Eurovision 2008: Ukraine’s Ani Lorak in focus

Eurovision 2008: Ukraine’s Ani Lorak in focus

Ani Lorak, Ukraine

This summer #Eurovisionagain voted Shady Lady as the winner but in 2008 Ani Lorak finished the Eurovision Song Contest in 2nd place behind Russia’s Dima Bilan. Should Ukraine have won the competition in Belgrade? We ask our fan panel and team members to give us their thoughts.

In 2008 Ani Lorak was announced to be flying the Ukrainian flag at the Eurovision Song Contest in Belgrade. Already a big star in Ukraine at this time, a selection show was broadcast on TV where Ani performed five different songs with Shady Lady winning both the public and the jury vote.


  • 1 Shady Lady – opinions from fans
  • 2 Ani Lorak – A mini biography

Dressed in a dress designed by Roberto Cavalli, Lorak became a fan favourite and performed her song Shady Lady in true diva style. Unfortunately for Ani, she finished the competition in 2nd place with 230 points. Despite this, Shady Lady is still a fan favourite. This summer #Eurovisionagain re-aired the 2008 contest with a vote following for fans to declare their winner 12 years later, Ani Lorak won the vote with original winners Russia falling behind several places.

Remind yourself of Ani’s performance of Shady Lady at the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest in Belgrade by watching the opinion below. Do you agree with any of our fan and team panel?

Shady Lady – opinions from fans

Jacques H. – In Belgrade 2008, Ani Lorak deserved to win Eurovision. It was the better song, the better voice, the better act and the better looks. Unfortunately, Dima Bilan sniffed up the victory. I still find it unbelievable, because his song wasn’t as gripping as the well thought musical sensation that Ani’s Shady Lady delivered. Okay, the voice, backing and music were not all too well mixed, and maybe Ani had been partying a wee bit too much; the same could be said of Dima, who looked like he had been sniffing too much of the scrapings of his ice skater. A few Lines too many perhaps. Ani deserved more, much more!
Michael O.- This was by far the best entry in this years contest and clearly lots of effort was put into the stage performance. Still a classic to this day, saying a song that came as high as second was robbed may be a stretch, but I’m saying it.. it was robbed.

Josef S.- Shady Lady is a very good song but Ani Lorak, she’s one of my favourite Ukrainian singers. Fun fact is that I did not like her Eurovision song back in 2008, but only started to like it later. It is catchy and her performance is flawless. I love also most of her post Eurovision songs.

Wouter V.- I didn’t think much of Shady Lady back in 2008, and I still don’t think much of it now. It’s a decent pop banger, that I’ll always be able to sing along to – but I can’t imagine me ever just playing this song for myself. And why would I, Ani Lorak has so much more, and better, to offer.

Charlotte J.- I am torn here. While I do like parts of this catchy pop song, there’s also something holding me back. I am mostly enjoying it while watching, but I find myself unable to connect to it. It doesn’t bring out any emotions in me. It’s catchy, and I can easily sing along to the chorus, but it just comes out as shallow to me.

Steinar M. – This is a song I don’t have so much to say about. It sounds quite typical for an uptempo Eurovision song. Nothing special or original. I guess also it was a quite “visual” act, which maybe the song didn’t benefit from. My favourites from 2008 are France, Finland, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Turkey.

Ashleigh K.- There have been many times when Russia have been my contest favourite and deserved the victory. However, 2008 is not one of those times. Eurovision 2008 on the whole was a very underwhelming year, which makes it all the more devastating that Ani Lorak didn’t win. Shady Lady was a breath of fresh air..it was punchy, fun and Ani slayed at being a diva. I’m glad that Europe finally came to their senses this year during Eurovision again and voted her the fans winner.

Linete A. – Very powerful song and Ani Lorak has a great and powerful voice. The song is very Eurovision style and I like the way it changes and isn’t very repetitive! The staging is also very good with the four male dancers and it’s interesting how she makes use of the whole stage. The song is catchy and I actually like it and her stage presence is also very strong.

Miljan T. – Ani Lorak was one of my absolute favorites and still is. For me, this was the real winner 2008. The performance, the box with the cabins for the dancers and the mirrors, her voice, everything was perfect. And to add to that, she is a super sweet person and touched many people with her press conferences and extra event on her fight against the HIV-stigma in the Ukraine. “Shady lady against Mr. AIDS” – I still have that T-shirt!

