Every day until December 24, we’re stuffing your stockings with a new Eurovision poll and asking you to name your favourite Israeli entry and your favourite #melfest runner-up (among other things). Consider this our advent calendar for 2015. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, you can let us know your thoughts each and every day by casting your votes. After you’ve decorated your house with mistletoe and tinsel, open the next door!
Day 9: Eurovision in the past ten years
This year we celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Eurovision Song Contest. It’s the second longest running international TV music competition in the world. Over that time it’s progressed from black-and-white and old-fashioned to super HD and (at times) over-the-top. It just keeps on evolving. From Lordi to Måns, from Athens to Vienna, there have been plenty of memorable moments, big disappointments, and surprising winners.
But which contest is your favourite? Whether you rank them by the quality of the songs, the staging or just the overall impression, we want to know what you think. You can vote for as many contests as you like, but you can only vote one time!
2006 – Athens, Greece
Eurovision 1991 winner Carola brought her wind machine back. Iceland’s Silvia Night shocked everyone with her sharp tongue and insults (“…I’m not a slut from Holland!”). Lithuania got their first 12 points ever. Dima Bilan made his Eurovision debut. And Finland finally won on their 40th try. “Hard Rock Hallelujah” was a revolutionary winner by being the first rock song — and one performed by monsters — to win.
2007 – Helsinki, Finland
Producers staged the biggest semifinal ever, with 28 acts vying for a spot in the final. Santa Claus opened the voting. Bulgaria achieved their best result so far. Serbia won on their first attempt as an independent country. “Molitva” remains the last non-English song to win the contest.
2008 – Belgrade, Serbia
A record-breaking 43 countries took part and for the first time the host broadcaster staged two semifinals. Azerbaijan and San Marino debuted. Russia’s Dima Bilan placed only third in his semifinal but ultimately won the contest ahead of Ukraine and Greece.
2009 – Moscow, Russia
Georgia withdrew after the E.B.U. asked them to ditch their highly politicised entry “We Don’t Wanna Put In“. The Czech Republic earned nul points in their semifinal. Sakis Rouvas returned to the contest after placing third in 2004. And Norway’s Alexander Rybak received the biggest amount of points — 387 — ever and won the contest.
2010 – Oslo, Norway
Moldova introduced Epic Sax Guy, who later become a huge internet meme. Jimmy Jump interrupted Spain’s performance. Eurovision 1993 winner Niamh Kavanagh returned for Ireland but placed only 23rd. Germany was the first Big 5 country to win since the Big 5 rule was introduced in 2000. Lena’s “Satellite” later topped the charts all over Europe.
2011 – Düsseldorf, Germany
Once again 43 countries took part. Italy came back to the contest after a 14-year absence. Two Eurovision winners — Israel’s Dana International and Germany’s Lena — returned. Turkey missed the final for the first time ever. Azerbaijan took their first victory after debuting in 2008.
2012 – Baku, Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan erected (and in record speed) the shiny new Baku Crystal Hall to host the contest. Armenia had to withdraw due to security concerns. Valentina Monetta made her Eurovision debut. Russia sent six singing grannies, but they weren’t able to beat Sweden’s Loreen. A total of 18 countries awarded Sweden douze points.
2013 – Malmö, Sweden
Four countries withdrew from the contest including Turkey, which still hasn’t returned. The producers decided the running order for the first time. Anouk took the Netherlands to the final for the first time in eight years. Not a single country of the former Yugoslavia reached the final. Just like in 2000, Denmark won the contest in Sweden. Emmelie de Forest sang “Only Teardrops” barefooted and snatched the victory over Azerbaijan and Ukraine.
2014 – Copenhagen, Denmark
Only 37 countries took part. San Marino and Montenegro qualified to the final for the first time ever. Poland returned and reached the final by doing laundry on stage (with their cleavage on display). Sanna Nielsen made it to Copenhagen after finally winning Melodifestivalen on her seventh try. Bearded drag queen Conchita Wurst gave Austria its second victory and was among the most Googled celebrities of 2014.
2015 – Vienna, Austria
Australia debuted in the contest as a special guest for the 60th anniversary. The Czech Republic returned, but again failed to reach the final. Germany and host country Austria finished with no points. Italy’s Il Volo won the televote, but Sweden’s Måns Zelmerlöw was crowned the winner after finishing first with the jury and third with the public.
What is your favourite contest of the past ten years?
Click here if the poll isn’t displaying below.[polldaddy poll=”9221934″]
2006 and 2008 had the best songs by far.
