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Let me guess: you expected them to win, but they finished second. Unfortunately, the ESC history remembers many cases when the owner of the Glass Microphone was less wanted than the second chop. So, here is our list of best Eurovision runners-up who were robbed of victory in the 21st century.
Life is too unfair sometimes as it leaves favorites empty-handed. This happened multiple times to different ESC contestants, especially in the running century. Yes, you can argue about all the names we give below and who says you are wrong. Music taste is an individual thing, so there is no right and no wrong when it comes to a choice of best songs. However, I have picked up the best Eurovision runners-up on the basis of people’s reaction to the winner. Following comments on YouTube, it was easy to figure out what winning entries people didn’t like the most.
Rollo & King are among best Eurovision runners-up
A Danish pop band opens my list of the best Eurovision runners-up who are more popular than winners. Rollo & King participated in the ESC 2001 and finished second with 177 points. However, most people agree that their song named “Never Ever Let You Go” is way better than the winner’s one. To refresh your memory, I will mention that the winner of the 46th edition of the popular song contest is Estonia. Tanel Padar, Dave Benton & 2XL got 198 points which allowed them to take the crown.
According to the audience’s response, the joyful pop song by Rollo & King was more memorable than the winning “Everybody”. However, 2001 was the only year when Estonia won the ESC. At the same time, Denmark finished first three times – in 1963, 2000 and 2013 – so justice is served.
Ukraine was robbed of victory twice in a row
When it comes to the best Eurovision runners-up, Ukraine is in the first line. This country lost its deserved victory twice – in 2007 and 2008. Let me begin with the second time when Ukraine should have won.
In 2008, Ukrainian pop diva Ani Lorak hit the ESC stage with a dance song “Shady Lady”. The beautiful contestant with a powerful voice and good choreography first was the favorite of the contest. Seriously, what else did Europe need to vote for her? Probably, people wanted her to do ice-skating in that diamond mini dress. All in all, Ani Lorak lost to Dima Bilan from Russia. His performance of “Believe” was accompanied by Evgeni Plushenko, an Olympic winner figure skater, and violinist Edvin Marton. However, this trio failed to satisfy everyone. There are still debates on Youtube about the fairness of Bilan’s victory that should have been given to Ukraine that year.
Here comes the biggest ESC star in the 21st century. This is unbelievable, but the most recognizable contestant of Eurovision finished only second. Verka Serduchka and her crazy performance of “Dancing Lasha Tumbai” lost to Marija Serifovic in 2007. Serbian “Molitva” outran one of the best Eurovision runners-up by only 33 points. Despite the fact that I really love this powerful ballad, Verka’s defeat is the biggest disappointment in the 2000s. However, she got her own back soon by becoming the unofficial symbol of Eurovision who is still more popular than any other winner.
Manga should have won instead of Lena in 2010
The biggest injustice in the 2010s took place at the beginning of the decade when Lena from Germany won Eurovision with her hit song “Satellite”. Her victory is considered one of the most controversial moments in ESC history. Lena’s vocals were too poor while her performance was very primitive, followed by Lena herself, dancing in a simple black dress.
On the contrary, there was maNga from Turkey. This rock band stole the show with the “We Could Be The Same” performance. Their defeat by Lena was shocking for most viewers supposing that the political motives took place in this decision. One year later, Turkey withdrew from participation in Eurovision citing dissatisfaction with its rules.
Bonus: Sergey Lazarev, Il Volo and Erik Saade aka third-place holders
Not only runners-up deserved to win Eurovision Song Contest this or that year. There were at least 3 strong contestants who were considered as favorites but finished only third. The most recent one is Sergey Lazarev. This Russian singer should have definitely won in 2016 instead of Jamala from Ukraine, but the tension between the two countries played against him. As a result, Europe demonstratively supported Ukraine in the grand final.
Il Volo was probably the best contestant from Italy since the country’s reunion with Eurovision. “Grande Amore” still gives me chills, so I would never understand how Mans Zelmerlow could beat it. Most Youtube viewers joke that Il Volo is just too perfect for Eurovision and I can’t agree more.
Although Sweden stole victory from Italy in 2015, it was robbed too in 2011. “Popular” by Erik Saade was definitely better than “Running Scared” by Ell & Nikki. Eurovision fans still don’t understand how such a simple performance from Azerbaijan could outrun one of the best pop songs in ESC history.
Do you agree with this list? Let us know about the best Eurovision runners-up you think should have won. Also, you can follow the latest news about the upcoming ESC here.