Someone has to finish last at Eurovision — and frequently it’s been the artists singing for a microstate. These smallest of countries — Andorra, San Marino and Monaco — have virtually no diaspora vote. And as a result of their tiny music scenes, they have at times had to borrow singers from other countries (see Turkey’s Serhat, for instance).

Please note: Luxembourg, which finished last in 1958, 1960 and 1970, is small but it is not considered a microstate. Andorra, the largest microstate, has a population of around 86,000, while Luxembourg has around 580,000 inhabitants (making it more populous than both Iceland and Malta). For a full discussion of the definition of a microstate, you can consult this paper on microstate sovereignty, statehood and significance.

In any case, we’ve dusted off our history books and compiled the 5 worst last-place finishes (based on position) for microstates since the competition began in ye olde times, 1956.

5. Monaco 1959 | Last Place: 11th – 1 point

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJ71900Kx3E

Kicking things off is Monaco — a microstate that hasn’t competed since 2006. In 1959 Jacques Pills had the honour of singing “Mon ami Pierrot”,  Monaco’s first-ever entry. Despite his playful gestures, sweet performance and Serge Gainsbourg sound, he came last with just one point. Nice background, though?

4. Monaco 1966 | Last Place: 17th – 0 points

Another Monegasque entry occupies fourth place — “Bien Plus Fort” performed by Téréza. Typical of entries during this era, the short and sweet performance lasted just 1 minute and 59 seconds. Clearly that wasn’t long enough to connect with voters. Despite Téréza’s spirited performance and undeniably strong vocals, the hook is hard to remember. Téréza earned ‘nil points’, marking Monaco’s only other last place finish at Eurovision.

3. San Marino 2017 | Last Place: 18th (semi) – 1 point

San Marino’s latest attempt at Eurovision, “Spirit of the Night” brought together Eurovision fan favourite Valentina Monetta and Jimmie Wilson — an American singer who once portrayed Barack Obama in a musical production. The pair could sing and they seemed to have fun. But not even their energy, technicolour staging and a myriad of key changes could elevate a sub-par song. San Marino finished last with just one point, which has discouraged its broadcaster as it ponders future participation.

2. San Marino 2008 | Last Place: 19th (semi) – 5 points

San Marino’s first-ever entry at Eurovision is arguably one of its most under-rated. Miodio’s “Complice” was a genuine effort at respectable rock — it had a memorable chorus and was delivered by a competent singer. Despite being joined on stage by an entire band and a somewhat drunk dancer floating around in a bed sheet, Miodio received only 5 points…and a big fat last place finish.

1. Andorra 2006 | Last Place: 23rd (semi) – 8 points

Topping the list — or, rather, coming bottom — is Jennifer from Andorra. Despite oozing sultriness and sass, Jenny failed to stir Athens with “Sense Tu” — her made-for-diva ditty. A dodgy backing vocalist, a lack of colour and an uninspiring key change didn’t help. Nor did her lingerie-wearing, burlesque backing dancers. They earned her last place — and 10 Hail Marys!

What do you think of the entries on the list? Did any of these songs actually deserve last place? Should the microstates of Europe continue to enter Eurovision? Or is it time for San Marino, the last microstate standing, to bow out with grace? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Richardinho
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Richardinho

‘Spirit of the Night’ is a masterpiece in my estimation. It’s a shame that SM suffers from lack of diaspora and a general prejudice against micro-nations, (plus a weird dislike of soul music amongst EV fans and juries), otherwise it could have done some serious damage.

Steven
Guest
Steven

Lol…um no. Dated Ralph Siegal songs are not going to do well even if performed by high diaspora countries.
No country is immune from doing badly (remember Emmy “Boom Boom”) and I cant see a single country taking a song like Spirit Of The Night to the final.

SpirK
Guest
SpirK

I actually really like “Sense Tu” and have it in my 2006 top 10. Though I must say the things they did one stage should’nt had been done.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

Andorra was done DIRTY in 2006, 2007 and 2008. They had massive bops.

Steven
Guest
Steven

2007 was fairly decent (and did get them a good result considering it was such a tough semi). 2006 and 2008 were just terrible. Deserved nil points both of them.

