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.

Who is the best returning artist of Eurovision 2016?

Vote in all our Eurovision 2016 Polls

27 Comments
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Margaret
Margaret
4 years ago

Poli, Greta and Kaliopi <3

silvester
silvester
4 years ago

Poli Genova.
“Na inat” was so underrated.

HarpyDarper
HarpyDarper
4 years ago

3 of these returning artists are from the same year- is that a record? Are there any pictures from 2012 with all three together?

cheesecake
cheesecake
4 years ago

I’m pretty sure that only Poli and Greta will get a better placing than with their last attempt.

Dez
Dez
4 years ago

Poli, Ira, Donny, Greta, Bojan, Deen, Kaliopi… in that order (I voted for the first five) xD

Nicky91
Nicky91
4 years ago

@redarrow

happy with your support, i appreciate it 🙂

The Anders
4 years ago

Out of these? Kaliopi. She is easily the best singer this year 🙂

redarrow
4 years ago

ira losco no doubt …… go ira 12 points

Grace Tucker
Grace Tucker
4 years ago

I’m a huge fan of Iceland’s, Malta’s Bulgaria’s, and Lithuania’s songs this year(in that order) and I really hope they do well! Everyone else I don’t really care for, except I think Kaliopi’s great, but not so much her song.

Ejin
Ejin
4 years ago

My top 7 :
1.Poli Genova – Bulgaria
2.Ira Losco – Malta
3.Greta Salóme – Iceland
4.Donny Montell – Lithuania
5.Kaliopi – F.Y.R Macedonia
6.Deen – Bosnia & Herzegovina
7.Bojan Jovovic – Montenegro

David Who
David Who
4 years ago

In my opinion, Ira Losco (Malta), Greta Salome (Iceland) and Poli Genova (Bulgaria) have all come back with better songs this year compared to before. The rest of them I preferred in the past (sorry!)
P.S. OMG Deen at the disco!! I had forgotten about that one. He was so camp!! 🙂

suede
suede
4 years ago

For me
1. Bulgaria
2. Iceland
3. Macedonia
4. Bosnia
5. Montenegro
6. Malta
7. Lithunia

Nicky91
Nicky91
4 years ago

@Daniel well my ranking would then be 1. Poli Genova, should’ve qualified already with Na Inat, she was robbed of the final with that song 1. Ira Losco, 7th wonder is my favourite but you hear growth in her voice, and i find Walk On Water really suits her now mature voice 🙂 3. Kaliopi, i’ve got respect for her, that she wants to compete again for Macedonia, Dona is a good ballad and she did write it herself 🙂 🙂 4. Greta Salome, well i kinda miss Jonsi, already mentioned that in a earlier post, but she’s very talented… Read more »

Daniel
4 years ago

1. Probably Greta she was my 3rd favourite in 2012 and 4th this year 2. Ira Losco. She’s grown so much and yet still has great songs I hope she doesn’t give up 3. Poli Genova. She knows it all now 4. Donny. In 2012 that was my guilty pleasure but this year I enjoy it. He knows how to do it. 5. Kaliopi. She does ballads, rock, what’s next cause I’m interested 6. Deen. From badness of in the disco to this. I don’t really like his song this year but it’s miles better and growing on me 7.… Read more »

Sal
Sal
4 years ago

Ira, Poli and Greta are all in my top 3!

oooops
oooops
4 years ago

Yes, there were actually 19 countries, but some were represented by groups, so then there were more than 1 artist per country, but only 1 song per country.

Bis
Bis
4 years ago

I really like Kaliopi, Donny and Poli. Poli is pretty much guaranteed a much better result this time around. With the others, I am not so sure

georgekirkas
georgekirkas
4 years ago

In my opinion, Poli Genova made an amazing return! I love both ”Na Inat” and ”If Love Was A Crime”! Also, Greta came back with another great song after ”Never Forget”, which was my favourite back in 2012! I think that Deen has become a more serious performer and he also has improved a lot, since I hated ”In The Disco”! ”Ljubav Je” is much better! Finally, I also voted for Kaliopi. I know that most people like ”Crno I Belo” more than ”Dona”, but I like the latter slightly more!

Nicky91
Nicky91
4 years ago

for me I voted for Ira and Poli, both incredibly talented singers and both deserve to make the finals 🙂 🙂

Leo
Leo
4 years ago

Greta definitely !

Glenn
Glenn
4 years ago

Kaliopi…without doubt.

Pollaski
Pollaski
4 years ago

@ooops

Wasn’t that back when there were only like 20 participants?

That’s nuts.

oooops
oooops
4 years ago

Pollaski, after a big research, I just saw that ESC 1985(which also was hosted in Sweden), have the record of 11 returning artists

Colin
Colin
4 years ago

Welcome back all if you 🙂
My vote goes to the person I voted for on the big night – Greta Salone.

DenizNL
DenizNL
4 years ago

I love them all.

Tom
Tom
4 years ago

Poli! I loved Na Inat and love If Love Was A Crime!

That said I really like the songs from Ira and Greta and although Dona isn’t my favourite I have nothing by love for Kaliopi Bukle.

Pollaski
Pollaski
4 years ago

I’m hardly a concert historian, but it seems to me that 7 returning artists is a pretty high number here. Anyone know the record?