What’s another year?
To celebrate Eurovision’s supposed 60th anniversary, the BBC are asking the public to choose which of the 62 winners from the 59 contests is their “all time favourite”.
Making your mind up
You have until 13:00cet on Monday 20 April to register your vote. You can listen to all the songs and tick your choice on the voting page here.
The UK’s BBC Radio 2 will count down the Top 20 between 18 and 22 May, whilst the temporary Radio2 Eurovision station will reveal a full Top 40. Both are available online worldwide.
What makes an “all time favourite”? How will different Eurofans interpret the phrase? We’re not specifically asked for the most momentous, the most important, the ‘best’, but simply the “favourite”, whatever makes a song as such.
In terms of this poll’s outcome, a lot, depends on the demographic of the voter, which will in turn depend on how the poll is promoted. Being a UK poll, and given that Radio 2 has a listener base 82% of which are over 35, it would be no surprise to see a winner from yesteryear crowned as the all time favourite. Unless this poll becomes hijacked by keen supporters of a modern choice, I’d expect to see ABBA crowned (again) when the results are revealed. Whatever the winner, eyes will also be drawn to the rest of the list, and we can expect the top 20 (and top 40) to have some surprising achievers and intriguing omissions.
My number 1
escXtra’s editors pondered their choices. What did they come up with? What helped them decide?
Israel 1979: Milk & Honey and Gali Atari, ‘Hallelujah’
“As corny as this one may be, you have to understand that it has been my favourite ever since I first really got into this contest at the age of ten or so, so bearing in mind how long ago that was, it’s now hard to see this one ever being overtaken. Even besides the nostalgia connected with this song, I love songs that build and build, and yes I love me some key-changes; Hallelujah writes the book on both of those things. Also, we have to mention how it’s just the definitive Eurovision anthem – for me it just sums up what the contest is all about, and it’s always good for a sing-a-long, so bonus points there of course.”
Germany 2010: Lena, ‘Satellite’
“For me I’ve always been rather predisposed to loving a bit of quirky voiced female pop so I was always going to love this one but the reason why this song resonates so strongly with me is that in all the years I have watched Eurovision, Lena is the only one who was my favourite before the contest. The simple, unbridled joy that I got from this song compounded immeasurably on the night she won Eurovision and even if another song I love wins, I don’t think anything will compare to the joy I felt when Lena won.”
Nick van Lith
Luxembourg 1973: Anne-Marie David, ‘Tu te reconnaîtras’
“There’s really no winner that comes this close to perfection. I was born 21 years after this won Eurovision, but I still think this is a timeless classic, which will keep impressing people over the years. I also think the message is really nice. Sure, you could write another song about love or peace, but this is a song about recognising yourself in this world. Oddly, the lyrics have only become more suitable for this world in the 42 years of its existence. Let’s also not forget that Anne Marie David is one of the greatest artists to ever grace the Eurovision stage. Vocally: pitch perfect. Besides that, she’s an incredibly humble and sweet woman who really loves all of her fans. If you have just one vote for the best winner of all time, this one should be it: Tu Te Reconnaîtras by Anne Marie David. Sadly, this isn’t going to beat Loreen in that poll though…”
Sweden 2012: Loreen, ‘Euphoria’
“For me, the best Eurovision winner is “Euphoria” and even though I know several eyes will be rolling at that statement, let me put my case forward. Loreen’s “Euphoria” broke new ground for non-UK entries in the UK chart, showing the younger population a whole new side to the contest as well as the British media. It is also the same genre of music as most of my favourite artists right now, therefore fitting in perfectly with my playlists, Eurovision or not, becoming a track I associate with every day life rather than “oh this won in Baku”. Finally, I like to think “Euphoria” brought the contest to a whole new level of exceptional. Since then, we’ve seen “Igranka” and “Rhythm Inside” – these entries wouldn’t have been seen dead inside the Eurovision sphere before Loreen’s success. This is why, for me, “Euphoria” truly is the greatest Eurovision winner of all time.”
Turkey 2003: Sertab Erener, ‘Everyway that I can’
“I could have been tempted by songs from long ago, but Sertab gets my vote after factoring in the emotional element that comes from ‘Everyway that I can’ being a pre-contest favourite of mine, and actually winning. This does not happen often in my world. (Twice.) The narrowness of the victory, that it was a brave established star in her home country taking on the Eurovision challenge, and it being a first win for her nation also gain bonus credit from me. Ultimately though, it’s about the song, and whilst the style is not my usual bag, it is executed marvellously. The general public beyond Turkish diasporas went for it, even with the Turkic harmonies and embellishments in the live version; it all made me think (temporarily) that Europe had more taste than I often give it credit for. Or, putting it another way; after a couple of years of terrible winners, without Sertab, this contest would have been won either by the quaint but so outdated Urban Trad or Russian screechers, TaTu.”
Each of us, with no collaboration or discussion, chose to balance up various weights on the scales to judge musical quality, emotional attachment and some sort of precedent or legacy. Who will come out on top when the final results are announced? Many a Eurofan will have to go a fair few steps down their all time favourite ESC songs list before coming to a contest winner, whilst others will have an answer instantly at hand. Who are you voting for? Let us know who, but also why. Happy voting!