Le partecipazioni mancate all’Eurovision Song Contest (Canzoni)

• Non Participating Entries: All songs listed here qualified to represent their countries however did not participate in the event.

Throughout the history of the Eurovision Song Contest, many songs were chosen. And some were then withdrawn. We all know the famous Belarussians who had the tendency to withdraw their entries about five times before coming up with their final answer in the past years, but there have been many more who did the same! 

Some of these songs have received great attention in the past few years, but there are some others who I had never even heard of. The history of Eurovision once again turns out to be full of drama, emotion and hidden gems no one has ever heard of. 

Most of these entries did indeed get their hands on the Eurovision ticket, but some didn’t even get the chance to do that: Disqualifications before the national final for the favourite, countries to fully withdraw or other, sometimes less clear, motives… Let’s take a look then.

  • 1956 | United Kingdom: 1.”Ev’rybody falls in love with someone” (English) – Denis Lotis & The Keynotes / 2.”Little Ship” (English) – Shirley Abicair. Three more countries, Austria, Denmark and United Kingdom were also expected to take part in the contest, but they missed the submission deadline and therefore could not take part. The BBC’s Festival of British Popular Song, which had been intended to choose the United Kingdom entry, was in the end not held until after the Eurovision contest.
  • 1960 | France: “Tom Pillibi” (French) – Marcel Amont. After being selected to represent France, it was decided that the song would stand a better chance performed by a female performer. Jacqueline Boyer was selected and she went on to give France her second win. 
  • 1961 | Sweden: “April April” (Swedish) – Siw Malmkvist. During the reprise of the winning song, the singer got a fit of the giggles and forgot may of her lines. She was therefore sacked and replaced by Lilly-Babs.
  • 1962 | Danimarca: “Jeg Snakker med mig Selv” (Danish) – Gitte Hænning. In 1962 she attempted to compete for Denmark in the Eurovision Song Contest in the Eurovision Song Contest with “Jeg Snakker med mig Selv” but was disqualified because the composer Sejr Volmer-Sørensen had whistled the song in the canteen of the DR. In 1973 she competed for Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Junger Tag”. Her success continued after famous duets with Rex Gildoas ‘Gitte & Rex’ in a number of popular films.[3] Gitte made an attempt to represent Luxembourg in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1978 with the song “Rien qu’une femme” but she lost out to the group Baccara.
  • 1963 | Spain: “Nubes De Colores” (Spanish) – José Guardiola. Conflicting reports state that TVE’s aim was to use the Festival de la Canción Mediterránea (Mediterranean Song Festival) as the national final, while others maintain that TVE’s intention was to select internally one of the performers that had won a prize in one of the many song festivals that used to take place across the Spanish geography. José Guardiola had won the 1962 Mediterranean Song Festival with the song “Nubes de colores”, but the result was declared null and void the day after the festival because a fix was discovered in the voting process. Paper ballots were sold to the audience in the hall; however, by the end of the festival, more ballots were counted in the box than the number that had been sold. José Guardiola was chosen to represent Spain but with another song, “Algo prodigioso”.
  • 1963 | Finland: “Muistojeni laulu” (The song of my memories) (Finnish) – Marjatta Leppänen. In 1963 “Muistojeni laulu” Marjatta Leppänen performed the winning song (and so did Irmeli Mäkelä as each song was performed by two different singers) was chosen as the Finnish entry at the national final organised by broadcaster YLE and held on 14 February. YLE however, in its eternal wisdom decided to send Laila Halme with the song instead. Laila Halme Halme originally finished third in the national final, but replaced the winning singer Marjatta Leppänen / Irmeli Mäkelä at Eurovision for unknown reasons.
  • 1965 | Finland: “Iltaisin” (In the evening) (Finnish) – Marjatta Leppänen. In 1965 she won again with Lasse Mårtenson penned “Iltaisin”, but YLE decided to send the runner up by Viktor Klimenko instead.  However, she never reached the stage of the Eurovision Song Contest. Marjatta Leppänen won the vote of the regional juries but the professional jury preferred “Aurinko laskee länteen” by Viktor Klimenko. The regional juries selected “Iltaisin” however the expert jury disagreed with this and selected the song the regional juries put into second place. Under the prevailing rules in place, this was allowable, hence this is not strictly a withdrawn song.
  • 1967 | Italy: “Non Pensare A Me” (Italian) – Claudio Villa. Italy was represented by Claudio Villa, with the song “Non andare più lontano”, at the1967 Eurovision Song Contest, which took place on 8 April in Luxembourg City. As always until this date, broadcaster RAI chose one of the winning performers from the year’s Sanremo Music Festival as their singer, but for the first time they opted not to send the winning Sanremo song “Non pensare a me” as their entry. This was Villa’s second Eurovision appearance, having previously participated in the 1962 contest.
  • 1968 | Norway: “Jag Har Aldri Vært Så Glad I No’en Som Deg” (Norwegian) – Odd Børre. “Stress” originally finished second in the 1968 Melodi Grand Prix on 3 March, but was promoted to the Norwegian entry when the winning song “Jag har aldri vært så glad i no’en som deg” was withdrawn from the contest by its composer amid persistent allegations that it plagiarised the 1963 hit “Summer Holiday” by Cliff Richard – who ironically was the United Kingdom’s singer in the 1968 contest. This is the only occasion on which the MGP winner did not go forward to Eurovision.
  • 1968 | Spain: “La la la” (Spanish – Catalan) – Joan Manuel Serrat. Originally, the artist chosen to perform “La, la, la” at Eurovision was singer-songwriter Joan Manuel Serrat. However, he intended to sing the song in Catalan. The Franco dictatorship would not allow this – and insisted that the entry should be performed in Spanish, official language for all the territories of Spain, although Serrat wanted to claim for the other regional languages of this country, repressed under the Franco dictatorship. On 29 March 1968, one week before the contest, Massiel was asked to replace Joan Manuel Serrat as Spain’s representative at the Eurovision Song Contest.
  • 1969 | Liechtenstein: “Un beau matin” (French) – Vetty. Si è creduto per anni che il Liechtenstein avrebbe voluto partecipare a quest’edizione dell’Eurovision Song Contest con la canzone Un beau matin interpretata daVetty, non potendolo fare perché non ha un rete televisiva nazionale. La canzone era in realtà una parodia ideata dal comico francese Jacques Martin.
  • 1970 | Portugal: “Onde Vais Rio Que Eu Canto” (Portuguese) – Sérgio Borges. Austria (who had not taken part in 1969), Finland, Norway, Portugal and Sweden boycotted this contest as they were not pleased with the result of 1969 and the voting structure. Portugal did however host a National final, being won by Sérgio Borges.
  • 1971 | Belgium: “Goeiemorgen, morgen – Nicole & Hugo. Belgium was represented by Jacques Raymond and Lily Castel at the 1971 Eurovision Song Contest, which took place on 3 April in Dublin. Raymond and Castel had not taken part in the original Belgian final, which was won with Nicole & Hugo performing the song. Shortly before the Dublin final however, Nicole had fallen ill and was unable to travel, so broadcaster BRT, predecessor of VRT, drafted in Raymond and Castel as late replacements. Raymond had previously sung for Belgium at Eurovision in 1963. Nicole & Hugo famously did come back 2 years later with those infamous purple catsuits and memorable dance routine.
  • 1972 | Israel: “Chayekha ve chayai” (שינית את חיי) (Hebrew) – Ilanit (אילנית). Israel joined the EBU-UER in 1972 but missed the registration deadline for the 1972 contest. The song which would have participated had been mistakenly identified as “Chayekha Ve Chayai” (שינית את חיי) performed by Boaz Shar’abi (Boaz Sharabi, בעז שרעבי) but this is incorrect. Ilanit was the artiste lined up to represent Israel, however, the song is not known. It is rumoured that a song was selected and commercially released in 1972.
  • 1973 | Malta: “?” () – ?. Malta was drawn to perform in 6th place between Norway and Monaco, but the Maltese broadcaster withdrew before the deadline to select an entry.
  • 1973 | Yugoslavia:  “Na, Na, Na, Na” (На, на, на, на) (Croatian-Serbian) – Josipa Lisac (Јосипа Лисац). This song was Disqualified. During 1987 Josipa Lisac entered preselection venue Jugovizija with hope to represent Yugoslavia in Eurovision Song Contest 1987, she sang her hit Gdje Dunav ljubi nebo (Where Danube Kisses the Sky) and had finished on 9th place out of 24 compositions, soon after releasing her album Boginja (Goddess) she became an acclaimed pop artist throughout Yugoslavia.
  • 1974 | France: “La Vie à 25 Ans / La vie à vingt-cinq ans” (French) – Dani. France had been drawn to sing at No. 14 (after Ireland and before Germany) with the song “La vie à vingt-cinq ans” by Dani, but as a mark of respect following the death of French President, Georges Pompidou, during Eurovision week, French broadcaster ORTF made the decision to withdraw the entry. Since President Pompidou’s funeral was held the day of the contest, it was deemed inappropriate for the French to take part. Dani was seen by viewers in the audience at the point the French song should have been performed. For the same reason, the French singer Anne-Marie David, who had won the first place for Luxembourg in 1973, could not come to Brighton to hand the prize to the 1974 winner.
