Series / Eurovision Song Contest

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Drag acts and bad acts,
and Terry Wogan's wig!
Mad acts and sad acts,
it was Johnny Logan's gig!
Irelande Douze Pointe, Ireland's entry to the 2008 contest. "Sung" by Dustin the Turkey, a puppet.

The European Broadcasting Union operates a network known as Eurovision, which is primarily used to distribute coverage of special events (such as sporting events, the Pope's Easter Mass, the New Year's concert in Vienna, etc.) throughout its member broadcasters. It produces very few programmes in its own right, but this is far and away the best known. So much so, in fact, that many folks would be quite surprised to learn that "Eurovision" could refer to anything but the Eurovision Song Contest, accredited by the Guinness Records as the longest-running annual TV music contest in the world.

The contest has run since 1956 and was quite well-respected in its early years, with established artists such as Cliff Richard and Serge Gainsbourg taking part, and others, such as Dana and Sandie Shaw, launching successful careers off the back of the show. The original idea was to foster post-World War II unity among European nations outside the communist bloc and showcase their varied musical talent. What's interesting to note that this contest is open not just to members of the European Union, nor just European countries, but to all countries which are active broadcasting members of the EBU, which also includes Israel, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan (As Graham Norton, current commentator for the United Kingdom via BBC, said on his show when explaining the premise, "We use 'European' very loosely."). With the contest taking a credibility dive in The '70s, the only acts to become international stars since then were ABBA and Céline Dionnote , though several performers have remained popular in their home countries after entering the show.

These days, Eurovision is split into two main camps. The first is the Eastern/Northern/Central European bloc, who generally treat it as Serious Business, seeing it as an important marker of newfound independence; they usually send ballads with some sort of ethnic tinge. The other is from Western Europe, which made up the "traditional" entrants before the fall of Soviet Russia. They tend to view the contest as rather silly, camp fun, and enter either novelty acts, drag queens, or camp pop (or some combination thereof)...then whine about political voting when they don't win.

The format of the show has changed over the years, but remains broadly the same: First a series of songs is performed, then voting takes place to determine a winner. The votes from each country are "telephoned" (now shown by live feed) in to the studio one at a time, providing dramatic tension. The traditional way to start this is to say "Hello, [host city], this is [capital of particular country] calling". The winner hosts next year's contest, which can do wonders for the tourist industry in obscure cities, though it can be ruinously expensive to host.

Songs must be original, no more than 3 minutes long and contain some lyrics (no Instrumentals). Between 1966 and 1972, and 1977 to 1998, songs had to be sung in one of the official languages of the country entering. However, this rule was removed after a long string of wins by Ireland, who were felt to have an unfair advantage by being one of only three countries able to sing in English, which was rapidly becoming the lingua franca of Europe.

Before 1997, all voting was done by panels of expert judges. However, following accusations of bloc voting, public phone votes were introduced. Some have argued that this has only made it worse; callers can't vote for their own country, but emigrants can vote for their homeland. Also, UK's zero points in 2003 was alleged to be an expression of continental Europe's backlash over their involvement in the recent USA-led invasion of Iraq (although the real reason was probably Jemini's horrifying off-key singing), and by 2007 this had become so prevalent among former communist countries that Malta fixed their votes in protest. The situation in 2007, followed by a similar (but less prevalent) repeat the next year, prompted the EBU to change the voting rules to a hybrid system which give jury and popular votes a 50-50 footing in weighing the results, which contributed to leveling the contest for Western countries from 2009 onwards.

In 2015 the definition of "Eurovision" was extended to include Australia for the sixtieth anniversary of the contest, having been featured in an intermission for 2014. However, this isn't the first time Aussies had been present in the contest. A completely Australian act — where all performers are Aussie and not with heritage from the country they were representing — has happened before, when Olivia Newton-John competed for the UK and three-time winner Johnny Logan (who later immigrated) for Ireland. While Australia was originally going to participate just as a one-off for the milestone, their debut entry was so well-received that they returned for the 2016 contest. The Australian entry that year, Dami Im, almost won until a last-minute upset by Ukraine thanks to a 132-point gap in televoting offsetting Oz's 109-point lead (had Australia won, they would have paired with a European city to keep the contest in Europe).

See also the Wikipedia article.

In 2007, the Eurovision Dance Contest started, essentially featuring a lot of people from the Strictly Come Dancing franchise. Few of the freestyle dances had the supposed national connection and about a dozen involved the removal of clothing. The first winner was Finland, with Poland winning the 2008 contest.

