Despite Portugal’s withdrawal from Eurovision 2016, this year’s contest matches 2008 and 2011 for the largest number of participating countries ever. Living up to the its slogan “Come Together”, the contest welcomes four countries back to its loving, euro-pop arms: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia and Ukraine. Together they mark the largest number of returnees since 2011. But the question is: Which country is making the best comeback?

BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA: DEEN & DALAL WITH “LJUBAV JE”

After three years of BHRT announcing comebacks and then swiftly declaring a crisis and withdrawing, Bosnia & Herzegovina has finally found the money to take part in the contest once again. And they’re making the most of it, filling the stage with two singers, a cellist and a rapper.

BULGARIA: POLI GENOVA WITH “IF LOVE WAS A CRIME”

Bulgaria withdrew from the contest in 2014 due to budgetary issues, but after slaying at Junior Eurovision 2014 and hosting the contest a year later, Bulgaria have decided to #joinus once again. And they’re calling on fan favourite and Eurovision 2011 starlet Poli Genova, who is bringing a contemporary hip-pop track.

Croatia: Nina Kraljic with “Lighthouse”

After a (very) long string of poor results, Croatia withdrew in 2014, but reported that they would return in 2016 using The Voice as their selection method. And what did they do? Exactly that. The bookies are LOVING Nina and have consistently had her among their Top 5 favourites. Can she live up to the hype?

UKRAINE: JAMALA WITH “1944”

The country’s geopolitical struggles, teamed with financial issues, left a Ukraine-shaped hole at Eurovision 2015. But moving on swiftly, Ukraine is already back in the game. The only non-Balkan country to return in 2016, Ukraine has already seen their starlet Jamala climb the odds table and court international pressThis is how you stage a comeback.

But which returning country is your favourite in 2016? You can vote for as many acts as you would like, but you can only vote ONE time. Be sure to click the box next to each act you want to support before pressing submit.

Poll: Which returning country has the best act at Eurovision 2016?

We choose our favourite

VOTE IN MORE OF OUR EUROVISION 2016 POLLS

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Sabzelmerlow
Guest
Sabzelmerlow

@colin
Sorry, but you say that the song of bosnia bad is but if you understad what they say inthe song
Is the song beautiful so you must to know what they say

Karen Austin
Guest

I like all of them. They are all in my Top 15. In order, I enjoy Bulgaria, Ukraine, Croatia and B + H. (I don’t like Lithuania, which should be on this list of returning countries, right?) I think Bulgaria and Ukraine will be in the Top 10, and maybe Croatia. Good showing for these returning countries.

Colin
Guest
Colin

Croatia, Ukraine and Bulgaria should definitely qualify. Of those, I am mostly certain Ukraine will (99%) qualify, because it’s the only country that usually does well. Croatia and Bulgaria need a miracle to get an actual high score. But who knows, last year ever-qualifying Denmark and fan-favorite Malta failed to reach finals, while Latvia was in top 10 after 8 years of non-qualifying and Cyprus qualified with a song usually put at the bottom on You Tube lists. So, who knows how this year might surprise us.

Charles
Guest
Charles

@El Rosario de Raquel: Oh mein Gott, frau! Wach endlich auf, denn Portugal nimmt dieses Jahres nicht teil. Warum schreibst du den Landesnamen ohne Grund? Das macht kein Sinn.

Charles
Guest
Charles

Ukraine mostly … but I see that the return of both Croatia and Bulgaria has everybody going “ooohhh what a cute baby” while bashing Ukraine’s entry for being dealing with an historic event that actually happened (but everybody prefers addressing this as a political). Sometimes I wonder … is the competition political for itself … or are all these political vibes being spread because WE act that way?

Colin
Guest
Colin

@Toms ”I hate Bosnian song really a lot, I cannot stand any of singers in that quartet, I sincerly hope they won’t enter finals, since its mess, lazy, pathetic and dreadful song. I like Bosnia as country, no hate there, but song is for me, neck to neck with San Marino, Albania and Montenegro. Not one nice word I can say.” Sadly, I have to agree. I sign on everything you said there. I love my neighbors, but can’t stand the song. I only appreciate the fact that Bosnia tried singing on national language and not entering English bandwagon. Key… Read more »

Pollaski
Guest
Pollaski

It’s sad that people dont seem to comprehend the difference between plagarized and similar.

MTD
Guest
MTD

About the ones that claim that the Croatian entry is plagiarized, and those ones come from Sweden – really?

Sweden won with plagiarized song last year, they have another one representing them this year…

And they are the ones screaming plagiarism to other countries. How pathetic!

