Eurovision Song Contest 1992

Here are my choices for best songs at the 1992 Eurovision Song Contest, which was held in Malmö, Sweden on May 9. Except for the winning entry from Ireland, I had not heard any of these songs until now.

My Rank Country Title, Artist Eurovision Final Ranking
1 Greece “Olou Tou Kosmou I Elpida”, Cleopatra 5
2 Italy “Rapsodia”, Mia Martini 4
3 Cyprus “Teriazoume” , Evridiki 11
4 Finland “Yamma, yamma”, Pave Maijanen 23
5 France “Monté la riviè”, Kali 8
6 Norway “Visjoner”, Merethe Trøan 18
7 Ireland “Why Me?”, Linda Martin 1
8 Yugoslavia “Ljubim te pesmama”, Extra Nena 13
9 Israel “Ze Rak Sport”, Dafna Dekel 6
10 Denmark “Alt det som ingen ser”, Kenny Lübcke & Lotte Nilsson 12

It was a tough decision between Greece and Italy; both had very good songs, with Italy’s Mia Martini delivering a passionate, heartrending ballad. But I’m a sucker for good modulation, and the unexpected F#m chord in the Greek chorus is what stuck in my head and tipped the scales in its favor.

Cyprus awarded 12 points to Greece, but Greece gave 12 points to Ireland, and 10 to Cyprus.

Winning Eurovision songs ranked by percentage of points

Note: this article does not take into consideration the various voting systems used over the years in the Eurovision Song Contest, nor does it address voting irregularities and disputes, or regional bloc and diasporic voting.

Note: this is an amended version; in calculating the maximum number of points a song could earn, this writer forgot that countries may not give points to themselves. The error has been corrected in this version.

In 2009, Norway’s Alexander Rybak won The Eurovision Song Contest with his entry “Fairytale” and scored a record-breaking 387 points. Sixteen countries awarded Norway the maximum number of twelve points. Three years later, Sweden’s representative Loreen broke this record when eighteen countries awarded twelve points to her song “Euphoria” (her final score, however, was 372).

All very impressive, but it doesn’t take into account the fact that when Eurovision began in 1956 there were only seven countries competing, and now there are usually about forty. There are another twenty or so countries that are either members of the Council of Europe or that fall within the European Broadcasting Area (as defined in the International Telecommunication Union) that are eligible to compete in Eurovision, so there’s the potential that these records may be broken in the future.

Here are the top songs ranked by points only.

Rank Year Country
Song Title, Artist
Points
Awarded
1 2009 Norway
“Fairytale”, Alexander Rybak
387
2 2012 Sweden
“Euphoria”, Loreen
372
3 2006 Finland
“Hard Rock Hallelujah”, Lordi
292
4 2014 Austria
“Rise Like A Phoenix”, Conchita Wurst
290
5 2013 Denmark
“Only Teardrops”, Emmelie de Forest
281
6 2004 Ukraine
“Wild Dances”, Ruslana
280
7 2008 Russia
“Believe”, Dima Bilan
272
8 2007 Serbia
“Molitva”, Marija Šerifović
268
9 2010 Germany
“Satellite”, Lena
246
10 2005 Greece
“My Number One”, Helena Paparizou
230
11 1997 United Kingdom
“Love Shine a Light”, Katrina & The Waves
227
39 1973 Luxembourg
Tu te reconnaîtras, Anne-Marie David
129

The eleventh ranking song (Love Shine A Light) is significant because there were roughly half the number of countries voting in 1997 as there are today and it still managed to acquire points comparable to those of more recent winners.

But in the same way that box office earnings for movies are sometimes adjusted for inflation, I have adjusted the ranking of winning Eurovision songs based on a percentage of maximum points awardable. For example, in a contest where forty countries participate and cast votes based on the current 12-10-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 system, the maximum number of points a song could earn is 468 (39 x 12). If a song earned 351 points in this contest, it would have received 75% of the maximum points awardable.