Ani Lorak – A mini biography

Ani Lorak was born as Karolina Kuiek in Kitsman, West Ukraine. In 1995 Karolina took part in a singing competition in Moscow where another singer also called Karolina Kuiek had also entered the competition. Needing to find a new name to distinguish herself from her competitor she decided to spell her first name backwards and this formed the name Ani Lorak. She was already a big star in her native Ukraine when she first attempted to enter Eurovision in 2005. There was a controversy surrounding her defeat in the national pre-selection as eventual winners GreenJolly did not have to qualify for the final by winning one of the preliminary heats, like Lorak did. She eventually got her chance in 2008.

In 2014 Lorak was was accused of disloyalty to her country of Ukraine by accepting awards in Russia during the Russian-Ukrainian crisis which resulted in many of her concerts being protested at by pro-Ukrainian activisits. Now mostly based in Russia, Lorak was a judge on The Voice Russia and often spends time with her pal Sergey Lazarev.

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Eurovision 1974: Italy’s Gigliola Cinquetti in focus

Eurovision 1974: Italy’s Gigliola Cinquetti in focus

Gigliola Cinquetti at the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest

1974 saw the return of Gigliola Cinquetti to Eurovision. France, an early favourite that year, withdrew from the competition on the same week Eurovision took place. The first Italian winner in 1964, had a good chance to win again in Brighton. In the end, she finished second after Sweden’s ABBA.

For the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974, RAI, the Italian Broadcaster, internally selected Gigliola Cinquetti. Gigliola, was already well known in Eurovision as she won the contest in 1964 with the largest ratio between the first and second place to this date. Gigliola sung the song (Yes) in Brighton. On the night of Eurovision she scored 18 points and came in second place. After Eurovision 1974, Gigliola recorded the song in English, French, German and Spanish.


  • 1 Sì – opinions from fans
  • 2 A mini Biography to Gligliola Cinquetti

Gligliola Cinquetti performed in the final of the Eurovision Song Contest 1974. For her 1974 performance she was dressed in blue accompanied by four backing vocalists. The song is a ballad about waiting for the loved one. In Sì, Gigliola says that she is ready to say yes to feel new emotions and feeling in love.

Mario Panzeri, Daniele Pace, Lorenzo Pilat and Corrado Conti wrote .

Sì – opinions from fans

In order to find out what Eurovision fans today think of this Italian entry from 1974, we asked our Eurovision Fan Panel. It includes team members as well as fans from all over the world.

🇩🇰 Charlotte J. – I am really mixed when it comes to this one. Gigliola sings it beautifully, the orchestra supports it well… but in my opinion, the backing singers destroys it. Every time they kick in, I feel like shouting ‘Shut up, let Gigliola handle it alone. Had this song, which finished second, beaten ABBA’s Waterloo, it would have been unfair.

🇨🇿 Josef Š. This is one of my favourite Italian Eurovision songs, and one of the best Eurovision classics. I would lie if I say I like it. That’s not true. I love it! I adore it! The melody, the mystic atmosphere, the lyrics in terms of how well sung this song is. Also what I love are those backing vocalists and the harmonies they produce. This is truly one of my Eurovision gems and a song that always makes me cry, that good it is even after 46 years. ❤️

🇳🇱 Frank S. – Si…..that was my first reaction after listening to the Italian contribution after so many years. I mean – in general – how can you not love Italian songs? They have something mystical and mesmerising, and so does this song. Gigliola was one of the absolute favourites for the victory prior to the grand final itself and she almost did it! It would have been a deserved win despite the fact that no one could neglect Sweden’s Waterloo. A very deserved runner up for 1974 in my eyes! Now back to the song as I cannot get enough of the melody and – sigh – a live orchestra…..Si….

See alsoEurovision 1974: The United Kingdom’s Olivia Newton-John in focus

🇨🇴 🇫🇮 Álvaro S. – Although 1974 was meant to be Abba’s year, Si would have been a worthy winner. The music evolution of Gigliola from the innocent girl that won the festival in 1964 to this more mature, deep version of herself is stunning. The melody in the chorus is so touching. Another masterpiece Italy gave us.

