Before the article, a disclaimer – the below editorial is tongue-in-cheek and written from the personal opinion of the author, and does not necessarily represent the views of ESC United as an outlet, its contributors or anyone associated with Eurovision.
As we wind down the calendar year and prepare for the release of ESC Radio’s ESC 250 list, I’ve been thinking a lot about what my personal 250 list would look like. Despite only being a fan for 5 years, I’ve listened to nearly all of the Eurovision entries at least once, currently work on a podcast where we review past contests and current happenings, and of course work for ESCUnited. All this to say, I’ve done a lot of my homework on the 1,500+ songs that make up the Eurovision playbook. Every few days I will release a new chunk on my list, leading up to the grand reveal of ESC Radio’s ESC 250 on December 31st, 2019.
So enough talking, let’s dive back in shall we?
#204 – Nodi Tatishvili and Sophie Gelovani – Waterfall (Georgia, 2013)
I can’t lie, this song was really good and Georgia reaped the rewards of recruiting Thomas G:son to write this entry (If you didn’t know, G:son has written 3 of Georgia’s 7 qualifying songs). It’s really unfortunate that this came RIGHT after “Quedate conmigo” because it is just a copycat song from the previous year, right down to the staging. However, it’s still catchy and well done. Also this was a vocally arresting duet for the year. A+ for performance but D for creativity.
#203 – Edyta Górniak – To nie ja (Poland, 1994)
Another incredible debut in my birth year of 1994 and also the best placement for the country ironically. Edyta created a masterful performance of this song that was captivating, arresting, and beautiful. In fact, I often forget this song is only 3 minutes long. Also that key change gives me the strength to leave bed in the morning. Poland, what happened to you?
#202 – Da Vinci – Conquistador (Portugal, 1989)
Ugh this song is my number one played song from the 1989 contest because it’s so catchy and interesting. Portuguese 80’s pop is such a fascinating genre, mostly because we rarely hear pop from this country. Plus this was a performance with choreography, animated backing vocalists, band members, and a charismatic performer. Her outfit is absolutely stunning as well, it’s giving me Portuguese Madonna complete with one earring.
#201 – Kikki Danielsson – Bra vibrationer (Sweden, 1985)
Another song that I will likely get mocked for, but you have to admit that it is a bit of a soft jam. The track has always been a tad disapointing given that it’s so calm and understated, but Kikki does a good job of carrying the song on her own. Looking at in against more recent material it’s not the most amazing song sure, but I can’t fault it for being in the mid-80’s. Also again, someone who’s styling was inspired by Madonna’s one earring look.
#200 – Paula Seling and Ovi – Playing with Fire (Romania, 2010)
Ah yes, Romania’s tied best placing entry of all time (tied with their 2005 entry “Let Me Try” which also came in 3rd). This entry took the dueling piano’s concept to a whole new level, creating a dueling double keyed, clear, fake piano. Oh and then the classic Paula screech gets unleased. The biggest dissapointment of this song is that the backing vocalists seem so uninterested in the whole performance. Tsk tsk.
#199 – Sinéad Mulvey & Black Daisy – Et Cetera (Ireland, 2009)
This song’s non-qualification is truly criminal, confusing, and angering. Especially when we look at some of the other things that Ireland sent to the contest in that decade – looking at you Dustin the Turkey. This song was SO close to being in the final. Honestly this is the best non-qualifying song of the decade, and you can fight me on that statement all you want. This song brings me back to my childhood of rock girl groups, and how much I enjoyed that. I wouldn’t mind a revenge try for the group, to be honest.
#198 – Antique – Die for You (Greece, 2001)
I went back and forth on this one for a long time, because I didn’t know where it should go. While I enjoy this song and it’s the best Greek song out there (in terms of longevity and official placing in the contest), I feel there are better songs out there including her 2005 return. So for that reason I put her on the list, but she’ll be back later on. Also that white backless jumpsuit is fierce.
#197 – Nicki French – Don’t Play that Song Again (United Kingdom, 2000)
Ah yes, the UK song that everyone forgets exists. Honestly this was such a great Europop song, and Nicki French killed this on stage. Now sure, this type of song would never do well at Eurovision, but in the early 2000’s this kind of music was all the rage. Also can you imagine if crop tops came back into style for Eurovision? Get your fill Eurofans, the UK doesn’t get better than this now.
#196 – Lilianne St. Pier – Soldiers of Love (Belgium, 1987)
This song was an amazing host entry, and really spoke to the musical themes of the late 80’s. Also check out that fake guitar playing and pointing choreography! That gimmick aside, this song was a great song for the contest, and really stood out from the crowd of songs. Unfortunately, due to poor voting and sickness, things didn’t go her way. However, this is a song that still gets me jamming, and would make for a great drag lip-sync song (what’s really important here).
#195 – Ani Lorak – Shady Lady (Ukraine, 2008)
The shady lady herself is up next, the true winner of Eurovision 2008! In all honesty, this song not winning the contest was strange and unusual given that “Believe” is boring, outdated, and just plain sad while Shady Lady is an athem, a pure jam, and comes with men in boxes! This is the one time I will say this – Kirkorov got something right this time.
#194 – Eye Cue – Lost and Found (F.Y.R. Macedonia, 2018)
This one was a big oof live, but you can’t tell me it wasn’t a great song overall. I mean, a reggae-pop song in Eurovision was a first, and this song didn’t dissapoint when we look back at the soundtrack for 2018. Eye Cue was a gift to the country and simply failed in a strong semi-final, but hey sometimes great things come from failure. That dress however, needs to be burned.
#193 – Wig Wam – In My Dreams (Norway, 2005)
Ah glam rock, if only we could get more of you in the contest. This song was one of a few strong songs for the 2005 edition of the contest, and I honestly think Eurovision wasn’t as appreciative to them as they should have been. Also who doesn’t love a man with his hairy chest out, lipstick and wearing a spandex jumpsuit? KISS beware.
#192 – O’G3NE – Lights and Shadows (The Netherlands, 2017)
So I’ll admit, this song wasn’t the most impressive thing on stage for the 2017 contest, but it still finished in 11th place overall so it’s clearly not bad. This song reminds me of my grandmother a lot, who passed away in 2018 and therefore this song resonates with me on an emotional level. Also these three sisters are stellar vocalists, so there’s another reason to add them here. With a better song they could have ended up much higher.
#191 – Luminita Anghel and Sistem – Let Me Try (Romania, 2005)
Romania’s other highest placing entry in the contest, complete with metal barrels, sequences, drum sticks, and sparks oh my! Let me try and explain this one to you: it’s just good. Now sure, Luminita isn’t a percussionist, so the breakdown part is a little awkward, but this was inventive and followed a big trend of “trash-bands” of the mid 2000’s. It was clever, cool, and not overdone.
#190 – Michał Szpak – Color Of Your Life (Poland, 2016)
Well that’s it for this installment of the Eurovision 250 list. Tune back in soon as I reveal songs #175-189 for my list!
What do #YOU think of my picks? Is there something you disagree with? Let us know in the comments, social media, or our forum!