Here is a complete list of winning Eurovision songs ranked by percentage of points. The voting results of the first contest, held in 1956, have never been officially released; the winner was merely announced, and so there are no points to be calculated.

Rank Year Country
Song Title, Artist
# of voting
countries
Max. Possible Points Points
Awarded
Percentage
1 1973 Luxembourg
Tu te reconnaîtras, Anne-Marie David
17 160 129 80.63
2 1976 United Kingdom
Save Your Kisses for Me, Brotherhood of Man
18 204 164 80.39
3 1982 Germany
Ein bißchen Frieden, Nicole
18 204 161 78.92
4 1997 United Kingdom
Love Shine a Light, Katrina & The Waves
25 288 227 78.82
5 2009 Norway
Fairytale, Alexander Rybak
42 492 387 78.66
6 1994 Ireland
Rock ‘n’ Roll Kids, Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan
25 288 226 78.47
7 1986 Belgium
J’aime la vie, Sandra Kim
20 228 176 77.19
8 2012 Sweden
Euphoria, Loreen
42 492 372 75.61
9 1971 Monaco
Un banc, un arbre, une rue, Séverine
18 170 128 75.29
10 1972 Luxembourg
Après toi, Vicky Leandros
18 170 128 75.29
11 2001 Estonia
Everybody, Tanel Padar, Dave Benton, 2XL
23 264 198 75.00
12 2000 Denmark
Fly on the Wings of Love, Olsen Brothers
24 276 195 70.65
13 1975 Netherlands
Ding-a-dong, Teach-In
19 216 152 70.37
14 1978 Israel
A-Ba-Ni-Bi, Izhar Cohen & The Alphabeta
20 228 157 68.86
15 1987 Ireland
Hold Me Now, Johnny Logan
22 252 172 68.25
16 1984 Sweden
Diggi-Loo Diggi-Ley, Herreys
19 216 145 67.13
17 2014 Austria
Rise Like A Phoenix, Conchita Wurst
37 432 290 67.13
18 1977 France
L’oiseau et l’enfant, Marie Myriam
18 204 136 66.67
19 2004 Ukraine
Wild Dances, Ruslana
36 420 280 66.67
20 1980 Ireland
What’s Another Year, Johnny Logan
19 216 143 66.20
21 2006 Finland
Hard Rock Hallelujah, Lordi
38 444 292 65.77
22 1964 Italy
Non ho l’età, Gigliola Cinquetti
16 75 49 65.33
23 1993 Ireland
In Your Eyes, Niamh Kavanagh
25 288 187 64.93
24 2002 Latvia
I Wanna, Marie N
24 276 176 63.77
25 1983 Luxembourg
Si La Vie Est Cadeau, Corinne Hermès
20 228 142 62.28
26 1999 Swedeb
Take Me To Your Heaven, Charlotte Nilsson
23 264 163 61.74
27 2013 Denmark
Only Teardrops, Emmelie de Forest
39 456 281 61.62
28 1996 Ireland
The Voice, Eimear Quinn
23 264 162 61.36
29 1998 Israel
Diva, Dana International
25 288 172 59.72
30 1981 United Kingdom
Making Your Mind Up, Bucks Fizz
20 228 136 59.65
31 1990 Italy
Insieme: 1992, Toto Cutugno
22 252 149 59.13
32 1992 Ireland
Why Me?, Linda Martin
23 264 155 58.71
33 1991 Sweden
Fångad av en stormvind, Carola
22 252 146 57.94
34 1979 Israel
Hellelujah, Gali Atari and Milk and Honey
19 216 125 57.87
35 1962 France
Un premier amour, Isabelle Aubret
16 45 26 57.78
36 1988 Switzerland
Ne partez pas sans moi, Céline Dion
21 240 137 57.08
37 1985 Norway
La det swinge, Bobbysocks!
19 216 123 56.94
38 1995 Norway
Nocturne, Secret Garden
23 264 148 56.06
39 1963 Denmark
Dansevise, Grethe & Jørgen Ingmann
16 75 42 56.00
40 2003 Turkey
Everyway That I Can, Sertab Erener
26 300 167 55.67
41 2007 Serbia
Molitva, Marija Šerifović
42 492 268 54.47
42 1989 Yugoslavia
Rock Me, Riva
22 252 137 54.37
43 2008 Russia
Believe, Dima Bilan
43 504 272 53.97
44 2010 Germany
Satellite, Lena
39 456 246 53.95
45 2005 Greece
My Number One, Helena Paparizou
39 456 230 50.44
46 2011 Azerbaijan
Running Scared, Ell & Nikki
43 504 221 43.85
47 1965 Luxembourg
Poupée de cire, poupée de son, France Gall
18 85 32 37.65
48 1966 Austria
Merci, Chérie, Udo Jürgens
18 85 31 36.47
49 1957 Netherlands
Net als toen, Corry Brokken
10 90 31 34.44
50 1958 France
Dors, mon amour, André Claveau
10 90 27 30.00
51 1967 United Kingdom
Puppet on a String, Sandie Shaw
17 160 47 29.38
52 1970 Ireland
All Kinds of Everything, Dana
12 110 32 29.09
53 1960 France
Tom Pillibi, Jacqueline Boyer
13 120 32 26.67
54 1959 Netherlands
Een beetje, Teddy Scholten
11 100 21 21.00
55 1961 Luxembourg
Nous les amoureux, Jean-Claude Pascal
16 150 31 20.67
56 1968 Spain
La, la, la, Massiel
17 160 29 18.13
57 1974 Sweden
Waterloo, ABBA
17 160 24 15.00
58 1969 Spain
Vivo cantando, Salomé


