Retro Rankings | Kyiv 2005 (a.k.a. remembering Eurovision’s birthday, and celebrating mine!)

Bonjour, peeps! It’s been a month since I last posted anything, and that last post did have a long intro justifying my lack of blog action up to that point, so I won’t bother doing another one. I’ll just blame tertiary education once again, and we can move on.

A quick life update from yours truly *clears throat*: two rather exciting things happened to me this week. I’m not going to tell you about the first one until I have photographic proof, but here’s a clue: it has nothing to do with Eurovision. Not just yet, anyway. Who knows what the future will bring for one of the contest’s most unsuccessful countries of late? On that basis, and on the basis that it is SO FREAKING EXCITING, I will be telling y’all about it very soon.

The second thing was that I had me a birthday. I had me a birthday yesterday, to be precise, and the greatest gift I received was the fact that I can now sing Taylor Swift’s 22 at karaoke nights and mean it (that and the doorstop I got that looks like an upside-down melting ice-cream cone. Stuff doesn’t get much cooler than that). In all seriousness, I now feel incredibly old and will be spending the next few weeks trawling eBay for a time-slowing device. But in the meantime, I thought I’d distract myself by looking back at the year Eurovision celebrated a special birthday (of sorts).

2005 brought us the 50th ESC, which I consider a birthday because there was probably a cake, streamers, and a bunch of drunk people involved at some point (and probably has been at every contest since). It was a year of hits and misses song-wise, as I discovered when I decided to continue my Retro Rankings with Year Kyiv, but there were some absolute gems. Read on to see how I rated the 39 songs from top to bottom – and as always, share your rankings with me down below. Please? Consider it a belated birthday gift.


 A reminder of all the entries:


And now, my personal top 39:

  1. Serbia and Montenegro/ Zauvijek Moja by No Name – This marvellous creation came in at #9 in my all-time ESC 50 list, which was actually lower than another song from ’05. But it’s not against the law to have a change of mind, y’know. For the two years that Serbia and Montenegro were represented at the contest they were magical, so although Zauvijek doesn’t have the same spellbinding quality of Lane Moje (and No Name didn’t have the raw sexual magnetism of Željko Joksimović…or was that just me?) it still gets me all goosebumpy. Oh, how I love thee, Balkan drama!
'...and that is how you do a Serbian and Montenegrin wave. Remember, the Mexican wave is so last year.'

‘…and that is how you do a Serbian and Montenegrin wave. Remember, the Mexican wave is so over.’

  1. Romania/ Let Me Try by Luminita Anghel & Sistem
  2. Latvia/ The War Is Not Over by Walters & Kazha
  3. Slovenia/ Stop by Omar Naber
  4. Norway/ In My Dreams by Wig Wam – Hands up who likes glam rock? Me neither. But Eurovision has a way of making me like things I’d retch at if they came on the radio during everyday life. This song rocks, so to speak. It’s ridiculously catchy and anthemic, and compels me to wave a flag whenever I hear it (flag, pillowcase, sock, my cat…whatever’s lying around, really). If you can resist singing along with the chorus, then you are DEAD INSIDE. No offence.
  5. Albania/ Tomorrow I Go by Ledina Çelo
  6. Denmark/ Talking To You by Jakob Sveistrup
  7. Hungary/ Forogj Világ by NOX
  8. FYR Macedonia/ Make My Day by Martin Vucic
  9. Israel/ The Silence That Remains by Shiri Maimon – I think Shiri may have been my first girl crush. Even now I watch her performance and drool a little bit over that dress and that perfect face and those gravity-defying…false eyelashes. But her song was every bit as beautiful as she was (and, I assume, still is). I love a non-cheesy mixed-language ballad, so it ticked all my boxes.
Shiri on the verge of a sneeze, and still looking lovely

