An Xtra Happy Birthday; week 32

This week we are debuting our new weekly “Happy Birthday” feature! Before this we did it day to day. We will present all the Eurovision birthdays that are coming up in the coming week, just to make sure that you don’t miss your favorite Eurovision artist’s big day. We wouldn’t want you to miss out on an excuse for a bit of celebrating! One of the birthday stars, Per Herrey, who won Eurovision.


August 6th

Today we have two birthday girls to celebrate and one birthday boy. Funnily enough, though, there are four countries and five participations involved. One of them has actually taken part in Eurovision three times. And she has represented two different countries! And since she is also the oldest of the three; let’s start with her!

Stella Maessen, 65

Stella is Dutch, and she did also represent the Netherlands at Eurovision once; in 1970. This was her first participation, and he performed “Waterman” as part of the trio Hearts of Soul. The other two members of the band were her sisters Patricia and Bianca. They finished in 8th place out of the 12 participating countries. In Stella’s other two Eurovision appearances she represented Belgium. In 1977 she was part of Dream Express, along with her sisters and Luc Smets. They finished 7th with their song “A Million in One, Two, Three“. In 1982 she achieved her best Eurovision result, when she finished 4th with “Si tu aimes ma musique”.

Kate Gulbrandsen, 53

Kate represented Norway in the 1987 Eurovision Song Contest in Brussel. She performed the song “Mitt liv”, and finished in a very respectable 9th place. Two years later she triedher luck in Melodi Grand Prix again. She performed the song “Nærhet“, but finished outside of the top three that proceeded to a gold final.

Vilius Alesius, 40

In 2001 Lithuania selected the group SKAMP to go on their behalf at Eurovision in Denmark. Vilius is a part of that band, the guy wearing the black outfit. They sang “You got style” and it got got 35 points, which gave them the 13th place. Which was Lituanian’s best results until they scored 6th place in 2006. But then the other guy in SKAMP from took part along with LT United.

August 7th

Today we have just three Eurovision birthday boys to celebrate. Two of them entered their national selection few times before winning it and go to the Eurovision Song Contest. Patience and the wait for the right song pays off. Unfortunately the youngest of them  made history at Eurovision scoring.

Duarte Mendes, 71

After several attempts at Festival da Canção, Duarte won the national selection in 1974. Therefore he got to perform at Eurovision in 1975 with the song “Madrugada”. The song got 12 points from Turkey, but it was the first time Turkey participated at Eurovision.

Tommy Carlsson, 50

Tommy, as a part of the band Arvingarna, took part at Melodifestivalen four times. Because Carlsson is on our birthday list, it means they won it on time. In 1993, Sweden was happy with their song “Eloise”, and not only Sweden. That is the song got good score at the Contest finishing in 7th place.

Florian Meindl, 33

Florian is the drummer and one of the founding members of the group The Makemakes. They represented Austria in the 2015 Eurovision in Vienna with the song “I’m Yours“. They were one of the pre contest favorites, but to a lot of people’s surprise they finished LAST! And for the first time in the history of the contest; the host country received 0 points!

August 8th

Two Eurostars to celebrate today! One girl, one guy. They both participated in the 10s, and both qualified for the final in their year. Despite being among the pre contest favorites, however, they both finished on the right hand side of the scoreboard. 

Harel Skaat, 37

Harel Skaat represented Israel in the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest in Oslo with the amazing ballad “Millim”. He finished 8th in the second semi-final, thus qualifying for the grand final. In the final he finished 5th in the jury vote and 19th in the televoting, giving him a 14th place combined. Despite not winning the contest, “Millim” won THREE of the Marcel Bezencon awards; best artist, best composition and best entry.

Sanja Vucic, 25

Sanja represented Serbia in the 2016 Eurovision in Stockholm, with the song “Goodbye (Shelter)”. She qualified in 10th place from the second semi-final, thus grabbing the last ticket for the grand final. In the final she finished 18th, which was quite unexpected, as she had been among the favorites in the weeks leading up to the contest. Outside of Eurovision Sanja is part of the band ZAA, who plays all kinds of music; from ska and dub to jazz and punk. In addition to singing, Sanja is a language buff; she speaks five languages!

