PHOTO: EBU / CORINNE CUMMING

They say that history is written by the winners. And for Eurovision that is mostly the case. The victor gets the trophy and reprises their entry, while the whole shebang arrives in the winning country approximately twelve months later.

But that doesn’t mean that we forget about everyone else. Often, some would even suggest that the best songs always come second. We couldn’t possibly confirm or deny such a theory. However, we’re more than happy to put it to the test and look back at all of the runners up from 2013 to 2022.

Which second-place act is your favourite? Vote in our poll and then share your thoughts in the comments.

Eurovision second place acts: 2013 to 2022

Eurovision 2013: Azerbaijan’s Farid Mammadov with “Hold Me”

“Hold Me”, Azerbaijan’s only second-place finish in the contest, was notable for its staging. While Denmark was the hot favourite to win, there were plenty of other acts that seemed like strong contenders, including Azerbaijan. However, Denmark was the clear winner and Azerbaijan had to settle for silver.

Eurovision 2014: The Netherlands’ The Common Linnets with “Calm After the Storm”

The Netherlands shook everyone by taking second place in 2014. It was only one year after the nation qualified to the Eurovision final for the first time since 2004. The Common Linnets’ soft folk song won hearts, and for a moment it almost looked like victory was in their sights.

Eurovision 2015: Russia’s Polina Gagarina with “A Million Voices”

In a year in which the televotes and the jury couldn’t agree on anything, Russia profited and almost won. During the voting procedure, Russia held on to a lead until very late in the show, but Sweden took gold eventually.

Looking back at this in 2022, Polina Gagarina’s “A Million Voices” — with its message of peace — now seems hollow and dishonest. Polina has openly supported Russia’s war in Ukraine, and even performed at a massive Putin war rally earlier this year. Given that, we’re excluding her from the poll below. Sorry, not sorry. 

Eurovision 2016: Australia’s Dami Im with “Sound of Silence”

In only its second year competing, Australia sashayed straight into the top two. Dami Im’s “Sound of Silence” won the jury vote and was seemingly on the way to a landslide victory, but eventually finished second, a tiny margin behind Ukraine’s “1944”.

Eurovision 2017: Bulgaria’s Kristian Kostov with “Beautiful Mess”

The top of the 2017 scoreboard was a beautiful mess of different genres. The winner from Portugal won the jury vote and the public, with Bulgaria’s Kristian Kostov finishing second in both. Kostov not only got the highest score ever for a non-winner, he also got the second-highest score of all time. Furthermore, just one year after Poli Genova secured Bulgaria’s top score in the contest, Kristian smashed it and then some.

Eurovision 2018: Cyprus’ Eleni Foureira with “Fuego”

In the days leading up to Eurovision 2018, fans became more and more convinced that Cyprus would win it. But in the end, as Eurovision 2019 host Assi Azar would say, they didn’t. Despite that, the song still became a staple choice for fan favourite all-time tops and achieved widespread success across Europe. We even saw it performed by Måns Zelmerlöw on the Tel Aviv stage.

Eurovision 2019: Italy’s Mahmood with “Soldi”

Mahmood’s win in the Sanremo Festival 2019 came as a surprise to many. But then, in the months leading up to Eurovision, the unique Italian R&B song grew on Eurofans. After Tel Aviv, “Soldi” charted in 24 countries in Europe.

Eurovision 2020: No contest

It’s the year that never was. Eurovision 2020 was cancelled because of that pandemic.

Eurovision 2021: France’s Barbara Pravi with “Voilà”

Barbara Pravi earned her spot at Eurovision the hard way: By competing in France’s quality national final Eurovision France: C’est Vous Qui Décidez! Barbara wowed with her voice, her beautiful melody and her classic-yet-contemporary staging to climb the scoreboard in Rotterdam. She’s subsequently toured Europe and continued to charm audiences with her kind spirit and delightful music. 

