Eurovision Countdown: 248. Fire from 1978 Germany

Eurovision Song contest Ireen sheer
Ireen Sheer would be one of the few artists to return to Eurovision three times.

Not only Eurovision fans love returning to the European music competition, so do some of its artists; Like Ireen Sheer.

There’s a few who will be making the countdow, but Ireen really went for an all round European connection.

UK Born Ireen Sheer started her music career as a young girl. After moving to Germany at a very young age, she found success and had a successful music career in Germany, spawning over three decades. Eventually she found her way to Eurovision and went on to represent Luxembourg AND Germany.

She made her debut in 1974 for Luxembourg with Bye Bye I Love, finishing in fourth place. 4 years later, Ireen would be back, this time for Germany, where she would win the national final with pre-contest favourite Feuer (Fire), an uptempo German-sung disco schlager. It didn’t win the contest,  but Ireen finished 6th in the overall ranking of 20 nations taking part.

Ireen would return one more time to the Eurovision stage in 1985, part as a 6piece occasional band, representing Luxembourg; Children, Kinder, Enfants by Ireen, Margo, Franck, Chris, Diane and Malcolm would be the worst result of her three attempts, finishing thirteenth out of nineteenth contestants.

The Eurovision 2017 Countdown: 249 Austria’s plea for unity

Simone keine mauern mehr Austria 1990
An Austrian song about unity from 1990; Keine Mauern Mehr by Simone

The fall of the Berlin wall in November 1989, inspired many of the countries to stress unity in their lyrics, including the Austrian entry in the 1990 Eurovision Song Contest.

Initially, Simone Stelzer’s entry Keine Mauern Mehr, wasn’t Austria’s number one choice. It emerged the winning entry, Das Beste by Duett, had already participated in a German qualifying heat two years before. The track was disqualified and the 20 year old Vienna born pop singer, was declared winner and flew to Zagreb after all.

As in true Eurovision style, Keine Mauern mehr was a dramatic mid tempo song about unity and freedom, performed in four languages; German, English, French and Serb-Croatian. The jury of 22 participating countries, deemed the song not strong enough to secure a win, but Simone did finish in 10th overall.


The Eurovision 2017 Countdown: 250 Ukraine – Be My Guest

Gaitana Be My Guest
The upcoming 2017 hosts were ready to welcome us all in 2012 already with Gaitana and ‘Be My Guest’

It only seems only natural to kick off our Eurovision countdown with an entry from Ukraine, the country who to host in 2017. 4 years ago, Ukraine were ready to host already, when 32 year old Gaitana went to Baku with Be My Guest.

The Kiev born Afro-Ukrainian singer is widely known for composing her music and songs, tapping inspiration through jazz, funk, soul, and folk.

For Eurovision, Gaitana went for an upbeat dance song, featuring vuvuzela horns, adding a huge anthem feel, large enough for a whole stadium to sing along. Or so was the attention at least. Not surprisingly Be My Guest was afterwards chosen as official Euro 2012 single. Ukraine were joint hosts of the football competition, alongside Poland in 2012.

Unfortunately for Gaitana, Europe weren’t convinced by her performance. At the end of the night, Ukraine gathered 65 points, finishing in 15th place. The result remains Ukraine’s worst result in the competition.

A shame, because there was plenty of potential. For Gaitana however, no big deal. She will forever go into Eurovision history as first Afro-Ukrainain to represent the South-Eastern country in the Eurovision.