Despite all of the pre-contest hype pointing towards an Armenian or Swedish victory, long-time underdog Austria snagged its second win 48 years after its first one. However, many people still remember Conchitaland as the home of “Woki mit deim popo” and the AIDS advocates in bird costumes, making Austria one of Eurovision’s most hopeless countries. Although it finally rid itself of that status in May, there are still several countries perceived as eternal losers. Let’s look at some of them now.

Lithuania

Both of its neighbors, Estonia and Latvia, grabbed a victory within a few years of their débuts, and a few top 10 placings alongside it. But Lithuania lags behind—and its highest-placing entry was a joke.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgtRSseC-_4

They have to rely on gimmicks, and their good friends Ireland and Georgia, in order to pass through. This includes the sign language in C’est ma vie, the eyebrows and shoe-naming in Something, and the over-literal interpretation in the meaning Love is Blind. This year, after sitting through 12 weeks of competition to match a song with a person, we ended up with a girl in a space tutu jumping around and shouting. On the bright side, though, they won at least one award: the Barbara Dex Award.

FYR Macedonia

FYR Macedonia débuted in 1998, and was relegated in 1999. Since then, it has only qualified once—in 2012—under the two semi-final system. Its best result was in 2006 with the tongue-twister Ninanajna.

Their problem is that they send forgettable rock songs. Although rock is the Former Yugoslav Republic’s specialty, they can’t find any way to make their songs memborable. This is mostly because they send rock in the style of Green Day rather than in the style of Coldplay. Kaliopi is the exception to the rule: she was a woman with a husky voice, a memorable tune in her native language, and a scream that haunts your dreams.

Georgia

Georgia had a decent début in 2007, when Visionary Dream placed 12th. Since then, they have sent the same song over and over again: an overly sweet ballad with non-sensical lyrics.

They are so forgettable, they have to rely on Lithuania to spare some points. Their top tens are more or less the result of bloc voting. The only Georgian entry that broke this formula and deserved its placing was Eldrine’s One More Day.

Bulgaria

Bulgaria first participated in 2005, but did not qualify for the final until 2007. Elitsa and Stoyan’s Water remains their highest placing and only top five, top ten, and qualifying entry to date. Since then, no Bulgarian entry has made it to the final, including Elitsa and Stoyan’s second attempt.

A lack of neighbours doesn’t help. Greece and Bulgaria were never in the same semi-final until 2013, and Greece gave Bulgaria only 2 points that year. Turkey almost always snubs Bulgaria as well, only placing them in their top 3 in 2012.

Portugal

Finally, we have the long-time underdog: Portugal. They have participated since 1964, but have never cracked the top 5. Their best result was in 1996 with the song O meu coração não tem cor. They did place silver in the 2008 semi-final with Senhora do mar, but then dropped down to 13th place in the final.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zm-G4gHRKJU

Portugal’s problem is that they treat the contest like they did in the old days: a platform to show off their national culture and music rather than as an actual competition. Even when they pass fado over for a more upbeat song, it still shows off their history, such as this year’s entry Quero ser tua.

Who else do you think needs to try harder to win the contest? Who will forever be snubbed? Tell us in the comments below!

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33 Comments
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warze
warze
6 years ago

wy the hell is gorgia hEre?

James
James
6 years ago

Aw, c’mon, Samo Shampioni was great! I think it’s so much fun to listen to!

Joel
Joel
6 years ago

All I have to say is that I love Portugal and Portuguese entries!

R?ta
R?ta
6 years ago

Since I am Lithuanian, I can honestly say, that we have good songs. We really do! They just don’t seem to make it. It’s sad, actually… Instead of sending a rock ballad, that could’ve cracked into the final easily with a little help of memorable staging, we sent some creep in a tutu. She basically bought the voters, and she wrote the song herself, so once the song was selected, there was no way Vilija would not sing it… Pretty much the same this year. I’m utterly disappointed, despite the fact that “This time” is quite catchy and maybe, JUST… Read more »

martin
martin
6 years ago

Totally agree on Lithuania. I was in utter shock when they qualified to the final in 2012 and 2013 with quite frankly horrendous songs. I hate every single one of their entries except for 2009.

Daniel
Daniel
6 years ago

Where is Latvia?

Temurika
Temurika
6 years ago

Are you kidding me? Georgia? It should not be on the list ???????? do not forget that they only started in 2007 and have four top 15 songs. But the vote block is really horrible for that country but they still manage to succeed. Seriously Georgia should not be on the list

Farron
Farron
6 years ago

You comment on how Portugal uses Eurovision to show off their culture and make it sound like a bad things. It’s a really good things. If every single song was in the same language and not at all cultural then the competition would be dull.

The balkan’s sing in their own languages fairly frequently, as does Portugal and France, Italy too. This gives them individuality and makes Eurovision that much more interesting.

Portugal might not send the best songs, but it’s a change from the crap that some countries put us through each year

George
7 years ago

Oh wait. Lithuanians spend 12 weeks to send this entry ? This is called ” WAIST OF TIME”

Nebi
Nebi
7 years ago

I disagree on Georgia in that they are about 50/50. Agree on Lithuania. Albania certainly should be here. Also, I don’t get the love for FYR Macedonia in 2012.

Giorgos
Giorgos
7 years ago

I am glad that Cyprus isn’t on it!!!!! Yay!!!!

Tiff
Tiff
7 years ago

Go Macedonia! Never give up! 🙂

Timbardur62
Timbardur62
7 years ago

@Deven O’Kearney: Slovenia, France, Spain? Really? It’s only a matter of time when Slovenia gets a jackpot in this contest. It may come when they combine the balkan tunes with Central European pop/rock. Spain and France are potential top-10 countries every year. To be in top-10 is a really honorouble placing nowadays. I think Israel, Ireland, Belgium and the Baltic have seen their glorious days but I would be more than delighted if they’s show me I was so wrong.

