Our countdown of the most patient Eurovision countries continues... We have already given the history of 10th placed FYR Macedonia, Lithuania in 9th, Romania in 8th and Bosnia & Herzegovina in 7th...
6. Poland – 21 Participations – Debut: 1994 – Highest Pos: 2nd
Poland absolutely stormed their way into Eurovision in 1994. Their debut entry "To nie ja" performed by Edyta Górniak was a dramatic ballad that scored Poland 2nd place, which remains their highest position to date. This was the highest ever placing by a country in its debut outing.
Unfortunately, this did not turn out to be a sign of things to come, and for the remainder of the 1990s Poland were languishing outside of the top 10, coming 18th twice and not managing to reach higher than 11th (Anna Maria Jopek in 1997). After not participating in 2000, Poland’s first entry of the new millennium was in 2001 and scored them their worst ever result up to that point, with Andrzej Piaseczny’s "2 Long" finishing in 20th position. After another year off in 2002, they made a strong return in 2003 with their first entry picked by public selection and Ich Troje managed 7th place with "Keine Grenzen-Żadnych granic".
The following years were something of a wilderness for Poland; of their 7 entries only one of them made it to the finals, Isis Gee’s “For Life” only managing a disappointing 24th position in 2008, and after that Poland bowed out for 2 years.
Their return to the contest in 2014 with the performance of "My Słowianie - We Are Slavic" by Donatan and Cleo not only giving them a grand final qualification and a final position of 14th, but with its boob-tastic, butter-churning video and performance it became the most notorious entry of that year. It placed only 23rd on the judges’ scores (with one member of the UK’s jury panel calling it ‘soft porn’). The public, however, rated it highly and placed it 5th in their points. Racking up millions of views across its Polish and English versions, it became at that point the most popular Eurovision song in history according to Internet views.
Since then, Poland have only beaten that position once (with Michał Szpak’s "Color of Your Life" coming 8th in 2016) and failed to qualify from the semi-finals in 2018. The Polish broadcaster have already confirmed their intention to participate in 2019 and having won both Eurovision Young Musicians and Eurovision Young Dancers, a Eurovision Song Contest win could be just around the corner.
5. Slovenia – 24 Participations – Debut: 1993 – Highest Pos: 7th
It would be hard for anyone to doubt Slovenia’s commitment to Eurovision: since their debut in 1993 they’ve missed only 2 contests (in 1994 and 2000 - when their results prevented them from participating rather than not being willing). Another country which previously participated as part of the Yugloslavian nation, Slovenia participated as a country in its own right for the first time in 1993 with 1X Band performing "Tih deževen dan" and achieving 22nd place. A country that has a majority record of performing in their native language, Slovenia has performed 14 of their 24 entries in Slovenian.
Before the introduction of semi-finals as we know them now, Slovenia had varied results. They had a somewhat disappointing 21st place in 1996, but this period was also when they reached their highest position of 7th – on no less than two occasions. Slovenia’s highest placing entries were multiple time entrant Darja Švajger with "Prisluhni mi" in 1995 and Nuša Derenda with "Energy" in 2001, which (if YouTube comments are anything to go by) was Slovenia’s best entry.
2004 onwards brought a mixed bag for Slovenia: it entered every year, but of its 15 entries only 5 managed to make it past the semis. Slovenia certainly can’t be accused of entering the same type of song each year. Over the years from 2004 to now, they’ve submitted songs from a huge range of genres; the violin-disco "Love Symphony" in 2009; the uniquely Eurovisiony combo of traditional folk meets pop-rock "Narodnozabavni rock" from Ansambel Žlindra and Kalamari in 2010; the Taylor Swift country pop-esque "Blue and Red" from ManuElla in 2016.
2018’s "Hvala, ne!" performed by the quietly cool Lea Sirk broke Slovenia’s streak of not having qualified for a final since 2015 and came 22nd overall. It was Slovenia’s most contemporary act of recent years, and if they continue on this path first place could become a reality.
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