Our countdown of the most patient Eurovision countries continues... We have already given the history of 10th placed FYR Macedonia, and Lithuania in 9th...
8. Romania – 19 Participations – Debut: 1994 – Highest Pos: 3rd
It may come as a shock to some that Romania have never won the Eurovision. In the 19 times they’ve participated, they’ve come in the top 10 6 times, and since the introduction of semi-finals, they’d qualified for the final every single time until 2018. It must be admitted that their debut and the several years following were not strong showings by Romania, never reaching more than 17th place until Monica Anghel and Marcel Pavel broke into the top 10 with "Tell Me Why" coming 9th in 2002. Since then, Romania have always finished in the top 20 (discounting 2016 when the EBU disqualified them for the repeated non-payment of debts).
Not a country to shy away from an elaborate performance, Romania have staged some highly memorable entries, including: a Perspex piano-on-fire face off (Paula Seling and Ovi "Playing with Fire" in 2010 – the same duo doing a memorable circular keyboard in 2014); Cezar, the Romanian, dub-step, opera singer with the world’s most bedazzled coat in 2013; and Ilinca and Alex Florea’s yodelling-whilst-on-a-canon extravaganza in 2017.
Romania have made it into the top 5 three times, coming 4th in 2006 (Mihai Trăistariu with "Tornerò") and coming 3rd in both 2005 and 2010 (Luminița Anghel and Sistem with "Let Me Try" and Paula Seling and Ovi with "Playing with Fire"). Despite not qualifying in 2018, they came 11th in the semi-final, only just missing out, and if past form is anything to go by, it’s likely to be a one off.
7. Bosnia & Herzegovina – 19 Participations – Debut: 1993 – Highest Pos: 3rd
Having been largely absent from the Eurovision in recent years (and having not been in a final since 2012), Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Eurovision performance track record over their 19 participations is hugely varied. Before 1993, they had participated in Eurovision as a member of the now dissolved Yugoslavia, with their first independent entry being "Sva bol svijeta" by Fazla in 1993. This song came at a very turbulent time in the young country’s history, and with their conductor unable to safely make the plane to the contest in Dublin, Ireland’s conductor Noel Kelehan stepped in to conduct the entry in his place and they achieved 16th place – a very respectable debut.
Over the next 20 years, Bosnia & Herzegovina had a generally strong performance, hitting the top 10 an impressive 5 times (1999, 2004, 2006, 2009 and 2011). Their first break into the top 10 was “Putnici” by Dino & Beatrice in 1999 which came 7th. Their highest ever position came in 2006, hitting 3rd with Hari Mata Hari performing "Lejla", an ethnic power ballad featuring traditional instruments which contrasted substantially with their more uptempo and disco-themed entries of the two previous years. The song was so loved that it won the journalists' award for best composition of the Eurovision Song Contest 2006.
Unable to better this, over the next few years Bosnia & Herzegovina’s final positions began to deteriorate, with Dino Merlin’s "Love in Rewind" (2011 – 6th place) being the only real uptick in a general downward slide which culminated in 18th place in 2012. Bosnia & Herzegovina did not participate between 2013 and 2015, and unfortunately their comeback entry "Ljubav je" by Dalal & Deen feat. Ana Rucner & Jala in 2016 failed to make it past the semis. To date this is their last entry, with the broadcaster citing financial difficulties as the reason for their lack of participation, but having produced several songs popular with the fans, many would be very pleased to see Bosnia & Herzegovina’s return.
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