Eurovision Trivia: Favorites that sank in bookies’ numbers (part one)

Eurovision Trivia: Favorites that sank in bookies’ numbers (part one)

Since 2004, after the introduction of the semi-finals system in the Eurovision Song Contest, there have been  times when the results came as surprise or even a shock. If not always, many times, there have been favorites who unexpectedly failed to qualify to the Grand Final or even when they made it the results were a disaster to what initially expected. Entries from which we had high expectations, we hoped for a good result but  eventually  ended up at the bottom of the scoreboard. Several times we ve put on the repeat  participations  again and again wondering  if it was the staging that led it to bad placing or just the dynamics of the song was not as great as estimated.

We will start a small flashback to some of those years when the results failed to meet the bookies’  and fans’ predictions.


Belarus  competed with high expectations that year. Angelica Agurbash was the Belarusian representative and she was clearly expecting to qualify to the Grand Final but her wishes were not heard. The audience ranked her 13th in the semifinals, losing the ticket for the grand final. Although the prevailing estimation wanted her to win a very good place in the Final, viewers on semi final day didn’t share the same impression. A notable fact that the artist competed with a different  song than the one which won the national selection process, entitled “Boys and Girls”. (Several times Belarus competes with another song than the one it wins in its national choice). Angelica, however, believing that her first entry won’t make it to the semi-final, decides to change her song. Between  the “Show Me Your Love” by Israeli composer Svika Pick and “Love Me Tonight” by the Greek Nektarios Tyrakis (lyricist) and Nikos Terzis (composer), she chose the second one without eventually bringing her the desired qualification.


For many fans of the contest, Kate Ryan‘s entry  is one of Eurovision entries with such an unfair placing. «Je t’adore» was the winning song  of the long-standing Belgian national selection for that year, “Eurosong ’06”, which included four quarter-finals, two semi-finals and one final. Before the semifinals in Athens, her qualification was certain and,moreover, she was claiming a very good place in the final. But,disappointing her fans, Belgium finished in  the 12th place of the semi-final with 69 points despite the artist’s  very good performance and high popularity among fans.


Evridiki returns for the third time in the contest representing Cyprus (1992 and 1994). Alongside with Dimitris Korgialas and his electric guitar she performed in Helsinki “Comme Ci Comme Ca”, one of the favorites that year with predictions estimating a top 10 placing . It was strongly believed that the song could bring a result equal to that of 2004 and Lisa Andreas. However, the participation ended in the 15th place of the semi-final with 65 points. According to after arguments their modest performance on stage seemed to take the blame for such a disappointing outcome . Of course, the phenomenon of block voting was really intense that year, especially by the Eastern countries, leaving good entries outside the final. The results triggered changes that were introduced next year with the introduction of the two semi-finals system.


“Vampires Are Alive” was another entry considered as a favorite that year since it was written by the well-known composer and music producer, Dj BoBo. Kimia Scarlett was also in the vocals. The composer had released 12 studio albums worldwide, and only by hearing his name many have felt that Switzerland would be present in the final for the third consecutive year. However, his participation not only did not qualify to the final but also ended 20th in the semi-final with 40 points. Watching the performance on stage you felt like watching a musical more than presenting a song on which you could not focus.


Nine years after her win with the song “Take Me To Your Heaven”, Charlotte Perrelli returns to Eurovision representing Sweden with “Hero”. The singer, winner of Melodifestivalen 2008, appeared on Belgrade’s stage with huge expectations following her popoularity, as all predictions we’re indicating a top 5 placing. However, on the big night of the Final, her entry finished 18th with 47 points. When the results were published,  Charlotte,normally,had not even qualified to the final as the viewers ranked her 12th in the second semifinal. Her participation was favored within the framework of the general changes of that year, as the tenth country nominated for the Final, selected by a competent committee. Actually, “ Hero” “stole” the qualification from FYROM with Tamara, Vrčak & Adrian and the song “Let Me Love You”, which, according to televoting, was in tenth place in the semifinal.


Slovakia, which has a small course in the institution, participates in 2010 with Kristina Pelakova and “Horehronie”. Due to its ethnic sound and the sense of fairy tale it was exhaling, many fans believed that Slovakia would surprise Europe and would qualify to the final by winning a decent position. However, the entry ended in the 14th place of the semifinal in televoting and only 16th in the juries voting, resulting with the disappointing total of 24 points. Since then, the country has been involved for two more years and has withdrawn without ever being able to overcome the “obstacle” of the  semifinals.

Stay tuned to for the second part with the rest of the years!

Fotis Kourouvanis

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.