With the news that Dutch girl group O’G3NE have their sights set on Eurovision 2017, this got us thinking about previous girl groups in Eurovision. The last time we saw a classic girl group in the contest was in 2013, when Moje 3 narrowly missed out on making the grand final. But in the 2000s, the song contest was full of girl groups, some of whom delivered iconic Eurovision performances. Let’s take a look back at the entries from that peak girl group era, from the least to the most successful.
To rank the girl groups, we’re looking at the percentage of available points that each act received. For example, each finalist in 2013 could only receive a maximum of 456 points — i.e. 12 points from each of the other 38 countries voting. If an act finished with 100 points, they would have received 21.93% of the points available to them.
We’re covering girl groups from 1999 onwards. We’re only including vocals groups of three or more, so this excludes other combinations of female performers, like bands (Vanilla Ninja, Black Daisy, Elaiza), groups backing one singer (Can-linn, Urban Symphony) or choral groups (Buranovskiye Babushki). But we still love them all!
17. Treble – “Amambanda” (Netherlands 2006)
20th place in semi-final with 22 points — 4.95% of available points
Treble were made up of two sisters and an older friend, and came across like your auntie and two cousins after they’ve had too many wines at a family wedding. Woo! “Amambanda” was mostly written in an invented pseudo-African language, and the staging was a frantic, multi-level, drum-based catastrophe. Unsurprisingly it did not qualify for the final and is the poorest scoring girl group entry.
16. Nonstop – “Coisas de nada (Gonna Make You Dance)” (Portugal 2006)
19th place in semi-final with 26 points — 5.86% of available points
Nonstop were put together via the Portuguese edition of Popstars, and while they may have had the technical ability, the song was old-fashioned and the staging was a hot mess. They look like a group of pals who had put together a little show for their friend’s bachelorette party, just before the male stripper arrived. Last year the Wiwi Jury ranked “Coisas de nada” (Meaningless things) the worst Portuguese entry from the 21st century.
15. Suntribe – “Let’s Get Loud” (Estonia 2005)
20th place in semi-final with 31 points — 6.80% of available points
Estonian girl group Suntribe did a “Love Love Peace Peace” and added not one but five DJs pretending to scratch. They also used metres of plastic beads for that “girls gone wild at Mardi Gras” aesthetic. And some line-dancing. We can partly blame all this on 2005, but the song itself had that same shambolic style. Suntribe member Laura is a regular entrant in Eesti Laul, and still shows a fun but less chaotic aesthetic.
14. Neiokõsõ – “Tii” (Estonia 2004)
11th place in semi-final with 57 points — 14.84% of available points
“Tii” (Road) has the unique distinction of being sung in the south Estonian Võro language. Neiokõsõ brought some ethnic attitude to the performance, aided on stage by a funky drummer. The girl group showed they weren’t to be messed with – their costumes included hunting knives. (Not even Dschinghis Khan managed that!) “Tii” only just missed out on qualifying for the final, placing 11th in the semi.
13. Feminnem – “Lako je sve” (Croatia 2010)
13th place in semi-final with 33 points — 15.28% of available points
This was the second time the Balkan girl group had entered Eurovision — in 2005 they represented Bosnia and Herzegovina with the upbeat “Call Me”. But like so many repeat offenders, Feminnem could not better their first result. Despite the commendable hairography, the moody and dramatic “Lako je sve” (Everything is easy) didn’t make it out of the semi-final.
12. Moje 3 – “Ljubav je svuda” (Serbia 2013)
11th place in semi-final with 46 points — 21.30% of available points
The Serbian girl group grabbed everyone’s attention with their quirky costumes, which also won them the Barbara Dex Award for 2013. But the cute ‘n’ crazy candy colours weren’t enough to get Moje 3 into the final. Despite being a fan favourite, “Ljubav je svuda” (Love is everywhere) missed out on qualifying by only seven points. To date, Moje 3 are the last girl group to have competed in Eurovision.
11. No Angels – “Disappear” (Germany 2008)
23rd in grand final with 14 points — 2.78% of available points
This is one of those years when Germany would have been feeling extremely grateful for their automatic qualification. No Angels were formed as part of the first German series of Popstars and they enjoyed a successful pop career in German-speaking Europe. But despite the quartet’s talents, “Disappear” just wasn’t a good song. The repetitive number saw Germany take home a very poor score.
10. Las Ketchup – “Bloody Mary” (Spain 2006)
21st place in grand final with 18 points — 4.17% of available points
The Muñoz sisters moved on from the novelty pop of “The Ketchup Song (Aserejé)” but kept the tomato theme with the sultry “Bloody Mary”. The staging was unusual — the four singers spun around on office chairs, while two androgynous dancers added an arty edge. The song didn’t score so well, but neighbouring Andorra saved the day with 12 points.
9. Son de Sol – “Brujería” (Spain 2005)
21st place in grand final with 28 points — 5.98% of available points
Spain was obviously going through a girl group phase in the mid 2000s, with Las Ketchup and Son de Sol each placing 21st in consecutive years. Son de Sol delivered a saucy, summery Spanish sound with “Brujería” (Witchcraft)… but it all went horribly wrong when a wheezy rapper showed up and just dragged everything down.
Our definitive ranking of modern girl groups at Eurovision continues this week! Who will be number one? Which girl groups should have received more love from Europe? Share your thoughts below.