Finishing in the Top 5 at Eurovision is a pretty special achievement. More often than not in recent years, there are more than 40 participating countries, so being one of the five favourite songs as voted by the jury and the viewers at home is validation that it really is one of the best songs in that year. Today we’re looking at our Top 5 fourth placed Eurovision songs, and choosing just five turned out to be a challenge! As in our previous posts, we are setting the time boundaries from Kyiv to Kyiv, or 2005 to 2017!
5. Hadise – Düm Tek Tek
Every time we reminisce on Turkish entries, we realise the void left by their absence. This rings true especially with their 2009 entry, Düm Tek Tek as it’s one of their ‘typical’ Turkish pop songs that appeal to such a wide audience. Hadise is a big star, and she had such the perfect song to perform at Eurovision as it mixes what was a contemporary pop song at the time, with strong cultural elements. Not only was the song great, but the overall performance was worthy of the Top 5 finish. Hadise is serving up perhaps one of the skimpiest outfits seen at Eurovision, but it does suit that belly dancer feel of the song. The pyro in this song adds the most, and I’m here for it. Also who doesn’t love a bit of acrobatics?
4. Sabina Babayeva – When the Music Dies
We will go from upbeat ethno-pop to a powerful ethno-ballad. It’s good to see culture shine through, and although perhaps it doesn’t feel as strong or in your face as Düm Tek Tek, it still has a very distinct cultural flavour. After an underwhelming win from Azerbaijan, this was the exact song needed to get me back on board the Azerbaijan train. In fact, I wish this had won instead, I could have been on board with that, but nevertheless…
It has to be applauded that they took a potentially generic Scandinavian written song and blended the ethnic vocals and sounds to give the song an Azeri identity. This is something that I think Azerbaijan has moved away from in recent years which is a shame. This song and its result are living proof of the success a song like this could have at Eurovision.
3. Sirusho – Qele Qele
We’re back on the ethno pop train again and for good reason. Who doesn’t love a bit of Qele Qele? This is surely one of Armenia’s best entries, and I’m not just talking in terms of results. This is everything you could want in a Eurovision song. It has a mysterious opening which introduces us to the ethnic flavour, and then BOOM, the bop truly begins. It’s the type of song that will well and truly get everyone up and dancing in the Euroclub, and I’m sure it has in the years since the 2008 performance. There’s not a whole lot more to say about this one, as it speaks for itself!
2. Poli Genova – If Love Was a Crime
After the robbery that was Bulgaria in 2011, it was about time that Poli Genova came back to snatch a position she rightfully deserved. This was the catalyst for the renewed Bulgarian efforts at Eurovision, and they couldn’t have kicked it off with a better performance. It was one of the most contemporary entries of the year, but still had the slight hint of Bulgarian language. With a strong song, the nation backed it up with an impressive stage show with good use of choreography and lighting. To think that for the majority of the performance, Poli stood alone on stage is impressive, as you almost don’t notice the lack of back up. Although Kristian Kostov topped Poli on the scoreboard, this entry will still go down as one of the best in Bulgarian Eurovision history.
1. Loïc Nottet – Rhythm Inside
Although Poli Genova was a strong favourite of ours, there is nothing that could top this Top 5 list other than Loïc Nottet. For me, both this and Latvia’s incredibly strong entry in 2015 kicked off the ‘new’ Eurovision – a more contemporary and daring music competition. This song is a lot different to what we had seen at Eurovision previously, and Loïc Nottet was the ‘Poli Genova’ of Belgium in the sense that his performance acted as a catalyst for a stronger effort from Belgium at Eurovision. Not only is the song incredibly contemporary, but there’s no denying that Loïc’s delivery is one of the best of 2015. Vocally spectacular, and also visually spectacular. Who knew that monochrome could look so good! The choreography is sleek, but also quirky in such a charming way. It’s good to see that this entry finished in a place that reflects the quality. In fact, I’d argue that this should have done better than fourth.