Eurovision tropes

  • Bad Hosts: It must be tradition for the hosts to fill the competition with bad, bad jokes, poor acting and worthless delivery. Not helped that they are speaking in English, not their first tongue (unless Ireland have won ... again).
    • First played horribly straight in the semifinals of 2009, and then completely averted in the final. It was a good year.
  • Elaborate Stage Show: This has essentially become more important than the song itself.
    • In fact, aversions of this will nearly always hit a soft spot among certain fans of the contest, who have seen it all when it comes to Elaborate Stage Shows. France 2009, Belgium 2010 and (not to the same extent) Italy 2011 are the most recent examples.
    • 2012 largely averted this: most of the entries (including Sweden, the winner) opted for more reserved clothing and limited and simple choreography, if they used it at all.
  • Interval Act: while the panels were deliberating or the phone votes are coming in, an interval act is arranged. This used to be very dull until in 1994 the Irish hosts gave the world "Riverdance" and launched Michael Flatley's career. Following that, each subsequent host has tried to up the ante and hopefully launch another international hit. None have yet succeeded.
    • 2010 had a performance by Madcon, accompanied by live and pre-taped flash mobs across several locations.
    • 2011 had a performance by Jan Delay.
    • 2012 featured local artist Emin Agalarov. The second semi-final featured an all-star performance with 5 recent winners.
    • 2013 had Sweden taking the utter piss out of itself.
    • 2014 had a bizarre performance featuring old men on giant ladders sing a rendition of "Ode to Joy," followed by the 3 hosts singing a song about Douze Points. It was actually the remnants of a longer interval act titled "Trip to the Future," in which the audience takes a peak at Eurovision 20 Minutes into the Future. Instead, it was cut down and additionally featured last year's winner singing her winning song and a new anthem that included all of the finalists on stage.
    • 2016 straight up plopped Justin Timberlake onto the stage as the interval act. As an American, he looked slightly perplexed by the whole atmosphere, but gave it his best nonetheless. An American performer was chosen to commemorate the contest being broadcast in the United States for the first time, even if his performance couldn't actually be shown on TV there due to some licensing problems. This was lampshaded by one of the US commentators, who told American viewers to just watch it on Youtube.
    • 2016's second interval was a completely meta-song that arguably became the most popular perfomance of the night if social media is to be believed. It was called "Love Love, Peace Peace" and mocked the Strictly Formula tradition of Eurovision acts that consisted of, oh, just about all of the points below. It was performed by the hosts and featured gratuitous Self Deprecating Humour, Stripperiffic costumes, and cameo from just about all the memorable artists from the past 10 years, including Lordi, Alexander Rybak, Loreen, the Russian Grannies and the Polish milkmaids.
  • Predictable Voting: Especially since the 90's, there has been a tendency for nations to give their highest points to their neighboring countries. It is a matter of debate whether it is primarily explained by conscious political alliances or by a tendency for culturally close countries to have similar musical tastes. Here are a few such examples:
    • A common Eurovision joke is that There are only three things certain in life: Death, Taxes, and Greece and Cyprus exchanging maximum votes at Eurovision - provided they are allowed to vote for each other.note 
    • The Scandinavian and Eastern European blocks all vote for their fellow block countries. The Eastern European phenomenon has given rise to a popular joke: "The West may have won the Cold War, but the East won Eurovision."
    • While folks can’t vote for the country they presently live in, that doesn’t stop emigrants from voting for the countries they originated from, especially in regards to Eastern Europeans that moved to Western European nations whose natives have seemed to have stopped taking the contest seriously. For instance, because of the large diaspora of Turkish immigrants, Germany and the Netherlands have had a tendency to be giving their 12 points to Turkey, while Ireland has been giving high marks to the Baltics and Poland, due to the high dispora of immigrants from those regions.
      • This was really shown in the final in 2016, when Poland were second-bottom with seven points after the jury's scores had been collected. They finished third in the televoting with 222 points.
    • Sure, there's issues between most countries in the Balkan region and amongst the former Soviet countries since their respective breakups, but the one time they can count on one another is when they need Eurovision votes.
    • Ireland usually gets a high vote from the UK, helped by the many Irish in Britain and the fact that Northern Ireland is part of the UK. In return Irish almost always give a few points to the UK, though generally fewer than the other way around. The only notable exception being when Ireland entered Jedward for the second time, at which point they gave the UK twelve, and got 6 in return.
      • The 2013 Eurovision also averted this trope. Ireland gave the UK 7 points, while they gave Ireland 1 point. The Irish were not even slightly happy.
    • Malta normally gives twelve to the UK, and in 2007 admitted they fixed their results as a protest against bloc voting.
    • Spain and Portugal usually interchange high votes and, since Andorra's first appearance, both countries receive the highest votes from this little principate. France also got high points from Andorra, but didn't give any in return.
    • This problem seems to have finally been ended with the 50/50 split of votes (a professional jury counts for 50% and the popular vote counts for 50%) in 2010. In 2016, the voting formula was changed to explicitly count televotes separately from the jury votes in point totals, rather than use an aggregate to determine the points awarded (similarly to the Swedish final, the televote results were revealed song-by-song following the jury votes, which were presented in the traditional country-by-country fashion).
      • You still can check if you know the border countries of the one giving the votes by saying who gets the maximum votes.
      • In fact Spanish long-time commentator José Luís Uribarri became famous for announcing the votes from each country before the jury actually told the results (and he gets them right most of the time). People enjoy it especially when he fails. This is one of the main reasons Spaniards don't take the contest seriously anymore.
    • Another pair of countries that exchange maximum votes predictably has arisen in recent years: Turkey and Azerbaijan. Similar to Greece and Cyprus, this is in large part due to the cultural connection between the two.
    • Israel, when they do vote, give the UK and Turkey points. Moldova and the Ukraine are your next bets; in fact, you could say everywhere but Germany (though they have actually voted for Germany a few times, though not a lot and received their first 12 in 11 years from the German jury in 2016. They also gave 12 to Austria with Conchita.
    • On the flip side of this, there are also countries who won't give each other the time of day, much less points at Eurovision. The classical example is Greece/Turkey; another that has arisen in recent years is Armenia/Azerbaijan (although, rather surprisingly given the history of the two countries, Turkey and Armenia are not averse to giving each other a few points)
      • Considering their reputation as not voting for each other, Greece and Turkey have given surprisingly many points to each other over the years. Turkey and Cyprus on the other hand, have only given points to each other in 2 occasions, in 2003 and in 2004.
  • Over-enthusiastic Sidekicks: Finland's "Eurovision's biggest fan" took the proverbial biscuit. Serbia had some ridiculous woman in a square in Belgrade (this was during other countries' ad breaks) and some woman who looked like Avril Lavigne in "The Green Room".
    • For the record, the said "biggest fan" was a comedy actress whose thing is to play a hyper naïve, simple-minded blonde with pieces of sharp sarcasm.
    • During the voting in 2006, the Netherlands' spokesperson Paul de Leeuw seemed to ignore the live element of the show, unsubtly hitting on the male host and giving out his mobile number on live TV before proceeding to name the country awarded 12 points. Terry Wogan called him an "eejit" in his commentary. invoked
  • Terry Wogan: For viewers in the UK (and many in Ireland and some other European countries, where British TV channels are commonly available), an integral part of the experience was the dry, acerbic commentary by veteran radio presenter Sir Terry Wogan who openly mocked the hosts, the costumes, the songs, the Tourist Office Inserts, the Interval Act. He generally seemed to spend the contest getting progressively more squiffy on Bailey's, so tends to become more and more entertaining as the evening draws on. The worse the contest, the quicker it happens. He was once banned from Denmark for referring to their hosts as "Doctor Death and the Tooth Fairy". Commentated the show in 1978 and from 1980 to 2008, where he left due to being unhappy with the political voting and the UK's lack of effort. He has since been replaced by Graham Norton, another sardonic Irishman.
  • Truck Driver's Gear Change: The definitive recurring element in entries, the last chorus of a song often cranks up a key or two. Why? Because they can. This is often combined with any of the following:
  • Bilingual Lyrics: Even if you start singing in your native Bulgarian or Hebrew, switching into English for the final chorus (or for every chorus) will guarantee international appeal. Also known as Gratuitous English. Compare International Pop Song English.
    • Averted for most of Eurovision's history (from 1958 to 1972 and from 1977 to 1998) because each song had to be sung in the country's language. The winners would often, however, reprise their songs with a Switch Into English. This trope was played most spectacularly by Nicole's Ein bißchen Frieden for Germany in 1982 when she sang in German, French, English, and Dutch, eliciting an applause at each switch.
    • Israel's entries have a weird on-off kind of thing for this. Boaz Mauda's entry, "HaEsh B'Einaiyich" was half-Hebrew, half-English and placed 9th. Shiri Maimon's entry did that, too and it nearly won. David D'Or's "L'haamin", though, didn't even make the finals. Izabo's "Time" also has a language switch, switching from English to Hebrew in the chorus rather than the verse.
    • The "native-language-only" policy was cancelled in 1998 because of a massive streak of winners that were either in English (Ireland winning in 1992, '93, '94 and '96, plus a United Kingdom victory in 1997, with Ireland finishing second) or had as little text as remotely possible (Norway in 1995 and Israel in 1998). Since then, the only winner not sung in English was 2007's "Molitva" from Serbia.
    • Played disappointingly straight in 2011, where the grand majority of songs were partially or completely in English. 2011 was also notable for being the first time that nobody sang in French (save for one sentence in the chorus of Evelina Saenko's entry for Lithuania, "C'est ma vie", the rest of which was in English.). This is even stranger considering not only was it the Lithuanian entry that used bits of French, but to top it off she's actually ethnically Polish.
    • A similar incident occurred in the 2015 contest as well. Of 40 participating countries, only 7 entries (Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Montenegro, Finland, and Romania) include lyrics in a language other than English. Serbia's "Beauty Never Lies" was their first English-language entry since debuting as an independent entity. Most notably, Israel, whose broadcaster used to require at least half of the lyrics of their entries be in Hebrew, sent an entirely English song in light of their poor qualification record in recent years (and not too surprisingly made it to the final). When Romanian representatives Voltaj toyed with the idea of sending their song "De la capăt" in English (they performed entirely in Romanian in the national final), the backlash was so great they instead opted for a bilingual version and the song was renamed "De la capăt (All Over Again)".
    • And again in 2016: out of 43 acts, only 8 entries (France, Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Austria, Greece, and Ukraine) feature non-English lyrics. Most notably, Austria's song is entirely in French.
  • Stock Rhymes: It comes with the Gratuitous English. Many lyricists who speak English as a second language (or not even at all) choose stock rhyming words (or don't even bother with rhyming at all!). The worst offending couplet is fire/desire, with some songs completing the trifecta with fire/desire/higher (Romania 2010, Greece 2005)
  • Intentional Costume Malfunction: Ever since Bucks Fizz won the contest in 1981 with a dance routine involving the girls whipping off their skirts to reveal shorter skirts underneath, the on-stage striptease has become a standard ingredient (4 out of 25 finalists in 2008, plus Serbia's show opener).
    • tATu threatened to go all the way in 2003. They didn't ultimately, sang badly and Turkey won. This was the year where the UK ended up with no points whatsoever.
    • While not a striptease per se, Germany tried to get the male vote in 2009 by including burlesque model Dita von Teese. The baffling part of all this was that two-thirds of the way into the performance, they stop to announce her ("Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Dita Von Teese!"), even though she was already on the stage and had been stripping throughout the song. And after that she just poses a bit. Ultimately, it didn't work, and they finished twentieth out of twenty-five.
    • In 1985, the Swedish host Lill Lindfors lost her skirt when it snagged on some scenery. This was quickly revealed as intentional when she unfastened part of her top to make a dress. This routine had been kept secret and was a surprise even to most of the crew (a man was placed in the mixing room to make sure the camera stayed on Lill). It led to the addition of a rule that the aired show cannot contain elements that haven't been a part of rehearsals beforehand.note 
  • Questionable Choreography
  • Wind Machines. Lots of them.
  • Flashing Strobe Lights. It is common for the commentators to give a verbal warning before the act. Special mention to Georgia 2016, which took this trope Up to Eleven.

