Eurovision: A guide to each country’s participation and success

March 11, 2019 2:24 pm

It’s only three months until the Eurovision Song Contest hits our screens again, with the competition hosted by Tel Aviv, Israel this year. With some countries still choosing their acts, what better way to get in the Eurovision spirit than to see how each active country has fared over the years.


Albania have qualified for eight finals since their debut in 2004. Their best finish was fifth at the 2012 contest in Baku, Azerbaijan.


Armenia made their debut in 2006 and have appeared in 10 finals. Their best results have come in 2008 and 2014, when they finished fourth.


Australia were controversially included in the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest, but have participated every year since – and will do until 2023. In four attempts, Australia have finished in the top 10 three times and their highest finish was as runner-up in the 2016 contest.


Austria have made 47 finals since their debut in 1957 and hold the record for the longest gap between wins. They first won the competition in 1966 and more recently, Conchita Wurst won in 2014. On the flipside, Austria have received nul points on four occasions (the joint-highest).


Failing to qualify last year, Azerbaijan have made every other final since their debut in 2008. Azerbaijan won the competition with Ell & Nikki in 2011, and previously made the top 10 for five years consecutively (2008-13).


Appearing in five finals since their debut in 2007, Belarus have only ever finished in the top 10 once. Dmitry Koldun finished sixth and also holds the record for Belarus’ highest points total (145).


Belgium are one of seven countries that participated in the first contest of 1956 and have gone on to compete in 51 finals. Their first – and only – win to date was in 1986; but have received nul points twice (1962 and 1965).


Croatia made their Eurovision debut in 1993 and have qualified for 18 finals since. Their best finishes came in the ‘90s, coming fourth in 1996 and 1999. They’ve not had much success of late, failing to qualify last year and a further four times in the past decade.


Cyprus have made 29 finals since their debut in 1981. Despite failing to qualify between 2006 and 2009, and withdrawing in 2014, the country saw success last year when Eleni Foureira came second – their highest finish and points tally to date.

Czech Republic

The Czech Republic have only made two Eurovision finals. Between 2010 and 2014, the country withdrew from the competition and failed to qualify, the following year. In 2018, Mikolas Josef earnt their highest finish (6th) and points tally (281).


Denmark have been victorious three times in the competition (winning in 1963, 2000 and 2013) and have only finished last once (2002). They’ve reached 43 finals since the contest began in 1957 – but withdrew between the years of 1967-77.


Estonia have made 15 Eurovision finals but their debut was unsuccessful, finishing 24th out of 25 countries. As well a number of top 10 finishes, Tanel Padar, Dave Benton & 2XL won the contest for Estonia in 2001.


Finland may have won the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time in 2006 with Lordi, but they’ve also received nul points on three occasions (1963, 1965 and 1982). They’ve made 45 appearances in that time, but have failed to qualify five times in the last decade.


France were one of seven countries to perform in the inaugural contest of 1956 and have competed every year since, as part of the ‘big five’. They’ve been successful on five occasions – but the most recent of those wins was in 1977. In 2014, they came last.


Georgia have competed in seven finals since debuting in 2007. They received consecutive top 10 finishes in 2010 and 2011 – earning their highest finish (9th) on both occasions.


Another member of the ‘big five’, Germany have competed in the Eurovision Song Contest 62 times, since it began in 1956. They’ve won twice (most recently in 2010) and finished last on seven occasions, three of those times receiving nul points.


Greece have made 37 finals and despite winning the contest in 2005 with Helena Paparizou, they failed to qualify last year and haven’t made the top 10 for six years.


Hungary made their Eurovision debut in 1994, where they finished fourth – their best result to date. They have five top 10 placements in 14 appearances in the finals.


Iceland have made 24 finals since debuting in 1986 – but have failed to qualify for the last four contests. Their best finish has been second place (1999 and 2009) and have received the famous nul points on one occasion (1989).