🇭🇺 Valgelis M. – Definitely for once again not my cup of tea. I believe that there were better songs in that year like Abba’s Waterloo and Greece’s κρασί θάλασσα και το αγόρι μου. I found it boring and even annoyed me in some seconds , no offence. I prefer the Italy in the late contests to be honest and not in the past ones.

🇨🇿 Josef Š. This is one of my favourite Italian Eurovision songs, and one of the best Eurovision classics. I would lie if I say I like it. That’s not true. I love it! I adore it! The melody, the mystic atmosphere, the lyrics in terms of how well sung this song is. Also what I love are those backing vocalists and the harmonies they produce. This is truly one of my Eurovision gems and a song that always makes me cry, that good it is even after 46 years. ❤️

See also16 fans about their favourite Eurovision country

🇫🇮 Martti I. –  Many fans are happy for the win by Abba, but I am not one of those. Si, is and was, a superb powerful song and for me this is the winner. It’s an evergreen and became a hit in the original version and by hundreds of covers. 50 years later, it still works and sound fresh. A real unique pearl. Sometimes the best doesn’t win, but like in the ’70’s many of the Eurovision entries became hits, If only that would be the case even today. Grazie Gigliola, grazie.

🇹🇷 Güneç N. – I have been a fan of Gigliola since my childhood. As per Si, it’s a very minimal piece yet with deep emotions performed extremely elegantly on stage. Gigliola always looks stunning on stage. And I love her beautiful, peaceful voice.

🇬🇧 Michael O. – This was not one of my favourites that year as I already had the Netherlands and of course Sweden to route for. However once the English version was released in the U.K I really liked that version. I grew fond of the song after the contest when it no longer posed a threat to Sweden, and in conclusion its a classy atmospheric song that I still like today. But I’m glad it didn’t win.

Enjoy Gigliola Cinquetti’s performance from the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest in the embedded video. Below the video, you can read more about Gigliola Cinquetti.


A mini Biography to Gligliola Cinquetti

Gligliola Cinquetti was born in Verona Italy. When Gligliola won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1964 with her song Non ho l’età, she was only 16 years old. She was the youngest Eurovision winner at that time, a record she kept until 1986 where 13 year old Sandra Kim from Belgium won.

In 1964, her winning song almost tripled the number of points of the runner-up, a record she will most likely maintain with the current voting rules. She competed a second time in 1974 and although she did not win she ended in a close second place. Her song reached the Top 10 in the UK charts. This makes her one of the few Eurovision artists outside of the UK that entered the Top 10 with a non-winning song.  Moreover, there is a cover version of in Finnish (Niin) which also made the top 10 in Finland.

Gigliola Cinquetti is also a TV presenter and an actress. She presented the Eurovision Song Contest 1991 together with Toto Cutugno. Her last studio album 20.12 was released in 2015.

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16 fans about their favourite Eurovision country

16 fans about their favourite Eurovision country

Eurovision fans

Whether it’s the language, the style of music or something completely different, many fans do have countries they support more than others. We asked fans about their favourite Eurovision country.

‘All Eurovision fans are obsessed with Sweden. For six weeks each spring all they can talk about is the Swedish national selection Melodifestivalen. They go as far as to learn Swedish due to this’. That’s one of the first generalizations surrounding Eurovision fans. While there’s some truth to it, it is of course an exaggeration. A big exaggeration, one can argue, if the fans featured in this article are to be considered somewhat representative.


  • 1 16 fans and their favourite Eurovision country
  • 2 Join the Fan Panel

We asked 16 fans about their favourite country, and only one of them immediately pointed at Sweden. Fellow Nordic countries Iceland and Norway get a lot more attention. Italy and Israel are two more countries popular with this group of Eurovision fans.

16 fans and their favourite Eurovision country

We asked our dedicated Fan Panel if they have a favourite Eurovision country, they tend to support more than others. The Fan Panel consists of team members as well as fans from all around the world.