United Kingdom
Boom Bang-a-Bang, Lulu


Netherlands
De troubadour, Lenny Kuhr


France
Un jour, un enfant, Frida Boccara

16 150 18 12.00
n/a 1956 Switzerland
Refrain, Lys Assia
7 n/a n/a n/a

Luxembourg’s 1973 entry “Tu te reconnaîtras”, the 39th highest song in points alone, now ranks as the highest song.  Only two countries that have competed in contests with the current number of roughly forty countries made the top ten. “Fairytale” has fallen to the fifth position and “Euphoria” has fallen to the eighth. Curiously, what is arguably the most famous song ever to win Eurovision (ABBA’s “Waterloo”, which won for Sweden in 1974) sits nearly at the bottom of the list. There were 17 countries voting that year. Each country had a panel of ten jurors who each cast a single vote for his or her favorite song. This made a total of 160 points a song could earn; out of those 160, “Waterloo” earned 24 points, or a mere 15.00 percent.

New Music from Japan – January 2015

Artist: Himuro Yoshiteru

Location: Tokyo 東京
Soundcloud
Title: Beats Log 20150114
Genre: electronic

Artist: OYMS + Kyosuke Takayasu (Totokoko label)

Location (of Totokoko): Saitama さいたま
Soundcloud / Twitter
Title: Inside of a Wind
Genre: pop
Free Download

Artist: Hizmi (Bunkai-kei label)

Location (of Bunkai-kei): Tokyo 東京
Soundcloud / Twitter
Title: Nue
Genre: electronic
Free Download

Artist: Hidekazu Wakabayashi

Location: Osaka 大阪
Soundcloud / Twitter
Title: No Coward Soul is Minë
Genre: microtuned piano
Video (YouTube)

Artist: Ryuei Kotoge

Location: Kobe 神戸
Soundcloud / Twitter
Title: Life
Genre: electronic
Purchase

Söngvakeppnin 2015 (Icelandic selection for Eurovision)

Iceland has twelve excellent songs competing in Söngvakeppnin 2015 for the honor of going to Eurovision, and much like with the Estonians, there’s a good diversity of music.  My average score for the Icelandic songs was 3.92 (on a 5-point scale), and so it was a difficult task ranking them, especially as I am always debating between the songs I like and the songs I think would do well at Eurovision (not always the same). My guess is a ballad sung by one of the ladies will go to Vienna, but there are a couple of dark horses: the selection of either the offbeat techno of “Fjaðrir” by SUNDAY (somewhat reminiscent of Norway’s 2013 entry, “I Feed You My Love” performed by Margaret Berger) or the irresistable Kylie Minogue-esque dance beat of “Fyrir alla” by CADEM could happen.

