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(W): from Wadde Hadde Dudde Dah to Wunder Gibt Es Immer
KEY: Winner Runner-up Third-place Top 5 Debut Entry Host Entry Last Place Nul Points

WADDE HADDE DUDDE DAH (song) German entry, Stockholm 2000: 5th place (96 pts)
I am so curious, I just wanna know if Stefan's ever heard Say You'll Be There by Le Spice Girls.

Never to be accused of milking an idea, this was the second 'subtle' mickey-take song by German Television's uber-Beadle Stefan Raab, which was quite entertaining in its own way, but then, so were the show trials in the McCarthy era. Two defeats in three contests for the Vanilla Ice lookie-likey. Is he Ralph Siegel's lovechild?
Note: I don't know what 'batchy' hands are, but please put them together if you ever see Stefan approaching. Or run in the other direction.

WAGES OF LOVE (song) Irish entry, Madrid 1969: =7th place (10 pts)
What? An up-tempo Irish entry? Yes my friends, I bring truth to your ears. However, now is not the time to fall to the floor with a look of disbelief on your fizzog...

Many moons before Muriel Day and her backing group (all of whom were surprisingly called Lindsay) took this chirpy wee ditty to Madrid '69, some arty French director (I think it was Francois Truffaut, but I'm probably wrong) made a film called Wages of Fear. It concerned a pair of trucks (loaded with highly volatile chemicals) making a vital journey across some exceptionally rough terrain. Each truck was driven by two sailors, desperate to escape the South American hellhole the film was set in, only taking the job on because they could be on the next boat home if they completed the job successfully. One bump, however, and the truck went boom. So, the film didn't inspire the song of almost the same name, then.

As for that song though, it's notable as being the only ESC entry to date were the word 'crossed' is rhymed with the word 'lawst'.

WALTERS & KAZHA (duo) Latvian entry, Kiev 2005: 5th place (153 pts)
It's still unclear if this rather wet pair were referring to events in the Middle East or their own personal battles of the heart with 'The War is Not Over', either way, it was no 'Waterloo'.

The best evidence yet that the draw's the thing, the duo only just squeaked into the semi from an early draw, but performing second-to-last saw them challenging for the title in the early stages of the voting.

(Dodgy) sign language was employed during the performance of 'The War is Not Over', however.

Some deaf people watching were left wondering why the Latvian entry contained the lyrics 'The Floor is not Covered'..

WE ARE THE WINNERS (song) Lithuanian entry, Athens 2006: 6th place (162 pts)
Because 'We Are the Sixth-Placed Finishers! Of Eurovision!' doesn't have the same ring.

WE'VE GOT THE WORLD (song) Irish entry, Riga 2003: =11th place (53 pts)
In the summer night, when the moon shines bright,
And I'm feeling lucky.

In the softer sand, walking hand-in-hand,
Love is all around me.

There's just one more thing I'd like to add,
She's the greatest love I've ever had.

We've got the worrrrrrld to-night...

WHAT'S ANOTHER YEAR (song) Irish entry, The Hague 1980: WINNER (143 pts)
Many wonder why Johnny Logan went to all the effort of winning a big song contest in order to ask this question, when the answer is quite obviously 'any year that's not 1980'.

Be-jeysus, any feckin' eejit could tell you that.

WHEN (song) Irish entry, The Hague 1976: 10th place (54 pts)
"When?" asked Red Hurley on behalf of songwriter Brendan Graham and the people of Ireland in 1976.

If Mr Graham had to be so impatient, the juries may as well have told him: "1994 and 1996, that's when. Now, sod off, we're trying to learn the Brotherhood of Man dance."
Note: Hasn't Ireland sent lots of songs beginning with 'W'?.

WHITE & BLACK BLUES (song) French entry, Zagreb 1990: JOINT RUNNER-UP (132 pts)
Joelle Ursull must be a doll of wax and sound, as Serge Gainsbourg thought her fit to represent France in 1990 with his first crack at the Eurovision title since winning the thing in 1965.

One of the more tribal-sounding efforts in Eurovision history, White and Black Blues was significantly better than Toto's dismal winning effort that year, and perhaps second only to Hajde de Ljudeamo as the 1990 fan's favourite.

When asked about the song later on, and in particular its appeal for racial harmony, Serge Gainsbourg was believed to have said: "What a load of merde, eet iz obvious, eez it not, zat I got the idea for zis song after looking at zee Estonian flag?"

