An Xtra Happy Birthday; April 20th

Yesterday we brought you three wonderful Eurovision birthday stars, including a two time winner. Today, however, we return with another eight (yes, EIGHT!) former contestants to celebrate! No winners, but one of them has taken part more than once, and has finished on the podium no less than three times. Another of today’s birthday boys is in fact not just a former contetant, he’s also taking part this year! We’re of course talking about Waylon!

Serafin Zubiri, 54

Serafin represented Spain at both the 1992 and the 2000 Eurovision Song Contests, both times in Sweden. In 92 he performed the beautiful piano ballad “Todo esto es la música” on stage in Malmö. He finished in 14th place, having received 37 points. For his second participation, in Stockholm in 2000, he performed yet another beautiful piano ballad, “Colgado de un sueño“, finishing 18th with 18 points.

Yana Kay, 48

Yana represented Latvia at the 2003 Eurovision Song Contest on home ground in Riga. She did so as part of the group F.L.Y., alongside Martins Freimanis and Lauris Reiniks. They performed the fun, very singalong friendly song “Hello From Mars”. In the weeks leading up to the contest, a lot of people had very high hopes regarding their chances in the contest. In the final, however, they only received 5 points, thus finishing in a very disappointing 24th place.

Zeljko Joksimovic, 46

Zeljko Joksimovic is one of the most successful singers and composers in the history of the contest. He has represented his country, Serbia (and Montenegro), three times, twice as both singer and songwriter and once as songwriter. In addition he composed Bosnia and Herzegovina’s 2006 entry, “Lejla“, which finished 3rd, and Montenegro’s “Adio” from the 2015 contest. This song finished 13th, giving Montenegro their best result so far at Eurovision.
In his first participation, in 2004 in Istanbul, he finished 2nd with “Lane Moje”. Representing Serbia and Montenegro in their debut year, he received points from every single voting country, 263 in total.

In 2008, on home ground in Belgrade, he was both one of the hosts and the composer of his country’s entry, “Oro“. This song was performed by Jelena Tomasevic and finished in 6th place.
In 2012 Zeljko returned to the Eurovision stage as a singer as well as writing his own song. With “Nije ljubav stvar” he secured another podium finish, as he came third, behind Loreen and the Russian grannies.

Marko Kon, 46

Marko represented Serbia at the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow, alongside Milan Nikolic. They performed the song “Cipela”, finishing 10th in their semi-final. Based on this result they shoule have gone to the final, but the juries gave their “wildcard” to Croatia, thus leaving Serbia in the semi.

Waylon, 38

Waylon represented the Netherlands at the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen. He did so as part of The Common Linnets, alongside Ilse DeLange. THey performed the beautiful country ballad “Calm After the Storm”, finishing in a slightly surprising but well deserved second place. This year he’s back, trying for the trophy once more. This time he’s on his own, singing “Outlaw in Em“, another country song.

Ermal Meta, 37

Ermal has actually not participated in Eurovision…yet! In less than a month, though, he will have. He will represent Italy in Lisbon in a duet with Fabrizio Moro. Their song is “Non mi avete fatto niente”, which is a strong entry with powerful lyrics protesting against terror in the world today.

Nina Zizic, 33

Nina represented Montenegro at the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö. She did so alongside Who See, performing the modern rap/dance track “Igranka”. THey performed in the first semi-final, where they finished in 12th place, thus failing to reach the grand final.

Anna Rossinelli, 31

Anna Rossinelli represented Switzerland at the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest in Düsseldorf. She performed the song “In Love For a While” in the first semi-final. THere she, along with her band, finished in 10th place, thus JUST qualifying for the grand final. There however it didn’t go quite as well, as she finished last, only receiving 19 points.

All of us here at escXtra want to wish today’s eight Eurovision birthday stars the happiest of birthdays! We also wish Waylon and Ermal the best of luck in Eurovision in a few weeks’ time! 

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