Dutch girl group O’G3NE have their sights set on Eurovision 2017, but girl groups haven’t been seen much at Eurovision this decade. But in the 2000s, the contest was full of female vocal groups ready to zig-a-zig-ah. We’re taking a look back, and continuing on from the first part, now we’re down to the top eight – let’s look at the ladies who spiced up Eurovision.
To rank the girl groups, we’re looking at the percentage of available points that each act received. For example, each finalist in 2013 could only receive a maximum of 456 points — i.e. 12 points from each of the other 38 countries voting. If an act finished with 100 points, they would have received 21.93% of the points available to them.
We’re covering girl groups from 1999 onwards. We’re only including vocals groups of three or more, so this excludes other combinations of female performers, like bands (Vanilla Ninja, Black Daisy, Elaiza), groups backing one singer (Can-linn, Urban Symphony) or choral groups (Buranovskiye Babushki). But we still love them all!
8. XXL – “100% te ljubam” (FYR Macedonia 2000)
15th place in grand final with 29 points — 10.51% of available points
XXL delivered a slick ’90s girl group look, with impressive choreography. But there’s a suggestion that all the effort went into the group’s staging at the expense of the vocal technique, resulting in a very average 15th place for “100% te ljubam” (I love you 100%). Curiously, the video for this performance isn’t online, but you can watch the national final performance with live vocals or this video that uses Eurovision footage with studio vocals:
7. Times Three – “Believe ‘n Peace” (Malta 1999)
15th place in grand final with 32 points — 12.12% of available points
Times Three brought a Destiny’s Child aesthetic to Israel, wearing different outfits made in the same shimmery silver fabric. While their song “Believe ‘n Peace” still holds up as a sweet, uplifting pop number, it’s let down by the super awkward, clichéd girl-group choreography. And behold the authentic ’90s touch – the lead singer has Rachel-from-Friends hair.
6. The Rounder Girls “All to You” (Austria 2000)
14th place in grand final with 34 points — 12.32% of available points
Curvelicious trio The Rounder Girls brought a Motown feel with their performance of “All to You”. They delivered a new millennium twist on the classic 1960s girl group sound. While The Rounders only placed 14th, it wasn’t a sign that a Motown sound wouldn’t work at Eurovision — in 2015, Malta’s Destiny won Junior Eurovision with her ’60s-style number “Not My Soul”.
5. Precious – “Say It Again” (United Kingdom 1999)
12th place in grand final with 38 points — 14.39% of available points
Of all the Spice Girls-inspired groups, it’s reassuring that the best entry was from the UK, ensuring that Eurovision had least one example of a radio-friendly ’90s girl group. Precious performed “Say It Again” skilfully, with both their vocals and choreography on point. The group placed 12th, which is still one of the UK’s best results in recent years. Member Jenny Frost would go on to join the even more successful girl group Atomic Kitten.
4. Feminnem “Call Me” (Bosnia and Herzegovina 2005)
14th place in grand final with 79 points — 16.88% of available points
Feminnem debuted at Eurovision with the joy of “Call Me”, unleashing their swishy blonde hair and power vocals onto the Kyiv crowd. The ABBA-inspired song had tight harmonies, and paid tribute to Eurovision’s 50th anniversary, along with an upbeat schlager sound that made Feminnem a fan favourite.
3. Charmed – “My Heart Goes Boom” (Norway 2000)
11th place in grand final with 57 points — 20.65% of available points
Norway delivered the super fun “My Heart Goes Boom”, which included the memorable lyric “I lost my mind and popsicle”. Charmed designed their own costumes, with bold silhouettes and a palette of black and purple ’90s club style. The song placed 11th, missing out on making the top ten by only two points.
2. Afro-dite – “Never Let It Go” (Sweden 2002)
8th place in grand final with 72 points — 26.09% of available points
“Never Let It Go” was reportedly intended for Alcazar, who turned it down. Instead it went to the three divas of Afro-dite, who went on to win Melodifestivalen and gave Sweden yet another top 10 finish. Afro-dite’s success with “Never Let It Go” was proof that it’s not just enough to have cute singers in shiny dresses — the song has be just as good.
1. Serebro – “Song #1” (Russia 2007)
3rd place in grand final with 207 points — 42.07% of available points
Serebro is the go-to act for “successful Eurovision girl group”. The cool and saucy grooves of “Song #1” only placed at #3, but the song became established as an enduring fan favourite. Serebro might have more line-up changes than Dolly Style, but they’re still going strong, having outlasted all the other girl groups that were put together for Eurovision. And who else could combine giant collars and cuffs with a lyrics like “Put a cherry on my cake and taste my cherry pie”?
Who is your favourite girl group from modern Eurovision?
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Should there be more girl groups in Eurovision? Or is it an outdated concept? Which girl group would you like to see in Kyiv next year?