi Zdub, who had already delighted the world in both 2005 and 2011 with their unusual stylings, came back with another dose of Moldovan folk wackiness with "Trenuletul"note , which finished 7th in the Grand Final, after a big televote sent it flying up the leaderboard from third bottom after the jury vote.
    • Latvia gave us the band Citi Zeni who used sexual and explicit innuendos to celebrate veganism with "Eat Your Salad". They failed to make out of their semi final, despite the first line of the song going viral.
    • Norway selected the anonymous and masked duo Subwoolfer whose aim to "Give the Wolf a Banana" (which has been interpreted as celebrating vaccination, and probably needs to be seen to be believed), finished 10th in the Grand Final, and led to speculation that they could be "The Fox" legends Ylvis, or that one of them was A1 singer Ben Adams (who wrote another song in the selection, and was who BBC commentator Graham Norton seemed to think it was) in disguise.
    • Finally, "Lock Me In" by anonymous Georgian outfit Circus Mircus, who made all kinds of comic press releases, and have been speculated to have been 2016 act Nika Kocharov in disguise. Like Latvia they also failed to progress from their semi final.
    • Needless to say, with all the concealing headgear and Wild Mass Guessing as to the identities of the Norwegian and Georgian acts, it made the 2022 Eurovision feel like a weird version of The Masked Singer at times.
  • Despite Armenia not giving their popular 2020 entry, Athena Manoukian, a chance, with the Greek born-star unable to return in 2021 when they withdrew, the Eurasian country went for an entry that was almost the intense Beyoncé-inspired rap song's polar opposite, save for being a female songwriter with a May birthday and mentions of a body part on fire in the lyrics she wrote note . Rosa Linn was the name of the new woman, and the song was called "Snap", a nu-folk ballad akin to Of Monsters and Men and The Lumineers with relatable lyrics about accepting frustration and a unique staging set inside a room filled full of miniature wallpaper shards (the music video had her outside a house which flew over the streets of Yerevan). It returned Armenia to the final, and, whilst placing only 20th, Armenia's worst in the final, it went viral on TikTok and Spotify in late June and became the most streamed entry once the streams of the main protagonists started to run their course. Also, "Snap"'s spread on TikTok made it the first Armenian entry in the British, German, Irish and Italian charts, being in the top 40 in many places (and, in the U.K., outcharting all post 2015 note  Eurovision entries except Heroes, Zitti I Buoni and UK’s own success story Space Man.) and as high as 6th in Ireland, despite having only got televotes from Armenia’s big allies France and Georgia, and Cyprus and Bulgaria, back in May note .
  • The hosts, Italy, brought out the heavy artillery for 2022 with the return of 2019 runner-up Mahmood, who teamed up with Blanco for "Brividi"note , a tender, piano-driven ballad that has already made huge waves in the Boot by breaking the record of most daily streams for a song in Italy on Spotify. Although the final performance was disappointing, leading to a relatively low televote score (110), they performed better at the jury show, earning 158 points from the juries, which resulted in a respectable sixth place finish overall, bucking the trend of host nations finishing in the lower half in the process.
  • Ukraine's two entries for 2022 both quickly won over the hearts of many fans, which is no surprise given the country's overwhelmingly positive track record in the contest. The original entry was "Tini Zabutykh Predkiv/Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors" by Alina Pash, a tear-jerking ballad that recounts the history of Ukraine - even comparing it to The Divine Comedy at one point. Unfortunately, Alina had to withdrew her entry after controversies surrounding her legitimacy as a participant of the national selection due to her entering Crimea without a governmental permit; as such, representation fell to hip hop trio Kalush - who placed second at Vidmir with "Stefania", a heartwarming ode to motherhood which even features a guest appearance from an old Eurovision acquaintance, Ihor Didenchuk of Go_A fame. Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, "Stefania" gained further popularity and went on to win the whole contest after a major boost from the public vote. How major? It broke the record for most points received by the televote (439) as well as most douze points from the televote (28 out of a possible 39). Not only that, it is also historic in the fact it's the first rap song to win the contest. Pity win or not, it's nonetheless another song in Ukraine's repertoire of Eurovision classics.
  • For 2022, Finland dusted off one of the all-time greats of the country's rock scene, The Rasmus. "Jezebel" brings to mind their material from Dead Letters to Black Roses, with a healthy dose of synths to boot.
  • In 2022, Germany sent Munich native Malik Harris with "Rockstars", a modern ballad about childhood memories and a message to also look at the beauties of the present, and not just the past. It got lost in a stew of ballads (The running order meant that several slow songs all ended up performing one after another.), and it finished last with 6 points, all of which came from the televote.