My Rank Title, Artist Semifinal Final
1 “Brotið gler” (Shattered glass) , Bjarni Lárus Hall  SF2 – eliminated
2 “Milljón augnablik” (A million moments) , Haukur Heiðar Hauksson SF2 – qualified
3 “Þú leitar líka að mér” (You’re also searching for me) , HINEMOA SF1 – eliminated
4 “Augnablik” (Moment) , Stefanía Svavarsdóttir SF1 – eliminated
5 “Fjaðrir” (Feathers), SUNDAY SF2 – qualified
6 “Myrkrið hljótt” (Silent darkness) , Erna Hrönn Ólafsdóttir SF1 – eliminated
7 “Aldrei of seint” (Never too late) , Regína Ósk SF2 – eliminated
8 “Fyrir alla” (For everyone) , CADEM SF2 – qualified
9 “Piltur og stúlka” (Boys and girls) , Björn og félagar SF1 – qualified
10 “Í kvöld” (Tonight) , Elín Sif Halldórsdóttir SF1 – qualified

There will be two semi-finals held in Iceland on January 31 and February 7; I will update this page with the results on those dates. Good luck and “Gangi þér vel!” to all the participants in Söngvakeppnin 2015.  The 2015 Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Vienna, Austria on May 19, 21, and 23, 2015.

February 16 2015 update: none of my top ten choices were chosen to represent Iceland! Instead, María Ólafsdóttir will perform “Unbroken” (original Icelandic title, “Lítil skref”) at the second semi-final on May 21 in Vienna. Good luck, María!

A Dal 2015 (Hungarian selection for Eurovision 2015)

What are the odds of two young women with similar names, singing songs built around acoustic guitar arrangements with lyrics pleading for peace, entering Hungary’s A Dal contest to choose a song for the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest? But that is exactly what has happened with Boggie’s “Wars for Nothing” and Bogi’s “World of Violence”.  Both are good songs, but I have chosen Boggie’s song as the best from a group of 30 songs overall.  “Wars for Nothing” may be too subtle to win in an increasingly flashy contest like Eurovision, but it would be a shame if it weren’t even chosen to represent Hungary, and as we are reminded by events like the Charlie Hebdo shooting, we could use a little peace right now.  World events aside, “Wars For Nothing” is still a beautifully understated song.

My Rank Title, Artist Heat Rank Semifinal Rank Final Rank
1 “Wars For Nothing”, Boggie Heat 3 – QUALIFIED SF1 – QUALIFIED TBA
2 “Gyémánt” (Diamond), Vera Tóth Heat 1 – QUALIFIED SF1 – eliminated
3 “Kicsi a világ, de nagy világ” (Little world, but big world), Pankastic! Heat 2 – QUALIFIED SF1 – eliminated
4 “Untold Story”, Other Planet Heat 3 – QUALIFIED SF2 – eliminated
5 “Hol a határ” (Where’s the borderline?), Proof of Life Heat 3 – eliminated
6 “Our Time”, Saci Szécsi & Böbe Szécsi Heat 2 – eliminated
7 “Úgysem felejtesz el” (You won’t forget me anyway), Gabi Szűcs Heat 1 – QUALIFIED SF2 – eliminated
8 “World of Violence”, Bogi Heat 1 – QUALIFIED SF2 – eliminated
9 “Back 2 Right”, Fool Moon Heat 3 – eliminated
10 “Run To You”, Gyula Éliás Jr. feat. Fourtissimo Heat 2 – QUALIFIED SF2 – eliminated

The heats for A Dal will be held on January 24, January 31, and February 7, with the semifinals held on February 14 and 21.  I will update this page after each one.  Good luck and “Sok szerencsét kivánok!” to all the participants in A Dal.  The 2015 Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Vienna, Austria on May 19, 21, 23, 2015.

