So, the EBU celebrated 60 years of Eurovision in 2015. But it all started in 1956, so it should be celebrated in 2016, no? So let me do the honors, and offer you my short view on every country’s track record. I’ll add my top three per country to that – in the spirit of the Olympics, that other peaceful and worldly event!
We move along chronologically, so it’s time for the countries that joined the Eurovision family in 1993 & 1994. In Eurovision terms: the years that would change everything. #newculturesalert (This means a 10 country blogpost, yes #sorrynotsorry)
One of those that had a great start, and after a couple of years started plodding along. Shout out to their 1994 entry, which is kinda swell (SVA!). Notable downfall: 2011. I mean, come on Croatia. I know you can do better than what you’ve given us lately.
- 1998 – Neka mi ne svane – Danijela
Because it is one of THE benchmark Eurovision performances for me. Vocally brilliant, the phrasing is divine, and there’s only one simple trick that is extremely efficient. #adorbz
- 1999 – Maria Magdalena – Doris Dragovic
Because despite the cheating with the backing vocals it’s rather #baminyourface
- 2000 – Kada zaspu andeli – Goran Karan
Because for some reason, I get completely emerged by this song. #beautifulsadness
With a lot of their entries referencing their troubled past, things can get tough to digest at points. But they often manage to get feelings across without going overboard. Delicious exception to the rule would be 2004 of course. #upanddownherewego
- 2007 – Rijeka bez imena – Marija Sestic
Because it’s so beautifully haunting #stillhatethedress
- 1999 – Putnici – Dino & Beatrice
Because of the simplicity & richness
- 2011 – Love in rewind – Dino Merlin
Because it’s so strangely entrancing
The tiny country often manages to persuade me, even though their entries are often admittedly subpar. Their initial ones were quite nice though – where did it go wrong then? Shout out to 2013 – it fell flat live, but I still dig the beat and Hanna was a delight to talk to.
- 1997 – Zbudi se – Tanja Ribic
Because HARMONIES! And the medieval darkness of it.
- 2001 – Energy – Nusa Derenda
Because BAM! Still annoyed by the English lyrics though…AND THAT OUTFIT!
- 2015 – Here for you – Maarya
Because I like the vibe, despite the rather poor visual performance.
While everybody gushes over their 1994 entry, that one does very little for me. Their more peculiar entries on the other hand are swell. When Poland hits the nail on head, the nail is dead. When they don’t, it’s usually a snoozefest.
- 1997 – Ale Jestem – Anna Jopek
Because it explodes oh so effectively. And because it’s my all time number 1.
- 1996 – Chce znac swoj grzech – Kasia Kowalska
Because you can feel her pain.
- 1995 – Sama – Justyna
I fully expect the Hungarians to take the trophy within the next five years. They’re almost consistently giving us quality entries (or entertaining at least #2009), so surely they’ll end up on top sooner or later. One of the better additions since ’93, if you ask me.
- 2007 – Unsubstantial blues – Magdi Ruzsa
Because it rips you apart.
- 1994 – Kindek modnjam el vetkeimet – Frederika
Because it’s just so LOVELY
- 2013 – Kedvesem – Zoo Alex
Because I kinda dig the troubadour experience.
I have a love-hate relationship with Russia. I love it when they do their own thing. I hate when they go for crowd-pleasers, especially when those are about world peace.
Their 2008 winner wasn’t a real just one, I feel. The whole thing was a bit ridiculous if you ask me. Dima sang well, the song was okay…but no, just no. They’ve got far better on their résumé than that one.
- 1994 – Vechni strahnik – Youddiph
- 1997 – Primadonna – Alla Pugachova
Because of the faux drinking, duh! That and the divaness of it all, of course.
- Lost and forgotten – Peter Nalich
Because despite their claims of irony, this is simple and lovely.
Does a tad better than their ex-partner Czechia – but only because I actually love 1 of their songs. That’s right: 1.
- 1998 – Modlitba – Katerina Hasprova
Because it’s very rewarding when you can finally sing along phonetically to it.
Probably one of the #meh-est countries in the field, for me. Their entries are mostly offensively middle of the road to my ears. Or a shouty pile of clichés *glances at 2005 & 2006*
- 1998 – Eu cred – Malina Olinescu
Because she sings it well, and the strings are to die for.
- 2010 – Playing with fire – Paula & Ovi
Because a little bit of cliché sometimes goes a long way.
- 2002 – Tell me why – Anghel & Pavel
Because the drama, the drama!
Gosh, I love it when Estonia gets it right cause they’re guaranteed to give you something goose bump generating. When they fail, they fail miserably though.
Their only win in 2001 came out of nowhere to me. It wàs one of the few real lively moments of that night, but to take the crown… They’ve got a dozen or more entries that deserved it more than that one.
- 2009 – Randajad – Urban Symphony
Because this is simply mesmerizing
- 1996 – Kaelakee Haal – Ivo & Maarja
Because #oldksoolclassic And because of her rolling r at the end.
- 2015 – Goodbye to yesterday – Stig & Elina
Because CHILLS, that’s why! (also: hi, Stig!)
One of the weaker ‘newbies’ for me as their entries mostly sound either bland or blandly inoffensive to my ears. I probably wouldn’t even find 10 entries I actively love…
- 1999 – Strazdas – Aiste
Because this is simply nutters and I adore it.
- 2009 – Love – Sasha Son
Because in all its demure demeanor, it’s quite nice.
- 2007 – Love or leave – 4Fun
Because it flows so gently.