This event contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Every now and then, but the clearest example is Ukraine's Ruslana, winner of Istanbul 2004.
  • Affectionate Parody: Swedish Eurodance performer Markoolio wrote a parody of typical Eurovision music, "Värsta Schlagern".note . And of course, it lampshades all the clichés. The third verse? Translated into English it goes: "Now it gets difficult to figure out/ something new to say, but so what?/ This is just padding/ which people will soon forget about." He actually tried to enter it into Melodifestivalen, the Swedish selection contest, with a different singer, but was turned down for obvious reasons. In 2009 he got into Melodifestivalen as a wild card with "Kärlekssång från mig", a style parody of Dima Bilan (it featured a Funny Background Event involving a man emerging from the piano, who then tries to ice skate, almost gets hit in the face by a violinist, and then gets set on fire by the pyrotechnics).
  • All Issues Are Political Issues: Usually averted. On paper, Eurovision was meant to be an apolitical, borderless celebration of diversity and harmony; in fact, explicitly political entries are banned. In practice, there have been times when the contest becomes politically charged, reflecting current events.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Serbia's entries in 2007 and 2010, Ukraine's Verka Serduchka for Belgrade 2007, and Austria's Conchita Wurst for Copenhagen 2014.
  • Ascended Fancountry: Australia have been known to be dedicated fans of the contest and have broadcast it since 1983. So, in celebration of the contest's 60th anniversary in 2015, they were given a slot at the Grand Final and came in at a respectable 5th place. Because of that, Australia got to compete for real in the 2016 contest and came in second at the Grand Final, leading to speculation on whether or not they get to be a permanent participant.
  • Audience Participation: 2010 Eurovision's Flash Mob.
  • Bald of Awesome:
    • Steve Bender from West Germany entry in 1979, "Dschinghis Khan".
    • The dancing bald guy in Lithuania's entry in 2006.
    • San Marino's entrant in 2016.
  • Balkanize Me: Perhaps due to the voting blocs spawned by the breakups of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union, as well as the lack of effort of the United Kingdom in the 21st century as a united nation, there have been calls for the UK to split themselves up into separate nations much like they do in most sports, and make their own voting block with Ireland, which could happen pending if Scotland declares independence. Wales in particular even have gone as far as creating a national contest show long in advance dating back to 1969 in preparation if the split up were to happen. Of course if it did happen, it would pose several problems:
    • Since much of the UK's economic power comes from England, they would be the only nation that could possibly keep their "Big 5" status, meaning that Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland would most likely have to compete in the semifinals much like Ireland does. Then of course, there's the financial issues that would come with hosting if one of these nations were to win, especially since they wouldn't have the full financial support of the UK anymore.
    • There's The Irish Question of whether Northern Ireland should join up with Ireland like in Rugby Football or compete separately as they do in association football.
    • Finally the voting block these nations would have could easily backfire as not only that they have to compete against one another, there could be vendettas between these nations as along with the issue of nationality, the fact they had to resort to doing this because of the lack of effort back when they participated as a united nation. That said, the spawned rivalries could lead to these nations sending a better quality of entrants as a result, pending they start taking the contest seriously again.
  • Belly Dancer: Turkey often combines this with a Regional Riff.
  • Big Beautiful Woman: Serbia's 2015 entry, Bojana Stamenov, who sang "Beauty Never Lies", an anthem of self-acceptance.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory:
    • Reports indicate that for 2013, Azerbaijan did just that, literally. It appears to have backfired, since they only managed to get 2nd place.
    • Not exactly "bribing your way to victory" in the traditional sense, but if you are a "Big 5" country note  who are the highest financial contributors to the EBU, or are hosting the contest (and have to spend a boatload of money to make the contest possible), you get to automatically qualify for the final, regardless of previous results. These countries haven't really used this to their advantage in the final however, with Germany in 2010 being the only time someone from the "Big 5" has won, with these countries being known for having a tendency for not taking the contest seriously, and in the case of the host, fear of having to pay to host the contest again. Not to mention, even when these nations do send credible songs, some argue that the bye is more of a disadvantage, as said artists have to wait until the final for their songs to be performed, thus having less exposure compared to the semi-finalists as a result.

