My all-time ESC 50: The Countdown (Part 3)

Bonjour, and welcome to the third chapter of my all-time countdown. You know the drill by now, so I won’t embark on a huge rambling intro; all I’ll say is that you may have some serious doubts about my sanity in a few minutes’ time. I apologise in advance, but only for making you recoil in horror – not for my particular (and in my eyes, perfectly acceptable) taste in music!




 #30 – Every Way That I Can by Sertab Erener (Turkey 2003)

After two years of winning songs that were regarded as more ‘meh…’ and ‘OH DEAR GOD!’ than douze points by fans, a pint-sized Turkish singer wearing harem pants and body glitter gyrated into the contest with a cracking ethno-pop number and changed the game. EWTIC is Turkey in their finest form. The core riff never fails to get me up and hip-shaking.


#29 – Diamond of Night by Evelin Samuel & Camille (Estonia 1999)

I have a soft spot for Estonia in the ESC (excluding the “song” they sent in 2008) which well and truly extends to this entry, a mystical ballad that could have been lifted from the Prince of Egypt soundtrack. Evelin’s vocal in the chorus is verging on glass-shattering, but the fact that she performs it so on pitch makes it spine-tingling rather than eardrum-bursting. I particularly love Camille’s violin solo, more so in the extended studio version.


#28 – Suus by Rona Nishliu (Albania 2012)

This is the first of a few songs in this group which I assume will have you all gasping in disbelief, but trust me – a few months ago I would have done exactly the same thing. The first few times I heard it, I hated it; but then I watched the preview video, and something changed. Then I saw it live in the semi and I was spellbound. Rona is a spectacular vocalist, and actually moved me to tears with her emotional performance. Pure class.


#27 – This Is My Life by Anna Bergendahl (Sweden 2010)

Again, please respect my right to have an opinion. This song is one of the most-played on my iPod, simply because…well, just because. Contrary to many fans, I don’t find it depressing or boring at all – I’d say it’s more anthemic. Anna didn’t quite pull it off live, but she and her party-dress-and-Converse combo will always be much loved by yours truly.


#26 – Rock Me by Riva (Yugoslavia 1989)

Yes, you read that right – the much-maligned winner of ’89 is this high on my list. Why, you ask? Because it’s catchy, it’s fun, and I get a kick out of listening to it. It’s as simple as that. I will add that it was very well performed on the night, and I do love the red/black/white colour scheme (a popular choice for Eurovision success).


#25 – Hemel En Aarde by Edsilia Rombley (Netherlands 1998)

Edsilia kind of crashed and burned in Helsinki, but almost a decade earlier she’d brought the Netherlands one of their best results ever with this quite frankly amazing up-tempo ballad. She’s a powerhouse singer (if you watch this performance, listen out for the growl) and engaged the audience so well. The Dutch should be proud of this one.  


#24 – Nije Ljubav Stvar by Željko Joksimović (Serbia 2012)

Ah, Željko, the master of the slow-burn Balkan ballad. I had high expectations of him coming into this year’s contest, and boy, were they met! The beauty in this song is everywhere, and like Suus it was one of the classiest entries this year. My favourite parts are the instrumental break after the first chorus, and the final thirty seconds, although I am pretty much infatuated with everything from 0.00-3.04.  


#23 – Rändajad by Urban Symphony (Estonia 2009)

Estonia crop up once again (and not for the last time) at #23, with Sandra “Perfect Hair” Nurmsalu and her fellow urban symphonists. What makes their song so special for me is partly the atmosphere, and partly the Estonian, which sounds so beautiful and mysterious. I suppose the mysteriousness has to do with my not remembering what the heck the lyrics mean. Ignorance can be bliss after all.


#22 – Quedate Conmigo by Pastora Soler (Spain 2012)

I waved a Spanish flag for the first time this year, all thanks to the powerhouse that is Pastora and the song-writing machine that is Thomas G:son. As a sucker for a big ballad a la several recent Spanish national finalists (Nada Es Comparable A Ti by Mirela, En Una Vida by Coral etc) there was zero chance of my disliking the one that made it to Baku. That money note gets me every time.