  • 1974 | Malta: “Paċi Fid Dinja” (Peace in the World)  (Maltese) – Enzo Gusman. Malta had selected Enzo Gusman with the song “Paċi Fid Dinja” (Peace in the World) to represent them, but withdrew from the contest for unknown reasons. Malta returned to the competition in 1975.
  • 1975 | France: “Comme un boomerang” (French) – Dani. It would appear that this rumour originated from the singer herself who is reported to have said that this Serge Gainsbourg composition was submitted as the French entry but later rejected as the subject matter was considered too dark for the Eurovision Song Contest. There is nothing to support this claim in the OGAE France documentation of internal French selections, although she was shortlisted in the final six with another song, “Paris, paradis” which lost out to Nicole Rieu.
  • 1976 | Malta: “Sing Your Song, Country Boy” (Tifkiriet Taghna T-Tnejn) (English) – Enzo Gusman. Malta, having selected Enzo Gusman & Renato Micallef with the song “Sing Your Song, Country Boy” to represent them, then withdrew from the contest for undisclosed reasons, as the singer has confirmed. Enzo sang the Maltese version whilst Renato sang the English version. Malta would not return to the competition until 1991.
  • 1976 | Germany: “Der Star” (The star) (German) – Tony Marshall. “Der Star” was the public choice by a margin of over 20,000 votes, but was later disqualified when it was discovered that the song had been performed in public prior to the national final. “Sing Sang Song” was therefore promoted and announced as the 1976 German entry. “Sing Sang Song” originally placed runner-up in the German national final but became the German entry when the winner, “Der Star” by Tony Marshall, was disqualified. 
  • 1976 | Liechtenstein: “Little Cowboy” (German) – Biggi Bachman. Liechtenstein has never participated at the Eurovision Song Contest, but the contest has had a long history within the country, with at least one attempt to participate being made by the principality. The country has made attempts to participate in the contest in the past: in 1976 a Liechtenstein entry was selected to compete in the contest – Biggi Bachman and “Little Cowboy” would have been the country’s first entry had there been a national broadcaster, but as there was none in the country the entry was rejected from competing.
  • 1977 | Tunisia: “?” () – ?. At one point before the contest Tunisia was going to participate but they withdrew. Had Tunisia gone ahead they would have appeared fourth on stage.
  • 1977 | Spagna: “Dónde vas” (Spanish) – Paloma San Basilio. There are rumours that this was the original choice to represent Spain in 1977, however, I suspect that this may be more a case of this song should have represented Spain! Does anyone have any background to this? The singer would, of course, go on to represent Spain eight years later in Gothenburg.
  • 1978 | Greece: “Mr Nobel” (O Kyrios Nobel, Ο Κος Νόμπελ) (Greek) – Anna Vissi (Άννα Βίσση). In 1978 she was proposed by ERT (Greek National Television) to represent Greece at the 23rd Eurovision Song Contest. There were two candidate songs: “Poso S’ Agapo” (Ω Μαρία) and “O Kyrios Nobel” (Ο Κος Νόμπελ). Finally, due to controversies between the composers of the songs, her participation was disqualified and Tania Tsanaklidou (Τάνια Τσανακλίδου) went to the contest. “Na kseris s’agapo” – Robert Williams, withdrawn because neither of the composers were Greek.  However in the original final Anna Vissi was tied with this song.  She didn’t go to Paris either as ERT comissioned a whole new set of songs which included the eventual Greek entry – Charlie Chaplin.
  • 1978 | Yugoslavia: “Zbogom ostaj ljubavi!” (Збогом остај љубави) (Croatian-Serbian) – Oliver Dragojević (Оливер Драгојевић). According to a Croatian website, this song won the Opatija Festival (Dani Jugoslavenske Zabavne Muzike JRT – Opatija ’78) of 1978. This was used as the pre-selection for Yugoslav eurovision entries between 1973 and 1976, however, there is no record of Yugoslavia ever intending to send this song to compete for them in Paris.
  • 1979 | Turkey: “Seviyorum” (I Love) (Turkish) – Maria Rita Epik & 21.Peron. Epik had won the internal Turkish pre-Elimination in 1979 to sing for Turkey at the first ever Eurovision Song Contest hosted by Israel. However due to political reasons and pressure by Arabic countries, to boycott Israel, she had to withdraw and stay at home, instead of having a chance to get a European career. She would have sung “Seviyorum” (I Love) together with the band 21.Peron.
  • 1979 | Yugoslavia: “Sklopi oči” (Склопи очи) (Croatian-Serbian) – Novi fosili (Нови фосили) . As in 1978, this won the Opatija festival (Dani Jugoslavenske Zabavne Muzike – Jrt – Opatija 1979), however, again, it does not look as though there was ever any intention to return to eurovision during this particular year. It was previously thought that Tereza had won this festival with Disco but we have since been advised that this is not the case. Novi Fosili would go on to represent Yugoslavia in 1987, finishing in 4th place.
  • 1980 | Israel: “Pizmon Chozer” (פזמון חוזר) (Refrain) (Hebrew) – Ha’ahim ve Ha’ahayot (האחים והאחיות). Israel, winners in 1979, declined to host the show for the second time in a row, as the IBA (Israel Broadcasting Authority) could not fund another international production, and the Israeli government turned down a request to extend the IBA budget. Moreover, the date that was eventually set for the 1980 contest by the European Broadcasting Union coincided with a national religious day of Israel, Israel’s Day of Remembrance for their casualties of war, so Israel was forced to withdraw. The song was called “Pizmon Chozer” (Refrain) and was performed by the group “Ha’achim ve ha’achayot” (Brothers and Sisters).
  • 1980 | Yugoslavia: “Jugoslavio” / “Jugoslavio volim te!” (Croatian-Serbian) – Tereza (Tereza Kesovija). There was a rumour that Yugoslavia intended to return to the contest in 1980, although they would wait another year before coming back. There are rumours that this rather nationalistic-flavoured ballad was the choice to go to The Hague but this song was not intended for eurovision and, in any event, a French team were behind the composition.
  • 1981 | Iceland: “?” () – ?. There are rumours of a song having been selected to be Iceland’s first-ever entry in 1981, however, they do not appear to have been included in the draw. Maybe they did not register in time? They would not be the first and probably not the last to make that particular mistake! Can anybody shed some light here? Iceland would not actually debut until 5 years later.
  • 1982 | Greece: “Sarantapente Kopelies” (Σαρανταπέντε Κοπελιές) (Greek) – Themis Adamantidis (Θέμης Αδαμαντίδης).  Greece was disqualified from the Eurovision Song Contest 1982 after it was revealed that Themis Adamantidis was to sing “Sarantapente Kopelies” (Σαρανταπέντε Κοπελιές), a previously released song. After returning in 1983, ERT decided that all of the possible songs were of “low quality” and decided not to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest 1984.
  • 1984 | Israel: “Balalaika” (בללייקה) (Hebrew) – Ilanit (אילנית). Israel withdrew from the contest due to Yom Hazikaron (Day of Remembrance for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel and Victims of Terrorism) being commemorated on the same date. At that time Ilanit was already one of Israel’s most popular singers and the song “Balalaika” became an instant hit, despite not taking part.
  • 1985 | Belgium: “Ik was een kind / Vannacht” () – Mireille Capelle.  Flemish broadcaster BRT was responsible for selection of the 1985 Belgian entrant and, unusually for BRT at the time, opted for internal selection rather than a public final. The selection process was fraught with problems before the last-minute announcement of singer and song was made. VRT selected singer Mireille Capelle as their entrant, to perform a tango-flavoured song with music by Frédéric Devreese. The song was chosen in an unfinished state, without lyrics. Capelle and Devreese subsequently submitted a set of lyrics by one of Flanders’ best-known and respected authors Hugo Claus (Vannacht). VRT were not impressed however, and proposed a different set of lyrics by Bert Vivier (Ik was een kind). Capelle and Devreese refused to have anything to do with the Vivier lyrics, and gave VRT an ultimatum that they would disassociate themselves from the selection unless their lyrics of choice were approved. When VRT refused to back down, Capelle and Devreese were as good as their word and withdrew their participation. This left VRT facing a race against time to find an alternative song and performer: several singers and songs were put forward and found unsuitable before VRT finally settled on singer/actress Lepomme with a completely new song “Laat me nu gaan”. The song was presented publicly at the last minute, very close to the EBU-UER deadline for song submission, on 1 April 1985 (the date was noted with some irony by observers aware of the to-ing and fro-ing which had gone on).
  • 1985 | Yugoslavia: “Pokora” (Penance, Покора) (Croatian-Serbian) – Zorica Kondža (Зорица Конџа) & Josip Genda. This was selected to go to Gothenburg, Sweden but Yugoslav TV did not participate in this Contest due to the anniversary of the death of Josip Broz Tito in Yugoslavia. Despite this Yugoslavia did choose its song: “Pokora” (Penance) (music by Ivo Pupačić and lyrics by Zvonimir Pupačić), a duet sung by Zorica Kondža and Josip Genda.
