Not everyone is going to agree on the best Eurovision song performed each year. Like everything, what is perceived as being of high quality comes down to personal preference. The last twenty years of the contest (of which I can mostly relate to, being only 18 (almost)) in particular have provided some extraordinary “what the heck? Do these voters/judges have no taste in music whatsoever?” moments as far as final results are concerned. So here I would like to briefly overview the last two decades of Eurovision, voicing my thoughts on who should have taken out the title, who should have done better, and who should have been sent straight to the bottom of the scoreboard. If you disagree, please say so, but remember – taste is subjective.
1989 – The repetitive, uninspiring effort from Yugoslavia known as ‘Rock Me’ (in case you had forgotten, as they only mention the title 500 times during the song) is widely regarded as being the WORST winner in history. The runners-up, Live Report, were understandably pissed off with their seven point pipping, and I believe that either they, or Austria, or Iceland should have won instead. Yes, I know that Iceland came last and got no points at all, but I have always seen this as a travesty, and adore the song. So there. Replace Iceland with Yugoslavia, and I will be content.
1991 – I hold a special place in my heart for 1991’s contest, as it was my birth year, and was won by my all-time favourite ESC song. So it stands to reason that I won’t be complaining about who won. France did, and it is true that under the current system, they would have won, but in my opinion second is where they belonged. I am all about the catchy tunes, so Yugoslavia and Austria should have been higher up for moi.
1995 – ‘Nocturne’ is also a favourite of mine. But second place Spain is NOT. I have read many comments on YouTube etc about how awesome Anabel Conde’s ‘Vuelve Conmigo’ is, and I cannot see it. I would move Sweden and Denmark up into 2nd and 3rd respectively, and put Spain somewhere in the middle with Greece and Austria.
1997 – ITALY! ITALY! ITALY!
1998 – As wonderful as it was to see a transsexual win, confirming Eurovision’s blossoming reputation as an open-minded institution, I have to say that a flat and low-key performance from Dana made me feel a bit cheated. Having said that, the song is not bad. But for me, the Netherlands had what it took in 1998. As for Switzerland’s atrocious result…well, it appears that a decent voice and decent song have no bearing when you are embroiled in such a tsunami of scandals such as poor innocent Gunvor. Cough.
1999 – It was only a matter of time before one of Sweden’s many attempts at replicating ABBA’s victory paid off. ‘Take Me To Your Heaven’ had the beat, the hook, the voice, the horn accompaniment…but in comparison to Waterloo, well…there really is no comparison. For me, Charlotte’s was not the best song for 1999. Both second and third placers Iceland and Germany respectively should have been in contention. Who can resist a bit of ‘Reise Nach Jerusalem’?
2002 – Well done to Latvia for that win only three years into your Euro quest. But if I had had my way, it would have been either a first win for Malta (whose vocals were less than impressive, I admit) or a long-awaited sixth for France. Still, I can’t complain with finishes for both of those countries in the top 5. As for Denmark in last place – let’s just say that, similarly to 2009, it has taken me a while to recover from the madness of having such a charming ditty like Malene’s (like Waldo’s People) ignored point-wise to the extent that what can only be labelled (by me) as pure crap like ‘Happy You’ rises above it. What a travesty!
2004 – By this point you might be thinking that I am an insatiable cow who always has something to complain about in regards to who wins Eurovision. Well, you would be right on the money. Very rarely does it happen that I am thrilled with number one. 2004 is no exception. Two words for you – ‘Lane Moje’. While I have to say that Ruslana’s whip-cracking performance made the majority of the others seem as exciting as vacuuming the house, Serbia & Montenegro’s effort has never failed to touch me. That haunting opening arrangement is one of the most entrancing things I have ever heard.
2009 – I won’t even mention my disgust at They Who Must Not Be Named coming dead last, but what I will say is that the 2009 voting sequence had to be the most boring I have ever seen. After about three countries had announced their points, it was obvious that Norway had it in the bag and no one else had the slightest chance of catching up. Now I like to see a bit of a battle over first place, you know? A few points separating the top nations, suspense until the very end…or at least until halfway through. But this was just ridiculous. Anyway, back to the matter at hand which is, I didn’t want Norway to win! No matter how charming our Alexander might be (he’s adorable, ain’t he?), his song couldn’t match the wonderfulness of Bosnia & Herzegovina, which was like the love child of ‘Lejla’ from 2006, and a military lullaby. Magic. Oh, and Iceland totally deserved to be runners up.