Today’s five birthday boys represent four countries and have participated in Eurovision a total of six times. So; how is this even possible, you may ask. Well, obviously; two of them are from the same country, and one of them has taken part twice! In age they range from 75 to 26, and we’ll start with the oldest! Who also happens to be a winner! We give you Toto Cutugno!
Toto Cutugno, 75
Toto Cutugno represented Italy at the 1990 Eurovision Song Contest in Zagrab. He performed his own song “Insieme: 1992”, which is a very typical Italian canzone. The lyrics are a celebration of Europe and the establishment of the EU. At the end of the night, Toto had received 149 points, thus winning the contest, giving Italy only its second victory. When the contest was hosted in Rome the next year, both Italy’s winners, Toto Cutugno and Gigliola Cinquetti guided us through the evening. In Italian. A lot of Italian. We are all looking forward to the next time Italy will get to host the contest, cuz we can’t wait to spend another evening in the company of Signore Cutugno. #notreally
Vignir Snær, 39
Vignir Snær Vigfússon represented Iceland at the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest in Düsseldorf. He did so as part of the group Sjonni’s Friends. He is the one sitting down playing the guitar. They performed the song “Coming Home”, finishing 20th in the final after having been called as the last qualifier in their semi. He has later participated in Söngvakeppnin as both singer and songwriter several times, for instance in 2014.
Omar Naber, 37
Omar Naber represented Slovenia at both the 2005 and 2017 Eurovision Song Contests, both times in Kyiv. In his first perticipation he performed the powerful ballad “Stop”, which he performed in Slovenian. This was one of the pre-contest favorites, however he received only 69 points, thus finishing in 12 place in the semi-final. Due to this, he did not get to perform his song on the Saturday night.This remains to this day one of the most unfair non-qualifiers in the history of the contest (Sorry if I got a bit personal there; this still infuriates me immensely!)! Ever since the night of the 2005 semi-final a lot of Eurovision fans have wanted Omar to take part again. And in 2017 he did! Yet again he performed a ballad, “On My Way“, though in English this time. And yet again he failed to qualify for the final, this time finishing second to last in his semi. Will we see him back at Eurovision for a third time? Perhaps in another 12 years? Or the next time Ukraine hosts?
Ales Vovk, better known to most of us as Raay, represented Slovenia at the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna. He did so as half of the duo Maraaya, with his wife Majetka making up the other half. They performed the song “Here For You”. In the second semi-final they finished in a very convincing fifth place, thus sailing through to the final! On the bi night, however, they didn’t do quite as well, though finishing 14th is a very respectable result.
Emils Balceris represented Latvia at the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest in Dusseldorf, as part of the group Musiqq. They performed their song “Angel in Disguise” in the second semi-final, finishing 17th, thus failing to qualify for the final.
All of us here at escXtra wish these five birthday boys the most amazingly Xtra wonderful birthday!