  • 1986 | Greece: “Wagon-Lit” (Βαγκόν-Λί) (Greek) – Polina (Πωλίνα). Selected by Greece, having been drawn eighteenth in order of presentation. The reason behind the withdrawal, was that the Eurovision contest coincided with Holy Saturday. Their entry would have been “Wagon-lit” (βάγκον λι) performed by Polina.
  • 1987 | Sweden: “Fyra bugg och en Coca-Cola” / “Fyra bugg” ( “Four chewing gums and a Coca Cola”) (Swedish) – Lotta Engberg. Sweden selected an entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 1987 by holding a preselection show named Melodifestivalen 1987. Out of 1 502 submitted songs and 12 songs in the final, the entry “Fyra bugg och en Coca-Cola” was chosen. (“Four chewing gums (Bugg was a brand of chewing gum that was popular in Sweden in the 60’s-80’s) and a Coca Cola”), also called “Fyra bugg”, is a Swedish language song, written by Mikael Wendt and Christer Lundh. Swedish dansband and pop singer Lotta Engberg won the Swedish Melodifestivalen 1987 in Sweden with this song. The lyrics are about summer. As the songs title contained the trademark names Coca-Cola and the Swedish chewing gum Bugg, the European Broadcasting Union demanded that the lyrics would be changed before the Brussels final, so the song was renamed “Boogaloo”. 
  • 1988 | Cyprus: “Thimame (San to rock ‘n’ roll)” (Θυμάμαι (Σαν το ροκ-εν-ρολ)) (Greek) – Giannis Demetriou (Γιάννης Δημητρίου). Cyprus withdrew its already registered entry for breaching the contest’s rules by being published few years earlier, in an attempt to represent the country at a prior edition of the contest.  Cypriot broadcaster CyBC had selected the song ‘Thimame’ sung by Yiannis Dimitrou, and at a late stage saw that the song was ineligible to represent them as it had been entered into the Cypriot selection for the 1984 Contest, where it had finished in 3rd place. This was classed as a breach of the Cypriot rules of selecting their entry at this time as well as an infringement of the Eurovision Song Contest rules. It was a very late decision as the song was already drawn to perform second in the contest, advertised in the Radio Times information about the preview programme of the contest, and appears as song number two in accordance to its initial performance draw, on the record release “Melodi Grand Prix 1988” – the compilation disc of the contest’s entries.
  • 1990 | Austria: “Das Beste” (German) – Duett. ÖRF used a national final to select their entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 1990, with the winner being decided through a mixture of televoting (50%) and an expert jury (50%). The winner of the final was Duett with the song “Das Beste”, however they were disqualified after it was revealed they had competed with the same song in the 1988 German National semi-final. The winner was then declared as Simone Stelzer with the song “Keine Mauern Mehr”.
  • 1990 | Malta: “Our little world of yesterday” (English) – Maryrose Mallia. Malta were desperate to return to Eurovision in 1990, no doubt inspired by Maltese singer Ray Caruana’s good result for the UK, a second place, as lead singer of Live Report, the year before. Unfortunately, the rules at the time only permitted a maximum of 22 competitors and they would therefore have to wait a further year, when the Netherlands abstained, before they could return. Maryrose Mallia won their national song contest, which would have selected their eurovision entry. She recorded a version of this with previous Maltese contestant Renato, who represented them in 1975.
  • 1991 | Norway: “Ett liv” (One life) (Norvegian) – Heidi Halvorsen. NRK, the Norwegian broadcasters, decided that the standard of the entries for the Norwegian Melodi Grand Prix of 1991 was too low, no doubt reflecting on their bottom placing a year previously. The group selected were Just 4 Fun, who were an amalgamation of four popular singers, Marianne Antonsen, Jan Groth, Eiríkur Hauksson and Hanne Krogh. Hauksson had previously represented Iceland at the Eurovision Song Contest 1986, as part of the group ICY with “Gleðibankinn”, while Krogh represented Norway twice before, inEurovision Song Contest 1971 with “Lykken er” and Eurovision Song Contest 1985, as part of duo Bobbysocks! that won the contest for Norway.. Later on, a Swedish broadcaster organised a contest amongst some of the original songs and this was won by Heidi Halvorsen with Ett liv. For the first time, NRK held an internal selection to select the Norwegian entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 1991, beacuse they meant that the songs they were getting, had bad quality. NRK had continuously used the Melodi Grand Prix contest to select the Norwegian entry for Eurovision, however for 1991 this was not used. Later, another Norwegian TV-channel, TV3, decided to hold a final with the best of the songs that was rejected because of this. Heidi Halvorsen won that competition with the song “Ett liv” (One life).
  • 1992 | Switzerland: “Soleil, Soleil” (German) – Géraldine Olivier. Switzerland had to replace its original choice of entry, “Soleil, soleil” which was to have been performed by Géraldine Olivier. The song did not comply with some of the rules of the national selection contest and so, despite having won, it did not go to Malmö. The Swiss broadcaster, SRG SSR idée suisse, hosted a national final to select the Swiss entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 1992, held in Malmö, Sweden. The contest was held at the Palazzo dei Congressi in Lugano on 23 February, hosted by Emanuela Gaggini. 10 songs competed, with the winner decided through the votes of 3 regional juries, an expert jury and a press jury. The winner of the contest was Geraldine Olivier with the song “Soleil, soleil”. However after the contest the song was disqualified after it was revealed that the song was inputted into the French-speaking broadcaster, Télévision Suisse Romande (TSR), for their selection for the contest with French lyrics and was rejected, before being entered into the German-speaking broadcaster, Schweizer Fernsehen (SF), and their selection for the contest with German lyrics and accepted. Therefore the song that came second, “Mister Music Man” by Daisy Auvray went to Malmö for Switzerland. “Mister Music Man” was composed by Gordon Dent.
  • 1992 | Croatia: “Aleluja” (Hallelujah) (Croatian-Serbian) – Magazin. It appears that the first Dora was held in 1992, according to a Damaltian website which you can access here. Magazin won ahead of Severina in second place and Doris Dragovic in third. Interestingly, all three would go on to represent their country at Eurovision, as would Maja Blagdan, who finished in 10th place. There was, however, never any possibility that the winner would go on to represent Croatia in Malmo as full EBU membership had not been conferred in time. Along with former-Yugoslav nations, Slovenia and Bosnia-Herzogovina, Croatia would qualify through a pre-selection event a year later. Croatia’s former sub-national broadcaster RTV Zagreb became the country’s national broadcaster, renamed Hrvatska radiotelevizija (HRT). The broadcaster first attempted to enter the Eurovision Song Contest as an independent nation in 1992, holding a national contest to select a song. However, as the broadcaster was not a member of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) at the time they were refused entry to the contest. The winner of the contest was Magazin with the song “Hallelujah”. The broadcaster became a member of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) on 1 January 1993, allowing it to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time as an independent nation in 1993.
  • 1993 | Estonia: “Muretut meelt ja südametuld” (Sorrowless mind and flames of heart) (Estonian) – Janika Silamaa. In 1992, Janika was internally chosen to represent Estonia at the Eurovision Song Contest 1993. Her song, “Muretut meelt ja südametuld”, however failed to pass the qualifying round in Ljubljana (Kvalifikacija za Millstreet / Qualification for Millstreet; Qualification pour Millstreet), where only the top three would secure places at Millstreet) and therefore was not able to participate in the Eurovision final, held in Millstreet, Ireland, that year. This finished in 5th place out of 7 with 47 points and Janika sang all 8 songs in the national final.
  • 1993 | Slovakia: “Amnestia na neveru” (Amnesty to infidelity) (Slovak) – Elán. Slovenská Televízia (STV), the Slovakian broadacter, selected Slovakian band Elán to represent them for the first time in Eurovision Song Contest history. The song that represented Slovakia in Kvalifikacija za Millstreet was “Amnestia na neveru” (“Amnesty to infidelity”), This was also selected in a national final. Slovakia performed 7th in the running order, following Slovenia. Elán received 50 points for their song and performance, placing 4th, thereby failing to qualify.
  • 1993 | Romania: “Nu pleca” (Don’t go away) (Romanian) – Dida Drăgan. Romania was one of seven countries who wished to join the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time in 1993, a pre-selection was held for the first time to reduce this number to three countries who would compete in the final of the Contest in May, held in Millstreet, Ireland. Televiziunea Română (TVR) held a national final to select the first Romanian entry for the Eurovision Song Contest. 11 songs competed on 16 January to represent Romania at the Kvalifikacija za Millstreet (Qualification for Millstreet) pre-selection contest, with the winner selected in an opinion poll of 1100 households in Romania and neighbouring Moldova. Dida Drăgan was the winner of the contest with the song “Nu pleca” (Don’t go). Only the winner of the contest was announced, however it was rumoured that Laurenţiu Cazan was second with Laura Stoica third. This finished in 7th place out of 7 with 38 points.