🇲🇹 Christopher D. – My favourite country is Armenia. The country’s representatives have always had original entries and they never copied from previous years’ winners. My all time favourite remains Iveta with Love Wave in 2016 followed by Eva Rivas with Apricot Stone in 2010. I can mention other amazing Armenian artists who certainly did their country proud but I do not want to leave somebody out. They tend to capture their folkloristic sound mixed with the contemporary music and the end result is simply amazing. Keep it up Armenia.

🇨🇴 🇫🇮 Alvaro S. – I would say no in principle to having a favourite country. As many fans, I try to be as impartial as possible 😉 However, I usually like Spain because of the language affinity. In the last two years I have supported Iceland, but that was totally not planned. I simply like countries that take risks. I also have this tendency to support the underdogs. That is probably why I enjoy seeing San Marino succeed in the semi- finals and I usually like Finland (which is the least successful contestant of the Nordics). I can add that I used to like Sweden, but I have fell out of love after 2015.

🇩🇰 Liza P. – My favourite country has to be Iceland. Not that I have the Icelandic entry as a favourite every year or even in my top 10. But in general, I tend to have Icelandic entries above the Danish entries – with a few exceptions.

Beside one Icelandic entry, I actually like them all. A few I may find boring or weird, but still I like them. Even if I find their entries bad the first time, I hear it, I tend to grow into a warm and fuzzy love for the song before the first press conference has started.

🇨🇿 Josef Š – Let’s cross out my home country right from the beginning, that doesn’t count. Besides that, I don’t think there’s some country I would favour more than others, but thanks to its language and culture, this would be FRANCE. For similar reasons, but less than France, there would be ITALY as another one. Usually I love songs from those two countries. They are the closest to my heart.

🇳🇱 Jacques H. – When it comes to Eurovision, the only country I almost always favour is my home turf The Netherlands. But we don’t have many neighbouring countries and we don’t always treat each other as the best neighbours with high points. We neither have many countries who just give us favour points, and to be honest, that’s the way it should be. Winning Eurovision is hard work and the winner should be the best song. I don’t favour countries because I like the country. I favour songs, as I believe this is the best to win. Not the most popular song or country should win, but the very best.

🇱🇹 Konstancija S. – First of all, I always support my country – Lithuania. Actually, I think that this year we had an amazing opportunity to win 😁 and of course I always support the Baltic States – Latvia and Estonia ’cause we’re like brothers ❤🙏

See alsoEurovision 1984: Denmark's Hot Eyes in focus

🇦🇺 Vivienne F. – I have a soft spot for some countries because of family ties, languages or having lived in that country. I was born in Ireland, I live in Australia, I have lived in Spain in Catalonia so I also like Andorra because they sing in Catalan, my brother has lived in Denmark since 1973, my children’s father’s ancestry is Croatian and Bosnian, and my late father loved French and France. So Ireland, Australia, Spain, Andorra, Denmark, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and France. However, the quality of the song comes first, if I don’t like the song I just won’t vote for it. I believe in voting for the song, not the singer or the country.

🇬🇧 Aaron S. – Sweden is one of my favourite Eurovision countries, it seems everything they do is always really good, plus the possibility Måns and Petra hosting Eurovision again makes the deal even sweeter. Every song they’ve sent especially since 2010 for me is a potential winner, while they weren’t my favourite every year they were certainly in my top 5, though the last few years I’ve grown fond of Italy and for me they should have won in 2017 and 2020. It’s also rare I don’t love entries from Germany, The Netherlands, Australia, Norway and Bulgaria too, just to name a few.

🇺🇸 Grace W. – Since I’m from the USA, I don’t really support one specific country. I guess that’s the one good thing about living somewhere that’s not in the contest, not having to feel loyal to your homeland’s song. I do look forward to songs from the Netherlands and Sweden above others, but in the end I always wind up supporting my favourite song, regardless of country.

See alsoEurovision 1973: Israel's Ilanit in focus

🇪🇸 Mária P. – I regard Israel as my favourite Eurovision country because I love about 75% of their entries, be their ballads, up-tempo songs, hymns, or songs with a folk touch. In the last years their entries became too globalized losing their essence and their language Hebrew, thus now I’m not as eager as I was before to hear the Israeli entry for the new Eurovision contest. But even so it keeps on being the country with the most “12 points” from me.
And I’d like to mention Portugal as my second favourite Eurovision country.

