Many artists dream of representing their own country at Eurovision — but sometimes when they get the call, there’s another country on the line. And likewise, not all potential Eurovision songs immediately find a home and may bounce around Europe before settling down.

This year we’ve seen artists waving the flag of a neighbouring nation and broadcasters who said hvala ne to a song that went on to glory for another country. But which of these songs did the best at Eurovision 2018? Let’s take a look at the results.

5. San Marino: Jessika – “Who We Are”

Results: 17th in the semi-final
Rejected by: Malta
Their results: 13th in the semi-final

Flame-haired Jessika has been a regular in Malta’s national final, having competed every year from 2009 to 2016. But it was the microstate of San Marino that gave Jessika her big break, along with German rapper Jenifer “Jeni B” Brening. While Malta received its usual support from juries, televoters were less supportive of Christabelle’s song, throwing only eight points their way. But Maltese viewers happily gave 12 points their homegirl, ensuring that San Marino earned more televote points than Malta.

4. Belarus: Alekseev – “Forever”

Results: 16th in the semi-final
Rejected: Ukraine
Their results: 17th in the grand final

Ukraine pop idol Alekseev originally signed up for Ukraine’s national final, but suddenly withdrew and switched to the national final of neighbouring Belarus. Whatever his reason for the change, it didn’t pay off. The intense and dramatic staging of “Forever” saw it place only 16th in its semi-final, while the fiery and gothic staging of Mélovin’s “Under the Ladder” took it to 17th in the grand final.

3. Denmark: Rasmussen – “Higher Ground”

Results: Ninth in the grand final
Rejected by: Sweden
Their results: Seventh in the grand final

After Rasmussen and his band of Vikings won Dansk Melodi Grand Prix, it was revealed that “Higher Ground” had originally been submitted to — and rejected by — Melodifestivalen. The Swedish version was to have been performed by upcoming singer Dennis Bengtsson, who like his Danish counterpart also sports long hair and a beard. And while both Sweden and Denmark took home respectable top-ten results from Lisbon, “Higher Ground” was a big hit with viewers, placing fifth in the televote, while Sweden only managed a shockingly low 21 points from the televote.

2. Austria: Cesár Sampson – “Nobody But You”

Results: Third in the grand final
Rejected by: The UK and Switzerland
Their results: UK: 24th in the grand final, SWI: 13th in the semi-final

National final chat suggests that “Nobody But You” was shopped around to other broadcasters before being selected by Austria. The song was reportedly rejected as a potential entry for both the UK’s and Switzerland’s national finals. But it’s hard to say if either country really was missing out. Both would have been likely to have paired the song with a local singer, someone who might not have had the charisma that Cesár brought to the stage. But things certainly worked out for Austria. Co-writer Cesár was a big hit with juries and gave Austria its third-best Eurovision result ever. The UK and Switzerland, however, have work to do.

1. Cyprus: Eleni Fouriera – “Fuego”

Results: Second in the grand final
Rejected by: Greece
Their results: 14th in the semi-final

The Greek popstress Eleni has made no secret of her desire to represent Greece at Eurovision. In 2010 she placed second in the Greek national final, while in 2016 and 2017 she put her name forward for consideration as the internally selected candidate. But while Greece wasn’t interested, Cyprus was. The sunny island internally selected Eleni and her pineapples for Lisbon, where she set the arena on fire with “Fuego” and placed second. Greece didn’t fare so well. Yianna Terzi’s emotional ballad “Oniro mou” placed only 14th in its semi-final.

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Helene
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Helene

Alex Papaconstantinou is actually Swedish!

Alex
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Alex

Greece judges gave her 7 in the semis because they didn’t want her to qualify.

Polegend Godgarina
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Polegend Godgarina

Greece rejected Eleni for years because of her Albanian heritage and got HUMILIATED big time. I laughed so hard when they failed to qualify, they need to abandon their unnecessary pride a bit! 😀

Helene
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Helene

Maybe it was the Swedish music industry product they rejected. So many complain about the Swedish influences. Fuego us exactly that. Maybe the Greek Broadcaster refused that. Don’t look for racsim everywhere.

