Top 10: Most memorable spokespersons in ESC history

Hi guys! As the National Final season gets ever closer, it’s making us so excited for the show to happen once again in six months time! One thing we’re especially excited about seeing is the voting process and being able to see the many spokespersons to deliver their countries votes, in either the funniest way possible or the most regimented way possible. But this has got us thinking, and we have made a top 10 of the most memorable spokespeople to deliver their wotes votes. But just who managed to come out on top?

Is Anke Engelke be the most memorable spokesperson in the history of Eurovision?
Is Anke Engelke be the most memorable spokesperson in the history of Eurovision?

Okay, so over the course of the Eurovision, there have been over a thousand spokespersons to tell us how their country voted, and when you’re on a show being broadcast to millions upon millions of people, you have to make yourself stand out from the crowd. Now for us, it would be very hard to go through that huge amount of spokespersons, so we’ve picked ten of our most memorable spokespersons, the majority of which are from recent times. So, are we ready to go?

10 – Jovana Jankovic (Serbia & Montenegro 2006, Serbia 2009)

(From 2:18 – 3:18 if you want to specifically see her bit!)

Starting us off on this countdown is Jovana Jankovic, who gave the votes of Serbia and Montenegro in 2006….even though they didn’t have a song – seems legit. Now, what makes her so memorable, you ask? Well one trick they teach you at Spokesperson’s School is that if you can predict the future, use it as much as you possibly can – and while most people seemed to let that go over their head, Jovana got the memo and she actually managed to deliver a true prediction for her country….well, two-thirds of it anyway! She said while giving the votes:

As you know, we don’t have a song for you this year. But we promise that next year we will give you the best one!

And wasn’t she very good to correctly predict that Maria Šerifovic would triumph for Serbia on their début? Perhaps, Jovana was a psychic at the time? Too bad she couldn’t repeat it in 2009…instead, she was still in Belgrade 2008 mode..whoops!

9 – Emma Hickey (Malta 2013)

(To see Emma’s part, go from 28:18 -29:19)

Hmm… recent years, Malta have been really proud of their culture and they would be willing to show it off at any chance they get. A very memorable moment of that was when Maltese spokesperson Emma Hickey said with admiration to her country, while introducing herself:

Welcome to Valletta, the European Capital of Culture 2018!!!

You might have found that quite weird to hear, but let me reassure you, it was incredibly funny. Of course, when you are talking to another person and you’re representing your entire country, it’s hard not to feel patriotic. But when you’re overjoyed to say that your city will be the European Capital of Culture in five years time, that might be stretching it a tad. But of course, there’s nothing wrong with it! I just wonder what dear Emma will be in 2018, when Valletta FINALLY takes the title…She’ll be absolutely over the moon, and a half!

8 – Ana Vilenica (Bosnia & Herzegovina 2003)

(Watch from the begging to 3:00)

If you watched Eurovision in 2003, you’ll have had to remember Ana Vilenica, the spokesperson who gave the Bosnian votes in Riga. She was doing a particularly great job with her delivery of the votes, even giving us a “big, big hello from Sarajevo“. So, everything was going fine…and then she just so happened to forget about giving 5 points to the right country. Realising her mistake, they got her to read out all the points again, and after a bit of a telling off from co-host Renars, she made light of the situation, by saying her line “A big, big hello from Sarajevo”, which was met with both laughter and applause. Even Terry Wogan thought it was good of her to start again and give that phrase, and said “I like her!”. She was memorable because she managed to pick herself up off the ground and just carry on with the show in style! The five points did go to Austria, so Alf Poier must have been happy enough with that!

