Eurovision 2015: By The Numbers Written by on May 13, 2015 | 4 Comments

As Eurovision 2015 approaches, and we become more and more immersed in the rehearsal process, ESC Insight’s Samantha Ross wanted to take a quick peek at this year’s roster. All of the stats, facts, and figures that any self-respecting Eurofan could want, compressed into one easily-digestible article!

Who’ll be performing (40 songs in total, an increase of 3 from last year):

  • Solo male: 9
    Australia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Cyprus, FYR Macedonia, Israel, Moldova, Montenegro, Sweden (one more than last year)
  • Solo female:17
    Albania, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland (2 more than last year)
  • Duets 8:
    Belarus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Lithuania, Norway, San Marino, Slovenia, United Kingdom (4 more than last year)
  • Groups: 6
    Armenia, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Romania. (3 fewer than last year)

Armenia’s Genealogy at their first Press Meet and Greet. (Photo credit: Derek Sillerud)

Artists under the age of 20:

  • Belgium (19)
  • Ireland (17)
  • Israel (16)
  • San Marino (Michele Perniola and Anita Simoncini are both 16)

Artists over the age of 40:

  • Czech Republic (Marta Jandová is 41)
  • Finland (Pertti Kurika is 58, Sami Helle is 41 or 42)
  • France (46)
  • Montenegro (47)
  • Netherlands (42)

How they were chosen:

  • National Final (song and artist chosen together): 25
    Albania*, Austria, Belarus, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, FYR Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland
  • National Final (song and artist chosen separately): 1
  • Complete Internal Selection: 13
    Armenia, Azerbaijan, Australia, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Montenegro, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, San Marino, Spain, United Kingdom
  • Partial Internal Selection (artist chosen publicly, song chosen internally): 1

(* = National Final was Jury only, and the winning song was eventually changed.)

Songs changed/modified from original winner/announcement/release?

  • Albania
    Festivali i Këngës winner ‘Diell was originally going to be translated into English, but a complaint from the original composer forced the song to be withdrawn. ‘I’m Alive‘ was substituted.
  • Armenia
    Face the Shadow‘ was originally titled ‘Don’t Deny’, but the delegation swapped the name to prevent accusations of politicism in the song.
  • Italy
    Grande Amore had to be trimmed down to three minutes, in order to comply with EBU regulations.
  • Macedonia
    Originally titled ‘Lisja Esenski, the song was translated into English, giving us ‘Autumn Leaves‘.
  • Romania:
    Originally in Romanian, ‘De la capăt (All over Again)‘ will be performed with a bilingual arrangement in Vienna.
  • Serbia
    Ceo svjiet je moj‘ was translated into English as ‘Beauty Never Lies’ marking Serbia’s first Eurovision entry not performed in their national language.
  • Belarus, Cyprus, Georgia, Malta, and Portugal all underwent changes in arrangement.

What language will the song be performed in?

  • English: 33
    Albania, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, (FYR) Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom.
  • No English: 6
    Finland, France, Italy, Montenegro, Portugal, Spain
  • Bilingual: 1

(Out of the 40 songs in this year’s competition, many have alternate language recordings, including Iceland, Macedonia, Poland, Serbia, Italy, and Romania. Others may follow as promotional materials are released.)

Romania's Voltaj is the only act this year to perform their song bilingually. (Photo credit:

Romania’s Voltaj is the only act this year to perform their song bilingually. (Photo credit: EBU)

How many are Eurovision returnees?

  • Armenia
    Inga Arshakyan, part of Genealogy, represented her homeland with her sister Anush in 2009, with ‘Jan Jan‘, coming in 10th.
  • Azerbaijan
    Elnur Hüseynov, who sang alongside Samir Javadzadeh in 2008 with the 8th-placed ‘Day After Day, will perform ‘Hour of the Wolf‘.
  • Belarus
    Uzari sang backup on ‘I Love Belarus for Anastasiya Vinnikova in 2011.
  • Malta
    Amber supported Kurt Calleja in 2012 on ‘This is the Night‘.

How many had been involved with Junior Eurovision?

  • Belarus
    Uzari co-wrote ‘Sokal for Nadezhda Misyakova, who sang at Junior Eurovision 2014.
  • San Marino
    Michele Perniola and Anita Simoncini sang for the microstate at Junior Eurovision 2013 and 2014, respectively.
  • Slovenia
    Maraaya co-composed ‘Nisi Sam (Your Light) with Ula Lozar, Slovenia’s debut Junior Eurovision contestant in 2014.