  • 1993 | Hungary: “Árva reggel” (Lonesome morning) (Hungarian) – Andrea Szulák. Hungary’s first entry was Andrea Szulák, selected by Magyar Televízió (MTV) to compete at the pre-selection with “Árva reggel”. Szulák performed fourth, following Estonia and preceding Romania. She received 44 points, placing 6th in the line-up, and failing to qualify to the grand final in Ireland.
  • 1993 | France: “Le chat” () (French) – Pow woW. I have not seen any mention of this in the excellent biography of French selections put together by OGAE France, however, José Luis Uribarri (the TVE commentator in 1993) says during the transmission “Patrick Fiori was called in at the last minute because the original entrants, the popular band Pow woW, were withdrawn as it seems that the song was aired in earlier the group’s tour. 
  • 1994 | Iceland: “Nætur” (Nature) (Icelandic) – Sigga (Sigrún Eva Ármannsdóttir). In 1994, Iceland televised a national final with just 3 songs. Sigga, one of the girls from Heart 2 Heart, Iceland’s representatives in 1992, won the show. The broadcasters were, however, unhappy that the song, as it stood, would not represent them creditably in Dublin and Irish arranger, Frank McNamara was therefore hired to re-arrange the song. In this process, Sigrun Eva was replaced by the other Heart 2 Heart girl, Sigga, who had also represented Iceland in 1990 as part of Stjornin.
  • 1995 | Russia: “Karnaval” / “Carnaval” (Карнавал) (Russian) – Phillipp Kirkorov (Фили́пп Кирко́ров). Word has it that this was the original choice of song for Philip to take to Dublin but can anyone throw further light on this and, particularly, why it was decided to disqualify it?.
  • 1995 | The Netherlands: “Bij alles wat ik doe” () – Wia Buze. Like Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Switzerland, the Netherlands had not qualified for the 1995 contest. The EBU-UER decreased the number of participants back to 23 to make sure the show wouldn’t last longer than 3 hours. 5 of the 6 countries that were relegated the previous year came back to the contest, Luxembourg decided to stop participating completely and Italy withdrew voluntarily, as in 1994. A radio contest was broadcast, which Wia won, however, this had no direct connection to eurovision.
  • 1995 | FYRO Macedonia: “Ne me dopiraj” (Не допирај ме) (Macedonian) – Maja Odžaklievska (Маја Оџаклиевска, Маја Оџаклијевска). A Makvizija contest was held in 1995 with the express purpose of sending the winning song to Dublin, however, for whatever reason, the song was not ultimately entered. Odžaklievska won Skopje Fest (Скопје Фест / Festival na zabavni melodii Skopje, Фестивал на забавни мелодии Скопје) with the song “Ne me dopiraj” composed by Grigor Koprov with lyrics by Odžaklievska herself. Maja Odžaklievska’s performance on the Second Semi-Final evening of the revived Skopje Song Festival 1994, held on 16.04.94. 29 songs were performed at the Semi-Finals, 22 qualified for the Finals. “Ne me dopiraj” won the First Audience Award and the Festival’s GRAND PRIX in the Finals.
  • 1995 | Estonia: “Vari ja Roos” (Estonian) – Evelin Samuel. Estonia were not eligle to participate in 1995 but still televised a national final, which Evelyn won. she won the Baltic song contest Via Baltica and a year later she won again with “Vari ja roos” at Uus Laul, a song contest organized by the Estonian Television. She would, of course, go on to represent Estonia 4 years later in Jerusalem. 
  • 1996 | Spagna: “Noches de Bohemia” (Spanish) – Navajita Plateá. Spanish broadcaster, TVE, initially chose this song to represent them in Oslo, but withdrew it because it was part of the promotion of a competitive channel. Like the song, Ay que deseo! which was subsequently sent in its place, it Is a flamenco song, however this is a much stronger song in my view. 
  • 1996 | Denmark: “Kun med dig” (Only with you) (Danish) – Dorthe Andersen & Martin Loft. In 1996, 30 countries registered for the final and for the only time in Eurovision history, an audio-only pre-qualifying round (from which hosts Norway were exempt, qualified automatically) was held on 20 March as 29 countries wished to participate in the final but the European Broadcasting Union had set a limit of 22 (plus Norway). All the 29 other songs went through a pre-selection process where audio tapes were played to each national jury of all 29 songs, including a jury from Norway. The top 22 songs went forward to the final. The audio-only pre-qualification round, which was never televised, was used by the EBU-UER in order to shortlist the number of participating nations that would compete in the televised final. This song won the Dansk Melodi Grand Prix on 9 March and finished 25th in the pre-selection. It has never been released, not even on a subsequent compilation of Danish Melodi Grand Prix songs. However, Denmark was one of seven countries which failed to qualify for the Eurovision final from a pre-qualifying round, so they were not represented in Oslo.
  • 1996 | Germany: “Planet of Blue” (Blauer Planet) (German) – Leon. The 1996 Contest implemented an audio-only pre-qualification round for all competing country (except for host country Norway). 22 songs from the 29 competing could join Norway in the live final on 16 May. For the first time since 1992, a national final was held in Germany to select their entry for the Eurovision Song Contest. At the contest, represented by Leon with the techno song “Planet of Blue”, Germany failed to progress from the pre-qualification round, leading to the first time that Germany failed to participate at Eurovision. It was the only year in the history of the ESC in which Germany did not participate in the final. For those fixated on the fairness, or otherwise, of the Big 4 ruling, think carefully about how sustainable this contest would be if this happened too often. 
  • 1996 | FYRO Macedonia: “Samo Ti” (Само ти, Only you) (Macedonian) – Kaliopi (Калиопи). Winner of Skopje Fest, the national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 1996. With the song “Samo ti”, she was awarded first place by the jury and the audience, winning the right to be the first representative for FYRO Macedonia at the Eurovision Song Contest. However, the 1996 Contest saw an influx of new participants and at a non-televised audio pre-selection, this finished in joint 26th place with Russia in the pre-qualifier. As a result FYRO Macedonia’s submission was never classified as a debut entry by the EBU-UER, the nation eventually went on to make their official televised debut in 1998. FYRO  Macedonia’s efforts to enter the contest were again hindered in 1997 when another new system was introduced where countries with the lowest average scores over the previous four years were excluded from participating.
  • 1996 | Hungary: “Fortuna” (Hungarian) – Gjon Delhusa. Hungary chose Gjon Delhusa, with the song ‘”Fortuna”, to be their representative at the 1996 Eurovision Song Contest. It was selected in a national final. However, Hungary was one of seven countries which failed to qualify for the Eurovision final from a pre-qualifying round, so they were not represented in Oslo. The countries occupying the bottom seven places after the pre-qualifier would be unable to take part in the main contest. After the voting, “Fortuna” had received 26 points, tying with Finland for the final 22nd qualifying position, however the spot was awarded to Finland because the country attained a higher top score, bringing Hungary’s participation in 1996 to a premature end.
  • 1996 | Israel: “Shalom olam” (שלום עולם) (Hebrew) – Galit Bell (). Winner of the 1996 Kdam, this finished in penultimate place in the pre-qualification round. It would seem that IBA, the Israeli broadcasters, sent a live version of the track to the pre-selection and this probably did not enhance its chances of being selected. The official Eurovision site does not count 1996 in Israel’s list of appearances.
  • 1996 | Romania: “Rugă pentru pacea lumii” (Prayer for world peace) (Romanian) – Monica Anghel & Sincron. The song was chosen as the Romanian entry on a National Final held by Televiziunea Română (TVR) on 8 March. However, Romania was one of seven countries which failed to qualify for the Eurovision final from a pre-qualifying round, so they were not represented in Oslo. After the voting, “Rugă pentru pacea lumii” had received 11 points, placing 29th (last) and because of that Romania did not participated in 1996 Eurovision Song Contest. Monica’s luck would change significantly when she went to Estonia 6 years later and delivered Romania’s first top ten placing. 
  • 1996 | Russia: “Ya eta ya” (Ja eto ja, Я это я, I am what I am) (Russian) –  Andrej Kosinski (Андрей Косинский). In 1996, Russia’s entry was Andrey Kosinski with the song “Me is me”, but on the eve of competition (for the second time in its history), he scored an insufficient number of points in a special qualifying round and therefore missed the final. Another to fall at the pre-qualification stage, this won the Russian national final.
  • 1996 | Serbia-Montenegro: “Budi dobar kao to sam ja” (Буди добар као што сам ја) (Serbian) – Maja Odžaklievska (Маја Оџаклиевска, Маја Оџаклијевска). It seems that a national final was held in 1996 and, guess what, it was won by Maja Odzaklijevska! Boy was that woman ever unlucky! Of course Serbia-Montenegro were unable to enter due to ongoing sanctions. Original performance of the winning song from Mesam’s 1995 Pop Festival competition (МЕСАМ ’95), held on 25.02.1995 in Belgrade. “Budi dobar kao što sam ja” won the First Festival Prize (by the votes of the regional RTV studios) and Maja won the Best Interpretation Award. “Budi dobar kao što sam ja” was released on Maja’s album “Bele njive” (1995), followed by a video directed by Stole Popov. Maja Odžaklievska is one of the best female singers in former Yugoslavia. She sang at the Yugoslav national finals for the Eurovision 5 times – 1981 (Ne podnosim dan), 1982 (Julija, 2nd), 1983 (Lidu lidu du, 3rd), 1984 (Niki, 2nd) & 1988 (Te ljubam ludo, 5th) and also at the first (failed) Macedonian national Finals 1996 (Prosti mi, 2nd – look for the video on Youtube!) and again in 2006 (Koj pat da izberam (More lagi)). Recently she entered the Serbian pre-selection for Malmo with the song “Andjeo s neba”. She lives in Belgrade and still actively singing.