Eurovision 2022: United Kingdom’s Sam Ryder with “SPACE MAN”

We all knew it would take someone very special to break the U.K.’s cycle of poor results and negative press coverage. Thankfully Sam Ryder was well up for the challenge. With his near-perfect falsetto and positive outlook on life and the contest, Sam gave the U.K. its best result since 1998. He went on to hit #2 on the U.K. charts, making “SPACE MAN” the highest charting Eurovision entry in the country since Gina G’s “Ooh Ahh…Just a Little Bit” in 1996.

Who is your favourite Eurovision runner-up of the past ten years?

Check out more of our polls here

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Zanoni
Zanoni
1 month ago

“Calm After the Storm” and “Soldi” are in the top tier of Eurovision songs for me, maybe top 10

Jeremi
Jeremi
1 month ago

It’s a very tough choice. I’m still listening all of them on Deezer except Calm after the storm. It’s too bad Russia 2015 isn’t in the poll. So I voted for Australia 2016, one of the best performance.

Somebody
Somebody
1 month ago

A Million Voices was such an overrated act. Gagarina should have swapped with either Italy or Latvia who deserved more.

Catriona
Catriona
1 month ago

1. Voila
2. Space Man
3. Sound Of Silence
None of the others do much for me. In terms of performance I’d say the worst is Hold Me. In terms of song, Soldi is just trash. The kind of modern music I never want to hear.

Underdawg
Underdawg
1 month ago

The Common Linnets are in a league of their own. I’m surprised they’re not first.

baili Atha gloo
baili Atha gloo
1 month ago

I thought Space Man was best but I didn’t think about Fuego, Soldi or Voila

Anhel
Anhel
1 month ago

Soldi, Sound of silence and Voila would all be deserving winners in my book (but so were the actual winners of those years).

Middle-eastern Eurofan
Middle-eastern Eurofan
1 month ago

1. France (2021)
2. Australia (2016)
3. Italy (2019)
4. Cyprus (2018)
5. Bulgaria (2017)
6. UK (2022)
7. The Netherlands (2014)
8. Azerbaijan (2013)

Voilà and The Sound of Silence are among my absolute favorites ever. Soldi, Fuego, Beautiful Mess, and Spaceman were all really good. Sadly Calm After Storm never really got to me. I hated A Million Voices already in 2015 and thought the booing was absolutely deserved.

Middle-eastern Eurofan
Middle-eastern Eurofan
1 month ago

I wish you’d have included Grande Amore instead. It would have been my number 2 after voilà.

Vladimir P.
Vladimir P.
1 month ago

I really hate cancel culture

manuel
manuel
1 month ago
Reply to  Vladimir P.

well, I do too but in this case I totally support it

Anhel
Anhel
1 month ago
Reply to  Vladimir P.

User name checks out

pmsbm
pmsbm
1 month ago

Well, Sam’s is the only of these songs I had as number 1 on their year, so I’ll stick with him!

esc_fl
esc_fl
1 month ago

Dami, Kristian, Barbara, and Sam by far!

Dida
Dida
2 months ago

This year the runner-up should have been Spain. We all know UK got 2nd place due to EBU scrapping some jury votes and giving UK four times 8p and two times 10 points, otherwise…

Giolo
Giolo
1 month ago
Reply to  Dida

And EBU also made Spain get 12 points from San Marino juries, while they were meant to give them 0 and give 12 to Italy and 10 to UK but every SloMo fan is really ignoring this and think all aggregated results were in favour of UK and against Spain whrn they weren’t: Romanian aggrwgated results gave 3 less points to Spain then real juries would and Sammarinese juries would have given 12 less… and we don’t know how the ither 4 juries would have voted, maybe they would have blanked Spain and loved UK anyway or maybe opposite, you… Read more »

gigi
gigi
2 months ago

Why u didnt put Russia on the voting list? You can not erase the exidtance of that second placing?!?! Can you have at least minimum of dignity? Stop act childish. This political bias is so
immature ???. Just like Lebsnon saying they will broadcast ESC but not airing Israeli song. Do u remember how much mocking you all made on that issue? Well now you behave in the same way – immature!

