Ranking of songs with which Eurovision winners have blessed ear holes

PEDSTRIAN.TV has teamed up with SBS to sing the praises of Eurovision from the rooftops.

Call it now, the Eurovision Song Contest should be a holiday. It has it all: talented musicians, extravagant costumes, wacky performances and fierce competition. As the largest and oldest musical competition in the world, it is also responsible for catapulting global treasures such as ABBA, Celine Dion and tATu (All the things she said!!!) to fame.

It is also a big and beautiful party. With over 183 million viewers worldwide in 2021, it brings together a whole section of the world to celebrate music from other cultures, with artists performing in every language. (By the way, I think Eurovision teaches us more about Europe than high school geography. Sorry, Mr Craden.)

This year’s 66th Eurovision Song Contest is fast approaching. Artists from 40 countries will compete in Turin, Italy, May 11-15. Given SBS was the home of Eurovision in Australia for just under four decades, it will, once again, be the perfect place to grab a multi-night bargain.

To get into the spirit, we rank some of the absolute bangers who won because, more than anything, Eurovision gave us killer tunes.

Here are five that are worth adding back to your reading lists.

5. Duncan Laurence – “Arcade” (Israel, 2019)

Arriving hot in fifth place is by Duncan Laurence heartbreaking ballad “Arcade”. It ended up going uge on TikTok two years after the song won in 2019. Thanks to – of all things – Harry Potter fans who recorded some Draco Malfoy toks with the song, it ended up going viral and rising up the charts. And frankly, it deserves it. This song is a ripper to blast when you’re feeling all the feels and want to indulge in a cheeky scream.

4. Måneskin – “Zitti E Buoni” (Netherlands, 2021)

Italian group in four parts Maneskin won Eurovision last year after winning the public vote by landslide. I don’t know what people lather the most; the catchy rock song or people dressed in sexy leather singing said rock song. Either way, it worked for them and they’ve had significant success ever since.

3. Lena – “Satellite” (Germany, 2010)

Lena’s catchy pop song is still a total bop 12 years later. Straightforward and to the point, “Satellite” is the energy peak of the 2010s. I mean, isn’t that something you would have reblogged in cursive on Tumblr back then? I thought so.

2. ABBA – “Waterloo” (England, 1974)

How not to include the ultimate Eurovision icons in this list? Throw this tune at any party and the whole room is set. That’s endurance.

Before it rises to Fat celebrity, poor Olivia Newtown-John also competed for Great Britain at Eurovision this year. But of course, ABBA took first place while Liv came in fourth.

I mean, who could beat ABBA…?

1. Daði og Gagnamagnið – “Think about things” (2020)

Listen, this could be a controversial choice. Eurovision was canceled in 2020 so technically there was no official winner. But, Daði and Gagnamagnið was the entrance to Iceland before the pandemic ruined everything. Their song “Think About Things” had been a warm favorite to bring home the gong in the night and – in my unqualified opinion – would have won.

You can’t deny how slamming this retro, synth-heavy number is. He begs you to get up and dance. And, look at those green suits – they had all the right ingredients to win. The banger also went viral, which further proves what a great piece it is. Justice for Daði and Gagnamagnið!

Bonus firecrackers

Eurovision is full of hits. Some years there are so many goodies. If I was in charge, I would give them all participation trophies but, alas, that’s not how it works. This article wouldn’t be complete without adding a few tracks that, despite not winning the overall competition of their year, definitely won our hearts and are worth revisiting.

SunStroke Project and Olia Tira represented Moldova in 2010. They performed the energetic pop track “Run away” still banging. At the time, an onstage saxophone solo, complete with thrusts and jazzy dance moves, stole the show and tore up memes. To date, the epic saxophone is the physical representation of my last brain cell. And the song still rocks.

In 2017, Francesco Gabbani also came in sixth place for his song “Western’s Karma”. Francesco’s dance-pop song was written as a commentary on Western society’s obsession with Eastern spirituality. And he also danced on stage with a gorilla. We love the many layers of Eurovision.

And finally, “City Lights” is a funky number that also finished in fourth place in 2017. Performed by Belgian singer Whitethe song is one that seems firmly made for twenty-somethings who want to look out of a train window.

We’ll be dancing to these masterpieces until the next batch of talented tributes take the stage at this year’s 66th Eurovision Song Contest, which you can watch or stream for free on SBS and SBS On Demand.

Get your calendar out now, because you can tune in for Semi-Final 1 on Friday, May 13 at 8:30 p.m. Semi-Final 2 will air the following night (Saturday May 14) at 8:30 p.m. and will feature local Australian legend, Sheldon Riley. Then, tie in for the grand finale on Sunday, May 15 at 7:30 p.m. to see which bop takes first place.

Image: Getty Images


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Grace D. Erickson