  • 1996 | Slovakia: “Let the party go on” (English) – MC Erik & Barbara (Erik Aresta & Barbara Haščáková). Slovakia entered the Eurovision Song Contest 1996 in Oslo, after being relegated from the 1995 contest. Reported to have been the original choice to represent Slovakia, although Marcel Polander, who did represent them in Oslo, contends that this was untrue and that no official announcement had actually been made. 
  • 1997 | Greece: “An Den Agapissis, Den Tha Agapissi” (Αν Δεν Αγαπήσεις, Δεν Θα Αγαπήσει) (Greek) – Dimosthenis Stringlis (Δημοσθένης Στριγκλής). This was selected but ERT demanded that the composer be replaced by another singer. Stringlis refused so the song was ditched.This was announced as the original choice to represent Greece in 1997. Dimosthenis was the composer of Greece’s song in 1993. ERT, the Greek broadcasters, however, were not happy to accept him as the singer and therefore told him that representation in Dublin would be reliant on finding an alternative singer. He refused to co-operate insisting that if the song went, he would sing it. It then transpired that another song, Horepse, would have been the original choice but the application details were not filled in correctly. ERT went back to the composer and this song therefore went to Dublin instead. It’s no wonder they went back to a televised national final the next year!.
  • 1997 | FYR Macedonia: “Manastirski son” (Манастирски сон) (Macedonian) – Pece Ognenov (Пеце Огненов). Pece Ognenov performs “Manastirski son” at the finals of Skopje Song Festival 1997. There were 31 songs in competition, 22 in the finals. “Ljuboven son” finished 10th in the finals (36 points). “Manastirski son” won the festival’s Grand Prix (296 votes) and the Award for Best Stage Performance. However FYR Macedonia were relegated after not qualifying with their first song the previous year and would therefore have to wait another year before making the final. 
  • 1997 | Austria: “Vienna” – Cora. In 1997, the standard of songs submitted to ÖRF, the Austrian broadcasters, was thought to be so low that further songs were commissioned. It was then rumoured that the song that won the internal selection was “Vienna”, however, there was no German lyric and the song could not therefore be sent to Dublin. Another of the newly-commissioned songs, performed by Betina Soriat would therefore go. In 1999, Vienna was re-submitted to the internal selection in 2 versions but lost out to Bobbie Singer.
  • 1998 | Hungary: “Csak Neked!” (Hungarian) – Erika Zoltán. 2 schools of thought on this one.  Firstly that Erika was heavily pregnant and was unable to make it to Birmingham.  Secondly it’s also been rumoured that the song had been previously released as early as 1991.  Also strangely the Hungarian song that went to Birmingham had not appeared in the Hungarian NF.
  • 1998 | Russia: “Solntse moyo” (Солнце моё) (Russian) – Tatiana Ovsienko (Татьяна Овсиенко). Russia did not broadcast the event due to withdrawals. In 1998 the Russian broadcaster ORT prepared to run internal preselections, but soon organisers realised that because of low average results in previous years Russia would not qualify to compete in 1998 (though there were rumours that Channel One had planned to name Tatyana Ovsienko as their representative, performing “Solntse moyo”). Because Russia did not participate, Channel One decided not to broadcast the 1998 contest. According to other sources Channel One had expected Channel Russia to broadcast the contest.
  • 1999 | FYR Macedonia: “Sejachot” (Сејачот, The sower) (Macedonian) – Sašo Gigov-Giš (Сашо Гигов Гиш). Winner of Skopje 1999 (Скопје Фест 1999), having been runner-up a year earlier, but can anyone confirm what the song was or, better still. It did not go to Jerusalem as FYR Macedonia were relegated until 2000. One year after the timeless “Samovilska svadba” from Skopje Fest ( Macedonian ESC – NF ) 1998, Sasho Gigov Gish performed another great ethno song “Sejachot” (The Sower) and won the Grand Prix. The composer is most probably Gligor Koprov, but you’re welcome to leave a comment if you know the producing team of the song for sure.
  • 1999 | Bosnia & Herzegovina: “Starac I More” (The old man and the sea) (Bosnian) – Hari Mata Hari. The original winner was of the Bosnian national final declared to be Hari Mata Hari, however was disqualified one month after their entry was discovered to have been released in Finland two years previously by a different singer. The singer would later represent the country in 2006. Consequently, the runner-up, Dino & Béatrice with “Putnici”, was declared the new winner and represented Bosnia and Herzegovina at the Eurovision Song Contest 1999.
  • 1999 | Germany: “Hör’ Den Kindern Einfach Zu” (Just listen to the children) (German) – Corinna May. On March 16, it was announced that the Corinna May’s winning song was also disqualified after her song was revealed to have been released in 1997 by a different singer since entering a cover song was (and still is) contrary to the rules. The original version was called “Where Have All The Good Times Gone?” by a group called Number 9. She would later represent the country in 2002.
  • 2000 | Portugal: “Sonhos mágicos” (Magical dreams) (Portuguese) – Liana. Portugal were relegated from the 2000 contest, however, RTP, the Portuguese Broadcaster, still conducted a national final ‘Festival RTP da Canção 2000’ which Liana won. In 2000 the winner Liana did not participate in the Eurovision Song Contest 2000, as Portugalhad for the first time been relegated due to consecutive poor showings.
  • 2001 | FYR Macedonia: “Nostalgija” (Носталгија, Nostalgia) (Macedonian) – Andrijana Janevska (Андријана Јаневска). FYR Macedonia just missed out on qualifying for the 2001 contest but Skopje 2001 went ahead regardless and Andrijana emerged as winner with this nice ballad. On March 2001, with the hit “Nostalgija” (“Nostalgia”) Andrijana got first place from the public, first place from the jury, and the festival’s Grand-Prix at SkopjeFest. What a shame this did not get the opportunity to go to Copenhagen. 
  • 2002 | Lithuania: “We All” (Mes čia!) (English) – B’Avarija. B’Avarija in 2002 won the finals with their song “We All”, however this win had to be disqualified, just over a month later as the song had been released the previous year in Lithuanian language version, under the title “Mes čia!” (We Are Here). Under the rules, a song may not be released before 1 January of the year of the relevant contest.  In fact, many of the Lithuanian national final entries had already been released, rendering them ineligible under Contest rules. Officials argued that the lyrics were different (as it was in a different language) and therefore a different song, however the EBU-UER rules that the song was not different enough and therefore could not be used in the main Eurovision Song Contest 2002. It is thought that the Lithuanian broadcasters had not fully understood the rules as a number of the songs competing in the final had also been released earlier. Aivaras, who was second in the national finals, went to the contest for Lithuania instead.
  • 2003 | Serbia-Montenegro: “Čija si” (To Whom Do You Belong?) (Serbian) – Toše Proeski (Тоше” Проески). Tose won Beovizija 2003, the competition used to select Serbia’s (but not Montenegro’s) songs in subsequent years. There was never any prospect of this going to Riga, although Macedonian singer, Tose, would be asked to sing all eight songs in the pre-selection for FYR Macedonia the following year, making it through the pre-qualifier and into the final. Proeski won Beovizija in Belgrade on April 2003, with “Čija Si” (“To Whom Do You Belong?”), a song which became a huge hit in Macedonia and the other former republics. This song was due to represent Serbia and Montenegro in the Eurovision Song Contest 2003 but the EBU stated that too many countries wanted to enter in that year and so some would be forced to withdraw. Serbia and Montenegro (who participated as one country at the time) were one of them. In 2004, MKTV chose Proeski to represent Macedonia at the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest in Istanbul, Turkey, and in February, he performed eight songs, where a jury, televoting, and his own opinion chose the song. The song “Angel Si Ti” (“You’re an Angel”) was chosen by all three. In April, Proeski released his album “Dan Za Nas” (“A Day For Us”), which featured the eight songs from the Eurovision selection in Macedonian. In May, Proeski finished 14th with the song “Life”, which was the English version of “Angel Si Ti”. Prior to the contest he was popularised by reporters due to his tremendous opera singing ability, at his press conferences. All eight songs were recorded in English, but only the winning song of the national final, “Life,” was released. During the TV national final show, after each song was performed, a clip of the song was played in English to show viewers how it would sound if that song won the contest and was performed in English at the Eurovision Song Contest 2004 final.