How many had previously performed in a National Final (not counting their 2015 victory)?

  • Albania
    Elhaida Dani made it to the finals of the 50th Festivali i Këngës in December of 2011 with ‘Mijëra vjet, but failed to garner a single point.
  • Belarus
    Uzari was in the 2012 and 2013 National Finals with ‘The Winner (5th place) and ‘Secret‘ (8th place), respectively.
  • Estonia
    Elina Born: 1 previous attempt (‘Enough‘, in 2013).
    Stig Rästa: 8 previous tries:

    • 2003: ‘What a Day‘ with Slobodan River, 7th place.
    • 2004: ‘Surrounded‘ with Slobodan River, 3rd place.
    • 2008:  ‘It’s Never Too Late‘ with Traffic, featuring Luisa Värk, 8th place.
    • 2009: ‘See paëv with Traffic, second place.
    • 2011: ‘I Wanna Meet Bob Dylan‘ with Outloudz, second place.
    • 2012: ‘NASA‘ with Traffic, 10th place.
    • 2013: ‘Enough‘, written by Stig for Elina Born, 8th place.
    • 2014: “Für Elise‘, with Traffic, 3rd place
  • Latvia
    Aminata came in 5th place with ‘I Can Breathe
  • Lithuania
    Vaidas: In a year where the song was chosen independently of the artist, Vaidas placed 3rd in 2014.
    Monika: Five previous tries:

    • 2010: ‘Give Away‘, 10th place
    • 2011: ‘Days Go By; 4th place
    • 2012: ‘Happy‘, 3rd place
    • 2013: ‘Baby Boy‘, qualified for the Final, but withdrawn due to illness
    • 2014: 4th place (song selected independently of the artist)
  • Malta: Five previous entries in four years
  • Moldova: 3 previous attempts, all in Ukrainian National Finals
  • Sweden
    Won the OGAE Second Chance contest in 2007 with ‘Cara Mia‘, which came in 3rd at Melodifestivalen. Then, two years later, ‘Hope and Glory‘ came in 4th.

How many had taken part in televised talent shows?

  • Albania
    Elhaida Dani won Star Academy Albania in 2009 and The Voice of Italy in 2013.
  • Australia
    Guy Sebastian was the first winner of Australian Idol in 2003, took part in World Idol that winter (coming in 7th place), and was a judge on The X-Factor Australia from 2010-2012.
  • Azerbaijan
    Elnur Hüseynov won O Ses Turkiye (part of “The Voice” franchise) in February 2015.
  • Belgium
    Loïc Nottet was the runner-up in the 2014 edition of The Voice Belgique.
  • Czech Republic
    Marta Jandova won the 2007 Bundesvision Song Contest in a collaboration with the band Oomph!. She had previously participated in 2005, in conjunction with the band Apocalyptica.
  • Estonia
    Elina Born was the runner-up on the 5th season of Eesti Otsib Superstaari (Idol franchise).
    Stig Rästa, on the other hand, took part in the 2011 season of Tantsud tähtedega, the local edition of Strictly Come Dancing, where he came in 4th place. (Interestingly, 2011 Eurovision participant Getter Jaani came in third, marking the second time in less than a year that she just edged out Stig in competition. “Rockefeller Street” had beaten “I Want to Meet Bob Dylan” at Eesti Laul that year.)
  • Georgia
    Nina Sublatti was the winner of Sakartvelos Varskvlavi (Idol franchise).
  • Greece
    Maria Elena Kiryakou won the first season of The Voice of Greece in 2014.
  • Israel
    Nadav Guedj won the second season of HaKokhav HaBa, which also served as this year’s Israeli National Final.
  • Italy
    All three members of Il Volo took part in the 2009 series of Ti Lacio una Canzone.
  • (FYR) Macedonia
    Daniel Kajmakoski won X-Factor Adria in 2014.
  • Lithuania
    Monika Linkytė took part in Lithuania’s Got Talent in 2011.
  • Netherlands
    Trijntje Oosterhuis was a coach on The Voice of Holland from 2012-2014.
  • Norway
    Debrah Scarlett took part in The Voice – Norges beste stemme in 2013.
  • Poland
    Monika Kuszyńska was a coach on Bitwa na głosy, the local edition of Clash of the Choirs.
  • Portugal
    Leonor Andrade took 6th place in the 2014 edition of The Voice of Portugal.
  • Russia
    Polina Gagarina won Star Academy in Russia back in 2003, and was a judge on I Want to Meladze in 2014. (Fun fact: Notable participants on I Want to Meladze included Dima Karyakin, lead singer of Litesound, as well as perennial Latvian National Final also-ran Markus Riva.)
  • Serbia
    In 2012, Bojana Stamenov took part in Serbia’s Ja Imam Talenat!, coming in 4th place.
  • Spain
    Edurne took part in the 2005 series of Operación Triunfo, coming in 6th place.
  • Sweden
    Måns Zelmerlöw came in 5th place in the 2005 season of Idol, and won the 2006 series of “Let’s Dance”.
  • United Kingdom
    Bianca Nicholas took part in both The X-Factor UK and The Voice UK, but failed to progress past the audition rounds.