Now that Conchita Wurst has conquered America …

Most Americans watching the Golden Globes on January 11 saw the bearded woman on the red carpet and probably wondered:

“Who the heck is Conchita Wurst?”

And then, if someone were to reply, “Conchita Wurst was the winner of the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest.”, most Americans probably wondered:

“What the heck is Eurovision?”

Outside of Abba and Celine Dion fans and some Eurosavvy gays and European expats, most Americans have not heard of the Eurovision Song Contest, an annual televised show where as many as 43 countries send representative songs to compete for best song. Think of it as an Olympics for songs. Since its debut in 1956, Eurovision is one of the most watched television events in the world, with nearly 195 million people tuning in for the 2014 show, which was held in Copenhagen, Denmark. Rarely does Eurovision news make it to the United States, but even though most Americans have not heard of Eurovision, they certainly are no strangers to several of the participants and songs:

1958 Italy came in 3rd place with a song sung by Domenico Modugno called “Nel blu dipinto di blu”, which won Grammys for Song of the Year and Record of the Year.  It was later recorded by Dean Martin as “Volare”.
1963 Nana Mouskouri performed “À force de prier” for Luxembourg and came in 8th place.
1964 English singer Matt Munro, best known for singing the Oscar-winning title song from the movie “Born Free”, represented the United Kingdom with “I Love The Little Things” and came in 2nd place.
1967 Vicky Leandros sang “L’amour est bleu” for Luxembourg (4th place). An instrumental version was recorded by Paul Mauriat as “Love is Blue” which topped the American charts in early 1968. Leandros also sang for Luxembourg in 1972 and won with “Après toi”.
1968 Cliff Richard, best known to Americans for his 1976 hit “Devil Woman”, represented the United Kingdom with “Congratulations” (2nd place). He also participated in the 1973 contest.
1969 Scottish singer Lulu, who sang the title song from “To Sir, With Love”, won for the United Kingdom (in an unprecedented four way tie) with “Boom Bang-a-Bang”
1970 Spain was represented by Julio Iglesias, who came in 4th place with “Gwendolyne”. Iglesias duetted with Willie Nelson on “To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before” in 1984.
1972 The New Singers, known to Coke drinkers for their hit “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing”, sang “Beg, Steal or Borrow” for the United Kingdom and came in 2nd place.
1973 “Eres tú”, performed by Mocedades for Spain (2nd place), became a top ten American hit in 1974.
1974 Abba won for Sweden with “Waterloo” and was rocketed to international superstardom. Other participants that year included Olivia Newton-John (UK, 4th) and Mouth & MacNeal (Netherlands, 3rd), who had a 1972 hit with “How Do You Do”; Maggie MacNeal also participated in the 1980 contest.
1976 The United Kingdom’s The Brotherhood of Man won with “Save Your Kisses For Me”; they scored a hit in the American charts with “United We Stand” in 1970.
1977 Silver Convention represented Germany (8th place); they hit #1 on the American charts with the Grammy-winning “Fly Robin Fly”.
1988 Celine Dion won for Luxembourg and was rocketed to international superstardom.
1996 Australian singer Ging G represented the United Kingdom with “”Ooh Aah… Just a Little Bit” (8th place), which hit #12 on the American pop charts.
1997 Katrina and the Waves won Eurovision for the United Kingdom; their song “Walking On Sunshine” hit the American Top 10 in 1985.
2003 t.A.T.u. came in 3rd place for Russia; the year before they hit the American Top 20 with “All The Things She Said”.
2006 Spain’s representative Las Ketchup also sang “The Ketchup Song (Aserejé)” in 2002.
2012 Engelbert Humperdinck sang for the United Kingdom; his biggest hit in America was 1967’s “Release Me (And Let Me Love Again)”.
2013 Bonnie Tyler, who topped the American charts with “Total Eclipse of The Heart” in 1983, represented the United Kingdom.
2014 Conchita Wurst wins for Austria with her song “Rise Like A Phoenix”.

