Our #ESC250 2019 votes – Part 2: Sami, Nick & Tom R

Tom R: A celebration of old and new!

For me, when it comes to Eurovision, it doesn’t matter whether a song is from 1956 or 2019 – as long as it’s good, I like it. I must admit it was really hard to choose my top 10, as I’m constantly discovering new gems from yesteryear that I love. Many of the entries on my list remain the same as last year, but a few new entries have made it to the list of the youngest ESCXTRA team member. Every song in my top 10 I would give 11/10, so it was so hard to order them, but here is the first part of my votes:

  1. Elina Born & Stig Rästa – Goodbye To Yesterday (Estonia 2015)
  2. Ruth Jacott – Vrede (Netherlands 1993)
  3. Annie Cotton – Moi, Tout Simplement (Switzerland 1993)
  4. Birthe Kjær – Vi Maler Byen Rød (Denmark 1989)
  5. AySel & Arash – Always (Azerbaijan 2009)
  6. Heart 2 Heart – Nei eða já (Iceland 1992)
  7. Il Volo – Grande Amore (Italy 2015)

8 points – Imaani – Where Are You? (UK 1998)

One of the biggest robberies in the history of Eurovision, if you ask me! How this did not win by a country mile, I will never know. It was by far the best song of the year, and as well as that, the best song of the decade! Imaani smashed it out of the park and brought the UK’s best ever entry. Forget “Love Shine a Light” or “Puppet on a String”, this was the UK at its finest. Everything worked with this entry and it remains one of my favourite ever entries.

10 points – Zlata Ognevich – Gravity (Ukraine 2013)

Just like last year, deciding between my 12 and 10 points was such a hard decision but the runner-up slot goes to… “Gravity”, for the second year in a row! There is honestly something angelic about Zlata’s voice and the way she performed “Gravity” in Malmö still stands out to me to this very day. With Malmö 2013 being the first ever Eurovision I watched, it is quite fitting that my number 1 entry of the 2010s is “Gravity” – the year I began brought the song that defined the decade of Eurovision for me. The simplistic staging worked perfectly for this song and I hope it makes its way into this year’s Top 250!

Honorable Mention – Maxine & Franklin Brown – De Eerste Keer (Netherlands 1996)

Just missing out on my top 10 is a song from our upcoming host nation! The Netherlands really delivered some impressive entries in the 1990s from Ruth Jacott in 1993, which made it to my top 10, to Edsilia Rombley in 1998, one of the presenters for next year’s contest. One of their stand out entries was “De Eerste Keer”. A fun, feel-good entries that really gets your foot tapping! One of the many great Dutch entries of Eurovision! Congratulations!


12 points – Shiri Maimon – Hasheket Shenish’ar (Israel 2005)

It holds in at number 1! I said it was going to take a lot to knock it out of my top 10, and it hasn’t even fell from the top spot! This song is just perfect in so many ways – the composition, the staging, the vocals, the dress, even the camera angles – every little detail of this entry is just perfect! This really sums up “Eurovision” for me. Cheesy songs with gimmicks are fine for Eurovision, “Say Na Na Na” aptly being my number 1 most listened to on Spotify this year, but if I had to give a quick sum-up of what I like to see in Eurovision, it’s a song that breaks the stereotypes of ‘cheesy Eurovision’ and a song that would fit into any musical concert or top-class music chart around the world. And this fits the brief. This is bliss!

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Sami Luukela

I started watching Eurovision back in 2006, when I was only 10 and couldn't stay up to see Lordi winning. I attended my first contest in 2013 in Malmö. I'm studying journalism and I love music — you will probably never see me without my headphones on.
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