Prior Winners

May 09, 2017

Prior Winners

This year there’s an equal split in contenders: 21 of the countries have won at least one edition of the ESC and 21 are yet to prove themselves. The prior winners have returned to claim yet another win and will definitely put up a fight against the underdogs representing the 21 countries who haven’t yet taken the trophy home.

So without further ado, let’s meet our returning champions:

Austrian dreamboy Nathan Trent uses an acoustic guitar to back his pleasant singing voice in the feel-good song, “Running on Air.” I swear you can hear him smiling as he sings. Since 1956, Austria has competed 49 times and has won twice.

Diana Hajiyeva, better known by her stage name Dihaj of Azerbaijan will sing “Skeletons.” Her melodic voice and the strength of the orchestra and the lyrics are all great assets for when she takes the stage. Dihaj is Azerbaijan’s ninth performer since they enrolled in the song contest in 2008, but will she secure the country’s second win?

Blanche of Belgium takes our hand and escorts us to the danger zone: The place where we’re hypnotized by her voice. She collaborated on “City Lights” in preparation for Belgium’s fifty-ninth consecutive entry since Eurovision’s inception. But we won’t find out until tonight if she manages to continue on to the Grand Finale and get a step closer to Belgium’s second win.

“Where am I” by Anja of Denmark demonstrates the powerful range of her vocals. She’s confident that because she co-wrote “Where am I,” she has a stronger connection with the lyrics and will deliver a stronger performance. In 46 years Denmark has won three times; Will Anja’s voice be strong enough to win a fourth?

Pop duo Koit Toome and Laura of Estonia make the third return to the Eurovision Stage with the song “Verona.” Hopefully, Koit and Laura will avoid the tragedy the befell Romeo and Juliet in Verona and will instead flourish and achieve Estonia’s second victory in 23 years.

Birds of a feather flock together, and Leena and Lasse have flocked for fifteen years, making up the indie pop group known as Norma John. The Finnish duo will sing their self-written “Blackbird,” which demonstrates the strength of their friendship. Since 1961, Finland has participated 51 times and won only once.

As one of the “Big Five” France graces the stage with 60 years of experience and five wins under their belt. Their selection this year is the young and talented Alma who sings “Requiem” and takes us all to paradise with the juxtaposition of an energetic melody and an ethereal singing voice.

The second “Big Five” contender is Germany’s Levina. Germany has been around for 61 years and has won twice. Will the “Perfect Life” at the Grand Finale bring the stage to Berlin next year?

Longtime Eurovision fan Demy takes the stage with an energetic song titles “This is Love.” In 38 years Greece has won once. Will the audience love Demy and guarantee them a second win?

Brendan Murray is “Dying to Try” to secure Ireland’s eighth win in 51 years. The twenty-year old vocalist shouldn’t be underestimated: He’s spent the last three years singing and follows a trend of strong Irish performers.

Israeli IMRI puts a jump in all our heartbeats with his performance of “I Feel Alive.” Israel has participated in Eurovision 40 times and has won on three occasions. IMRI hopes to set the stage on fire and we’re all excited to see his performance.

Quit monkeying around Francesco Gabbani! “Big Five’s” Italian performer brought an ape on stage for their forty-third Eurovision show.

Edgy pop-rock band Triana Park of Latvia initially recorded the song “Line” in a bedroom. They were unaware that it would become viral and earn them the honor of being the eighteenth performers to represent Latvia, and maybe, the second victors.

Three Netherlandic sisters complement one another and harmonize perfectly in their band, OG3NE. They are fifty-eighth to represent the Netherlands with the song “Light and Shadows,” though we won’t know until the second semi final and, of course, the Grand Finale if they will secure the country’s fifth victory.

With three wins in 56 years, Norway will “Grab the Moment” with JOWST, a group that enlists a blend of acoustics with sound engineered beats.

We all know that Serbian pop princess Tijana Bogićević isn’t “In too Deep” with her powerhouse performance. The song is packed with energy that is a lot different from their last ten performers, but it remains to be seen if the modern approach will earn her Serbia’s second win.

We’d certainly do a lot for the handsome Spanish contender, Manel Navarro who sings “Do It For Your Lover.” In 57 years, Spain has won twice, will Navarro’s toe-tapping balad bring on lucky number three?

Robin Bengtsson of Sweden is their fifty-seventh entry and, potentially, their seventh win. His performance of “I Can’t Go On” exemplifies his talent.

Fifty-eight performances and two wins later, Switzerland blesses Eurovision with Timebelle. The group has watched Eurovision since they were kids and their rendition of “Apollo” shows that they’ve learned quite a bit from being Eurovision fans.

Ukraine’s O.Torvald have the home field advantage with their performance of “Time.” Ukraine had their second win of 13 entries last year.

Last, but certainly not least, the United Kingdom’s Lucie Jones is no stranger to the stage though 2017 makes her first trip to the ESC while this makes the UK’s sixtieth appearance and potentially, their sixth win. “Never Give Up On You” is a heartfelt ballad that showcases her talent.

Now that you’ve got all the facts and figures, does anyone stand out to you? Do you think the underdogs have a chance against these repeat contenders? Let us know in the comments section below!


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