And now that Conchita Wurst has conquered America, will there be a few more Americans tuning in to watch Eurovision this year?  The semi-finals will be held May 19 and 21, with the big showdown to be held in the Wiener Stadthalle in Vienna, Austria on May 23.  Those interested in watching the contest may do so at http://www.eurovision.tv/page/webtv, but remember the time difference: for the continental United States, the shows will take place in the early afternoon.  Follow this writer on Twitter @JogolandGroup for updates and coverage of the event.

 

Eesti Laul 2015 (Estonian selection for Eurovision 2015)

Someone once asked on Twitter what countries would we like to visit based solely on the quality of their Eurovision Song Contest entries. I listed Netherlands, Portugal, Finland, Turkey, and now am happy to add Estonia to the list. Estonia, after all, is the home of the Estonian Song Celebration and The Singing Revolution, as documented in the 2006 film of the same name and also the documentary To Breathe As One.  Estonia will also be choosing its entry in the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest at its Eesti Laul (“The Song of Estonia”), which will be held in February.

I was pleasantly surprised to hear the diversity of songs competing in Eesti Laul. There were the typical Eurovision pop songs, but also rock, alternative, folk, and even American-style country. Usually when I watch Eurovision, I rate each song on a scale from 1 (worst) to 5 (best). I then take all the songs that scored four points or higher and arrange them in order of favorites. Out of Eurovision’s usual 26, there are about twelve or so songs that I have scored thusly, but with the songs from Eesti Laul, the average score was 4! Even though six songs scored fewer than 4 points, there wasn’t a stinker in the whole bunch (question: will these songs be released on a CD?). So that made choosing my favorites a little tough!

At this point I’d like to say, because I’ve gotten some flak over the years for my, shall we say “unconventional” choices, that I do make a distinction between the songs I like and the songs likely to win in Eurovision. I loved Georgia’s 2014 jazz/folk entry “Three Minutes to Earth” performed by The Shin & Mariko, but knew it would not even come close to winning: in fact, it came second to last out of both semi-finals that year.

With that in mind, here are my choices for the ten best songs from Eesti Laul. Elisa Kolk’s “Superlove” finished 11th on my list, but it’s my choice for most likely to win at Eurovision.

My Rank Title, Artist Semifinal  1 Semifinal 2 Final
“Superlove”, Elisa Kolk qualified eliminated
1 “Minu Päike” (My Sun), Luisa Värk qualified eliminated
2 “Light Up Your Mind”, Wilhelm eliminated
3 “Kohvitassi Lugu” (Coffee Cup Story), Miina eliminated
4 “Saatuse laul” (Song of Destiny), Airi Vipulkumar Kansar eliminated
5 “Kellega ma Tutvusin?” (Whom Did I Meet?), NimmerSchmidt eliminated
6 “Kuum” (Hot), Demie feat. Janice eliminated
7 “Kordumatu” (Unique), Bluestocking eliminated
8 “Unriddle Me”, Elephants from Neptune qualified eliminated
9 “Tiiu talu tütreke” (Farmgirl Tiiu), Kruuv eliminated
10 “Exceptional”, The Blurry Lane qualified eliminated

The semi-finals at Eesti Laul will be held on February 7th and 14th, and I will update this page after each one.  Good luck and “Edu kõigile!” to all the participants in Eesti Laul.

 

February 24, 2015 update:  I was disappointed to learn that none of my choices were chosen to represent Estonia at Eurovision!  But the song that was chosen, “Goodbye To Yesterday”, is a good one and I wish its performers Elina Born & Stig Rästa the best of luck!

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