August 9th

Four birthday boys today; one from Norway, one from Sweden and the last one from Ukraine! The oldest performed when the next one had not turned 2 years old yet. One won the contest, and one was the debut singer for his country. And one did not make it it to the television broadcast. Have you managed to find out who is who yet?

Odd Børre, 79

Odd Børre represented Norway in the 1968 Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Stress”. “Stress” actually finished second in Melodi Grand Prix, after “Jeg har aldri vært så glad i noen som deg” (I have never loved anyone as much as you). However, being accused of plagiarism (the song bore quite the resemblance to Cliff Richard’s “Congratulations”) the composer withdrew the song. Due to this, Odd Børre got to sing “Stress” at Eurovision, finishing 13th out of 17 participating countries. He also tried his luck in the Norwegian preselections on five other occasions, without making it all the way.

Gjon Delhusa, 65

Hungry selected the singer Gjon in their national selection in 1996. Which means he was selected for Eurovision. However,  back then there was a audio only qualify round. His entry “Fortuna” did not make it through that cut. The following year this rule was dismissed.

Per Herrey, 60

Per Herrey was, as his name hints at, part of the Swedish group Herreys. The other two members were his brothers Richard and Louis. Per is the oldest of the three, and at Eurovision he was the one wearing red. Herreys won the Eurovision Song Contest for Sweden with their song “Diggi-loo diggi-ley” back in 1984.

Oleksandr Ponomariov, 45

Oleksandr represented Ukraine in the 2003 Eurovision Song Contest. This was Ukaraine’s debut year, and it makes sense that Oleksandr was selected to be their first participant. He is one of Ukraine’s most popular singers, having won the Ukrainian “Singer of the Year” award seven times. At Eurovision he finished 14th with the rather upbeat and happy song “Hasta la Vista”.

August 10th

Today we are celebrating three Eurovision birthday girls. One is from Netherlands, second from Croatia and the third from Malta. Two participated as part of a group, the third was on her own. All of them finished at the right side of the Scoreboard at Eurovision.

Karin Vlasblom, 51

Netherland picked a four girl group to be their representative at Eurovision in 1986. One of them is Karin, she is the blonde that starts on the right side. (Bit difficult to follow them around, always moving:Þ ). They named themselves Frizzle Sizzle, and sang “Alles heeft een ritme” on the stage. At the end of the voting, they 40 points. That is they finished 13th out of 20 acts.

Lynn Chircop, 38

Lynn Chircop represented Malta in the 2003 Eurovision Song Contest in Riga. She performed the song “To Dream Again”, finishing in 25th place. As there were only 26 participating countries this year, this means she finished second to last, beating only the UK’s Jemini and their “Cry Baby”.

Nika Antolos, 29

Nika Antolos represented Croatia in the 2010 Eurovision as part of the group Feminnem. They performed “Lako ja sve”, finishing 13th in their semi-final. Due to this they failed to qualify for the grand final. Nika was also part of Feminnem when they participated in Dora 2009 with “Poljupci U Boji“, finishing third, thus not making it to Eurovision in Moscow.

August 11th

This day celebrations is devoted to a Belgian birthday boy!

Frédéric Etherlinck, 50

The national selection in Belgium in 1995 was a close one, and six entries where in the top battle. Frédréric song “La voix est libre” won the section, and therefore went to Dublin. The song ended at the bottom part of the scoreboard.

August 12th

This day is also dedicated to on Eurovision birthday star. This time to a Germany birthday lady!

Margot Eskens, 79

Germany selected the singer Margot to go on their behalf to Eurovision in 1966. She therefore sang “Die Zeiger der Uhr” in Luxembourg. The song finished in 10th place out of 18 countries.

All of us here at escXtra with this week’s Eurovision birthday girls and boys the very happiest of celebrations! 

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