Fatima
Fatima
1 month ago
Reply to  gigi

Well, I bought some of Polina’s records but I can’t bear to listen to them knowing she’s been celebrating what is happening in Ukraine. Just like I can’t enjoy any records by Gary Glitter or Rolf Harris. That’s not political, I just don’t like the way her music makes me feel.

gigi
gigi
1 month ago
Reply to  Fatima

Tahat is just coz ubr stupid and airheaded and superdicial… oh well…

pmsbm
pmsbm
1 month ago
Reply to  gigi

Fair enough! Let the people speak…

Mr X
Mr X
2 months ago

OK, here is my ranking list

  1. Mahmood
  2. Sam Ryder
  3. Barbara Pravi
  4. The Common Linnets
  5. Dami Inn
  6. Kristian Kostov
  7. Eleni Foureira
  8. Farid
Mr X
Mr X
2 months ago
Reply to  Mr X

Polina would be the last. I already didn´t like her in 2015. The best songs in Vienna was Norway, Belgium and Latvia.

Colin
Colin
2 months ago
Reply to  Mr X

Oh, I loved Norway, Belgium, and Latvia. Norway is actually my winner. I also loved Romania, Italy, Estonia, Sweden, Montenegro, Hungary, Poland, and France. Also the non-qualifiers from Ireland and Czechia. It was such a great year for me!

Mr X
Mr X
2 months ago
Reply to  Colin

Romania I like too …

ete sech
ete sech
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr X

You’re right! Latvia and Belgium were my faves from Vienna. They should’ve ended up higher, though they got great results anyways 🙂

Nicolas
Nicolas
2 months ago

This shows how 2014 was an horrible year. Certainly the worst of all time since I don’t even barely remember most of the top 10 songs.

Nicomro
2 months ago
Reply to  Nicolas

?? I never thought anybody would think 2014 was Bad when 2013 and 2017 existe haha. But hey, taste and colors are subjective !
I adore 2014 and imo, austria, the Netherlands, Sweden, armenia, norway, spain, denmark, Ukraine, UK, poland, Iceland were sooo great to watch and are iconic performances each in their own (:

Mr X
Mr X
2 months ago
Reply to  Nicolas

One of the worst years, indeed. In spite of Conchita and The Common Linnets…

ete sech
ete sech
1 month ago
Reply to  Nicolas

Indeed, Something Better deserved… something better! 🙁

Efthymios (#2)
Efthymios (#2)
2 months ago

“I’ve searched around the universe, been down some black holes.”
“Nothibg but spaaaace, man!
“And I wanna go, ooh, home.” 🙂

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
2 months ago

Kristian Kostov’s Beautiful Mess and it’s not even close for me.
Would’ve been the best Eurovision during that time too…it just happened to be up against one of the best songs ever written.

Steven
Steven
2 months ago

Interestingly enough I enjoy almost all second places (including Polina Gagarina’s “Million voices”), but Fuego is the song I come back to most often. As of now, the “Space Man” is my least favorite of all the songs from this poll. 🙂

Kredential
Kredential
2 months ago

Beautiful Mess
Calm After the Storm
Fuego
Soldi
Voila

(gap)

Space Man

(bigger gap)

Sound of Silence

(an even bigger gap)

Hold Me

Noel
Noel
2 months ago

FRANCE 2021

MiyeonChoi201
MiyeonChoi201
2 months ago
Reply to  Noel

Yuss

Noel
Noel
2 months ago

I say Australia 2016 Italy 2019 and the Netherlands 2014

Kohen
Kohen
2 months ago
  1. Calm After the Storm
  2. Voila
  3. Fuego
  4. Space Man
GojoSatoru
GojoSatoru
2 months ago
  1. Voila (France 2021)
  2. Beautiful Mess (Bulgaria 2017) (probably an unpopular opinion)
  3. Calm After The Storm (The Netherlands 2014)
  4. Space Man (UK 2022)
  5. Soldi (Italy 2019)
  6. Sound Of Silence (Australia 2016)
  7. Fuego (Cyprus 2018)
  8. Hold Me (Azerbaijan 2018)

A Million Voices (Russia 2015) was my #3 before I knew it was a propaganda song.

gigi
gigi
2 months ago
Reply to  GojoSatoru

All songs sre propaganda songs. Your life is propaganda too.

