Welcome back to another week of my countdown. I can’t believe how far I have got, we only have two weeks after this before my Top 10 is revealed, and I’m so excited to have all my posts up for you all to read.
40. “Shady Lady”- Ani Lorak- Ukraine, 2008
Another beauty in a short silver dress took to the stage in 2008 and this one should have won. A non-apologetic AIDS activist, Ani Lorak is a great singer and performer, and this is no different with her Eurovision entry.
Shady Lady is an up tempo dance track, with a great thumping beat, and onstage was accompanied with some great choreography and 4 aesthetically pleasing men. Just a shame that the backing vocalist was stuck in the back corner, but that is what I love about looking back at old Eurovision performances, you see things you didn’t the first time.
Russia have had many great entries, this is why it is dumbfounding, why, of all of their entries that “Believe” is their only winner.
‘Nothing Shady about this Lady’
39. “Walk On Water”- Ira Losco- Malta, 2016
Ira Losco, has become a big artist in Malta over the last 10 years. Something that was obviously helped by her first Eurovision participation. I loved 7th Wonder, it is one of the Eurovision performances that I kept going back to when I first became a Eurovision fan. Yet it narrowly missed my Top 100 countdown, which is a testament to how big Eurovision has got in my life.
Saying this, to have a countdown without Ira would be a crime, and this entry has made it so high up my list for one reason, it is simply brilliant. Ira has grown as an artist and while 2002 was a great entry, Walk On Water is such a contemporary pop song. The inclusion of drum and bass elements in the song is almost revolutionary for a Maltese song, as they have disposable pop to the contest, when it is a up tempo song. This therefore stood out for me from the start.
What I am disappointed about is that in the run up to the contest we were promised a spectacular stage show, one that although accomplished, was not awe inspiring. I am guessing that this is in some reason due to Ira’s pregnancy, and of course I would never hold that against her. She still performed well, the same great voice she always had and was great to hear that high note reached (thanks Molly!).
‘This heavenly creature never fails to impress’
38. “Moustache”- Twin Twin- France, 2014
Now how can you not smile when this song comes on. Yes! It’s stupid, Yes! it’s over the top, but damn right it is fun and it is so catchy. I love a song I can sing along to, and the fact I can sing this is French without not hesitation really shows that you can have a song that is fun, doesn’t take itself too seriously and still be sung when not sang in English.
When I make a playlist for Eurovision week, this is always on it now, and for many years to come I can tell that this will be a staple in those playlists. There is another reason I love this song, and that is because my brother and his girlfriend love this song. 2014 was the first year my brothers other half had watched the contest with us and ever since she and my brother have asked me to play this song.
Eurovision can be serious, it can be loving, it can be political but it can also be fun and that is why I love songs like this. Yes it would never have won, but since when does winning matter?
‘I Moust-ache you, do you like this?’
37. “Un Jour, Un Enfant”- Frida Boccara- France, 1969
By 1969, the Eurovision song contest had been at its highest in ratings and audience approval since in began 13 years previously, and with the contest going to a new country, it was time for Europe to see a different side to Spain, than what Franco would have wanted them to experience. Spain is an amazing country and over the year have produced some great Eurovision songs, which again is why I don’t understand that their two wins are 1968/69.
1969 will always be known as the year that nearly ended the contest. This was not due to the impeccable hosts, but rather the result. As we all know four countries tied for the top spot, and due to the fact no Eurovision big wigs had decided to make a rule in regards to voting, they were all crowned. For me though, this is the song that really won that night.
You really must be getting annoyed with all these French songs, but just wait because their are more to come. Frida performed this song with so much emotion, almost like a mother showing her love for her child, which is really fitting due to the title of the song. This is when Eurovision is world class, when it produces a song that makes you think, cry and feel like there is always someone looking over you.
‘No doubt this day belonged to Frida’
36. “J’ai Cherche”- Amir Haddad- France, 2016
Since 2010, France have decreased in their success at Eurovision (questionably) and even though they were favourites in 2011, it took them 5 years before they became real contenders again. The Voice: est plus belle voix 2014 runner up, Amir Haddad came out of nowhere with this corker.
