5 greatest Eurovision Song Contest winners

  1. Abba Waterloo

An obvious winner. Their star burned more brightly and less long than most. Waterloo is so good it sounds so completely of its time (Brighton 1974) yet wouldn’t be out of place in any of the intervening 42 years. ‘So how could I ever refuse …?’

  • Read on for archive performances including Dana International and Conchita

2. Johnny Logan What’s Another Year?

In a year when we’re predicting Sweden will grab its half of the Eurovision crown as its most successful country, it’s perhaps fitting Abba nudges this three-time winner out of his close-up. For us he’s the opposite of a fine wine, less potent with each of his victories. To The Hague in 1980.

3. Dana International Diva

Back in Birmingham in 1998 the experiment to allow the public a say in the eventual Eurovision winner began with Israel’s transsexual entry Dana International seeing off Malta’s Chiara in a nail biting finish. It was far from the best song of the night or performance but finally there was a sense Eurovision was getting to know its audience. And rather enjoying it.

4. Conchita Rise Like A Phoenix

Fast forward 16 years and there’s something very knowing and accepting about Conchita’s extraordinary triumph. Had Eurovision just jumped the shark with a bearded lady winner?

5. France Gall Poupée de cire, poupée de son

To Naples in 1965 and a win for Luxembourg from the pen of Serge Gainsbourg and a first note that’s the stuff of X Factor nightmares.

  • Enjoyed this top 5? Follow its author on Twitter @NeilDurham 
  • We’ll be writing about this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Check out our previews of semis 1 and 2 and the final.

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