With Valentina Monetta officially signing a pre-agreement to make her third consecutive Eurovision appearance for San Marino, she joins an elite group of performers. Coming back to the contest twice is fairly common, but three times or more is definitely rarefied territory. Is it worth it? Here’s a look at the contrasting fortunes of  some other notable Eurovision stalwarts…

Chiara (Malta 1998, 2005, 2009)

Chiara Siracusa

Lovely Chiara Siracusa became a Maltese national heroine in 1998 when her little-fancied ballad The One That I Love became the small island nation’s most successful entry ever, running eventual winner Dana International and runner up Imaani right down to the wire one of the most exciting voting sequences in Eurovision history, finishing 3rd with 165 points.

In 2005 she returned with self-penned effort Angel. Performing third in the running order, she was once again not considered a favourite, but another powerhouse vocal performance saw her beat her own record, grabbing second place with an impressive 192 points.

Having come so close twice before, she returned in 2009 hoping to finally take the contest home, but unfortunately she got lost in a strong night for ballads and her song What If We ended a rather more humbling 22nd. However, it should be noted that during a 5-year dry period for Malta from 2007-2011, she was the only performer to get them into the finals. So she shouldn’t feel too disappointed by her relative failure. She remains a popular performer and TV personality in her home country, and has expressed hopes that she can keep trying. Where there’s a wink, there’s a way.

Lys Assia (Switzerland 1956, 1957, 1958)

Lys Assia

The Grande Dame of Eurovision, Switzerland’s Lys Assia won the first ever contest back in 1956, and returned to defend her title in 1957 and again in 1958. She then dropped off the radar for a decade or three, re-emerging as a regular attendee and vocal supporter of the contest (and, during one of Eurovision’s stranger moments, of the Cypriot tourist board…). At the ripe old age of 89 she shows no sign of slowing down, and in fact seems determined to compete in the contest once again. In 2012 and 2013 she submitted songs to the  Swiss National Selection, both penned by longtime friend Ralph Siegel (who also writes for Valentina). Alas, neither a classic chanson or a surreal hiphop collaboration impressed the voting public, but she’s a tough old bird and I don’t think we’ve seen the last of her yet…

Elisabeth Andreassen (Sweden 1982, Norway 1985, 1994, 1996)

Elisabeth Andreassen

A Norwegian born and raised in Sweden, Elisabeth Andreassen has the distinction of having represented both nations at Eurovision. In 1982 she took 8th place for Sweden as part of the group Chips, with the bouncy Waterloo soundalike Dag efter dag (Day After Day). In 1985 she formed the duo Bobbysocks with Hanne Krogh and won Norway their first victory with La det swinge (Let It Swing).

By now one of Scandinavia’s most popular performers, she sang for Norway again in 1994 with Jan Werner Danielsson on the aptly titled Duett, which finished 6th. Two years later she made her final appearance to date, representing Norway yet again – this time on home turf, and scoring 2nd place with the beautiful ballad I Evighet (In Eternity);, a big personal favourite of mine.

Since then she’s maintained an active career touring and releasing records, and has appeared in both the Swedish and Norwegian national selections many times. Another performer we may well see again at some point, and proof that multiple appearances don’t necessarily need to lead to diminishing returns.

Hot Eyes (Denmark 1984, 1985, 1988)

Hot Eyes (Kirsten and Søren)

Hot Eyes, otherwise known as Kirsten & Søren, are living proof that persistance occasionally pays off. All three of their eighties entries are, to be fair, pretty much the exact same song. The first time round it was called Det’ lige det (That’s Just It) and came in 4th. The following year they added a small child to the mix for Sku’ du spørg’ fra no’en? (Would You Like To Know?). This was entirely less appealing, and they only managed 11th. After taking a few years out to refresh their creative juices, they returned – sans brat – in 1988 with Ka’ du se, hva’ jeg sa (Can you see what I see?), and scored their best result yet with a 3rd place behind Scott Fitzgerald and the behemoth that was Celine Dion. They also wrote the 1989 Danish entry for Birthe Kjær, which also finished third.

Tommy Seebach (Denmark 1979, 1981, 1993)

Tommy Seebach

A somewhat less happy Danish story is that of Tommy Seebach, who scored a bit of a cult classic in 1979 with the 6th placed Disco Tango. A big star in his homeland, two years later he was back with Krøller eller ej (Straight hair or curly), a duet with Debbie Cameron which came 11th. In his later years his popularity diminished and he developed a severe alcohol problem, but after several failed attempts he won another chance to represent his country in 1993 with the soft and nostalgic Under stjernerne på himlen (Under all the stars in the sky). It’s a lovely song, but was perhaps too old fashioned and ended up a dismal 22nd place, relegating Denmark from the 1994 contest. His career never recovered and in 2003 he died of a heart attack aged just 53. Since then, his son Rasmus has become one of Denmark’s most popular singers, and a 2010 documentary about Seebach snr’s life was released to critical acclaim.

Johnny Logan (Ireland 1980 & 1987, plus 1984 and 1992 as a songwriter)

Johnny Logan

Last but not least, Eurovision’s most infamous comeback kid. As a performer Johnny has actually only appeared twice – securing a 100% victory record with What’s Another Year and Hold Me Now. However, he also penned both of Linda Martin’s entries, Terminal Three in 1984 and Why Me in 1992 – which was the first of Ireland’s infamous streak of mid-90s winners. The close association between Logan and Martin caused the 2013 contest host Petra Mede to quip that Martin was actually just Logan in drag.

His Eurovision success never translated into a major chart career in the UK, but Logan remains a popular performer in Ireland and all over Europe, where his albums regularly make the charts. He’s inarguably one of the most famous faces of the contest, and was even referenced in the Latvian entry from 2012. So win or lose in 2014, Valentina can take solace in the fact that the more often you show your face at Eurovision, the less likely you are to be forgotten.