Category Archives: Countdowns

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…..in 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!

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Top 10: ESC songs that would have been better off at JESC

Hey guys! Do you remember back in January of this year, we made a countdown of our ten picks from the Junior Eurovision that would have been better off being performed at the adult Eurovision? Well, this time we’re going to turn it on its head and tell you which ten songs from the adult Eurovision would have been better off at the Junior Eurovision. So which song could top our list here? Keep reading to find out!

Will Todomondo be the champion of this top?
Will Todomondo be the champion of this top?

I should clarify something up before we get started on this top: we aren’t slating Junior Eurovision at all in this countdown. The Contest is a fantastic platform for young musicians and it has launched so many music careers, so if anything we’re praising it! For this top, we are picking the ten songs that just didn’t really fit into their respective Eurovision years and would have been just better off performing at the Junior Contest, with individual reasons being explained as you read on. Also, most of the songs featured in this top are from 2003 onwards in order to keep in with the timeline of the Junior Contest. Right, I feel like we’re okay to go now. Let’s do it!

#10 – Anna Bergendahl – “This Is My Life” (Sweden 2010)

Anna Bergendahl might seem like a bit of a shock for you to see on this top, but at the #10 spot, it isn’t too bad. I’m not sure whether or not you felt the same way, but with “This is My Life”, I felt the song was dwarfed on such a big stage in Oslo. The song is charged with emotion and love, which should normally work in a big arena like the Telanor, but the staging of the song just didn’t really reach that same captivating feeling that she got in the Globen, and even then it was quite hard. For me, the song is more suited to smaller gigs, but not pubs or restaurants. Junior Eurovision in 2010 was quite a good year for Sweden, because they sent a really modern song with a good singer (although the live vocals were a bit shaky), so if Anna and Josefine were to switch places, I have a feeling that Sweden’s results might have changed quite a lot in both Contests…mostly for the better!

#9 – 3+2 – “Butterflies” (Belarus 2010)

Hmm…..’Butterflies’ is a hard one to really explain as to why it’s on the countdown. I suppose it might follow down the same-ish track as “This Is My Life” – the staging might have dwarfed it on the stage, despite being a six-piece group onstage. As well as that, the song is quite anti-climactic at the end of the song and Junior Eurovision songs tend to fit into the same group as ‘Butterflies’, although there are some obvious exceptions such as Sofia Tarasova, Anastasiya Petryk and Lerika. However, as Belarus was hosting Junior Eurovision in 2010 and was being represented by a song with quite a climatic ending in the form of a 5-second long note, 3+2 wouldn’t really fit into the 2010 Junior Contest either….If it was to get performed in a year where there were many ballads, which would be around 2006 or so, it would be better off…plus the butterfly gimmick would be adored by the kids, because it’s so kitsch, you can tell they’d love it…and that’s why 3+2 is here!

#8 – Laka – “Pokušaj” (Bosnia & Herzegovina 2008)

What countdown would this be without Laka? This man is possibly the most crazy Bosnian I have ever seen in my entire life…with his co-singer Mirela coming in a close second place. Although the song is really about love and luck, the staging of it made absolutely no sense….like what have four brides knitting got to do with this? Surprisingly, this song came in 8th in Belgrade and at the time, it was a big favourite of mine (it still is, but just not as much as it was six years ago 😛 ). However, despite coming in 8th place, I have a feeling not a lot of people did like it. At the Junior Contest, there have been very few songs that have the sort of energy that ‘Pokušaj’ has and although Bosnia & Herzegovina have never taken part in Junior Eurovision, a song like ‘Pokušaj’ would be a good template to base their first ever entry on, should they ever decided to take part. Plus, the staging of the song and the portrayal of the two absolute nutters on stage would send Lil’ Laka & co into international stardom…well, in the Balkans anyway..isn’t that what happened to Dino Jelusic? Why wouldn’t some want that? Go on, Bosnia, send Lil’ Laka!!!

