Since its launch in 1956, the famed Eurovision Song Contest still sees millions of people tune in to its grand finale. As such, there have been plenty of weird and wonderful artists to grace the Eurovision stage over the years, with both controversial and expectant winners taking the prized trophy home.
So, as we gear up for the postponed competition this year, let’s take a look at some notable past winners, and how their current counterparts rack up against them.
2018: Netta, Israel
The stage was set in Lisbon for the 2018 Eurovision, and Netta performed her song Toy, with vibrant pink hair and iconic chicken moves. The upbeat tune, with some bizarre sounding lyrics, gave Netta 529 points in total from the combined judges and public vote, and ultimately winning her the competition.
With an impressive background in music, Netta had already won the reality music show, HaKokhav HaBa L’Eurovizion (The Next Star for Eurovision) in order to take her place in the Eurovision Song Contest. Since her victory, which was expected to be one of the top favourites at the time, she has performed in several concerts, and is rumoured to be appearing as a judge on the Israeli version of The X Factor.
For 2021, Israel is represented by fellow female artist, Eden Alane with her song, Set Me Free. The song clearly shows the multiple musical inspirations that Alane has, as it mixes pop, soul and Arabian folk music. She is also the only singer to have won both X Factor Israel and The Rising Star, the biggest talent shows in Israel.
The Eurovision odds for Israel winning this year are currently 80/1, but as always, we will have to wait and see how the performance fares on the night.
2014: Conchita Wurst, Austria
Known as the eccentric bearded-lady, Conchita Wurst made Eurovision history with their performance of Rise Like A Phoenix. In 2014, Copenhagen was the host city, and Wurst, whose real name is Tom Neuwirth, took to the stage as their alter ego – complete with long hair, a glamorous gown and the iconic beard.
At the time bookmakers placed the entry as one of the top ten favourites to win, and they of course were proven right, as Wurst won the singing competition with 290 points. It was the first win for Austria since the Eurovision Song Contest of 1996.
Following on from Wurst’s victory, as tradition goes, Austria then became the host city for the next competition. But for the bearded-lady, they went on to become an empowered figure of the LGBTQ+ community, and frequently referred to as a symbol of tolerance and artistic freedom in Austria and wider Europe.
This year Vincent Bueno is representing Austria with his track, Amen. Performing the soulful ballad for the competition, Bueno is said to have been musically influenced by watching his father perform in a local rock band. Bueno has learnt how to play several instruments over the years, including the piano and guitar, but for his Eurovision entry he’ll be showcasing his vocal talents.
The current odds for Austria coming out on top are 200/1 in the eyes of the bookies.
2006: Lordi, Finland
For Eurovision 2006, the notorious band Lordi made their mark in the competition’s history. Known for their elaborate, and somewhat horrific, masks and costumes, they made no exceptions for the Athens’ stage. Their performance of the song Hard Rock Hallelujah took them to victory, and saw them make some record-breaking feats.
They were the first act from Finland to ever win the Eurovision Song Contest, and subsequently the first hard rock and heavy metal song to win.
Finland’s act for this year seems to be following in the rock footsteps of their predecessors, as Blind Channel are bringing their brand of what they call ‘violent pop’ to the Rotterdam stage. Performing their song Dark Side for Eurovision 2021, the band consists of vocalists, guitarists, keyboards, drums and a bass player. Frontman Niko Vilhelm has claimed that their song is meant to be performed in front of an audience, as part of a communal experience.
The latest Eurovision odds from the bookies place Finland at 33/1 to one, so there is a possibility that they could score highly on the night.