You don’t have to be the winner of your Eurovision edition to win. Whether that’s by climbing the charts, expanding your fan base or becoming a domestic treasure, many acts that finish second have proven that there are plenty of ways to win – even without the Eurovision trophy.
Earlier this summer we asked our readers which Eurovision prize winner of the past ten years was their favorite. After counting 10,675 votes, the result is in.
Who is your favorite Eurovision runner-up from the past ten years?
1. Eurovision 2018: Cypriot Eleni Foureira with “Fire”
In the days leading up to Eurovision 2018, fans became increasingly convinced that Cyprus would win. But in the end, as Eurovision 2019 presenter Assi Azar would say, they didn’t. Despite that, the song still became a top pick for fan-favorite tops of all time, achieving widespread success across Europe. We even saw it performed by Måns Zelmerlöw on the Tel Aviv stage.
2. Eurovision 2022: UK’s Sam Ryder with “SPACE MAN”
We all knew it would take someone very special to break the UK cycle of bad results and negative press coverage. Fortunately, Sam Ryder was well prepared for the challenge. With his near-perfect falsetto voice and positive outlook on life and the competition, Sam gave the UK its best result since 1998. He reached 2nd place in the UK charts, making “SPACE MAN” the highest grossing Eurovision entry in the country . since Gina G’s “Ooh Ahh…Just a Little Bit” in 1996.
3. Eurovision 2019: the 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.
4. Eurovision 2021: France’s Barbara Pravi with “Voilà”
Barbara Pravi earned her spot in the Eurovision Song Contest the hard way: by taking part in France’s quality national final Eurovision France: You decide! Barbara stunned with her voice, her beautiful melody and her classic, yet contemporary staging to climb the scoreboard in Rotterdam. She then toured Europe and continued to captivate audiences with her kind spirit and delightful music.
5. Eurovision 2017: Bulgarian Kristian Kostov with “Beautiful Mess”
The top of the 2017 leaderboard was a beautiful jumble of different genres. The winner from Portugal won the jury vote and the public, with Bulgarian Kristian Kostov finishing second in both. Not only did Kostov achieve the highest score ever for a non-winner, he also achieved the second highest score of all time. Moreover, just a year after Poli Genova took Bulgaria’s highest score in the competition, Kristian crushed this and then some.
6. Eurovision 2016: Dami Im from Australia with “Sound of Silence”
In just the second year they competed, Australia moved straight into the top two. Dami Im’s “Sound of Silence” won the jury vote and was seemingly en route to a landslide victory, but ended up finishing second, a narrow margin behind Ukraine’s “1944”.
7. Eurovision 2014: The Common Linnets of the Netherlands with “Calm After the Storm”
The Netherlands shocked everyone by taking second place in 2014. It was just a year after the country qualified for the Eurovision final for the first time since 2004. The mellow folk song of The Common Linnets won hearts, and for a moment it seemed almost like victory was in their sights.
8. Eurovision 2013: Farid Mammadov from Azerbaijan with “Hold Me”
“Hold Me”, Azerbaijan’s only runner-up in the competition, stood out for its staging. While Denmark was the firm favorite to win, there were plenty of other acts that seemed like strong contenders, including Azerbaijan. However, Denmark was the clear winner and Azerbaijan had to settle for silver.
Check out more of our polls here