Shamso
Shamso
2 months ago

Calm after the storm, my all time favorit.

PP77
PP77
2 months ago

2013, 2015, 2017 overrted song, don t deserve 2 nd place.

pastel de nata
pastel de nata
2 months ago

1.Soldi
2.Fuego
3.Space man
4.Voilá

Robert
Robert
2 months ago

So many faves..

Calm after the storm
Voila
Fuego
Space Man are my faves of faves 🙂

Polegend Godnova
2 months ago

the one that’s not in the poll. yeah, polina has showed her true colors, but i believe in separating the art from the artist and her song is still what got me into eurovision, so even though i’m deeply disappointed in her i’m not going to lie and say i no longer love her voice, song and performance.

Colin
Colin
2 months ago

That’s actually a well nuanced take. Sometimes I wonder the same about separating the artist and their art. In this case, the fact that her song is specifically about peace leaves a too bitter taste to swallow, but I understand different takes. I’d love for the authors to give another respectable artist to cover the song, so we could also hear the version from someone who believes in that message. Polina’s voice is objectively good, though.

Jonas
Jonas
2 months ago
Reply to  Colin

I agree. It was the artist who separated herself from the art… so separate, that it stopped being art. Now it’s just trash.

pmsbm
pmsbm
1 month ago

I had been wondering about your nickname, tbh. Thanks for clarifying that!

Catriona
Catriona
1 month ago

When someone supports Ukrainian genocide, if you can seperate artist and song from person, then that’s deeply concerning. There are some things that can be overlooked. This is way beyond that. I don’t care how much you like the song or that it got you into Eurovision, the smart fans already knew it was disgusting at the time, it was a fake song with fake emotions about love and peace from someone who openly supported the invasion of Crimea and did political ads for Putin leading up to the election. She was a piece of garbage then, and still is… Read more »

Kat
Kat
2 months ago

Can I just applaud your decision to exclude that Russian Quizling from the poll. I voted for Soldi but Hold Me aside they’re all really good songs.

Ok 2nd to last:

Fuego
Calm After the Storm
Spaceman
Voila
Sound of Silence
Beautiful Mess
Hold Me

gigi
gigi
2 months ago
Reply to  Kat

Nonyou cabt coz u r immature hypocrit.

Efraim
Efraim
2 months ago

My personal tiers:
All-time greats – Calm After the Storm, Soldi, Space Man
Very good – Sound of Silence, Fuego, Voilà
Good – Beautiful Mess
Unremarkable – Hold Me
Condemned by history – A Million Voices

Dani
Dani
2 months ago

I’d go with :

  1. Calm After the Storm (Netherlands, 2014)
  2. Voilà (France, 2021)
  3. Fuego (Cyprus, 2018)
  4. Beautiful Mess (Bulgaria, 2017)
  5. Soldi (Italy, 2019)
  6. Space Man (United Kingdom, 2022)
  7. Sound of Silence (Australia, 2016)
  8. Hold Me (Azerbaijan, 2013)

A lot of great songs and very respectable runner ups. While some of them are not my cup of tea, I’m glad they still have a huge success within the ESC community!

Let’s just forget about 2015 🙂

ThorBeta
ThorBeta
2 months ago
Reply to  Dani

Let’s just forget about Russia in general for a while. I hate erasing history but better erase Eurovision history instead of trying to erase a whole nation like Putin’s Russia does.

gigi
gigi
2 months ago
Reply to  ThorBeta

Such lame imnature hypocrit post.

