Eurovision is always a mixed bag – sometimes it is names that the audience knows and other times countries use a new name, introducing the audience to a brand new singer. Over the years countries have switched and changed the way they select who performs – from using famous faces to televised voting shows most countries have tried a variety of methods over the years in a bid to win the competition.
Katrina and The Waves
Katrina and the Waves successfully entered The Eurovision Song Contest for the UK on the 3rd May 1997. The band were well known for their hit song Walking on Sunshine released a couple of years before, but then their popularity started to dwindle. Their entry into the 1997 Eurovision Song Contest helped to re-start their career & of course, introduce their sound to a whole new audience – which proved pretty successful for them.
Abba might have been popular in the 1970s but plenty of their songs are considered timeless classics and still loved today. Abba were around in varying forms before their successful entry into the competition in 1974, but it was Waterloo at Eurovision that really helped to rocket them to success. The competition win allowed to them really launch their career, embarking on their first European tour not long after the competition was finished.
Cliff Richards is a household name, but not many people realise that during the early days of his career he represented the UK at Eurovision. In fact, arguably one of his most famous songs – congratulations – was his 1968 entry into the competition; he scored 28 points and came second. He came back again a few years later in 1973 when his song “Power to All Our Friends” bagged him 123 points and a 3rd position. Of course, we all know since then Cliff has gone on to carve out an incredibly successful singing and acting career – which many would say is thanks to his dabble with Eurovision, which introduced his singing talents to an international audience.
Of course, Eurovision is a great platform for singers that wish to re-launch their career or reach a wider audience. It’s been a popular choice for countries to use singers that already have a following as their entry into the yearly competition in the hope that this will help them become more successful. The UK did this well with their 2022 entry Sam Ryder – Ryder had quite a following on the social media platform TikTok but hadn’t yet built up a record-buying audience. His entry into the Eurovision Song Contest in 2022 proved the right choice – he came 2nd in the competition and opened up his exposure to an international audience – win, win! The pressure will be on for both Sam Ryder to make a success of his career outside of Eurovision and for the UK to bring an act that will do just as well next year.