Everyone seems to judge the contests by the stage or something like that, but I still would try to rank them by the songs I loved and their achieved results 1. 2010 – To me, the best top 5 of all the contests. Winner Germany is one of my guilty pleasure, 2nd place maNga is also nice, 3rd place Romania also one of my all time favourites, 4th place Azerbaijan just impressive and alltough 5th place Denmark has worn off me, I still think it completes a spectacular top 5. Other really lovely songs – Belgium, Cyprus, Croatia (oh, why… Read more »
Copenhagen was technically impressive! And kudos to that 12 points song, which I still find hilarious 🙂
Also voted for Malmö, because Petra Mede.
I’m obsessed with Eurovision stages so that influenced my decisions. 1st: Denmark 2014 (worked with what they had to high tech perfection) 2nd: Germany 2011 (felt like an MTV Awards show) 3rd: Serbia 2008 (best with little money, and inspiration for poorer countries even today, and awesome songs) 4th: Azerbaijan 2012 (BIG but set the bar high for the wealthy countries) 5th: Russia 2009 (my first Eurovision but I still didn’t care for all the songs and the staging felt like Intervision 2008, which was bad) I didn’t consider Sweden 2013 because it felt like Melodifestivalen 2.0. Nice stage but… Read more »
I’m obsessed with Eurovision stages so that influenced my decisions.
1st: Denmark 2014 (worked with what they had to high tech perfection)
2nd: Germany 2011 (felt like an MTV Awards show)
3rd: Serbia 2008 (best with little money, and inspiration for poorer countries even today, and awesome songs)
4th: Azerbaijan 2012 (BIG but set the bar high for the wealthy countries)
5th: Russia 2009 (my first Eurovision but I still didn’t care for all the songs and the staging felt like Intervision 2008, which was bad)
Every contest was special in it’s own way but for me 2009 and 2012 had the most unique logo and stage identity. Next year Sweden must put more effort than in 2013 because only thing that was impressive then was Petra Mede. 🙂
You can find the full shows of ESC from 2007 to 2015 in HD and No Commentary on my YouTube channel: smarturl.it/eurovisional
Continuation: 2014 – Beautiful song roster, still, the staging is very impressive especially the LED visuals, hosts are good although their jokes seemed too awkward to listen to. Voting were quite fair because San Marino and Montenegro qualified for the first time. Poland also came back with a vengeance. 2012 – Loreen. Very Azerbaijan-ish contest and it’s ok. 2011 – Hosts were entertaining, songs were quite complex and many are beautiful. The program flow is impeccable. What’s bad about it was the winner. 2013 – Petra Mede all the way. The Swedish humor from Petra, Lynda Woodruff and interval acts… Read more »
Sarah, I was so disappointed by the 1998 gig in Birmingham, because the ESCs Ireland and Norway, especially Dublin 1997, really raised the bar. But Jerusalem, Stockholm, Copenhagen Stadium and Tallinn for more obvious reasons did nothing to raise the bar and made ESC more and more bleak. It wasnt until Latvia took the bid and gave us an incredible ESC again. 2003 was the most exciting gig since 1997. So many dire years with boring contests and also bad songs. Thank you Ireland and Latvia! I am not very thrilled about the prospects for ESC 2016, as Sweden is… Read more »
Österrike to answer what you said about the UK and poor staging. The reason is because the bbc like to save money they never go all out because the of tv licence. They need to save as much money as possible
2011, 2013 and 2014 have been the best by far. Great hosts, amazing stage designs, wonderful atmospheres, good directing and the best rosters of entries. 2011 has the largest amount of good/great songs out of any contest, so it’s probably the best of the best.
2014 – Ugly exterior, most beautiful stage
2011 – Big and atmospheric stage
2012 – Big and memorable stage
2011 and 2014 are the best. Stage, contestants, directing, everything
2009, 2011, 2013 and 2014. I was actually disappointed by this year’s, mainly due to the hosts not being given a chance to shine along with the return of some (minor) things that always used to annoy me before they disappeared in 2013.
The worst will always be 2012: some good songs, awful hosts, awful stage, awful presentation, and lots of narcissism.
@WTF: I for one actually preferred Conchita’s song over Conchita. And Aram MP3 win instead (even if it is her) that would have been a huge joke.
2012 and 2014 had some of the best stages and songs, but 2011 wins by miles…
Malmo by far. Everything there was perfect. Incredible acts, perfect venue, great hostess. Add in the city was a nice size and the transportation there was great.
Vienna a clear second. Again great acts, good venue, etc.
