Some Eurovision songs come into this world in their final state, while others undergo changes along the way, the notorious revamp. But is a revamp the key to success? How did revamped songs do in Eurovision 2016? Let’s take a look!

Note: we’re not looking at songs that were only shortened to under three minutes (“Ghost”) and/or songs that had English lyrics added but kept the same music (“No Degree of Separation”).

10. Moldova: Lidia Isac “Falling Stars”

Semi-final: 17th (33 points)

After winning Moldova’s O melodie pentru Europa with “Falling Stars”, the song was given a revamp before being officially released for Eurovision. “Falling Stars” was rearranged to suit Lidia’s lower vocal range, and it was given a punchier sound with a more dramatic ending. But despite the revamp, the song only placed 17th in its semi-final, with 33 points.

9. Albania: Eneda Tarifa “Fairytale”

Semi-final: 16th (45 points)

When Eneda Tarifa won Festivali i Këngës 54, it was with “Përrallë”, an Albanian-language song with dramatic orchestral flourishes and classic Albanian rock guitar, clocking in at 3:29. For Eurovision, Eneda’s song was transformed into “Fairytale”, with English lyrics, a more subdued arrangement and under the 3:00 limit. But it wasn’t enough to see Eneda follow Rona Nishliu and Elhaida Dani into the final – “Fairytale” placed 16th in its semi-final with only 45 points.

8. Iceland: Greta Salóme “Hear Them Calling”

Semi-final: 14th (51 points)

Greta Salóme entered Söngvakeppni with “Raddirnar”, but when she came to deliver her national final performance, she performed the English version “Hear Them Calling”. A revamped version of the song was later released, adding a strong orchestral feeling to the original folky instruments. But despite being a fan favourite, the song did not win over either televoters or juries, placing only 14th in its semi-final with only 51 points.

7. Slovenia: ManuElla “Blue and Red”

Semi-final: 14th (57 points)

ManuElla won EMA 2016 with “Blue and Red”, but released a slightly revamped version before Eurovision. It added vocals right from the start, shortened the bridge and featured heavier drums. But it wasn’t enough to make it out of the semi-finals. ManuElla placed 14th with 57 points.

6. San Marino: Serhat “I Didn’t Know”

Semi-final: 12th (68 points)

When Serhat released the original version of “I Didn’t Know”, a lot of fans weren’t sure what to make of his smooth sung-spoken style with its weird video. Then a curious thing happened. An EP of remixes was released, and with it was a surprisingly good disco version of the song. A fan-led campaign convinced San Marino to change to the disco version. While the new version missed out on qualifying, placing 12th with 68 points, “I Didn’t Know” went down as one of the most memorable songs of 2016.

5. Belarus: Ivan “Help You Fly”

Semi-final: 12th (84 points)

IVAN originally entered the Belarus national final with “Learn To Fly” but the winning song later became “Help You Fly”, with a revamped version. While it largely stayed faithful to the song’s rock style, the new version had more pronounced synths, some wailing from IVAN and howling wolves. Oh, the wolves. Despite the song’s cheeky, ambitious staging — that placed 9th with televoters — it failed to impress the jury, giving an overall semi-final result of 12th place and 84 points.

4. Spain: Barei “Say Yay!”

Grand final: 22nd (77 points)

When Barei won Objetivo Eurovisión, “Say Yay!” established itself as a fan favourite. So when the revamped version of her song was released — with a louder, more dramatic sound and funk elements — some fans weren’t happy. Nonetheless, the song remained a general favourite, but this was not reflected in the final results, where “Say Yay!” placed a disappointing 22nd, with only 77 points.

3. Georgia: Nika Kocharov & Young Georgian Lolitaz “Midnight Gold”

Grand final: 20th (104 points)

When “Midnight Gold” was selected as the song that Nika Kocharov & Young Georgian Lolitaz would perform at Eurovision, fans weren’t sure what to make of it — it was long and had a weird squeally feedback section. Enter Thomas G:son, who wrangled the song into a three-minute Britpop track, while still keeping its weird edge. Along with its dynamic staging, the song qualified for the final, where it placed 20th with 104 points — one of only two revamped semi-finalists to make it to the final.

2. Israel: Hovi Star “Made of Stars”

Grand final: 14th (135 points)

Hovi Star won Israel’s Rising Star national final with “Made of Stars”, with a bombastic pop-rock arrangement. It wasn’t received well by Eurovision fans, inspiring composer Doron Medalie to rearrange the song as a dramatic R&B ballad. The revamp worked. Israel again qualified for the final, placing 14th with 135 points — the only other revamped semi-finalist to make it to the final.

1. France: Amir “J’ai cherché”

Grand final: 6th (257 points)

Normally we wouldn’t include a song only for being edited to under three minutes, but in this case the French song got a bit of a revamp as well. The Eurovision version of “J’ai cherché” had a shorter but more dramatic introduction added, and the ending introduced some vocal ad libs. And it worked – Amir’s feelgood song saw France finish in 6th place with 257 points, its best result since 2002 and the highest placing for a revamped song at Eurovision 2016.

