Top 10: Best ex-USSR songs in ESC history

Today, we’re going to do things a little bit differently in this top 10. We’re going to decide which song is the best song that has ever come out of the countries from the former Soviet Union. The choices were so hard, but we think we’ve made the best countdown as we could when it came to this. Which song is the best from the former Soviet countries? Well keep reading to find out!

Which song will take the title of the Best Ex-USSR Song?
Which song will take the title of the Best Ex-USSR Song?

So just to give you an insight into how this top ten will work: there are ten countries from the Soviet Union that are participating in Eurovision. Of those ten, we’ve picked the best song from each country and that song song will compete against the other 9 songs from the other countries and we’ll count down the top 10 songs in order of how simply fabulous they were. In a way, it’s a super-top 10: we’ve picked the best song from all the former countries and then, we’re picking song from all those winning songs! Here we go!

10 – Belarus – Dima Koldun – Work Your Magic (2007)

So to start off, we’ll go to Belarus. The country has a bit of a track record when it comes to qualifying for the final, doing so every three years after Dima (here singing in front of two women who are clearly stuck to those sliding doors… at times) first qualified in Helsinki six years ago. Belarus is possibly weakest country from the ex-Soviets and it’s obviously shown in it’s qualifying record, as you can see. Even though Alyona Lanskaya and Petr Elfimov were just as good or even better than him, Dima was, and still is, the best placing Belorussian act in its Eurovision history, finishing in 6th place in Finland. Compared to its counterparts, however, the country just doesn’t send songs that are strong enough to do well, although Dima would be the only major exception.

9 – Latvia  – Formins & Kleins – Dziesma Par Laimi (2004)

Latvia has given the world such singers/groups as Marie N, Anmary and Brainstorm, but for us, the best song they ever sent was that of Formins & Kleins. It’s fair to say that the duo were a bit berserk on stage, but it suits the song and title itself is ‘A Song about Happiness’. It’s also fair to say that they didn’t do very well in the semi-final (hence they didn’t qualify), but for us, the pair gave us Latvia’s best ever song in its time of taking part in the Contest. Recently, Latvia hasn’t been sending many songs that have qualified for the final, as the last time they qualified for the final in 2008, and that would be the main factor as to why they’re so low on the countdown. But if they send something like ‘Dziesma Par Laimi’, maybe we could be seeing them climb up the top 10. Keep trying Latvia!

8 – Lithuania – InCulto – Eastern European Funk (2010)

Ah Lithuania, you’re just like Latvia… except you haven’t won Eurovision yet! Lithuania has also sent some pretty good songs (a la ‘Love or Leave’, ‘We Are the Winners’ and ‘Strazdas’), but nothing could beat InCulto. The six-man-group brought some craziness to the stage in Oslo in 2010 and, let’s be honest, the song was pretty catchy, even if the song was a little bit controversial in the lyrics. As well as that, the visual side of their performance was also quite fun (I mean, they took off their trousers to reveal shiny boxer shorts and playing cushion instruments! Need I say anymore?!) if I say so myself. Lithuania sadly didn’t qualify in 2010, but in recent years, it has been the best song the country has sent (OOOOOHHH!!), so we can’t complain!

7 – Azerbaijan – Safura – Drip Drop (2010)

This is almost bound to be controversial, as Azerbaijan is one of the most successful countries at Eurovision at this present moment, but as you’ll see, just because they send a great song doesn’t mean it’s the best one. Safura is probably the best out of all the Azerjibbani Azerbaijani performers, as nowadays, people still sing that song, even though she sang it three years ago (I speak from experience!). It’s also the actual performance that Azerbaijan gives that catches our eyes (e.g. Sabina and her dress, Farid and his ‘man-in-the-box’), but when it comes to the rest of its Soviet partners, the country falls flat on that certain ‘wow, this is the best thing that I’ve heard’ factor. Well done to the country though for staying in the top 10 for every year since they débuted in Belgrade five years ago.

6 – Ukraine – Gaitana – Be My Guest (2012)

Okay, Ukraine was the hardest country to make a decision on when it came to the best song they sent and there were a few conflicts between both of us, but we finally agreed that ‘Be My Guest’ is the best song the country sent (although Zlata, Svetlana Loboda, Ani Lorak and Ruslana were all candidates too) and woah, doesn’t she deliver on both the vocals and the visuals! You can definitely tell that she brought some colour to the Contest in Baku last year, and for me she definitely deserved a better place than 15th! And may I also add that those backing dancers of hers aren’t that bad either. Ukraine is really one of the strongest ex-Soviet countries, but as you will later see, there are other countries that sent better songs than Gaitana, but she can be our guest and settle at #6.