  • 2003 | Albania: “Brënda vetes më merr” (Albanian) – Mira Konçi. Albania, along with Belarus, Serbia-Montenegro and Ukraine, registered for the 2003 event. Initially, the EBU-UER indicated that participation should be fine, however, on review, it was felt that this would require too many existing nations to be barred from competing. As it was planned to incorporate a pre-qualification round from 2004 onwards, they were asked to defer from competition a further year. Ukraine appealed and the EBU-UER included one extra nation  in the 2003 competition. Mira won the Festivali i 41-të i Këngës në RTSH competition in December 2002, the contest used to select Albania’s eurovision song.
  • 2004 | France: “Non, L’aissez Moi Le Temps” (French) – Jonathan Cerrada. France Télévisions decided that they would select their entry internally and as a result, Cerrada will represented the country. At first, the broadcaster chose a different song entitled “Laissez-moi le temps”, but decided to use the alternative “À chaque pas” (With Every Step) instead of the original decision.
  • 2005 | Belarus: “Boys and Girls” (English) – Angelica Agurbash (Анжалікі Агурбаш). “Boys and Girls” was intended to be the Belarusian entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 2005, to be performed in English by Angelica Agurbash. As it was not performed, the song enters a very exclusive group of only three of four songs to be announced as an entry before not being performed. The song is an emotional ballad, with the lyrics written as a plea to the children of the world, reminding them that they are the future. Due in part to the unfashionable style of the song but also to its subject matter (the song is based around the Beslan school hostage crisis, which is unusual in English language songs), it did not attract a favourable reception prior to the Contest. Thus, Agurbash chose to perform the up-tempo dance number “Love Me Tonight” instead. Ironically, the Finnish entry at the 2005 Contest (“Why?” by Geir Rönning) was themed around the same events, although it did not qualify from the semi-final. 
  • 2005 | Lebanon: “Quand Tout S’enfuit” (French) – Aline Lahoud (الين لحود). Lebanon has never participated in the Eurovision Song Contest. The country’s broadcasting organization, Télé Liban, was set to make the country’s debut at the Eurovision Song Contest 2005 with the song “Quand tout s’enfuit” performed by Aline Lahoud, but was forced to withdraw due to Lebanon’s laws banning the broadcast of Israeli content.
  • 2006 | France: “Vous, C’est Nous” (You are us) (French) – Virginie Pouchain. France’s entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2006 was selected in a national final consisting of talent search performers. It was held on 14 March and the public and a panel of experts, presided by Charles Aznavour, combined to select the winner. Virginie Pouchain decided to take part in ‘Entrée des Artistes’, a musical show hosted by Pascal Sevran. Virginie won that competition and along with three other participants, she entered ‘Et si c’était vous?’, the French broadcaster’s national final for Eurovision, which was intended to have new talents emerge. Out of 21 participants, she was chosen to move on to the next round of the competition along with two others after she interpreted Céline Dion’s French hit, “Pour que tu m’aimes encore”. She won the final after gaining the jury’s and televoters’ support to gain selection for Athens. Virginie Pouchain was selected to represent France at the Eurovision Song Contest 2006 with the song “Vous, c’est nous” (You are us), but the song was later changed to “Il était temps” (It was time), as Virginie complained to the songwriter, Corneille Nyungura, that it did not suit her style. The song was composed by Corneille Nyungura & Virginie Pouchain. 
  • 2006 | Serbia & Montenegro: “Moja Ljubavi” (Моја љубави, My love) (Montenegrin) – No Name (Но нејм). Although Serbia & Montenegro did not compete in the contest, they still regained voting rights due to a scandal that was caused during their National Selection. “Moja ljubavi” was placed second in the Montenegrin semifinal Montevizija 2006 and won the Serbo-Montenegrin Eurovision Song Contest national selection Evropesma/Europjesma 2006 with a new arrangement and therefore became the Serbian and Montenegrin entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2006. But, due to the accusations of tactical voting of the RTCG jury members (Serbian TV protested that the voting of Montenegran jurors was partisan and proposed a second final with different voting). Montenegran TV believed that their song had won fairly and squarely. The two sides could not agree before the entry deadline so UJRT decided that Serbia and Montenegro would withdraw from ESC 2006. 
  • 2006 | Ucraina: “I am Your Queen” (Я – твоя королева) (Inglese) -Tina Karol (Тіна Кароль). Ukraine’s entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2006 was chosen in a selection process called “Ty-Zirka” (Ти — зірка!), the Ukrainian version of the Irish show “You’re A Star”. In 2006 Karol won at the casting for the Eurovision Song Contest 2006 with the song “I Am Your Queen” and therefore represented Ukraine at the event finishing 7th, scoring 145 points, with a revised version of the song entitled “Show Me Your Love”. The final took place on 11 March and both the televoters and jury agreed that Tina Karol should represent Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest with the song I am Your Queen. Kirill Turichenko and Irina Rosenfeld accumulated 21 points but it was Irina who finished 2nd following the televote. For Eurovision, the lyrics of the song changed and Show Me Your Love was performed by Tina.
  • 2006 | Moldova: 1. “Made in Moldova” – Serj Cuzencoff (Serj Kuzencoff) / 2. “Sing your song” – Moldstar & Alexa (Rodica Stegarescu, Dana Marchitan, Alexa & Serj Coston) / 3. “Zii lauta” (Sing guitar) – Geta Berlacu. What a farce this second-ever Moldovan selection process was. Three songs tied for first place. Under the rules in place, the youngest jury member was required to select which of the three songs should go forward! He (or she) refused to do this, or so we are led to believe. Clearly, however, the Moldovan broadcasters were less than tickled with any of the songs as, logically, they would have chosen one from the three. Instead, another final was organised which, initially, the singers of these three songs refused to enter. Subsequently Serj Cuzencoff, who arguably had the strongest chance, relented, and finished as runner-up to Arsenium from O-Zone. The first Moldovan national final took place on 25 February 2006 at the National Theatre of Opera and Ballet in Chisinau. The combination of televoting (50%) and an eight member jury vote (50%) resulted in the three-way tie between “Made in Moldova” performed by Serj Cuzencoff, “Sing your song” performed by Moldstar and Alexa and “Zii lauta” performed by Geta Burlacu. Under the competition’s tiebreak rules, the youngest member of the jury was required to cast the deciding vote and select the winner, however, the juror abstained from voting. The national final ended without selecting a winning song.
  • 2009 | Georgia: “We Don’t Wanna Put In” (English) – Stephane & 3G (სტეფანე და 3G). Georgia originally announced their intention to withdraw, but it was later stated by the EBU-UER that the country would indeed participate (after being placed to compete in the first semi-final on 12 May). However, Georgia later decided to withdraw after the EBU-UER rejected its song as being a breach of contest rules (Section 4 Rule 9 of the Rules of the 54th Eurovision Song Contest). Just months after the war in South Ossetia, Georgia in a public final chose to send to Moscow a retro disco number Stefane & 3G with “We Don’t Wanna Put In” gained coverage and controversy due to perceived political connotations within its lyrics relating to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. “Put in” sounded alike with Putin. The words “put in” are sung with accented pronunciation as “poot een”, which is how the Russian prime minister’s name is pronounced. The EBU-UER rejected the song due to these political connotations, calling it a clear breach of the contest’s rules. The EBU-UER then asked the Georgian broadcaster GPB on 10 March to change either the lyrics of the song or to select a new song to compete for the country. In the face of the pressure to make alterations to the lyrics from some of Russia’s and Georgia’s cultural and political figures (including Diana Gurtskaya, 2008 competitor from Georgia, and David Gamkrelidze, leader of the New Rights Party of Georgia), but GPB refused to change the lyrics or the song, claiming that the song contained no political references, and that the rejection by the EBU-UER was due to political pressure from Russia. As such, GPB withdrew Georgia from the contest on 11 March. The EBU-UER never made a comment on the country’s withdrawal. On 11 May the band admitted the political content of the song and their intention was just to embarrass Putin in Moscow. As a result of refusing to change the song lyrics and decision to withdraw the song developed in an idea to start an AlterVision Open Air Song Contest. First Open Air AlterVision Song Contest was held in Tbilisi (Georgia) on May 15–17, 2009.
  • 2009 | Hungary: “If You Wanna Party” (Vigyen a szél) (English) – Márk Zentai. After an internal selection, with both the performer and song being selected internally. On February 3, after receiving a total of 105 entries, MTV revealed that they had selected Márk Zentai to represent Hungary at the contest in Moscow, Russia, with the song “If You Wanna Party”. However, shortly after the announcement of the proposed Hungarian entry, it came to light that the song selected had been released in 2004 under the title “We Became Friends”, which acted as the Swedish Big Brother theme song. Zentai withdrew his song from the selection shortly after this news became apparent, and MTV set about finding a new entrant for the contest.