      It is for this reason, as well as the reintroduction of juries, that led Turkey to withdraw from the contest in 2013.
  • Butt Monkey: While Eurovision is treated as simply a campy fun fest for some, it can often be seen as a yearly frustration fest in regards to nations that are considered to be perennial losers on the final points table or for those suffering a massive Dork Age in regards to the quality of entries. Such examples include:
    • Since around 2003 the UK has held this status, regularly finishing in the bottom five and more often than not coming dead last. Initially this was largely due to other countries protesting against their involvement in the invasion of Iraq, but this led to a vicious cycle in which talented singers refused to participate due to the likelihood of a bad Eurovision performance destroying their career note , leading to the country being forced to send legitimately terrible acts to the contest, with a predictable lack of success each time.
      • Lampshaded in the 2014 semi-finals when in a tongue-in-cheek interval act, Australia were told to move to Europe to participate in the contest, prompting them to lift the country out with helicopters and dumping themselves on top of the UK.

        This became Hilarious in Hindsight when it was announced that Australia would participate as a special guest for 2015. Doubly so when the UK gave Australia 10 points, while Australia gave the UK nul points. On top of that, Australia earned more points in one Eurovision (196, finishing 5th) than the UK have combined since 2010 (190).
    • Could also apply to The Netherlands, who holds the record for failing to qualify for the final in 8 consecutive years. This was even exploited in 2013, when the Dutch had high hopes for their act performed by A-list star Anouk to break this string. Their announcement of reaching the final was saved to the last. The Netherlands did recover well from this negative streak by reaching 9th place in 2013 and even 2nd in 2014, their best placing since their last win in 1975.
    • The Polish audience was so accustomed to failing yet another contestnote , it was a massive surprise for everyone (even for Donatan and Cleo, the year's Polish representatives, themselves!) that in 2014 we actually scored enough points to get to the finals. And "We are Slavic" didn't even come dead last in the finals - actually, the 14th place was one of the best places in the whole history of Polish performances on Eurovision.
    • Countries like Finland were accustomed to finishing lastnote  or on the right side of the scoreboard, that when Lordi won Eurovision, it came as a cause of celebration. Even today, no Finnish entry has come close to matching their success.
    • Andorra has only participated 6 times, and never gathered enough points to qualify for the final. They last took part in 2009, citing financial difficulties for their non-participation.
    • The Czech Republic followed a similar pattern to Andorra, with four appearances that all failed to qualify for the final between 2007 to 2009 and 2015 onward. After a five-year hiatus, they returned to the competition in 2015, and yet again failed to make it past the semifinals. In 2016, the Czech Republic finally made its way into the final... only to be put in the death slot second running-order position, taking next-to-last place once there, and getting no televoting points!
    • Portugal is one of the countries that have competed the longest (since 1964) and has never finished in the top 5. Since 2010, they have never qualified to the grand final. With those marginals, it's one of the biggest Butt Monkeys in the contest.
    • San Marino have entered seven times. They finished rock-bottom in the semifinal in 2008 (with the fewest points of any song in any show that year), didn't enter the next two years and failed to qualify the next three years. They finally qualified for the final in 2014, when they finished third-last, and haven't qualified for the final since then.
  • Camp: Several dozens of acts. Likely at least a dozen of them every year.
  • Catch Phrase: Douze points! Twelve points goes to... (SIC) Royaume Uni dix points!
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The individual members of Iceland's 2014 entry, Pollapönk. Whether in tracksuits, suit and tie, dresses, or bathrobes, they would wear the same colors. They even painted their [finger]nails for you!
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Lordi, a silly curiosity act, positively annihilated the competition as the votes came in in 2006, getting top-level votes (usually 8-12 points) from almost every country. At the time, their points total of 292 was a Eurovision record. It has since been broken thrice over, by Norway in 2009 with 387 points (169 more than second-placed Iceland), Sweden in 2012 with 372 points (113 more than second-placed Russia) and again Sweden in 2015 with 365 points (62 more than second-placed Russia).
    • In 1994, the winner Ireland was the first country to break the 200-point barrier with 226 points and a healthy lead of 60 points over the runner-up Poland. Three years later in 1997, Katrina and the Waves, representing the United Kingdom, beat their record with 227 points, a 70 point lead over the Irish runner-ups, and racked up 10 sets of douze points. To date, three winners have had larger winning margins, the aforementioned Norway in 2009 with a 169 point lead and Sweden in 2012 with a 113 point lead, as well as Germany in 2010 with a 76 point lead.
    • Subverted by Australia in 2016, due to the jury voting being presented first, followed by the televotes. Oz dominated the jury votes by a 200-point margin, to the point that it seemed like they would be the clear winner, but the televotes closed that gap, leading to a dramatic last-minute victory by Ukraine.
  • Curse: While nations performing later in the contest tends to have a better chance of winning, as most viewers remember the song more when it’s time to vote, a nation having to perform 2nd in the final running order is known to be a kiss of death to one's chances of winning the contest. Not only that nobody has won performing there, it has produced the most last place finishes and many pre-contest favorites have found themselves bombing in the scorecard from having to perform 2nd. Notable victims to the curse include Vicky Leandros (1967), Olivia Newton-John (1974), Matia Bazaar (1979), Gili & Galit (1989) and Gina G (1996).
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • The BBC seems to be developing a tradition of having a snarky presenter from the Republic of Ireland do its Eurovision commentary. BBC commentary was provided until 2008 by Terry Wogan, who spent the entire broadcasts drinking Bailey's and snarking about how terrible the acts were, how terrible the hosts were, and how shamelessly political the voting became. Wogan has since been replaced by Graham Norton, who proudly continued the tradition of snark in 2009 and 2010 (including snarking over his own interview during half-time).
    Graham: (about Greece recieving a lot of points in 2012) The Greek finance minister has just died.
    • Kristian Luuk, Swedish commentator from 2007 to 2008, would throw sarcastic remarks at pretty much everything, some of which were pretty irrelevant to the entries and the voting, doubled with a hoot he often used, even during Andorra's performance. Predictably, he got warnings from the broadcast channel to stop his behavior immediately, but he ignored them.
    Luuk: (about one of the spokesmen) Look at that guy's fat chin!
    • The current Swedish, Edward af Sillén, is also known for his snark. In 2015 he made the following comment which went viral:
    af Sillén: As you might have noticed, Ukraine isn't part of ESC this year. Anyway, here's Russia with a song about peace.
  • Discretion Shot: Not exactly discretion, but between each song (to give the TV audience something to look at while the set is being changed), the next act is prefaced with a brief onscreen presentation. Usually it shows montages of either the artists or sights from the host country.
    • Belgrade 2008: Performers dancing in the colours of the country's flag.
    • Moscow 2009: Ksenia Sukhinova, 2008 Miss World, wearing a hat containing miniature images of famous sights of the country, with her dress patterned after its flag's colours.
