60 years of Eurovision by country – part 5: CRO, BIH, SLO, POL, RUS, SLK, ROM, HUN, EST & LIT

Posted: 21/08/2016 in Eurovision 60 years

 

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)

26. Croatia

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.

  1. 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
  2. 1999 – Maria Magdalena – Doris Dragovic
    Because despite the cheating with the backing vocals it’s rather #baminyourface
  3. 2000 – Kada zaspu andeli – Goran Karan
    Because for some reason, I get completely emerged by this song. #beautifulsadness

27. Bosnia-Herzegovina

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

  1. 2007 – Rijeka bez imena – Marija Sestic
    Because it’s so beautifully haunting #stillhatethedress
  2. 1999 – Putnici – Dino & Beatrice
    Because of the simplicity & richness
  3. 2011 – Love in rewind – Dino Merlin
    Because it’s so strangely entrancing

28. Slovenia

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.

  1. 1997 – Zbudi se – Tanja Ribic
    Because HARMONIES! And the medieval darkness of it.
  2. 2001 – Energy – Nusa Derenda
    Because BAM! Still annoyed by the English lyrics though…AND THAT OUTFIT!
  3. 2015 – Here for you – Maarya
    Because I like the vibe, despite the rather poor visual performance.

29. Poland

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.

  1. 1997 – Ale Jestem – Anna Jopek
    Because it explodes oh so effectively. And because it’s my all time number 1.
  2. 1996 – Chce znac swoj grzech – Kasia Kowalska
    Because you can feel her pain.
  3. 1995 – Sama – Justyna
    Because #bewitching

30. Hungary

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.

  1. 2007 – Unsubstantial blues – Magdi Ruzsa
    Because it rips you apart.
  2. 1994 – Kindek modnjam el vetkeimet – Frederika
    Because it’s just so LOVELY
  3. 2013 – Kedvesem – Zoo Alex
    Because I kinda dig the troubadour experience.

31. Russia

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.

  1. 1994 – Vechni strahnik – Youddiph
    Because AMAZEBALLS!
  2. 1997 – Primadonna – Alla Pugachova
    Because of the faux drinking, duh! That and the divaness of it all, of course.
  3. Lost and forgotten – Peter Nalich
    Because despite their claims of irony, this is simple and lovely.

32. Slovakia

Does a tad better than their ex-partner Czechia – but only because I actually love 1 of their songs. That’s right: 1.

  1. 1998 – Modlitba – Katerina Hasprova
    Because it’s very rewarding when you can finally sing along phonetically to it.

33. Romania

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*

  1. 1998 – Eu cred – Malina Olinescu
    Because she sings it well, and the strings are to die for.
  2. 2010 – Playing with fire – Paula & Ovi
    Because a little bit of cliché sometimes goes a long way.
  3. 2002 – Tell me why – Anghel & Pavel
    Because the drama, the drama!

34. Estonia

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.

  1. 2009 – Randajad – Urban Symphony
    Because this is simply mesmerizing
  2. 1996 – Kaelakee Haal – Ivo & Maarja
    Because #oldksoolclassic And because of her rolling r at the end.
  3. 2015 – Goodbye to yesterday – Stig & Elina
    Because CHILLS, that’s why! (also: hi, Stig!)

35. Lithuania

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…

  1. 1999 – Strazdas – Aiste
    Because this is simply nutters and I adore it.
  2. 2009 – Love – Sasha Son
    Because in all its demure demeanor, it’s quite nice.
  3. 2007 – Love or leave – 4Fun
    Because it flows so gently.

 

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