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 — arrive in Belgrade 2008, to witness the second coming of Dima Bilan. Two years after his defeat to Lordi, the singer secured Russia’s first ever victory with “Believe”. Have we forgiven him for slaying the shady lady? Read on to find out…

Robyn: I love “Never Let You Go”, but I’m really indifferent about “Believe”. The sexy swagger of 2006 Dima has been replaced with a cheesy tableau involving a violinist and an ice skater, both with Bieber hair. Even roping in Timbaland to produce the song didn’t add much.

Score: 6/10

Josh: I’m still incredibly bitter about this winning. Ani Lorak was sooooo much better! “Never Let You Go” was a great starting point, and rarely are Eurovision comebacks a good idea. Somehow Dima managed to turn the tide. I still can’t see why it was so successful with voters.

Score: 4/10

Judit: It’s so hard to find something nice to say about this. The show was like a horrible white dream – just too much. Dima was like a dodgy actor from a Shakespearean tragedy. The only message I got from this performnce: he loves himself soooooo much. However, the song isn’t too bad, I can’t hate it with all my heart.

Score: 3/10

Angus: Do I think Russia deserved the win in 2008? No. That being said I take “Believe” over “Never Let You Go” any day. The staging with violinist and ice-skater was exquisite. Dima is also probably one of the best male vocalists we’ve ever seen at the Eurovision Song Contest. The only bit that I truly can’t stand is the scream he does building to the middle 8 and the unnecessary shirt-ripping.

Score: 6.5/10

Denise: I gave “Never Let Me Go” a 5.5. This is a million times worse! I didn’t even know the song was in English, so there’s nothing I can say about the lyrics. The staging was really good, but that’s all. Still can’t believe this song won!

Score: 2/10

Padraig: Whoop-de-woo, Dima didn’t deserve to win in 2008. So what? “Believe” is still a decent pop ballad, and is actually reflective of the music scene of the time – all those mid-00s R&B crooners weren’t a figment of your imagination! There is real progression from “Never Let You Go”, and this is actually a much stronger performance in every sense. Let’s face it, Euro-fans would view this in a very different light if it didn’t have the “Russia” tag attached.

Score: 8/10

William: 12 points for Evgeni Plushenko, 2 points to Dima. Easily my least favourite winner of the past 10 years, I find it difficult to say anything positive about this mid-tempo R&B number. I preferred his entry “Never Let Me Go” — and I didn’t even like that one. But at least the staging was daring and memorable.

Score: 3/10

Sami: I don’t get why this is so hated. “Believe” is one of my favourite ever winners. And definitely my favourite from 2008. Dima is a great performer. The song is well produced, it’s even quite touching. Love!

Score: 10/10

DimaBilanClocks2014Wiwibloggs

James: I preferred the younger Dima, if I’m totally honest. For a pretty simple and forgettable song, it’s weird that it won. But Russia *did* give us one of Eurovision’s most impressive contests, so… Well, “Believe” is one of those weird songs which is really only merited by the relative popularity of its singer. He’s known – he has fans. The ice-skater was a bit too much when you consider the staging and the whole thing came across as a little bit strained. Russia wanted it. Russia got it. ‘Nuff said.

Score: 3/10.

All 17 members of our jury rate each song. However, we don’t have room to share written reviews from everyone. Here are the remaining seven scores.

Anthony: 7/10

Chris: 3/10

Kristín: 2/10

Liam: 0/10

Mikhail: 0.5/10

Patrick: 0.5/10

Ramadan: 6/10

Sopon: 2/10

The highest and lowest scores are removed before calculating the final score. We have dropped a low of 0 and a high of 10.

THE WIWI JURY VERDICT: 3.77/10

SEE THE LATEST EUROVISION’S GREATEST HITS REVIEWS AND RANKINGS

YOU CAN READ ALL OF OUR 60TH ANNIVERSARY NEWS HERE.

