Eurovision’s Greatest Hits takes place in London on 31 March. The one-off concert will see a host of past Eurovision stars take to the stage to mark 60 years of the contest. While the show itself will be purely celebratory, we’ve decided to add a little competition to proceedings by ranking and reviewing all 19 Eurovision entries sung by the 15 confirmed acts. Today the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals — returns to Düsseldorf 2011, to witness one of the most disastrous Eurovision comebacks of all time, Dana International’s “Ding Dong”. The song began Israel’s recent non-qualifying streak, but has it improved with age? Read on to find out…
William: An ode to silent prayer and personal resolve, the song sets perseverance to a mid-tempo dance beat. Its clichéd message that hope springs eternal would normally leave me yawning. But channeled through Dana — an Israeli transgender diva who has journeyed from outcast to national treasure – that message takes on renewed depth and universality. “Ding Dong” becomes a solemn battle cry for those living on the margins of society.
Sopon: This is one song I would gladly block from my memory forever. Dana International must have had the mindset of “Oh, I won thirteen years ago, I don’t need to actually try“. She and her backing singers were wailing like dying cats, and the song was really poorly-written to begin with. Sorry Dana, this deserved what it got!
Angus: HATERS GO HOME. The fact ‘Ding Dong’ didn’t qualify still makes me sad to this day. The message is aspirational, unlike so many other Israeli songs Dana makes the Hebrew werk and homegirl owned the freakin’ runway.
Judit: Well, haters gonna hate, but for me, “Ding Dong” doesn’t deserve any more than what it got. “Diva” was THE BEST! If she really wanted to comeback with a bang, she needed a better song. I wasn’t surprised when she failed to qualify. The only thing good in that performance was Dana.
Kristín: OK, I love Dana International as much as any other Euro-nerd, but “Ding Dong” is far from being her greatest work. I was immensely disappointed when I heard the song. I thought it was boring and predictable, and when on stage in Düsseldorf, I wanted to murder those backing singers and their God awful dance routine. And the basket dress didn’t help. I’m so sorry Dana, I love you girl, but ‘ll pass on the song.
Anthony: Trying to outdo her classic 1998 winning single “Diva” was always going to be a near impossible task for Dana International. At first, I wasn’t keen on the song but then it quickly grew on me, and eventually found its way into my 2011 favourite. Just as I feared back then, the Eurovision version of ‘second season syndrome’ which affects almost all returning artists, struck Dana with a vengance.
Mikhail: I like Dana. She’s a great performer, but “Ding Dong” doesn’t shine. Such a dull song doesn’t match such a glorious artist. I’m sure that, if she wanted, she would have made the final or even on the winner’s podium, but she ended up with “Ding Dong”.
James: A failed comeback, if you ask me, but we still love her. In 2011, Dana came back to the party and entertained us again with flair. You can’t blame her – it was superb. But the song was still meh and the entry was more about Dana and her personality than anything else. I don’t think it was at all about qualifying, but just having a ball and having another opportunity to strut on stage. And strut she did.
Padraig: As comebacks go this was pretty lacklustre. Whereas other 90s winners – Carola, Kavanagh, Perrelli – received mixed receptions, at least they tried to return with a bang. Dana arrived with a little pop and quickly sizzled out. She strutted like she owned the joint, dressed like she’d had a fight with a shredder, and sang like she was being strangled. Ding dong! The diva is dead!
All 18 members of our jury rate each song. However, we don’t have room to share written reviews from everyone. Here are the remaining nine scores.
The highest and lowest scores are removed before calculating the final score. We have dropped a low of 1 and a high of 10.