- Verka Serduchka Dancing Lasha Tumbai (Ukraine 2007)
We were at the Hartwall Areena in Helsinki in 2007 when this had the misfortune of following immediately after eventual winner Molitva by Marija Šerifović. We hadn’t fancied it much before we left London for Finland but when we arrived it was clear what a fan favourite it was. Multiple key changes, a riot in Bacofoil and a simple, insistent hook, it defeated Šerifović in a recent Eurovision Again vote. ‘Let’s speak dance!’
- Read on for reasons including the UK’s greatest runner-up, Chiara and why Selma was All Out Of Luck
2. Kathy Kirby I Belong (UK 1965)
Number 3 on our greatest ever UK Eurovision entries list, Kirby sang second – a position from which no act has ever won in the contest’s 65-year history in 1965 – and was beaten only by a song from our greatest Eurovision winners list. Then 26-year-old Kirby out sings winner France Gall and bosses a catchy pop song with affecting lyrics far ahead of its time: ‘Now my heart has recovered from past affairs that turned wrong, All my dreams are uncovered, I Belong.’ At just shy of two minutes and 20 seconds, it really leaves you wanting so much more.
3. Selma All Out Of Luck (Iceland, 1999)
This is the closest Iceland has come to winning Eurovision, finishing just 17 points adrift of Charlotte Nilsson’s inferior song Take Me To Your Heaven. All Out Of Luck is a perky slice of pure pop which struggles only in the ambition of its choreography which is executed both perfectly and impressively but just looks a little too fast. Selma was definitely all out of luck when she returned to the contest in 2005 but failed to make it out of her semi.
4. Mocedades Eres tú (Spain, 1973)
One of only five Spanish acts to enjoy a US top 10 hit and the only one sung entirely in its native tongue, Eres tú (It’s You) was beaten by four points by Luxembourg’s own Anne-Marie David with Tu te reconnaîtras. To these ears it sounds a little like Can’t Help Falling In Love by Elvis Presley. As we’ve written before, we can’t spend enough time in Spain and this is definitely one of the country’s Eurovision classics. We were in Copenhagen in 2005 when it was voted the 11th best ever entry during Eurovision’s Congratulations show.
5. Chiara Angel (2005, Malta)
Malta remains a country seemingly desperate to win Eurovision and Chiara is the closest it got. In 1998 the gentle ballad The One That I Love finished third and just seven points behind Dana International’s Diva. We prefer Chiara’s self-penned, soaring and anthemic ballad Angel which was runner-up to Helena Paparizou’s My Number One in Kiev.