#2 – Helena Paparizou – My Number One (Greece 2005)
Ah, the song that started it all. I remember watching the winning reprise at my grandma’s house when I was 6 and thinking ‘this new Shakira song is a bop!’, little did I know. From that point on, I was hooked on Eurovision and hooked on Helena’s music. Growing up in the UK, it was the only time I could see Greek culture represented on British TV. Almost 14 years later, the song has aged remarkably well. The performance wasn’t the most high-tech or elaborate, but it was choreographed to perfection and delivered with polish. Helena has the uncanny ability to perform high energy songs with focus and poise, even with choreography as tight as this. This will forever be my number one winner of the Eurovision Song Contest.
#1 – Iveta Mukuchyan – LoveWave (Armenia 2016)
When comprising this list, I changed my mind frequently about both what entries I should include and where they should be placed. What remained constant, however, was the inclusion of LoveWave and its spot at the top of my list. It may not be the most obvious choice, but by now, three things should be clear about my taste in Eurovision entries: I like drama, I like a strong female vocal, and I love songs that feature cultural elements of the country they represent, be it through language or production. LoveWave may be sung entirely in English, but this is unmistakably Armenian. Be it the swelling instrumentation during the bridge or the sheer passion with which Iveta performs the song – this is a showcase of Armenian excellence. It isn’t easy to command a huge Swedish stage, even with all the dancers, LEDs and props that the EBU would permit, but Iveta manages it single-handedly. Sure, she might have had smoke, fire and a hologram or two, but this performance is all about HER. The song itself is experimental, daring and bombastic, and never fails to get me motivated and hyped up for whatever awaits me.