Aaron, I also liked the Oslo stage. The focus was more on the song and the performer than on the backdrop and the stage design. Pretty cool!
Maybe in a few years I would say Oslo had the best stage and theme art, but as of now my impressions are still stronger with Copenhagen and Vienna.
What I really like about Oslo was that they did not try to be comedic. Very pleasant hosts.
My opinion: 2006 – My country (Greece) hosted the contest and I wish we had done a better job. The stage was bad and too small! The level of the songs was good though. 2007 – The stage was ok, but the songs weren’t so good as they should have been. The strange thing about this year is that there are some really good songs but I don’t love almost any of them… 2008- This was the first year I watched the contest , but I was too young and I didn’t remember many things. The songs’ level was the… Read more »
I don t like so much introduction of parade of nations in finals from 2013. It took so many time, escpecially this year in Wienna, we had to long opening in final and contest for the first time was 4 hours long in past years from 3.15 to 3.30 hours, because of long opening and parade of nations.
I know I’m in the minority, but I love the simplicity of the 2010 stage in Oslo. No video screens to overshadow the performers, and the songs sounded stronger for it. Every year, there’s a weird tendency to overdo it with graphics, and it usually spoils the song. In 2010, Iceland and Serbia made particularly clever use of the simple stage lighting that year. Cool songs first, with supportive staging second.
But 2014 is my second favorite year, and that was total video overkill. So never mind, I guess.
Last ESC was kind of great in terms of songs, but the stage, production and all the rest sucked so hard that I don’t even consider it a good ESC year
@Me: “Best winning song” that didn’t win because of the actual music, but the character the singer portrayed… If Eurovision SONG Contest was actually true to its name, we would have been in Amsterdam or Yerevan this year…
Because of the Conchita, 2014 was one of the most memorable eurovision in my mine, with best stage, best host and the best winning song, perfect 2014~
Song-wise I like 2012 and 2013 best (especially Sweden 2012, Albania 2012, FYR Macedonia 2012, Finland 2012, Bulgaria 2012, Israel 2013, Moldova 2013, France 2013, Bulgaria 2013 and San Marino 2013 – all of these are in my top 20 since 2010). However, I like the shows from 2011 and 2014.
@YoungsterJoey, I agree with you, ESC does not have to be funny, but it can be, and I feels bleak when the hosts attempt to be funny but fail, like Azerbaijan did. I also do not agree that Petra Mede was very funny, I just think she is a snob. And I also think that in parts Germany confused ESC with a comedy contest for their own hosts and for me as an Austrian, German comedy is anything but funny. So since 2011 we had 5 consecutive years of ESC that aimed to be funny, and it did not always… Read more »
Most Boring:2012 by far
Best song quality:2006,2009,2010,2014,2015!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Worst song quality:2007,2011
And the winner is 2014!One of the best year!!!Congratulations Denmark!!!
For me, 2014 should be taken as a standard by which everyone else should do its production of the show. Simply great, production-wise. DR knows best, really! Somehow, the best shows (2014 & the fan-favorite 2011) created not so worthy winners, but that’s another topic (music-wise). The worst ESC overall was 2006 by far, followed by 2008. 2006 was messy, at best. 2010 was like “they really are trying to save some euros, aren’t they” kind of situation, after the over-the-top performance of Moscow 2009 (that was rather OK delivered, but still – big is big!). 2007 was a great… Read more »
the stage of 1988 was truly amazing. However I do not get why the stages of 82 to 86 were so bleak, when the stages from the 70ies to the 1981 already were mostly really spectacular. I am stunned about how advanced they were compared to the 90s and 00s.
Especially Sweden & Norway but also the UK really guarantee for a lackluster staging and theme art, as if the ESC gig does not mean anything to them, although they always want to win.
I meant 2007 in Helsinki not 2006
2006 had the best hosts they were really funny especially women in the green room
2009 had the best quality of songs
2011 best voting and had not obvious winner
2014 the best staging ever!!
I’m seeing comments here about how a certain year wasn’t “funny.”
Who cares? It’s not a “funny” contest — it’s a song contest. The focus should be on the songs and not if there was/wasn’t funny moments.
2006: Many amazing performances (Russia, Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belgium, to name a few) as well as an amazing stage. The theme/graphics/postcards were a little predictable but still worked well. One of the top years 2007: Another very solid year. The presence of neighbor voting was probably most noticed here but there were some very stellar songs, including the powerful winner. I liked graphics and theme (unsure where Santa came from tbh) and the stage was really beautiful. I wish the center runway was accessible for the performers 2008: I always struggle with this year, namely the poor hosting, theme,… Read more »
2014 the best by far! I mean, every year was great but when it comes to the production, song quality and all other factors which contribute to a great show, Copenhagen had it all!