In the height of National Final season 2016, this was released as the French entry through social media (at least that is how I found out). There was no real fuss made of the announcement, although when I heard it I made enough fuss about. This is a great French pop song, it has meaning and Amir’s voice gives it grit. It is also insanely catchy and has a strong chorus. What else do you need?
On the Stockholm stage he gave such an assured performance and brought France back into the top 10 for the first time since 2009, and rightly so. His newest On Dirait is a great song, check it out folks.
‘Looking for a hit, I just found it’
35. “The Image Of You”- Anjeza Shahini- Albania, 2004
There is nothing I love more than a strong debut, as you have all seen I have already included some on my countdown and Albania joins them. Anjeza Shahini had the enviable task of introducing the Eurovision world to the Eastern European state, and she done it in great style.
Now I am all for using your own language at Eurovision, but that doesn’t mean I am averse to countries using other languages, and in this case, I think Albania using English was the right choice in this case, although I wouldn’t say the same of their 2014 entry.
Anyway, Anjeza gave a confident performance of a catchy pop song and it is the only song from 2004 I really remember. It has stuck with me all these years and still love getting up and having a sing and boogie to it. Well done on your great debut Albania.
‘the perfect depiction of a debut’
34. “Mathema Solfege”- Pascalis, Mariana, Robert & Bessy- Greece, 1977
As I have mentioned before 1977 is a vintage Eurovision year, and this is a great example of it. Even though I have enjoyed Greek entries the pre-date this one, this is the Greek entry that put them on the map. Greece entered the top 5 for the first time with this upbeat, cheery song about learning to play music.
I affectionately call this the Greek, Sound of Music. Pascalis, Mariana, Robert and Bessy performed this so well in London with their hands waving about in the air and dancing like a choo-choo train. Greece have rarely done better than this at Eurovision in my opinion. A true Euro classic.
‘Do-Re-Mi, for I love this so much’
33. “Iemand Als Jij”- Barbara Dex- Belgium, 1993
From one vintage year to the other, the contest that just kept on giving. Why wasn’t I born or older.
The now infamous Barbara Dex, did perform in the contest with a gentle ballad that was criminally under-marked. Although their is the consolation that she went onto to win the first ever award for worst dressed performer, an award that is now named after her.
Even with her unflattering attire, the song is beautiful, the Flemish language is also an underused language at Eurovision, and I hope to hear it more in the future (although I find that highly unlikely).
‘Like who Barbara?’
32. “Ik Wil Alles Met Je Delen”- Maywood- Netehrlands, 1990
This is a song that I hadn’t heard of 3 years ago, at least hadn’t heard, so to see it so high up on my countdown is a testament to how much I love it. Now I will admit that of all the foreign languages I love to listen to in music my favourites are Hebrew and Dutch. I wish I could explain why, but maybe half the beauty of that is, there is no real reason.
Alice May and Caren Wood were established singer in The Netherlands by the time they took to the stage in Zagreb, they came to the contest as second favourites just behind the U.K’s Emma, and therefore were thought to have a great chance at winning, so to fail to make the top 10 must have been a big blow to them.
Personally I don’t know why they didn’t achieve at least top 10, the vocals were on point, styling (for the time) was perfect and the song was a great ballad with just enough uniqueness to stand out. I guess in the year of peace songs, loves songs were just not for everyone.
‘Share all your music with us’
31. “Dis Oui”- Melanie Cohl- Belgium, 1998
One of my favourite entries from the last time the U.K. hosted the contest in Birmingham, 1998. Belgium had not had the best turn at the contest, having not finished in the top ten since their win more than a decade earlier.
Having taken a year out, Belgium decided to go back to a teenage girl with an upbeat catchy pop song, with a feel good factor and boy did it help them immensely. Melanie Cohl was only 16 and fresh faced, having only recently performing on the Disney Soundtrack for Mulan, she came to the contest as the dark horse of the completion. She gave a great performance, with her cheeky smile and charmed the Juries and tele voters into 6th place. Belgium’s best placing since 1986 and until 2003.
‘For your music, I say yes always’
Thank you for reading, come back next week for the continuation of my countdown: 30-21. 😀