An Xtra Happy Birthday; November 9th

Three Eurovision birthdays to celebrate today, after just one yesterday! They represent a wide range of genres, come from both the far north and south of the continent and the age difference between the oldest and youngest is almost 30 years! They all performed in the final in their year, and the best result was a second place, a mere 17 points behind the winner! The oldest and most successful of today’s Eurovision birthday stars is Joëlle Ursull!

Joëlle Ursull, 57

Joëlle Ursull represented France at the 1990 Eurovision Song Contest in Zagreb. She performed the song “White and Black Blues”, which is a rather unusual Eurovision song. Pre-contest, she was one of the favorites, and she almost went all the way! 18 more points, and Serge Gainsbourg would have been a two time winning songwriter at Eurovision. We all remember that he’s the man behind France Gall’s “Poupée de cire poupée de son“, right? But France had to settle for second place this year, despite recieving twice as many 12 points as the winner, Italy’s Toto Cotugno and his “Insieme: 1992”.

Arnar Þór Gislason, 47

Arnar represented Iceland at the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen. He did so as part of the children’s punk band Pollapönk. And when we say “children’s punk band” we mean punk for, not by, kids. They performed the song “No Prejudice” (“Enga fordóma” in Icelandic), qualifying for the final from their semi. In the grand final they finished in 15th place. This was not, however, Arnar’s first attempt at going to Eurovision. Back in 2008 he took part in Söngvakeppnin with the band Dr.Spock. They performed “Hvar ert þú? (Where Are You?)”, finishing third in the national final.

Gianluca Bezzina, 28

Gianluca Bezzina, who got married this past weekend, represented Malta at the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö. He performed his song “Tomorrow” in the second semi-final, finishing in 4th place, thus qualifying for the grand final. There he finished in 8th place, giving Malta their first top 10 result since Chiara’s 2nd place back in 2005. He also tried his luck in the 2015 Maltese national final, this time along with his siblings. They called themselves L-Aħwa, performing the song “Beautiful to Me“.

All of us here at escXtra wish these amazing Eurovision stars the best of birthdays!

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