Who wasn’t born in the country they’ll be representing? (14 singers from 10 nations, up from 5 singers last year)

  • Armenia
    Vahe Tilbian is from Ethiopia, Tamar Kaprelian is from the US, Stephanie Topalian is also American-born, but now lives in Japan, where her mother was born. Essaï Altounian is from France, and Mary-Jean O’Doherty is American-born to Armenian and Australian parents, lived Down Under for a number of years, and now makes her home in Wales. Confused yet?
  • Australia
    Guy Sebastian was born in the city of Klang, Malaysia, and moved to Australia when he was a young boy.
  • Azerbaijan
    Elnur Hüseynov was born in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, while it was still part of the Soviet Union.  His family relocated to Baku when he was about twelve.
  • Belarus
    Maimuna was born in Saint Petersburg (while it was still the USSR) to a Belarusian mother and a Malian father.
  • Georgia
    Nina Sublatti was born in Moscow, and moved to Georgia in her early childhood.
  • Germany
    Ann Sophie was actually born in London to German parents.
  • Greece
    Maria Elena Kyriakou was born in Larnaca, Cyprus, which is also the birthplace of Greek ESC representatives Anna Vissi and Loukas Yiorkas.
  • Israel
    Nadav Guedj was born in Paris, France.
  • Moldova
    Eduard Romanyuta is from Ternopil, Ukraine.
  • San Marino
    Michele Perniola actually hails from Palagiano, Italy, but that hasn’t stopped him from representing San Marino in the past. Both he and his younger sister Raffaela have sung for the microstate at Junior Eurovision.

About The Author: Samantha Ross

Vaguely aware of the Contest since childhood, a fanatic since 2008, and an ESC blogger since 2009, Samantha Ross made her first sojourn to Eurovision in 2011, and was quickly welcomed into the fold at ESC Insight. Over the years, she's been interviewed by BBC World News, SVT, LBC Radio, and many others. She was a semi-regular contributor to Oystermouth Radio's weekly dedicated Eurovision program, "Wales 12 Points". Furthermore, Samantha contributed to BBC Radio 2's coverage of the Copenhagen contest, and was a member of the official web team in 2014 and 2015. Since 2017, she's been a member of the Bulgarian Delegation, serving as Assistant Head of Press in Kyiv. When not at Eurovision, Samantha is a regular on the Twin Cities pub quiz circuit, and has volunteered as a moderator for the local high school quiz bowl for over ten years. She lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota, but is wistfully looking for opportunities to get geographically closer to the heart of the Eurovision action. You can follow Samantha on Twitter (@escinsider).

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4 responses to “Eurovision 2015: By The Numbers”

  1. Now if this was Fantasy Football League, we’d all be chanting “Statto, Statto!” – Sam’s got the glasses, has she got the dressing gown?

    You can explain it to her, Ewan… 🙂

  2. HarrietKrohn says:

    Very interesting, I love stats!

    By the way, there seems to be a bit missing about Elnur’s current place of residence: “(and he now lives in M” 😉

  3. You know, Harriet, you’re exactly right. I must have missed taking that out! Thanks for the heads-up. 🙂

  4. […] us a grand total of 9 male and 18 female soloists, 5 groups (including one trio) and 8 duets. (According to ESC Insight’s Sam I’ve gone wrong somewhere in the female solists and groups, but […]

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