Addie
Addie
2 months ago

Obviously almost all of them are great, except 2013 and 2015. I definitely love 2014, 2019, 2021 and 2022! I distinctly remember that before the 2021 contest, Voila was actually my winner, and it took me few days to accept that Italy won. But I do admit that it was a deserved win. I like 2016, 2017 and 2018, even if I’m not the biggest fan of the songs, their performances were really amazing. Hold me was just insincere and too over the top, and I have no idea why it got second place. As for A Million Voices, I… Read more »

Amber
Amber
2 months ago

My fave runner-ups since 2013 9: 2021; Barbara Pravi – Voila (France) 8: 2015: Polina Gagarina – A Million Voices (Russia) 7: 2014: The Common Linnets – Calm After The Storm (The Netherlands) 6: 2022: Sam Ryder – SPACE MAN (UK) 5: 2019: Mahmood – Soldi (Italy) 4: 2013: Farid Mammadov – Hold Me (Azerbaijan) 3: 2018: Eleni Foureira – Fuego (Cyprus) 2: 2016: Dami Im – Sound of Silence (Australia) 1: 2017: Kristian Kostov – Beautiful Mess (Bulgaria) I love my top 4 in particular, especially 2017, as Beautiful Mess is my absolute favourite Eurovision song since 2010, probably… Read more »

Anita
Anita
2 months ago

Why is it not possible to vote for A Million Voices?

James
James
2 months ago
Reply to  Anita

The article above stated why. 🙂

Nicolas
Nicolas
2 months ago
Reply to  James

It’s still called ‘cancel culture’

gigi
gigi
2 months ago
Reply to  Anita

Coz azthors of the text are immature hypocrits, judges wannabees

Leendert Jan
Leendert Jan
2 months ago

I voted for “Calm after the storm”, “Soldi” and “Voilà”, but I must say I like them all except 2013 and 2015.

Young_At_Heart_In_Austin
Young_At_Heart_In_Austin
2 months ago
Reply to  Leendert Jan

Me too. Exactly those three

Jo.
Jo.
2 months ago

2014 and 2019, but u all ain’t ready for this conversation

Alex
Alex
2 months ago
  1. France 2021
  2. Cyprus 2018
  3. UK 2022
  4. Italy 2019
  5. Australia 2016

Honestly all of them except Azerbaijan could have been worthy winners. Great performances and songs.

ete sech
ete sech
2 months ago

Gee! I couldn’t pick just one. I like all of these songs except for 2013 and 2015.
Some of these runners up even deserved the win more than the actual winner of their respective years imo.

poe-tay-toe-chips
poe-tay-toe-chips
2 months ago

I only started watching ESC in 2016 but from that year onward i think my ranking goes

  1. Spaceman
  2. Soldi
  3. Fuego
  4. Beautiful mess
  5. Voilà
  6. Sound of silence

I heard calm after the storm before I ever realized it was a Eurovision song though and I always thought that one was excellent. It’d be like right behind spaceman for me. I haven’t listened to hold me or million voices in full because the snippets i’ve seen have never grabbed me enough to.

Green
Green
2 months ago

Noticing that alot of these entries are pretty basic

Dayle
Dayle
2 months ago

Of course Fuego, guys! There is no way anything else can beat this iconic entry. Such a huge robbery…

Ksenija
Ksenija
2 months ago

You excluded polina from the poll but Europe VOTED for Netta and gave her a win. We as Europe are okay with Israel k*ll*ng of pale*tinians, it seems (I’m censoring words because whenever i tried to make this comment it didn’t get published). As long as they aren’t europeans, we are fine with it.

Green
Green
2 months ago
Reply to  Ksenija

Alot of us realised Europe has a big double standard when it comes to which coyntries they support in war

prinpoleon
prinpoleon
2 months ago
Reply to  Ksenija

you got a point, but Netta was not involve in anything related with the Israel – palestine conflict. On the other hand Polina sang about peace just to have a good spot at Eurovision and then she did not do what she preached calling for war in Ukraine. So why should we care about Million voices placing high at this ranking if either way is an empty song.

