What is the curse of the number two? It's the Eurovision phenomenon regarding the poor placing of songs which are second in the running order. Usually, they are „cursed“, finishing with a bad result but famously, a song starting in second position has never won.
Most recently, the Spanish duo of Alfred and Amaia finished in the bottom 5 this year, but do you think it's just a myth and a bunch of coincidences or is being second in running order really a curse?
We count down the biggest victims of the curse of number 2!
10. Modern Folk Üçlüsü & Ayşegül - "Dönme Dolap" („The Carousel“) | Turkey 1981
In 1981 in Dublin, Turkey was represented by Ayşegül and a trio named Modern Folk Üçlüsü with the song "Dönme Dolap". It was chosen through the national final format - Şarkı Yarışması. The Turkish representatives shared the 18th place with Portugal, out of 20 competing countries. The song received just 9 points (1 from Luxembourg, 3 from Yugoslavia and 5 from Finland).
The song was in sung in Turkish, with lyrics about living the life and friendship.
„Life is like a carousel
It also has its ups and downs
Lucky are those who go up my friend
But by those who go down stand true friends“
The winners of the night were Bucks Fizz from United Kingdom with the song "Making Your Mind Up".
9. Lisa Angell - "N'oubliez pas" (Don’t forget) | France 2015
In 2015 in the Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna, France participated with the song "N'oubliez pas" (Don’t forget), performed by Lisa Angell. She was selected internally by French broadcaster France Télévisions in collaboration with the France 2 channel.
Lisa finished 25th out of 27 competing countries, receiving only 4 points (3 points from Armenia and 1 point from San Marino).
The song is in French, and it's telling a story about peace and hope.
„But I am there
I don’t forget
In my village
Swept away by history
And I live there
Erased from the maps and memories.“
The real „hero“ at the end of the night was Sweden's Måns Zelmerlöw.
8. Gabriela Gunčíková - "I Stand" | Czech Republic 2016
A year later, and Gabriela Gunčíková became the first Czech Republic entrant to reach the final. She was internally selected by the Czech broadcaster Česká televize (ČT). Unlucky for her, she finished 25th out of 26 songs in Stockholm. Her song "I Stand" scored 41 points and failed to impress televoters (all 41 points were awarded by juries).
The song is in English and it's an emotional ballad.
„I'm standing tall, I can hold it all
Now I see where I belong
The choice I made helped me understand
Now this life is mine to play.“
Ukraine's representative Jamala was the winner of the contest with her song 1944.
7. Corry Brokken - "Heel de wereld" | The Netherlands 1958
In 1958, the third Eurovision Song Contest took place in Hilversum, Netherlands, and the third performance by Corry Brokken took place. After her participation in the 1956 contest with the song "Voorgoed voorbij" ("Over for good"), and winning the Contest in 1957 with the song Net Als Toen (Just like then), Corry Brokken returned once again – and came last on home ground. Her third Eurovision entry, Heel de wereld (The Whole World), shared last place with Luxembourg, scoring just one point (awarded by Switzerland).
The song was sung in Dutch and she sings about happiness.
„But isn’t this world too busy?
Who still has time for happiness?
Yet I want to cheer because
I must tell my secret to the whole world
Because I’m happy“
The winning song was "Dors, mon amour" ("Sleep, My Love"), performed by André Claveau who represented France.
6. Ronnie Tober - "Morgen" (Tomorrow) | The Netherlands 1968
In 1968 In London, Netherlands was represented by Ronnie Tober, with the song '"Morgen“ , which won the Dutch national final for the contest. That year, for the first time, the Eurovision Song Contest was broadcast in colour. The Netherlands had scored just 1 point (from Italy), placing last of the 17 entries (sharing last place with Finland).
Morgen is a ballad in Dutch, which is telling a story about love on distance. Tober hopes tomorrow will bring him and his lover together again.
„Tomorrow, takes a night
That tomorrow, summery and soft
That tomorrow, sunlight and laugh
What a day“
Spain won the contest with the song "La, la, la", performed by Massiel.
5. Two Tricky - "Angel" | Iceland 2001
The Icelandic entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 2001, which took place in Copenhagen, was Angel, performed by duo Two Tricky. It was chosen as the Icelandic entry at the national final Söngvakeppni Sjónvarpsins. The winning song was originally performed in Icelandic as "Birta".
At the close of voting, Iceland had received 3 points (1 from Norway and 1 from Denmark), placing 22nd (equal last with Norway) in a field of 23.
