Preparing for the Eurovision Song Contest is always a nostalgic moment as we get to look at some of the all-time greats of the last few years, from ABBA and Conchita Wurst to Bucks Fizz and Loreen.
But with so many artists competing every year, it’s inevitable that some will be less memorable than others – and that includes some pretty famous faces.
As we prepare for this year’s crop of performances, here are 11 musicians you’ve completely forgotten about once they competed in the Eurovision Song Contest…
How did they do? Eighth and 19th place respectively
Best known for angering Simon Cowell on The X Factor in 2008, Jedward made a colorful return to our screens as Ireland’s Eurovision representatives with the surprisingly catchy Lipstick.
A year later, they returned to the contest with the surprisingly even more captivating Waterline. However, they didn’t do as well the second time around, and are yet to score a Eurovision hat-trick (although knowing Eurovision – and Jedward – we don’t rule that out).
Since competing, Jedward has continued making music as well as appearing on Celebrity Big Brother (twice!)
How did she do it? 10th place set
Long before meeting her as Ronnie Mitchell of the EastEnders, Samantha Womack – or Janus, as she was known at the time – had embarked on a singing career, reaching Eurovision in 1991.
Her song A Message To Your Heart turned out to be her only single, after reaching the top 10 of that year’s contest, where she was backed up on backing vocals by none other than Hazell Dean.
How did he do? Second place
A year after Samantha, we sent Michael Ball to Malmö from the West End, where he seriously impressed and finished a respectable second.
While Michael may now be best known for his version of tearful ballads, his Eurovision performance One Step Out Of Time was a little more of a toe tap. And if you don’t believe us, you can check out his *ahem* energetic performance in the video above. Good plays, Miguel!
How did they do? 11th place
The BBC was met with controversy in 2011 when it announced that it was dropping its usual Eurovision selection programs and would instead try to reverse the UK’s fortunes by choosing our own representatives.
With a string of hits to his name in the 2000s (including three number one), we kind of understand what the BBC wanted when Blue was selected and at one point it looked like they were actually going to do very well.
Unfortunately, on the night things didn’t go as planned, and while 11th place is nothing to sneeze at, Blue fell short of some people’s expectations. Still, that was nothing compared to what would happen to the UK in Eurovision over the next decade…
How did they do? 21st place
Who doesn’t like a little Cascada at the club, right? Everytime We Touch, Evacuate The Dancefloor, What Hurts The Most – all indisputable bops.
Still, it has to be said that what they did at Eurovision in 2013 didn’t quite hit the mark, and they ended up falling near the bottom of the leaderboard on the night with just 18 points (to put that in perspective, the night’s winner Emmelie of Forest had 281).
How did he do? Failed to qualify after semifinals
Darude is known for his big club hits, so people were really intrigued when it was announced that he would be teaming up with Sebastian Rejman to compete in Eurovision.
Unfortunately, the song failed to cause a storm, sandy or otherwise. After the performance in the semifinals, Darude and Sebastian did not get enough votes to reach the final stage of the competition.
If it’s any consolation, Finland’s Darude is one of Eurovision’s unluckiest contestants, finishing last on eight separate occasions, three of which with the unenviable zero points.
How did he do? Fourth place
The legendary singer (and father of fellow singer Enrique Iglesias) was already a huge star when he agreed to compete on behalf of Spain at Eurovision in 1970.
His song Gwendolyne was one of the biggest hits of the night, coming in comfortably in the top five on the scoreboard, with Ireland achieving one of their record-setting seven wins that year.
How did she do it? Fourth place
The UK really thought it had it in the bag in 1974 when it sent Olivia Newton-John to the contest. Olivia was already a popular singer at this stage, with a string of UK hits, although that was still years before she achieved international stardom in Grease.
What the UK hadn’t bet on was the popularity of a certain Swedish group called ABBA. The story goes that the UK jury went so far as to allegedly give the band Waterloo’s offer zero points, as a tactical move to boost Olivia’s Long Live Love up the scoreboard.
If this is true, it was all in vain. Waterloo advanced independently, becoming one of the most recognizable Eurovision hits of all time, while ABBA would only go from strength to strength from that point on.
How did she do it? First place
Alongside ABBA, Céline Dion is without a doubt one of Eurovision’s biggest success stories, to the point where many don’t even know that’s where she got her international break.
Long before Titanic, Las Vegas and the Met Gala arrived, the Canadian star sang his song in French Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi on behalf of Switzerland, surpassing the UK entry by just one point.
Since then, Céline has become known worldwide as one of the best vocalists of a generation, continuing to perform all over the world.
How did she do it? sixth place
You may think you don’t know Lúcia Moniz, but there are in reality every chance you sit down to watch it every festive season.
Although best known as a singer in her native Portugal, rom-com fans may recognize Lúcia as Aurelia, Colin Firth’s love interest, in the Christmas classic Love Really.
How did he do? Third place
Again, even if you think you don’t know Domenico Modugno, we promise you will know his music Nel Blu, Dipinto Di Blu, perhaps better known as Volare.
Although Domenico only won bronze in 1958 at the third Eurovision ever, his music has definitely stood the test of time, even winning Record of the Year and Song of the Year at the inaugural Grammys. It has also been covered by everyone from Dean Martin to the Gipsy Kings.
Play the song and we guarantee you’ll hear it – even if it’s just while you’re waiting for your pizza at Frankie & Benny’s somewhere.