7 – Sirusho (Armenia 2007 & 2009)

*This is now going to get just a tad serious and political, so we apologise for any offense caused by the next two sections, but don’t worry, we’ll be done with them A.S.A.P!*

Sirusho has done Eurovision three times: once as a singer and twice as a spokesperson. While the first time was of no important significance (other than the fact she just looks like an orange, with the terrible lighting they put her under), the second time was very controversial, and still is so to an extent. In 2009, the Armenian postcard had contained the monument “We Are Our Mountains“, which is in the currently disputed territory of Nagrono-Karabakh. The Azerbaijanis demanded that the monument be removed from the postcard, which is what happened. The Armenians were distraught and as a result, they showed the monument in the billboard on the background when it came to their voting slot. They also made Sirusho lift up her clipboard with the results on it, which had a picture of the monuments on it as well..this is what made her so memorable; because she was so nonchalant in her delivery of the results..if we’re to look on the bright side, however, Armenia did give 1 point to the Azerbaijani song, so in a way, it’s kind of an olive branch in music terms? It’s a hard one…..Moving swiftly on!

6 – Anke Engelke (Germany 2012)

Sticking with the topic of Azejibban ….Ajezian Baku-land, when the Contest came to Azerbaijan, it would be fair to say, not everyone was entirely comfortable with the arrangements the country had in place with regards to its human rights. So when it came to Germany’s turn to deliver their votes, spokesperson Anke Engelke seized her chance to make a statement. Now, Anke was a ball of laughs the year before in Düsseldorf, so it was a tad awkward when she said:

Tonight nobody could vote for their own country. But it is good to be able to vote. And it is good to have a choice. Good luck on your journey, Azerbaijan. Europe is watching you.

Yeah…..of course, she would have been memorable in the first place as people would have remembered her as last year’s host, but now she’s added another reason to be memorable…but at least her lack of humour was made up with the *AMAYZIN* Lynda Woodruff! Buh-byeeeeee political-ness! 😀

5 – Björn Gustafsson (Sweden 2008)

Okay, we’re back to the funniness! If you were a Swede and you noticed him giving the votes on behalf of Sweden, I would not blame you for cringing to the point of almost changing the TV station while he was announcing the votes. Björn Gustafsson is a Swedish comedian, who was the interval act for all the shows in Melodifestivalen that year as well. I can tell you know, that when I first came across Björn back in 2008, I was like….”Who the fuck are you? Why are you messing up your country’s votes?!”. In a way, I still am like that, as he is just. so. CRINGEWORTHY! But you do have to admit, he was memorable because of the way he gave the votes, such as “Our…..e-eight points g-go to…I..Icelaaand“. And of course, that weird situation with the twelve points as well, when he initially gave them to his own country and then gave them to Norway…he was a bit annoying, as told by the audience inside the arena, but nevertheless, he was memorable!

4 – Alexis Kostalas (Greece 2001 – 2010)

If you have not heard of Alexis Kostalas and you call yourself a Eurovision fan, I’m afraid you aren’t one. Alexis Kostalas was Greece’s spokesperson for 9 years, and in ever year, he would give the hosts a friendly greeting in their native language…which for some countries, would be both a mouthful and a huge token of gratitude (e.g. Finland, Latvia, Turkey etc). His successor is now Lena Aroni, but she’s not as good as Alexis was, in all fairness. Of course, he would also deliver his votes with a certain suave about him…at least he wasn’t scripted like many of the Eastern European countries (i.e. Belarus, Russia etc) were. I suppose that that’s what made him so memorable – being able to give the votes in a friendly, welcoming way and how he could talk in so many languages….well, I hope he’s happy knowing that he did a fantastic job for 9 years! Bravo Alexis! 😀

3 – Helga Vlahovic (Yugoslavia 1981)

(For the funny part, watch from the beginning to 1:12)

Yeahh….I did say the “majority” of the top ten were from recent times…Helga Vlahovic has featured in a top 10 before here at ESC Views – the “WTF” top 10, but now she’s being honoured for a (not so) totally different reason! In 1981, the voting sequence was far from perfect, with some delays, Turkey’s points disappearing from the scoreboard and the extra 310 points Ireland had got instead of the original ten that the Luxembourg jury gave. The main glitch though was when Dublin was trying to call Belgrade for the Yugoslav votes and failed, and then when they eventually managed to reach Helga in Belgrade, she just said – plain and simple: “I don’t have it.” This triggered an eruption of laughter in the hall, but Helga managed to keep herself on form and then out of nowhere, she managed to receive the votes and start off….I don’t think you could argue that Helga deserves to be on this top; she was just so nonchalant and all that, it was just so funny!