Shiri on the verge of a sneeze, and still looking lovely

  1. Moldova/ Boonika Bate Doba by Zdob şi Zdub
  2. Malta/ Angel by Chiara
  3. Andorra/ La Mirada Interior by Marian van der Wal
  4. Bulgaria/ Lorraine by Kaffe – Someone sound the guilty pleasure alarm, quick! Yes, this entry is sleazy – like, B-grade porno sleazy – and the rhyming couldn’t be more unimaginative (Lorraine/rain/pain…who would have seen that coming?) but it’s the kind of cruisy, café-style muzak that I apparently go for. I’m not saying that Bulgaria should have qualified or anything, so you can stop typing that abusive comment now. I just kinda sorta like this. Don’t tell anyone.
  5. Sweden/ Las Vegas by Martin Stenmarck
  6. Greece/ My Number One by Helena Paparizou
  7. Spain/ Brujeria by Sun de Sol
  8. Bosnia and Herzegovina/ Call Me by Feminnem – B & H brought a birthday anthem to Kyiv with this up-tempo funfest that wouldn’t have sounded out of place at Melodifestivalen. It wasn’t a great effort, and was by no means Feminnem’s best ESC outing (I still shed tears for Lako Je Sve) but it’s harmless bubblegum pop. Hating it would be like hating a puppy, and nobody hates puppies.
Marcia, Jan and Cindy Brady all grown up? Nope, it's Feminnem!

Marcia, Jan and Cindy Brady all grown up? Nope, it’s Feminnem!

  1. France/ Chacun Pense A Soi by Ortal
  2. Portugal/ Amar by 2B
  3. Croatia/ Vukovi Umiru Sami by Boris Novkovic & Lado Members
  4. Ukraine/ Razom Nas Bahato by Greenjolly
  5. Germany/ Run and Hide by Gracia – I know what you’re thinking. ‘#23? Does this girl actually have functioning ears?’. Well yes, I do, and whilst I don’t approve of the dodgy goings-on that made Germany then what Belarus are now, I reserve the right to think that Run and Hide is not as heinous as the majority of other people. I like its style, and I’m not annoyed at all by those ‘ahh-iy-aaaii’ bits that make up 85% of the song. Unless I have a headache, that is.
  6. Switzerland/ Cool Vibes by Vanilla Ninja
  7. Belgium/ Le Grand Soir by Nuno Resende
  8. Turkey/ Rimi Rimi Ley by Gülseren
  9. Lithuania/ Little By Little by Laura & The Lovers – As a former English major, what I most appreciate about this is the alliteration. There are more Ls there than you could poke Helena Paparizou’s baton at. Still, the song has its charms, outside of it being a cliché and everyone knowing exactly where it’s headed because it’s made up of a tried-and-tested Swedish formula.
Laura obviously missed the memo about wearing black.

Laura obviously missed the memo about wearing black.

  1. Estonia/ Let’s Get Loud by Suntribe
  2. Austria/ Y Asi by Global Kryner
  3. Cyprus/ Ela Ela by Constantinos Christoforou
  4. United Kingdom/ Touch My Fire by Javine – When you consider that then-pregnant glamour model Jordan could have been gyrating around in pink pleather in Javine’s place, Touch My Fire starts to sound and look pretty good. But that aside, 2005 was another fail for the UK. This song would have done better as a radio track than a Eurovision one.
  5. Monaco/ Tout De Moi by Lise Darly
  6. Finland/ Why? by Geir Ronning
  7. Poland/ Czarna Dziewczyna by Ivan & Delfin
  8. Iceland/ If I Had Your Love by Selma – IMO, Selma was suffering from a severe case of Shouldn’t Have Returned-itis when she took to the stage in Kyiv. This song is clearly inferior to her runner-up of 1999 (although the costuming did improve) and I don’t see how she could have thought otherwise. It’s like three different but equally average songs rolled into one, and the result is a total non-event. I guess she really was all out of luck.
Um, Selma?? You've got something on your forehead.

Um, Selma?? You’ve got something on your forehead.

  1. Netherlands/ My Impossible Dream by Glennis Grace
  2. Belarus/ Love Me Tonight by Angelica Agurbash
  3. Russia/ Nobody Hurt No One by Natalia Podolskaya
  4. Ireland/ Love? by Donna & Joe – Love? Not if I can help it. Hands down my least favourite song of the year, this makes Dustin the Turkey’s offering sound like the stuff Grammy winners are made of. It’s just terrible in every way! The performance was super cheesy, the outfits were bad even for 2005, and the song is dire. Ireland did redeem themselves the following year with Every Song Is A Cry For Love, but I have to correct Brian Kennedy. Donna & Joe’s entry was less of a cry for love than a cry for competent songwriters.


I’ve showed you mine…show me yours? How would you rank the Class of ’05? How right or wrong are my rankings?