#7 – Schmetterlinge – “Boom Boom Boomerang” (Austria 1977)

Well….this is a bit of a throwback, isn’t it! The notion of a Junior Eurovision Song Contest wasn’t even born in 1977, as the adult Eurovision was only a little baby, going into its 22nd year. However, if there was a Junior Eurovision in 1977, this would have gone into it. Austria came in the penultimate position in London 37 years ago with 11 points with this…….’song’. I can’t really describe what makes this song adult-Eurovision worthy…maybe it was because the song was in both English and German, although even in German it’s quite strange about what they’re singing..”Kojak, hijack, me and you” – not exactly three things that go together. The guys are wearing suits in black and white, which are supposedly to slim them down, as well as have another person on their back as well..the performance and song in general is just pure cheese and as much as I don’t want to say this, I’m sure that kids would like this song (if they remove the ‘hijack’ line!), because it’s bubbly and fun and also has some product placement in the form of Big Brother…I wonder if they were to go how well would they do, because if they didn’t do well in the adult Eurovision, who knows how good/bad they could have done in Junior Eurovision…let us know how well you think they’d do by commenting below!

#6 – Sieneke – “Ik ben vieliefd (Sha-la-lie)”  (The Netherlands 2010)

Would it surprise you to see Sieneke in this top? Sure, it was the singalong of the 2010 Contest, but you really have to take this seriously – the Netherlands wouldn’t have qualified anyway, even if so many fans liked it. The song is just very fairground and carnival-y and I’m not sure how it managed to even make it to Norway. Written by Pierre Kartner, the man responsible for so many Smurf songs, co-penned the song and although, yes, it is catchy and it was the singalong song of 2010, it was just too immature for such a prestigious stage. If it was to somehow qualify for the final, it would get little to no points. I’m sorry if I come across as hating the song, which I don’t; it’s just my belief that ‘Ik ben verliefd’ was sent to the wrong Contest. If it was to replace Anna and Senna in Minsk for the 2010 Junior Contest, I have a feeling that the Netherlands would have done a better job at defending their title at the time. The staging on that small stage in Belarus would have complimented the song more than how Oslo did…like our #10 and #9, they didn’t utilise the stage and therefore, dwarfed the performance. It would have definitely stood out had it been sent to the Junior Eurovision and possibly the song would appeal more to a younger audience, what with the love story of the two people who normally out of the cuckoo clock at the top of every hour……and is it just me or does Sieneke TOTALLY not look like an 18-year-old? She looks more late 20’s/early 30’s in my opinion…..I’m going to move on now before I dig a hole for myself.

#5 – Todomondo – “Liubi, liubi, I love you” (Romania 2007)

The thing about Todomondo is that they were quite in the “no man’s land” of this particular topic, i.e. they could have fit into either the adult Eurovision or Junior Eurovision quite well. At Junior Eurovision, we had something like Todomondo grace the stage one year before in Bucharest, when Serbia debuted with that horribly long named group who sang in just about every language they could learn, from Serbian to English to Japanese (for some reason). They managed to score a respectable 5th place in Romania, so it’s quite ironic how the following year, the country sent its own little Serbian group. This is where the lines get blurred a little, because the song’s lyrics seem quite childish to go to the adult Eurovision, so it would be better off going to the Junior Contest, but yet, I cannot really visualise a song like ‘Liubi, liubi, I love you’ being performed on a show like Junior Eurovision, so it should be on the adult Eurovision. However, as the Junior Contest reason outweighs the adult Eurovision, it’s why this is on this top. I’m not entirely sure how Todomondo would fare at Junior Eurovision as the aforementioned multilingual trick has already been played in Junior Eurovision and if you were to repeat the same thing the year right after it was already done, it might seem a little bit…..iffy. Nonetheless, the song is quite cliché for Eurovision and it might show love has all languages, but it just seems quite messy for the adult stage, so to be honest it would look better on the Junior stage….I do think though that if they were to take part with that song, it would be best to read the whole thing and change any lyric that don’t really conform…you don’t some international swearing to happen, do you?

