Eurovision is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for most contestants, many of whom dream of becoming the next ABBA, Celine Dion or Loreen. But if that doesn’t happen, some acts decide to come back and give it another go. Sadly for most, the second-time-around isn’t nearly as sweet as the first. In honor of them, here are 10 Eurovision acts that finished lower during their comeback than on their debut.

Anne-Marie David (1973 and 1979)

Many Eurofans see 1974 as the best Eurovision ever, but the 1973 edition in Luxembourg had an amazing list of participants too, including Cliff Richard and Mocedades. But neither could overcome the power that was Anne-Marie David, who represented her home country with Tu te reconnaîtras. Six years later Anne-Marie came back to the contest for her own country France. And while she took third place with her song Je suis l’enfant-soleil, that number just couldn’t live up to her previous effort which has become a Eurovision evergreen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uo2jWB7SEw

Charlotte Perrelli (1999 and 2008)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbD4n7VzoF0

Charlotte Nilsson competed at Eurovision 1999 with the song Take Me to Your Heaven. Prior to the contest, Iceland’s Selma was considered the favourite, but Charlotte rocked the purple eye shadow and her (now dated entry) to give Sweden its fourth victory. Following years of rumours, she finally returned to the Swedish national final in 2008 and won it again. But at Eurovision everything went wrong for La Perrelli. She finished two places too low to qualify for the grand final with Hero but the jury saved her (that rule no longer exists and she would have been axed in subsequent years). In the final she did not do much better and finished on the right side of the scoreboard. She later revealed her personal trauma: while she was in Belgrade she learned that her man-at-the-time was cheating on her.

Chiara (1998, 2005 and 2009)

Some artists think two appearances aren’t enough, and come back for a third time. Chiara is one of them. In 1998 she represented Malta for the first time with The One That I Love and finished third, only seven points behind winner Dana International. Seven years later she came back with Angel and while the difference between her and the winner was 38 points this time, she came second. So far so good. Then came 2009. She finished 22nd with her song What If.

Dana International (1998 and 2011)

When Chiara placed third in 1998, Dana International won with her song Diva. In 2011 the world’s most famous transgender performer decided to return to the contest and immediately became one of the favourites after winning Israel’s national selection. One of the least predictable Eurovision years did not go well for Dana and she didn’t even make the final with her Ding dong (the song, obvs).

Edsilia Rombley (1998 and 2007)

A third participant from Eurovision 1998 who came back to the contest is Edsilia Rombley. In 1998 she finished fourth with Hemel en aarde. She returned again in 2007 with the song On top of the world…and finished near the back of the pack in 21st. In the semi-final.

 

Elitsa & Stojan (2007 and 2013)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPISaq047x4

Elitsa & Stojan represented Bulgaria in 2007 with Water, ultimately finishing fifth in the final. In 2013 Bulgaria selected them with the hope they could bring the country back to the final after several years of non-qualification. Their song Samo shampioni failed to make the cut, and Bulgaria has not competed since.

Femminem (2005 and 2010)

In 2005 Femminem represented Bosnia and Herzegovina with Call Me and finished fourteenth in the final. Five years later they returned for Croatia with Lako je sve. One of the early favourites, they ultimately crashed out in the semi. And to think: They lost despite dragging an oversized heart on stage.

 

Niamh Kavanagh (1993 and 2010)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwiEOG9rB44

In 1993 Niamh Kavanagh won Eurovision with her song In Your Eyes. Her second effort did not go as well. In 2010 she squeezed through the semi-final with her song It’s for You in tenth place (by a margin of only five points). Standing on a box hidden by her dress, she finished 23rd out of 25 acts in the final.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tX4cvjG_6UA

 

Paula & Ovi (2010 and 2014)

Whereas Niamh Kavanagh finished in the bottom three in 2010, Paula and Ovi finished in the top three with their song Playing with Fire. Europe had high expectations for their comeback four years later. Their song Miracle had higher notes and more piano and a very expensive hologram. The German commentator went as far as to name them one of the possible winners alongside Austria, The Netherlands and Sweden during the live broadcast. The other three countries took the top three places, but Romania finished about ten places lower.

 

Selma (1999 and 2005)

Selma was All Out of Luck in 1999. Despite being the heavy favourite, she ended up in second. When she returned in 2005 with If I Had Your Love she failed to qualify, and a nation wept.

What other Eurovision comebacks disappointed you? Sakis Rouvas? Jedward? Let us know below!