    • Oslo 2010: The "spheres of moments" form a map of the next act's country, then summon a screen showing a flash mob cheering on their performer walking onto the stage, and then transform into the national flag.
    • Düsseldorf 2011: Expatriates from the performing act's home country engaging in their profession in Germany, ending with them uttering the edition slogan "Feel Your Heart Beat!" in their national language.
    • Baku 2012: A montage of various sights in Azerbaijan, ending with the LED array of the exterior of Baku Crystal Hall lighting up after the country's colours.
    • Malmö 2013: The artists preparing for their trip from their home country, ending with a butterfly bearing the pattern of the country's flag flying off to Malmö.
    • Copengahen 2014: The artists using different media (such as paint, jigsaw puzzle pieces or even flowers) to make up their country's flag, before taking a photograph of the result.
    • Vienna 2015: The artists receiving boxes containing items which serve as "clues" to their activities in Austria, ending with both the artists and the inviting party waving from a billboard somewhere in Vienna.
    • Stockholm 2016: Artists engaging in various activities along with family, friends and/or each other (if in groups) as dandelions in their national colours fly.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • Conflicts between Azerbaijan and Armenia took centre-stage at Moscow 2009 due to continuing conflicts over Nagorno-Karabakh: during the semifinals, "We Are Our Mountains", a pro-Armenian statue near the capital Stepanakert, appeared in the Armenian postcard. After Azerbaijan promptly complained, since it recognizes the region as its property, the statue was edited out for the final... to which Armenian presenter (and 2008 fourth-placer) Sirusho responded by having the aforementioned statue be her backdrop, and taped a picture of it to her clipboard. Following the finals, Azerbaijan's Ministry of National Security proceeded to interrogate the 43 people who voted for Armenia, considering them to be a "a potential security threat". The EBU ultimately fined Azerbaijan over its misconduct, alongside allegations that they tried to censor the Armenian entry during the final.
    • Predictably, when Azerbaijan won Düsseldorf 2011, Armenia pulled out for 2012.
    • It is also interesting that for such an LGBT-friendly event, the 2012 contest was held in a country with draconian anti-homosexual laws inherited from the old Soviet Union, where being gay earned a stay in The Gulag. British TV commentator Graham Norton, an openly gay man, defended his role against criticism from gay rights groups by saying he was "unaware" of Azerbaijan's institutional homophobia and draconian laws.
  • Does Not Like Shoes/Unkempt Beauty: Both Sweden's Loreen and Denmark's Emilie de Forrest, the winners of 2012 and 2013 respectively, sported the barefoot-and-messy-hair look.
  • Down to the Last Play: The voting has seen some tight battles at the top. The most notable examples are:
    • 1988 - Switzerland beat the United Kingdom by one point. Which would be the narrowest margin of victory until
    • 1991 - Wherein France and Sweden finished level on points, with Sweden winning by getting more sets of 10 points (they had tied on the first tie-breaker, as both got the same number of 12pts).note 
    • 1998 - With just Macedonia left to vote, Israel and Malta were tied on points. Macedonia would give Israel 6pts and Malta 0.
    • 2003 - With just Slovenia left to vote, Turkey, Belgium and Russia could still all win. As a result, the televoting announcer jokingly walked away before giving the votes (and Turkey the win).
  • Dreadful Musician
  • Due to the Dead: In January 2016, BBC's previous ESC commentator Terry Wogan passed away. Graham Norton toasted to him that year at the start of the 9th song, saying that Sir Terry (who was famous for getting progressively more drunk during his commentary) "would never start drinking before song no. 9."
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Lugano 1956 was mostly broadcast for TV and radio, though mostly for radio as television was an expensive luxury back in the mid-50's and had 7 countries (there were more planned, but they didn't get the paperwork done in time) providing two songs each, presumably to pad it out. There was one winner - Switzerland, who didn't win again until Céline Dion gave them a hand - and everyone else came "second", with the point allocation being secret. Also, one song was just some guy whistling to a band. invoked
  • Europop: Although depending on who you ask and the song in question, it's more of an example of how weird Europop can get.
  • Everything's Better with Sparkles - Lithuania's 2010 entry that features sparkle shorts.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning
  • Every Year They Fizzle Out: The common feeling in Spain, where a ton of hype is built upon the election of that year's entrant... only to come back down to earth with a bump when the votes are counted. Neither Edurne in 2015 nor Barei in 2016 got into the top 20.
  • Failure Hero: The country that has participated the longest without any win is Portugal, which made its debut in 1964 and has never finished in the top five.
  • Fanservice: Even in the least successful songs, performances with strip teasing and wardrobe malfunctions tend to be quite well remembered.
  • Forgotten Theme Tune Lyrics: The 1968 winning song used to have lyrics, but they were censored. The chorus ended up being: "la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la."
  • Funny Background Event: This.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The band behind Switzerland's 2013 entry, Heilsarmee (Salvation Army, since its performers are members of said charity) were forced to change their name because of the "no politics" rule. They re-named themselves Takasa, which pretty much stands for "The artists (formally) known as Salvation Army"
  • Girl Next Door: Lena Meyer-Landrut, the winner of Eurovision 2010, may or may not be trying to invoke this with her style of dress (if not her songs). It works for some.
  • Golden Snitch: Has been known to happen in the national selections, notably the Ukrainian entry in 2005. Having played out the preselection over the course of 15 knockout rounds, the broadcaster bizarrely added Razom nas bahato, an anthem of the previous year's Orange Revolution, as a "wildcard" entry in the final. It won the vote (and promptly had to be rewritten to remove the political content, in accordance with Eurovision rules).
    • The Maltese national final for 2013 had televoting giving one to twelve points, and six juries... each of which gave up to twelve points, so the power of televote was drastically reduced.
  • Gratuitous English: Many acts.
    • The French entries have always been in French, except for the 1996 entry (in Breton) and the 2011 entry (in Corsican, which was also one of the languages of the 1993 entry), although the 2008 entry, "Divine" by Sébastien Tellier, was sung in French and English. And the 2007 entry from France was in Franglais, a creole-like mix of the two languages (which was strange and disorientating to audiences on both sides of the Channel).
    • The Spaniards have not sung in English, with just three exceptions: in 1968 - in which Spain won the contest - when, during the reprise of "La, La, La", Massiel sang the second chorus in English; in 2014, Ruth Lorenzo sang the bilingual Spanish and English "Dancing in the Rain;" and in 2016, Barei was the first Spanish entrant to perform a song fully in English. Each time that English has been featured in Spain's entry, the Real Academia Española (the Royal Spanish Academy) has voiced its public objection.
    • The Portuguese lasted longer than the French in staying in their native tongue. Their entry in 2003, "Deixa-me sonhar (só mais uma vez)", was the first of four entries to be sung partially in English; every other Portuguese entry has only been presented in Portuguese.
  • Guest Fighter: The contest has no rules or restrictions on the nationalities of a performing country’s performers or songwriters (if there are any, it is at the discretion of the participating national broadcaster), so it’s not rare to see a country sending a foreigner.
    • The most notable example, Céline Dion, represented Switzerland in Dublin 1988 and won (over the UK by a single point) despite hailing from Quebec, Canada.
