Ukraine Considers Eurovision Boycott If Russia Hosts Next Year
But most of the Eurovision action has been on the Hot 100. Not because the songs were in the contest, but in spite of it. Here are the top 10 Eurovision songs according to their chart performance on the Hot 100:
"Nel Blu Dipinto di Blu (Volare)," Domenico Modugno
Hot 100 peak: No. 1, 1958
If you've ever been to an Italian wedding or an Italian restaurant, you know this song. But you probably didn't know its origin, as Italy's entry in the third Eurovision Song Contest, held in Hilversum, the Netherlands, in 1958. Oddly, this was not the winning tune (that honor went to "Dors, Mon Amour" from France). Modugno, a film actor, radio star and well-known singer in his home country, placed third with the song that describes a dream -- a man painting his hands in blue and flying through the "blue painted in blue."
English lyrics were added later and a flood of releases hit the U.S. to compete with the original. The July 21, 1958, issue of Billboard reviews seven cover versions, including singles by Dean Martin, Nelson Riddle and Jesse Belvin. Martin's version peaked at No. 12 on the Hot 100 and two years later teen idol Bobby Rydell took the song to No. 4.
In 1973, the Swedish foursome known as Agnetha, Anni-Frid, Björn and Benny competed in Melodifestivalen, the Swedish heat to choose the country's entry for Eurovision, with "Ring Ring," The audience reaction for their song was overwhelming but the judges chose a song with a title that translated into English as, "Your Breasts Are Like Nesting Swallows."
They didn't give up. Renamed ABBA, they competed again in the 1974 Melodifestivalen and narrowed their choice down to two songs: "Hasta Manana" and "Waterloo." The former was "the more typical Eurovision song," said Ulvaeus. "We went for 'Waterloo' because it was more fun to perform." Following ABBA's victory at the Eurovision Song Contest on April 6, 1974, "Waterloo" became an international hit and gave the group its first charted entry on the Billboard Hot 100.
"Ooh Aah…Just a Little Bit," Gina G
Hot 100 peak: No. 12, 1997
This year, Dani M is tipped to do well as Australia's representative in Eurovision. But she and last year's Aussie singer, Guy Sebastian, are not the first artists from down under to appear on the ESC stage. In 1996, Brisbane-born Gina G sang for the United Kingdom with a song the British delegation was certain would bring the trophy back to the U.K. for the first time since 1981 (when the winner was "Making Your Mind Up" by Bucks Fizz).
Gina G placed eighth and the U.K. had to wait one more year to reclaim the trophy. Katrina and the Waves of "Walking on Sunshine" fame were victorious in 1997 with "Love Shine a Light."
Meanwhile, "Ooh Aah…Just a Little Bit" became a worldwide hit, peaking at No. 12 on the Hot 100 on its own merits.
"Save Your Kisses for Me," Brotherhood of Man
Hot 100 peak: No. 27, 1976
In the March 14, 1970, issue of Billboard, the singles reviews page listed five songs tipped to make the top 20 of the Hot 100. Two of them did: "Let It Be" by the Beatles and "American Woman" by the Guess Who. Close behind, with a No 27 peak, was "United We Stand" by the Brotherhood of Man. The latter group was a U.K. vocal outfit that had a rotating membership until 1973 when they became a permanent group of four. That was the configuration that entered -- and won -- Eurovision in 1976 with "Save Your Kisses for Me." It was the third victory for the U.K. (following Sandie Shaw's "Puppet on a String" in 1967 and Lulu's "Boom Bang-a-Bang" in 1969).
His single peaked at No. 6 in Britain and was released in America on the Philips label. It peaked at No. 91 the week of June 15, 1963. But Carroll had some competition from a popular American singer -- Patti Page. Her Columbia single bested Carroll's original, peaking at No. 81 the week of June 29.
Knock, Knock Who's There," Mary Hopkin
Hot 100 peak: No. 92, 1972
Mary Hopkin was already well known in the U.S. for her singles "Those Were the Days" and "Goodbye" when she represented the U.K. at the 1970 Eurovision Song Contest. She was the heavy favorite to win with "Knock Knock Who's There," but had to settle for second place, runner-up to the Irish entry, "All Kinds of Everything" by 18-year-old Dana.
Still, "Knock Knock" was Hopkins' fourth consecutive top 10 single at home, where it peaked at No. 2. On the Billboard Hot 100, it was her seventh and final entry, peaking at No. 92.