Shaun Micallef
Shaun Micallef
7 years ago

i disagree about the hate for Georgia! Never did they have a bad song (2012 and 2014 MAJOR exceptions!!). But I think that Andorra, Latvia and definitely Czech Republic should be listed.

Huh
Huh
7 years ago

Where is Albania here?

someone
someone
7 years ago

I think my country (Israel) is hopeless too because of the politics ( or at least till it will be a Serious peace process here)

Nikos
Nikos
7 years ago

I LOVE Eldrine’s “One More Day” and would love to see something like that again from Georgia. I am still listening to it.

Darren
Darren
7 years ago

I have hated they Georgian entries every year, except for their debut, that was good, but I was always amazed how they managed to qualify after that.
Lithuania shouldn’t be on this list really, 2014 was the first time they haven’t qualified for the final in years.
But, I agree with previous comments, I think this decade belongs to western Europe.
Watch out for Italy, Netherlands, Ireland, Romania and Sweden.
I would love to see Portugal win ESC because they are seriously underrated every year, especially 2014. And Lisbon would be an awesome host city.

Hebbuzz
Hebbuzz
7 years ago

Portugal deserves a good result, because they are sticking to their own culture instead of giving in to commercial songs which could’ve been written anywhere in the world. Hopefully they keep on sending those typical Portuguese entries and one will be rewarded…

Ani
Ani
7 years ago

Latvia send crap songs to ESC but was good 2013 when have foreign songwriters compete

John
John
7 years ago

And I guess there can’t be hopeless countries anymore!

Austria won it after about fifty years, the Netherlands is our current second place. Italy is doing well every year.

So it’s time for Western Europe again!

John
John
7 years ago

I really hope to see a Portuguese victory. Such a lovely, young, creative, intellectual and cool country – as I am here in Lisbon right now. RTP just needs a very well artistical director etc., and they shouldn’t waste so much money and time on their weird national final, Festival da Cançoã. They can pick someone from streets or can search for a young talent in Music and Fine Arts Academies. Then they can focus on the song, can work with international musicians etc. (victories in 2010-11 and 2014 came from international teams, as 2012 and 2013 winners Sweden and… Read more »

Bedros
Bedros
7 years ago

Bad or good Armenia can always count on their diaspora. However there’s no such a chance for Lithuania, Georgia and Bulgaria.

Deven O'Kearney
7 years ago

All of the countries listed below will never win again as far as I am concerned. My apologies if you are from one of the countries I have listed, but it is about honesty and conventionalism, Not feelings I’m afraid.

DR
DR
7 years ago

I would put most of the ESC old school in, besides Sweden and Denmark. France has not won since 1977, since coming 5th in 2002, they have only been in the top ten once, and on the left side of the board twice in 2009-10, and last once. After being robbed in 2002 and being third, the UK has been last three times, with a nil point in 2003. They have only reached the left side twice in 2009 & 11. Italy have done well except once in the recent run. Spain last won on home soil in 1969, and… Read more »

Deven O'Kearney
7 years ago

Actually, Georgia should not be on this list. Latvia, Belarus, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Montenegro, France, Spain, Andorra and San Marino should be.

Alex
Alex
7 years ago

Yeah, Georgia absolutely doesn’t belong on this list. You have to keep in mind that 2007 was their debut; and really, they have been one of the most successful countries since then. It’s only 2012 and 2014 where they failed to qualify. And I wouldn’t call Peace Will Come a “sweet” ballad with nonsensical lyrics either…

Agreed on Lithuania, FYR Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Portugal, though.

Really, in terms of their recent record, the country that’s missing is Latvia. As much as I generally enjoy their entries, Probka really threw off their course.

Deban
Deban
7 years ago

Sopon, Georgia’s “Shine” in 2010 was excellent. 2013’s “Waterfall” was a good effort too.

Deven O'Kearney
7 years ago

I was right about Macedonia. But Czech Republic, Slovakia and Montenegro, Slovenia, France, Latvia,Belarus and Spain should be added to this list. The countries that I have listed and the countries Sopon listed will never win (again). Everyone else has a chance at winning

D
D
7 years ago

There is no way Georgia is a hopeless country. They’ve placed in the top 10 twice and then also placed 11th and 12th in 2008 and 2007. Recently, they’ve been sending bad songs (even though I loved “Three Minutes to Earth”) but if they start sending songs like they did during their first few years, they could win. They’re part of a powerful voting bloc but I don’t think Georgia has the funds to produce a high scale show. With the others, I do somewhat agree but I wouldn’t call them “hopeless”. All of them have had songs that’ve done… Read more »

stommie
stommie
7 years ago

I am sure that one or two years ago both Austria and the Netherlands would have been included in this list.

Leon
Leon
7 years ago

I’m sorry but you can’t be serious about Georgia. Since their debut they’ve had two top ten placings, have come 12th in 2007 and 11th in 2008. In my book, they are pretty successful. They just need bring back another “Sopho/Sophie” hahaha

Thiefo
Thiefo
7 years ago

They might not be successful countries at ESC, but I’m glad they’re here and keep participating, they add musical diversity to the contest. To be honest, I don’t mind if they keep sending these entries which don’t follow the “Eurovision formula” (if such thing exists) and thus, don’t have a real chance to win. With so many “obvious” ESC songs each year, a lot of ballads, catchy pop and schlager, to have a Three Minutes to Earth can be refreshing, even if most people hate it. But I certainly would love to see one of these contries win one day!… Read more »