2015 wasn’t really good in terms of directing and camera angles but the songs were amazingly good!
2010, 2011, 2014, 2015
I agree with you, Sweden don t deserved to won the contest in 1984.
For me Sweden , Spain, Denmark and Belgium are so overrated by juries that year
Germany, Norway, Yugoslavia, The Netherlads so underrated
TOP 5 for me that year are
2.Germany (so underrated song finished only at 13 place, she remind me on Jane Fonda )
5.Norway (only 17 place, for me much better song , than Sweden on first, and Denmark on 4 place)
2011 and 2014! <3
For me best stage in history is stage from 1988 if we look technology in that time.
Worst stage from me in history are stage from 1983 , plus we don t have postacard before songs , interval act by host, but in 1983 we had best songs in history of contest very strong year, and after that years best songs for me had contest from 1988.
Denmark 2014 was amazing
I do not agree with the Swedish victory of 1984 (thanks to Denmark like in 1991), but Lill Linfors is inarguably one of the very best hosts of all time. Very pleasant and friendly. So in love with her….
However like the other stages between 1982 and 1986, I really did not like Gothenburg. White and candy pink all over the place, omg….
Some trends in Eurovision:
2003 introduced the great stage area to ESC, but also with the victory of Marie N. the era of circus acts, that finally ended in 2013.
Stages of 2009 to 2012 look like inspired by Smartphone. In 2011 the only had a black stage with an LED wall like a big Apple tablet.
Since 2013 too much jury power, unnecessary killings of fan favourites
For me host and inteval act from 2013 is not funny at all
Best host for me in history at Eurovisino are
1.Lill Lindfors 1985, she can teach Petra Mede how to be funny and pleasent for me
2.Viktor Lazlo 1987 (for me most beautiful host in history of Eurovision)
3.Anke Engelke 2011 (all 3 hosts are great but Anke is best)
4.Désirée Nosbusch 1984 (second place in host beauty)
5.Doireann Ní Bhriain 1981 (she was sweat , and she was very pleasant in voting, with mistake by some juries spokerson…)
2014 and 2015 were my favourites, but I am biased. In 2014 I was so excited since the second semifinal and was sobbing during the final performance and the voting procedures. And in 2015 I was there, and I loved it. For Vienna it was not just a boring gig, they lived it up and were breathing Eurovision. 2015 also had the most amazing songs of all time and many all time favourites for me from Italy, Portugal, Spain, Israel, Cyprus, Greece, Russia, Czech Republic, Poland, Belgium, Slovenia, Albania, Latvia, Estonia and so on and so forth. Of the prior… Read more »
Can’t really remember enough detail pre-2010; of those after 2011, then 2014.
2006, 2014 and 2009 are by far the best years ! 2005 is also fantastic, but not on the list 😛
2012- Around the ESC’s history, I think that that year had the best stage.
2014- I was amazed, they were the best songs, the second best stage and the best opening in the final and semifinals.
2009- It had also part of the best songs and also one of the best stages
2010 and 2013- I think that they were of the most simply stages
Writing down my full ranking & the best things from every contest 1) Malmo 2013 – Amazing hostess & fantastic atmosphere 2) Athens 2006 – Amazing stage design,great atmosphere 3) Copenhagen 2014 – Amazing graphics & cheerful atmosphere 4) Vienna 2015 – Joyful live performances & too many good songs 5) Dusseldorf 2011 – Unique atmosphere & many great songs 6) Moscow 2009 – The best year with the most great songs 7) Helsinki 2007 – Great unique vibes & special feeling 8) Belgrade 2008 – Numerous great songs 9) Oslo 2010 – Great interval act & really party fun… Read more »
2009 – The hosts were charmless, the voting pretty boring and the stage far too large for many of the acts, but the quality of the music this year was incredible. One of the strongest finals in ESC history, despite the runaway winner. 2012 – Again, stilted hosting and it quickly became obvious that Loreen would run away with it, but to be fair the Azeris put on an excellent stage show and this was another year that was absolutely packed with hits for me. 2014 – Fab hosts, great venue, an amazing top 3 and an exciting, inspiring voting… Read more »
2013 was the worst in the bunch..
2013 Malmö and 2014 Copenhague were masterpieces, both in terms of quality of the songs and production.
2015 Vienna was a disaster. Tasteless stage, countless technical issues, unfriendly hosts, … A year to forget.