Hahahahha

Toms
Guest
Toms

I really love Croatian song, but as much I love Bulgarian and Ukraine one, so I voted for every of them. Because why not. I got to say thought, Bulgarian song is not so original as some might say, its quite standard song for Balkan area, while Croatian and Ukraine are really special. I hate Bosnian song really a lot, I cannot stand any of singers in that quartet, I sincerly hope they won’t enter finals, since its mess, lazy, pathetic and dreadful song. I like Bosnia as country, no hate there, but song is for me, neck to neck… Read more »

Sivan
Guest
Sivan

@ Kirk
the change would have happened anyway. The EBU has followed the MF system for a while. They were very skeptical and did not think it would work. But after seeing that it has worked in recent years, they have decided to change. It’s not Sweden, but the EBU which has been planning it. It might just as well have happened last year or next year. If another country had a good system, they had thought the same.

Stop crying

Pollaski
Guest
Pollaski

@Kirk

I’m in contact with SVT authorities, and I’ve been told that if you leave an angry post on every single wiwibloggs article every hour about how the Swedes are usurping the competition in their favor, it will spur them to action and the running order will be out by the end of the day. But just to be safe you should probably do the same thing on the main Eurovision site, too.

Kirk
Guest
Kirk

And not only the Swedes decide the running order themselves, now they keep it secret for so long and haven’t yet released it. Who knows what’s in their mind? Maybe they are planning to change the format of Eurovision to 4 semi finals, Andra chansen and a final with 12 countries only. It will be nothing like Eurovision as we know it.

Kirk
Guest
Kirk

@WTF**** Well, Sweden is not just competing this year, they are the HOST country, which means the Swedes are in charge of everything. And like they did in 2013 with the the running order, now they are changing the voting system as well to make it like Melodifestivalen. They seem to think that they are the experts, that MF is the best thing in the world and therefore they are allowed to turn Eurovision into another MF. That’s what I meant when I said they hijacked the contest.

AurelianTamisan
Guest
AurelianTamisan

1. Ukraine
2. Croatia
3. Bosnia & Hertegovina
4. Bulgaria

JRJ
Guest
JRJ

Nina song sound like Zara Larsson song.

Pollaski
Guest
Pollaski

@Anton And that last post reeks of pure 100% Grade A Siberian Yeti crap. If it was just because you didn’t think the song and the lyrics and the voice were any good, you would have said that and left it at that. Okay, fine, Eurovision has a lot of songs where the music and lyrics and voice aren’t any good. But no, we have how many threads now with post after post from you “ITS A POLITICAL ATTACK ON THE MOTHERLAND!!!! IT PRAYS ON ANTI-RUSSIAN SENTIMENTS STOP BEING MEAN TO US!” That’s not looking at music critically- that’s being… Read more »

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

@Anton

Jamala has got a good song, something different to this year’s song contest i think

and Sergey is more of a Musical Theatre singer, really oversinging it for my opinion

well i heard his live performance, but he can’t sing live lol

from a good singer Polina to a crappy but handsome singer Sergey, the only votes he’ll get is for his looks and not for the song, that’s a shame

and no i’m not whining 🙁

Anton
Guest
Anton

I just hear what I hear and judje on music and the voice, and it’s just a whining to me.

Pollaski
Guest
Pollaski

@Anton

Oh, bless your heart.

Its a song, son. A song based on real tragedy and emotion, that despite being based on events from six dozen years ago still seems remarkably relevant today. I’d argue it’d have sounded better if she’d dropped an octave at a couple of places, but hey, she’s the professionally trained musician, not me. But just because you have all the empathy of a glacier doesn’t change the truth.

Anton
Guest
Anton

@Pollaski
It’s Jamala who is whining… It’s not a song but just annoying whine…

ZanderZion
Guest
ZanderZion

Bulgaria
Bosnia
Croatia
Ukraine

El Rosario de Raquel
Guest

PORTUGAL

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

Croatia.
I also like the Bulgarian song.

Hebbuzz
Guest
Hebbuzz

Hard to choose between Croatia and Bulgaria, they are my number two and one and the other day it’s all around. 1&2/43

Bosnia is chaotic and boring, I don;t like that rapping terrorist almost abusing the cello player. 27/43

Ukraine, yuk, 38/43 I don’t like the voice, ‘melody’, the way of singing and it’s dividing instead of unifying Europe’s population. So being against Eurovisions concept alone it should have been disqualified. Second because it’s obvious there is at least some politics involved.

WTF****
Guest
WTF****

@ Kirk no one forces you to look at the Swedish Melodifestivalen! Let Sweden have their own competition in peace! How each country chooses its own participants is up to them and not you. ABBA was not Sweden’s recent win and there was no one who cared about Sweden between 1999 – 2011. If Europe believes that Sweden hijacked the contest they can stop hiring Swedish songwriter, not to use a led screen this year just because Sweden did it last year, stop hiring Swedish artists such as Elena P. Stand on your own two feet and stop beating on… Read more »

Giorgio
Guest
Giorgio

Bulgaria and Croatia are both flawless! <3

SpirK
Guest
SpirK

1. Ukraine
9. Bulgaria
14. Croatia
22. Bosnia and Herzegovina
To me all are final worthy, but Ukraine slays the pack of the whole year. Just realized that Bulgaria is returning with a returning artist! I hope they will return to the final too!

