You have been voting for the last two weeks for your favourite Spanish contender in our poll. Six acts are in the running, but only one can win. And your favourite act for Spain in 2016 is…
Cyprus were one of the first Eurovision acts to announce their candidate for 2016 when they chose rock band Minus One by internal selection in November. Since then all has been quiet in the Cypriot camp until it was revealed earlier today that the song they would sing in Stockholm would be called ‘Alter Ego’.
Iconic Eurovision commentator and presenter Sir Terry Wogan has died aged 77, following a short battle with cancer. The Irishman was best known for his scathing reporting on the BBC’s coverage of the song contest for 28 years and he hosted the contest in 1998 alongside Ulrika Johnson.
Tonight saw the second of Hungary’s A Dal live shows to pick the nation’s Eurovision entry for 2016. Ten acts competed with six of them advancing to the next stage. The winner on the night was the 2014 Hungary Eurovision participant Andras Kallay Saunders who received 41 points for his song ‘Who We Are’.
Lithuania’s Eurovizijos, aka the most drawn out Eurovision selection process ever, broadcast the fourth of their live shows this evening. The show saw the ten acts that had previously qualified from show one and two who had entered with their own song compete again. This time two more acts were sent home with eight moving forward to the next show.
Azerbaijan possibly have the best Eurovision track record ever. They’ve qualified for the final every time they have competed since their debut in 2008, they won in 2011 with Ell and Niki’s ‘Running Scared’ and have a total of six top ten finishes in eight attempts. Their worst result to date was in 2014 when Dilara Kazimova came 22nd with ‘Start a Fire’. What is the secret of their success and what have they in store for us in 2016?
If I were to ask you: which country is the most successful Eurovision nation? Your immediate response may be Ireland. You may say- surely they’ve won it the most, so therefore they’re the most successful? The big names that immediately come to mind are Johnny Logan, Linda Martin, Eimear Quinn and Dana. While it’s true that Ireland have had their fair share of Eurovision success, they have also had a shocking amount of non-qualifiers, and in the past twenty years haven’t really come close to their back to back successful run in the 1990s.
Hot on their heels you may say is Sweden with six wins and all quite recently. Big Swedish wins include Abba, Loreen and of course last year saw Mans Zelmerlow bring the contest back to Stockholm. However again there has been some slip ups from the Swedes over the years.
Similarly some nations haven’t ever won Eurovision, but have had many successful attempts with a number of consistent top ten results. Countries that may have only competed a few times, but have given it all the gusto they could muster, resulting in them constantly finishing on the left of the leader board in the final.
Other countries like the UK have a hefty number of second places, but may not be the equal of Ireland’s seven wins. So the question arises: how do we rank these efforts fairly? You may be tempted to cry: It’s too complicated! There’s so much history! Well, I’ve decided to attempt it and here is how…
Croatia have had mixed fortunes at Eurovision. In the 90s and early 00s they racked up six top ten finishes with their best result being in 1999 when Doris Dragović came fourth with song ‘Marija Magdalena’. However in the recent past, since 2010 they have failed to qualify from the semi final every year they competed. Croatia took a break from Eurovision for the last two years but are set to make a return now in 2016.
Serbia had previously performed as Serbia and Montenegro (2004-2006 with a second place finish in 2004) and prior to that as part of Yugoslavia (1961-1992 with a win in 1989). Since breaking away they have enjoyed moderate success. This includes a win on their debut in 2007 with Marija Šerifović’s ‘Molitva’, as well as a third place in 2012, sixth in 2008 and most recently a tenth place for Bojana Stamenov’s ‘Beauty Never Lies’. They failed to qualify in 2009 and in 2013 and did not participate in 2014.
Without meaning to cause offence, Bulgaria are one of the biggest losers at Eurovision. The country has competed a total of nine times since their debut in 2005, however they have only managed to qualify for the final of Eurovision once. The time they did qualify they came in fifth with song ‘Water’ by Elitsa & Stoyan. The duo also returned to Eurovision in 2013 (the last time Bulgaria competed) with ‘Samo shampioni’ which came twelfth in the semi final.