    • While UK's 1997 winners Katrina And The Waves were formed in Cambridge, vocalist Katrina Leskanich was born and raised in Kansas. While some Britons might have been unamused that Katrina is American in origin, considering the UK's history of second-place finishes and uneventful results since (including no points at all in Riga 2003), they'll take what they can get.
    • Adding to Eurovision's popularity in Australia was the fact that they sent three artist — Olivia Newton-John (Brighton 1974) and Gina G (Oslo 1996), both for UK, as well as Johnny Logan, who won for Ireland thrice (as singer in The Hague 1980 and Brussels 1987, as well as songwriter in Malmö 1992).
    • Greece's Helena Paparizou, winner of Kiev 2005, is of Greek ethnicity but born and raised in Sweden. She even tried for Melodifestivalen 2014, but came fourth-place.
    • 2009 winner Alexander Rybak was born in Belarus, but moved to Norway at the age of 4. He has gained and maintained popularity in Eastern Europe, which was exemplified when even their infamous voting bloc gave Norway high marks.
    • While 2011 winners Ell and Nikki are Azerbaijanis (though Nigar "Nikki" Jamal presently lives in London), both their backup singers and songwriters are either British or Swedish. The backing singers in particular entered the Melodifestivalen of that year before switching to Ell and Nikki when things didn't work out.
    • Albania's 2012 fifth-placer Rona Nishliu hails from Kosovo, but its recognition issues currently prevents it from participating in the contest, so it is not uncommon and justifiable for Kosovars to be represented by Albania in international events.
    • Armenia's Genealogy (16th-place, Vienna 2015) is essentially a Multinational Team, representing the worldwide Armenian diaspora: Inga Arshakyan (Armenia), Mary-Jean O'Doherty Basmadjian (Australia), Vahe Tilbian (Ethiopia), Essaï Altounian (France), Stephanie Topalian (Japan) and Tamar Kaprelian (USA).
    • In Vienna 2015, Australia itself was allowed to participate in honor of both the 60th anniversary of the contest and to reward its loyalty, with their performer Guy Sebastian finishing in fifth-place.
  • I Can't Believe A Continent Like You Would Notice Me: To put in perspective how seriously the "Big 5" takes the contest in the 21st century, portions of the German press were extremely pleasantly surprised at their 2010 win. The newspaper Die Welt carried a headline which basically said "Europe likes us. When did that happen?"
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes
  • Long Runners
    • The contest itself has been running for 61 years as of 2016.
    • German composer Ralph Siegel wrote a whopping 19 songs, ranging from "Ein bißchen Frieden", West Germany's winning song for Harrogate 1982, to Montenegro's "Just get out of my life", which failed to qualify for the finals of Moscow 2009.
  • The Mean Brit: Terry Wogan and Graham Norton; even though they're Irish by birth, the both served as the BBC's voice in the Contest.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • In Stockholm 2000, the Dutch live broadcast was stopped halfway through. A fireworks storage had gone up in flames, so those watching the dopey-happy show were treated to a special bulletin of an entire city block having been incinerated. The rest of the European watching public learned about this from the Dutch spokeswoman — that fireworks explosion was the reason that the Dutch had to give the points by jury that year.
    • In Baku 2012, Albania was allowed to delay their broadcast of the first semifinal (in which they were performing) and only use jury votes due to a serious bus accident which had occurred the day before and led the government to declare a day of mourning on the date of the semifinal.
  • The Movie: The Junior Eurovision did get a documentary about it, "Sounds Like Teen Spirit: A Popumentary"
  • Mr. Fanservice: Much to the joy of many fans, 2016 host Måns Zelmerlöw stripped down to nothing but a stuffed animal to cover himself in the semifinals as a part of a gag. During the final, he ripped his shirt open to show off his very nice torso during a parody song about the perfect Eurovision song.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Multiple. Armenia's 2016 contestant, Iveta Mukuchyan seems to be playing this trope in one of her performances, with a really revealing get up.
  • Nice Hat:
    • Did you see the huge hats that the Moldovans wore for 2011?!
    • San Marino in 2016 along with Bald of Awesome.
  • Overly Long Gag: Mr. Lordi returned to present Finland's votes on the 2012 edition. And then this happened.
  • Panty Shot: If the show includes a recap of memorable moments from past contests, expect at least a few of these. Mostly when someone tripped or suffered a Wardrobe Malfunction.
  • Poe's Law: Dustin the Turkey, singing a deliberately terrible dance song about how terrible Eurovision has gotten and how Ireland have gone from being the group-to-beat to being also-rans. It might have gone over a little better if the lyrics had been a little more coherent and had Dustin had a less annoying voice. Most people thought it was simply a shit song.
  • Really Seventeen Years Old: Belgium in 1986 sent Sandra Kim, at the tender age of 13.5 years old. She pretended to be 14.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: France's 2007 entry, Amour à la Francaise by Les Fatal Picards.
  • Refuge in Audacity
  • Regional Riff: Frequently. Spain and Turkey are among the most prolific (ab/)users of the trope.
  • Rule of Three: 2011 had three judges. The result? Three consecutive reminders that you cannot vote for your own country.
  • Rummage Sale Rejects
  • The Scapegoat:
    • People from the UK tend to blame the poor scores their songs generally receive on politics. This can at times take on an edge of Hypocritical Humour, since the UK is also notable for not taking the contest particularly seriously, as can often be reflected in the entries they submit. Claims of neighborly voting among Eastern European countries are also rendered null when they give and receive points from Ireland.
    • The Swedes are even worse. Every year has sparked an outcry against political or bugged voting and since they started to slip from getting to the top five every year to finally being eliminated in the semi-finals, a demand to boycott or shut down the entire competition has become something of a tradition. We're talking about the biggest newspapers here, not just individual grumbling. Beats the UK in Hypocritical Humor as well, since they have a tendency to make points rain on their fellow Scandinavian countries. Fortunately for the Swedes, they would clinch a victory in 2012, and again in 2015.
    • Same thing in Poland. Every single year their reason for not getting to the finals was that "Nobody likes us in Europe". After which, hundreds of declarations that "we won't send a contestant next year" can be heard. But they do send them anyway. Averted somehow in 2014 - this time they blamed their score on the judges who gave them a lot less points that the viewers (if only the viewers points counted, Poland would have a 5th place instead of 14th!) and on Conchita Wurst who stole their spotlight with the help of her Badass Beard, Pimped-Out Dress and way better song than "We are Slavic". One political party even announced that (if they were to be elected, of course) they would have a plan to change the Eurovision voting system so Poland won't be cheated out by the judges ever again. They said exactly the same words before 2009, when only viewers' votes were taken into account and Polish songs were always getting low (or very low) scores. And again, it was because of "politics".
    • Noticeably averted by Portugal, whose lacklustre entries were the reason for their absence in 2016, so that they could see if they could come up with a new format for their national contest (Festival RTP da Canção) that didn't produce absolute garbage.
  • Scenery Porn: There is a lot of gratuitous tourism adverts for the host country.
    • Azerbaijan combined this with Food Porn in one of the pre-performance vignettes in 2012.
  • Self-Deprecation: Sweden's style of humor when they hosted the contest in 2013 and 2016.
    • 2013 had host Petra Mede sing "Swedish Smörgåsbord", featuring jokes about IKEA and recycling, dancing Swedish meatballs, and Pippi Longstocking.
