Editorials & Opinion

Looking back at the Eurovision host entries of the 21st century

As The Netherlands confirm the first internally selected host entry since 1999, we look back at this century's Eurovision host entries!

Today, AVROTROS confirmed that The Netherlands would select their entry for the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest internally. This makes the Dutch the first host nation to select their entry internally since 1999, thus the first to do so since the turn of the millennium. That’s quite a statistic… right?

Full national finals are the most common choice for host broadcasters

Remarkably, the last time a host broadcaster selected their entry entirely behind closed doors was Israel’s IBA in 1999. In the twenty contests to take place this century so far, fifteen host entries were selected via a full national final in which the public selected both the artist and the song to represent them in their home contest.

Of the remaining five, two of them chose to select their artist via a national selection with the song choice remaining in the broadcaster’s hands. Kobi Marimi won HaKokhav HaBa in 2019 and represented Israel in Tel Aviv with the internally selected “Home”. Seven years earlier, Sabina Babayeva won her national selection in Azerbaijan and broadcaster Ictimai TV internally chose “When The Music Dies” as her entry in Baku.

How about handing over the song choice?

The other three we’ve yet to mention are those that internally selected their artist with the song being chosen via a national selection show. Lena was internally selected to represent her nation on home soil in 2011 and with “Taken By A Stranger” beating out 11 other songs to become her entry in Düsseldorf. Internally selected Anna Vissi sung “Everything” in Athens after the song’s victory in a 4-song national selection.

Back in 2004, Athena were internally selected to represent host nation Turkey in Istanbul. “For Real” was chosen as their entry via a national selection consisting of three songs in total. Fun fact, “For Real” received seven times the number of votes than the second most popular song in the 2004 Turkish song selection final, “Easy Man”.

Host entries of the 21st century

Have a look at the table below for all the information you could ever need about every host entry since the last internally selected one back in 1999. With thanks to Tim Jumawan for collating the information.

This table will display best on a larger screen.

YearHost NationArtistSongResultSelection Method
2020🇳🇱 The NetherlandsTo be announcedTo be announcedTo be announcedInternal selection
2019🇮🇱 IsraelKobi MarimiHome23rd/26National final for artist
2018🇵🇹 PortugalCláudia PascoalO Jardim26th/26Full national final
2017🇺🇦 UkraineO.TorvaldTime24th/26Full national final
2016🇸🇪 SwedenFransIf I Were Sorry5th/26Full national final
2015🇦🇹 AustriaThe MakemakesI Am Yours26th/27Full national final
2014🇩🇰DenmarkBasimCliché Love Song9th/26Full national final
2013🇸🇪 SwedenRobin StjernbergYou14th/26Full national final
2012🇦🇿AzerbaijanSabina BabayevaWhen The Music Dies4th/26National final for artist
2011🇩🇪GermanyLenaTaken By A Stranger10th/25National final for song
2010🇳🇴 NorwayDidrik Solli-TangenMy Heart Is Yours20th/25Full national final
2009🇷🇺 RussiaAnastasiya PrikhodkoMamo11th/25Full national final
2008🇷🇸 SerbiaJelena Tomašević feat. Bora DugićOro6th/25Full national final
2007🇫🇮 FinlandHanna PakarinenLeave Me Alone17th/24Full national final
2006🇬🇷 GreeceAnna VissiEverything9th/24National final for song
2005🇺🇦 UkraineGreenJollyRazom Nas Bahato19th/24Full national final
2004🇹🇷 TurkeyAthenaFor Real4th/24National final for song
2003🇱🇻 LatviaF.L.Y.Hello From Mars24th/26Full national final
2002🇪🇪 EstoniaSahleneRunaway3rd/24Full national final
2001🇩🇰DenmarkRollo & KingNever Let You Go2nd/23Full national final
2000🇸🇪 SwedenRoger PontareWhen Spirits Are Calling My Name7th/24Full national final
1999🇮🇱 IsraelEdenYom Huledet (Happy Birthday)5th/23Internal selection

Host entries are usually successful…

Also notable is that host entries have tended to score well over the past twenty years, with more than half reaching the top 10 on home soil. Nevertheless, in recent years the opposite has tended to be the case. Indeed, four of the previous five host entries have finished in the bottom five. Only Sweden’s Frans managed to buck that trend with a top five finish in Stockholm.

What do you expect from The Netherlands’ internally selected host entry? Can they buck the recent trend of low-finishing home entries? Let us know!

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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