#4 – DJ Bobo – “Vampires are Alive” (Switzerland 2007)

*Yeah, there were no videos of the performance in Helsinki. Someone’s got copyright issues….*

Well, everyone knows that themes run in the Eurovision. Take this year for example, it was about cake, last year it was the elements and so on. It’s obvious that Switzerland didn’t get the memo in 2007 that specifically said “no gimmicks”….vampires, Switzerland? Really? We’re trying to move AWAY from the Twilight thing, not to it!!! Eesh…The one thing that you could always get a good reaction from the audience because even though the song was very gimmicky, it did have a lot of fans on its side…that is, until it failed to qualify for the final, finishing in 20th place in a field of 28. I don’t think that first-time listeners were too amazed at the live performance of “Vampires Are Alive”, and the whole thing with the zombie-ish mannequins probably didn’t do them any favours either. Now, at Junior Eurovision, they have more child-friendly themes; candy, dreaming and others, so I’m not entirely sure if Switzerland 2007 would exactly fit into the little niche that Junior Eurovision has made, but hey – everyone loves a trendsetter! The one thing I will give this song credit for is the lead female’s studio vocals. Live; I wasn’t overjoyed at, but that might have just been the dancing getting to her. If they would have scrapped the mannequins and maybe the dancer with the incredibly weird mohawk, I have a feeling they could have done well…plus – and it really does pain me to say this – the amount vampire-loving-teens around would have showed this to any non-believers and would be like “THEY EXIST!!!!!” would help….I sincerely, really….sincerely…..hope not though..

#3 – Kreisiraadio – “Leto Svet” (Estonia 2008)

Hmm…….what could I POSSIBLY say about “Leto Svet”? It’s just a big pile of random weirdness that just so happens to be in Serbian, German and Finnish….for some strange reason. I really don’t think anyone liked Kreisiraadio from the minute they were selected to represent Estonia all those years ago, and that’s pretty obvious in the one flag that was shown being waved post-performance in Belgrade. Now, you may think differently, but I’m not sure whether or not it would be a good idea to have this anywhere near the EBU…although, it did provide some laughs in a Contest that was just so weak that Dima Bilan won. This view was echoed in a comment I received while posting for your views on the topic: our good friend Nikita Volkov (who managed to get us some amazing interviews in London just before Copenhagen – THANK YOU!!) did say this about the song:

The only show “Leto svet” would remotely fit in would be in a second-class circus. Would even be too ridiculous for the Junior festival. Hideous.

I think that really just is the elephant in the room here. However, it might be just so crazy that children might just like it. I mean, of course their sense of humour may not be fully developed yet, but they might just laugh at the utter randomness of what they’re watching. I know I would! 😀 But in all seriousness, they would laugh but they would not vote and I think that the little Kreisiraadio would just sink so low, not even a helium-filled Gaia Cauchi would be able to save them. But as long as they never grace the stage of Eurovision again, I think we can all breathe a sigh of relief. Agreed?

#2 – Scooch – “Flying the Flag (For You)” (United Kingdom 2007)

What is it with the UK and gimmicks? In 2005, they sent an Eastern-flavoured song (which I’m not dissing) that didn’t exactly fare very well. In 2006, they sent a song about what “Teenage Life” is all about and then THIS year, they send Scooch dressed in airport gear……*sighs, facepalms* WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU, UK?! YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE GOOD AT THESE SORT OF THINGS!!!! You can probably tell that I’m not a big fan of this song, and I have good reason to, it’s just utter cheese like!! However, saying that, I can just envisage the song getting performed in the Junior Contest in Rotterdam, had the UK decided to return to the Junior Eurovision in 2007. I mean come on, what sort of plonkers sing about flying all over the world….this is like Anja Veterova all over again. Plus the whole “Duty free, madam?” and the extra-pervy “Would you like to suck on for landing, sir?”, just make for some unpleasant viewing and listening. The one good thing about this I can say is that they could sing reasonably well…Junior Eurovision would become sooooooo much creepier if they let that song compete, which I would, post-innuendo-removing. It just oozes cheese, this song, and it can’t be taken seriously. No wonder so it came in 22nd place with 19 points, which tied them with France….I don’t think I have much more to say about this, so let’s move on to our #1!