5 – Armenia – Sirusho – Qele Qele (2008)

Sirusho has probably the most overrated song in the entire history of Eurovision, and to be honest, who can blame her? The song was absolutely perfect for the 2008 Contest and it also showed that that particular year wasn’t just full of joke songs. Nearly every year since she’s done Eurovision, fans have been demanding that she should do Eurovision again and if she sent a song like ‘Qele Qele’, maybe that song would be replacing this one on a future top 10! ‘Qele Qele’ could have easily been our #1, but as you will later see, we’ve decided to go for more underrated entries. Armenia is also one of the strong countries out of the USSR, but in recent times, the country’s positions have started to flop. Come on Armenia, find your mojo!

4 – Estonia – Urban Symphony – Rändajad (2009)

Normally, Estonia sends a slow ballad in Estonian or a fast English pop song, but in 2009, the two were blended together and the result was ‘Rändajad’, a beautiful ballad that infuses Indian influences, modern pop beats and of course; the violins!  The performance was very structured, as in they didn’t really move anywhere, but if they did, I doubt it would really mattered, because the song was just so good. Sandra’s singing was also very powerful and it made you feel like you knew what she was on about too. Urban Symphony was the first act that reached the final on behalf of Estonia since 2003, and what a song to go into the final with! In the end, they finished in 6th place, Estonia’s best placing in recent times (and again repeated by Ott Lepland in 2012, the best looking Estonian man ever). Come on Estonia, stop sending things like Winny Puhh and start sending this!!!

3 – Moldova – Nelly Ciobanu – Hora din Moldova (2009)

AAAAAHHHH HEI HEI! HAI LA HORA, HAI LA HORA DIN MOLDOVA! Nelly Ciobanu is literally the best Moldovan singer in the entire world, not just in the Eurovision world. James and I absolutely love her and the energy she gave on the stage. The first 45 seconds or so are definitely devoted to an accurate goat impression and then we get to the actual ethnic-ness of the song and then we throw in a few dancers and a man shaking a stick and you end up with the best ethnic song in the Contest in 2009. In summary, she really was the most adorable thing on TV that night (although the postcard for Moldova was just.. woah). Moldova is actually pretty good at Eurovision, only failing to qualify for the final once and in recent times, they’ve been finishing on the left hand side of the scoreboard. Keep it up Moldova!

2 – Russia – Anastasiya Prikhodko – Mamo (2009)

Just pipped to the post at #2 is our favourite Ukrainian singer to represent Russia; Anastasiya! Even though the song, and the singer, wasn’t very Russian, it definitely was the best song that they’ve sent to the Contest in a long time. The performance was stripped down to its basics and the cameras were firmly positioned on Anastasiya (who did look like she was just coming out of the shower) and her Esma-like dressed backing singers, but that was the best thing that they could do and the crowd absolutely loved her! Europe obviously got the message she was trying to get across as well, and she finished in 11th place. Of course, Russia’s sent other great songs like ‘Party for Everybody’, ‘Solo’ and ‘Ne ver’, ne boisia’ (LOL!), but it’s pretty obvious ‘Mamo’ is our favourite from Rossiya.

So you’ve seen the best songs from nine out of ten countries from the Soviet Union, but can you tell which country is missing? Well scroll down and you’ll see!

1 – Georgia – Sopho Khalvashi – Visionary Dream (2007)

Georgia, although being a little insane in its selections (Stephane & 3G, I’m looking at you here), has been one of the most interesting countries that has ever taken part in Eurovision. But when we first met them when they débuted six years ago in Helsinki, they sent this ethnic bombshell. There’s only one word to describe this song; fantabulous! For me, the best song from the former USSR has to have a good mix of both ethnic elements and modern pop and ‘Visionary Dream’ definitely provides on that front, and including very patriotic lyrics show that Sopho really does love her country’s history and she’s apparently going to “share it” with the world! Georgia isn’t the best country when it comes to placings, but today they are getting 1st place and ‘Visionary Dream’ is the ‘Best ex-USSR Song in Eurovision history’! Congratulations Sopho!

Your views:

What would you say is the best song to ever come out of the countries from the former Soviet Union?

Is your top 10 accurate to the one we've compiled?
Is your top 10 accurate to the one we’ve compiled?

Claus Michael Fasting from Norway: Armenia 2008!

Jack Cuffe from the United Kingdom:  I would say Azerbaijan 2009. A fantastic song but I also love Georgia 2007.

Svetlana Andriyenko from Ukraine: I am most proud of Ruslana, she is the star of Ukraine and her song brought Eurovision to Kiev. I also like Angelica Agurbash and Anastasiya Prikhodko.

Michael Romano from Australia: Russia 2000, it was one of the most contemporary songs that year and still sounds great 13 years later!

Nadine Glöck from Germany: Latvia 2003, Estonia 1996, 2000 & 2009.

So it seems that the fans have loads of ideas for the top 10, ranging from 1996 all the way up to 2009! But what we’d like to know is what you think! What do you think of the top 10? Who would you add to/take away from the list? Feel free to let us know by commenting below!

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