An Xtra Happy Birthday; 24 June

Greetings to Italy, Serbia, Lithuania, Spain and Cyprus!

Some days there are no Eurovision birthdays, today however is definitely not one of those! No less than five Eurostars celebrate their birthdays today, one up from yesterday, and two of them were even born in the same year. None of today’s birthday stars managed to win the contest, however one of them finished on the podium. He was a world famous superstar before Eurovision. We are of course talking about Il Volo’s Piero Barone!  

Alex Panayi, 48

Alex has represented Cyprus in Eurovision twice. As a main act, that is. If we count all roles, like producer and backing vocalist for instance, and include national pre-selections too, the number is 16. Yes, you read that right; SIXTEEN!!! His two “proper” participations came in 1995 and 2000. In Dublin in 1995 he managed to finish in a very respectable 9th place with “Sti fotia“. He wasn’t quite as successful in his return five years later, though. In Stockholm, as part of the duo Voice, he only recieved eight points for “Nomiza”, thus ending in 21st place out of 24 countries.

Rodolfo Chiquilicuatre, 46

Rodolfo represented Spain at the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest in Belgrade. There, he performed the song “Baila el Chiki-chiki”. He finished in 16th place, to many a Eurovision fan’s despair. However, this song has also brought much joy to the Euroverse. Like the song or not; it is very hard not to smile and dance along when it comes on!

Vilja Mataciunaite, 32

Vilja represented Lithuania at the 2014 Eurovision Song Contat in Copenhagen. She  finished in 11th place in her semi final, thus *just* failing to qualify for the grand final.  She performed her own song “Attention”, something she got her fair share of *after* the contest; when she became the runaway winner of the Barbara Dex Award.

Bojana Stamenov, 32

Bojana represented Serbia at the 2915 Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna. She came 9th in her semi final, thereby just making it through to Saturday’s grand final. In the final she and her song “Beauty Never Lies” managed to give Serbia another top 10 placing, since she finished tenth.

Piero Barone, 25

Piero Barone represented Italy at the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna. He did so as part of the world famous opera trio Il Volo; he is the cute one with (often red) glasses. They performed the very typically Italian opera ballad “Grande Amore”. From the final starting position they managed to sweep up a total of 292 points, finishing in a very well deserved third place.

Join all of us here at escXtra as we erupt into a (probably rather questionable) performance of “Happy Birthday to you!” for these five stars of the Euroverse!  

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