What was your favourite revamped song from Stockholm? Is a revamp the key to success or is it a desperate attempt to polish a turd? Share your thoughts below!

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#Justice4Margaret
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#Justice4Margaret

Albania’s revamp was a mess, it’s clear they didn’t want to qualify.

karminowe.usta
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karminowe.usta

Israel, Georgia – revamp for better.
Albania, San Marino – revamp for worse.

Iain
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Iain

It might have been helpful to have the original videos for comparison in this article. Also what about Malta? I know the song changed but would be good to see people’s opinions there too.

CookyMonzta
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CookyMonzta

I thought the revamps for Israel and Spain were much better. Albania should have learned from their revamp disaster in 2014.

Ola
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Ola

All those revamps…they are bound to lose.
A WINNER is always good enough from the beginning.

The Brightest Falling Star
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The Brightest Falling Star

@Osterrike

Very interesting, I prefer the revamped version though. The original sounds so weak to me.

OR
Guest
OR

wiwi- hovi will sing today in a party of Gay Pride events in Tel Aviv, in one of the biggest clubs in Tel Aviv with his song “made of stars” Electronic version , Please published an article about him in this regard.
Also 200000 people from all over the world come to Tel Aviv to participate in Tel Aviv gay pride parade 🙂

Österikke
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Österikke

Zoe completely revamped Loin d’ici for Eurovision.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRv5_sQFUAU

the original version was better and so much more dreamier without the Eurodance beat.

Ern
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Ern

The BIG, BIG loser of this year’s contest was Israel. That song should have made top 10.

However, and I’m sad to say this, I think Hovi lost points because of his “goth” look. If he looked a bit more like Amir, he would have done better.

MK
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MK

I think the revamp was still good for Lidia. She didn’t make it to final, but at least she didn’t make a fool of herself either (something I had expected before the contest). I don’t think that the revamps of Spain, Slovenia and Iceland had a major impact. We know both versions and can tell the differences. The average viewer however hears the song for the first time on the “big night”. Israel managed to turn something mediocre into something great! Actually, my colleague, who had never watched Eurovision before, watched both the second semi final and the final this… Read more »

El Rosario de Raquel
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Hello hello, Mtr danger.

Pollaski 3: Rise of the Machines
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Pollaski 3: Rise of the Machines

I think in terms of effect on the result, you can’t argue with Israel and Georgia- I don’t think either song qualifies without the revamp.

As far as Lidia goes, it was so clear how much she busted her ass to make her song better, and its a shame it didn’t yield any results. Even if she didn’t deserve to qualify (I had her on the bubble), she deserved way better than 17th.

Racal
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Racal

A revamped bad song is still a bad song…

The Brightest Falling Star
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The Brightest Falling Star

@Laburnum

I totally agree with you about Lidia, she put a lot of effort and her voice was much better in Stockholm. In the Moldovan national selection it was awful, still though her vocals improved massively! She should have qualified for sure, her song is still one of my favorites.

The Brightest Falling Star
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The Brightest Falling Star

Very interesting article, well done Robyn! Albania: I still don’t get why people hate the revamped version but of course the original was far better. It had drama and power, while the revamped one lacks them and it also lacks character and originality. Belarus: The difference is subtle but I prefer the revamped version. France: The same with Belarus. Georgia: The revamped version is much better. Iceland: Once again, the revamped version is better because it added drama and more power to the song. Israel: I like both versions but I prefer the original. Just like Albania, the original version… Read more »

Laburnum
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Laburnum

But the best revamped songs are Israel and Spain by far

Laburnum
Guest
Laburnum

I feel so bad for Lidia. Her performance vocally at Moldova’s national final was…interesting to say the least. However she really did a lot of work yo have a pretty stunning voice on the night, and should have qualified imo. If there is an award for effort, I think Lidia Isac would be the most deserving.

esc 2016
Guest
esc 2016

By far Israel…and then Spain

OR
Guest
OR

@bartosz you right…sorry

bartosz
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bartosz

~OR
you forgot about Georgia, Nika Kocharov & YGL also qualified to final

oooops
Guest
oooops

Original vs. Revamp (From what I have heard)
Spain: Original
San Marino: Ofc Revamp, I think it was the fun disco vibes that made the public vote for San Marino
Israel: Original, I think it was a good decision for the results to revamp, but I found the original more interesting
Georgia: Revamp, from mess to masterpiece britpop
Belarus: It was already good, but wolves made it better, revamp
Albania: Original, revamp made it anonymous
It’s a draw! But generally, if it was a national final with televoiting, and the winning became revamped, the voters that voted for the winning song should get their money back

Mark
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Mark

a song should be great straight off the press and shouldn’t need a revamp

OR
Guest
OR

Israel hovi star my love- the best revamp- the one and only revamp that make it to the final !! turning silver to gold the genius Israelis 🙂

John
Guest
John

Israel, Iceland and Georgia had the better revamps this year, Albania was easily the worst, it went from my first place to outside my top 10.