9 March – You’ll leave before the sunrise

We’ve often said that a gimmick can often help your quest for Eurovision glory. It’s usually something blindingly obvious, like a costume change or a big prop. But it’s not always so.

In Torino/Turin, today’s birthday girl Cornelia Jakobs (née Anna Cornelia Jakobsdotter Samuelsson) kept things simple. After all, if you’ve got a good song, then it doesn’t need more bells and whistles, does it? That was her attitude, and it didn’t really go far wrong. In a year when the winner was probably always nailed on, it was good to see a song sung well. Cornelia didn’t disappoint. And her gimmick? Well, aside from her simple circular backdrop, it was something we’d not seen in a contest for perhaps 40 years – yes, there were contests before 2012. It was a corded microphone. It’s possible that Nicole was the last person ever to use one on a Eurovision stage, and we all know how she did. For Cornelia, her fourth place wasn’t a bad result, considering what beat her. So keep it simple, OK?

Cornelia is 31 today.

Grattis på födelsedagen, Cornelia!