The best time of year is nearly upon us – the Eurovision Song Contest. The final of the contest airs this Saturday, and we can’t wait. But in the run-up to the weekend, we thought we’d catch up with some Eurovision history. Take a look at the best Eurovision Song Contest songs of all time…
Lordi – ‘Hard Rock Hallelujah’ (2006)
Lordi’s performance at the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest was truly a sight to behold. The Finnish rock band dressed up in their monster getup, they used pyrotechnics, they had a giant battle-axe prop, and Mr. Lordi even unveiled huge wings on his back. Despite the odd production, the song was incredibly popular and earned Finland their first ever Eurovision win. ‘Hard Rock Hallelujah’ was released as a single the same year, and reached the number one top spot in Finland, and peaked at number 25 in the UK charts.
Olsen Brothers – ‘Fly On The Wings Of Love’ (2000)
The Olsen Brothers weren’t expected to do well at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2006 – but they surprised everyone and walked away winning the competition. The two older brothers from Denmark walked on stage in their suits and sang their ballad about female age and beauty. But their enthusiasm on stage trumped all of their younger competitors, and we couldn’t help but sing along to the subtitles on the bottom of the TV screen…
Sandra Kim – ‘J’aime la vie’ (1986)
Sandra Kim sang her song for the Eurovision Song Contest in 1986 for Belgium, and the world couldn’t get enough of her upbeat song. Kim sang about her 15-year-old self and frolicking about in the pleasures of life. And it was incredibly catchy. After her time in the contest, it was discovered that she was actually 13-years-old, rather than 15-years-old, and the second place country, Switzerland, asked for her disqualification as she was too young.
Vania Fernandes – ‘Senhora do mar’ (2008)
In the Eurovision final, Portugal’s contestant, Vania Fernandes came 13th – but we just haven’t been able to forget her powerful stage presence and emotional performance. Her song, ‘Senhora do mar’ proved incredibly popular, and so was her personality. Previous to her time on the contest, Vania had become a public figure and singing sensation in the country.
Helena Paparizou – ‘My Number One’ (2005)
Helena Paparizou was aptly named – considering the song did take her to the number one top spot in the Eurovision Contest. But this wasn’t the first time Helena had appeared in the contest. Six years earlier, she performed for Greece as part of a duo and returned in 2005 as a solo artist. Her performance was full of energy, choreographed dancers and a whole lot of fun. It’s no wonder she is one of the favorites of all time.
France Gall – ‘Poupée de cire, Poupée de son’ (1965)
In English, France Gall’s ‘Poupée de cire, Poupée de son’ meant ‘wax doll, rag doll’ and was performed at the 1965 Eurovision Song Contest. Gall represented Luxembourg and won the Eurovision title that year. The song has proved popular over the years because of its pop feel, and its wordplay, and it has been said that the song is about ‘the ironies and incongruities inherent in baby pop.’ Whatever that means. We loved it.
Secret Garden – ‘Nocturne’ (1995)
In 1995, the Norwegian group Secret Garden won the Eurovision Song Contest with their song, ‘Nocturne’ and it made history. In fact, this song only had twenty-four words in it, in total! This makes their song the first ever quasi-instrumental winning Eurovision song in history. Nevertheless, it was and still is a fan favorite that you can’t help but hum along to (because obviously there aren’t really enough lyrics to sing along to).
Patricia Kaas – ‘S’il fallait le faire’ (2009)
Although Patricia Kaas’ song came in in 8th place – it was the most memorable performances during the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest. Kaas is known as one of the biggest divas of the contest, and her song was performed with confidence, simplicity, and power – even after the death of her mother that same day. Well done, Patricia!
Brotherhood of Man – ‘Save Your Kisses For Me’ (1976)
In 1976, Brotherhood of Man secured the United Kingdom a Eurovision win with their song, ‘Save Your Kisses For Me.’ Even though the song lyrics are a bit odd (take a listen), the song is extremely catchy, and the band proved incredibly likable. To date, this is still one of the biggest selling Eurovision songs of all time.
Urban Symphony – ‘Rändajad’ (2009)
In 2009, Urban Symphony’s ‘Rändajad’ came in in 6th place. The song was performed on behalf of Estonia and is still the highest ranking song in Estonia’s Eurovision history. The whole song was performed entirely in Estonian – nevertheless, it slowly but surely became a hit across Europe, especially in Greece and Finland. If you like string instruments, you’ll love this one.
Conchita Wurst – ‘Rise Like A Phoenix’ (2014)
Conchita Wurst is one of the most famous winners of the Eurovision Song Contest to date. We first saw Conchita in 2014, representing Austria with her song, ‘Rise Like A Phoenix.’ During the course of the Eurovision performances, Conchita became a gay icon and broke many stigmas around Europe. Her win was truly deserved because that song was so goooooooood.
Sertab Erener – ‘Every Way That I Can’ (2003)
‘Every Way That I Can’ was the Turkish Eurovision entry, and was performed by Sertab Erener. And let’s just say people couldn’t take their eyes off this performance. The elaborate song and dance featured belly dancers, exciting choreography and a catchy song telling the story of a 19th-century harem who tries to win back her sultan. Ooo-er.
Alexander Rybak – ‘Fairytale’ (2009)
Alexander Rybak’s ‘Fairytale’ is one of the most successful Eurovision songs ever performed, and is one of Norway’s most famous winners. And to be fair, the combination was perfect. You had a cute Norwegian guy, a fiddle, and a beautiful song. It’s no wonder fans liked this one.
Joy Fleming – ‘Ein Lied kann eine Brücke sein’ (1975)
This song is often overlooked when it comes to Eurovision songs – considering it came in at 17th place. The song was performed by Joy Fleming for Germany, and she was often considered too old and too old fashioned for the contest. Nevertheless, after the contest, the song really came into its own and soon spurred up the charts.
Željko Joksimović – ‘Lane Moje’ (2004)
Željko Joksimović’s performance at the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest was the first time since 1989 that Serbia-Montenegro was allowed to perform – and he came in 2nd place! This came as a surprise considering the whole song was sung in Serbian, but it struck a chord with the people at home and set a high standard for the country. No pressure.
Lena – ‘Satellite’ (2010)
Lena won the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest with her song, ‘Satellite’ and was often regarded as a welcome release in the lineup that year. Alongside cheesy pop songs and air-grabbing ballads, Lena brought us something different and unique, and the fans lapped it up. Check it out for yourself.