My Top Ten Favorite Eurovision Countries
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My Top Ten Favorite Eurovision Countries

My list of the best and strongest countries to compete in Eurovision

My Top Ten Favorite Eurovision Countries
Eurovision Song Contest

With just one month to go until Eurovision 2017, I thought it would be fun to make a list of my favorite countries that have participated in the Eurovision Song Contest! For clarification, this list is not a list of my favorite songs/countries of Eurovision 2017, but a list of my favorite countries that have ever participated in the contest, based on how frequently I like their songs or artists that have represented the country.

Before I begin, you may be asking yourself, "What the hell is Eurovision?" Don't worry, this is a very common thought for Americans as the publicity of Eurovision barely ever comes close to reaching the States. The Eurovision Song Contest is an international song contest held throughout all of Europe. Participating countries from Europe, the Middle East, and even Australia send one artist/group to represent their country with an original song in a three-night performance for 200 million viewers. Each country has a jury of judges who award point values of 1-8, 10, and 12 points to their top ten favorite performances, and even the viewers at home can vote for their favorites too! The contest began in 1956, and has continued strong for over sixty years now. So without further ado, let's start with my top five honorable mentions.

Honorable #5: Luxembourg

Ah, Luxembourg, one of the six original countries to participate in the first ever Eurovision Song Contest (ESC), where did you go? The little country of Luxembourg hasn't participated in ESC since 1993, but it has won the competition a whole five times. I've enjoyed a lot of Luxembourg's older songs and hope they make a return sometime in the future!

Honorable #4: Denmark

To be honest, Denmark got an honorable mention just because of "Only Teardrops," by Emmelie de Forest, winning the competition in 2013. Denmark's songs and artists have been generally to my liking, but "Only Teardrops" secured the country an honorable mention. Seriously, go listen to the song, it's really good.

Honorable #3: Israel

I tend to think that Israel is a rather underrated country in ESC. Israel won the contest in 1998, which happened to be the year I was born, so that played a small role in their ranking. Also, in the past three years, Israel's music has gotten a lot better, which I'm happy has happened.

Honorable #2: Bulgaria (The Recent Years)

Bulgaria ranks pretty high in the honorable mentions despite their music not being of much interest to me. However, their song last year "If Love Was A Crime" by Poli Genova and their song this year "Beautiful Mess" by Kristian Kostov have put them very high in the rankings/potential rankings respectively that I have to give them a mention.

Honorable #1: Moldova

Not only did Moldova's 2010 ESC song create the Epic Sax Guy meme (yep, that's where that came from), but their songs have been pretty fun over the past few years, despite the country not qualifying for the Grand Final very often.

With the honorable mentions done, let's move on to my top ten favorite ESC countries!

10: Switzerland

As far as underrated songs go, Switzerland is the champ. Despite having a shaky record of qualifying for the Final, I find myself enjoying Switzerland's songs quite frequently. In addition to this, Switzerland has two ESC wins, and both are important for different reasons. Not only did they win the first contest in 1956, but they won again in 1988 with "Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi," sung by the one and only Celine Dion.

9: Austria

I discovered Eurovision in April of 2016, just as things were gearing up for that year's competition. It was a friend of mine who introduced me to the contest and educated me about the program. One of the very first songs I heard was "Rise Like A Phoenix," which won the contest for Austria in 2014, sung by the incredibly talented Conchita Wurst. It was with that song I fell in love with Eurovision and have been engrossed with it for a year straight now. Austria has won ESC twice, and their song in 2016 was also quite good. Even though they're not exactly one of the strongest contenders, Austria will always have a special place with me.

8: France

I used to think France was overrated in Eurovision, but upon their songs for 2016 and 2017, along with listening to a bunch of their past songs, I realized that France always brings a unique sound to the contest and is a regularly strong contender, despite being one of the Big 5. For a little context, the Big 5 countries are Italy, France, the UK, Spain, and Germany. Each year they get to qualify for the Grand Final without competing in one of the two semi-finals since they all donate the most money to the annual production of ESC.

7: Russia

Despite Russia having political tensions with almost every country in Eurovision (cough--Ukraine--cough), I still think their songs are some of the best in the contest each year. Last year's "You Are The Only One" by Sergey Lazarev is probably one of my favorite Eurovision songs ever, coming in at 3rd place last year. Russia is always a strong contender with great songs, qualifying for the Grand Final almost every year. However, the country has only won one time in 2008, despite have a couple handfuls of 2nd and 3rd place titles since its first participation in ESC in 1994. So hopefully next year Russia comes prepared with an amazing song without getting banned from entering the host country (the host country is the country that won the previous year and all the participants travel to that country where the contest is held).

6: Armenia

Being one of my two favorite Middle Eastern ESC countries, Armenia has almost always entered the contest with a strong song, each being very fun to listen to. Since its debut in 2006, Armenia has only failed once to qualify for the Grand Final, and each time placed within the top ten, with the exception of 2013 and 2015. Thanks to this steady track record, Armenia has overcome being a young ESC country as a solid contender.

5: Belgium

Belgium in Eurovision is the gift that keeps on giving. Every single year Belgium puts out a unique song that always makes them stand out from the competition. Whether their song is totally boppin' like 2016's "What's the Pressure?" by Laura Tessoro, or a unique song like 2017's "City Lights" by Blanche, Belgium's song is always one I look forward to hearing. In addition, Belgium has the record of the youngest contestant to ever win Eurovision; Sandra Kim, at the age of 13, won for Belgium in 1986 with her song "J'aime La Vie."

4: Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan is my favorite Mid-East country in Eurovision because of their unfailing talent of sending amazing songs to ESC every year, making them a regular semi-final qualifier. Being another relatively new country to Eurovision, having made its debut in 2008, Azerbaijan has qualified for the final each year so far, having won in 2011 and finishing in the top ten a total of 6 of 9 times (7 of 10 if you count their high odds for 2017). Azerbaijan is undoubtedly going to keep on killing it every year in the future of Eurovision.

3: Italy

I'm not one for favoring a Big 5 country since they always get to be in the Grand Final, but that doesn't stop Italy from being one of my frequent favorites to win Eurovision each year. From years 2015-2017--the years I've been obsessed with Eurovision, starting in 2016 and learning about 2015--Italy has been my favorite act in 2015 with "Grand Amore" by Il Volo and 2017's song "Occidentali's Karma" by Francesco Gabbani. Italy's songs are always dynamic and amazing to listen to as well.

2: Sweden

But of course the country of ABBA's origin is going to rank high on my list. Perhaps one of the strongest countries in ESC, Sweden brings the power every year. In addition to being so strong, ABBA won Eurovision in 1974 with their signature song "Waterloo," launching ABBA into stardom. In that same year they beat out other artists like Olivia Newton-John who represented the UK. Sweden might not be a Big 5 country, but that hasn't stopped Sweden from qualifying for the final 55 times of its 56 year run in the competition. Sweden also has the second-highest win record with six wins (Ireland has the most with 7 wins).

1: Australia

The baby country of Eurovision, making its debut in 2015's Grand Final as a special guest, has become my favorite country in the competition. This is due purely to their 2016 song "Sound of Silence" by Dami Im, which got the highest amount of jury votes, and thanks to the fourth-highest amount of televotes, Australia won an amazing second place after having to actually qualify in the semi-finals last year. Their song for 2017 "Don't Come Easy" by Isaiah Firebrace is also a strong contender, and it amazes me how after only three years Australia has become a regular powerhouse.

I hope my list of favorite countries in Eurovision has inspired you all to look into the contest since the contest promotes diversity and you get to hear music from all around the world. It's also a great thing to fangirl about year-round.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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