Scoring at Eurovision has always been a hot topic and countries have been leapfrogging over each other since the start of the contest to claim that coveted “Highest Scoring Eurovision Winner” spot.
In 1994, Ireland had it with 226 points. Then in 1997, the UK snatched it by a single point. In 2004, Ruslana from Ukraine pushed it up to 280, and Finland’s Lordi up to 292 in 2007. Norway held on to the title for 7 years from 2009 with 387 before Ukraine wrestled it back with 534 in 2016. And last year, Portugal ended their winner’s drought with a record-breaking 758 points.
As the system for tallying votes has changed, scores for Eurovision have also sky rocketed – especially when you consider that 18 points was enough to win in 1969! (unthinkable nowadays!) A few years back, a score of 200 used to guarantee victory, but now it’s more a badge of honour… which got us thinking… who hasn’t had broken into the exclusive Club 200 Points yet?
21 countries have yet to reach this milestone. Some are a few points shy, others are… well… much further behind! We’ll be looking only at countries that have qualified for finals (sorry Andorra!) and today we’ll start with the 11 countries furthest away from entering Club 200 – ie, those countries whose highest scores are the lowest… you might be surprised by who is on this list!!
21st – MOROCCO – Highest Score: 7 points (1980)
Younger followers of our beloved contest might not even realise that Morocco was once a Eurovision nation! Back in 1980, the north African country debuted at the contest with “Bitaqat Hob”, performed by Samira Bensaïd. Despite being the first time Arabic had been heard at the contest, Morocco only managed to garner 7 points from Italy. So unimpressed with their result, Morocco withdrew the very next year and vowed never to return…. so seems safe to say they’ll be forever 193 points short of 200!
20th – SAN MARINO – Highest Score: 14 points (2014)
OK, so when you consider that San Marino has only ever managed to qualify for one final in their 8 years of trying, it’s perhaps unsurprising that they’re one of the countries furthest away from getting 200 points. Baby steps, San Marino… wait till your qualification rate is up, then start eyeing 200 points!
19th – SLOVAKIA – Highest Score: 19 points (1996)
Frequently relegated from taking part in the mid-1990s, never placing higher than 18th and all followed by an 11 year hiatus… little wonder Slovakia are so low down on this list! Horehronie remains a huge fan favourite even today despite not qualifying and we know a lot of people are willing them to return to the contest and turn this all around…
18th – CZECH REPUBLIC – Highest Score: 41 points (2016)
Similarly to San Marino, the Czech Republic (or Czechia, as you may prefer) have only ever made it to one Eurovision final in 2016. I Stand collected 41 points from juries around the continent, but was snubbed with the dreaded ‘nul points’ by the televoters. Can Mikolas Josef bring them a little closer to 200 this year?
17th – MONTENEGRO – Highest Score: 44 points (2015)
Only edging slightly ahead of San Marino and the Czech Republic with 2 finals to its name, Montenegro has also had relatively few chances to grab points at Eurovision. When you consider one of these years was 2015 (which saw the majority of points go to the same 3 countries), it’s maybe not a surprise they’ve yet to even break 50. Can a national selection this year propel them back to the final for another try?
16th – MACEDONIA – Highest Score: 73 points (2007)
Currently holding the unenviable record for the country with the longest break since last appearing at a Eurovision final, Macedonia has a love-hate (mostly hate) relationship with the contest. They’ve yet to place in the Top 10 in 17 years of competing and were last at a Eurovision final in 2012. Can they pull of a Portugal and come back to the final with a vengeance? Let’s hope so, Skopje would make a lovely city!
15th – SLOVENIA – Highest Score: 96 points (2011)
Despite being one of the first former Yugoslav states to enter the contest independently, Slovenia have had quite lukewarm results. When you consider that all the other small former Yugoslav states are also on this list, could it be a question of size? Perhaps it has more to do with the fact Slovenia only manages to get into the final roughly once every 3 years…
14th – SPAIN – Highest Score: 125 points (1973)
The ONLY member of the Big 5 to feature on this list, Spain have never walked away from Eurovision with more than 125 points, which earned them 2nd place back in 1973… let that sink in for moment… Spain has NEVER improved on this score in 44 years of taking part at Eurovision! Ouch… let’s hope they follow their neighbour Portugal’s example and when they do well again, they’ll do it in spectacular fashion!
13th – MONACO – Highest Score: 128 points (1971)
Like a lot of countries on this list, Monaco took a sabbatical from the contest – albeit a really long one at 23 years! Despite this, Monaco remains the smallest country to have ever won the contest and thanks to the introduction of a new voting system the year they won, became the first country ever to score over 100 points at Eurovision! Sadly for fans of Monegasque Eurovision entries, the principality seems to have washed its hands of contest…
12th – CROATIA – Highest Score: 131 points (1998)
For a time in the mid-1990s, Croatia so frequently placed in the Top 10 and many of us felt that they were on track for a win. Although this has yet to happen, since returning to the contest in 2016 their qualification record has improved dramatically. Both Lighthouse and My Friend were big crowd pleasers… could they be the next country to enter Club 200 Points in the coming years?
11th – GEORGIA – Highest Score: 136 points (2010)
Rounding off this edition of our list is Georgia. Having only managed to get into the Top 10 twice (both times in 9th place), Nina Sublatti was tipped to do well in Vienna in 2015. Unfortunately for her, her chances went up in smoke – quite literally! – following a smoke machine malfunction. In Junior Eurovision, Georgia reigns as undisputed champs with 3 wins under their belt – can they transfer this magic to Eurovision too?
Make sure you check back soon for Part 2, when we’ll look at the countries who are almost in Club 200 Points… in one case, just 2 points away!
What do you think? Are you surprised by any of these countries being on this list? Who do you think will be next to score 200 points at the Eurovision Song Contest?
Let us know what you think!
Author: James Scanlan
Source: Eurovision Ireand
Image Source: YouTube, Eurovision Ireland