As the decade draws to a close (or does it? For every person who thinks 2010 is the start of the new decade there are plenty of people out there who will tell you it’s the last year of the old one. But anyway…..) it seems that a lot of sites have gotten all nostalgic over the last ten years in Eurovision history. And who are we to buck the trend? After much deliberating, cogitating and settling disputes outside by the bins, we are proud to present The Unofficial Eurovision Blog Awards Of The Noughties. And they go as follows……
BEST NEW COUNTRY OF THE PAST 10 YEARS
Moldova – had a smashing debut in 2005 with Zdob si Zdub and their granny but haven’t done quite so well since, although we did love their 2009 effort.
Serbia – had one of the best debuts ever with 2004’s Lane Moje, their Eurovision track record is a bit patchy but they deserve a mention for not only winning but putting on a damned good contest the next year.
Azerbaijan – this lot really do seem to have gotten the hang of things very quickly, but sadly haven’t been in the contest long enough to justify winning this. But at their current performance level we’ll be very surprised if they don’t win at some point in the next 10 years.
Armenia – solid rather than spectacular newcomers, we’ve liked everything they’ve done so far without it actually wowing us. Kudos to them however for bringing the dance routine back to Eurovision courtesy of Jan Jan.
And the winner is – UKRAINE!!
Well it couldn’t be anybody else really could it? The Ukrainians first appeared in 2003 and apart from a couple of dodgy years have had a smashing track record – not only did they win it at their second attempt but they’ve barely been out of the top ten since. And can you honestly think of another country who has come up with such consistently entertaining performances? Svetlana’s outlandish Be My Valentine in 2009 almost deserves an award of its own. In short they have, in just seven years, become one of the countries that we most look forward to seeing on the Eurovision stage. Can’t wait to see what they have planned for 2010.
BEST WINNING SONG
Molitva – Marija Serifovic (Serbia 2007). The song that made us all realise, after years of flamboyant performances, that it was OK to sing a ballad, in a foreign language without a flashy dance routine.
Every Way That I Can – Sertab Erener (Turkey, 2003). Because we won £250 betting on it when it was an outsider. And, er, it’s quite good too.
Fairytale – Alexander Rybak (Norway, 2009). The Marmite winner of the past 10 years. Love it or hate it, you can’t help but admire Pixie’s utter dominance of the 2009 contest.
Hard Rock Hallelujah – Lordi (Finland, 2006). Bet you all thought this would win. Nope.
And the winner is….You’re My Number One – Helena Paparizou
This one deserves the award for a number of reasons; because it gave Greece their long LONG overdue win, because it’s a blimmin’ brilliant pop song, because it’s slickly performed, and because unlike other winners you don’t listen to it years later and think ‘My God, what was I thinking??????’ ‘Tis a classic winner and will remain so.
WORST WINNING SONG
Believe – Dima Bilan (Russia, 2008) – oh come on. It’s dullsville and you know it.
Fly On The Wings Of Love (Denmark, 2000) – Er……
And the winner is…..Everybody (Estonia, 2001)
There’s a reason why the 2001 champion Everybody is regarded as a ‘shock winner’ – because that’s exactly what it was, and in fact to this day still is. While the 2001 contest was far from one of the best there were still some very decent songs in there – Greece’s Die For You, France’s All I Have Is My Soul and Sweden’s Listen To Your Heartbeat would all have been credible winners. Even Denmark’s second-placed song Never Ever Let You Go was good enough that a second consecutive win for the Danes wouldn’t have been out of the question. But in spite of all that this bumbling disco effort, which in other years would have struggled to make the top ten, somehow triumphed – and to this day we’re not sure how. We couldn’t even remember it about five minutes after the contest finished, and we can’t remember it now.
Ironically, the songs the Estonians entered in 2000 and 2002 would have made far better winners, but it was not to be – and their out of nowhere win didn’t exactly do a lot for their track record since after their home turf contest the following year they didn’t come within sniffing distance of the top ten again until Urban Symphony’s fabulous Randajad in 2009. Now that would have been a credible winner. Take note Estonians, should you want to win this thing again….
BEST DEBUT ENTRY
Bunica Bate Toba (Moldova, 2005) – was it the song or the added attraction of Granny? Actually it was the former. We liked this from the minute we heard it.
My Story (Georgia, 2007) – a barnstormer of a debut. Should have done a lot better.
Lane Moje (Serbia and Montenegro, 2004) – spine-tinglingly brilliant.
Image Of You (Albania, 2004) – a surprisingly good debut tune from the Albanians, which nobody – except us, natch – thought would do well. But it did.
And the winner is – My Star (Latvia, 2000)
What was it about Latvia’s debut effort which makes it so beloved? Was it Renars Kaupers’ slightly deranged performance, its Britpoppy sound, the fact that Latvia had taken us all by surprise and come up with something so fresh sounding, all of the above? Er, yes. There was something so simple and joyful about this song – and so non-Eurovision sounding, that it ended up being hugely appealing. And was it just us or did 2002’s Latvian victory feel like a bit of a consolation prize? Can’t help feeling this is the one that should have done it for them.
COUNTRY WE MISS THE MOST
Austria – we do miss you actually. In spite of Alf Poier and Global Kryner.
Luxembourg – it’s been such a long time we’ve forgotten what you sound like. No matter, COME BACK!!
And the winner is – Italy
Well were you expecting it to be anybody else really?? Come on Italy, please stop sulking and get yourself back to Eurovision where you belong. We promise not to poke fun at Toto Cutugno’s presenting skills any more if you do. Honest.