WHETHER YOU love it or hate it, Eurovision has seen plenty in the way of weird and occasionally wonderful songs and performances over the years.
From out-of-tune and out-of-sorts pop acts through to performing pirates, dancing grandmothers and rock goblins, you get the feeling that nobody is taking it that seriously.
With that in mind, here are 16 of the most hilariously ridiculous Eurovision entries to ever grace our screens – including memorable entries from the UK and Ireland.
16. Azucar Moreno – Bandido – Spain 1990
An audience of 500 million watched sisters Antonia “Toñi” and Encarnación “Encarna” Salazar suffer every artist’s worst nightmare when their backing track failed to start in time. They opted to walk off stage before making a second entrance, pretending as if nothing had happened. They finished fifth, despite the mishap, picking up a few sympathy points along the way.
15. Winny Puhh – Meiecundimees üks Korsakov läks eile Lätti – Estonia 2013
This song didn’t end up making it to Eurovision but it came very close and is worthy of inclusion. Recorded for the Estonian talent show designed to discover the country’s entry into that year’s contest, it’s a truly astonishing watch and features the world’s hairiest singer/worst Chewbacca from Star Wars tribute act.
14. Paul Oscar – Minn hinsti dans – Iceland 1997
This bizarre Iceland entry seemingly took inspiration from American Psycho, with a corporate-looking serial killer type performing while surrounded by latex-clad supermodels suggestively posing as corpses. Oddly enough, Paul Oscar’s not-so-family friendly effort ended up finishing 2oth.
13. LT United – We Are The Winners Of Eurovision – Lithuania 2006
Lithuania went a bit meta with this 2006 entry, supposedly designed to ensure they secured victory. Performed by the world’s weirdest boyband and featuring a bit of fiddle-based break dancing, the song ended up placing in sixth, which isn’t nearly as catchy a title.
12. Buranovskiye Babushki – Party For Everybody – Russia 2012
Russia tapped into Europe’s eternal appreciation of grandmas with this interesting fusion of traditional folk music and gloriously Europop dance beats. It’s as crazy as it sounds and yet, somehow, it works. Buranovskiye Babushki fared well too, finishing an agonising second that year.
11. Rodolfo Chikilicuatre – Baila el Chiki-Chiki – Spain 2008
Mr Chiki Chiki may have been a popular fictional comedy character in his native Spain, but to the rest of Europe he just looked like a bizarre Elvis tribute act carrying a tiny toy guitar. Somehow, he finished 16th, picking up 41 more points than the UK’s Andy Abraham.
10. Zdob și Zdub – So Lucky – Moldova 2011
Moldova went all out in 2011, with a gypsy punk band known for wearing pointy hats and riding round on unicycles mid-performance. The song, itself, wasn’t too bad either, with the group injecting a bit of ska-led anarchy into proceedings. It was their second appearance too, with Zdob și Zdub finishing 12th.
9. Verka Serdyuchka – Dancing Lasha Tumbai – Ukraine 2007
Try to imagine a scenario where your ma enjoys one too many bevvies and decides to cover herself in tin foil before incoherently rambling about how “dancing is good” and the phrase “seven, seven, bye-bye.” Now, imagine that scenario playing out on stage at Eurovision and you’re close to picturing this 2007 entry from Ukraine.
8. Jemini – Cry Baby – 2003
This UK entry from 2003 suffered the ignominy of finishing dead last with zero points. Horribly off key from the start, Chris Cromby and Gemma Abbey claimed they were unable to hear their backing track, resulting in the memorably awful performance. Terry Wogan suggested the UK scored poorly because of a “post-Iraq backlash”. He was being too nice.
7. Pirates Of The Sea – Wolves Of The Sea – Latvia 2008
In 2008, Latvia attempted to cash-in on the popularity of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise with this Johnny Depp-inspired effort. Pirates of the Sea didn’t unearth much in the way of buried treasure though and were probably made to walk the plank when they got home after finishing 12th.
6. Cezar – It’s My Life – Romania 2013
Evidently tired of being the butt of one too many vampire jokes, Romania opted to embrace the national stereotype with this bloodsucker of a Eurovision song. Cezar was on certifiably insane form throughout his performance, which featured semi-nude dancers, levitation and an ear-shattering bit of falsetto.
5. Elnur & Samir – Day After Day – Azerbaijan 2008
The eternal battle between heaven and hell was brought to the stage in astonishing style by Azerbaijan in 2008. It made for quite the show, with pop duo Elnur and Samir lavishly dressed up as the Devil and an Angel, fighting for your immortal soul through the medium of song and a lot of wailing. It went down a treat with the song finishing 8th.
4. Michalis Rakintzis – S.A.G.A.P.O. – Greece 2002
Greece took things down a strangely technological route in 2002, with this enjoyable enough pop rock song that addressed the burgeoning issue of cyber security. Michalis Rakintzis and his band made the whole thing that bit sillier by performing in futuristic police riot gear. Update your passwords, everybody!
3. Genghis Khan – Dschinghis Khan – West Germany 1979
This enjoyable disco dance tune from Munich-based pop band Dschinghis Khan might have finished even higher than fourth in 1979 were it not for the fact it seemed to pay tribute to one of the blood thirstiest warlords to ever walk the Earth. It does appear that Louis Potgieter blacked up for the performance too.
2. Lordi – Hard Rock Hallelujah – Finland 2006
Lordi went big in 2006 with this hard rocking effort that features some of the most impressive, if slightly unsettling, costumes to ever grace the Eurovision stage. Whatever the case, it did the trick with Hard Rock Hallelujah setting a new record for the most points racked up and winning Eurovision for Finland in the process.
1. Dustin the Turkey – Irelande Douze Pointe – Ireland 2008
Ireland’s most embarrassing moment at Eurovision came in 2008 with this turkey of a track. A popular TV personality back home in Ireland, Dustin came top in a public vote and was duly chosen to represent Ireland with an odd track that poked fun at the competition as a whole. When it came to Ireland’s hopes of winning, voting for Dustin really was like the turkeys voting for Christmas.