When a country hosts Eurovision, there’s a lot of work to be done. And amid all the planning and preparation, the host also needs to select the act who will represent their country on home turf. Lingering rumours in the fan community insist that some countries deliberately send bad songs in order to avoid hosting again (as if that’s impossible to get out of) but do host country entries always do poorly?

We have taken a look at the host country acts from the past decade and ranked them based on the percentage of available points and also considering their overall rank.

10. The Makemakes – “I Am Yours” (Austria 2015)

26th in the grand final with 0 points – 0% of available points

There’s no question of who is last on this list. In 2015, The Makemakes scored nil points and only missed out on the final spot because Germany arbitrarily made it to the bottom after also scoring zero. There was nothing terrible about “I Am Yours”, but 2015 was a very strong year and The Makemakes’ pleasant piano rock ballad offered little to stick with audiences. It’s not a good sign when the flaming fake piano got the biggest cheer. This was the first time a host country’s entry had received nil points.

9. Cláudia Pascoal – “O jardim” (Portugal 2018)

26th in the grand final with 39 points – 3.87% of available points

Pink-haired Cláudia Pascoal and songwriter Isaura delivered a sweet, moving performance of the ballad “O jardim” and made the home crowd proud. However, Portugal was followed by the UK, where a stage invader shockingly disrupted SuRie’s song and sent “O jardim” down the memory hole. It finished last with just 39 points.

8. O.Torvald – “Time” (Ukraine 2017)

24th in the grand final with 36 points – 3.66% of available points

O.Torvald are huge rock stars in their home country and their song “Time” was a driving rock track. The home crowd appreciated their local röck gödz, but Europe was less impressed. O.Torvald earned points from nine different countries, but it was only enough to put them in 24th place.

7. Didrik Solli-Tangen – “My Heart Is Yours” (Norway 2010)

20th in the grand final with 35 points – 7.68% of available points

Perhaps Norway was inspired by Alexander Rybak’s “Fairytale” — their act for 2010 was serving Disney prince realness. Didrik Solli-Tangen sang the sentimental ballad “My Heart is Yours”, co-written by Swedish maestro Fredrik Kempe. But audiences weren’t wooed by this Prince Charming. Norway placed only 20th in the final.

6. Robin Stjernberg – “You” (Sweden 2013)

14th in the grand final with 62 points – 13.6% of available points

After Robin Stjernberg’s unexpected win at Melodifestivalen 2013, it was hard to know how “You” would do in Malmö. Mirroring the Melfest results, “You” was a hit with juries, who ranked it third. Televoters were less impressed, and ranked Sweden 18th, resulting in an overall placing of 14th. Not a bad result, but it’s not what Sweden was hoping for.

5. Basim – “Cliché Love Song” (Denmark 2014)

9th in the grand final with 74 points – 17.13% of available points

Basim was like a Danish Bruno Mars, and gave a slick performance of his R&B tune “Cliché Love Song”. It was a hit with viewers and placed ninth in the final. “Cliché Love Song” took advantage of Denmark’s impressive staging and earned 74 points.

4. Anastasiya Prikhodko – “Mamo” (Russia 2009)

11th in the grand final with 91 points – 18.5% of available points

Russia made the most of the assortment of huge LED screens that were part of the Moscow stage design in 2009. While Anastasiya Prikhodko performed her emotional rock ballad “Mamo”, the screens behind her displayed several giant heads showing her singing along. And in Dorian Gray style, the LED Anastasiya grew older and older (and looked rather upset). The song placed 11th with 91 points.

3. Lena – “Taken by a Stranger” (Germany 2011)

10th in the grand final with 107 points – 21.23% of available points

After winning the year before with the quirky pop of “Satellite”, Lena returned for another go. This time she had the sultry “Taken by a Stranger”. Accompanied by a posse of dancers in silver bodysuits (?!), Lena shimmied her way to an impressive top-ten finish. It wasn’t another victory for Germany, but still a result to be pleased with.

2. Frans – “If I Were Sorry” (Sweden 2016)

5th in the grand final with 261 points – 26.52% of available points

Swedish teen Frans was a surprise winner of Melodifestivalen 2016, but his song “If I Were Sorry” went on to be a huge hit. The laid-back pop track was well received by the home crowd and did particularly well with televoters. While its fifth-place finish deprived Sweden of their hoped-for seventh Eurovision win, it was still an impressive effort.

1. Sabina Babayeva – “When the Music Dies” (Azerbaijan 2012)

4th in the grand  final with 150 points – 30.49% of available points

While showing off the newly constructed Baku Crystal Hall, Azerbaijan didn’t skimp when it came to their act. Sabina Babayeva showed off her vocal prowess with “When the Music Dies”. The moody, jazzy number was a fan favourite and took home an impressive fourth-place finish. “When the Music Dies” is also the highest placed host entry in the past 13 years.

What do you think? Which is your favourite host country act? Should a host country not make effort with their entry to ensure they don’t win again? Tell us what you think below!

