When a country hosts Eurovision, there’s a lot of work to be done. And amid all the planning and preparation, the host also needs to select the act who will represent their country on home turf. Lingering rumours in the fan community insist that some countries deliberately send bad songs in order to avoid hosting again (as if that’s impossible to get out of) but do host country entries always do poorly?
We have taken a look at the host country acts from the past decade and ranked them based on the percentage of available points and also considering their overall rank.
10. The Makemakes – “I Am Yours” (Austria 2015)
26th in the grand final with 0 points – 0% of available points
There’s no question of who is last on this list. In 2015, The Makemakes scored nil points and only missed out on the final spot because Germany arbitrarily made it to the bottom after also scoring zero. There was nothing terrible about “I Am Yours”, but 2015 was a very strong year and The Makemakes’ pleasant piano rock ballad offered little to stick with audiences. It’s not a good sign when the flaming fake piano got the biggest cheer. This was the first time a host country’s entry had received nil points.
9. Cláudia Pascoal – “O jardim” (Portugal 2018)
26th in the grand final with 39 points – 3.87% of available points
Pink-haired Cláudia Pascoal and songwriter Isaura delivered a sweet, moving performance of the ballad “O jardim” and made the home crowd proud. However, Portugal was followed by the UK, where a stage invader shockingly disrupted SuRie’s song and sent “O jardim” down the memory hole. It finished last with just 39 points.
8. O.Torvald – “Time” (Ukraine 2017)
24th in the grand final with 36 points – 3.66% of available points
O.Torvald are huge rock stars in their home country and their song “Time” was a driving rock track. The home crowd appreciated their local röck gödz, but Europe was less impressed. O.Torvald earned points from nine different countries, but it was only enough to put them in 24th place.
7. Didrik Solli-Tangen – “My Heart Is Yours” (Norway 2010)
20th in the grand final with 35 points – 7.68% of available points
Perhaps Norway was inspired by Alexander Rybak’s “Fairytale” — their act for 2010 was serving Disney prince realness. Didrik Solli-Tangen sang the sentimental ballad “My Heart is Yours”, co-written by Swedish maestro Fredrik Kempe. But audiences weren’t wooed by this Prince Charming. Norway placed only 20th in the final.
6. Robin Stjernberg – “You” (Sweden 2013)
14th in the grand final with 62 points – 13.6% of available points
After Robin Stjernberg’s unexpected win at Melodifestivalen 2013, it was hard to know how “You” would do in Malmö. Mirroring the Melfest results, “You” was a hit with juries, who ranked it third. Televoters were less impressed, and ranked Sweden 18th, resulting in an overall placing of 14th. Not a bad result, but it’s not what Sweden was hoping for.
5. Basim – “Cliché Love Song” (Denmark 2014)
9th in the grand final with 74 points – 17.13% of available points
Basim was like a Danish Bruno Mars, and gave a slick performance of his R&B tune “Cliché Love Song”. It was a hit with viewers and placed ninth in the final. “Cliché Love Song” took advantage of Denmark’s impressive staging and earned 74 points.
4. Anastasiya Prikhodko – “Mamo” (Russia 2009)
11th in the grand final with 91 points – 18.5% of available points
Russia made the most of the assortment of huge LED screens that were part of the Moscow stage design in 2009. While Anastasiya Prikhodko performed her emotional rock ballad “Mamo”, the screens behind her displayed several giant heads showing her singing along. And in Dorian Gray style, the LED Anastasiya grew older and older (and looked rather upset). The song placed 11th with 91 points.
3. Lena – “Taken by a Stranger” (Germany 2011)
10th in the grand final with 107 points – 21.23% of available points
After winning the year before with the quirky pop of “Satellite”, Lena returned for another go. This time she had the sultry “Taken by a Stranger”. Accompanied by a posse of dancers in silver bodysuits (?!), Lena shimmied her way to an impressive top-ten finish. It wasn’t another victory for Germany, but still a result to be pleased with.
2. Frans – “If I Were Sorry” (Sweden 2016)
5th in the grand final with 261 points – 26.52% of available points
Swedish teen Frans was a surprise winner of Melodifestivalen 2016, but his song “If I Were Sorry” went on to be a huge hit. The laid-back pop track was well received by the home crowd and did particularly well with televoters. While its fifth-place finish deprived Sweden of their hoped-for seventh Eurovision win, it was still an impressive effort.
1. Sabina Babayeva – “When the Music Dies” (Azerbaijan 2012)
4th in the grand final with 150 points – 30.49% of available points
While showing off the newly constructed Baku Crystal Hall, Azerbaijan didn’t skimp when it came to their act. Sabina Babayeva showed off her vocal prowess with “When the Music Dies”. The moody, jazzy number was a fan favourite and took home an impressive fourth-place finish. “When the Music Dies” is also the highest placed host entry in the past 13 years.
What do you think? Which is your favourite host country act? Should a host country not make effort with their entry to ensure they don’t win again? Tell us what you think below!