Ranking the Best Winners of the Eurovision Song Contest

| April 28, 2022 12:10 pm PDT
Eurovision logo, collages of Abba and Maneskin, Conchita Wurst

The Eurovision Song Contest is one of the biggest spectacles in Europe and the entire world. Nearly 200 million people from all around the planet tune in every year to watch performers from various European countries compete for the main prize.

So far, there have been 65 editions of the Eurovision, with the initial contest held back in 1958. Except for 2021 – when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the contest cancellation – the Eurovision has been held every year.

Although they’ve been 65 Eurovision Song Contests in history, there are 68 winning songs. The reason is that in 1969, four songs were crowned the Eurovision winners. Back in the day, winning or losing didn’t matter too much.

However, over the years, Eurovision grew to become one of the world’s most prestigious pop culture events. It’s become an event that can turn up-and-coming artists into global superstars. It’s happened many times in the past, and who knows, maybe something will happen with the winner of the next Eurovision Song Contest?

If you’re a regular visitor of our site, you might be used to betting-related content. Although we do cover Eurovision betting and offer the top entertainment betting sites, we will do something slightly different.

I’ll be ranking the best Eurovision winners in the contest’s history this time. So, here are my favorite Eurovision winners, ranked from 1 to 10.

1. ABBA – Waterloo

  • Year: 1974
  • Country: Sweden
  • Language: English

ABBA is one of the most popular groups in pop music history, topping the charts all over the world back in the 1970s. Dancing Queen, Mamma Mia, Take a Chance on Me – these songs remain among the most popular radio tunes worldwide, some 40 years after their release.

Still, before those hits, there was Waterloo. In fact, this is the song that put ABBA on the map. Written in 1973, the song was Sweden’s entry in the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest.

The Eurovision victory turned ABBA into a sensation and awoke interest in the competition among people from all parts of the globe. In the US, for instance, the single reached the Top 10, selling almost six million copies.

The song stands the test of time, the evidence being that in 2021, it was voted the best song in the history of the Eurovision, finishing first above Euphoria by another Swedish artist, Loreen.

2. Loreen – Euphoria

  • Year: 2012
  • Country: Sweden
  • Language: English

Seventeen No.1s, platinum status in eight different countries, 200 million combined views on YouTube – these are just some reasons why Euphoria deserves its place in the list of best Eurovision winners ever.

What makes Loreen’s song so great? It’s a Europop banger that radio DJs and partygoers equally love. The song seems to tick all the boxes that make up a superhit.

3. Celine Dion – Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi

Celine Dion
  • Year: 1988
  • Country: Switzerland
  • Language: French

She might be Canadian, but at the 1988 Eurovision, Celine Dion represented Switzerland with the song Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi.

It won the competition with just one point more than the UK’s entry (Go by Scott Fitzgerald). However, its popularity skyrocketed after the contest, especially in French-speaking countries like Belgium, where it topped the charts for three straight weeks.

Dion was only 20 when she won the Eurovision, which is probably what gave her career a flying start.

Over the next couple of years, she became a global superstar, especially after doing James Cameron’s 1997 blockbuster Titanic soundtrack.

4. Lordi – Hard Rock Hallelujah

  • Year: 2006
  • Country: Finland
  • Language: English

When you think of the Eurovision, your mind probably goes to catchy tunes like Waterloo or power ballads like Celine Dion’s entry. But did you know that there’s a hard rock song among the past Eurovision winners?

Yes, there is! The song in question is Hard Rock Hallelujah, performed by costume-wearing pyrotechnic-loving Finnish heavy metal band Lordi.

5. Conchita Wurst – Rise Like a Phoenix

Conchita Wurst
  • Year: 2014
  • Country: Austria
  • Language: English

Conchita Wurst might be the most recognizable Eurovision winner of the 21st century – an Austrian drag queen with a long thick beard.

Conchita’s last name Wurst means sausage in German, but her goal in the Eurovision 2014 wasn’t to cause controversy but to present her song on the big stage.

According to some prominent music critics (most notably, Max Stern), Rise Like a Phoenix is one of the top Eurovision winners of the century. The song also went to do great in the charts around Europe, getting to the #1 spot in Conchita’s home country of Austria.

6. Lena Meyer-Landrut – Satellite

Lena Meyer-Landrut
  • Year: 2010
  • Country: Germany
  • Language: English

In 2010, Germany won its first Eurovision Song Contest since the fall of the Berlin wall. The artist who won it for Germany is Lena Meyer-Landrut, whose catchy pop tune won the hearts of the continent. 

After winning the Eurovision, Lena’s song also did great commercially, becoming Germany’s fastest-selling digital release in history. The song also topped the charts in five other European countries.

7. Johnny Logan – Hold Me Now

Johnny Logan
  • Year: 1987
  • Country: Ireland
  • Language: English

Johnny Logan is the only person who has won Eurovision more than once. He won it two times as a performer and two times as a songwriter. 

His 1987 song Hold Me Now is generally considered his best.