2 – Paul de Leeuw (The Netherlands 2006-2007)

Missing out on the #1 spot is everyone’s favourite weird Dutchman…Who doesn’t remember Paul de Leeuw? He is possibly one of the most memorable spokespeople of all time! Paul gave the Dutch votes in 2006 and in 2007, and while 2007 was pretty controversial because he called Marija Šerifovic: ‘Kelly Osbourne’, we’re more interested in what happened in 2006, in Greece. While his co-host Maria had to go to the green-room/ get her microphone fixed, Sakis Rouvas was left to face Paul alone on stage. Paul, an openly gay man, offered to give Sakis his phone number. He declined, but with Paul’s persistence, Sakis did accept but the number itself was only 69696969….how funny, dear Paul. However, because of his persistence and his openness, I’m pretty sure he would have made loads of people laugh and that’s why he’s so memorable – because essentially, he “asked” Sakis out..even though it was a fake number! :”)

So…after 9 fantastic spokespersons, the ESC Views Award for Most Memorable Spokesperson goes TO…..

1 –  Peter Poles (Slovenia 2003-2004, 2006-2009)

Could you have expected anyone else? Peter Poles has always been the funny person you’d see on the Eurovision every year! The Slovenian has always played a joke on the hosts during his years of service from 2003 to 2009, with the notable exception of 2005 (does anyone know why he skipped on doing it that year?). My personal favourite of his little jokes was actually the first one he did back in Riga in 2003. If you didn’t watch the video above, he basically said that:

Here on this paper are the final points which are gonna decide tonight’s winner and I know you’re anxiously awaiting them. So here I go. Bye. [Proceeds to walk out of shot.]

I’m pretty sure if you ask a normal non-Eurovision-fan about the Slovenian man on the TV giving votes, they’ll recognise him! And if a normal person can remember Peter Poles, I can say that they deserve the #1 spot on the countdown, so congratulations to Peter Poles; you are officially ESC Views’ Most Memorable Spokesperson!!!

Your views:

For you, which spokesperson is the most memorable?
For you, which spokesperson is the most memorable?

Eugene Ntalianhs from Greece: Alexis Kostalas of course because he knows so many languages and he always knows how to make an entrance!

Daniel Cobbett from the United Kingdom: In most recent times has to be the *fabulous* Lynda Woodruff! The hosts didn’t know what to make of her and she’s hilarious! Vintage spokespeople that were ace were Helga for Yugo in 81 (“I don’t have it”!) and the woman advertising the Maltese hotel in 97 (“Que finnti? That means how are you in Maltese” “And I can’t answer you in Maltese!) I could go on forever!!

Emma Kiernan from Ireland: Paul de Leeuw (The Netherlands spokesperson in 2006), was great!

Shai Cohen from Israel: Israel 2007’s spokesperson!!! [This is Jason Danino-Holt, and yes – he is a cute guy.]

Well, it seems like all of you have different opinions on this topic! But who knows – maybe someone next year will come out and take Peter’s #1 spot, we’ll just have to wait and see! So what do you think of this? Who would be your favourite spokesperson from the Eurovision? Who would you like to see as a spokesperson for your country? And would you be interested in being a spokesperson yourself? Feel free to let us know what you think by commenting below!

One thought on “Top 10: Most memorable spokespersons in ESC history”

  1. In 1994, Isabel Bahia, the Portuguese spokesperson,mentioned that Lisbon was the European Capital of Culture, but at least it was on the present year, not in five years’ advance.
    Other memorable spokespersons:
    – Jennifer Rope (Spain 2001) that made “Slovenia” sound like “Lithuania”.
    – Conny van den Bos (Netherlands 1998) and her face off with Ulrica
    – Aisha (Latvia 2011) breaking into song for no reason before giving the 12 points
    – Anmary (Latvia 2013) and her flowers
    – Norway 1996 that appeared onstage – seemingly unbeknownst to Ingvild.
    – Montenegro 2013 looking really pissed off.

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