And ESC Views’ #1 song that should have gone to Junior Eurovision instead of the Adult Eurovision IS………

#1 – Rodolfo Chikilacuatre – “Baila El Chiki Chiki” (Spain 2008)

Come on. You have to admit that this should have never gone to the adult Eurovision at all! This song was practically made for the Junior Eurovision. First off, the song opens with one of those very annoying toy guitars, to which he plays “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” – babies are immediately pleased there and are sorted. Then, you have the humourous dancer in pink cannot “dance” for her life and although we consider it to be very cringeworthy, children find it utterly hilarious. You also then have the dance instructions – “Breakindans, Crusarito, Maiqelyacson, Robocop”. It’s very infectious and you do end up dancing to it just a liiiittle bit and you can’t deny it. But in my own opinion, it’s like “Baila el Chiki Chiki” was made to go to Junior Eurovision. I can actually vouch for what I have said because yesterday, I showed my seven-year-old niece the song ans she laughed a lot at a lot of it and when I asked her if she would vote for that, she said “yes”. This gives you a proper insight into a child’s mind and trust me, when I say laughing, I mean proper ‘ROFL’-ing. In the adult Eurovision, it came in a quite surprising 16th place with 55 points. I don’t know whether Spain would have done any better at Junior Eurovision, seeming as they haven’t been in the Contest since 2006, but if they were to have returned, I could tell you now that a little Rodolfo would have a huge amount of support. This is, however, the case with most comedians and Eurovision – they make a song to be laughed at. Other examples would include: Silvía Night, Rambo Amadeus, Alf Poier, Anri Jokhadze, The Teapacks and others… so if it was going to get 55 points in the adult Eurovision, just imagine how many points it’d get at the Junior Contest. Just to clarify, Rodolfo is only here as he would do better in the Junior Eurovision than he would have done at the adult Contest….nonetheless, he is our #1! Congratulations Rodolfo! So what are your own thoughts on the topic?

Your views:

What do you think of our top?
What do you think of our top?

Nadine Glöck from Germany: Ehm. By only reading the question my first thought was Leto Svet. Further songs that would have fit: Estonia 2011, the Netherlands 2010, Portugal 1982. Because they are songs that could be performed well by teenagers. Also Croatia 2003 and all songs performed by 16 years and younger artists. Also Satellite. But all songs fit in both contests. Satellite: I am sure because it was performed in “The Voice Kids”.

Rosie Owen from the United Kingdom: Daz Sampson – Teenage Life and Scooch – Flying the Flag.

Rafael Vivas from Venezuela: Haba Haba, Shalalie, Leto Svet, Let’s get Happy, Mother… so many songs good for a JESC.

Karl Downey from the United Kingdom: United Kingdom 2007, Scooch might have done better in front of a child audience. After all, they did perform on a lot of kids tv shows in the UK after they won the national final. Ireland 2008, Dustin the Turkey was a puppet, so I guess he could have done well in front of a young audience too.

Well it just shows how some people can have the same opinions or totally different ones at the same time. It’s also great to see so many people coming together and say that this song doesn’t really do it for them…free speech, that’s what we’re here for at ESC Views! So what’s your opinion on this top? Is there anyone we should have put in? And which song is your #1 on this topic? Feel free to tell us what you think by commenting below!!

