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(Z): from Zauvijek Moja to Zymboulakis & Van Beke
KEY: Winner Runner-up Third-place Top 5 Debut Entry Host Entry Last Place Nul Points

ZAUVIJEK MOJA (song) Serbia & Montenegrin entry, Kiev 2005: 7th place (137 pts)
Do you think they're called 'No Name' for existential reasons, or that they just couldn't be bothered to think of one?

A rather superb follow-up to S&M's 2004 runner-up, this Bond theme-esque tune was somewhat spoiled by the lads in question jumping up and down for no reason throughout the performance.

Hindsight is a helpful guide, however, as the group were clearly preparing for the aftermath of the 2006 S&M final, when a disgruntled crowd threw bottles at them.

ZBUDI SE (song) Slovene entry, Dublin 1997: 10th place (60 pts)
Slovenia didn't win Euro '96, and so weren't smug enough to nick someone else's tune in 1997 (see ZEIT).

Not many people are aware that this song is a homage to the season of Dallas where Bobby Ewing 'died' (because it's got a false ending).

ZDRAVKO (singer) Yugoslav entry, Luxembourg 1973: =15th place (65 pts)
Yugoslavia's entrant from 1973, who finished 15th with the song Gori Vatra.

Well, I've got to fill up the 'Z' section somehow.

ZDOB SI ZDUB (group) Moldovan entry, Kiev 2005: 6th place (148 pts)
There was a crime wave in Moldova. Throughout the country, percussionists everyhwere were being beaten to a pulp by old women.

Nobody could find an explanation, until a small child helpfully pointed out that the debut Moldovan Eurovision entry was entitled 'Grandmama beat the drummer', and senile creatures across the nation had taken its title literally.

The situation was soon rectified.

Artistes Zdob Si Zdub released a follow-up entitled 'Grandmama Make Da Drummer Tea and Biscuits and Give Him da Comfy Armchair With Da Plumped Cushions'. The crime wave was over.

ZE RAK SPORT (song) Israeli entry, Malmo 1992: 6th place (85 pts)
Dafna. The Israeli answer to Rosemary Ford. There she was at Malmo in 1992 with her song all about Israel's national sport of Hair Flicking, with a short floor exercise to accompany the lyrics.

Dafna is of course at gold medal level, because she did it in her presenter's job seven years later, and completes every flick with the obligatory phoney stage-school laugh to acknowledge the audience's appreciation.

The Yugoslav jury in '92 was made up of the Croatian Hair Flicking team, and thus rewarded Dafna accordingly.

The IOA still resists attempts to have the sport played at international level.

ZEMREN E LAME PENG (song) Albanian entry, Belgrade 2008: 16th place (55 pts)
Why is it that dull songs always seem to end up in the 'Z' section?

Still, it's one good thing about them, we suppose.

To get back to Olta Boka for a moment, this was a surprise qualifier from the second semi-final of 2008.

As you can tell, Olta is a rather earnest young lady, and it can now be revealed that her appearance at the Eurovision Song Contest was the result of a clerical error.

She was actually in Serbia to attend a symposium on Something Very Serious Indeed, and not to represent her homeland in a music festival. When the mistake was realised, it was too late for Albania to withdraw, so Olta's keynote speech was turned into a song, set to the most exciting, upbeat tune that she could think of.

ZEIT (song) German entry, Dublin 1997: =18th place (22 pts)
Germany were so smug at winning Euro '96, they thought no-one would notice if they blatantly stole bits of Gershwin's Rhapsody In Blue and put words to it for their 1997 ESC entry.

Luckily, everyone did notice, because Gareth Southgate rang and told them in a desperate attempt to assuage his guilt. He left his efforts a bit late though, and had trouble getting through the Austrian, Swiss, Italian, Maltese, Hungarian and Croatian telephone exchanges.

ZELJKO (singer) Serbia & Montenegrin entry, Istanbul 2004: RUNNER-UP (263 pts)
This very exciting man just loves disco dancing.

To be fair to Zeljko, he did Serbia & Montenegro proud with the nation's debut ESC entry, finishing second to Ruslana with 'Lane Moje'.

He now kicks himself that he abandoned the plan to sing the song while cracking a whip, flashing his nipples, and sitting on the shoulders of a female shot-putter, as he thought it was a tad over-the-top. He'll learn.

ZIVOT JE SKLOPIO KRUG (song) Yugoslav entry, Copenhagen 1964: =13th/last place (0 pts)
Sabahudin Kurt can at least be comforted with one thing.

The Slav vocalist came last with absoutely no points at all at the 1964 Eurovision Song Contest.

The few minutes of fame representing Yugoslavia cannot even be relived as the '64 contest is missing from the Danish TV archives.

It's unlikely Zivot Je Sklopio Krug will be appearing on a Eurovision compilation in the near future.

But, gee whizz, that song will give you a fucking high score in Scrabble.

ZWEI KLEINE ITALIENER (song) German entry, Luxembourg 1962: 6th place (9 pts)
Even now, more than forty years after Conny Froboss performed this smash hit in Luxembourg, nobody dares tell her the origin of the song.

The lyricist was out walking his dog one day when a large apple fell from a tree and knocked him out cold. As he came too, he had severe double vision, and awoke to the sight of young, minute, Italian actor Danny DeVito, who just happened to be passing through a park in Germany, asking him if he was alright.

The lyricist thanked the young actors, and promised them if he ever wrote the German entry to the 1962 Eurovision Song Contest, he would call it after the two good samaritans who came to his aid.

ZYMBOULAKIS & VAN BEKE (duo) Cypriot entry, Millstreet 1993: 19th place (17 pts)
The Cypriot entrants of 1993 find themselves in this Encyclopaedia purely by the fact that they are the only act so far (surnames not withstanding) to begin with 'Z', because I can't really remember anything else about them, or the song.

Encyclopaedia Eurovisica
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