At Eurovision injustices are as common as the wind machines. Every year at least some stellar songs are overlooked in the semi-finals. Others fail to do as well as they deserve in the Grand Final. Still others fare better than they deserve to on the Saturday Night stage. After intense deliberation, I can now present the Top 10 injustices at Eurovision since the introduction of the semi-finals in 2008. Have a box of tissues at the ready, y’all: reliving this trauma will get emotional!
10. Getter Jaani, Rockefeller Street (Estonia, 2011)
Getter’s Maths was a little out there. The outfit was a little crazy. The backing vocal for the last third of the song carried her. BUT godamnit she did a magic trick and for that alone she deserved the Top 10! The song was catchy, a cut ahead of most of the dance entries that year and Getter actually looked like she was enjoying herself! Where were the Douze Points Europe?
9. Emmy, Boom Boom (Armenia, 2011)
This song ended up being more Bust Bust than Boom Boom, but it didn’t deserve to be. After two average years, “Boom Boom” should have catapulted Yerevan back up the scoreboard to Sirusho’s stratospheric 4th place in 2008. There were great outfits, a decent vocal from Emmy and a gaggle of gorgeous backing dancers! She had awesome choreography and that amazing boxing glove-throne. This was surely one of the biggest shockers of the 2011 Contest.
8. Dana International, Ding Dong (Israel, 2011)
She won the whole thing in 1998, and she attacked 2011 with all she had. “Ding Dong” was a hilarious song, oozing double entendre and disco fun. I was all prepared to head to Jerusalem in 2012. She at least got that the point of a catwalk is to stomp along it for all that your worth, unlike so many that year. Somehow the hilarious song title, pleasing pop production and status of a past-winner just didn’t chime with ordinary voters though, unfairly. She was a LOT more entertaining than Izabo…
7. Pastora Soler, Quédate Conmigo (Spain, 2012)
Only Tenth Place? Less than 100 Points? Y’all have been crying out for Spain to step up its game at Eurovision and the year it does you give it the coldest of receptions! The ballad was glorious, Pastora’s vocal was mesmerising and the dress looked incredible! Madrid hasn’t been a threat for a long time, and the year they decide on taking it serious y’all slap ‘em in the face? Not cool Europe, NOT COOL.
6. Nina Zilli, L’Amore è Femmina (Italy, 2012)
This song was all kinds of amazles. Forgot “Per Semmpre”. “L’Amore è Femmina” stood out from the crowd in Baku. It was the real music entry. Nina had real dominance on that stage and sounded identical to the recorded version. Easily the strongest Big 5 entry that year she should have obliterated Roman Lob, battered Can Bonomo, struck Ott Lepland over the head with her microphone stand and slapped Rona Nishliu with her own dreadlocks because Nina was rocking y’all! The Big 5 Top 5 that never was…
5. Hera Bjork, Je Ne Sais Quoi (Iceland, 2010)
It’s rare that dance entries perform too well, and Hera Bjork belongs to the category of unfair dance dismissals. It’s impossible not to enjoy “Je Ne Sais Quoi”. There’s complete abuse of the French language, uplifting Eurodance production and a carefree message. She also had a ridiculous dress, the most hilariously awkward choreography ever and a powerhouse vocal. How she didn’t follow up Yohanna’s 2nd Place I’ll never know!
4. Gaitana, Be My Guest (Ukraine, 2012)
Gaitana bellowing, “BE MAHHH GUESTTTTTTTTT,” was a supreme highlight in Baku. I admit the song was let down by not having a crack team of backing vocalists like Zlata this year, but even so Gaitana was amazing. She had that fabulous floral headdress, hair-raising heels and those crazily dressed backing dancers. She delivered the fun factor in Baku, in an otherwise emotionally vapid hosting, and was a welcome splash of fun after two boring ballads from Ukraine. That she got handed 16th was not cool – the Top 3 should have been hers!
3. Amandine Bourgeois, L’Enfer Et Moi (France, 2013)
I adore French entries and hate to see them do badly, and Amandine had the cruellest fate of all. It’s even worse because her fate was deliberately sealed by SVT to give a real injection of energy at the start of the show. The French Fury wiped the floor with the rest of the Big 5, especially massively over-hyped Italy and she should have taken that 6th place spot from Marco Mengoni. “L’Enfer Et Moi” was sultry, dark, moody and an all-around great entry from Paris that should have seen the French in the Top 10 for the first time since 2009. Finishing beyond the Top 20 is unbelievable…
2. Ani Lorak, Shady Lady (Ukraine, 2008)
I don’t know where you are, but be ashamed Dima Bilan fans, be very ashamed. “Believe” was dull, dreary and Dima was just an idiot. He had no performer status. The choreography was dull and the ice-skater should have skated over Dima’s toes, not around him. Ani Lorak being forced into the second place spot was an outrage! I’m putting my neck on the line here – the performance of “Shady Lady” in Belgrade is the best of the 21st Century. The choreography is dazzling, Lorak’s vocal was flawless and who could fail to love that box? I don’t care if the long arm of the Russian Eurovision mafia reaches out to me – Ani Lorak should have won with an Alexander Rybak-sized margin over Dima Bilan!
1. Rona Nishliu, Suus (Albania, 2012)
I don’t care what the rest of Team Wiwi or Europe say about Rona Nishliu. The woman COULD NOT sing. She could screech. She was on the Olympic scale of screeching. If this were the Eurovision Screech Contest we’d have been in Tirana for sure. And I can only think that there was some sort of brainwashing undertone laced in “Suus” that convinced you all, for a brief period when voting lines opened, that you were watching a Screech Contest. Her hair was supremely off-putting, that dress was hideous and WHO uses a dreadlock as a necklace? I was completely staggered it actually got any points! “Suus” more than any song in the history of the contest screamed nil points. That it got four sets of 12 points is unbelievable to me.
Photo: Eurovision.tv (EBU)