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
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.