Top 10: Most underrated songs in ESC history

Hey guys! Sorry for the lack of posting over the past few days, we’ve been rather busy on both ends! But we’re back now and we’re going to take you through our ten picks for the most underrated songs in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest. So which song can now redeem itself and gain the place it should have gotten in its respective year? Keep reading to find out!

Is Aurela Gace the most underrated artist in ESC history?
Is Aurela Gaçe the most underrated artist in ESC history?

The definition of ‘underrate’ is ‘to underestimate the extent, value or importance of something’. With this in mind, we’ve picked out the ten songs that were denied of such recognition as a good song by the public. For the record, the majority of the songs featured in this top are after the introduction of the semi-finals, as the fandom grew bigger over the years, more people liked a lot of the featured songs. Enjoy!

#10: Luiz Ejlli – “Zjarr e ftohtë” (Albania 2006)

Luiz Ejlli starts this countdown off with his entry in 2006 – ‘Zjarr e ftohtë’. This was a song that was probably quite Marmite for the year it was in – you either liked it or you didn’t. However, whether you liked the song or not, you can’t deny that Luiz actually sang very well. The song was also the first song ever sung in Albanian and that’s noteworthy because the song in general was an orgy of culture from Albania such as sheep bagpipes, traditional dancing and costumes, things we haven’t really seen from them afterwards. And okay, I will admit – the live performance was a bit disappointing (other than those two guys in the traditional hats – they were hilarious and a delight to watch), but as a standalone song, it actually sounded like it would qualify. The only tow major things I could fault about it would be the live performance and his struggle to get to some of the high notes towards of the song. Those two points aside, however, it was a good song that showed off culture – the point of the Eurovision Song Contest – and yet it failed to qualify, finishing in 14th place…what gives, Europe??

#9: Vilija Matačiūnaitė – “Attention” (Lithuania 2014)

Now I’m not going to lie, before this year’s Contest, I was not a fan of Vilija and her song – especially in the studio version which sounded diabolical. However, now that three months have passed and countless watchings of the 2014 DVD have taken place, I’ve started to really take to “Attention”…well, the live version anyway. Vilija just missed out on qualifying for the final, finishing in 11th place in the second semi-final and there are points on both sides as to why she didn’t qualify. The dress she was wearing was probably what either caught people’s ATTENTION! *cliché I know* or what put them off voting for her – the way you look also helps! On a vocal point of view, however, Vilija got every note right on the night, even if she was “dancing” around the stage with her dancer..something not everybody could live up to *ahem* Tanja *ahem*. ‘Attention’ is the epitome of what current music consists of – modern electronic pop and sure, it’s not the best of songs, but it is what many people listen to and it’s catchy and that’s what counts in a song. There needs to be a catchiness – a hook –  to make the song stick in your head..which it did when I was doing my State exams…great! Well done Vilija for that so…and for winning the Barbara Dex Award too, so there is a silver lining?

#8: Gerli Padar – “Partners In Crime” (Estonia 2007)

After her brother triumphed and gave Estonia its first win in….ever six years previously, Gerli Padar had a lot to live up to when it came to her participation in Eurovision in Helsinki. Her song, ‘Partners in Crime’ was sleek and sexy and she definitely gave it her all, dancing with those rather nice looking guys (the guy in the black shirt in particular – LOOK AT THAT ASS THOUGH!!!!!!) while using her wide vocal range to give a performance to remember…and yet it came joint 22nd – alongside Montenegro – in a field of 28. How can that be? Like I said just now, the song was smooth and sophisticated and the live performance was just as sexy and sleek. Maybe it was the lyrical content or the ability to cause epileptic seizures or maybe it was the unnecessary view into her mouth when she kept singing ‘ We’ll always be partners in criiiiiiiime’ and ‘And that’s how the story goooooooes’, but for some reason, Europe just didn’t seem in a ‘We’re going to vote for songs that are singing about amorous activities’ mood. In terms of the vocals, Gerli did start off a little nervy, but she eventually found her feet and she gave a great performance in the second half of the song..was it too late by then? I doubt it.