🇵🇱 🇯🇪 Pawel J. – Every year there are many good songs from different countries, but somehow I always like entries from Israel. I can’t really describe why but there is always something different and special about their songs. I guess I just like the Mediterranean/middle eastern vibe incorporated into dance numbers or beautiful ballads- they always takes me to the beautiful beaches in Tel Aviv or on a great trip through the desert. Ding dong say no more … 😉

🇬🇧 Michael O. – Despite its old reputation of nil points, I think you can generally rely on Norway. Such professionally staged performances time and again, great ballads from 1987-1989 and 1996, classics like A Monster Like Me (2015) and Attention (2020), off beat entries like 1992, it’s only when they win, that I don’t like them.

🇩🇰 Charlotte J. – I don’t think, I have a favourite country as such, but the countries that over the years have delivered most of the songs I love are Italy, Iceland and Norway. Regarding the latter, I remember a period where I had Norway as my personal number one, four years in a row. My Norwegian friends kindly teased me that I was more Norwegian than they were.

I love the sound of the Italian language. Maybe that influence my love for their songs? And Iceland? They have come with many great songs, which deserved a much better result than they got. And yes, in general I probably have a sweet spot for Iceland too.

See alsoAre all Eurovision fans obsessed with Melodifestivalen – and why?

🇸🇪 Jill R. – I don´t really have a favourite country in Eurovision if I look at the last 20 years. In my playlists most countries are represented. The Scandinavian countries and the Mediterranean countries are represented more than others but no country dominates. If I only compare the last five years; two countries stand out: Italy and France. The reason I usually like them is that they both take music serious (but can still have fun with it). They send real artists and real songs that aren’t just written to work in Eurovision. And they always sing with emotion.

🇫🇷 Bernard D.-  Know one thing, Eurofans friends, I am the most Italian of French fans at Eurovision. Perhaps even the most Italian of Fans at all.
I would love to love songs from my country as much as I love songs from Italy. It’s simple, I don’t think I hate a single one. Some will stick to my skin all my life. I treni di Tozeur followed me in my joys and sorrows (I think I listen to it every day).
I loved Si, Gente di Mare, Era, Fiumi di Parole, Occidentali’s Karma and, and, and all the others. I fell in love with the Italian language of its talented and high class singers.


🇳🇱 🇩🇰 Wouter V. – I usually have high hopes for the Balkan countries, and there’s enough of them to sure that at least a few bring a nice Balkan beat to the Contest. Other than that, I really appreciate France for often daring to experiment with non-typical Eurovision music – such as Jessy Matador in 2010, and Sébastien Tellier in 2008. But once a song is selected, I’ll like (or dislike) it regardless of what country it competes for. For some reason though, Iceland, Belgium and Estonia often end up among my favourites too.


Join the Fan Panel

Do you want to join our Fan Panel? We’ll ask you for your opinion on a former Eurovision entry or a Eurovision related topic approximately once a week. Your opinions will be used in articles like this.

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Eurovision Insight Podcast: Eurovision Castaways with Elaine O’Neill

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Eurovision Castaways with Elaine O’Neill

During the first of Glasgow’s ‘Ne Party Pas Sans Moi‘ in January 2019, the mysterious and beautiful Île de Bezençon appeared on the stage, complete with Ellie Chalkley’s customs desk, and a visiting Elaine O’Neill with eight records and a luxury that will (hopefully) be welcomed on to the island.

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Eurovision Castaways with Elaine O’Neill

Île de Bezençon welcomes another visitor, as Elaine O’Neill brings her eight records and a luxury… if she can get them past the customs desk and Ellie Chalkley.

Stay in touch with the Eurovision Song Contest over the summer months by listening to the ESC Insight podcast. You’ll find the show in iTunes, Google Podcasts, and Spotify. A direct RSS feed is  available. We also have our email newsletter which you can sign up to here.

Categories: ESC Insight


Eurovision 2010: Slovakia’s Kristina in focus

Eurovision 2010: Slovakia’s Kristina in focus

Kristina Pelakova - Horehronie (Slovakia)

Slovakia returned to Eurovision in 2009. The following year, they sent Kristina with her song ‘Horehronie’, which still belong to one of the most favourite Slovak entries. Up to date, Slovakia is one of the few countries that never qualified for the final since the introduction of semifinals in early 00’s.