  • 2009 | Hungary: “Magányos Csónak” (Lonely boat) (Hungarian) – Kátya Tompos. After an internal selection, with both the performer and song being selected internally. On February 4, MTV announced that actress Kátya Tompos would replace Zentai as the Hungarian representative, competing with the song “Magányos csónak” (Lonely boat). However the Alliance of Hungarian Popular Music Composers and Songwriters protested that they did not feel as if the jury had long enough to make a correct decision on 3 February, and were dissatisfied with the internal selection instead of a national final where the public could vote for the winner. Other claims were made as well, such as that the songwriters have to be from his or her motherland and that the jury was not professional. MTV, however, stood by their decision of selecting the song internally, as well as revealing that the jury of television and music industry professionals chose the song all day long on 3 February, and that they were satisfied with the jury’s decision. On 10 February, Tompos announced her withdrawal from the contest, alleging she wanted to focus on her theatre career and that she had no time to prepare her participation in Eurovision properly, because she takes part in 8 plays of 3 different theatres. The MTV jury had to convene once again to select another artist to represent Hungary at Eurovision. On 23 February, MTV held a press conference about this year’s entrant. They mentioned that the jury chose three songs before the final decision was made to be sure one of them will not withdraw and completely meet the requirements. Then they announced the official entrant, which was Zoli Ádok with the song “Dance With Me”. Rather than select another singer to interpret the song, the TV station chose a completely different third entry.  
  • 2010 | Belarus: “Far Away” (English) – 3+2. “Far Away” having been chosen internally by BTRC to represent Belarus in Oslo. The song had previously taken part in the ONT contest “Musical Court”, which was planned to be used to select the Belarusian entry for the Contest before ONT’s application to join the EEBU-UER, the contest’s organisers, was rejected. News reports suggested that a “back-up” entry had been also chosen (why, it was not explained) by another artist. Less than a month later, after underwhelming internet reaction to the original song, Belarus announced that their entry was being replaced, not with the back-up, but with a new song by the original group and will now perform the song “Butterflies” at the contest, written byMaxim Fadeev and Malka Chaplin.
  • 2010 | Ukraine: “I Love You…” (English, Ukrainian) – Vasyl Lazarovych (Василь Лазарович). On 29 December 2009 he was selected internally to represent Ukraine at the ESC 2010 in Oslo. On 6 March 2010 was the song “I Love You”, performed in both English and Ukrainian, chosen from five songs (all performed by Lazarovych) by the public as his song. On 15 March, one week before the deadline for Eurovision entries to be submitted to the EBU-UER, it was announced that NTU may hold another national final to replace Lazarovych as the Ukrainian entry for the Contest, (because the song was not good enough), with a new (last minute) national final to take place on 20 Marchwhere 20 finalists were chosen from an open audition of songs. However, he participated in the new national final with “I Love You” on 20 March to attempt to continue his Eurovision participation, but he just placed seventh. The winner of the new national selection was Alyosha, who will represent Ukraine with her song “Sweet People”, which replaced her song “To Be Free” due to allegations of plagiarism and evidence that the song was publicly available two years prior.
  • 2010 | Ukraine: “To Be Free” (English, Ukrainian) – Alyosha (Aльоша). She replaced Vasyl Lazarovych who was originally picked on December 29, 2009 to represent Ukraine. After some political changes that took place in Ukraine his candidacy was withdrawn on March 15 under suspicion that he was picked with the help of the current director of the State National Television (1st National) Vasyl Ilashchuk. The petition to organize another concourse and to cancel the current results was signed by several famous Ukrainian performers such as Taisia Povaliy, Ruslana Pysanka, Kostyantyn Meladze, and many others. The winner of the new national selection declared by a professional jury and SMS voting was Alyosha and Masha Sobko. With Alyosha getting the most points from the professional jury she was declared the winner with her song “To Be Free”. After the national final on 20 March, allegations were made that the song plagiarized the Linda Perry and Grace Slick song “Knock Me Out” and had been made available publicly 2 years before its entry in the national final ( the winning song has been available for purchase (under the name of Alonya) at Amazon.de since 12 April 2008). This would break the rules of the Eurovision Song Contest. A new song, “Sweet People”, was chosen, two days after the 22 March deadline had passed, so NTU was fined by the EBU-UER. Alyosha will represent Ukraine with her song “Sweet People”, that was revealed on 24 March.
  • 2011 | Belarus: “I Am Belarusian” (English) – Anastasiya Vinnikova (Анастасия Винникова). “I Am Belarusian” (previously Born in Bielorussia or Born in Byelorussia), after being internally selected by the Belarusian national television was unveiled as their song for Düsseldorf. However the song had to be withdrawn after it was discovered that it was sung in public in the summer of 2010. It was changed to another song called “I Love Belarus”.
  • 2012 | Belarus: “All My Life” (English) – Alyona Lanskaya (Алёна Ланская).  Alyona Lanskaya participated in Eurofest 2012 singing the song “All My Life” in a bid to represent Belarus in the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 held in Baku, Azerbaijan. However she was later disqualified following an investigation about rigged televoting which made her song the winning entry. After advancing to the semi-finals that was held on December 21, 2011, she qualified for the Eurofest 2012 finals as one of the five chosen from the 15 entries. The finals was held on 14 February 2012 where the song came first and won by 12 points from televotes making the song Belarus’ entry for Eurovision Song Contest 2012. However on February 24, 2012 it was announced that Lanskaya was disqualified after the Belorussian President conducted an investigation leading to her “unfair” win in Eurofest 10 days earlier. There were rumours circulating that the producers had rigged the televoting giving her 12 points making her the winner. In response to the allegations, the president ordered an immediate investigation and it was later confirmed to be true. This was the first time that an act who won a national selection was disqualified since Ukraine’s original artist was disqualified in 2010. She was replaced by Litesound instead, who got second place in Eurofest finals, and were internally chosen as the new representatives of Belarus in the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in Baku.
  • 2012 | Italy: “Per Sempre” (Forever) (Italian) – Nina Zilli. Nina Zilli competed in the “Big Artists” section of the Festival di Sanremo 2012, placing seventh in a field of fourteen entries. During the contest, Zilli was also chosen by a specific jury to represent Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 (was announced by the ESC 2011 winners Ell & Nikki), but it was announced that it would not be with her festival song.  After being confirmed as the Italian entry to the contest, one week later RAI and Universal Music Italy announced that the song was replaced by “L’amore è femmina (Out of Love)”, also performed by Nina Zilli in English-Italian language.
  • 2012 | San Marino: “Facebook Uh, Oh, Oh (A Satirical Song)” (Italian) – Valentina Monetta. “Facebook Uh, Oh, Oh (A Satirical Song)” was chosen internally by the San Marino broadcaster SMRTV to represent San Marino at the Eurovision Song Contest 2012. On 18 March 2012, a few days after the song was announced, the EBU-UER deemed that the song contained an unreasonable commercial message for Facebook, which resulted in the lyrics’ disqualification; according to the Eurovision Rule 1.2.2.g, commercial messages within songs are not allowed. San Marino was given the option of submitting a new song, or revising the lyrics to remove any references to Facebook, no later than 12:00 CET on 23 March 2012. On 22 March 2012, SMRTV announced that the song and its lyrics has been revised with a new title, “The Social Network Song (OH OH – Uh – OH OH)”, with mostly the same lyrics, except without directly mentioning Facebook.
  • 2012 | Denmark: “Nowhere” (English) – Valen:Tine (Tine Lynggaa). Speaking of technicalities, last year’s Dansk Melodi Grand Prix allowed ‘Nowhere’, by Tine Lynggaa (performing as Valen:Tine) through to the National Finals. Even though it broke DR’s date rule, the October release still sneaked in under the EBU date of September 1st. Unfortunately it was never written as a Eurovision song, so the demo version uploaded to YouTube in the summer by Lynggaa was enough to qualify as a prior performance and into the ‘disqualified’ playlist went ‘Nowhere’.
  • 2013 | F.Y.R.O. Macedonia: “Imperija” (Империја, Empire) (Macedonian) – Esma Redžepova & Vlatko Lozanoski (Есма Реџепова & Влатко Лозаноски). Unlike their Bulgarian neighbours, the Macedonians selected internally for 2013. On 8 March, several Macedonian media outlets reported that the song “Imperija” would be withdrawn as the Eurovision entry and replaced with a different song “Pred da se razdeni”  (Before the sunrise, Пред да се раздени with the English version being If I Could Change The World), ostensibly due to the poor internet reaction.     
  • 2013 | Belarus: “Rhythm of Love” (English) – Alyona Lanskaya (Алёна Ланская). For the fourth year in a row the Belarus entry was replaced. The original song was selected (chosen from nine other songs) on 7 December 2012 through a combination of the Belarusian national selection, ‘Eurofest’ and an internal song selection carried out by the winning artist. After receiving top points from both the jury (50%) and the public vote (50%), Alyona Lanskaya was selected to represent Belarus in Malmö. While her song, “Rhythm of Love”, was also selected, the Eurofest rules specified that the winning artist was free to change the song if they were able to find a more suitable alternative. After the public contest, the responsible committee of Belarusian BTRC network, decided to replace it and on 6 March 2013 announced the song “Solayoh” to be sung by Lanskaya at the Eurovision Song Contest.On 26 February 2013, it was discovered that the songwriters Marc Paelinck and Martin King had the demo version of the song on their MySpace account. The EBU-UER has also decided that this won’t give any advantage to the Belarusian entry, and “Solayoh” went on to reach the 16th place in the final of 2013.
