one-hit

It’s summer — the season when one-hit wonders thrive. Those catchy songs come along, provide a soundtrack for your holiday and then suddenly vanish. The artists behind some of those tunes inevitably find themselves struggling to match the success of their earlier hit. And some, keen to re-launch their career and taste chart success again, choose to have a go at Eurovision.

Singing at Eurovision following a life-changing hit may seem like a great idea: if you once managed to get the whole world to dance to your music once before, why not do it again? Of the 200 million Eurovision viewers, surely someone will remember you! Until they don’t. In honour of their efforts, let’s have a look at five acts who tried to drive the masses crazy again at Eurovision…but didn’t quite achieve that.

Note: We’ve trawled through the years, and no other one-hit wonder managed to do better than these five. Also, please note that we’re talking one-hit wonders on a continental level. Some may still be popular in their own countries/regions/cities/local gay bar. Or not.

1. Nicki French – “Don’t Play That Song Again” (United Kingdom 2000)

Can “Don’t Play That Song Again” be a more suitable name for a one-hit wonder? The UK’s first entrant of the millennium came with a so-so portfolio with one stand-out hit. Her 1995 dance cover of Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” reached No.5 in the UK and was a No.2 hit single in the United States. That’s major.

Nowadays, Nicki French is still known — and much-loved — in the Eurovision bubble. She’s kept on releasing music and she’s a regular performer at Eurovision parties and Eurovision cruises. She found a niche and she’s holding on to it. Kudos for that!

2. Las Ketchup – “Un Bloodymary” (Spain 2006)

They stormed the charts globally in 2002 with their infectious song “Aserejé (The Ketchup Song)”. Spanish sisters Pilar, Lola and Lucía, known as Las Ketchup, made the world dance… and their fame lasted for a total of three months.

Four year laster, Las Ketchup kept the tomato juice flowing when they represented Spain at Eurovision with “Un Bloodymary”. There’s actually merit in the title — naming your song after a drink does grab attention. Unfortunately their office chairs and red outfits — presumably dyed with tomato sauce — failed to set Europe alight. Las Ketchup later explained that they had no input into their Eurovision song or costumes, and would have preferred to sing something else. Maybe “Mojito” or “Vodka Soda”…

3. DJ Bobo – “Vampires are Alive” (Switzerland 2007)

DJ Bobo is a big deal in his native Switzerland and other German-speaking countries. However, to the rest of the world, he’s known only for to his 2003 Euro novelty “Chihuahua”, which could contend for the most irritating song ever.

Five years later, Bobo decided to ride Lordi’s dark wave and head to Helsinki. Let’s just say he surfed it as a chihuahua would. The song was a fan favourite, but unfortunate staging and the singers’ so-so voices left Switzerland in the semifinal.

4. Plastic Bertrand – “Amour, amour” (Luxembourg 1987)

Plastic Bertrand took the world by storm at the end of the ’70s with his song “Ça plane pour moi”, which you’ve probably heard in commercials, TV shows, or documentaries. He was known for singing dressed up as Superman, and not keeping quiet for a single second.

Ten years later, he ditched the super hero aesthetic and went on to represent Luxembourg in 1987 with his song “Amour, Amour”. He showed the same quirkiness, but the juries weren’t so impressed. The didn’t give him much amour and he finished 21st with 4 points. Ça ne planait pas pour lui.

5. Arsenium – “Loca” (Moldova 2006)

OK, Arsenium wasn’t a one-hit wonder himself, but he was part of O-Zone, a one-hit wonder boyband. That makes Arsenium a one-third-hit wonder, I suppose. Anyway, he and his mates put Moldova on the map in 2004 with their infectious “Dragostea din tei”.

Europe stopped singing “Numa numa iei” and, in 2006, Arsenium tried to re-boot his career by representing Moldova at Eurovision with the song “Loca”, together with Natalia Gordienko and a rapper called Connect-r. This super hetero-normative hot mess finished 20th in Athens. And yes, if you were wondering, rhyming “loca” with “boca” and “poco” is as painful to a Spaniard as rhyming “fire”, “desire” and “higher”.

Do you remember these artists? Are they still famous where you live? And are there any other one-hit wonders you’d like to see singing at Eurovision? Tell us in the comment section below!

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Denis
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Denis

Kate Ryan and Cascada? Weren’t they one hit wonders too?

stojko
Guest
stojko

If you classify DJ Bobo as an 1 hit wonder, then Arash must be in that liat too.
They had a similar type of career.

Arash’ main major hit was Boro Boro…he had some hits after that, but they didn’t exactly shake the whole of Europe like Boro boro did!

Milkyy
Guest
Milkyy

Nooo, One Day and Arash were very strong hits too!

stojko
Guest
stojko

Lël Chihuahua 2003? DJ Bobo had several hits in Europe in the 90s with “There’s a party” being the most celebrated!

Niels
Guest

Where is Björn Skifs.

Jo
Guest
Jo

You can also add some Eurovision winners who tried to get into the spotlight again.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

Speaking of one, who I think you are zeroing in on, I’m looking at the chart performances, and I think that Eurovision may have actually been a CURSE for Loreen. Her first 2 hits were platinum in Sweden (“My Heart Is Refusing Me”, 2x), then came “Euphoria”, then came the bumpy ride.