#7: Javine – “Touch My Fire” (United Kingdom 2005)

From one sleek and sexy song to another. We had talked about Javine before when we were talking about if it would be a good technique for the UK to try to ‘go Eastern’ in future Contests, but now we’re here to talk about the song being wrongly placed in Kyiv. The song was practically made for Eurovision, and although that can be construed as being a bad thing, for the UK it was a technique that was worth having a go at..it’s obvious that it failed in its attempt to win Europe over, as ‘Touch My Fire’ seemed to burn too many fingers and it came in 22nd place of 24. I’m not entirely sure what to say that could justify for its low placing. Of course in the last 45 seconds of the song, Javine lost her sparkle and her voice just disappeared :/ and that last she did…that’s just as bad as hearing Alf Poier!  But then, I’m not sure what else could contribute to the bad placing. It was a smooth song that did its best to bring the East to the West and vice versa. Could anyone really give an explanation as to why Javine did so badly? Do you think that the UK should stay in the West and not send Eastern-style songs? Tell us what you think after reading this!!

#6: Remedios Amaya – “¿Quién maneja mi barca?” (Spain 1983)

Oh dear me, who have we got here? Remedios Amaya is a great friend of us here at ESC Views, and she’s already featured in a few of our other countdowns, but for now she is here as she was cruelly put in last place in 1983 when she sang “¿Quién maneja mi barca?” – or “Who is sailing my boat?”. Now most of you will probably be looking and thinking “SHE DOESN’T DESERVE TO BE HERE! NOBODY LIKED HER!!”, and to that I say ‘Listen to the audience afterwards!’ Remedios was sent to represent Spain with the genre of music that defines the tradition of her country and like our #10, Luiz, she was showing off her culture, which is what the Eurovision Song Contest is about! As well as that, she utilised the stage and tried to bring the viewer into the hall which is vital in order to appeal to the juries (if it was post-1997, I would say it would also be vital to get votes from the public, but only juries were used in 1983..oh well). However, not only did Remedios come last, she got NO points whatsoever…why? She may have sounded like a goat, but the song was catchy and showed off Spanish culture!! I’d have voted for her…to quote Iris, would you?

#5: Anna Rossinelli – “In Love For A While” (Switzerland 2011)

In the year 2011, Switzerland was probably in desperation of qualification, as they hadn’t qualified for the final since 2006..five years of non-qualification was starting to take its toll..so they send the sweet and charming Anna Rossinelli and her two good looking co-musicians. Anna LITERALLY scraped into the final, with only just one point between her and Malta/Armenia, but in the final, she didn’t get as much support and came in last place with only 19 points. With a charming song and amazing stage presence, how could she have come last? It’s possible that the song may have been dwarfed on such a large stage, but Anna definitely did her best to restore it. “In Love For A While” is definitely underrated, as it was sweet, catchy and generally an all round feel-good song. The UK definitely took to it and they gave Switzerland 10 of its 19 points, so Anna shouldn’t have gone home thinking not many people liked the song, if the near majority of a country votes for your song, that just proves it, doesn’t it! Well done ANNA!!

#4: Evridiki – “Comme ci, comme ça” (Cyprus 2007)

Where can I start with Evridiki? She entered Eurovision twice before in the 90s and finished in 11th place both times, so that is a participation record to be proud of. She then entered Eurovision one more time in 2007 and decided to sing this song – the gothic, haunting, electronic ‘Comme ci, comme ça’. This was Cyprus’ only ever entry in French and she actually performed like an amazing diva! Sadly, she only came in 15th place in the semi final, when she easily deserved a place in the final! In terms of the vocals, she offered a raw voice that was ready to let rip! Her actions as well were totally connected to the song as well and did anyone see her demented little nod towards the end of the song..like, I think she was trying to say ‘Yes, I’m crazy but enjoy my singing!’..the song was electronic and gothic rock – two things which normally don’t go together, but it definitely did in this song!