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Diego
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Diego

“If I Were Sorry” was real cute

HarpyDarper
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HarpyDarper

I could imagine the Jackson 5 singing Cliche Love Song.
Who did the backing vocals on Azerbaijan 2012?

up!
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up!

Lena and Frans are the best in this list – imo…
Basin wasn’t bad either… I’m sorry for Portugal this year, it was kinda predictable that they would end up in the minor rankings, but personally, I would have placed it so much higher… beautiful song…

perrs
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perrs

Austria 2015 was second to the last not last. Last that year was Germany with also 0 points. If we look Portugal 2018 was worst host country result in Eurovision history.

KYLLITO
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KYLLITO

How can Portugal 2018 be worse when they scored 39 points and came in last when you JUST wrote that Austria 2015 had zero points. Your logic makes no sense at all.

Juan Cena
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Juan Cena

O.Torvald should have gone with its original staging with the band wearing the countdown timers. It made for a more poignant performance.

Regina Phalange
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Regina Phalange

My favorite is Sweden 2013

REMOVE JURIES
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REMOVE JURIES

Serbia 2008 did good. 6th place

Alma fan
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Alma fan

What do you mean ELSEWHERE? The host doesn’t have more points to give.

Polegend Godgarina
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Polegend Godgarina

Sabible Babajesus on top as she should be. Only Azerbaijan’s best entry!

Davve
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Davve

I enjoyed both Austria 2015 and Sweden 2013. Good songs!

Heli
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Heli

Of course you did you Swedish fascist! Have you ever not enjoyed a Swedish song? Maybe the one from Afro-dite for obvious reasons…

John
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John

The ‘definitive’ example would definitely be when Ireland won in consecutive years in the early 90s. I’d love to see the article expanded past the last decade to find some more interesting songs / content.

Polegend Godgarina
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Polegend Godgarina

The jury years were unreliable. No one wanted Ireland in 1994, the public wanted Poland or Hungary.

Joe
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Joe

…I wanted it

Jonas
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Jonas

What the public “wants” didn’t come into it back then, the juries reward the best song. I wonder how you could possibly know what the public wanted anyway. I would imagine that Germany had the most public-friendly song that year anyhow.

AngieP
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AngieP

You could do a similar list about the 2000s. Many good songs from the host countries. (Greece 2006, Finland 2007, Serbia 2008).

The last decade my favourite song by far is Lena’s “taken by a stranger”. I wasn’t a fan of her winning song, but this one was great. I also enjoyed Sweden 2016 and Portugal this year.

M_K
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M_K

“O jardim” was my overall no. 3. It’s such a brilliant song and I really would have wanted it to do better (even though I never really expected it to). The staging was also much better than I expected.

Juan Cena
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Juan Cena

Personally, I felt “O jardim” needed a little more of a pop musically. The minimalist music really didn’t do the song justice. It could have used some strings or something.

Joe
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Joe

Claudia and Isaura were royally screwed. It was my pre-contest favorite, so that was a bitter pill to swallow when a good, well-staged, well-sung, emotional song with nothing wrong with it except that it had the misfortune to come between Rybak and SuRie tanked the way it did. Then again, 39 points is a pretty strong finish for a last-placed song (considering Spain only got 5 points the year before). Some favorite host entries not featured here: Hanna Pakarinen’s Leave Me Alone from 2007 (that and Lithuania were horribly underrated that year), Athena’s For Real from 2004 (SKA PUNK!), Cliff… Read more »

Jonas
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Jonas

Portugal deserved to do better this year, true, but their bad result was kinda predictable. Too subtle for one listening.

Despite this being the “definitive” list, it does only cover the last decade…so that explains all the notable absences (Niamh Kavanagh!).

CookyMonzta
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CookyMonzta

How Cláudia and Isaura finished last is STILL inexplicable to me. There is an old saying that goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Salvador Sobral’s “Amar Pelos Dois” was as low-key and laid-back as any song could be. Portugal probably thought the same formula would work again, especially in their own house. I graded them 4th for their performance in the Grand Final. Now, Austria coming up empty in their own house in 2015 was a major disaster. Finishing 3rd this year was a huge surprise. I thought Cesár would barely miss out on the top 10. Will… Read more »

Katy
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Katy

The 2000s had way better host entries – When Spirits Are Calling My Name, Never Let You Go, Runaway, For Real, Everything, Leave Me Alone, Oro…. Exquisite! Most of them would have made excellent winners imo.

Cesar's salad
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Cesar's salad

Austria should have sent Johann Sebastian Bach in 2015. They were lit and would have secured a great result. However, Makemakes are great and their other songs so good. After 2015, I thought winning in 2014 was a total fluke and finals hard to reach. But the last 3 years proved me wrong. Austria is lit!

JackTheBoy
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JackTheBoy

I still enjoy that wonderful performance of Sabina.

Albin
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Albin

Most underrated 2000-2018 host entry is Leave Me Alone (Finland 2007). Hanna is amazing singer and her performance gives me still chills. The song is touching and powerful. Love, Hannah

Cesar's salad
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Cesar's salad

The song was meh. It only came across decent because 2007 was awful.

