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  • Writer's pictureDale Roberts

Top 10 Eurovision songs of the 1980s by percentage

Eurovision 1980s had it all. Big hair, shoulder pads, the beginnings of a world superstar and a two-time winner.

As part of our Throwback Thursday History series, we look back at the most popular songs by the % of total possible votes, with some surprising results and omissions!

=9. Ofra Haiza - 'Hi' (Israel 1983)

2nd place - 136 points out of 228 (59.6%)

Israel were Eurovision superstars in the late 70s and early 80s with two wins and two runner-ups in a five year period. Ofra Haiza was already a star in Israel and went on to International Acclaim in the 80s and 90s and was known as the 'Israeli Madonna'.

=9. Bucks Fizz - 'Making Your Mind Up' (United Kingdom 1981)

1st place - 136 points out of 228 (59.6%)

You may have heard of this little known British group... they are synonymous with 80s Eurovision and when UK were good. They won by just two points ahead of Lena Valaitis from Germany with 'Johnny Blue' (who finishes 12th in this list). The song itself went no.1 over Europe and even reached no.6 in Australia. Bucks Fizz would go on to a successful career in the 80s including two more UK no.1 hits.

8. Daniela Simons - 'Pas pour moi' (Switzerland 1986)

2nd place - 140 points out of 228 (61.4%)

Although a distant runner-up Daniela still picked up points from every country except one (Germany) including 5 x 12 points. Switzerland were a successful nation in the 80s making the Top 5 on five occasions including a 1st, 2nd and 3rd....

7. Corinne Hermès - 'Si la vie est cadeau' (Luxembourg 1983)

1st place - 142 points out of 228 (62.3%)

The last of Luxembourg's five wins. Corinne won a strong contest beating out 'Hi', 'Främling' and 'Džuli' who all made the Top 20 of this list.

6. Linda Martin - 'Terminal 3' (Ireland 1984)

2nd place - 137 points out of 216 (63.4%)

Written by Mr Eurovision himself Johnny Logan and featuring future Eurovision winner Linda Martin, this 1984 entry for Ireland was a very high scoring runner-up. She received 12 or 10 points from half the countries voting, but lost out on winning by just 8 points.

5. Johnny Logan - 'What's Another Year' (Ireland 1980)

1st place - 143 points out of 216 (66.2%)

Well here is the man himself. His first win as a fresh faced singer in 1980 was over Eurovision veteran Katja Ebstein and her song 'Theater' for Germany. Johnny picked up 7 lots of 12 points out of the 18 countries voting.

4. Herreys - 'Diggi-Loo Diggi-Ley' (Sweden 1984)

1st place - 145 points out of 216 (67.1%)

The Herrey brothers took out the 1984 contest with slick moves, gold shoes and nonsensical lyrics. It was just the second win for the Swedes after ABBA's win in 1974. The brothers combined yet again in 2015 for the 60th anniversary contest and proved they still had the moves even at a slightly more mature age...

3. Johnny Logan - 'Hold Me Now' (Ireland 1987)

1st place - 172 out of 252 points (68.3%)

Winners wear white! Well here he is again with his most popular and iconic song. He won the contest comfortably by 31 points picking up 8 x 12 points out of the 20 countries, and 14 placing it in the Top 3. We're not sure what the juries of Iceland and Greece were on giving this no points at all! The song itself was a commercial success reaching no.1 in numerous European countries, no.2 in the UK and even no.4 in Australia.

2. Sandra Kim - 'J'aime la vie' (Belgium 1986)

1st place - 176 points out of 228 points (77.2%)

Infamous for Sandra Kim being the youngest winner at 13-year-old (despite trying to hide her age with some impressive shoulder pads). This little bop was also a big winner, 14 out of the 19 countries placed this either 1st or 2nd on the night. This song received more points than any song of the 80s, just not the highest percentage...

1. Nicole - 'Ein bißchen Frieden' (Germany 1982)

1st place - 161 points out of 204 (78.9%)

A dominant winner in 1982 by 61 points, Nicole received 12 points from NINE out of the 17 countries with only Luxembourg inexplicably giving her no points. A young girl singing about peace was always going to win over votes during the Cold War in the 80s (though Finland sang about potential Nuclear War and got 0 points on the night) but the song itself by Ralph Siegel himsef was pretty darn good. The song went no.1 all over Europe including the United Kingdom.

Wait where's Céline?

Well you'll notice some big names miss this list. Notably Céline Dion herself with 'Ne partez pas sans moi'. Well a tight one point win for her in 1988 meant her % suffered, she finished 13th with 57.1%.

Other winners were 'La det swinge' for Norway which finished 14th with 56.9% and 'Rock Me' in 20th with 54.3%.


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