Jo
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Jo

San Marino withdraws and Liechtenstein debuts. The cycle continues…

AngieP
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AngieP

Actually San Marino in 2008 had a pretty good song. But that was a tough year with many good songs.

As for microstates in general, the more the better for me. The more countries participate, the more people enjoy the party! It’s disapponting though that they will most likely have bad results, except there is a miracle.

Steven
Guest
Steven

@Sean , the difficulty is that songs like Dustin the Turkey end up with the “so bad it’s good” vote. Obviously not from enough people to make it qualify but enough to hand them a small amount of points from people who are not taking it seriously and vote for acts that are funny (or at least trying to be) Many of these micro-states have recently produced poor quality stuff that doesn’t even have the fun /ridiculous factor to help it along. However Valentina in 2012 did place 14th getting more points than Belgium’s ballad among others. Would You? is… Read more »

Miguel
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Miguel

As most people say here, San Marino 2008 was underrated. Maybe the song was too heavy for Eurovision back then.

Darren
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Darren

I would love to do Andorra and Monaco return to Eurovision. Andorra should return because they are the only country in Eurovision that speaks Catalan and it was good to hear Catalan on the world stage seeing as its only a minor language in France and Spain. Eurovision would be the only global event that such a beautiful language could be showcased. Monaco should also come back because they have had a few good songs in their time AND they are the only microstate that could afford to spend money hosting Eurovision if they ever won. I’m sure Monte Carlo… Read more »

Mark
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Mark

Monaco did win; and they refused to host. If they were to return and they happened to win, I do believe they would decline to host.

Darren
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Darren

That was in the 60s though, and the original plan was to host the contest in Monte Carlo but issues behind the scenes led to them declining and the contest moving to Edinburgh.
I firmly believe Monaco would jump at the chance to host should they ever return and win. The infrastructure of Monaco has changed and improved since then.

Erasmus
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Erasmus

Agree, I do not want Australia in ESC(nothing against the country itself, and I love their entries but still). I really want Turkey back(that won’t happen this year) + Slovakia, BiH and Kazahkstan to début.

Maria
Guest
Maria

SAN MARINO WAS CRIMINALLY UNDERRATED IN 2008.

Mark
Guest
Mark

100% televote. What can you do?

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

San Marino wouldn’t have qualified in 2014 if it was 100% jury vote, but the discerning televoters of Europe got it through. I shall also remind you that in the same semi-final the jury made Azerbaijan’s awful song and performance pass with 15 pure public points over Portugal which got 65.

Maria
Guest
Maria

Azerbaijan was better than Portugal in 2014 anyway. Also, let’s be fair: the juries saved us from seeing Estonia qualify this year. Thank God.

Darren
Guest
Darren

I’d really love to see Andorra and Monaco return to the contest. Andorra may never really had good songs, but it was really great hearing Catalan at the Eurovision. Andorra is the only independent country that has Catalan as its official language as it has minority status in Spain and France. Monaco was also a great Eurovision country, competing in the very first contest, and, as far as I know, would probably be the only micro state in Eurovision that could actually be able to, and afford to host the contest if it was to win. Andorra Monaco and Luxembourg… Read more »

PP
Guest
PP

Andorra 2006 deserved better placement, but stage performance ruined their chance for final. Tereza then represent her own country Yugoslavia in 1972 and finished 9 of 18

DenizNL
Guest
DenizNL

I think Sense tu is great!

Azaad
Guest
Azaad

San Marino 2008 was criminally underrated- they deserved a top 10. Whenever they sing in Italian they produce good stuff.

Andorra 2006 had a good song but an awful performance.

Paul
Guest
Paul

There’s a remix of Sense Tu which is amazing!

Marco
Guest
Marco

Damn,San Marino 2008 and Andorra 2006 were sooo underrated!! :/

TimBurton
Guest
TimBurton

Lol. They were last, because they were bad.

Sean Bragg
Guest
Sean Bragg

@Tim Burton – The thing is, there were a lot of songs that were worse, particularly with the 2000s entries. The likes of Dustin the Turkey, Kreisiraadio & Polina Smolova should have occupied the last place position.