42 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Pastora Soler haha!
Pastora Soler haha!
6 years ago

For me was one of the best winners, well done Russia

10/10

Thales
Thales
6 years ago

I don’t get the hype about “Shady Lady”, “Qelé Qelé” and “Secret Combination”
All bad songs.

In 2008 Portugal should win. Or maybe Israel, Serbia or Finland.

bosnian-in-Sweden
bosnian-in-Sweden
6 years ago

he only won cause he had Plushenko on stage… the song is on the verge of being the worst winner ever!!!

2015!
2015!
6 years ago

Worst DECENT winner of ESC.

1. Russia
2. Azerbaijan
3. Finland

Armenia, Ukraine or Greece should’ve won.
I prefered Armenia cause they’ve never won.
Russia always in the final… stupid neighbour voting :/ 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015 they desurve to be in the final 2004-2008, 2010, 2014 no final….

Chris
Chris
6 years ago

@ Leon Thanks for your reply. I have sacrified myself and have reminded myself the songs you have mentioned. And I’ve recalled myself why I don’t like that edition of ESC so much. Armenia, Greece and Ukraine are very cheesy (especially Armenia – it is total kitsch) – I couldn’t listen to the whole songs. Serbia and Norway – I judged it before. Turkey – boring. Portugal – it is a good song, but quite dated and the perfomance was pretentious. As I see, the fans are very divided at judging that Eurovision. Either disregard it, or love it. It… Read more »

Charles
Charles
6 years ago

The russian male version of a Kardashian without a reality show, thank God winning over a shady slutty Beyonce-esque lady? Read between the lines and you will understand what I feel about these 2 …. 2008 prior to the televote/jury era … a time to erase …

Leon
Leon
6 years ago

Chris – Absolutely disagree. In my opinion 2008 songs were some of the best in the past decade.

1. Armenia
2. Greece
3. Ukraine
4. Serbia
5. Norway
6. Portugal
7. Turkey

…I could just go on.

Daniel_2015
Daniel_2015
6 years ago

I can’t bring myself to watch this performance again… Not necessarily because of the song (although I do NOT like it at all), but because of Dima… Too embarrasing to watch, sorry…

My favourite in 2008: Qele Qele, all the way! I looooved Sirusho’s performance, and I would love to see her again on the Eurovision stage. The song in on my playlist even today!

Chris
Chris
6 years ago

I also don’t get why this song is so underrated by fans. It was a clear winner. Of course, I can agree that this song is not very good, but in comparison with the others of 2008, this is the best. Who would you have pointed out instead? Ukraine? Ani Lorak is a great singer, but “Shady lady” was everything, but not a serious song to win Eurovision! It is cheesy, though very catchy. Serbia? Yeah, it is a good song, but worse than “Modlitva”. Iceland? Sweden? Give me a break. Norway? Not powerful enough. To my mind, the problem… Read more »

fikri
fikri
6 years ago

i think you guyd should talk about how everyone loves shady lady but no one gives 12 points to her.

Nebi
Nebi
6 years ago

I liked how odd that year was and seriously enjoyed the unorthodox songs. My favorites were Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, Latvia, Spain, France and Ukraine. Russia wasn’t the best by a long shot but if you wanted to toss a win to Russia then 2008 was as good of a year as any.

Vladimir
Vladimir
6 years ago

I don’t like Bilan’s personality, but he’s a good singer and this is a great song.

Eugene ESC UK
Eugene ESC UK
6 years ago

In any other year this song would not have won. For me 2008 was one of the worst years EVER, bad songs, poor vocals and some very weird entries. “Believe” was an obvious winner, but not a great song at all, an okay song with very clever staging. The truth is NONE of the songs deserved to win that year, “Shady Lady” was just awful!!!! 2001 to 2008 had some very poor winners, the worst in the history of the ESC. 100% televoting was scrapped in 2009 after this win for 50:50 televote/jury to present date. The quality of the… Read more »

bavarson
bavarson
6 years ago

stupid haters!!!

elina
elina
6 years ago

beautiful voice meaningful song and he is incredibly sweet if you meet him))) he deserved to win 10000 times!!! bravo Dima!!! 10/10

ESCaddict
ESCaddict
6 years ago

So it wasn’t just me. I don’t understand the appeal of “Believe”.