Jonas
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Jonas

Azerbaijan will be pleased with their #1 placing. Money well spent.

Not suspicious at all.

Curve
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Curve

Well it goes without saying in the first place 😛

Roy Moreno
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Roy Moreno

Anastasiya, Lena, Sabina, Robin and Cláudia ft. Isaura were all great!
I can only wish us luck for 2019 to send someone good and not do so poorly xD (from Israel).

Idan Cohen
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Idan Cohen

I hope we send something in Hebrew.

Roy Moreno
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Roy Moreno

As long as it’s good, why not? 🙂

Geo
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Geo

Some of these countries wanted to make sure they won’t win for a 2nd year in a row. In my opinion both Portugal 2018 and Ukraine 2017 were awful. How can Portugal send another bland song? If it worked for them in 2017 and they won, it doesn’t mean the same could have happened in 2018, as well. As for O. Torvald, their song was just average, nothing memorable about it…. As for the rest of them, I found Franz quite irritating… Loved Robin Stjenberg’s vocal range and song… And adored Sabina’s amazing, amazing song and performance!

Jo.
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Jo.

Germany, Portual and Azerbaijan were the best, imo.
Norway, Sweden 2013 and Ukraine were the worst.

Jo.
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Jo.

*Portugal

Sander
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Sander

Lena’s Taken by a Stranger still remains my favourite Eurovision song ever.

Nancy G
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Nancy G

that staging was soo amazing

ESCFan2009
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ESCFan2009

Awww thanks from Germany! If it is your favorite ESC song ever, then it have to be also your favorite German entry, right? 😀 My personal favorite of our German entries was Black Smoke in 2015… 😀

Costa
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Costa

Really interesting article! The only bit I disagree with is when you said 2015 was a strong year…for me it was the weakest since 2009.

Denis
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Denis

I think when most countries host they take the safe road and send something harmless. Leading to people forgetting about it.
I get you want a safe choice but you are the host. You are in the final. Surely that would be a good time to send something new, something bold. You got nothing to lose.
And it is a contest. No matter if you host, you still want a good result, yes?

Alkisti
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Alkisti

What a stupid comment, as always

Cesare
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Cesare

So unfair result for Austria. The new system meant 43 points, more than Ukraine and Portugal.

Joe
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Joe

Personally, I thought Germany and Austria were both screwed that night.

Jeune Fille
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Jeune Fille

I want to put my entire foot inside his body.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Every host country is shooting for another Ireland-type success. I’m pretty sure Israel’s going to impress with the home crowd next year, considering their track record of host entries (one that won on home ground, one that finished in fifth place).

Reborn
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Reborn

You are sooooo right. I can’t wait to see what Israel will bring next year with such a track record.

Tuk
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Tuk

My opinion is that no way, no host wants to flop, some of them had good results actually, but only Germany had the same singer that won previous year. That was silly. I bet next year they will send a Schulte 2.0. They just like winning so much.

Lion
Guest
Lion

First of all, I guess every country likes winning a competition, so hands down. However, what is so wrong about sending someone who already won? Plenty over countries did that as well and as long as it’s good and entertaining, there’s nothing wrong about it. And btw. if we would like winning so much, mate, we would have a much better pre selection! Just like Sweden for example. I mean, did u even see them? There’re literally a bunch of trash songs and there’s maybe one that is okay. Just like 2014, 2015 and 2016! But 2017 was pure trash… Read more »

Tuk
Guest
Tuk

In the begining of your comment you’ve admited ‘every country likes winning’, and your Unser Lied is a big effort (Levina even had orchestra), I’d wish all countries will not play indiference card when they don’t do well.

ESCFan2009
Guest
ESCFan2009

Uhm, I don’t know if you are also from Germany, dear Tuk (your nickname sounds like the German cookie?), but I am German and we did not send the same thing when we won. Lena and Stefan Raab said on a press conference in 2010, overwhelmed of the victory, that they will work again on an entry to safe the title in 2011. That was very spontainous and half a joke. And then the idea grew out of that. But Taken by a Stranger was completely different then Satellite… I don’t believe in a second Michael Schulte, no fear… 😀

Tuk
Guest
Tuk

@ESCFan 2009
I’m not German, I’m from Eastern Europe, both my name and email are random, really hope you will win next year because you always take ESC very seriously, this is why I don’t believe when your country says it doesn’t care. And you’re probably sad for World Cup, but you’ll see the luck will be on ESC. I expected more articles about football, like last year when it was a supertition about Portugal win, something like that.

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

Norway 2010 was the worst host song ever, while Azerbaijan is definitely the best of the bunch with Germany in a close second. But it’s always difficult to follow up last years winner, so aplausse for them.

Briekimchi
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Briekimchi

When comparing the general standard of a country’s entries weighed up against their entries as a host, the Ukraine has been consistently the worst host country in terms of the song that they have entered as a host.

Zenht
Guest
Zenht

This is because they value too much the winners pick.
i.e. Jamala wanted O.Torvald and the country delivered.

JEFFERSON
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JEFFERSON

the Ukraine in 2017 is much better than Ukraine in 2005.