#3: Aurela Gaçe – “Feel the Passion” (Albania 2011)

In third place is everyone’s favourite person who can turn into an eagle at any time – Aurela Gaçe. Other than Lena, she was the name on every fan’s lips and everyone was expecting her to do well with her powerful ethnic rock-ballad “Feel the Passion”. She literally gave it her all on the night in Düsseldorf…maybe a little bit too much? She ended up finishing in joint 13th place in the first semi-final alongside Turkey. I’m not entirely sure why Aurela did so badly, as the fans really did seem to like her and the song in the run up to the Contest. She delivered well vocally and the performance was very strong..maybe it was the whole ‘and when I feel that I thirst for you, I dab my lips on your morning dew.‘ It’s only that that I can see being a bit borderline a reason for them not to qualify..Albanian and English never really get on well, do they? P.S. Did anyone recognise Bledar Sejko, who represented Albania two years later in Malmö, playing the guitar? Heh, small world!!

#2: Krista Siegfrids – “Marry Me” (Finland 2013)

Narrowly missing out on our #1 spot is Krista Siegfrids who could have been a potential winner before the Contest took place in Malmö. ‘Marry Me’ was catchy, bubbly and absolutely just happy. This was a song that had potential to take the Contest back to Finland in six years and everybody was in love with Krista, for obvious reasons. She was easy to make a connection with and you and performing live, she was almost like a Queen! So if everyone loved her, why did she come in 24th place in the final? It could be obvious that the gay kiss could be to blame for the low score..but I’m not sure that’s the case. The song was poppy and fun, but maybe the whole gimmick of the bride asking her man to marry her just blew a little thin when it came to Europe? I would seriously hope not. Krista was fun and bubbly and if that’s not liked by Europe, then I don’t want to know those people..she should have AT LEAST been in the top 10!!

An ESC Views’ #1 for the Most Underrated Song in ESC History is……

#1: Pernilla Karlsson – “När Jag Blundar” (Finland 2012)

Pernilla Karlsson is literally the definition of ‘underrated’. Everyone thought she would be dull and the song would be dreary and as a result, it wouldn’t qualify. They were right…but very reluctantly. Pernilla deserved a place in the top 5 in Baku and with such simple staging, it should have only furthered her chances. How could she not have qualified? The song was just pure bliss and despite being a ballad, it still managed to captivate the entire audience, both in the Crystal Hall and at home and touch their hearts. I was so disappointed that Pernilla didn’t qualify from the semi-finals, and I think James would certainly agree with me on that. If we were at all able to fix the results, we’d put Finland in the final and in the top 5. Maybe the staging of the song was a little bar for such a big stage, but with Pernilla’s amazing long cyan-coloured dress, it makes up for that. I’m ashamed in you Europe, for putting this in 12th place…she should have come in the top 5!!!!

So congratulations to Pernilla and Finland for winning ESC Views’ Award for the Most Underrated Song! What’s your favourite though?

Your views:

What's the most underrated song in Eurovision history, in your opinion?
What’s the most underrated song in Eurovision history, in your opinion?

Michel Schena from Italy: Modio was my winner in 2008, and it came last!

Peadar MacAindriú from Ireland: I absolutely love Comme Ci Comme Ca, I still listen to it regularly. I also love Beautiful Song (Latvia, 2012) – a lovely, overlooked song!

Julie Ann Mulvey from the United Kingdom: Valentine Lost. How that never qualified mystifies me even now. It’s a fabulous song, one of the very best Iceland ever sent.

Minos Alexandrou from Greece: Israel 2013 and 2014. They should have qualify because they were very good on stage.

Well it just goes to show that every fan has a different opinion on their favourite underrated song, and that’s just fine! Everyone can have their own opinion and they can respect each other’s as well! So what do you think of our top? Did he right song come in #1, or would you have picked another song to be in the top? Feel free to tell us what you think by commenting below!!