It is said that history is written by the victors. And for Eurovision, this is especially the case. The winner takes the trophy and resumes entry, while the whole shebang arrives in the winning country about twelve months later.
But that doesn’t mean we forget everyone. Often, some would even suggest that the best songs always come second. We could not confirm or refute such a theory. However, we are more than happy to put it to the test and review all the finalists from 2013 to 2022.
Which second place act is your favorite? Vote in our poll, then share your impressions in the comments.
Second place acts at Eurovision: 2013 to 2022
Eurovision 2013: Azerbaijani Farid Mammadov with “Hold Me”
“Hold Me”, Azerbaijan’s only runner-up in the competition, was notable for its stagecraft. While Denmark were heavy favorites to win, there were plenty of other acts that looked like strong contenders, including Azerbaijan. However, Denmark were the clear winners and Azerbaijan had to settle for silver.
Eurovision 2014: The Common Linnets of the Netherlands with “Calm After the Storm”
The Netherlands shocked everyone when they took second place in 2014. It was only a year after the country qualified for the Eurovision finals for the first time since 2004. The sweet song Common Linnets folkloric won hearts, and for a moment it almost felt like a win. was in their sights.
Eurovision 2015: Russian Polina Gagarina with “A Million Voices”
In a year where the televotes and the jury couldn’t agree on anything, Russia took advantage and almost won. During the voting procedure, Russia maintained a lead until very late in the show, but Sweden ultimately won gold.
Looking back on it in 2022, Polina Gagarina’s “A Million Voices” – with its message of peace – now seems hollow and dishonest. Polina has openly supported Russia’s war in Ukraine and even performed at a huge war rally against Putin earlier this year. Given this, we are excluding him from the poll below. Sorry, not sorry.
Eurovision 2016: Australian Dami Im with “Sound of Silence”
In only their second year of competition, Australia have moved straight into the top two. Dami Im’s ‘Sound of Silence’ won the jury vote and was seemingly on course for a landslide victory, but ultimately finished second, a narrow margin behind Ukraine’s ‘1944’.
Eurovision 2017: Bulgarian Kristian Kostov with “Beautiful Mess”
The top of the 2017 scoreboard was a mess of different genres. The winner from Portugal won the jury and public vote, with Bulgarian Kristian Kostov finishing second in both cases. Kostov not only had the highest score of all time for a non-winner, but he also had the second highest score of all time. Moreover, just a year after Poli Genova got Bulgaria’s highest score in the contest, Kristian beat him and more.
Eurovision 2018: Eleni Foureira from Cyprus with “Fuego”
In the days leading up to Eurovision 2018, fans became increasingly convinced that Cyprus would win. But in the end, as Eurovision 2019 host Assi Azar would say, they didn’t. Despite this, the song still became a staple pick for fan-favorite all-time highs and achieved widespread success across Europe. We even saw it performed by Måns Zelmerlöw on the Tel Aviv stage.
Eurovision 2019: Italian Mahmood with “Soldi”
Mahmood’s win at the 2019 Sanremo Festival came as a surprise to many. But then, in the months leading up to Eurovision, the unique Italian R&B song grew on Eurofans. After Tel Aviv, “Soldi” charted in 24 countries in Europe.
Eurovision 2020: No contest
This is the year that never was. Eurovision 2020 has been canceled due to this pandemic.
Eurovision 2021: the French Barbara Pravi with “Voilà”
Barbara Pravi won her place in Eurovision the hard way: by taking part in the quality French national final Eurovision France: You Decide! Barbara seduced with her voice, her beautiful melody and her classic yet contemporary staging to climb the ladder in Rotterdam. She then toured Europe and continued to charm audiences with her caring spirit and delightful music.
Eurovision 2022: UK’s Sam Ryder with “SPACE MAN”
We all knew it would take someone very special to break the cycle of poor results and negative UK media coverage. Fortunately, Sam Ryder was up for the challenge. With his near-perfect falsetto and positive outlook on life and competition, Sam gave the UK its best result since 1998. It went on to hit No. highest at Eurovision in the country. since “Ooh Ahh… Just a Little Bit” by Gina G in 1996.
Who is your favorite Eurovision finalist of the last ten years?
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