Ireland are the most successful country in Eurovision history, winning the contest seven times – most recently in 1996 with Elmear Quinn. They qualified last year for the first time in five attempts.


Hosts, Israel, have made 35 finals since their debut in 1972. They’ve received four wins, most recently at the 2018 Lisbon contest, when Netta championed with 529 points. Israel also hold the record for the most appearances without finishing last.


Another member of the ‘big five’, Italy have made 44 appearances – choosing to withdraw between 1998 and 2010. They’ve won the contest twice (1964 and 1990) and received nul points once (1966).


Latvia have made 10 finals since their debut in 2000, but have had limited success. Despite Marie N winning in 2002, the country has failed to qualify for the past two contests.


Appearing in 13 finals since 1994 when they made their debut, finishing last and receiving nul points, Lithuania rarely make the top 10. Their best finish was in 2006, when they finished sixth with the ironically titled We are the Winners.


Malta have competed in 24 finals, but have failed to qualify for the last two contests. Largely unsuccessful, their best finish has been second (2002 and 2005), but they also finished last twice in the 1970s.


Moldova have made 10 finals, since their 2005 debut. They’ve rarely made a mark, finishing outside of the top 10 – but came third in the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest.


Previously entering as part of Yugoslavia and Serbia & Montenegro, Montenegro have only made the finals twice an as independent state – 2014, where they finished 19th and 2015, finishing a more respectable 13th.


Despite making 50 finals, the Netherlands success came in the early years. With four wins, five last-placed finishes and two nul points contests, they’ve only qualified for nine contests since 2000.

North Macedonia

North Macedonia (formerly the F.Y.R. Macedonia) have appeared in eight finals since their first appearance in 1998. Largely unsuccessful, their highest place finish to date was 12th in the 2006 contest.


Norway have made 54 finals, but unfortunately share the record for the most nul points acts (four). They have also celebrated three victories – the last win in 2009.


Poland made their Eurovision debut in 1994, when they had their greatest success, finishing second. They’ve failed to qualify seven times since 2005.


Portugal have made 42 finals and despite winning the contest in 2017, they finished bottom last year. They’ve received nul points twice (1964 and 1997) and prior to winning, failed to qualify for four successive contests.


Despite failing to qualify last year, Romania have made 18 finals in 19 attempts. Romania regularly finish in the top 15 and their greatest achievement was third (2005 and 2010).


Russia are the favourites this year and you can find Eurovision odds on Betfair. Since their debut in 1994, Russia have made 20 appearances and Dima Bilan won the contest in 2008. Russia are regular finishers in the top 10.

San Marino

San Marino have made a solitary Eurovision finals appearance. Valentina Monetta finished 24th out of 26, after failing to qualify the previous two years.


Serbia won the Eurovision Song Contest on their debut as an independent state in 2007 – but have failed to make an impression since.


Slovenia made their Eurovision debut in 1993 and have made 14 finals. Their best results came in 1995 and 2001, when they finished seventh – but the country goes through successive years of failing to qualify.


Spain are another member of the ‘big five’ and have made 58 appearances. Their greatest success came in the 1960s with consecutive wins in ’68 and ’69. However, their worst result came more recently – finishing last in 2017.


Sweden are the second-highest successful country with six Eurovision wins and two this decade (2012 and 2015). They’ve made 57 finals in 58 appearances and consistently finish in the top 10.


Like Austria and Norway, Switzerland hold the record for the most losses (four). They hosted and won the contest in 1956 and also famously won it in 1988 with Celine Dion. Switzerland have appeared in 48 finals since the first contest in 1956.


Ukraine have appeared at every final since their debut in 2003 and first tasted success the following year. Their second win came more 2016, courtesy of Jamala.

United Kingdom Final member of the ‘big five’, the UK’s successes came pre-2000s. Winning the Eurovision Song Contest on five occasions (the most recently in 1998 with Imaani), the UK has also finished last three times – notoriously receiving nul points in 2003 with Jemini.

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