#5 United Kingdom 1997 - 'Love Shine A Light' by Katrina & the Waves (1st/227 points)
This is such a jam. Don't be hating on such a classy written song. I have thousands of childhood memories singing this song at school - our headteacher thought it was fantastic - and then many years later I actually found out that it won Eurovision! You can imagine my delight. But this didn't just win Eurovision, it stormed the scoreboards (for the 90s), is the United Kingdom's highest scoring entry, undoubtedly holds a case for the UK's best ever entry, and is lyrically genius. Katrina herself is a star and I am so proud of this record.
#4 United Kingdom 1996 - "Ooh Aah Just A Little Bit" by Gina G (8th/77 points)
But Love Shine A Light isn't my favourite of all time. Oh no no no. That place belongs to Gina G's Ooh Aah Just A Little Bit. I have distant memories of this, hazy yet existent, of singing this, dancing to this and loving this. I was 3 when the UK entered with Gina G to give that some perspective. It's my family who have such wonderful memories of me camping it up to such an iconic camp number. And the crowd were deranged when this didn't win (and let's be honest, while I may be a big fan of 'The Voice', this should have won hands down). And for these reasons alone, it has to be in my all-time top 5.
#3 Sweden 2012 - Euphoria by Loreen (1st/372 points)
Does this need any explanation or introduction? Euphoria may be the Ooh Aah of this century, but it goes past an exaggerated glitz by one of the best performances seen on the Eurovision stage. The choreography is mastermind in portraying a simplicity, and powerfully reflecting an intensity. And the song? Well it's pure class. Pure phenomena. Pure Euphoria.
(I may have ranked Carola higher when ranking the Swedish winners, but I see that as a different category ;)
#2 Bulgaria 2007 - Water by Elitsa & Stoyan (5th/157 points)
I mentioned this the other day (here: Top 10 from the 00s) but it's highly worthy of an all-time top 5 placing. As I mentioned, it's the pinnacle of alternative, has a cunningly structured and yet frivolous delivery of folk-inspired ethno-funk, while brilliantly holding a unambiguous authenticity which enraptures or derides. I will never not praise this entry enough.
#1 Serbia 2007 - Molitva by Marija Serifovic (1st/268 points)
Where superlatives fail, just play Molitva. I honestly struggle to see what other's don't get nowadays about the song because I have simply fallen way beyond smitten with it. I could say that I speak Serbian, but I mean, I speak Molitvilian. This song and staging coupled with a unconquerable vocal are everything. Some say there is no absolute, I say there is Molitva.
Something on Wogan...
When the 2007 contest came around, I was a wide-eyed and easily swayed 14 year old. When me and my parents watched the contest, we watched with Terry Wogan's commentary and it wasn't a lack of appreciation he had for Molitva, it was actually a devaluation and utter bewilderment to it's fans. And I was heavily influenced by such a strong opinion. Especially because Dancing Lasha Tumbai performed after, and I was a fan from the moment the strobes were going, and then Flying The Flag, which is still to this day one of my all-time favourites as well (I will shamelessly admit!). "How could this unattractive chick trying to look like Harry Potter win with a dreary, non-English ballad?" - and that my friends is why Wogan had to go. Whilst I enjoy(ed) 90% of his Eurovision commentary, his inability to see what others could always made him that kind of person to actually attempt disrespect, which especially with hindsight, is just bittersweet. However, in a post which is to come later, fans outside the UK need to understand the UK doesn't care about it's position within the contest, not truly, and the BBC really don't give a damn about winning because they don't need to try to in order to still destroy ITV in ratings. As soon as the BBC give the ESC up, ITV will swoop it up faster than you can say Boom-Bang-A-Bang. Wogan's early retirement from Eurovision came from an inadequate understanding of the modernisation of the contest, disengaging with the mega fan and deliberating the decrease in popularity among viewers. If the contest was to lose a watcher, lose a house party, or lose the international viewer seeking highly-respected commentary, then the BBC was losing the battle and it's cheapest (by far) Saturday night television programming would lose out. Ultimately the show is about making money, and the BBC needed to hold on to that. More to come.