Maya G
Maya G
1 month ago
Reply to  Ksenija

How about when pale*tinian k*ll Israelis? are you okay with that?
There’s no double standard. You can be pro-pale*tinian all the way, but you can’t deny that in one case you have one country invading the other without any provocation, and in the other case you have a conflict between two entities (one of which is a democracy who does its best to defend its citizens while the other is ruled by a certified terr*r organization who uses its citizens as human shields).
Whatever your view is, there is place to make a comparison between the two.

Jonas
Jonas
2 months ago

Except for the two paragraphs and YouTube video.

Jonas
Jonas
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

This doesn’t make sense anymore, because what I was replying to has been deleted.

Tomi
Tomi
2 months ago

I voted for ‘Calm after the storm’ because that song moved me back in the day. That year we had an excellent TOP2. But I also love and/or quite like ‘Fuego’, ‘Sound of Silence’, ‘Beautiful Mess’ & ‘Soldi’. On the other hand, I never could stand ‘A Million Voices’ & ‘Hold Me’.

Arid
Arid
2 months ago

Queen Foureira
Fuego

Lambert
Lambert
2 months ago

Soldi, hands down. Fuego and Calm after the Storm are also good but Mahmood’s song is of a different level.

CatcoolH
CatcoolH
2 months ago

Easily Voila for me, it’s actually my favourite Eurovision song in general! I also find Space man, Sound of silence and Soldi very good.

MiyeonChoi201
MiyeonChoi201
2 months ago

Out of interest:

What is your favourite Sam Ryder/ Barbara Pravi/ Eleni Foureira … song apart from their Eurovision song (you can say their ESC song if you want, but I just want to know about their big variety of music, and your preferences)

prinpoleon
prinpoleon
2 months ago
Reply to  MiyeonChoi201

I like “Barcelona” and “Caramela” from Eleni.

MiyeonChoi201
MiyeonChoi201
1 month ago
Reply to  prinpoleon

Thanks 😀

Levi21
Levi21
2 months ago
Reply to  MiyeonChoi201

Barbara’s discography is just mesmerising in general, I think my fav would be the second and third parts of her triptych (Le jour se leve, l’homme et l’oiseau), but literally any song of hers is incredible, I’ve actually known her music already before ESC and I’m so glad her songs remain just as amazing as before

MiyeonChoi201
MiyeonChoi201
2 months ago
Reply to  Levi21

When did you start to know her? I probably started to know her in 2018, with Calum Scott’s duet with her but I didn’t know her. I started to know her in late-2020 with Reviens pour l’hiver/Voilà and since then, I liked her discography, and I agree with your “mesmerising” comment.

Ben
Ben
2 months ago

Polina’s message has been growing more and more hypocritical throughout the war that has already gone on 100 days. So shameful.

ete sech
ete sech
2 months ago
Reply to  Ben

Her song aged pretty horribly xd

Young_At_Heart_In_Austin
Young_At_Heart_In_Austin
2 months ago
Reply to  ete sech

Especially with the opening line of Million Voices being “We are the worst people ….” At least that’s what it sounds like she’s singing.

nycforeverever
nycforeverever
2 months ago
Reply to  ete sech

It was already when she was singing it on stage

nycforeverever
nycforeverever
2 months ago
Reply to  Ben

More surprising is that the most of people found it hypocritical only now, though the song was sung just right after Russia stole crimea from Ukraine and then invaded the eastern part of the country in 2014. And Ukraine decided not to participate because of the war. At the same time EBU was using anti booing technologies not to make poor Polina and other bloody hypocrites feel bad. Dances on the graves…

Colin
Colin
2 months ago
Reply to  nycforeverever

Many found the song hypocritical back then too. However, many of us foolishly thought that the beautiful and talented singer doesn’t represent that regime, but rather believes in that unity message despite of it. I feel queezy remembering how upset I was that she was booed.

vetrina
vetrina
2 months ago

When it comes to Sam Ryder I find his music too basic and his performance too showy vocally. If he can’t write his own geniune music I’m afraid his viral relevancy won’t last long! Reaching high notes is not enough

Hannah
Hannah
2 months ago
Reply to  vetrina

Just say you’re a Mahmood super fan and go ? You know nothing about Sam.