#21 – Od Nas Zavisi by Karolina (Macedonia 2002)

It’s not just the costume reveal that makes me love Karolina’s first contest foray, though I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t part of it (who can go past a good piece of body armour?) Od Nas is a hard one to describe – is it a ballad? Is it ethnic soft rock? Or is it a hybrid? Maybe it’s that very uncertainty that I’m attracted to…


The End. For the moment, anyway. Next time the countdown will continue, but until then please keep the feedback coming! I’m really enjoying all the varying verdicts, as well as hearing which songs you guys would name as your most loved. It’s amazing how different opinions can be. Obviously, mine is the right one, but I will humour you with yours.

Just kidding!


6 Responses to “My all-time ESC 50: The Countdown (Part 3)”

  1. Annika

    Hi Jaz. first of all thanks a lot for the birthday wishes 😀 And I’m not completely taking back what I said about your music taste, but I’m going to put emphasis on the “almost”…I’m trying to respect your opinions..but SUUS SERIOUSLY?! xD sorry

    #30, #29: yay, really like them both…
    #28: Meh it’s the novelty effect, next year it won’t be in your top *insert evil laugh* but seriously ugh xD I respect your opinion but I strongly disagree xD
    #27: I like this one better than their more recent entries so yay
    #26: Agree, totally catchy and fun. Like it a lot too
    #25: My second favorite that year. And I like it way more than her 2007 entry!
    #24: Oh phew this is higher than Suus I can breath again…Needless to say that I adore this song and Željko the flawless
    #23: This one is pretty epic as well. I love the mysteriousness of it too
    #22: Her voice is amazing, but I’m not a big fan of the song…
    #21: I despise that costume, but I love the song 😛 oh and The costume reveal gimmick in ESC is probably my worst pet peeve xD

    Ps: Yes, Emmy’s boxing glove is indeed a worse gimmick than Hayko’s toilet paper tree 😛
    Ps2: My parents don’t get my eurovision obsession either, but since they grew up in Spain they are familiar with all of the Spanish ESC entries. And I force them to at least listen to my favorites every year xD But I force everybody around me to watch eurovision. I even made a compilation cd with Melodifestivalen and ESC related songs for my French teacher when I was in high school xD


    • Jaz

      YES SUUS SERIOUSLY!!! I may have to take back your birthday wishes now. Jokes. Are you the big 2-1 now (I’m not good with numbers of any variety so I apologise if I’m wrong)?? There’s about six weeks to my 21st and I am freaking out. So well done you for not visibly freaking out.
      Okay, so you’re probably right about Suus. Its place will be taken by some other hideous song that no-one else likes from Malmö no doubt. Perhaps one performed by a woman with a three-piece suit made of dreadlocks.
      So Edsilia was your second favourite. Who was your absolute favourite? Oh wait…it has to be Cyprus. Right??
      “Zeljko the Flawless” = lawwl. That shall be his new unofficial nickname.
      Aaah I LOVE costume reveals!! Except when they are revealing something revolting, like Croatia’s did last year. I think they got worse as they went along.
      I hope your French teacher appreciated the musical brilliance you were introducing them to.


  2. Balkanheart

    okay(: first thing..
    24?! what the..
    no. it’s okay (: just joking.

    #30 every way that I can I’ll dance to this =o
    #28 miiiep. no =D sorry but I still don’t like it or her or her dress.. :s
    #27 oh wow. a swedish one that I really like(: her dress and chucks were so sweet.
    #23 I found her a bit creepy.
    #21 I love Karolina(: & both esc songs of her. is Mojot Svet also in your list?

    hmhm. (: again so many good songs!


    • Jaz

      I’m sorry for putting Zeljko in there, I know how much you hate him and his music…AHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA!!
      Obviously I loved Rona and her dress. I think I’m the weird one though, since nobody else seemed to. Except for the juries and fans who voted her into 5th place, of course!
      Someone who liked Anna Bergendahl!! Hooray! I swear I will copy the dress/Chucks combo one day…
      Karolina is so pretty, and I want her legs…Mojot Svet isn’t on my list though. It is a good song and the staging was great, but…yeah. It might have scraped into my top 100.


      • Balkanheart

        :’D yuuup. I hate him.

        (: I have a similar dress but not this chucks. I have neon pink chucks..It doesn’t look the same :s when you have her outfit take pictures. =D
        yees *o* her legs. would die for them.


        • Jaz


          I can’t even remember what colour her shoes were…were they red?? I used to have red ones. Or some other pink?? So many questions!!



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