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  • Writer's pictureSamuel Lee

Host entries that have closed a Eurovision final

Photo courtesy of Sky News

We recently published an article about host entries that have opened the Eurovision Grand Final, in light of Sweden being drawn to the opening slot in the final this year.

This, and the fact that the UK performed in the closing slot for last year's Eurovision final in Liverpool, got us thinking again: which host entries were the final entry in their respective Eurovision years?

The list is short for this one, but certainly memorable!

Peppino di Capri - 'Comme è ddoce 'o mare' (Italy 1991)

Result: 7th out of 22 participants

After Toto Cutugno's win at Eurovision 1990 with 'Insieme: 1992' ('Together: 1992' in English), Rome was the venue of the 1991 contest.

Toto and Gigliola Cinquetti, the first Italian Eurovision winner, were hosts of this year's edition.

The contest was memorable for mainly the wrong reasons: the orchestra was often late to rehearsals, several technical mishaps occurred during the live performances, and the hosts made many mistakes in the voting sequence.

To add to the confusion, at the end of the voting the top two countries - Sweden, represented by Carola, and France, represented by Amina - received the same amount of the points. The former was declared the winner on a countback, having won more sets of 10 points than her competitor.

In the midst of this chaos Italy's Peppino di Capri delivered a professional yet passionate performance of the Naepolitan language entry 'Comme è ddoce 'o mare' ('As it is in the sweet sea' in English).

The Capri native had already had an extensive and successful career in not just Italy but across Europe. He won the prestigious Sanremo Music Festival twice in 1973 and 1976. Another career highlight was opening for The Beatles in their 1965 tour of Italy.

Peppino also has the distinction of being the first host entry at Eurovision to perform last in the running order.

Rollo and King - 'Never Ever Let You Go' (Denmark 2001)

Result: Runners-up out of 23 participants

In 2000 the Danes snapped a 37-year losing streak when the Olsen Brothers won Eurovision with 'Fly on the Wings of Love'.

Copenhagen played host the following year, with the 38,000-seat Parken Stadium being the stage of choice. It remains the largest venue ever to host Eurovision.

Denmark was represented by Rollo & King, a male duo who were joined on their track 'Never Ever Let You Go' by female soloist Signe Svendsen. The cheery, country-inspired song was a brilliant way for the host country to close the show.

In the early portions of the voting it looked like Denmark could do the rare Eurovision victory double, topping the leaderboard several times. They were overrun in the latter stages though by eventual winners Estonia who were represented by Tanel Padar, Dave Benton & 2XL with 'Everybody'.

Mae Muller - 'I Wrote a Song' (UK 2023)

Result: 25th out of 37 participants

Last year's contest in Liverpool saw 2022 Eurovision runners-up the United Kingdom hosting the contest on behalf of winners Ukraine.

Delegates from both countries drew the other country's running order in the final. Whilst Ukraine performed in 19th position, the UK had the fortune of being drawn to close their own show.

The UK was represented by Mae Muller with 'I Wrote a Song'. As a child Mae had appeared in the music video of Mika's hit single 'Grace Kelly', as her aunt Sophie was the director.

For several years she had a moderately successful music career, before being chosen by the BBC and TaP music to represent her country at Eurovision 2023. Unfortunately, Mae could not replicate Sam Ryder's runners-up success in 2022, and finished in 25th place.

Nevertheless 'I Wrote a Song' was still a commercial success, reaching number 9 on the UK charts.

It is a funny coincidence that hosts Sweden will open this year's Eurovision final, whilst the UK last year closed their own show. Nevertheless, it gives us an excellent opportunity to take a look back at some interesting host entries ahead of this year's contest.

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