There’s a rule amongst Eurovision fans that returning artists never do as well the second time around. But Johnny Logan famously proved this wrong, so there’s always the hope that a returning artist can use their experience to deliver a better performance. 2016 saw seven artists return to the Eurovision stage. Let’s see how they fared.
7. Iceland: Greta Salóme “Hear Them Calling”
2012 result: 20th in final
2016 result: 14th in semi-final
Greta had placed 20th in 2012 with her song “Never Forget”, performed with another returning artist, Jonsi. Things were looking up for her comeback, as “Hear Them Calling” was a solid favourite with fans, critics and bookies. But it wasn’t to be. “Hear Them Calling” shockingly placed only 14th in the first semi-final, the worst placed returning artist this year. But as Greta proved at #Wiwijam, she’s still an incredibly talented and much loved performer.
6. Montenegro: Bojan Jovovic (Highway) “The Real Thing”
2005 result: 7th in final
2016 result: 13th in semi-final
As part of the boyband No Name, Bojan Jovovic placed 7th in 2005 with “Zauvijek moja”. Drafted in to beef up Highway’s sound 11 years later, history did not repeat. Despite placing 10th with the jury vote, Highway did not manage to qualify for the final, placing only 13th overall.
5. FYR Macedonia: Kaliopi “Dona”
2012 result: 13th in final
2016 result: 11th in semi-final
Kaliopi’s mighty performance of “Crno i belo” in 2012 was a huge fan favourite and earned her 13th place. But her more subdued “Dona” was not as successful, just missing out on qualifying for the final in 11th place from semi-final two.
4. Bosnia and Herzegovina: Deen (Dalal & Deen feat. Ana Rucner and Jala) “Ljubav je”
2004 result: 9th in final
2016 result: 11th in semi-final
Deen made his Eurovision debut in 2004, performing “In The Disco” which placed ninth in the final. But he didn’t have the opportunity to see if his collaboration “Ljubav je” would do better. It narrowly missed out on qualifying for the final, managing a close 11th in the highly competitive first semi-final.
3. Malta: Ira Losco “Walk on Water”
2002 result: 2nd in final
2016 result: 12th in final
Ira Losco had the most on the line, having placed 2nd in 2002, with her song “7th Wonder”, which narrowly missed out on the win by only 12 points. The teen of 2002 returned as a mother-to-be in 2016, delivering the gospel-tinged “Walk On Water”. But despite ranking 4th from jury scores in the final, the song was not a hit with the general public, ranking only 21st and giving Ira an overall 12th place for her comeback.
2. Lithuania: Donny Montell “I’ve Been Waiting for This Night”
2012 result: 14th in final
2016 result: 9th in final
Donny was another member of the class of ’12, where “Love is Blind” placed 14th in Baku. After making it through Lithuania’s gruelling 10-week national final, Donny showed up in Stockholm with an impressive on-stage somersault and scored 9th place in the final. Along with Poli Genova, Donny is one of only two returning artists to achieve better than their previous score.
1. Bulgaria: Poli Genova “If Love Was a Crime”
2011 result: 12th in semi-final
2016 result: 4th in final
A fan favourite with her rock song “Na inat” in 2011, Poli Genova was undoubtedly the most successful returning artist, placing 4th with her very popular “If Love Was a Crime”. Not only did it do better than her 2011 song by qualifying for the final — only the second of Bulgaria’s 10 entries to qualify — it proved to be popular with both juries and viewers, earning it 4th place overall.
In a recent Wiwi Poll, we asked who your favourite returning artist was. The winner was Poli Genova, topping the poll with 28%. The ranking roughly follows the overall results, but with the one exception of Greta Salóme, whose shock non-qualification surprised many.
- Bulgaria: Poli Genova with “If Love Was A Crime” (965 votes, 28%)
- Malta: Ira Losco with “Walk On Water” (869 votes, 25%)
- Iceland: Greta Salóme with “Hear Them Calling” (695 votes, 20%)
- Lithuania: Donny Montell with “I’ve Been Waiting For This Night” (390 votes, 11%)
- FYR Macedonia: Kaliopi with “Dona” (324 votes, 9%)
- Bosnia & Herzegovina: Deen with “Ljubav Je” (120 votes, 4%)
- Montenegro: Bojan with “The Real Thing” (50 votes, 1%)
Who was your favourite returning artist? Should artists be allowed to return to Eurovision? Share your thoughts below!