THE GREATEST HITS OF EUROVISION
There are so many causes to adore Eurovision: the clothes, the swagger, research and headlines from websites like Betway, the reality that Australia has weaselled their entrance into the contest, and the continent-wide scorn for the United Kingdom. Another aspect of Eurovision’s allure is how abjectly, undeniably bad almost all of the songs are because it is the whole goal. “It’s intended to be awful,” stated Terry Wogan in 1997. And the more ridiculous it is, the more enjoyable it is.”
Eurovision, the longest-running international television competition that gathers together odd, hilarious, and funky artists every spring, has been promoting the message of togetherness and peace across boundaries since 1956 when the inaugural contest was staged in Switzerland. Europe has seen many outstanding performances throughout the years, so we thought of compiling a list of some of the finest victorious songs and performances from the Eurovision Song Contest.
- RISE LIKE A PHOENIX BY CONCHITA WURST IN 2014
Conchita Wurst’s Rise Like a Phoenix was Austria’s second victory in the contest since 1966. Conchita’s powerful voice and delivery got her 290 points in the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest. Unfortunately, because of the controversy surrounding the artist’s presence, several more conservative countries were outraged, accusing the competition of encouraging “degrading moral standards.” They couldn’t be more incorrect – after all, Conchita embodies the genuine spirit of the contest: honesty and fraternity, not to mention her ability (she was by far the strongest vocalist).
- HARD ROCK HALLELUJAH BY LORDI IN FINLAND, 2006
A Finnish heavy metal band, Lordi swept the globe by storm with their 2006 entry, Hard Rock Hallelujah, making them one of the most unusual Eurovision victors. The gang not only kept their identity by performing in their distinctive masks and outfits, but they also terrorised youngsters all over the world. The clothes, which were as appropriate for a horror film as they were for a kitsch song contest, added to the over-the-top essence of the group’s entry, which, while not meeting all of the standard tropes of the best Eurovision songs, offered an intriguing and lavish show, asserting that heavy metal can be tuneful and that Eurovision isn’t only for pop songs.
- ONLY TEARDROPS BY EMMELIE DE FOREST IN DENMARK, 2013
It’s always pleasant to watch European countries modernise their folk customs. Emmelie De Forest represented Denmark at Eurovision in 2013 with Only Teardrops, a majestic ethnopop song that combined her crystal-clear voice with tin whistle trills and aggressive drums. It’s the kind of song that Eurovision was built for: melancholy and aching. De Forest’s song reached No.15 in the UK and dominated the rankings in her home Denmark after coming first with 281 points and conquering that year’s competition.
- Rock’n’roll Kids BY Paul Harrington & Charlie McGettigan IN 1994
Rock’n’Roll Kids, sung by Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan, was the very first male duet to join the Eurovision Song Competition and won Ireland its sixth triumph. With 226 points, it was the first song in Eurovision annals to receive more than 200 points. The presentation was remarkable in that there was no orchestra backing — the words were accompanied by the vocalists directly, with Harrington on piano and McGettigan on guitar.
- SOLDI BY MAHMOOD IN ITALY, 2019
As is among the most-streamed Eurovision tracks on Spotify, Italy’s 2019 submission, Soldi by Mahmood, demonstrated that you don’t have to win to make a significant effect. Soldi, which finished second behind Duncan Laurence’s Arcade, was a throbbing blend of half-rapped lines that had Mahmood toasting over a modern R&B beat, interspersed with applause to promote audience engagement. Despite providing one of the finest Eurovision songs ever recorded, Mahmood hasn’t decided to give up on his aim of winning the competition; he was back in 2022, presenting Italy alongside artist Blanco with the song Brividi. If Soldi’s achievement is any indication, he’ll be one to keep an eye on in the future.
- TU TU RECONNAÎTRAS BY ANNE-MARIE DAVID IN LUXEMBOURG, 1973
Despite being one of Europe’s tiniest countries, Luxembourg has produced some of the finest Eurovision tunes. After conquering the competition in 1972 with Après Ti by Vicky Leandros, they won it again the following year with French vocalist Anne-Marie David. Tu Tu Reconnaîtras, a beautifully theatrical showcase of French pop at its most melodic, became the highest-scoring Eurovision song at the time and astonished fans with David’s star-making appearance. The song went on to become a big pop chart hit, peaking at No.13 in the United Kingdom.
From funky outfits to strange entries, the above-mentioned are only a few of the greatest hits of Eurovision. Eurovision has evolved so much and has seen some of the most impressive yet awful performances of all time. And we are sure after going through this list, you will crave to watch more.