Following Australia’s debut in the Eurovision Song Contest 2015, some Europeans have called on the EBU to emphasise the euro in Eurovision. These folks are not happy about rumours that suggest more countries want to join the fold, including China (not in Europe), Kosovo (not recognised by Serbia, among other states) and the Faroe Islands (not a country). “Who is next?” they ask. “America?!”
Too late, y’all! At least thirteen singers from the United States have already competed at Eurovision. This includes the latest addition to the crew, Genealogy’s Tamar Kaprelian, who sang for Armenia in 2015. She even won Eurovision’s Next Top Model, solidifying her place in the pantheon of Eurovision greats…
So, in honor of America’s 239th birthday, here are 13 Americans who brought their star-spangled booty to Eurovision.
Katrina Leskanich (UK 1997)
Birthplace: Topeka, Kansas
Katrina lived all over America, Germany, and the Netherlands before finally settling in Norfolk in the UK at the age of sixteen. She’s been a UK resident for almost forty years.
Kalomira (Greece 2008)
Birthplace: Hempstead, New York
Despite her extremely Greek first name, Kalomira is a Long Island girl – inside and out. Her parents are immigrants who own a restaurant.
Oscar Loya and Dita von Teese (Germany 2009)
Birthplace: Indio, California
Oscar is a Cali boy who currently lives in Münich. Dita, however, is of German heritage but is American-born lives in America.
Kim Cooper of the Rounder Girls (Austria 2000)
Birthplace: Long Island, New York
Kim isn’t Austrian. However, the trio she was in did have an Austrian member.
Andras Kallay-Saunders (Hungary 2014)
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York
Born and raised in New York City, he moved to Hungary in his early twenties to join his grandmother and later auditioned for the show Megasztar.
Jeanne Manson (Luxembourg 1979)
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio
A former Playboy model, she lived in France throughout the 1970s with her then-husband, a film producer.
Isis Gee (Poland 2008)
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington
Born Tamara Gee, she is of Polish descent, but lives between Los Angeles and Italy.
Hannah Mancini (Slovenia 2013)
Birthplace: Fresno, California
Originally from a town equidistant from Los Angeles and Las Vegas, she moved to Slovenia to be with her husband.
Annet Artani (Cyprus 2006)
Birthplace: Queens, New York
She actually used to be Britney Spears’ BFF and backing vocalist. Annet has no ethnic connection to Cyprus, as her family came from Greece almost one hundred years ago.
Wess (Italy 1975)
Birthplace: North Carolina
Wess moved from North Carolina to Italy in the 1960s in order to pursue a musical career.
Natalia Kelly (Austria 2013)
Birthplace: Hartford, Connecticut
Born to an Austrian father, Natalia moved to Austria from America at the age of six.
Debbie Cameron (Denmark 1981)
Birthplace: Miami, Florida
Debbie moved to Denmark in 1978 to join her mother, a jazz singer who had settled in Copenhagen after losing her passport in East Germany.
Tamar Kaprelian (Armenia 2015)
Birthplace: Scottsdale, Arizona
Her parents are British-born Armenians, but she grew up in Arizona, Georgia, and California. Now in drastically colder New York, she is finishing her studies at Columbia.
Do you think more American singers should compete for their ancestral countries in Eurovision? Who is your favorite singer from America who has competed? Comment below!