Editorials & Opinion

What’s in a date? Analysing previous Eurovision finals hosted on 18 May…

Malmö 2013

Seventeen years later, 18 May once again landed on a Saturday and the EBU chose this date to host the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest. Malmö hosted the contest following Loreen’s victory in the Azerbaijani capital city of Baku with Euphoria. The top 5 in 2013 was as follows:

  1. Denmark: Emmelie de Forest – Only Teardrops
  2. Azerbaijan: Farid Mammadov – Hold Me
  3. Ukraine: Zlata Ognevich – Gravity
  4. Norway: Margaret Berger – I Feed You My Love
  5. Russia: Dina Garipova – What If

Danish delight

It was a convincing win for pre-contest favourite Emmelie de Forest from Denmark the last time the Eurovision Song Contest final was held on 18 May. Emmelie, who would go on to write Never Give Up On You, the 2017 Eurovision entry for the United Kingdom, secured her nation their third Eurovision victory.

Azerbaijan continued their exceptional run of form with a second-place finish for Farid Mammadov. Remarkably, it was the Caucasian nation’s sixth consecutive top ten finish in a possible six contests. Furthermore, it was Azerbaijan’s fifth consecutive top-five finish! In addition, Hold Me is the only Azerbaijan entry to win a semi-final; 2011 grand final winner Running Scared was a semi-final runner-up. Nevertheless, Azerbaijan has never made the top ten since and failed to even make the final for the first time this year in Lisbon.

While Azerbaijan finally lost their 100% qualification record this year, one of the two countries who still have that record completed the top three on 18 May 2013. A year earlier, Ukraine had suffered their second-worst result to date courtesy of Gaitana’s Be My Guest. However, they were back with a bang with Zlata Ognevich who finally got her Eurovision moment after missing out in the extremely controversial 2011 Ukrainian national final.

Another nation bouncing back was Norway who had failed to qualify with Haba Haba in 2011 and finished last in the grand final with Stay in 2012. Margaret Berger’s 4th place finish remains Norway’s best result of the decade. Like Azerbaijan, Russia also lost their 100% qualification record in Lisbon this year, but Dina Garipova earned them a top-five finish in 2013. What If was the second in what would become five consecutive top-ten finishes for Russia.

What does all this mean for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest?…

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Ryan Cobb

My first memory of watching the Eurovision Song Contest was back in 2001 and, over the years, my passion and enthusiasm for the contest has very much turned into an obsession. I adore music and I love geography, so this contest is a natural fit for me. If la la loving Eurovision was a crime, I'd certainly be a criminal!

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