Eurovision is more than a song contest. It's a babefest, too.
By
Shami Sivasubramanian

12 May 2018 - 6:52 PM  UPDATED 12 May 2018 - 8:21 PM

It's that time of year again. The Eurovision Song Contest is upon us. And as much as we love over-the-top pyrotechnics, key changes, and strategically-placed wind machines, we can't help but also admire that fiiine European form. 

Of course, we at SBS know that beauty is only skin-deep. So the top 10 we've selected aren't just easy on the eyes; they've got it going on on the inside, too, where is really counts!

 

10. Cesár Sampson - Austria

All hail Cesár! This Austrian is smooth and soulful in his mid-tempo ballad 'Nobody But You'. But before entering the Eurovision arena, Cesár was a social worker. "When I turned twenty, I reached a point where I felt I wanted to be more than just a musician, I needed a deeper motivation. So I centred the following years around social work as a physical therapist, and in particular, working with people with disabilities and handicaps," he told ESC Today. "After that I came back to music with a totally different approach to it all."

 

 

9. Eleni Foureira - Cyprus

Eleni is the walking definition of multiculturalism - born in Albania, raised in Greece, and representing Cyprus with a song sung in English and Spanish. If her dance moves and voluminous hair wasn't already on fire, the meaning behind her song is, too. Called 'Fuego' (which is Spanish for fire), it is all about embracing and owning your sexuality as a woman. "A women is free to express herself in the way she wants," she told Wiwibloggs. "We are powerful, we are sexy, and there's nothing wrong with that."  

 

 

 

8. Netta - Israel

A crowd favourite, Netta's 'Toy' is an empowering a female anthem. It's all about women knowing their self-worth and not letting other people bring them down. With lyrics like "Wonder Woman don't you ever forget. You're divine and he's about to regret!" we are ready to take on the world. 

 

 

 

7. Waylon - The Netherlands

Waylon knows a thing or two about taking risks. He's not banking on his arresting features and soulful eyes to get votes. He's mixing things up with a country, blue-grass number called 'Outlaw in 'Em'. But in a competition known for candy pop tracks and sentimental power ballads, Waylon's song could go one of two ways - really well or really badly. Playing those odds takes courage. 

 

 

 

6. Saara Aalto - Finland

Saara understands though the language of music is international, lyrics can pose a hurdle to some listeners. That's why she's recorded her song, 'Monsters', in 34 languages including Hebrew, Latvian, and Greek. Her love of languages started young, with Swedish, Japanese, Mandarin, and French, all of which she studied. Saara came out as lesbian in 2016. “I am very proud to be lesbian and I feel very much like I am lesbian, totally,” she told PinkNews.

 

 

 

5. Ryan O'Shaughnessy - Ireland

Ryan O'Shaunessey's music video for 'Together' tells the love story of a gay couple. But the video was banned in Russia, where homosexuality is still criminialised. His Semi-Final 1 performance censored from China's screening of the song contest, too. Nonetheless, his entry has been viewed over 1.4 million many times on YouTube with countless comments praising its support of the rainbow community.  

 

 

 

4. Julia Samoylova - Russia

Julia was all set to compete in last year's song contest in Ukraine, but her entry was banned due to political conflicts. The singer has spinal muscular atrophy and uses wheelchair, but that hasn't stopped her from making her Eurovision dreams come true. Her wheelchair has, however, made for some innovative staging choices for her entry.

 

 

 

3. Madame Monsieur - France

Madame Monsieur are using their time in the Eurovision spotlight to illuminate the struggles of refugees suffering in the European migrant crisis. Their song tells the story of a young Nigerian refugee named Mercy born on rescue boat on the Mediterranean. "We were so deeply moved by the whole story. Her mother was drowning because she tried to give her child a better life," the husband and wife duo told BBC.

 

 

 

2. Sanja Ilić & Balkanika - Serbia

This Balkan banger celebrates everything that makes Eurovision great. 'Nova Deca' is in-language (check), musically draws upon the countries Byzantine history (check), and fuses traditional elements with pop music (check and check). It's the perfect example of diversity in one song.

  

 

 

1. Jessica Mauboy - Australia

Yes, obviously Jessica is our number one hottest contestant this year. 'We Got Love' is so much more than a party track. The inspiring lyrics are about never giving up and make a direct reference to the legalisation of marriage equality in Australia, last December.

Will Jessica clinch victory? Watch the Grand Final of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest LIVE on Sunday 13 May from 5am (and you can vote for any of the other finalists!), and at 7.30pm (featuring the best tweets and party pics from #Eurovision #SBSEurovision). Catch all the action on SBS with live streaming at SBS On Demand

Q&A with Austria's Cesár Sampson: I never saw myself as 'the Austrian guy'
"I always thought the rest of the world is much more likely to embrace me than my own country."
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