11 Responses to “Retro Rankings | Kyiv 2005 (a.k.a. remembering Eurovision’s birthday, and celebrating mine!)”

  1. Nick P.

    There are 32 contests in between me and 2005 but I just have to say that I’m super interested in moment #1! Can’t wait for the revelation. 😀


    • Jaz

      The revelation is coming!! But I’m afraid I may have built it up too much. It was really exciting for me, but I’m not sure anybody else will think it’s that exciting. Oh well.


        • Jaz

          So even if I came up to you in the street (not sure how that would eventuate, but just hypothetically) and announced that I had dandruff or something, that would excite you??!? Well, we shouldn’t have any problems then 😀

          PS – I do not have dandruff.


      • Nick P.

        Actually, in the strangest sense, that would because then I could tell you about the best dandruff shampoo I ever used. Try again. 😉

        P.S. – I actually did have dandruff until I really did switch shampoos. Your hypothetical scenario is highly coincidental.
        P.P.S. – Maybe it would be a street in *insert city in hosting country* 2016? 😉


  2. Annika

    Hi Jaz! I hope you had an amazing birthday (and an amazing birthday cake because what are birthdays without cake? 😛 ) I’m curious to know what exciting moment #1 is 😛

    2005 was kind of a meh year for me, but there were a couple of masterpieces. I don’t really know how to rank the songs though xD Let’s see…I loved Hungary, Greece, Croatia, Switzerland, Andorra and Bosnia (though I agree Lako je sve is better). I’m surprised you don’t like “Vukovi Umiru Sami” that much since you say you like Balkan drama. I’m not a big fan of Zauvijek Moja tbh. I loooooooove the music and bits of the choreography though. Turkey, Romania, Moldova, Israel and Ukraine have grown on me a lot since 2005, especially Ukraine which used to be somewhere in my bottom 10. As for the rest..meh..or ew in the case of Austria, Monaco (I used this song for a school project once and got a good grade but I still hate the song), Finland (yawn), Russia, Ireland…Spain, Malta, Sweden! (probably one Sweden’s worst entries ever imo).

    btw, I so agree on Shiri’s dress and looks…How is (or was idk) she so pretty and why can’t I look like her? sigh

    Hope to read you soon again!


    • Jaz

      Thanks!! Adjectives I would use to describe my cake: amazing, fattening, sugary and PLEASE GOD MAKE IT STOP (not an adjective, but necessary).

      I’m worried I built up the mystery exciting thing to be too exciting. It happened, and it was ultra exciting by my standards, but now I’m scared when I write about it people will laugh. Oh well. It’s coming up anyway!!

      I would agree – in the grand scale of things, 2005 was meh. I feel like there was a clear divide between what was good and what was bad. I do really like Croatia, and the Balkan drama-ness of it, but I guess it just paled in comparison to my #1.

      A Eurovision-themed project is the definition of winning. I hope it was an enjoyable one even though you hate the song.

      I love Sweden, but it’s a guilty pleasure, and I can’t believe it won the whole of Melodifestivalen. I’m not familiar with the competition that year, but it must have been pretty weak, right??

      I think we are all agreed that Finland was 110% boring. It had ‘why bother’ written all over it. Man, did they change tack in 2006!

      PS – I Googled Shiri, and as far as I can tell she is still super attractive. Damn her.


  3. jamessayeresc

    Hope you had an absolutely AWESOME birthday Jaz! 🙂

    As for 2005, well… for me it was one of the best contests of recent years, and definitely the top 3 I am most happy with, probably in ESC history. I would rank them like this –

    1) Greece
    2) Malta
    3) Romania (retrospectively any one of these three could be my number one (no pun intended :P) but yeah, I’ll stick with the actual result, just because)
    4) Hungary
    5) FYR Macedonia
    6) France ( ❤ )
    7) Croatia
    8) Portugal (damn that earpiece. a really catchy song that could have done so much better in different circumstances)
    9) Monaco (feel so bad about this one. it was NEVER gonna do well this side of 1970, but I love it so much. fabulous live vocals too.)
    10) Albania
    11) Serbia & Montenegro (agree with all your comments on this song – except I reckon these guys were better looking than Mr. ZJ, but still… great entry)
    12) Belarus
    13) Andorra (stupidly underrated, love this song!)
    14) Ukraine
    15) Cyprus
    16) Lithuania
    17) Ireland (don't see why everyone hates this so much!? I thought it stood out a mile when compared to the dire crap Ireland usually sends!)
    18) Slovenia
    19) Israel
    20) Switzerland
    21) Turkey
    22) Russia
    23) United Kingdom (heard this on the radio as a 9-year-old at the time, and absolutely loved it. Never watched the contest that year, but having seen the performance since, my enthusiasm has waned somewhat. Similar to her vocals really xD)
    24) Iceland
    25) Moldova
    26) Spain
    27) Poland
    28) Denmark
    29) Latvia (ridonkulously overrated in my opinion)
    30) Bosnia & Herzegovina
    31) Estonia
    32) Netherlands
    33) Belgium
    34) Sweden
    35) Norway (evidently I'm dead inside. ouchie :')
    36) Germany (have hardly listened to it at all, but the "aaa-ii-aaaye" is vaguely catchy I guess… ish…)
    37) Austria
    38) Bulgaria (I love Bulgarian music so much, in their later entries, and outside the contest…but THIS. this is just horrible)
    39) Finland (and I just think this is one of the singular most pointless songs ever to have made it to Eurovision. Just.. meh. what.)


