Ahead of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest, 3 former participants took a MyHeritage DNA test to learn more about their roots: Verka Serduchka, the alter ego of Andriy Danylko, who achieve 2nd place in Eurovision 2007 for Ukraine, Eleni Foureira, who placed 2nd for Cyprus in 2018 and Emmelie de Forest, who won Eurovision 2013 for Denmark with 'Only Teardrops'.
The 3 Eurovision legends partnered with MyHeritage to learn more about their family histories as part of the One Big Family project. Eleni Foureira and Verka Serduchka are performing for the Grand Final this Saturday May 18, but first, they have shared a little bit about their roots.
Verka learned that she is 54.9% Baltic, 41.2% Balkan, and only 3.9% Eastern European. “3% Ukranian?!” She turned to her Mama to demand an explanation, but that explanation was not forthcoming!
Interestingly, Verka’s paternal grandfather, Semen Danylko, was born in 1906 in the village of Vakulentsi. He joined the Soviet army in October of 1943 and served in a telephone communication unit. He was awarded a Medal of Valor for his courage in laying and repairing telephone lines during combat in 1945.
READ MORE: Verka Serduchka's MyHeritage results
Eleni was born in Albania but fled to Greece with her family at a young age due to the civil war. When Eleni learned that she is 68.9% Greek and South Italian, she said she might cry. “I’m not Greek, I just grew up [there],” she said. “But I feel Greek, because I have the same mentality.” She is also 29.8% Balkan, and 1.3% Ashkenazi Jewish.
READ MORE: Eleni Foureira's MyHeritage results
Emmelie de Forest
Emmelie de Forest was only 20 years old when she brought the Eurovision Song Contest home to Denmark with Only Teardrops in 2013. It was particularly fitting that she got to represent her country in Malmö, Sweden. Emmelie was born in Denmark to a Danish mother, but her father is Swedish. She spent much of her childhood in Sweden.
Emmelie was astonished to learn that she is 44.4% North and West European and only 38.2% Scandinavian. She is also 12.2% Balkan, and 5.2% Ashkenazi Jewish. Seeing a picture of her great-grandfather, Frans Henry Engström; she knew that he was a famous photographer, but not that he directed Finland’s first feature film.
READ MORE: Emmelie de Forest's MyHeritage results