Rigas
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Rigas

and how exactly do you know that ERT (greek national Broadcast) rejected Eleni because she was Albanian? How dare you insulting a national network and their workers claiming that they are racists? Do you have any proofs about that? Haven’t you any thoughts that the proposals which Eleni had made to ERT (the songs) in the past, perhaps weren’t so good? I heard on of the song that she had proposed and it was really bad. Also they have probably beleived that she couldn’t manage to win thw ESC. And also this year ERT has a certain plan for the… Read more »

Polegend Godgarina
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Polegend Godgarina

Yeah those stupid rules proved to be very effective… either way the fact that they picked that Argo group instead of Eleni in 2016 kinda proves my point that they just didn’t want her based on prejudice. But she proved you wrong and while your country stays a total flop she brought Cyprus its best result ever. Y’all need to bring down that useless national pride because there ain’t much to be proud of really… plus it’s annoying af.

Rigas
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Rigas

it’s totally different to say that ERT did a bad choice. Perhaps they did. Personally i love this year’s greek song and i had to vote i would have vote “oniro mou”. I disagree with the stage performing. If they did a bad choice, this didn’t make them racist, ofc. And a notice, be more careful about all that you write. These alligations are false and susceptible

Charli Cheer Up
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Charli Cheer Up

Maltese viewers gave their 12 points to San Marino for Jessika aww that’s so sweet 🙂

Nathan
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Nathan

Unfortunately we always vote for the singer, not the song, even in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest.

Jim
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Jim

i actually like “nobody but you” but it’s backstory is ridiculous. so the songwriters were so desperate to send it to esc that they offered it to 3 countries? lol this is too much
and the fact that uk rejected it proves how lame their national selection is, these people really thought storm was better lmao

Sara
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Sara

Austrias song was great, and Cesar was amazing on stage.

Tobias
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Tobias

@Sebastião I think that’s less of a problem of the song and more of a problem of those countries, since the results from Austria speak for themselves.

P!nk Forever
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P!nk Forever

Wow. It‘s only Austria‘s 3rd best result despite being in the contest since the beginning.

CookyMonzta
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CookyMonzta

Behind 2 winners; 1966 and 2014…

…And with both Austria and Germany in the top 10, that is an enormous far cry from where they both were 3 years ago; no points in Vienna, the year after Conchita Wurst won.

Obviously Germany is on the move, after being a cellar-dweller for the better part of the last 5 years. Can they stay in the top-half?

Nick
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Nick

is this info about Nobody But You even true? I know Cesár was asked to submit an entry in the austrian selection already back in 2016. why should he submit his own co-written song in the poor selections of Switzerland or UK for an random artist, when he could represent Austria or Bulgaria by himself with his self-written song.

Soph
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Soph

In an interview he said that he had deliberately kept himself in the background for ten years, but this was an act of courage to be center stage again

stoiko
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stoiko

Greek broadcaster E.R.T. was afraid to be top favourite because of the economic crisis (organise the contest is expensive) and they passed Helene Foureira to Cyprus.
Cyprus should be grateful to E.R.T.

jac
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jac

Yeah thats the reason

redfox
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redfox

in this immature world we have tweenie songs winning instead of those with musical quality.

Boycott Jerusalem 2019
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Boycott Jerusalem 2019

For Sweden and Ukraine, it is understandable because their national finals are very competitive.

Really?
Guest
Really?

Melodifestivalen was horrid

Pavel
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Pavel

At least they’ve had a selection, unlike the internal flop countries.

Luke
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Luke

But who picks the entries for the selection. It always seems to be the same.

Pavel
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Pavel

should the general public listen through all of the 1.000 of submissions?
Seems impossible to me.

John
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John

‘internal flop countries’? what about netta, eleni and cesar they literally took out the top 3 with their internally selected songs. With Bones, We Got Love, Outlaw In Em and Together making it in the finals.

Pavel
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Pavel

all overrated flop entries, just like Sweden.
Only Festival De Cancao and San Remo entries deserve to take part in Eurovision, the real music.

esc1234
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esc1234

shut up salvador

Jo.
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Jo.

Nah. FiK was also quite good this year. And Festival da Canção was boring.

Ron
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Ron

Did you watch the circus that was the Ukranian final last year?