Mario My Vision
Mario My Vision
6 years ago

The song *Believe* was very good…But it was NOT winning one…Plus his on stage performance was over the top and so pretentious.. Russia won the trophy for the wrong reasons…Just because the Russians had never won ever the contest in the past so Europe handled the Vision to them just to do them a favor only.. His 2006 *Never Let You Go* was much better than this…His performance in the Vision of Athens the same as well.. He is despicable and very unsympathetic as person.. The great majority of euro fans dislike or hate him…Really bad for him indeed.. In… Read more »

Timselvision
Timselvision
6 years ago

My winners hardly ever win, and Believe was my fourth place. I mean, it isn’t a bad song, it has a good melody and the lyrics are strong, I like it. I thought Dima’s victory was way better deserved than Germany’s or Austria’s tbh…

Zolan
Zolan
6 years ago

On the plus side, Russia wanted to win, and made it obvious, which showed more respect for the contest than some others. No-one can deny Dima worked for it.

On the minus, taking a Stradivarius onstage as a mere prop really offended my sensibilities. A wheelbarrow full of gold would have been just as tacky, but less barbaric.

Archeops
Archeops
6 years ago

Shady Lady was another cheap song from Filipp Kirkorov.

Ian
Ian
6 years ago

I think the song is okay. Definitely not the worst modern ESC winner (that goes to 2011).

MF
MF
6 years ago

@ Padraig: I have noticed that and I also noticed Ramadan had given to Lordi 1/10…Nevertheless the difference between the two in the overall score is much more than TW would have “judged” himself, that’s why I said 17 of TW…Anyway who cares?
I don’t think that Dima deserved to win. Lordi neither.

Darren
Darren
6 years ago

In my opinion, Russia winning in 2008 was the breaking point of Eastern European dominance and block voting in Eurovision through the noughties. It felt that every Eastern win from Estonia in 2001 was always leading up to a victory for the motherland. Interestingly, after Russia did manage to win, juries were introduced and the contest managed to move away from the Eastern block, with Norway (a traditional Eurovision country) winning the following year. Was Dima a deserved winner in 2008? I dont think so, I personally think he is arrogant and hasnt the best vocal range, this was obvious… Read more »

Roo
Roo
6 years ago

Believe was the winner we had to have in order to see change in the contest. It was obvious that this would nto of won with jury involvement and funny enough, juries were reintroduced the next year. It also made a few Western countries wake up and pay attention – did they want to participate and do well in the contest? The subsequent years we have seen this to be the case. If Ukraine or Greece won this year the contest would of continued in its then trajectory, and who knows where that would of lead. Russia would of continued… Read more »

MF
MF
6 years ago

I did not like the performance. But 3.77 for Dima and 8.4 for Lordi? I feel like 17 of Terry Wogan wanted to prove us how much better is the WEST compared to the EAST…You should have given him more than 3.77 because at least he was not singing about peace!

Racal
Racal
6 years ago

To me, these are the darkest years of Eurovision. From 2001 to 2008, all the winners were average singers singing incredibly poor songs with a cheesy staging, resulting in overall poor performances (not too mention the overuse of political voting). Dima is no exception: come on, the shirt ripping, the ice skaters, and all those mimics he does with his face and voice… That’s too much, and it’s quite awful to watch. Thank God Eurovision has gotten better since Alexander Rybak, otherwise I don’t think I would still be watching that show.

Alex
Alex
6 years ago

I disagree with you guys and think that it was the best winner of the 2000s. Maybe the live performance was a bit pretentious, but the actual meaning of the song is very touching. It’s nice to see something uplifting, motivational, and inspiring for those who try to achieve good things in the world. I’m not saying it was a particularly deep message, but at least it was somewhat different than a generic love or dance pop song.