For the second year in a row, Slovakia held a national final in 2010. This extended show, that consisted of six heats, two semifinals and a final, led into a tie for the first two places in the final. Kristina with Horehronie had 12 points from televote and 11 points from the jury, while Mista with Emotions had 11 points from televote and 12 from the jury. In the end, it was televote who got the last word, so Kristina won.


  • 1 Horehronie – opinions from fans
  • 2 Kristina – A mini biography

In the national final, as guest artists, Maltese past Eurovision participant Fabrizio Faniello and his sister and future Eurovision participant Claudia performed. It may be only a coincidence, but Malta received Slovakia’s 12 points in the semifinal of Eurovision 2010. Kristina on the other hand received only 24 points in total, which was enough for a 16th place in the 17-piece first semifinal.

On the stage, Kristina was accompanied by a four-piece male dance group and Hana Servická, who did the backing vocals. The song was written by Martin Kavulič and Kamil Peteraj who are also behind most of Kristina’s later songs. As the title suggests, Horehronie is a song that praises the nature of Horehronie region in Slovakia, which was used also for its promotion.

Horehronie – opinions from fans

In order to find out what Eurovision fans today think of this Slovak entry from 2010, we asked our Eurovision Fan Panel. It includes team members as well as fans from all over the world.

Ivana K. – Horehronie represents a great example of a wasted opportunity and how performance plays a major role in final success. The song itself was good and outstanding in it’s own way, but Kristina herself brought nothing special to the Eurovision stage. Boring and flat performance copied and pasted from the national selection and a terribly nervous singer was not something most of the fans expected to see. Another disadvantage was the year itself. Early 2010’s were not the years of traditional songs sang in country’s national language, in my opinion. In conclusion, this song was quite nice, but the presentation buried the entire potential it had.

Richard C. – Horehronie is a mystical and ethereal anthem with a strong message. On stage, Kristina looked magical in her nymph-like attire. This sweet song had the potential to do quite well. Her sweet vocals on the night however did not live up to the expectations, breaking and sounding quite pitchy at times. The choreography seemed quite busy and messy also and I personally felt it hindered her chances of qualifying. It really is a shame as it was one of my favourite songs from that year.

See also12 things they (surprisingly?) got right in ‘Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga’

Antonio P. – This is one of the greatest performances I have seen in my ESC life, still surprised That it didn’t go to the final. Good dancers, great lyrics, and good vocal. Maybe she got too much nerves, and missed some words. I get a feeling that I’m walking in a fantasy world forest, like Willow or Lord of the Rings, or that I’m on a big adventure. Its also sad that people don’t Understand folk music. If it should have gone to the final. My opinion is top 5.

Mirka M. – Kristína is a charming and talented person. She is a fresh breeze on the music scene and the energy she has is always transferred to everyone who listens to her. With the song Horehronie she won the hearts of many people in Slovakia but also in Europe. For me, her 16th place at the Eurovision Song Contest was a huge disappointment. I listen to her songs all the time and I hope that we will hear more new ones.

Charlotte J. – Her voice is gentle, soft and fragile yet extremely secure. I really like that. I like big parts of the background music too. Performance-wise it’s pleasant to look at. All good, but yet, I can’t seem to connect to it. I enjoy it, I really do. I am just afraid that if you ask me in half an hour, I would have forgotten about it again.

Josef Š. – I enjoyed the whole Slovak national selection and Kristina really stood out among the others. Horehronie is a happy song and full of energy so the dance is a perfect match for this song. And I don’t mention those nature-themed green costumes and chant-like backing vocalist. One of my favourite Slovak entries ever.

Ashleigh K. – What a strange song. I honestly can’t tell if I like it or not… Kristina showed a lot of charisma and I was interested to watch her and watch the performance unfold. The vocals were pretty good but not amazing. Do I like this or do I not? I don’t know!! I’ll certainly have to watch/listen to this again.

Alvaro S. – OMG I love this song. The best entry from Slovakia. I liked the ethnic outfits which immediately makes me think about nature, the forests and the mythology and religion from ancient Slavic (and European) tribes even better than Emmelie de Forest’s winning song. There is no doubt why fans love this song. To this date, this is one of the biggest injustices in the contest.

