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The winner takes it all…but what happens next???

Here’s a few questions for you: do you keep up to date with the careers of any Eurovision winners? Are you still listening to their music? Have you become enough of a fan to like them on Facebook? Or have you forgotten all about them (shame on you)?

My answers vary, so I decided to do a little more research to see how some of the last decade’s champions have fared since they earned enough douze points to earn them a place in the history books (the ESC history books, that is: the most interesting history books out!). Here’s what I discovered…

 

Sertab Erener

Sertab in Riga, 2003; and her latest album Rengarenk

Winner of: 2003 (Riga, Latvia) with Every Way That I Can

Since her win, Sertab has released 6 albums and 11 singles. Her winning song went to #1 in Turkey, Sweden and Greece, but she has made limited chart appearances in the last few years – despite such prolific musical activity. Her singles that have topped the charts are Here I Am (2003) and Bu Böyle (2009), which both made it in Turkey. Sertab’s last official release was Açik Adres in 2009, which reached #3 there.

My pick for Sertab: Here I Am http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8atJYRVFWmc&ob=av2e

Listen to her latest single: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ke8xhFUr7k

 

Ruslana

Ruslana in Istanbul, 2004; and her latest album, Wild Energy

Winner of: 2004 (Istanbul, Turkey) with Wild Dances

Since exchanging her Xena, Warrior Princess leather for…well, more leather, Ruslana has released 4 albums and 12 singles. Her winning song went to #1 in Greece, Ukraine and Belgium, and #2 in Turkey. The majority of her releases since have been Ukrainian singles and have charted consistently, with Ring Dance with the Wolves (2005), Skazhy Meni (2005), Dyka Enerhiya (2006), Vidlunnia Mriy (2008) and Moon of Dreams (2008) all reached the #1 position. Her latest release is Wow (2011) which peaked at #7.

My pick for Ruslana: Moon of Dreams http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFkJLhgyQag&feature=related

Listen to her latest single: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFEDBrgYbkM

 

Helena Paparizou

Helena in Kyiv, 2005; and her latest album, Greatest Hits and More

Winner of: 2005 (Kyiv, Ukraine) with My Number One

Helena has released 5 albums, 22 singles and numerous EPs since triumphing in Kyiv. Her chart successes have been almost countless! Her winning song went to #1 in Greece and Sweden and she has barely been out of the top 10 in Greece since. Lately, she hasn’t charted charts as solidly as she did in the few years post-win, but nonetheless continues to be a hugely popular artist. She’s topped the charts in Greece and Cyprus with Mambo! (2005), and in Greece with Heroes (2006), Fos (2007), Mazi Sou (2007), To Fili Tis Zois (2007), Porta Gia Ton Ourano (2008), I Kardia Sou Petra (2008) and Baby It’s Over (2011). Her latest single is Love Me Crazy.

My pick for Helena: Baby It’s Over, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jBuniWjsgw&feature=fvwrel

Listen to her latest single: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEmFeyaS9GQ

 

Dima Bilan

Dima in Belgrade, 2008; and his latest album, Dreamers

Winner of: 2008 (Belgrade, Serbia) with Believe

Dima has produced 3 albums and 10 singles since ripping his shirt open in Serbia. Believe failed to make an impact on the charts, only just making the Top 30 in Sweden, and slipping in to the Top 100 in Belgium and Germany. Several of his other singles have reached #1 in Russia. His latest album, Dreamer features a duet with singer Anastacia, and the title track was the latest to be released in March 2011.

My pick for Dima: Changes, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tayy4Hiyn28&feature=related

Listen to his latest single: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3cd0OkaPP0

 

Alexander Rybak

Alexander in Moscow, 2009; and his latest album, Visa Vid Vindens Angar

Winner of: 2009 (Moscow, Russia) with Fairytale

Alexander’s record victory saw him catapulted to the top spot in Norway, Ireland, Russia, Finland, Greece, Sweden and Denmark, as well as making the Top 10 in the UK (an honourable achievement for a modern Eurovision entry!) and charting in Australia. He’s since released 3 albums and 7 singles. His first single after Eurovision, Funny Little World, went to #1 in Norway, but his latest Swedish-language single Resan Till Dig has failed to chart anywhere, unfortunately. Still, Alex scored a whopping great legion of loyal fans alongside his whopping great score in Moscow.