WHY DO I ALWAYS GET IT WRONG? (song) British entry, Lausanne 1989: RUNNER-UP (130 pts)
Somewhere between the shortlist announcement and Song for Europe '89, this song stopped being No More Sad Songs by Midnight Blue and became Live Report's Why Do I Always Get it Wrong instead, perhaps to conform with Bjorn from ABBA's philosophy that the title of your song should always be the strongest phrase in your hookline. Don't know why the name of the group became so crappy, though.

On its arrival in Lausanne, the band probably thought they were onto a winner, as the 1989 ESC line-up is among the dullest in the event's history - with perhaps only Sweden and Turkey lllingering in the memory. This does not explain then, how a load of geography teachers singing a Butlins Summer Special number in Serbo-Croat actually won the thing, and the sudden change to the British song's title gained an ironic ring.

Second. AGAIN.

WIEL'S DA GUTT GOTT? (song) Austrian entry, Oslo 1996: =10th place (68 pts)
Billy Graham's Austrian godson - the artist currently known as George Nussbaumer - realised there were two things missinnng from Eurovision in the nineties - spirituality and puppetry.

Therefore, he took the gospel stomper Wiel's Da Gutt Gott to Oslo '96 and got five former Thunderbirds puppets to provide backing vocals. Unfortunately, the operators of said puppets got a bit bored whilst waiting in the gantries until it was Austria's turn and partook in a bit too much of the local ale. The effect of the alcohol on the manipulation of the puppets was clearly evident, both on-screen and to those watching in the Specktrum.

One of the five operators, plagued with guilt when watching the performance on playback, swore he would assuage himself, so took his red-headed puppet to Dublin the following year, where an unfortunate bout of the DTs made his control from the gods even worse than before.

WIG WAM (song) Norwegian entry, Kiev 2005: 9th place (125 pts)
Succeeding in 2005 where the UK's Heavy Pettin' failed in 1987 - by bringing something a tad rockier to the Eurovision Song Contest - let's hear it for Wig Wam.

Although 'In My Dreams' is too derivative of hundreds of other stadium rockers to stand out, it was a (rather violent) breath of fresh air.

What many people don't know, is that Wig Wam live a 'Monkees' type existence in Norway's far north, where they share the same wig wam.

Glam, the lead singer stops writing songs for two hours a day so he can hunt reindeer to feed the rest of the group with, while the others send smoke signals to the nearest branch of McDonalds, requesting a Happy Meal each for when Glam returns, empty-handed.

WILLEKE (singer) Dutch entry, Dublin 1994: 23rd place (4 pts)
In 1994, and at the age of 106, Willeke Alberti became the oldest person ever to perform at Eurovision, just ahead of Belle from the Devotions.

Her song, Where is the Sun? was inspired by the Old Folk's Home she lives in in Amsterdam.

Here, she is locked in a damp, windowless room for twenty-three hours a day and fed bits of old windmill on toast. She spends her time scrabbling about in the dirt looking for her clogs, which the wardens (of course) have already confiscated from her.

WINKING (verb)
All teenage ESC-hopefuls practice this in bed as soon as the lights go out every night. It still isn't known if the host broadcaster's floor manager throws lots of dust into the performer's eyes at the close of their song, thus causing them to wink, but it's probably true.

There is a mathematical formula known as 'Boyle's Law' which shows that the cockier the artiste, and the more confident they are of victory, then they wink for longer, and their eye is more scrunched up.

For British performers, winking is an on-stage piece of semaphore directed at the BBC, indicating that the time has arrived to put the cheque in the post.

WIR GEBEN 'NE PARTY (song) German entry, Dublin 1994: 3rd place (128 pts)
Wir Stern im Funfundvierzig would perhaps be a better title for the '94 German entry, as it does sound suspiciously like that pop medley hit of the early 80s.

Despite chartering a plane to take them straight back to (what they thought would be) a triumphant return to Germany from Dublin, Mekado only finished third when all the votes were in, so the plane was diverted from Munich to a tiny place called Obscurity - home of many a Eurovision hopeful.

The song remains a firm favourite of ESC fans everywhere, and it's certainly a pleasant change from the average ballad. The only worrying thing is that, somewhere, there must be a group of three drag queens who regularly perform Wir Geben 'Ne Party in faithfully replicated outfits - beret and all. Shudder.

