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Successful without a trophy: Memorable second places at Eurovision

30 July 2020 at 16:00 CEST
Eleni Foureira (Cyprus) Thomas Hanses
Winners of the Eurovision Song Contest get the trophy, the glory and the honour of hosting the Contest the year after, while the numbers two go home with the honour of being liked second best. We dive back into history and look back at some of the most memorable second places of the Eurovision Song Contest.

While Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2019 with Arcade, runner-up Mahmood from Italy placed second with the song Soldi. Arcade has, at the moment of writing, over 108 million streams on Spotify, but Soldi has over 160 million streams.

Another example is from 2018 when Netta's Toy won with an extraordinary 529 points, and Eleni Foureira's Fuego 'only' scored 436 points and therefore placed second. Both women are doing great in the charts. Fuego has over 78 million streams proving that, even when you come second, you can still do very well in the charts.

Before we travel further back in history, check out our photo gallery of the most recent second places:

Memorable second places

Eleni's second place is Cyprus' best result to date. A total of 25 countries recorded at least one second place in their participation history.

One of them is Poland. Like for Cyprus, a second place is their best result yet. In 1994 when the country participated for the very first time, Edyta Górniak scored 166 points with the song To Nie Ja!

France could be seen as the first country whichever placed second. There are no records of the artist who placed second in 1956 as those results never have been fully revealed. In 1957 France's Paule Desjardins placed second with La Belle Amour.

Talking about numbers: The United Kingdom holds a record for placing second the most amount of times. Even though they won 5 times, the country placed second a whopping 15 times. They even came second three times in a row: in 1959, 1960 and 1961.

Congratulations, but no celebrations

would have been a great title for a winning song. However, it placed second in 1968 when The United Kingdom's Cliff Richard performed the song in London. The song became famous all over the world and reached a top ten placing in the charts in 14 countries, from Norway to New Zealand and from Switzerland to South Africa.

Another memorable second place is Eres Tú from Spain's Mocedades. It was a tight finish in 1973 when Luxembourg's Anne-Marie David won with the song Tu Te Reconnaîtras. Anne-Marie scored 129 points, while Mocedades scored 125 points. However, Eres Tú became a bigger hit than the winning song. It reached #9 in the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States and was widely popular in Europe as well. The song has been covered in English, German, French, Italian and Basque.

A more recent memorable second place was in 2017. Kristian Kostov represented Bulgaria in Kyiv and his Beautiful Mess scored 615 points, the most points ever while finishing in second place.

Want to know even more about acts that placed second in the Eurovision Song Contest? Check out this video below:

Who has been your favourite runner-up at the Eurovision Song Contest? Let us know in the comments.