The 13th esctoday.com TOP TEN list continues today with the places 5 and 4 being announced. As revealed on Saturday, this week's topic are the TOP TEN surprising winners.
The list features Eurovision Song Contest winning performers or songs that were not consideredf favourites for first place before the contest. As reliable information on pre-contest media reports is only available since the introduction of the preview videos in 1971, only entries of the last 39 years are considered. It is regarded how much an entry was of a favourite at the time it took part, so "retrospective" surprises are not considered. The following criteria were included in the ranking:
- Betting odds
- Media predictions
- Reactions by the audience in the hall and the commentators
- Reactions after the victory
- Commercial success of an entry compared to the success of other songs that year
So we continue…
No. 5 – Marie N with I wanna (Latvia 2002)
It was the third time that Latvia would compete in the Eurovision Song Contest and it was the third time that Marie N competed in the Latvian national final in 2002. After a second and a third place in the previous two years, she could win this time with her own composition, which was a song called I wonna. The song was later renamed to I wanna and the lyrics had to go through a makeover to get rid of gramatically dubious lines like I wanna you to hold me in your arms. Although the bookmakers saw it in a decent placing with betting odds around 1-15, it was never a hot favourite for victory. The big favourites that year were the entries of Germany and Spain followed by Sweden. Still, after the spectacular Viktor/Viktoria live performance and an enthusiastic reaction from the audience it started looking like Latvia could get many points.
Cyprus was the first country to vote and not surprisingly Greece went straight to the top. After the second country had voted, it looked like Malta woud take home the trophy. After Switzerland had voted, Latvia was in first place, where they would stay until the last votes were in. Marie N got 176 points in total including five sets of 12. The only country that did not wanna give any points was Romania.
I wanna was a commercial flop. The single was not even released in most countries and the song is therefore considered the least sold Eurovision Song Contest winner ever. Marie N returned to the stage in 2003 co-hosting the contest in Riga.
No. 4 – Secret Garden with Nocturne (Norway 1995)
The winners of the Norwegian national final for the Eurovision Song Contest 1995 were Secret Garden with their song Nocturne, which had only narrowly qualified from the semi final. The composer was Rolf Løvland, who already competed a couple of times before winning in 1985, finishing ninth in 1987 and sixth in 1994. The song was quite unsual as it was mainly instrumental with Gunnhild Tvinnereim only singing a few words at the beginning and at the end. During the rest of the performance, the focus was on violinist Fionnuala Sherry. Few people exepected that the juries would go for a song with hardly any lyrics and a high position for Norway was not expected. In fact, some said that Norway might end up last once again. The top favourite in 1995 was Sweden.
When the voting started, Norway got the first set of 12 but they soon lost their leading position to Sweden. After Turkey had voted, Norway was back on top, where they would stay until the end. Nocturne scored 148 points in total including six times twelve. However, three countries did not give Norway any points: Austria, Croatia and Sweden. As Denmark also only gave two to Norway, this victory can definitely not be blamed on Scandinavian bloc voting.
Nocturne was no commercial success. It was not even released as a single in Norway and it did not make the charts in most countries, although it did reach no. 26 in Sweden and no. 20 in the Netherlands. However, the album Songs from a Secret Garden reached number one in Norway and also appeared in the charts of Belgium, the Netherlands and New Zealand.
Tomorrow, we will introduce no. 3 and 2 on the list.