The following songs are Eurovision entries which did not win but have had success beyond Eurovision and have eclipsed the entries that finished ahead of them in their respective contests.

Carola - Främling

3rd place for Sweden in 1983

Främling was the runaway winner of Melodifestivalen 1983, it scored the maximum points from the juries, a feat which has not been repeated to this day. The song also launched the career of the then sixteen year old Carola Häggkvist and gave her the springboard to become one of the most revered Swedish female singers.

The song became a massive hit in Sweden and Norway and was recorded in English, German and Dutch for international release even though it only managed to finish in third place in Munich, behind Luxembourg and Israel. Främling has become an evergreen in Sweden and the album from which it is the title track is still the biggest selling album of all time in Sweden with over one million copies sold to date.

Carola performing Främling in Munich, 1983

 

Amina - C'est le dernier qui a parlé qui a raison

2nd place for France in 1991

Amina represented France at the 1991 Eurovision Song Contest in Rome with her song C'est le dernier qui a parlé qui a raison. The singer took her self-penned song to Eurovision and it was a reflection of Amina's Tunisian herritage and with the music composed by Wasis Diop brought a very African feel to the stage in Rome.

Amina and her song were expected to do well and the expectations were met, at the end of the voting the French song had tied at the top with Sweden's song, performed by the aforementioned Carola. Under the rules of the contest at the time, the winner was decided by a countback of the highest scores. As both countries had both received the same amount of douze points, the tens were then counted and as Sweden had received more than France, Carola was proclaimed the winner in what was a perfect end to the most farcical Eurovision Song Contest ever. Although Amina's song was the runner-up, the single was released in Europe containing a sticker on the sleeve of the record and CD billing it as "the other Eurovision Song Contest winner" and achieved chart success in more territories than the winner.

"The other Eurovision winner" from Rome, 1991

 

Gina G - Ooh Aah... Just A Little Bit

8th place for the United Kingdom in 1996

Gina G was selected to fly the British flag in Oslo after winning the Great British Song Contest of 1996. The modern Eurodance song was well regarded prior to the contest and reached #1 on the UK singles chart in the week of the Eurovision Song Contest. It went on to become the sixth highest selling single of 1996 in the UK. As well as reaching the top ten in Belgium, Finland, Ireland, Norway, Sweden and Gina's homeland of Australia the single also became a hit in the United States upon its release later in the year - something that few Eurovision songs have managed. Ooh Aah...peaked at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100, #5 on the Mainstream Top 40 list and an impressive #4 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart. The song also is the most recent Eurovision entry to reach #1 on the UK singles chart.

Although eighth place was a strong showing for the UK at Eurovision, it begs the question that perhaps it was ahead of its time and had televoting been in place in 1996, would the song have fared better and even gone home with the trophy?

Gina G injecting a bit of life into the Eurovision Song Contest. Oslo, 1996

 

Mocedades - Eres Tú

2nd place for Spain in 1973

The group Mocedades were chosen to represent Spain at the 1973 Eurovision Song Contest in Luxembourg. Although their song did not win the competition it went on to achieve global success. Eres Tú became a huge hit in the United States and is the only song to date that has reached the top ten of the US Billboard Hot 100 that has been performed completely in Spanish. The song reached #9 on the Hot 100 and placed at #8 on the Adult Contemporary Chart. An English version of the song was recorded but it was the original Spanish lanaguage version that became a hit. Mocedades also recorded the song in German, Italian, French and in Basque and a vast number of cover versions in other languages were also made.

Eres Tú, along with the song it beat in to third place - Power To All Our Friends by Cliff Richard - became hits in 1973 outstripping the success of Anne-Marie David's winning song for Luxembourg on the sales charts around Europe. Also, nearly forty years after it competed at the Eurovision Song Contest and although the voting system has changed, Eres Tú still holds the record for the highest ever Spanish score. No entry from Spain since 1973 has managed to better the score of 125 points.

Mocedades performing Eres Tú in Luxembourg, 1973

 

Cliff Richard - Congratulations

2nd place for the United Kingdom in 1968

Cliff Richard was selected by the BBC to represent the United Kingdom at the 1968 Eurovision Song Contest. Congratulations won out of a field of six songs, all performed by Cliff, after receiving 140,000 more postal votes than the song in second place. The song was also written by Bill Martin and Phil Coulter, the team who had written Sandie Shaw's winning entry Puppet On A String the previous year and many thought that Cliff was guaranteed a win on home soil. But, after performing at the Royal Albert Hall and leading the voting Cliff was pushed into second place by Spain's Massiel, losing by just one single point. There were allegations of vote-rigging in 2008, suggesting that Franco's regime had bought votes to ensure a Spanish victory but these remain unfounded and Massiel still holds her Eurovision title.

Nevertheless, Congratulations remains one of the most famous songs to have ever been performed at the Eurovision Song Contest. It spent two weeks at #1 in the United Kingdom (it was displaced at the top by Louis Armstrong's What a Wonderful World) and became a pan-continental hit.

Cliff's Congratulations, lost by one point to Spain's La La La

 

Domenico Modugno - Nel Blu, Dipinto di Blu

3rd place for Italy in 1958

Nel Blu, Dipinto di Blu, or Volare as it is more commonly known is not just one of the Eurovision's most recognisable songs, it is one of the most recognisable songs of all time. Many people associate the song with the big stars such as Dean Martin who covered the song in English. Few realise that the song first came from the San Remo Song Festival and then took part at the Eurovision Song Contest. When the sales of all the various cover versions are combined, the total exceeds 22 million, easily making it one of the best selling songs of all time.

At the Eurovision Song Contest in 1958, Domenico Modugno only finished in third place but Volare became a worldwide hit. The song broke the UK top ten in its original version, peaked at #2 in Norway but it was in the United States where the song made the biggest impact. Not only did the song top the Billboard Hot 100 and go on to sell more than 2 million copies in the US, Billboard named Nel Blu, Dipinto di Blu their record of the year for 1958. Also, at the inaguaral Grammy awards in 1959, the song scooped the awards for Record of the Year and Song of the Year. To date, it is the only non-English language song to be named song of the year and the only Eurovision Song Contest entry to win a Grammy.

Nel Blu, Dipinto di Blu, the most successful non-winner ever

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