    • 2016 brought us the ultra-meta "Love Love Peace Peace" with jokes about how the gimmicks make the show.
  • Serious Business: Ever since ABBA soared to international success, Sweden has been taking the contest very seriously, so much so that Melodifestivalen, the national selection contest, is the highest-rated television series in Sweden, and in some years it garners even greater viewership than Eurovision itself.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Silly Love Songs: In copious amounts. This trope reached its apotheosis in 2014 with host Denmark's entry "Cliche Love Song".
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis - Greece and Cyprus versus Turkey for example.
    • A country that doesn't make it to the finals will usually feel better about it if their rival doesn't make it either.
    • Notably, Armenia pulled out of the contest in 2012 because it was being held in Azerbaijan, its arch-rival (partly in protest of ceasefire violations in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, partly because of the strong possibility that whatever performer it sent to Azerbaijan would be in great danger).
    • Many nations of the Arab World are indeed eligible to participate in Eurovision, but are unable to or will not participate due to Arab-Israeli Conflict. In fact, Lebanon had attempted to participate in 2005, but were disqualified when they intended not to broadcast the Israeli entry. Morocco did however participate once in 1980, when Israel took a year off.
  • Sixth Ranger: In less than 20 years the number of countries that have participated has more than doubled. Of the 26 countries that have joined in the last 20 years, the vast majority hadn't taken part before because they hadn't existed beyond being parts of Yugoslavia or the Soviet Union.
    • The earliest instance of a semifinal occurred in 1993, in the form of a special entitled "Kvalifikacija za Millstreet" ("Qualification for Millstreet). Held after the dissolution of Yugoslavia, it featured seven countries new to Eurovision: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia. Sadly, none of the 3 countries that went to the 1993 contest (Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Croatia) placed in the top 10, though Bosnia got 12 points from Turkey. The whole semi can be viewed here.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Russia's Alexey Vorobyov accused Sweden's Eric Saade of being a cheap rip-off of him. Despite not being famous in Sweden(he wouldn't have heard about him), having Swedish dancers, an Swedish choreographer, and a Swedish songwriter..
  • Spin-Off: There have been two major spin-offs of the competition.
    • Firstly, there's the Eurovision Dance Contest, which was essentially a pan-European version of Dancing with the Stars (especially in the 2008 edition, which switched to celebrity/professional pairings, much like said show). It did not fair well at all; only two editions occurred (2007 and 2008, both hosted by the BBC in London and Glasgow, Scotland). A 2009 edition in Azerbaijan was planned, but the entire idea got canned due to a "serious lack of interest." Thankfully, Azerbaijan did get to host the real thing.
    • And then, there's the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Going meta, it originated as a junior spin-off of Denmark's Dansk Melodi Grand Prix competition, which then gained a spin-off of its own known as MGP Nordic (held between Denmark, Norway and Sweden in 2002). The success of this then expanded the idea into a pan-European version, much like its adult counterpart. However, MGP Nordic did return from 2006 to 2009 when the Nordic countries jointly pulled out due to allegations that the JESC was treating contestants unethically. Each country who participates starts with 12 points already instead of 0 in the voting, just to keep the kids happy. In 2011, these free twelves were delivered by a teenaged presenter in Australia (Yes, they watch it there too!). invoked
    • In 2005, German comedian, musician and Eurovision veteran Stefan Raab started the "Bundesvision (Federal Vision) Song Contest" featuring contestants representing the 16 German states. So far, all five winners were already very big in Germany - three rock and two reggae acts, actually.
  • Springtime for Hitler: Since the nation whose entrant wins has to host it the next year at its own expense, an undertaking that might oblige less prosperous countries to sell their national monuments on eBay, it's probable that many of the participants aren't playing to win. In fact the winner doesn't have to host it the next year, though turning it down would involve a certain loss of face. Apparently for some nations, looking like complete fools is the lesser of two evils.
    • In 1972 Monaco was unable to host due to lack of resources, so the contest was held in the UK instead.
    • Since Sweden withdrew from the 1976 competition in fear of winning and having to host the Contest again, the rules changed so all participants have to pay an entry fee which goes to the hosting country.
    • Norwegian state broadcaster NRK had to sell its broadcast rights to The World Cup in order to finance the 2010 edition of the event in Oslo.
    • Parodied in an episode of the defining Irish comedy show, Father Ted, where Ireland deliberately had Ted and Dougal represent Ireland in the Eurovision with their terrible song "My Lovely Horse", in order to save on the costs of having to host it again (the episode itself having been aired during the 90's, when Ireland won the contest more frequently).
  • Stripperiffic: Many acts. Of both genders.
  • Triumphant Reprise: It is a contest tradition to have the winning performer/s sing his/her/their winning entry to close out the show.
  • Troll: No, we aren't talking about entries with So Bad, It's Good quality, we mean entries performed by artists who outright insults the show itself for it's voting system and clichés with heavy satire, usually going by the "vote for us!" message. So far there have been three notable examples:
    • In 2006, there was Lithuania's "We are The Winners (of Eurovision)", which consist of 30-year old men doing baby-like chanting of the title. Really. Given how hilariously bad it is, it was most certainly intentional.
      • Notably, this act got Lithuania its best Eurovision placing ever, finishing sixth in the final, the first of the country's only two Top 10 finishes — the other one was Donny Montell's ninth place in 2016.
    • The same year, 2006, has Iceland's "Congratulations", performed by fictional character Silvia Night. While baring slightly better in melody, it doubles in offense, as the lyrics contains "I'm no eurotrash freak", and making fun of "golden showers" and other clichés in Eurovision. The over the top acting is what gives the satire away, however, back then it wasn't recognized as such, and was only booed.
    • In 2008, there's Ireland's Dustin the Turkey, Douze Pointe. Do we even need to say anything here? Just look at it!
  • Waistcoat of Style: Alexander Rybak, the winner of 2009, so much that sometimes it seems he doesn't own any other clothes.
  • Watch It Stoned: For some viewers, drinking games are a big part of their Eurovision viewing experience.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?:
    • Seriously, Lena is the most Cockney-sounding German ever. This could be Justified as her English teacher had a hard Cockney accent that stuck.
    • This Trope comes up a lot in the contest when non-native English speakers try very hard to mask their accents.
    • Dami Im, whose accent is a lovely but strange cross between Korean and Australian.
  • Widget Series: The commentary in the UK and Ireland is very British.
  • A Wild Rapper Appears: Jala's contribution to the 2016 Bosnia & Herzegovina entry can be summed up as this.
  • Witty Banter: Particularly painful when the ones doing it are expressing themselves in a tongue which is not their native one and are not gifted at acting. One notable example of this was when Ukraine hosted it, and the most internationally famous locals they could dredge up were the Klitschko brothers (a pair of very good boxers)
    • Once, there were rhyming couplets.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: With many countries wishing to have their songs in English, it's an inevitability that songs whose writers and artists aren't very fluent in English will show up.