Apart from doing great in the years after the initial release, the song experienced a revival in the early 2000s after being covered by several artists, most notably Jamaican reggae singer Tanya Stephens. Further, over in Ireland, the song was used in McDonald’s advertising campaign in 2007.  

8. Måneskin – Zitti e Buoni

  • Year: 2021
  • Country: Italy
  • Language: Italian

After winning the 2021 San Remo, Maneskin’s Zitti e Buoni received the opportunity to represent Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest. It’s needless to say that the song did great, but what happened after winning the contest is even more impressive.

After winning the 2021 Eurovision, the song broke the record for the most-streamed Italian song in one day on Spotify. It also reached the UK Top 20, becoming the first song to do it in almost three decades.

On top of everything, Zitti e Buoni is now the second-most viewed Eurovision winner on YouTube (after Euphoria).

9. Toto Cutugno – Insieme: 1992

Toto Cutugno
  • Year: 1990
  • Country: Italy
  • Language: Italian

Before Maneskin, there was Toto Cutugno. His song Insieme: 1992 won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1990, becoming only the second song sung entirely in Italian to do so.

When he entered the competition, he was already a superstar in Italy thanks to his 1983 hit L’Italiano. His Eurovision-winning song remains in the shadow of L’Italiano, but back in the day, it was a huge success.

The song reached the Top 10 in five European countries, becoming a sort of unofficial hymn of the European Union. This is because its title Insieme: 1992 (meaning “Together: 1992”), refers to the year when the EU was supposed to begin operation.

10. Ruslana – Wild Dances

  • Year: 2004
  • Country: Ukraine
  • Language: English/Ukrainian

In 2004, Ruslana broke the Eurovision record for most points won in a contest after receiving 280 points or 66.7% of the vote.

What makes Wild Dances memorable isn’t just its fast-paced rhythm and Ruslana’s energetic performance. Wearing a leather outfit, Ruslana was described as Xena Warrior Princess on a  night out by Independent.

Other Noteworthy Eurovision Winners

  • Anne-Marie David – Tu te Reconnaitras
  • Alexander Rybak – Fairytale
  • Salvador Sobral – Amar Pelos Dois
  • Jamala – 1944
  • Katrina and the Waves – Love Shine a Light
  • Bucks Fizz – Making Your Mind Up
  • Carola – Fangad av en Stormvind
  • Lulu – Boom Bang-a-Bang
  • Mans Zelmerlow – Heroes
  • Marija Serifovic – Molitva

One may argue that each of the songs listed above deserves to be among the ten best Eurovision song contest winners. After all, the mere fact that they won the contest means that each of those is a good song.

That said, some do stand out from the crowd. For instance, Tu te Reconnaitras by Anne-Marie David, the song that won the 1973 Eurovision, remains the record holder for the highest percentage of points won, with 80.63% of the vote going in its favor.

When it comes to the songs from the 21st century, Alexander Rybak’s Fairytale has the best record with 78.66% of the vote at the 2009 Eurovision.

Then in 2016, the contest adopted a new scoring system, boosting the number of available points. A year later, Amar Pelos Dois by Salvador Sobral broke the Guinness World Record for most points won at the Eurovision.

The ballad about a post-breakup blues amassed 758 points, over 200 points more than the previous record-holder, Jamala’s 1944.

Honorable Mention

  • Domenico Modugno – Nel Blu Dipinto di Blu
Domenico Modugno

This isn’t one of the Eurovision past winners, however, I cannot leave it out. Why? Because this is one of the most iconic Eurovision songs ever.

It finished third in the 1958 Eurovision, which was the second installment in the history of the contest. However, after the contest, the song literally exploded.

Going under the new title of Volare, Domenico Modugno’s piece went on to become the Billboard Year-End number one, winning two Grammys along the way.

The song’s popularity didn’t diminish over the years. In fact, just the opposite happened after American comedian Dean Martin covered it, adding English lyrics into the mix.

Then thirty years later, Gypsy Kings did the same, switching the lyrics to Spanish and pushing a rumba vibe into the song.

Wrapping It Up

There you have it, my Eurovision winner rankings. Those are my picks based on critics’ consensus, chart performances, and YouTube views and based on my own preferences. If you disagree, feel free to hit me up with your suggestions in the comments section.

And if you believe there’s a song from this year’s contest that could end up in the list of best Eurovision winners in the future, maybe it wouldn’t be crazy to visit our Eurovision Song Contest betting guide.

If you need help choosing the right bets, why not check out my prediction of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest?

2022 Eurovision Song Contest Odds and Prediction

The 66th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest is heading to Italy. PalaOlimpico in Turin will serve as the venue, where artists from 40 different European countries will compete for the best song award. The 2022 Eurovision starts on May 10th, while the...

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Zarko Naric
Zarko Naric

Zarko Naric – the World's Greatest Sportswriter, according to his grandma.

Zarko started writing for GamblingSites.com in 2019, covering sports like soccer, tennis, and basketball,  as well as some more niche sports like cycling, for example.

In addition to writing news, picks, and blog pieces focused on sports, Zarko’s also been covering politics, TV/music contests, and so on.

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