Michael O. – Oh if ever there was an entry that I’m sick of this is it. All those people griping it never qualified, ten years on. It’s an ok song that just wasn’t good enough, now the next year Slovakia came up with a gem.

See also25 things they got wrong in 'Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga'

Enio P. – I must admit that I have a mixed opinion about this entry from Slovakia. The staging was ambitious (reminds me of Hobbits dancing in a forest) and Kristina has a clear and fresh voice tone. But the song wasn’t impactful enough (repetitive melody without a climax) and it didn’t quite connect with me.

Ray M. – Whenever I hear a Eurovision song sung in a native language, I’m hesitant to review it as I may miss something culturally significant. Sadly, I did not enjoy this song and performance of Horehronie by Kristina Pelakova. The song is very unoriginal musically and some of the lyrics seem squeezed in as if it were adapted from a poem. Also, the dancing tree men were more of a distraction to me and I get annoyed when elements like that don’t really support the song.

William S. – Kristina brought possibly Slovakia’s best ever chance at the contest with this ethnic pop banger. I remember the fan reaction to this when it won in Slovakia and how this could possibly win the whole contest. She looked beautiful in her nymph-like costume and the dark staging of most 2010 staging suited this perfectly. Only one thing was missing, good live vocals. This really was a missed opportunity for one of the more obscure Eurovision countries.

Wouter V. – Horehronie is both enchantingly beautiful and a little bit annoying. It’s got me hooked onto it right from the intro, but after that I just keep waiting for a chorus that never really comes. Parts of the music and lyrics are repeated, so maybe that’s it – but it’s not nearly as distinct as you’d expect from a Eurovision song. Honestly, I just keep thinking: Don’t bore us, get to the chorus. And that comes from somebody who usually zones out during a chorus, and judges songs mainly on the verses and the bridge in particular.


Enjoy Kristina’s performance from the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest in this embedded video. Below the video, you can read more about Kristina.

Kristina – A mini biography

Kristina (full name Kristína Peláková) is a singer from eastern Slovakia. She started to be interested in singing, dancing and acting already in her childhood, which brought her to music high school in Košice. During her studies, she performed in local music club where she met Martin Kavulič, who later became her producer as well as a composer of most of her songs.

Kirstina released her first songs in 2007 and more followed. The first one with bigger success was Vrať mi tie hvezdy in 2008. Others include five no.1 hits in Slovak charts as well as many other TOP 10 places. Her songs were popular not only in Slovakia but also in neighboring Czech Republic and Slovakia.

In 2015, Kristina took part in a dance competition Tanec Snov (Dance of Dreams) where a celebrity is paired with professional dancers, similar to Strictly Come Dancing. She was paired with Karol Kotlár and finished as the runner-up. In the same year, she starred in Czech & Slovak film Život je život (Life is Life) and a Czech & Slovak Christmas fairytale Johančino tajemství (Johanka’s secret). Kristina also sings a commercial ad theme for cosmetics company Dermacol, which was aired in the Czech Republic.

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Categories: Eurovisionary


Eurovision 1994: Iceland’s Sigga in focus

Eurovision 1994: Iceland’s Sigga in focus


1994 is the year that Eurovision was thrown into International consciousness, yet not for any of the entries or the voting but for the interval act. Riverdance became a major international hit on the back of the contest, yet many songs have been forgotten because of that and one gem is Sigga’s Nætur.

1994 saw Sigga take to the Eurovision stage for the fourth time in five years, but what is interesting about this appearance amongst her others, is that she was not originally supposed to be there. Nætur won the Icelandic National Final sung originally by Sigrun, her sister with a different arrangement.  Icelandic Television officials believed that the original arrangement would not fair well at the contest and gave the task of rearranging the song to Conductor Frank McNamara, a job he would replicate for them the following year when again the contest was held in Dublin.


  • 1 Nætur – opinions from fans
  • 2 Sigga – mini biography

Nætur is a love song, Sigga sings about being with the person she loves in her dreams at night, even if in reality they will never be together.  This marked her last appearance at the contest and subsequently her lowest placed entry as a main performer, it received 49 points and came in 12th place on the night.

