Throughout the years we’ve seen a number of artists that have made an attempt at Eurovision participation after varying degrees of prior fame, as well as some artists who have popped up in some less than expected locations…..
Hamburg-based techno group Scooter were huge both at home and around Europe in the 90s and early 00s with hits such as The Logical Song, but found themselves wooed into participation by German broadcaster ARD in its attempt to revive the country’s fortunes at Eurovision in 2004, entering Germany 12 Points! with Jigga Jigga.
While she is a household name in her native Sweden, Nanne Grönvall (already known to a Eurovision audience as part of One More Time, who came third at Eurovision 1996 with the song Den Vilda) made a surprise appearance in the United Kingdom’s A Song For Europe in 2001, with the song Men, written by Kimberley Rew (one of Katrina’s Waves from 1997). She later went on to participate three times in Sweden’s Melodifestivalen but never quite made a win for herself.
The Weather Girls
In possibly one of the most bizarre candidates to make our list, The Weather Girls, best known for the disco anthem It’s Raining Men, made a appearance together with the Disco Brothers in Germany’s Countdown Grand Prix 2002 with a song called Get Up, Stand Up.
While her smash hit Black Velvet got her a US number one single and made the top five in countless more countries, her appearance in Sweden’s Melodifestivalen in 2005 made local headlines for the Canadian singer, despite her entry, with K2, We Got It All coming only seventh in the semi finals.
British boyband A1 topped the UK charts in the late 90s and early 00s with singles such as Take On Me and Same Old Brand New You. While their fame in the UK slowly dwindled, the band has retained some mild appeal in Norway, likely due in part to band member Christian Ingebrigtsen’s Norwegian heritage. From this, they were selected to compete in Norway’s Melodi Grand Prix in 2010, coming an honourable second place with the song Don’t Wanna Lose You Again behind eventual winner Didrik Solli-Tangen, who represented the country on home soil in Oslo that year.
Swedish Techno-folk band Rednex, famous for the hit Cotton Eye Joe from 1994, turned up over a decade later in the 2006 edition of Melodifestivalen with the song Mama Take Me Home. The song qualified to the final through Andra chansen. Two years later, they tried their luck further south with the song RailRoad, RailRoad in the Romanian preselection in 2008 with the song RailRoad. The song only made the final after the withdrawal of another entry.
Spanish duo Baccara proved early on that they were more than happy to trade national pride for fame, having represented Luxembourg at the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Parlez-vous Français?, following their smash hit Yes, Sir I Can Boogie. While only one of the original band members was involved in this later attempt, the band entered Sweden’s Melodifestivalen in 2004 with the song Soy Tu Venus which came second last in its semi final.
US house artist Ultra Naté, known for her smash hit Free, and as being a part of Stars On 54 who in 1998 performed the smash hit If You Could Read My Mind, turned up in the Swiss preselection in 2012 with the song My Love. The song, which was part of the SF preselection (the Swiss German broadcaster), did not even make the national final, together with two more unexpected faces, South African Idols winner Heinz Winckler with the song Who You Really Are, and Same Difference (a brother and sister duo who found fame from X Factor in the UK) with Music.
Katrina and The Nameless
Eurovision legend Katrina Leskanich, who originally hails from the USA, won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1997 for the UK with the song Love Shine A Light. She then came back in the Swedish preselection Melodifestivalen with the rock tune As If Tomorrow Will Never Come as part of the bizarrely named Katrina and The Nameless. The last minute renaming of the act, which was originally called Katrina and The New Wave, was changed just prior to the competition due to pressure from Katrina’s former bandmates in Katrina and the Waves.