  • 2013 | Bulgaria: “Kismet” (Кисмет) (Bulgarian) – Elitsa Todorova & Stoyan Yankoulov (Елица Тодорова & Стоян Янкулов). The Bulgarian entry was selected through a combination of an internal selection to select the artist and a national final to select the song (three candidate songs), organised by the Bulgarian broadcaster BNT. The combined jury/televote produced a tied result. After a tie between “Samo shampioni” (Само шампиони) and “Kismet” (Кисмет), the televoting results took precedence which resulted in “Kismet” being selected as the winning song for Malmö.  After a week later apparently due to copyrights issues with Jonatan Tesei, one of the apparent authors of the song that BNT was misinformed about of the national final. The broadcaster’s possession of copyrights for the entry “Kismet”, are required under the rules of the Eurovision Song Contest, the song was replaced with the runner-up.
  • 2015 | Germany: “Heart Of Stone” (English) – Andreas Kümmert. The song was originally chosen to represent Germany in Vienna. Unser Song für Österreich (Our Song for Austria) was the competition that selected Germany’s entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2015. Eight artists participated in the competition with two songs each; seven of the participants were established artists, while the eighth participant was selected from a club concert wildcard round for new talents (1.213 entries were received). Ten artists were selected to compete and the winner of the wildcard round, Ann Sophie with “Jump the Gun”, was determined solely by public televoting. The national final featured eight competing artists performing their song entries. The selection of the winning entry was to occur over three rounds with public televoting determining the results for each round. The first round reduced eight artists to four (each artist performed one of the two songs they had selected to perform first), the second reduced four artists to two (each artist performed one of the two songs) and the third round, public televoting determined the winning entry. Andreas Kümmert was announced as the winner, however he declined the opportunity to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest and Ann Sophie and her song “Black Smoke” was declared the German representative.
  • 2015 | Albania: “Diell / Të kërkoj” (Sun) (Albanian) – Elhaida Dani. The song was originally going to represent Albania in Vienna. The entry would’ve been performed by Elhaida Dani, and was written by Aldo Shllaku, Viola Trebicka and Sokol Marsi, however on 23 February 2015 the songwriters decided to withdraw the song and Dani will perform something else at Eurovision. The following day it was revealed that Dani will perform “I’m Alive”.
  • 2016 | Malta: “Chameleon (Invincible)” (English) – Ira Losco. “Chameleon” is a song performed by Maltese singer Ira Losco. Originally, the song would haverepresented Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016. However, the Maltese broadcaster TVM later changed it to “Walk on Water”.
  • 2016 | Romania: “Moment of Silence” (English) – Ovidiu Anton. “Moment of Silence” is a song performed by Romanian singer Ovidiu Anton. The song was scheduled to represent Romania in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016. Due to defaulted payments by the nation’s national broadcaster, TVR, the song was disqualified from the contest.
  • 2016 | Germania: “?” () – Xavier Naidoo. On 19 November 2015, Naidoo was announced as the German representative in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016. His entry was due to be chosen from six competing entries in a national final in February. However, his selection proved controversial. Naidoo’s right wing political views, coupled with homophobic lyrics in his 2012 song (featuring Kool Savas) “Wo sind sie jetzt”, led to calls for his selection to be reconsidered. Within a day, an online petition had gathered nearly 15,000 signatories. Claudia Roth, a vice-president of the Bundestag for the German Green Party, also criticised the decision, citing the poor timing, with right wing political causes gaining popularity in the wake of the migrant crisis. On 21 November, it was revealed by the German broadcaster, NDR, that Germany had withdrawn the singer’s participation. Il 19 novembre 2015 era stato annunciato che l’artista avrebbe rappresentato la Germania all’Eurovision Song Contest 2016; la decisione è stata però poi annullata due giorni dopo in seguito alle proteste dovute alla sua appartenenza alla Reichsbürgerbewegung (a group that believes that the German Reich continues to exist in its pre-WWII borders) e agli insulti contro gli ebrei e le persone LGBT nei suoi brani  (in his song “Raus aus dem Reichstag”).  
  • 2017 | Russia: “Flame is burning” (English) – Julia Samoylova. La cantante russa Julia Samoylova è stata selezionata per rappresentare la Russia nella competizione con il brano “Flame is burning”. Tuttavia, il 22 marzo 2017 è stato rilasciato un divieto di accesso sul territorio ucraino nei suoi confronti di una durata di tre anni per aver attraversato illegalmente il confine ucraino in occasione di un’esibizione in Crimea; è la prima edizione dove lo Stato organizzatore non permette ad un’artista di entrare nel Paese. Jon Ola Sand, dopo aver confermato la notizia, ha spiegato che l’EBU-UER deve attenersi alle leggi locali del Paese organizzatore. Tuttavia ha detto di essere profondamente in disaccordo con questa decisione, spiegando che: “Va contro lo spirito del concorso e la nozione di inclusività che si pone nel cuore dei suoi valori. Continueremo a dialogare con le autorità ucraine con l’obiettivo di assicurare che tutti gli artisti possano esibirsi al 62° Eurovision Song Contest a Kiev”. Tuttavia il 31 marzo 2017 il divieto di accesso nei confronti della Samoylova è stato reso definitivo. A confermare tutto ciò è stato il Ministro degli Esteri ucraino Pavel Klimkin spiegando che: “La risposta è semplice. Concessioni, formali o informali, sono impossibili perché la legge deve essere applicata a tutti. Se la legge viene violata, ogni passo indietro è fuori discussione”. L’EBU-UER aveva offerto all’emittente russa Channel One Russia un compromesso e due possibili soluzioni, permettendo all’artista di esibirsi in collegamento via satellite da una sede a scelta dell’emittente o che venisse permesso ad un altro cantante di recarsi in Ucraina al posto suo, ma entrambe le proposte sono state rifiutate sia da Channel One Russia che dal governo ucraino. Il 13 aprile 2017 Channel One Russia ha annunciato quindi ufficialmente che la Russia non avrebbe partecipato alla gara e non avrebbe più trasmesso l’evento.  Russia announced their withdrawal on 13 April 2017, after their singer, Yulia Samoylova, was banned from entering Ukraine after the government said she had illegally travelled directly to Crimea, a region that was annexed by Russia in 2014, to give a performance. The European Broadcasting Union condemned Ukraine’s actions. Russian singer Yulia Samoylova was selected to represent Russia with the song “Flame Is Burning”. However, she was issued a three-year travel ban on entering Ukraine by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), for illegally crossing the Ukrainian border during her 2015 visit to Crimea – a region that was annexed by Russia in 2014. According to Ukrainian law, entering Crimea by foreigners via Russia is illegal. Samoylova has stated that she did perform in Crimea in 2015. The EBU responded by stating that it was continuing to ensure that all entrants would be able to perform in Kiev, and their disappointment about the lack of compromise from the broadcasters. A compromise was offered to Channel One Russia from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to allow Samoylova to perform her entry via satellite link from a venue of the broadcaster’s choice, which was later turned down by the Russian broadcaster and the Ukrainian government. The chief of the EBU, Ingrid Deltenre, condemned Ukraine’s actions, describing them as “abusing the ESC for political reasons” and “absolutely unacceptable”. On 13 April, Russian broadcaster Channel One announced their withdrawal from the contest and stated that the broadcaster may not air the contest.
  • 2018 | Ucraina: “Siren song” (English) – Maruv (Hanna Korsun) / MARUV (Ганна Корсун) . Nel 2019, ha vinto la selezione nazionale per rappresentare l’Ucraina all’Eurovision Song Contest 2019 con il brano Siren Song, ma a causa di alcune incongruenze tra l’artista e l’emittente radiotelevisiva ucraina UA:PBC, si è ritirata dall’incarico. A seguito del ritiro di Tayanna, Maruv viene selezionata per il Vidbir 2019, processo di selezione nazionale per l’Eurovision Song Contest con il brano Siren Song. Nella serata finale, ha vinto il televoto nella finale, ed è stata posizionata seconda dalla giuria, accumulando abbastanza punti da risultare la vincitrice dell’intera selezione e quindi diventando di diritto la rappresentante ucraina all’Eurovision Song Contest 2019 a Tel Aviv. Tuttavia, dopo che è stato rilevato che si esibirà in due concerti in Russia nei mesi successivi, dopo l’intervento militare russo del 2014 in Ucraina, le relazioni tra Russia e Ucraina sono deteriorate, il Vice Primo Ministro e Ministro della Cultura Vyacheslav Kyrylenko ha affermato che gli artisti che hanno girato in Russia o “che non riconoscono l’integrità territoriale dell’Ucraina” non dovrebbero rappresentare il paese ad una manifestazione internazionale come l’Eurovision. Il 24 febbraio 2019, il canale televisivo UA:PBC, ha offerto all’artista un contratto con una clausola che le permette di partecipare alla manifestazione a patto di annullare tutti i concerti in Russia. In caso di rifiuto il canale ucraino potrà decidere un nuovo rappresentante tramite propri criteri. In seguito al rifiuto della cantante di firmare il contratto, l’emittente selezionerà internamente un altro rappresentante, ma non tra i primi classificati della finale del Vidbir, che si sono a loro volta rifiutati di sostituire Maruv.


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