Grab your glad rags, your score sheet, and perhaps your rose-tinted glasses or political hat – Eurovision returns later this month! Italy will be hosting the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest, and the stage will be set at the Pala Olimpico in Turin on Saturday 14th May.
Before then, countries will be claiming their place in the grand final by competing in two semi-finals – and the top 10 in each of those will join the big five for the main event.
Of course, the beauty of Eurovision is the unpredictability, the costumes, song choices and the drama. And anything goes – sometimes the weirder and more wonderful, the better. So, while you check out the latest Eurovision odds, let’s delve through the archives to some of the strangest performances!
Drama Down Under
It wasn’t weird or controversial enough that Australia were invited to participate in Eurovision in 2015, the following year they even finished second in the contest. However, we’re talking about the 2019 entry, Kate Miller-Heidke, who finished top of the leaderboard at the semi-final stage. Both Kate and her backing dancers were attached to lengthy bendy poles, and while the studio audience saw them weave in circles, those watching at home saw a giant CGI earth as the backdrop. If that wasn’t strange enough, the artist’s outfit was a cross between an Ice Queen and the Statue of Liberty – with a rather strange headdress.
Vampires, coffins and flames
Grab a piano, they said. What they didn’t say was to use said piano as a coffin, and rise from the dead like a vampire. That’s exactly what Ukraine’s entry did in 2018. Not content with that, the levels of weirdness went up a notch, when their act, Mélovin started playing the piano from the top of a burning staircase. Needless to say, Mélovin and his song Under the Ladder finished in 17th place, scoring 130 points. Maybe just stick to playing it on stage in future…
They weren’t the winners
In 2006, the Lithuanian act LT United received boos before and after their performance. The group of six men, tuxxed to the max, had an agenda to “represent the truth”. Instead, they represented a group of tired middle-aged men who loved to ‘dad dance’. Their song didn’t fare much better – and while they sang “We are the winners (of Eurovision)”, with even subtler lyrics of “Vote, vote, vote, vote, vote for the winners”, they finished sixth. Ireland awarded them 12 points – we say no more.
Pirates of the Baltic
Latvia’s act in 2008 clearly took inspiration from a popular film franchise at the time – Pirates of the Caribbean. The group Pirates of the Sea performed Wolves of the Sea, head up by lead singer Roberto Meloni, trying and failing to do his best Captain Jack Sparrow impression. Never mind “yo, ho, ho and a bottle of rum”, the mundane chorus “hi, hi, ho, and a hi, hi hey” was hardly inspiring – despite the impressive costumes. Instead of sailing into the sunset, the group sailed off into mediocrity – finishing 12th in the final, level on points with Georgia.
Disco dancing drag queens
What would you get if the Tin Man from Wizard of Oz organised a disco, complete with shiny disco ball? Ukraine’s eccentric offering from Eurovision 2007! Verka Serduchka’s costume may have been designed by Dolce & Gabbana, but it was more WTF than D&G. The song Dancing Lasha Tumbai sounded very much like she was belting out “Russia Goodbye” – much to the bemusement of those watching on at home. She may have been the favourite pre-show, but this Ukrainian went on to finish second – and even returned for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest to perform in the interval!