Jo
Guest
Jo

Not only Loreen…

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

Indeed. But she is obviously one of the latest, if not THE latest. 🙁

Charles
Guest
Charles

One hit wonder once, one hit wonder forever … 🙂 Which screams a lot about the patheticness that goes behind the general public to give these crappy one hit wonder the success that they once had … for no reason. We have ourselves to blame for not wanting to LISTEN better. The fact that these acts chose Eurovision to relaunch their non-existent careers and ended up staying within the bubble considering the real world of music hasn’t given them any second chance, sadly emphasizes the lack of music credibility that Eurovision struggles to get, while fans expect the LEDs, the… Read more »

May 8, 10 and 12
Guest
May 8, 10 and 12

Sorry if I’m wrong but Azucar Moreno had their big hit (”Solo se vive una vez”) long after Eurovision (”Bandido”), but maybe I’m wrong, I don’t know all their career.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxrUkFQHYpg

Carolina
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Carolina

Arsenium tried to win Chile’s Festival de Viña del Mar some years ago, with an old song of his, which was against the rules and the jury found out, which led to him flopping the contest. To me the biggest surprise was Las Ketchup because I thought they would do OK… Until I heard the song. Poor girls.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Real McCoy had an international hit with “Another Night” in 1993. In 2006 Real McCoy (actually just sing-rapper O-Jay) performed with Poland’s act Ich Troje on their song “Follow My Heart”. A glorious hot mess resulted.

Niels
Guest

Björn Skifs is also a one hit wonder

Olli Tamminen
Guest
Olli Tamminen

I would include Baccara in this list.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

No. They had 3 hits in 1977, before the went to Eurovision 1978, and they had a decent follow-up after ESC. It was a continuation of a career that was quite probably going to be short anyway.

HarpyDarper
Guest
HarpyDarper

Nikki French had an awful song back in 2000, the production sounds so cheap- like a karaoke machine! And that key change at the end is terrible.
I found out that Lou Bega (‘mambo number five’) is German- has he ever tried to enter the contest?

Serbia_ball_
Guest
Serbia_ball_

Read the last sentence. Didn’t Kasia (Poland 2017) rhyme fire, desire and higher? ???

May 8,10 and 12
Guest
May 8,10 and 12

Yes she did, and wiwibloggs wrote about that. But let’s not forget about ”why” ”try” ”cry”

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

Tragic indeed, but still not as tragic as rhyming night with tight, fight, right, light and bright.

Daggu
Guest
Daggu

There’s something worse actually. Rhyming Impossible with possible (Yes, I’m looking at you Eric Saade)
And actually, Kasia Mo? Rhymed “Fire, liked a burning desire, taking me higher, walk in a wire. Yes, she added wire to that horrible combo.

Jo
Guest
Jo

what’s the matter? Katy Perry rhymed “me” with “me”.

DR
Guest
DR

Could you class Katrina and the Waves as one hit wonders? Beside their Eurovision Entry and Walking on Sunshine, did they have any other hits?

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Good suggestion! I’ve had a look at their discography and those two songs are really their only two big international hits.

Women, football and rock'n'roll
Guest
Women, football and rock'n'roll

Plastic Bertrand is a music GENUIUS….still respected among music lovers today! Amor amour was a great song!

Actually…some of those songs are good. maybe all of them I think 🙂

Las Ketchup’s ESC song sounded a lot more sophisticated than The Ketchup Song. Actually, the Spanish song from 2005 sounded WAY more than Las Ketchup 🙂

I remember a former girlfriend of mine said Moldova 2006 had the worst stage act ever….but for me the song / act was nice

Twisted French
Guest
Twisted French

I don’t know what king of drug you’re on but you definitely need to share it with the whole world. Plastic Bertrand, a music genius!!!?? Ha ha that is a good one!! He didn’t even sing the song himself.

Women, football and rock'n'roll
Guest
Women, football and rock'n'roll

Like it or not….But Plastic Bertrand is actually a PUNK ROCK LEGEND! 🙂 Thanks to Ca plane pour moi and other songs. How many ESC-singers can you say are punk rock legends?? unfortunately…NOT many!

Twisted French
Guest
Twisted French

But he’s not even the one singing ça plane pour moi….. A rock punk legend? What about the Ramones, The Sex Pistols, The Who, The Vandals, Sonic Youth, to name a few? These are legends. Plastic Bertrand is a joke.

Darren
Guest
Darren

You brought back serious nostalgia with that O-Zone dong! “Dragostei din tei” was my jam…I knew all the words off by heart….didn’t know what they meant…but I knew them 🙂

Didn’t even know that one of the group went to Eurovision and I was always wondering why they didn’t try it out after the European success of their song.

Twisted French
Guest
Twisted French

This kind of stategy never works. The audience wants to be surprised and wowed. Like this year. They don’t want a recycled artist…. They want something new, something unexpected. Even big names who tried to go to Eurovision mostly failed. Hey Luis, ça ne planait pour oui pas doesn’t mean anything btw:-)

Twisted French
Guest
Twisted French

Ça ne planait pas pour lui, or even better ça n’a pas plané pour lui…. 🙂

May 8,10 and 12
Guest
May 8,10 and 12

OMG I can’t believe you included Arsenium in this list. Thank you! Yes, he was part of the trio O-Zone from Moldova, and they are apart now because of Dan Balan who thought he is the ”star” of the group and that he can do it alone. Dan Balan has tried to make it in US, but now he only sings in Russia. I love Arsenium and also the rapper Connect-R. Connect_R is Romanian, his biggest hit was ”Vara nu dorm” (”During the summer I don’t sleep”), and if he wants to be in Romanian NF ”Selectia Nationala” he might… Read more »