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Top moments of 2011: From Lena to Lys

31 December 2011 at 10:00 CET

Returning to the Eurovision Song Contest has been considered a risky business but it's always been practised.

It started already in 1957 when the first ever winner Lys Assia returned as the defending champion of Europe's favourite TV show. And did it again the following year.

Despite bringing her a lot of attention all over Europe, it didn't bring her another title the second and third time around.

Still, she has remained one of the ambassadors of the Eurovision Song Contest and has appeared in the shows the past years.

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The feisty star also decided to make her comeback this year when she entered the Swiss national selection with the song C'était Ma Vie. She immediately became one of the main favourites to win their ticket to Baku but it was not meant to be.

But doing this at the age of 87, she once again proved how artists will always stay artists and stars will always capture hearts.

Lena changes her tune

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Lena is one of the very few winners to ever have returned the following year but this is exactly what she promised already at her press conference after winning in Oslo in 2010.

So, that's what she did in 2011. This time around, the German national selection featured just her and songs written for her.

It was Taken By A Stranger that she brought to Düsseldorf and what a change it was compared to a year ago! The innocent teenager had become something the German media called 'a vamp'.

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Her performance was equally changed from having only her in a black dress to a visually smashing take on her song.

Unfortunately for her, like everyone before, she did not succeed to defend her title but did finish as high as the 10th place at this year's Eurovision Song Contest.

Last but by far not least..

Dana International has been quite a revelation at the Eurovision Song Contest, from being the first ever transexual winner in 1998 with her legendary Diva to making her memorable comeback in the Eurovision Song Contest this year.

She immediately became the frontrunner of the Israeli selection this year when it was announced she would take part in it with her self-penned entry of Ding Dong.

In Düsseldorf, being a star as she is, she proved to be a true professional, surprising many with her great performance of the song.

However, like it can be seen from Lena and Lys Assia, it's not so easy to end up very high the second time around at the contest... And thus she did not qualify for the Final this year.

Nonetheless, returns are not over at the Eurovision Song Contest! We already know two former artists are possibly making a comeback to Europe's favourite TV show in 2012 - Željko Joksimović (confirmed!) and Jedward (might, if they win the Irish selection)

And the statistics for contestants who have not won and have returned, is slightly more encouraging - for example Elena Paparizou and Dima Bilan had both taken part in the contest years before they took home the trophy.