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?
#84 – Greta Salóme – Hear Them Calling (Iceland, 2016)
This song’s non-qualification confuses me to this day because it was SUCH a visually stunning and flawless performance. Like honestly, this was the best live performance of the entire decade, and the lack of love for this song in the voting sequence was criminal. It’s also such a jam for any occasion. I can’t believe that we welcome Greta back to the contest and then betrayed her like that. Anyway, stream “Hear Them Calling” for justice.
#83 – Johnny Logan – Hold Me Now (Ireland, 1987)
The artist that launched a very successful 2 decades for his own country, it’s none other than Johnny Logan next. Truth be told, I really don’t enjoy “What’s Another Year?” so this is as much Johnny as we’re going to see. But this was a great ballad from the Irish singer, and it would be unfair not to put him on the list.
#82 – Ott Lepland – Kuula (Estonia, 2012)
I honestly cannot get enough of this song and how beautiful it is. It has a very calming quality to it that makes you want to forget about everything that’s happening in the world. I could listen to Ott sing all day long and not be upset about it. One of the most underrated songs of the 2012 grand final.
#81 – Toto Cutugno – Insieme 1992 (Italy, 1990)
I was always so confused about why this song had the year 1992 in the title, despite being written in 1990. But then I did my back research a few years ago and realized this song is all about the unification of the European nations via the EU in 1992. So in a way this song was in tune with the original meaning of the contest. He also had Yugoslavia’s 1975 representatives (Pepel in Kri) as his backing vocalists that year. Such an impactful song.
#80 – Sirusho – Qele, Qele (Armenia, 2008)
“Qele, Qele” is an ethnic bop that launched an extremely successful career for Sirusho post-contest, thank goodness. While the live version has a few holes in it that are unavoidable due to weird backing vocalists choices, this song still slaps. Plus this is one of Armenia’s best placements, the other being Aram MP3 in 2014.
#79 – IVAN – Help You Fly (Belarus, 2016)
One of the only songs to come out of the Belarussian nation final that didn’t need a massive overhaul, and the best song they’ve ever sent in my opinion. I will say that the live show did become a LOT to handle, including seeing IVAN naked with a wolf, but hey shock value! It’s sad that this didn’t qualify that year.
#78 – Tamara Todevska – Proud (North Macedonia, 2019)
I was worried about this song when they released it, because I didn’t know if they would be able to recreate the gravity of the studio version. But boy, did they deliver. This was an impressive show from the country and deserving of a record breaking finish.
#77 – Zlata Ognevich – Gravity (Ukraine, 2013)
This was the second best song that Ukraine has sent in this decade, the other one will come much later. While the staging concept was a little bit shaky and confusing if you hadn’t seen the music video, this song is a complete jam. This track was just beautifully done all around.
#76 – Birgitta – Open Your Heart (Iceland, 2003)
What a feel good song this was, and the only memorable song from that year arguably besides Sertab’s. It’s a catchy song that was full of quality, a great track, and plays on repeat when I’m in the car. Overall this was a gift to us.
#75 – Lena – Taken By A Stranger (Germany, 2011)
Boy, Lena grew up a ton in the matter of one year. Returning to the contest the year after a victory was a daring move, and one that hadn’t happened since Lys Assia returned in 1957 after winning in 1956, and sadly like that time it didn’t work out for Lena. But man, she gave us such a different kind of entry that was strange but also delightful at the same time.
#74 – Ira Losco – Walk On Water (Malta, 2016)
What a grand return for the second queen of Malta (sorry, Chiara was there first), and what a statement she made during this performance. She didn’t need a massive LED show (although we did get a lot of things on that stage) and she really didn’t need the dancer to be honest. Plus, she did this level of a show while pregnant, which is not an easy task. 10/10 for Queen Losco.
#73 – Roger Pontare – When Spirits Are Calling My Name (Sweden, 2000)
Listen I have a massive love for Roger, and I was super hopeful that he would go on to Kiev in 2017. Sadly, that was not going to happen. Now, Roger is of Sami descent and brings a unique touch to the contest by infusing his culture together into Eurovision songs. But unlike KEiiNO, he performed in Swedish and English, not in the Sami language. That aside, this song is amazing, and one of my favorite Swedish entries of the early 2000s.
#72 – Eleni Foureira – Fuego (Cyprus, 2018)
I’m going to get a lot of bad looks for putting Fuego this low, but I feel like I’ve been Fuego’d out. Sure, this is a great song and was one of the better entries for 2018 track and staging wise…..but there’s not a lot here to work with. That said I do find myself dancing along to this song a ton. There are a lot better songs out there, and that’s why she’s only number 72 sorry Eleni!
#71 – Dalal and Deen ft. Ana Rucner and Jala – Ljubav Je (Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2016)
We talked about “Hear Them Calling” being a surprising non-qualifier, and this song was another shock for me. When this first came out I was like “this is meh” but when it was performed live, my jaw dropped to the floor. It’s a spectacular showcase of the Bosnian language, and sadly this song just couldn’t sneak into the final, coming 11th in Semi-final 1. I also love how they chose to focus on the refugee crisis as well with the blankets, making such a political statement. Screw you juries, you’re the reason we lost B&H!
#70 – Chiara – Angel (Malta, 2005)
The queen has arrived people!!! This is one of many songs that every Eurovision fan must know, for if they don’t then they have to turn their fan card in for shredding. My goodness the world was not ready for Chiara’s comeback from 1998, but the fact that she earned 192 points in the year was amazing (Helena got 230, while Luminata and Sistem earned 158). I guess Malta is cursed to never win the contest.
Well that’s it for this installment of the Eurovision 250 list. Tune back in tomorrow as I reveal songs #55-69 on my list!
- Songs 85-99
- Songs 100-114
- Songs 115-129
- Songs 130-144
- Songs 145-159
- Songs 160-174
- Songs 175-189
- Songs 190-204
- Songs 205-219
- Songs 220-234
- Songs 235-250
What do #YOU think of my picks? Is there something you disagree with? Let us know in the comments, social media, or our forum!