Pedro
Pedro
6 years ago

Portugal should have won in 2008…

mark lebron
mark lebron
6 years ago

You’re so ridiculous. This song may not have been a winner from the get-go but it for sure doesn’t deserve anything below 5. Yes, you guys ARE still VERY bitter.

WTF
WTF
6 years ago

The real winner of 2008 was Finland’s Teräsbetoni… They were probably too much for eurotrash-accustomed audiences but they deserved more than 22nd place…

anonymous
anonymous
6 years ago

I was really disappointed when this won… Ukraine, Greece, Armenia, Norway, Serbia, Iceland, Sweden, Turkey, Albania and Portugal were all way better. Bosnia and France were my guilty pleasures… Had the juries been involved that year I don’t think it would have won.

SpirK
SpirK
6 years ago

The 2008 edition is one of my favorites, because of the quality of the songs. Sadly, the winner for me wasn’t one of the very best (16/43 in my top). There were exceptional ballads, like Serbia (who really deserved to get a consecutive win), Portugal(should’ve been there best result ever), Georgia (really loved it), Norway, Poland, Albania, Switzerland, Israel. And then you have the great guilty pleasures of the year, the year that europop was done at it’s very best, Armenia, Greece, Ukraine and scandipop anthems “This Is My Life” and “Hero”, all of which have a place on my… Read more »

Mar
Mar
6 years ago

2008 was a crap year, but I love Dima and his song so much. Don’t really see the big deal about Ukraine tbh, sure Ani is a queen and the performance was great, but Dima had a much better song.
Russia also gave us the best ESC of all times the next year.

ryanireland
ryanireland
6 years ago

Probably one of the worst winners since I wanna for Latvia. Only the fact that the voting procedure hadn’t changed Russia would definitely not have won. Tragic song. Actually substandard drivel

Leon
Leon
6 years ago

I think he won because the viewers were torn between Lorak, Kalomira and Sirusho. In my honest opinion, the best song of 2008 was Sirusho’s, the best staging was Kalomira’s and the best singer was Ani Lorak. Had Sirusho pulled off the vocals and had a brighter performance, it would have been Yerevan 2009 instead of Moscow.

Alex
Alex
6 years ago

Flop winner. Western countries didn’t like it. No one remembers it. What a shame it won over great songs/performances like Norway, Greece and Ukraine.

France and Sweden were robbed as well.

Calvin
Calvin
6 years ago

I’m not super big on this one, but I do think y’all were a tad harsh on it – Dima’s voice and the strength of the staging forgive a lot in my mind.

jealousy
jealousy
6 years ago

Believe is one of the worst winners ever.
There were many great hits in 2008. Greece, Armenia, and UKRAINE.
Ukraine had everything: Talented singer, smashing hit-song and unbelieveable show. What more could you ask?
Dima is a little slimy and trying too much. The song is just normal, not bad, but not good eather.
Ukraine should’ve have won.

Alex
Alex
6 years ago

Absolutely one of the worst recent winners, even if it isn’t that bad overall. It’s a good song in the studio version, but the live performance was just ridiculous. At one point, Dima turns Plushenko’s face to the camera so that the viewers know it’s Plushenko (2:28 in the Youtube video linked here) – so gimmicky! Vote for me, I have a famous violinist and skater on stage! This was one of those performances that was all about the staging and had very little focus on the song (holding hands with Ukraine 2011). Also, “Never Let You Go” was far… Read more »

EF0912
EF0912
6 years ago

He didn’t deserve to win: top 10 for sure but winner no, just no. Armenia, Greece , Norway and UKRAINE(!!!) were so much more deserving that year

davved
davved
6 years ago

One of the worst winners of ESC in modern times….. and the singer is very unsympathetic as well..