    • Jaz

      Well, I don’t know about absolutely awesome, but it wasn’t bad 🙂

      So things worked out pretty well for you in ’05 then! Your top 3 = THE top 3, looking back…ish.

      Portugal were pretty boss, I agree. A little on the cheesey side lyrically, but since you couldn’t understand half of what they were singing anyway, that’s a moot point.

      Andorra was also great. I have to admit though, that one passed me by until I finally bought the CD and listened to it in studio.

      Re: Ireland…give me the dire crap any day over that!! I wouldn’t call what they sent in 2006 dire, but 2004, sure. Still, I’d rather listen to Chris Doran drone on about his world stopping turning for six hours straight than the equivalent of Donna & Joe. Having said that, I thought the song Donna had in the Irish “national final” a few years ago was great. I really wanted her to beat Jedward whilst knowing that would never happen.

      Moldova and Denmark so low?? Me so confused. That grandmamma will not be happy (if she’s still alive).

      Latvia is one of my all-time favourites, so I’m proud to rindonkulously overrate it! I was slightly won over by my crush on Walters/Kazha..I never found out which one it was that I liked. The one with the less stupid hair.

      Okay, you aren’t dead inside. That was melodrama. But…COME ON COME ON COME OOOOONNNN! How can you not love that?!?

      I was actually ROFLing at your Finland comment. I totally agree. And you’ve actually inspired me to do a top 10 of the most boring songs in recent Eurovision history. Headlining: Belgium 2012, and THIS.

      PS – I always thought Geir Ronning looked like he was made of wax. Is that weird? He was so shiny, and…Botox-y.


      • jamessayeresc

        Yep! Loved the result! And of course! Nothing wrong with a bit of cheese when there’s a killer choon to go with it XD

        And reeeallly? I’ve never understood the hype around their 2006 song, and at least Donna & Joe had some energy… and Chris Doran… he’s Geir-level boring imo. Agree to disagree? 😛
        YES! “Mercy” shoulda beaten Jedward EASILY!

        Ahh yeah, I loved the grandmamma, but the song just wasn’t my thing unfortunately.. and OF COURSE SHE’S STILL ALIVE, DON’T DO THIS TO ME!!! :O

        The only thing with Walters & Kazha is that when *whichever one of them* read out the votes a few years back, it was cringey as hell and it just shattered the illusion of them being all cute and perfect and adorable *sigh*

        Well of course… what IS that song, seriously? It just like doesn’t even happen. Clearly a contender for the number one spot in that top 10… Oh wow, I feel honoured! Look forward to reading that one hahah 🙂

        And to be perfectly honest I have avoided watching that performance as much as possible, but looking back at it just now… erm wow. That is one hell of a shiny face he had there…


        • Jaz

          And the choon was even good enough when Luciana started singing and all you could hear was ‘gashaa huse gahh maserrdaah’ or something along those lines. Damn technology. It’s a life ruiner. It ruins peoples’ lives.

          Mmm, Chris Doran was boring. But I prefer vanilla icecream to dog poo flavour, if ya know what I mean. Not that I don’t respect your right to disagree!

          Is she definitely still in the land of the living?? As far as I know, only the Babushkis and Lys Assia will live forever.

          I do recall that the Walters-or-Kazha who read out the votes was NOT the one I had a thing for. I don’t remember how badly he effed it up…

          Nobody light a fire near Geir. He is highly flammable. His Eurovision performance certainly went up in flames…BOOM TISH. OH SNAP. TOUCHE. No??



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