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…