Every day until December 24, we’re stuffing your stockings with a new Eurovision poll and asking you to name your favourite Israeli entry and your favourite #melfest runner-up (among other things). Consider this our advent calendar for 2015. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, you can let us know your thoughts each and every day by casting your votes. After you’ve decorated your house with mistletoe and tinsel, open the next door!
Day 9: Eurovision in the past ten years
This year we celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Eurovision Song Contest. It’s the second longest running international TV music competition in the world. Over that time it’s progressed from black-and-white and old-fashioned to super HD and (at times) over-the-top. It just keeps on evolving. From Lordi to Måns, from Athens to Vienna, there have been plenty of memorable moments, big disappointments, and surprising winners.
But which contest is your favourite? Whether you rank them by the quality of the songs, the staging or just the overall impression, we want to know what you think. You can vote for as many contests as you like, but you can only vote one time!
2006 – Athens, Greece
Eurovision 1991 winner Carola brought her wind machine back. Iceland’s Silvia Night shocked everyone with her sharp tongue and insults (“…I’m not a slut from Holland!”). Lithuania got their first 12 points ever. Dima Bilan made his Eurovision debut. And Finland finally won on their 40th try. “Hard Rock Hallelujah” was a revolutionary winner by being the first rock song — and one performed by monsters — to win.
2007 – Helsinki, Finland
Producers staged the biggest semifinal ever, with 28 acts vying for a spot in the final. Santa Claus opened the voting. Bulgaria achieved their best result so far. Serbia won on their first attempt as an independent country. “Molitva” remains the last non-English song to win the contest.
2008 – Belgrade, Serbia
A record-breaking 43 countries took part and for the first time the host broadcaster staged two semifinals. Azerbaijan and San Marino debuted. Russia’s Dima Bilan placed only third in his semifinal but ultimately won the contest ahead of Ukraine and Greece.
2009 – Moscow, Russia
Georgia withdrew after the E.B.U. asked them to ditch their highly politicised entry “We Don’t Wanna Put In“. The Czech Republic earned nul points in their semifinal. Sakis Rouvas returned to the contest after placing third in 2004. And Norway’s Alexander Rybak received the biggest amount of points — 387 — ever and won the contest.
2010 – Oslo, Norway
Moldova introduced Epic Sax Guy, who later become a huge internet meme. Jimmy Jump interrupted Spain’s performance. Eurovision 1993 winner Niamh Kavanagh returned for Ireland but placed only 23rd. Germany was the first Big 5 country to win since the Big 5 rule was introduced in 2000. Lena’s “Satellite” later topped the charts all over Europe.
2011 – Düsseldorf, Germany
Once again 43 countries took part. Italy came back to the contest after a 14-year absence. Two Eurovision winners — Israel’s Dana International and Germany’s Lena — returned. Turkey missed the final for the first time ever. Azerbaijan took their first victory after debuting in 2008.
2012 – Baku, Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan erected (and in record speed) the shiny new Baku Crystal Hall to host the contest. Armenia had to withdraw due to security concerns. Valentina Monetta made her Eurovision debut. Russia sent six singing grannies, but they weren’t able to beat Sweden’s Loreen. A total of 18 countries awarded Sweden douze points.
2013 – Malmö, Sweden
Four countries withdrew from the contest including Turkey, which still hasn’t returned. The producers decided the running order for the first time. Anouk took the Netherlands to the final for the first time in eight years. Not a single country of the former Yugoslavia reached the final. Just like in 2000, Denmark won the contest in Sweden. Emmelie de Forest sang “Only Teardrops” barefooted and snatched the victory over Azerbaijan and Ukraine.
2014 – Copenhagen, Denmark
Only 37 countries took part. San Marino and Montenegro qualified to the final for the first time ever. Poland returned and reached the final by doing laundry on stage (with their cleavage on display). Sanna Nielsen made it to Copenhagen after finally winning Melodifestivalen on her seventh try. Bearded drag queen Conchita Wurst gave Austria its second victory and was among the most Googled celebrities of 2014.
2015 – Vienna, Austria
Australia debuted in the contest as a special guest for the 60th anniversary. The Czech Republic returned, but again failed to reach the final. Germany and host country Austria finished with no points. Italy’s Il Volo won the televote, but Sweden’s Måns Zelmerlöw was crowned the winner after finishing first with the jury and third with the public.