  • In Corpore Sano. At first you may be like "whaaaat?", but once you learn more about the song, you will find out that it is a Take That! to the Serbian healthcare system and unattainable beauty standards. While it finished a respectable 11th in the jury vote, it was the televote that sent it soaring up the leader board, and it eventually finished 5th overall.
  • The UK's 2022 entry "Space Man" by TikTok star Sam Ryder is a rocking power ballad reminiscent of Elton John, with the lyrics describing being lost in space and hoping to come home again. It topped the jury vote and finished second overall, making it the UK's best finish since 1998. Not bad for a country that finished with "nul points" the year before, and proved that when UK does put the effort in, it can be a serious contender.
  • Not The Same by Sheldon Riley of Australia. An America's Got Talent and Australian Voice alumni, Riley wrote and performed a song about his childhood growing up gay and autistic, finishing the powerful performance by shedding his 'crown' and tearfully singing the final chorus to the cheering onlookers. While he was popular with the jury vote, the public televote disagreed, dropping him to 15th place overall.
  • The "biggest snub in the Grand Final" medal in 2022 goes to France, who changed things up bringing "Fulenn"note  by Alvan and Ahez - an entrancing Celtic techno song with lyrics in Breton and cult-like chanting in the chorus. Sadly, a horrible placement in the running order (it was near the beginning of the show, and the act directly after was the wacky Norwegian entry, meaning it ended up being completely overshadowed) caused the song to finish next-to-last, much to the ire of many disgruntled fans.
  • Lithuania's 2022 entry featured Monika Liu with "Sentimentai"note  — an extremely elegant, James Bond-esque jam and their first song since 1994 to be performed in Lithuanian. It only placed fourteenth but she nonetheless became the edition's biggest Ensemble Dark Horse thanks to her performance in the Grand Final.
  • After a somewhat forgettable 2021 entry, Sweden came back swinging hard in 2022 with instant fan-favorite Cornelia Jakobs and her song "Hold Me Closer" — a surprisingly uplifting song about heartbreak with an instrumental influenced by 80s pop. No shocker, it finished fourth thanks to a very convincing Grand Final performance.
  • Austria's 2023 entry, "Who the Hell is Edgar?" by Teya and Salena, is a huge jab at not just how songwriters are looked down on and underpaid, but the entire music industry, and how writers are looked down on. And probably one of the biggest earworms in the contest's history. While Eurovision fans have criticized the staging, the song itself was a big favorite of the year, with it even winning a major voting competition on Discord with an average score of 9.05 points!
  • One of the front runners for 2023 was Finland with "Cha Cha Cha" by Käärijä, a uniquely unpredictable yet extremely addictive track with a twist that starts off as an underground rave song, combining Till Lindemann growling with a mix of hyperpop, industrial metal and a rap verse before ultimately morphing into a more modern pop melody. The real selling point is the catchy chorus which makes it easy for the audience to join in, as witnessed in the first semifinals. Bonus points for Finnish lyrics and the live version including cha cha dancers. How popular did Käärijä end up being? He received 376 points from the televotes, surpassing Loreen's "Tattoo" by a wide margin, but ended up second place due to jury votes, albeit in an impressively close race. The audience was even audibly chanting "Cha Cha Cha" during the results, solidifying him as the people's winner.
  • Continuing their momentum from 2022, Sweden decided to bring back one of their greatest Eurovision performers, Loreen, for the 2023 competition. She came out swinging with the "Tattoo", an epic love ballad showing off her phenomenal voice range, going from soft and somber, to loud and powerful. This, plus some breathtaking visual work, was enough to earn her an absolutely massive sweep of the jurors, and while the song's eventually victory over fan-favorite "Cha Cha Cha" spurred some controversy, the song itself definitely is able to stand on its own merits.
  • In 2024, Ireland entered "Doomsday Blue" by Bambie Thug, an electro-metal song that effortlessly switches between intense Metal Scream verses and mellow choruses. The song combined with a theatrical, pagan-themed stage presentation saw Ireland breaking their non-qualifying streak to reach the Grand Final where they came sixth overall.
  • Like Finland the previous year, 2024 saw Croatia sending an addictive and chaotic techno-heavy metal song in the form of "Rim Tim Tagi Dim" by Baby Lasagna. The song is a sardonic take on the emigration of Eastern European youths in search for better opportunities with very catchy and memorable lyrics (including a memable line of "Meow, cat, please, meow back") and the live performance featured neon dancing animals on the LED screen. The moment it was announced as part of Croatia's national final lineup it became a huge hit with both domestic and international fans. The Croats loved it so much that Baby Lasagna won the national final by a landslide in the public vote with 247 points and finished with 321 overall, while the public's second place only got 27, and the overall runner-up had 82 points in total. And like Käärijä before him, Baby Lasagna would eventually top the televote with 337 points but ended up in second place due to jury votes. Nonetheless, he achieved Croatia's best result in the contest as an independent country.

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