The Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 will take place in the Liverpool Arena next to the River Mersey on Saturday 13 May with Semi-Finals on Tuesday 9 and Thursday 11 May.
Eurovison night can be plenty of fun if you hang out with mates and enjoy the subtitled translations. We take a look back over the best of the weirdest, wacky and wonderful Eurovision songs from across the decades.
Best of the weird and wonderful Eurovision performances
We could easily list all the greats for this blog, such as ABBA, Celine Dion and Cliff Richard, who all went on to be huge superstars. But that wouldn’t be any fun! Here are some of the weirdest and most Eurovision Eurovision Song Contest performances ever:
Spain, 2008: Bail el chikki chikki - Rodolfo Chikilicuatre
A Spanish Elvis lookalike playing a toy guitar surrounded by hyperactive women in short dresses while dancing Bollywood-style? That could only be Spain’s Baila El Chiki Chiki performed by comedic character Rodolfo Chikilicuatre. It may be cheesy, but it’s undeniably catchy. It’s only a matter of time before this is parodied by a drag king and a group of drag queens - it may have already happened! All together now...“UNO! A brikindans!”
Ukraine, 2007: Verka Serduchka - Dancing Lasha Tumbai
Arguably a Eurovision icon, Verka Serduchka’s Dancing Lasha Tumbai is easily one of the campest Eurovision performances you will ever see. There was plenty of backlash from some Ukrainians, as they thought Verka was sending too gay of a message. How can anything be too gay for Eurovision?! Despite this, Verka came 2nd in the 2007 contest! Anyway, it’s hard to put this masterpiece into words. It is LGBTQI+ art in motion. Enjoy!
Russia, 2012: Buranovskiye Babushki - Party For Everybody
Literally a song about a group of cute grandmas who can’t wait for their children and grandchildren to come over for a family party. The grannies must have hands of steel - they take that tray right out of the oven without an oven glove or tea towel in sight! This entry even made it onto BBC Radio 1.
UK, 2007: Scooch - Flying the Flag
There must have been something very camp in the water in this particular year, as the UK went into full gay overdrive. It’s hard to know where to start with this one: there’s a barrage of flight-related sexual innuendos, cringe-inducing dance routines, the off-key singing, the kitsch air hostess costumes and the garish colours. It’s god-awful but at the same time it’s brilliant. If Steps and Vengaboys worked for British Airways, we’re sure this would be an accurate representation of a standard working day.
Norway, 1985: La Det Swinge - Bobbysocks
Charming and incredibly 80s-tastic, La Det Swing is one of those beloved Eurovision songs that will never not be a joy to listen to. Before you know it, you’ll be doing the air punch along with the song, along with the sassy strutting.
Israel 2019: Netta - Toy
If you get past the Bjӧrk-style noises and the “bucka bucka mmm bucka bucka mmm bye” bit (let’s admit it - that part is very Eurovision) you’ll hear that the lyrics for Netta’s Toy are actually very empowering. This won the 2018 contest, despite political/social tensions between Israel and Palestine. Verka Serduchka also covered Toy in Eurovision 2019’s Switch Song. Despite the style of this song, Netta is, in fact, a serious artist - just take a look at her heart-breaker of a song Cuckoo!
Moldova, 2011: So Lucky - Zdob si Zdub
The best place to start with this performance is Graham Norton's commentary: "There are flashing lights in this performance, but that's not the most disturbing part, as you'll see." He is not wrong. This is a fever dream of epic proportions. Where else would you find a gnome singing a ska-type anthem about how lucky he is to be with his girlfriend who, coincidentally, rides in on a unicycle while pretending to play a toilet plunger/bugle?
Iceland, 2019: Hatrið Mun Sigra - Hatari
What do you get if you put Shirley from Eastenders in S&M gear while a man dressed as Edward Scissorhands performs industrial digital hardcore techno punk? Answer: Hatari. While most of the other songs from Eurovision 2019 preached love and tolerance, Hatari went the other way. Hatrið Mun Sigra is one of the darkest songs in the contest. But you can’t deny that Hatari are cool. They’re very popular in Reykjavik's alternative arts scene! The man above the big metal globe thing swings a prop hammer throughout the entire performance - that alone is impressive. Hatari was very popular with their home country - some parents bought their children “Hatari” inspired outfits for Halloween (it’s not as bad as it sounds)!
Australia, 2019: Zero Gravity - Kate Miller-Heidke
If you like sparkly space queens attached to bendy poles while floating around in a galaxy, then you are in for a treat with Australia's 2019 entry. The country may not be in Europe but this song is widely credited as their proper Eurovision debut due to how amazing, beautiful and camp the entire performance is
Turkey, 2012: Love Me Back - Can Bonomo
Men breakdancing in capes, a very cute camp sailor and nautical romance metaphors were Turkey’s forté in 2012. Just wait for the boat made entirely of men - especially the one on the right...it might just be one of the funniest Eurovision moments.
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