WITHOUT YOU (song) Dutch entry, Istanbul 2004: 20th place (11 pts)
Reunion weren't expected to make it through the inaugural ESC semi final in 2004, but make it they did with this gentle acoustic-type thing.

If anyone can think of anything exciting to write about this group, please email Bless you.

WITHOUT YOUR LOVE (song) Irish entry, Copenhagen 2001: 21st place (6 pts)
Any song that finally got Ireland relegated from Eurovision for one year deserves a pat on the back.

Therefore, the compilers of Encyclopaedia Eurovisica took a copy of the CD single into a nearby foot-and-mouth free field and placed it, cover side down, beneath a cow's bottom.

Anybody know a number for a good lawnmower salesman?

WITHOUT YOUR LOVE (song) Armenian entry, Athens 2006: 8th place (129 pts)
Armenian lawnmower salesman, Andre, was such a fan of Irish singer Gary O'Shaughnessy and his 2001 Eurovision smash, 'Without Your Love' that he wanted him to copy him in every single way - but doing it for Armenia, not Ireland.

It was five years after Gary's entry that Armenia actually got around to entering the thing, and in that time, Andre had developed a disturbing fascination with S&M (not the country, the pervy kind).

Therefore, he went about his homage to Mr O'Shaughnessy whilst firmly ensconced in a sling. Still, we should be grateful that Andre's plan to have formation lawnmowing going on to the left and right of him was vetoed by the Athens 2006 bosses.

WOLVES OF THE SEA (this thing) Latvian entry, Belgrade 2008: 11th place (83 pts)
With a hi-hi-ho and a hi-hi-hey, this motley lot set sail from Riga with just one thing on their mind, to pillage their way to the Eurovision 2008 title.

Despite much cutlass whirling and binding of young maidens to the mast, those Pirates of the Sea met their match when they showed up for rehearsals at the Beogradska Arena and were faced with the glowering stares of grumpy 2007 champion Marija Serifovic.

The Pirates spent the remainder of Eurovision week helping old ladies with their shopping, reading fairy stories to orphans, making nice cups of tea for all the other entrants and remaining perfectly content with 11th place.

WORDS FOR LOVE (song) Israeli entry, Riga 2003: 19th place (17 pts)
Lior Narkis met himself whilst on National Service and decided to form a band.

He was allowed leave for the important job of representing Israel in Riga on the proviso he took a group of women from the admin corps to accompany him on stage. Lior was only too happy to oblige. After all, being surrounded by all those ladies would surely make people think... err, we're going off on a tangent here.

What people may not realise is how Eurovision rules scuppered Lior's original plans for the song Words For Love, which was intended to be the land of Milk and Honey's protest against Darwinism.

The five women sporting the letters "LOVE U" on their chests would have been joined by four others if the six-performer rule were not in operation.

Thus, a series of Countdown conundrum-esque complex dance moves would change "I NOT LOVE U" into the word "EVOLUTION" at the climax of this heartfelt spiritual anthem. It's true - Chocolate Menta Mastik told me.

WORK YOUR MAGIC (song) Belarussian entry, Helsinki 2007: 6th place (143 pts)
Oh, those Belarussians.

On their fourth attempt, they finally crack the Contest formula with a Cubby Broccoli-friendly tune which was seen as a real contender for the title in the run up to Helsinki 2007.

It wasn't meant to be (perhaps being drawn third ruined their chances?) and singer Koldun has returned to his job at the Princess Di lookalike agency.

Or at least, he will, once he has freed those two lady backing singers from the extra song velcro they were stuck to those panels with for the musical break.

WUNDER GIBT ES IMMER (song) German entry, Amsterdam 1970: 3rd place (12 pts)
The opening bars of Germany's 1970 entry are some of the most stirring in the contest's history. It is unfortunate, then, that many Irish fans never got to hear them as their commentator thoughtfully chose this part of the song to say: "Ooh, look, she's wearing a maxi in kingfisher blue, and her backing singers are all in pink lurex," (or something like that, anyway)

This was the first of Katja Ebstein's three showings for Germany - in which time she never finished lower than third. A personal favourite of Whoops, this song is one of the few songs that encapsulates the time it was entered in, funky Hammond organ riff and all.

Better than Dana, any day.

Encyclopaedia Eurovisica
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