Laburnum
Guest
Laburnum

They are all great. My top would be:
– Bulgaria
– Croatia (my actual top 2)
– Ukraine
– B & H

Pollaski
Guest
Pollaski

@Anton

Keep those tears a-flowing, sparky. Every little whimper people like you make about 1944 just gives it that much more interest. More and more people take note, Jamala inches up higher and higher in the rankings, and you just keep on driving that truck down the Ruination Highway.

Darren
Guest
Darren

For me, it’s Bulgaria! It’s one of the best entries this year and I love Poli

I’m not getting the hype about Ukraine this year, but then, I never really do understand how they are overrated whenever they participate. The song is also too political, even though it was approved by the EBU, I still think there is motive involved.

Hoping to see Portugal and Slovakia back next year though, especially Portugal, they will be missed. Not too bothered about Turkey though

Miki
Guest
Miki

@davve The song was cleared from plagiarism.

Here is the link to the explanation of this decision:
http://eurovoix.com/2016/03/30/croatia-lighthouse-cleared-plagiarism/

For me there was no doubt at all. Btw. Nina7s song is a hundred times better song.

Bård
Guest
Bård

All are good, but Ukraine is the best!

Thiefo
Guest

All of them except for Bosnia are great 😛 My favourites are Croatia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, in that order.

NL
Guest
NL

1. Bulgaria (Welcome back! The song is great)
2. Croatia (I expected them to send crap, but nope!)
3. Ukraine (Annoying… so annoying… but much better than most songs)
4. Bosnia (A medley that went terribly wrong)

Bhrister Cjorkman
Guest
Bhrister Cjorkman

@davve. Also Swede here and Zara Larsson has been one of my most played artists ever sinse her EP. Sure, the first two lines of the chorus sounds almost exactly identical, but that is about it. Maybe that is why I like the song so much, but it does not bother me. The similarity is not bigger than between Frans and Matt Simons. The song also has other elements that are unique, and she sings it well. Of course, I think her voice does lack power and identity, so I believe that she will not achieve anything near what Larsson… Read more »

Rhino
Guest
Rhino

All 4 are good but Croatia is the best<3 ! 🙂

jacob
Guest
jacob

1) Bulgaria & Ukraine
2) Croatia
3) Bosnia & Herzegovina

Alex
Guest
Alex

@davve: Not this again… I still remember a certain user complaining two years ago about Brequette’s song “Run” allegedly being a “plagiat” of the song “Uncover” by “Sara Nilsson” – LOL

I voted for the outstanding entries from Bulgaria and Ukraine.

I honestly feel that the Croatian song is overrated and I’m not certain it’ll do as well as the odds predict. I know that the singer is very good, but her song is a bit on the cheesy side for me, and I feel that it doesn’t do Nina justice.

Sarah Boucher
Guest

Nicky91 Bulgaria is in Semi Final 2, not Semi Final 1

AG
Guest
AG

All four are quite good or at least decent.

davve
Guest
davve

@wiwibloggs, croatias song is under investigation for plagiarism of a song from swedish singer Zara Larsson.

http://www.expressen.se/noje/eurovisionlat-pekas-ut-som-zara-plagiat/

Tavi
Guest
Tavi

All of them

ct_greece
Guest
ct_greece

Pfff Ukraine of course.

Anton
Guest
Anton

@Brian Kelly
Yes, I also think that it’s a SONG contest, but this year Ukraine has awful political song. That’s why I put it behind Top-5.

Österrike
Guest
Österrike

My favourite of these would be Bulgaria. However her chances are quite slim asshe has to battle it out against an overload of uptempo songs and against the astrological odds: in the sun of Taurus we don’t get dancy songs to win, but very vocal ballads, and with fashion planet Jupiter in the conformist but perfectionist Virgo sign this year, the winner would be a retrospectively seen boring song. So I would place my money on Croatia, Ukraine and above all Australia this year.

Brian Kelly
Guest
Brian Kelly

It’s so fun to see, how Anton&Max hate ukrainian song, your behaviour is obvious. Even there’s no justification that you dislike this song. And you consider that there’s no politics? You just provoke holywars. Yes, I know that I just started it too, but anyway. Don’t give me answers and your wise advices, just be polite at least. It’s music contest, even if you consider there’s politics, you can’t change EBU mind. So please, respect all the contestants. Hope for your understanding, the best of luck :3

Anton
Guest
Anton

@Thomas
Yeah. I also think Croatia will be near first place.

Thomas
Guest
Thomas

Croatia will win this year. So yes. Croatia number 1.

Anton
Guest
Anton

Nicky91
Hopeless. People will vote for Russia, that’s for sure…

Ejin
Guest
Ejin

Best returning country at ESC 2016 : My top 4 :
1.Croatia – Lighthouse
2.Bulgaria – If Love Was A Crime
3.Ukraine – 1944
4.Bosnia&Herzegovina – Ljubav je