It's a love song, sung in English.
„Angel, show me a sign
Come shoot me with your arrow right through this heart of mine“
The winners of the contest were Estonia's Tanel Padar, Dave Benton & 2XL with their up-tempo song "Everybody".
4. Nicole & Hugo - "Baby, Baby" | Belgium 1973
At the 1973 Eurovision Song Contest in Luxembourg, Belgium was represented by Nicole & Hugo, with the song '"Baby, Baby", after they won the Belgian national final for the contest. They also won Belgian preselection two years before, with the song "Goeiemorgen, morgen" (Good morning, morning), but they didn't perform that year in Dublin. A few days before the contest, Nicole got sick and was not able to travel to Luxembourg. Belgium found the late-minute replacements in Jacques Raymond and Lily Castel, who sang the chosen song.
Nicole & Hugo's second chance at Eurovision did not bring them luck either. Their song Baby, baby finished at the bottom of the table, 17th within 17 songs, scoring 58 points.
Baby, baby is a love song, performed in Dutch, with some lines in English, Spanish and French. Even though the song didn't get the best result that night, throughout the years it achieved a cult status among fans.
„Baby, baby, I love you
Yo te quiero, oui, mon amour“
In 1973, Luxembourg secured its fourth win with Anne-Marie David's "Tu te reconnaîtras" (You'll Recognize Yourself")
3. Joe Grech - "Marija l-Maltija" (The Maltese Maria) | Malta 1971
In the year 1971, Eurovision Song Contest was held in Dublin, and Malta had its debut entry.
„Marija l-Maltija" was their first song at the contest, and it was first time the Maltese language was heard at the contest. Malta placed last (the 18th place within 18 entries), receiving 52 points.
It was an up-tempo song, performed by Joe Grech, about the girl he calls „The Maltese Maria„
„Blue, blue are your beautiful eyes
A peaceful smile
So worthy to be a daughter of Malta
The Maltese Maria“
Monaco was the ultimate winner, with their first and only victory, represented by French singer Séverine with "Un banc, un arbre, une rue" (A Bench, a Tree, a Street").
2. Andy Abraham - "Even If" | United Kingdom 2008
The UK's entry for the Eurovision song contest 2008 in Belgrade, was chosen on the BBC's new programme called Eurovision: Your Decision. The winner of preselection was Andy Abraham with the song "Even If".
Even though Terry Wogan (BBC Eurovision host) called "Even If", "the best UK entry for a while“, the song did not live up to his expectations. On the contrary, it finished last, in 25th position with 14 points (8 points from Ireland and 6 points from San Marino). Later that year, Wogan withdrew from his position, succeeded by Graham Norton as next BBC commentator.
„Even if“ is an up-tempo soul love song.
„Even if the world stops lovin'
I could never stop lovin' you
Even if the sun stops risin'
I still wanna wake up with you“
Dima Bilan believed in himself, representing Russia for the second time and secured the first win for Russia, with the song Believe.
1. Jahn Teigen - "Mil etter mil" | Norway 1978
The biggest victim of the curse of number two is Norwegian entry Mil etter mil (Mile after mile), performed by Jahn Teigen, at the 1978 Eurovision Song Contest in Paris. It was chosen at the Melodi Grand Prix.
It finished last, on 20th place, and became the first entry with nul points with the new voting system, introduced in 1975. However, the song became a huge hit in Norway, where it stayed on the national singles charts for more than four months. Jahn Teigen's album released the same year was humorously entitled - This Year's Loser.
But he did not want to be remembered just as a loser, so he returned to the contest two more times - in 1982 with the song Adieu in duet with Anita Skorgan (to whom he was later married), finishing 12th within 18 entries.
In 1983 he accomplished his best result – 9th place, with the entry Do re mi, composed together with Anita Skorgan, who was among backing vocalists this year.
He is an absolute record holder in the number of participation in Norwegian national selection (Melodi Grand Prix), where he appeared 14 times as a contestant.
''And as the time goes on
If I find that I'll go wrong
I just pray that I'll grow stronger''
In 1978, the contest was won by Izhar Cohen & the Alphabeta, with the song "A-Ba-Ni-Bi", representing Israel.
So that's our countdown of 10 of the biggest victims of the curse of number 2. What do you think? Did all these songs deserve such bad positions? Will a song ever win from 2nd position? Let us know!