Made in the USA - Americans who have competed at the Eurovision Song Contest
Today, the 4th of July, marks the day of independence for the United States of America. Independence Day commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence, signalling the nation’s separation from its British motherland.
Despite never having taken part in the Eurovision Song Contest, Americans have certainly made their mark on the singing contest we love so much. Luckily for them they are set to have their own version of the song contest with the American Song Contest, which you can find more about here.
Today we take a look at all the Americans that have graced the Eurovision stage and list them based on their placing at Eurovision (in reverse order). So, grab yourself a hot dog and a Dr Pepper, sit back in the bed of your truck (ahem – ute), and take a read through the American artists that have graced the Eurovision stage.
Despite giving it their biggest and best American go, not all of the nation's incidental representations at the contest have made it all the way through to the Saturday night finale. Here are some of the American artists who have, unfortunately, failed to qualify.
18th in its semi-final – Jimmie Wilson, with Valentina Monetta – ‘Spirit of the Night’ (San Marino 2017)
16th in its semi-final – Hannah Mancini – ‘Straight Into Love’ (Slovenia 2013)
15th in its semi-final – Annet Artani – ‘Why Angels Cry’ (Cyprus 2006)
14th in its semi-final – Natália Kelly – ‘Shine’ (Austria 2013)
Of course, more Americans have made the final than haven’t. So, outside of the top ten, these are the American artists who have competed in the Eurovision final.
24th – Isis Gee – ‘For Life’ (Poland 2008)
22nd – Senhit with Flo Rida – ‘Adrenalina’ (San Marino 2021)
20th – Oscar Loya, of Alex Swings Oscar Sings, and Dita von Teese – ‘Miss Kiss Kiss Bang’ (Germany 2009)
16th – Tamar Kaprelian, of Genealogy – ‘Face the Shadow’ (Armenia 2015)
14th – Kim Cooper, of The Rounder Girls – ‘All to You’ (Austria 2000)
14th – Trey Campbell and Johnny Manuel, of Equinox – ‘Bones’ (Bulgaria 2018)
13th – Jeane Manson – ‘J'ai déjà vu ça dans tes yeux’ (Luxembourg 1979)
11th – Debbie Cameron, with Tommy Seebach – ‘Krøller eller ej’ (Denmark 1981)
And, a surprisingly large proportion of America’s representation at Eurovision have been artists who have made it into the top ten.
8th – Rhonda Heath, of Silver Convention – ‘Telegram’ (Germany 1977)
Born in New York in 1955, Rhonda Heath was one of three members of Silver Convention who provided Germany with their best result in four years at the time. In the years that followed, Silver Convention split, and Rhonda went on to place third at the Seoul Song Festival in South Korea in 1981, and to provide backing vocals at the Eurovision Song Contest again in 1985 and 1994.
7th – Romina Power, with Al Bano – 'We'll Live It All Again' (Italy 1976) and 'Magic Oh Magic' (Italy 1985)
Born in Los Angeles in 1951, Romina Power is the only American artist with two entries on this list. The internationally super-famous actress and singer represented Italy at the contest twice alongside her then-husband Al Bano, first in 1976, then in 1985.
5th – András Kállay-Saunders – ‘Running’ (Hungary 2014)
Born in New York in 1985, András Kállay-Saunders provided Hungary with their best result at Eurovision in twenty years, and still holds the record of the second-best performing Hungarian entry. Following the competition, András formed the Kállay-Saunders Band, and has competed at the Hungarian national final 'A Dal' three more times with the band.
3rd – Wess, with Dori Ghezzi – ‘Era’ (Italy 1975)
Born in Winston-Salem in North Carolina in 1945, Wess was the one of the first Americans to perform at Eurovision. Wess was successful throughout Italy and America during his time as a performing artist. Unfortunately, Wess passed away due to breathing difficulties in 2009.
3rd – Kalomira – ‘Secret Combination’ (Greece 2008)
Born in New York in 1985, Kalomira first came to fame in Greece after winning talent show 'Fame Story'. Since competing at Eurovision, she has released more music, married, had three children, and even presented the Greek version of talent show 'Rising Star',
1st – Katrina Leskanich, of Katrina and the Waves – ‘Love Shine a Light’ (United Kingdom 1997)
Born in Topeka, Kansas, in 1960, Katrina Leskanich of Katrina and the Waves became internationally famous with the song 'Walking on Sunshine', which was released in 1985. Katrina is the only American to have ever won the competition. Following the win, the group eventually broke up, but Katrina launched a solo career, helped in the British national final in 2016, and even sang the last line of 'Love Shine a Light' during the replacement Eurovision program 'Europe Shine a Light' last year.
With so much success at the contest, we'd love to see the tradition of Americans singing at Eurovision and helping to write the entries continue into the future, even after the launch of their own edition of the competition. We wish a Happy Independence Day to all of our American readers!