Read more of our Eurovision lists here

25 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Chris
Chris
4 years ago

Three of these acts very believed to reach TOP10 when they conteded at Eurovision: the Netherlands, Sweden and Iceland. The first one just presented a very outdated song (and much worse than the previous entry in 1998). Selma sang a dull and a bit weird song. Lastly, Sweden… they went to the final only due to jury, which was quite surprising, considering the lack of ambition of “Hero”. The Swedish song was itself quite ok, catchy and in a very Swedish-Eurovision style. Nonetheless, the staging was just bad. In any event, it was a big shock for Eurovision’s fans, since… Read more »

Puddithecat
Puddithecat
4 years ago

Gigliola CInquetti also did worse her second time at esc: in 1964 she won and in 1974 she came 2nd. It’s hard to compete with abba

Puddithecat
Puddithecat
4 years ago

Gigliola CInquetti did also worse on her second time at ESC; she won in 1964 and then she came 2nd in 1974. You know, it’s hard to compete with ABBA 🙂

Oostenrijk
Oostenrijk
4 years ago

Jedward had almost the same televoting result in 2011 and 2012 (9th and 10th place), but in 2011 they were pushed up by juries and in 2012 they were ultimately pushed down.

Oostenrijk
Oostenrijk
4 years ago

“If I had your Love” by Selma is one of my personal evergreens, although I keep singing it with very different and stupid lyrics. However this song is fun and uplifting. Much better than her entry in 1999.

khm
khm
4 years ago

Oh, and I forgot Carola (3rd in 1983, 1st 1991).

khm
khm
4 years ago

@Alison, maybe Linda Martin and Dima Bilan?

Alison
Alison
4 years ago

On the positive flipside is there anyone that returned and did better than their first attempt?

Donna
Donna
4 years ago

You guys forgot Lena.

Ranting Ruby
Ranting Ruby
4 years ago

How could you forget Jedward???????

Stephen Colville
Stephen Colville
4 years ago

The joke about Dana’s “ding dong” was utterly pathetic and bigoted.

Huh
Huh
4 years ago

Charlotte was just bad during her comeback. Juries were trying too hard to push her to advance just because she’s from Sweden and she was a previous winner, but Europe is very frank to say that her second participation in the contest was not that very good.

yay
yay
4 years ago

@Daniel – how is 10th place (Lena) and 3rd place (Zeljko) “awkward”? These are all respectable positions!

Daniel
Daniel
4 years ago

Where is Lena, Zelkjo, Jedward and Lys Assia?

khm
khm
4 years ago

If I remember correctly, Croatia was a big favourite in 1999, but we all know how it ended. On the other hand, Femminem really didn’t deserve to qualify due to a bad and cliché song and Pamela and Neda’s bad singing.

Garcia
Garcia
4 years ago

Paula & Ovi were just painful when they returned in 2014: the song was WAAAAAY to Cliché and omg that HORRIBLE hugging!!!

Otna
Otna
4 years ago

Lena… Taken By A Stranger getting 10th is one of the greatest crimes of Eurovision. Definitely the better of her two entries although I adore Satellite!

Ali Nella Houd
Ali Nella Houd
4 years ago

Don’t forget Lys Assia, and Corrie Brocken. Lys even managed to come first, second and last in the same year (’56)!

John
John
4 years ago

@Jo Mercado, I know but he still came in a lower place than attempt 1.

bella
bella
4 years ago

WIwibloggs it would be very interesting if you creat a poll about the most favorite eurovision winner between 2000-2015! I think that many eurofans who visit this site will like it.

Jo Mercado
Jo Mercado
4 years ago

@John

Zeljko was just unlucky to go up against mega-favorite Loreen. 3rd place is a worthy result.

Jak
Jak
4 years ago

Lena deserved top five in 2011 by the way!

John
John
4 years ago

Other recent performers who did worse second time round:
– Inga Arshakyan (10th in 2009, 16th in 2015)
– Elnur Hüseynov (8th in 2008, 12th in 2015)
– Željko Joksimovi? (2nd in 2004, 3rd in 2012)
– Jonsi (19th in 2004, 20th in 2012)
– Jedward (9th in 2011, 19th in 2012)
– Zdob ?i Zdub (6th in 2005, 12th in 2011)
– Lena (1st in 2010, 10th in 2011)
– Sakis Rouvas (3rd in 2004, 7th in 2009)

lol
lol
4 years ago

femminem deserved to qualify in 2010