Nætur – opinions from fans

To get an idea of what contest fans think of this Icelandic entry we asked some of our team as well as our dedicate fan panel for their opinions below:

John D.

This was a strong entry from Sigga for Iceland. She sung it beautifully in Icelandic and the interpretation by the orchestra was excellent. Like Sigga’s other two entries for Iceland it deserved more marks.

 Kat H.

Let me start by saying, I LOVE Iceland in Eurovision. They can do no wrong in my eyes. I still cry over the fact that they haven’t won yet. Representing a country over three times is a honour reserved for only the most special Eurovision contestants (notably Valentina Monetta) and Sigga was part of Iceland’s three best finishes before 1999 when Selma was criminally robbed. Considering her sister was the original vocalist on Nætur, Sigga did a passable job of trying to dislodge Ireland from their Eurovision throne, however the song was too weak and ultimately forgettable as Ireland romped home for the third win of their four in the 90’s.

Alvaro S.

I like how the scenario with these urban buildings as a background fit perfectly with this ballad from the 90s. The vocals are on point and the backing vocals give it a “gospel feeling”, specially for the last verses of the song. However, my overall impression of this song is that it was a bland attempt from Iceland. In other words, it sounds good but it did not impress me.

Michael O.

I love this song, a bit like Michael Jackson’s Human Nature in places. Sigga is such a good singer, and this song sounds good through the day but is even better listened to in the dark. Deserved to do so much better.
Josef S.
I usually love Icelandic songs and I am a big fan of Icelandic language at Eurovision. So this a little bit mystical ballad mixed with the style of 90’s pop music and Icelandic language make up together really good Eurovision song. Sigga is a powerful singer so it helps the overall performance. 12th place is a well deserved position. I think I will add it on my Eurovision playlist.
Charlotte J.
I had forgotten about this one. Thanks for reminding me! It’s actually really good. How could I forget it? Anyway, I really like it. It’s quite a strong entry performed by a vocally strong singer. Had I heard the studio version first before watching the video, I would probably have been a little confused though. This charming business woman is quite different from what I would have expected based on the song.
Amir B.
Sigga has great vocals, one of most beautiful vocals I listened in the Eurovision history. I love when Iceland send a ballad and this song is such a beautiful ballad. The emotion and happiness in the presentation is contagious and makes you happy with her. Nætur is an authentic Icelandic ballad.
Michael R.
It’s a pleasant song, sung well by an experienced singer, the only problem is it simply plods along and doesn’t seem to go anywhere. I keep waiting for that big wow moment that never comes.
Ashleigh K.
A lovely vocal performance from Sigga from Iceland. Maybe had I listened to this song in 1994 I would like it more but with my 2020 eyes and ears it sounds and looks a little unremarkable. Perhaps I have been spoiled by dramatic staging and singing styles and it’s caused me to not appreciate these older entries as much as I should.
William S.
Sigga’s professionalism and ease in her performance style is what brings this song to the forefront of my mind every time i think of the 1994 contest. This lullaby style ballad is beautifully sung and while I enjoy the original arrangement of the song, this is the version that made me fall in love with it. Nætur deserved so much more than its final placing and points tally.

Find out more about Sigga’s career under this video of her live Eurovision performance.

Sigga – mini biography

Born July 26, 1962 in Reykjavik, Sigríður Beinteinsdóttir better known as Sigga represent Iceland in the Eurovision song contest on four separate occasions from 1990-94.  She was a backing Singer for Stefán and Eyfi in 1991 with their song Nina.  

In 1990 she represent Iceland as part of the band Stjórnin were they achieved the best Icelandic result to date 4th place with their song Eitt Lag Enn. For almost a decade this was the best result by an Icelandic act until Selma reached second place in Jerusalem, 1999.

She returned to the contest in 1992, this time as part of the band Heart2Heart and their uptempo song Nei eða já which finished 7th in Malmo with 80 points.

Other than her solo singing career Sigga was a judge on the first two series of the Icelandic version of Pop Idol, Idol stjörnuleit. More recently she was seen in 2013 providing her knowledge and interest in that years Eurovision Song Contest entries on the show Alla leið.

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