Every year, a new batch of Eurovision entries are released and every year other artists deliver their own interpretations via cover versions. Some covers stick to the style of the original, while others go in a very different direction. We’ve taken a look at 12 covers that have given bold new interpretations of Eurovision hits.
1. An ethereal street performance of “La Forza”
Original: Estonia 2018, Elina Nechayeva
Cover: Around The Sun
This Estonian group might be familiar from Eesti Laul 2019, but before that they took part in Noortebänd, an annual competition for young Estonian bands. There, they were tasked with covering Elina Nechayeva’s dramatic popera piece from Lisbon. And well, the result is three youngsters busking, making this more uptempo and more intimate, compared to Elina’s majestic display and vocals.
2. A pirate metal take on “Wolves Of The Sea”
Original: Latvia 2008, Pirates of the Sea
“Wolves of the Sea” was one of the wackiest performances ever seen at Eurovision, the Eurodance tune being one of the British public’s favorites. One year later, the Scotland-based international pirate metal group Alestorm took the song and made it so wild that even Captain Jack Sparrow would be proud of it. Yarrrrr!
3. A bedroom-folk cover of “Hear Them Calling”
Original: Iceland 2016, Greta Salóme
Back in 2016, Gret Salóme launched a cover competition on her Facebook page, inviting fans to cover her Eurovision entry “Hear Them Calling”. It was the English singer-songwriter Bronwyn’s effort that came out on top, winning her a trip to Iceland. And if the original song was an upbeat folk-pop track, Bronwyn’s version is more laid-back and intimate, accompanied by her guitar, with her vocals giving the entire thing a folky feel.
4. A choral interpretation of “Hard Rock Hallelujah”
Original: Finland 2006, Lordi
Cover: Tehnikaülikooli Akadeemiline Meeskoor
The Academic Male Choir of Tallinn University of Technology is Estonia’s biggest male choir, and has been active since 1945. Eleven years ago they had a TV appearance where they performed a full a capella cover of the Eurovision-winning heavy metal anthem, featuring two of their members as a beatboxer and a Mr. Lordi impersonator. They’ve gone all in, indeed!
5. A gentle version of “Hatrið Mun Sigra”
Original: Iceland 2019, Hatari
Þórdís Imsland was competing alongside Hatari in Söngvakeppnin 2019 and took the opportunity to record a cover of their entry in her own style. Her take on “Hatrið Mun Sigra” turns the nihilistic electronic track into a lullaby, bringing sweetness to the anticapitalism. There’s no need for more words, the track speaks for itself.
6. An indie rock tribute to “Fairytale”
Original: Norway 2009, Alexander Rybak
Cover: MØRLAND & Debrah Scarlett
Every year, Eurovision artists cover songs from previous years or even the songs of their fellow competitors. So did Norwegian duet MØRLAND and Debrah in 2015, who gave the most recent winning song of their country an indie rock spin. They gave Alexander Rybak’s “Fairytale” a darker and and more dramatic feel, a contrast to the abundance of smiles in Rybak’s original performance.
7. A Swedish metal interpretation of “My Number One”
Original: Greece 2005, Helena Paparizou
Cover: Dream Evil
Helena Paparizou’s “My Number One” is a song themed around a woman’s desire for the man she wants, with a drop of seduction and a big amount of sex appeal. The cover version by Swedish metal band Dream Evil flips the entire thing upside down. The hot moves and Mediterranean flavor are replaced by muscles, sweat and Nordic heavy metal on full throttle. A very macho approach.
8. A loungy take on “Loin D’ici”
Original: Austria 2016, Zoë
Cover: Minus One
Cyprus’ 2016 act Minus One was challenged by Czech songstress Gabriela Guncikova to cover the Austrian song of the same year. The Cypriot rockers showed a different side of themselves, giving the Zoë’s dreamy song a lounge flavor, as lead vocalist François showed off his French heritage. And just to reassure everyone, they did keep the playfulness of the track.
9. A stripped-back Belarusian version of “1944”
Original: Ukraine 2016, Jamala
In 2017, the Belarusian folk-pop duo NaviBand covered Jamala’s winning Eurovision song “1944”. As well as performing it in a stripped-back acoustic guitar version, NaviBand also performed the song with Belarusian lyrics, bringing more intimacy and emotion to the performance.
10. A nu-metal explosion of “Dancing Lasha Tumbai”
Original: Ukraine 2007, Verka Serduchka
Ukraine nu-metal band DETACH took part in Vidbir 2017, but they had a brush with Eurovision a year prior. They competed in the 2016 season of the X Factor Ukraine where they finished second. The lads caught everyone off guard during the sixth week of the show, where they delivered an explosive performance of Verka Serduchka’s iconic Eurovision hit “Dancing Lasha Tumbai”. With the band members dressed up as Tirol countrymen, the track got ‘upgraded’ with a yodeling intro, heavy guitars and drums and few electronics. Not only that — Verka’s alterego Andriy Danylko was one of the X Factor judges!
11. A festive flamenco interpretation of “Nel blu, dipinto di blu”
Original: Italy 1958, Domenico Modugno
Cover: Gipsy Kings
Volare, oh-oh! It’s probably the most covered Eurovision song of all time. The evergreen classic has been covered by many artists, ranging from Dean Martin to Louis Armstrong to Metallica to David Bowie. Yet we have chosen to highlight the rendition (sung partly in Spanish and Italian) by flamenco icons Gipsy Kings, which topped the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart in April 2012. So listen and let the Latin tempo and flare take you away!
12. A high-octane power metal version of “Euphoria”
Original: Sweden 2012, Loreen
One of the most loved Eurovision songs, Loreen’s original version of “Euphoria” was an electro-pop track. Now imagine the entire song as a power metal anthem. Yep, fast-paced drumming, high-pitched vocals, and of course the crazy guitar solos, all turned up to 11. It keeps the true euphoric spirit, yet makes it more epic.
Do you agree with our list? Are there any covers that should be on the list? Let us know in the comments!