Ever since the first Eurovision semi-finals took place back in 2004, the media hype and general craziness have increased with every passing year. Every contest has a chosen one. Someone who everybody expects to sail straight into the finals and from there to victory…..But sometimes that doesn’t work out. In honor of these let-downs, let’s take a little lookie-loo at five of the biggest flops at Eurovision that, to everybody’s surprise, got the finger from Europe.
#5. Israel 2011: Dana International with “Ding Dong”
Israel’s golden girl, Dana returned in 2011, and of course everybody thought that the semi-finals were just a minor detail for this former winner. The road was clear and a spot in the top 10 was secure. But OyVei!! Somewhere on the way Dana lost the support and love of Europe and got left in the semi finals, without so much as a T-shirt to bring back home. What went wrong? Was it the fact that she was dressed as a picnic basket? Was it because wiwibloggs.com filmed her making an angry phone call after her dress rehearsal? Or that the backup singers danced like someone had poured itching powder down their panty hose? Or was it simply because the song itself was weak, with a forgettable melody? I personally vote for the last one, because I adore Dana, but there, she wasn’t at her best. Sorry Dana, love you to bits and better luck next time babe.
#4. Iceland 2005: Selma with “If I had your love”
Yes….Selma…..and this….Icelanders and big parts of Europe were in awe when Selma got chosen to compete again. Iceland’s favorite girl next door would surely have no problem with bringing home the victory that she was denied back in 1999 when she came second, right? Wrong!!! This was unfortunately doomed from the start. The song itself and Selma’s voice weren’t half bad, but the hype around it, the dance moves, the dancers, Selma’s outfit and finally, that bloody breathing exercise in the middle of the song (seriously, it was like Deep Throat the musical!) all put together? A train wreck. And FYI, we didn’t learn a thing and thought it was a tremendous idea to send Silvia Night the following year. Sorry about that.
#3. Belgium 2006: Kate Ryan with “Je t’adore”
This is probably one of the biggest bitch slaps Europe has ever given a performer in the history of this great contest. Belgium was all in that year: a team of great songwriters, specially designed microphone stands, Kate´s dress was expensive enough to feed a small African country and a catchy tune with a hook in the middle….and yet, for some reason, Europe declined. The results were devastating. After being a favorite amongst fans as well as betting offices, Kate got sent back home with only 69 points and was kindly asked to shut the doors when she left. Still today I don’t get it. Everything seemed to go exactly as planned. The choreography and the glowstick show was great, Kate looked like a million dollars and the audience were hailing her like a true winner, and then..a dark void. As a result, Belgium seemed to stop caring for a few years after that. And who can blame them? I most certainly can’t.
#2. Norway 2011: Stella Mwangi with “Haba Haba”
Yikes, that was a shocker for everyone! Stella had been a number one favorite the whole time, and was certain of success in Düsseldorf. But for some reason, her powerful performance left Europe cold, and it rewarded her with only 30 points, and 17th place, even though she got the whole arena dancing and partied her ass of, both on and off stage. What the hell happened? Nobody really knows. She was a little out of tune to begin with, yes, but is the Eurovision world harsh enough to punish her for that? Was it the Swahili? Naah, couldn’t be. Or were people simply bored with the havoc and then media frenzy around her? Who knows? But what we do know is that TV-ratings for the finals took a huge dive that year in Norway. Everybody were so sure of Stella flying directly to the finals that nobody even considered the opposite. Not to mention that both Turkey and Armenia were also given a beating, which is another story all together. But to everyone’s surprise, Switzerland, Lithuania and Iceland got the golden ticket and gracefully waved goodbye to Stella and co and sailed towards a…..well, crappy results in the finals, but hey…
#1. Sweden 2010: Anna Bergendahl with “This is my life”
Wow, oh wow…Europe stood still when Nadia Hasnaoui opened the very last envelope of the second semi finals in Oslo, and Sweden was not in it! The Swedes were speechless. Rumors say that poor Anna cried her eyes out, and that her parents had to drive from their home in the middle of the night to Norway and pick up their shattered daughter. As I said, rumors. But that does not change the fact that never before had the ABBA nation faced such brutal results. At least Martin Stenmarck was already in the finals in 2005, even though he tanked. No, no..this was something that no one saw coming. And in their friendly neighbouring country of all places! A moment that will never be forgotten. Ever!! But this wasn’t all bad though. Sweden got a chance to re-think their stragety, which eventually led to a little song called “Euphoria” and a phenominal contest in Malmö last year. Don’t know about you guys, but I’ve always been a sucker for a happy ending.
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Kristin Kristjans contributed this report from Iceland. You can keep up with the latest Eurovision news and gossip by following the team from wiwibloggs.com on Twitter @wiwibloggs and by liking our Facebook page.
Photo: Eurovision.tv (EBU)