You may remember our original Best of the Bunch series, which aimed to find the best Eurovision entry from each nation from the years 2006 to 2015. From that series, we created the ‘Ultimate Eurovision’ which featured the winners of each of the poll, which you can read here. Over the past year, we aimed to find your Best of the Bunch from the last three years, 2016 through to 2018 so now it’s time to create another Ultimate Eurovision!
If you are still interested in voting, the polls will remain open, and for each nation a link will be added!
Prior to their return to the contest in 2015, Cyprus was going through what could only be described as a Eurovision slump. Although the nation occasionally qualified, the results were never all that desirable. After a national selection in 2015, Cyprus decided to internally select the rock group Minus One for Eurovision 2016 with the well-received entry Alter Ego, which qualified, however finished fairly low on the leader board. Cyprus replicated that result the following year with Hovig and his song Gravity but the breakthrough came in 2018. Eleni Foureira set the Eurovision stage on fire with her catchy entry Fuego which finished in 2nd place overall, which was Cyprus’ best result to date. With over 50% of the vote, Eleni Foureira is your Best of the Bunch!
If you haven’t yet had your say in our Best of the Bunch Cyprus poll, you can vote here.
We’re starting off the Best of the Bunch years for Ukraine with a bang! Unexpectedly, Jamala was the winner of the 2016 contest with her song 1944, despite not being the favourite with the jury or televote. On home turf, Ukraine didn’t fare as well – represented by the group O.Torvald, Ukraine finished in 24th place in the final with their song, Time. Fan favourite Melovin represented Ukraine in 2018 with the song Under the Ladder which featured memorable staging however finished in 17th place in the final. The winner of this poll is very clear, with majority vote, your Best of the Bunch is Melovin!
If you haven’t yet had your say in our Best of the Bunch Ukraine poll, you can vote here.
It is safe to say that that Iceland were struggling at Eurovision between our Best of the Bunch years of 2016 and 2018. Starting with Greta Salóme, who was expected to qualify with her song Hear them Calling. Despite the modern stage show, the song failed to qualify to the final, and unfortunately Iceland fell to the same fate in both 2017 and 2018. The performance was a bit more minimalistic in 2017, however their representative Svala didn’t dazzle voters with her song Paper. Iceland sent another ‘safe’ entry in 2018, performed by Ari Ólafsson but it just wasn’t enough to secure the nation a place in the final. From these three entries, your favourite is Greta Salóme!
If you haven’t yet had your say in our Best of the Bunch Iceland poll, you can vote here.
Our Best of the Bunch years perfectly encapsulate the French resurgence at Eurovision, starting with Eurovision 2016 where Amir was selected to represent the previously flailing nation. His bilingual song J’ai Cherché captured the hearts of the voters, and for the first time since 2009, France finished in the Top 10, 6th to be exact! The following year, Alma was chosen to represent France with the song Requiem, a song that fans also loved prior to the contest. Although it didn’t make the top 10, it was close, finishing 12th. That brings us to 2018, where Madame Monsieur were selected with the song Mercy, and like the previous two years, the song was tipped to do well at the contest. In the end, it finished in 13th place. It was a close vote, but Amir is your Best of the Bunch!
If you haven’t yet had your say in our Best of the Bunch France poll, you can vote here.
Austria can be hit or miss at the contest, but in recent years, has had more qualifications to the final than not. Our Best of the Bunch years featured three qualifiers for Austria, starting with Zoë and her French language song Loin d’ici. A year prior, Austria finished with nul points on home soil, so it was rewarding to see Austria back in the final, and then finish 13th place in the final. The following year, Nathan Trent was chosen to represent Austria with the song Running On Air, and it proved to be a bit of an underdog at Eurovision. It wasn’t a strong favourite for qualification, but it did end up in the final and was liked by the juries, which helped Austria into 16th place in the final. Their best result was in 2018 with Cesár Sampson and his song Nobody But You. Again, an underdog of sorts, not expected to do as well as it did, finishing in 3rd place in the final. The votes are in, and Nathan Trent is your Best of the Bunch!
If you haven’t yet had your say in our Best of the Bunch Austria poll, you can vote here.
It’s not all that often that we see Montenegro reach the final at Eurovision, and that is evident in our three Best of the Bunch years. Starting with the rock group Highway, which were an unlikely choice from Montenegro. Their performance was impressive, but not enough to reach the final, finishing in 13th place. The following year, Montenegro selected the eccentric artist, Slavko with the song Space. Although a guilty pleasure song for many, it was again not strong enough to reach the final, finishing in 16th place in the semi-final. Montenegro struggled again in 2018, this time with the ballad Inje sung by Vanja Radovanović. The song once again finished in 16th place in the semi-final. Your votes are in, and it’s another close one, but Slavko is your current Best of the Bunch!
If you haven’t yet had your say in our Best of the Bunch Montenegro poll, you can vote here.
As you may already know, Spain is one of the automatic qualifiers at Eurovision, so we always see them in the final. That doesn’t always equate to success, and that rings true over our Best of the Bunch years. We start with Barei, who performed the upbeat song Say Yay at Eurovision. It was definitely hyped up prior to Eurovision, but unfortunately failed to make a big impact with voters on the night, finishing in 22nd place. The following year, Manel Navarro was selected with the laidback song, Do It For Your Lover which didn’t seem to get that much buzz prior to the contest. Unfortunately Spain finished in last place with just 5 points. The following year, it was up to Amaia and Alfred with their ballad, Tu Canción, which was a hit with a lot of fans, but unfortunately just not with the voters, finishing in 23rd place. The votes are in, and your Best of the Bunch is Barei with Say Yay!
If you haven’t yet had your say in our Best of the Bunch Spain poll, you can vote here.
North Macedonia is also a nation that doesn’t always see success at Eurovision, but despite that, they have put forward some good entries over the past few years. That includes Kaliopi’s return to the contest in 2016 with the ballad Dona, which may not have been as good as her previous entry from 2012, but still a possibility for qualification. It was a close call, but not in their favour, as Kaliopi finished in 11th place in the semi-final. The following year, Jana Burčeska was selected with the modern entry, Dance Alone which was a big hit among fans. It had huge potential at Eurovision, but unfortunately didn’t reach the heights it was expected to, finishing 15th in the semi-final. The group Eye Cue was chosen to represent the nation in 2018 with the song Lost and Found, but unfortunately some average staging did no favours for the nation, and they once again finished their Eurovision journey in the semi-finals. Your current Best of the Bunch is Jana Burčeska!
If you haven’t yet had your say in our Best of the Bunch North Macedonia poll, you can vote here.
Stay tuned for our upcoming posts featuring more of the artists in our Ultimate Eurovision!
Read Part 1 here.
Read Part 2 here.
Read Part 3 here.
Are your favourites in this list? Tell us who would make it to your Ultimate Eurovision in the comments below!