They came, they saw and they didn’t conquer. So seven acts who previously competed at the Eurovision Song Contest have decided to return this year in Stockholm. Will a second trip to ESC guarantee a better placing, or will their fortunes fall upon return? We have no idea. So we want you to listen to Iceland’s Greta Salome, FYR Macedonia’s Kaliopi, Malta’s Ira Losco, Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Deen, Bulgaria’s Poli Genova, Lithuania’s Donny Montell and Montenegro’s Bojan and let us know your favourite.
Eurovision 2016: Best returning artist?
Bosnia & Herzegovina: Deen with “Ljubav Je”
Bosnia & Herzegovina return after a three-year absence and they’ve decided to pack the stage with four artists — Dalal & Deen feat. Ana Rucner and Jala, who will sing “Ljubav Je”. Deen previously made a turn on the Eurovision stage in 2004, finishing ninth with his camp number “In The Disco.” Has he grown as an artist in the past 12 years? We say YASS!
Bulgaria: Poli Genova with “If Love Was A Crime”
Bulgaria skipped the past two editions of Eurovision and they too are returning with an ESC veteran in the form of Poli Genova. Way back in November she told wiwibloggs that she wanted to give it another go and, after lots of wrangling, she’s made it to the show.
At Eurovision 2011 Poli sang the powerful pop-rock song “Na Inat”, finishing 12th in her semi-final. That song translated as “Out of Spite.” We get the sense she’s coming back for revenge and we hope she slays!
FYR Macedonia: Kaliopi with “Dona”
Back in 1996, when FYR Macedonia first participated in Eurovision, they chose Skopje Fest winner Kaliopi. Owing to complicated qualification rules that year, she didn’t progress to the final and was unable to sing her song “Samo Ti” in the final. Sad face.
But the diva came back in 2012 and won over Baku with an amazing performance of “Crno I Belo”, showing off her gritty vocals and sexy rocker edge. She ultimately placed 13th, which may seem middling to some, but was a real victory for a country that so often struggles to make the final. Can she up her own game with the soulful Balkan song “Dona”?
Iceland: Greta Salóme with “Hear Them Calling”
Four years ago pint-sized Greta Salóme and her singing partner Jónsi were fan favourites. But their song “Never Forget” only placed 20th, despite some fierce violins and on-point vocals.
This year she’ll sing the pop-folk number “Hear Them Calling”, which is all about blocking out the bad voices and focusing on the good. The good ones that say, “Greta, you got this!”
Lithuania: Donny Montell with “I’ve Been Waiting For This Night”
Donny Montell sang “Love is blind” back in 2012, placing third in his semi-final and 14th in the final. Ever since then Europe (and Australia) have been waiting for his return. And apparently “he’s been waiting for this night” too.
If you had forgotten Danny after Baku, Lithuania certainly gave you a chance to get reacquainted. Lithuania’s marathon national selection lasted several months, and he recently admitted to us that even he thinks the selection was too long. But maybe all that practice will pay off in Stockholm.
Malta: Ira Losco with “Walk On Water”
In 2002, when the contest was held in Tallinn, Malta entered a young yet very talented girl named Ira Losco, who sang the song “7th Wonder”. She blew glitter from her hands and left Europe enchanted, climbing all the way to second place.
Fourteen years later, the girl had morphed into a woman — and one with a killer back catalogue. She competed in Malta’s Eurovision 2016 selection with “Chameleon” and “That’s Why I Love You”. Following her win she kept on mixing it up, deciding to replace “Chameleon” with “Walk On Water”, a song co-written by Melodifestivalen star Molly Pettersson Hammar .
Montenegro: Bojan Jovovic with “The Real Thing”
Back in 2005, when Serbia and Montenegro were still a unified country, they chose the pop band No Name for Eurovision. No Name graced the stage in Kyiv singing “Zauvijek Moja” and placed 7th. Three years later, the group disbanded.
But Bojan, the lead singer, kept on slaying, eventually forming the band Highway, which rose to fame in 2015 on The X Factor. Aware of their burgeoning profile, Montenegro’s state broadcaster decided to give them a shot in Stockholm.