Preparing for the Eurovision Song Contest is always a nostalgic moment, as we begin to look back at some of the all-time greats of years past, from ABBA and Conchita Wurst to Bucks Fizz and Loreen.
But with so many acts competing each year, it’s inevitable that some will be less memorable than others – and that turns out to include some pretty famous faces.
As we prepare for this year’s harvest of performances, here are 11 musicians you might have completely forgotten about once competing in the Eurovision Song Contest…
How did they do it? Respectively eighth and 19th place
Best known for annoying Simon Cowell on The X Factor in 2008, Jedward made a colorful return to our screens as Ireland’s representative at Eurovision with the surprisingly eye-catching lipstick.
A year later, they returned to the contest with the surprisingly even more eye-catching Waterline. However, they didn’t fare as well the second time around and have yet to manage a Eurovision hat trick (although knowing Eurovision – and Jedward – we wouldn’t rule that out).
Since competing, Jedward has gone on to make music, as well as appearing on Celebrity Big Brother (twice!) and a recent season of Celebrity Coach Trip, where they went head-to-head with fellow travelers.
How did she do it? joint 10th place
Long before we knew her as EastEnders’ Ronnie Mitchell, Samantha Womack – or Janus, as she was known then – had embarked on a singing career, making it all the way to Eurovision in 1991 .
Her song A Message To Your Heart ended up being her only single, having just landed in the top 10 of the contest that year, where she was backed on backing vocals by none other than Hazell Dean.
How did he do it? The second place
A year after Samantha, we sent West End staple Michael Ball to Malmö, where he seriously impressed and finished a respectable second place.
While Michael is perhaps best known now for his rendition of tearful ballads, his Eurovision One Step Out Of Time offering was a little more flashy. And if you don’t believe us, you can check out his *ahem* energetic performance in the video above. Nice maneuvers, Michel!
How did they do it? 11th place
The BBC was the subject of controversy in 2011 when it announced that it was abandoning its usual Eurovision selection shows and would instead try to reverse the situation in the UK by choosing our own representatives.
With a string of hits to their credit in the 2000s (including three number ones), we kind of get what the BBC wanted when Blue was selected, and at one point it looked like they were going to do just fine.
Unfortunately, that night things didn’t quite go to plan, and while 11th place is nothing to sneeze at, Blue didn’t live up to some people’s expectations. Yet that was nothing compared to what was to come to the UK at Eurovision in the decade to come…
How did they do it? 21st place
Who doesn’t love a bit of Cascada at a party, huh? Every time we touch, clear the dance floor, which hurts the most – all unmistakable bops.
Still, it has to be said that what they achieved 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 winner of the evening Emmelie de Forest had 281).
How did he do it? Failed to qualify after the semi-finals
Darude is known for his huge club bangers, so people were really intrigued when it was announced that he would team up with Sebastian Rejman to compete in Eurovision.
Unfortunately, the song failed to cause a storm, sandy or otherwise. After their performance in the semi-finals, Darude and Sebastian failed to get enough votes to qualify for the final round of the competition.
If it’s any consolation, Finland’s Darude is one of Eurovision’s unluckiest entrants, finishing last eight times, including three with the unenviable null points.
How did he do it? Fourth place
The legendary crooner (and father of singer Enrique Iglesias) was already a big 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, landing comfortably in the top five on the scoreboard as Ireland claimed one of their record seven wins that year.
Olivia Newton John
How did she do it? Fourth place
The UK really thought they had it in the bag in 1974 when they sent Olivia Newton-John to the contest. Olivia was already a popular singer by this point, with a string of UK hits, although it was still years before she became international stardom in Grease.
What the UK didn’t bank on was the popularity of a certain Swedish band by the name of ABBA. The story goes that the UK jury even went so far as to allegedly give the band’s Waterloo bid zero points, as a tactical move to push Olivia’s Long Live Love higher up the scoreboard.
If true, it was in vain. Regardless, Waterloo took the lead, becoming one of Eurovision’s most recognizable hits, while ABBA would only go from strength to strength from then on.
How did she do it? First place
Alongside ABBA, Celine Dion is undoubtedly one of Eurovision’s greatest success stories, so much so that many don’t even know that’s where she got her international breakthrough.
Long before the arrival of Titanic, Las Vegas and the Met Gala, the Canadian star performed his French song Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi on behalf of Switzerland, beating the UK entry by a single point.
Since then, Celine has become globally recognized as one of the best singers of a generation, continuing to perform all over the world.