My pick for Alexander: Fela Igjen (feat. Opptur), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaH-VAC-fxs

Listen to his latest single: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elj2rrnqY7Q

Eurovision fan haul: Part 1

The pins: These (from left: Athens 2006, Helsinki 2007, Belgrade 2008 and Athens again) came from the official Eurovision.tv shop, in a surprise package. All you do is order it, and you get a bunch of random items in the mail - merchandise from the last few years - for a great price. There is a risk in that you may receive something you already have (like me) but it’s often worth it. I can’t say I’ve worn the badges yet, but I may have to decorate myself with them this year, as they’re less messy than writing ‘GO TURKEY!’ across your forehead with eyeliner as I did in 2010.

The podcasts: It’s a long story as to why I have these on disc instead of on my iPod, so I’ll try to condense it for you: Chapter 1) They are comprehensive, which is fabulous, but they take up a LOT of room on any device, and my iPod eventually gave me an ultimatum: ‘It’s me or the podcasts, Jaz!’; Chapter 2) I deleted them from said device, but wanted to keep them to listen to again (and again and again); Chapter 3) My laptop is unreliable, having had a meltdown last year of epic proportions. It’s not been the same since, and I didn’t want to risk losing all the podcasts and have to download them all again; Chapter 4) So I burn them onto CDs as I see fit. The End. Get the SBS and ESC Today podcasts on iTunes, and the ESC Insight podcasts at escinsight.com, or iTunes…for FREE of course.
The CD’s: I’ve only recently completed my official album collection (sans 2011, of course), which consists of: 2000-2005 which all came from eBay and together cost me under $50 AUD which is AMAZING; and 2006-2010 which came from both the Eurovision.tv shop, Amazon.co.uk, and music stores here in Australia. I love having them all, not just for display purposes, but because many of the songs from the earlier 2000s aren’t available on iTunes over here. Those CDs are becoming harder to get, but I suggest eBay as a first resource every time, as it is so cheap, and if you pick a reliable seller, you always get what they say you will. My 2001 and 2004 albums cost about $20 AUD…together…including postage. Hence words cannot express my love for eBay.
The ‘other’ CD’s: The first two are: The Very Best of the Eurovision Song Contest from JB Hifi; and Ultimate Eurovision Party from amazon.co.uk. If I had to suggest to you one to get, I’d go for the former, as it features a lot of winners, and all the unforgettables, whereas I think the Party CD originated in the UK, as it’s very biased. It considers James Fox’s Hold On To Our Love a party anthem…still, both are great listens. Lastly, I have: Junior Eurovision 2010 from amazon.co.uk; and Melodifestivalen 2011 from ebay.com.au. I’d never considered buying the JESC or Melodifestivalen albums before these, but I felt both were so strong that I couldn’t go past them.
The videos: Now, before you go emailing the EBU and telling them to arrest me for copyright infringement, I assure you that these are for my private, in-home use only. They are the 2009 and 2010 editions of Junior Eurovision, taped from TV onto trusty VHS and covered to look decent by moi.

Sorry for the layout of this post, but I’m having trouble with the graphics/text combo at the moment. Anyway, this is Part 1 of my ESC haul, which is something that I’ve wanted to do for ages, ever since I became obsessed with watching haul videos on Youtube. For those of you not clued-in to the trend (I for one was quite behind on getting into it), hauls are basically: random people uploading videos where they show you what they bought on a shopping trip, or got for Christmas, or have collectively amassed over a long period of time, and where they got it.

My Eurovision merchandise has been collected over a long period, and though I have done a collection blog before, it has gotten a lot bigger since then – so I wanted to show you how! This is a true haul however, so not only will I be showing you photos of the stuff, but letting you know exactly what I love about it, and where I got it from. So if you’re missing anything from your own hefty pile of ESC trinkets, I hope I can help you out.

Just a few notes:

  • I haven’t got any 2011 things yet, so don’t call me up on that!
  • If you think I’m missing something that every fan should own, please let me know here or via Facebook/Twitter (you can find the links to both of those on the sidebar). And of course feel free to chat to me about anything else ESC.
  • Hauls are great, but they often attract a lot of negative attention from people who think showing off what you own/have purchased is, well, showing off. This is in no way what mine is about. All I want is to give you a look into the ESC side of my life (a large side!). So if you don’t like this sort of thing, don’t read!

 

But if you do, look out for Part 2 soon.

Jaz x

PS – There’s 10 days until Semi Final #1, and the rehearsals begin on Sunday. It’s really happening! You can download the full (and very complicated) rehearsal schedule from eurovision.tv to see when your country will take to the stage for the first time.