Latvia's Eurovision entry promotes veganism in bizarre way
Just when you think you've seen everything with Eurovision, the competition manages to up the stakes year after year.
The chances are, that if you enjoy air grabs, power ballads, key changes, ridiculous costumes and some good old fashioned pop bangers, then you'll have spent time watching the competition at one time or another.
We can't get enough of it, and as always 2023 promises to be one of the most bonkers and brilliant nights of entertainment the continent (and now Australia) has to offer.
With the eyes of the Eurovision world turning to Liverpool for the final this weekend, there’s no better time to revisit some of the most incredible moments from the competition’s colourful history.
Here they are in all their glory, from gorilla suits to hip-thrusting sax players.
Hard Rock Hallelujah – Finland, 2006
Lordi - Hard Rock Hallelujah (Finland) 2006 Eurovision Song Contest Winnerwww.youtube.com
It was an unfamiliar look for Eurovision, but Lordi’s Slipknot-esque performance shocked the competition into life back in 2006. It was the first time a hard rock song went on to win the competition, and everything from the singer’s falsetto vocals to the masks and the enormous, demonic wings which unfurled towards the end of the performance was deeply weird, and brought something new to the competition.
Weird, sometimes, can be a very good thing it seems.
Everybody Dance – Russia, 2012
Buranovskiye Babushki - Party For Everybody - Live - Grand Final - 2012 Eurovision Song Contestwww.youtube.com
Anyone tuning into the 2012 contest would have thought they’d slipped into some cheese-induced fever dream when Buranovskiye Babushki took to the stage.
In all the decades of Eurovision, it was (not unsurprisingly) the first time a group of grannies performed a demonstration of live baking, and the sight of the elderly women boogying to their truly bizarre song Everybody Dance was a sight we won’t forget in a hurry.
The truly baffling thing was it got to second place with a huge 259 points. In all fairness, the group had good intentions in mind and later announced plans to build a retirement home with their earnings.
Irlande Douze Pointe – Ireland, 2008
Eurovision 2008 Semi Final 1 11 Ireland *Dustin The Turkey* *Irlande Douze Pointe* 16:9 HQwww.youtube.com
Where do we start with this one… Historically, Ireland have a very good record in the competition, but their effort from 2008 has to go down as one of the very worst in the recent years of the contest.
For starters, it’s performed by a puppet turkey. That's weird enough as it is. Dustin the Turkey, a character performed by John Morrison on Irish TV, gyrated behind a shiny set of DJ decks throughout, with people dancing around him.
With the self-referential lyrics talking about the competition’s “Drag acts and bad acts and Terry Wogan's wig”, it might have had the feel of a cult classic if the tune weren’t so hopeless.
Dancing Lasha Tumbai – Ukraine, 2007
Verka Serduchka - Dancing Lasha Tumbai (Ukraine) 2007 Eurovision Song Contestwww.youtube.com
There are some bonkers entries in this list, but nothing sums up the eccentricity of Eurovision quite like Ukraine’s entry from 2007 starring drag act Verka Serduchka.
In among the 1,000 key changes, migraine-inducing choreography and a load of accordions thrown in for good measure, the performer gave one of the weirdest but most memorable performances in the history of the show.
The tin-foil outfits, while looking like something your mum might knock up the night before the school Christmas show, were actually designed by Dolce and Gobbana, and only added to the chaotic composition.
We Are Slavic – Poland, 2014
Donatan & Cleo - My Słowianie - We Are Slavic (Poland) 2014 LIVE Eurovision Grand Finalwww.youtube.com
Suggestive milk churning anyone? Group Donatan and Cleo gave one of the steamiest Eurovision appearances ever with this one, which took the contest to unexpected places in 2014.
“We’re Slavic girls. We know how to use our charming beauty. Now, shake what your mama gave ya!,” the group sang, as they showed off traditional Polish activities in their own inimitable way. Perhaps surprisingly, the UK gave them no votes and they came last in our public vote.
Run Away – Moldova, 2010
Sunstroke Project & Olia Tira - Run Away (Moldova) Live 2010 Eurovision Song Contestwww.youtube.com
The world was first introduced to Sergey Stepanov – aka Epic Sax Guy – back in 2010 when he stole the show with Moldovan outfit Stepanov and Sunstroke Project. Hip thrusting his way across the stage, his killer sax interlude became an incredibly popular meme, just showing one of the ways the contest has made its mark on mainstream culture over recent years.
Weird? Yes. Absolutely brilliant? Also yes.
Divine – France, 2008
Sébastien Tellier - Divine (France) Live 2008 Eurovision Song Contestwww.youtube.com
Everyone’s had a go at singing while breathing helium in at one stage or another in their lives – but most of them weren’t taking part in the Eurovision song contest at the time.
Sébastien Tellier had a little help hitting the high notes back in 2008 while representing France, after stopping half-way through the song to inhale a balloon. The song itself was strange mix of bizarre and completely half-arsed, with the rag-tag performance looking like an afterthought with helium thrown in for a laugh. Very odd stuff.
One of the boldest moves in Eurovision history came in 2006. Lithuania showed an absolute brass neck when their representatives, LT United, stood on stage soundtracked by a chorus of boos and declared themselves the ‘winners of Eurovision’ before a single vote was even cast.
We admire the sheer audacity of it, and so did plenty of others, with the European public voting them into sixth place.
Occidentali's Karma – Italy, 2017
Francesco Gabbani - Occidentali's Karma (Italy) LIVE at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contestwww.youtube.com
Anything goes in Eurovision, but this is particularly strange.
When we first saw this entry from 2017, we thought there was a protestor or some kind of stage invader running onto disrupt the Italian performance. Instead, it’s someone in a huge gorilla suit bounding towards singer Francesco Gabbani on all fours. Why? We don’t know. But are we into it? You bet we are.
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