For parodies of the contest, see Inept Talent Show Contestant.

References in other media:

  • In a 1970 episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus a sketch involving policemen morphs into the Europolice Song Contest, which is won for Monaco by Inspector Zatapathique with "Bing Tiddle Tiddle Bong", which mocked then-current entries like Massiel's "La La La" (1968) and Lulu's "Boom-Bang-a-Bang" (1969). In Monty Python's Big Red Book (1971), this was expanded into a four-page features - including notes - about the song, which here was credited to "Les Deux Hommes Célèbres". The top entries after Monaco were given thusly: 2. "Si si boing bang" (Italy); 3. "Nein Bong über tiddle" (Germany); 4. (equal) "Bang bang bang bang" (England), "Ay ay ay ay" (Ireland); "Och och och och" (Scotland), and "Oy oy oy oy" (Israel); 5. "Post coitum omnia animal tristes est" (France); 6. "Ding ding a dong" (Sweden). A mere four years later, in 1975, the group Teach-In won the real Eurovision Song Contest for the Netherlands with "Ding-a-Dong" (original Dutch title: "Ding Dinge Dong").
  • Father Ted has an episode where Ireland, desperate to lose so they don't have to host the contest again, select the title character's song 'My Lovely Horse' - a really horrible song - as their country's entry. For once, the Springtime for Hitler plan worked: it bombed.
  • Scandinavia and the World does annual comics on Eurovision:
    • For the 2009 contest, Denmark beats up Sweden for not giving him points, and Norway beats up everyone else because he won.
    • Between contests, there was a comic of a party held between the Nordic states where Finland (dressed up as Mr. Lordi) tries to stab everyone.
    • At the post-Eurovision 2010 party, Germany crushes everyone with a satellite (a reference to the title of the winning song).
    • The 2011 comic has King Europe declare Azerbaijan the winner... except no-one present even knows who Azerbaijan is (Norway knows, but is sitting watching the contest at home as he failed to qualify for the final).
    • In 2012, Sweden gloats over his victory after first kicking Mother Russia off the stage.
    • For the 2013 contest, Denmark throws a rock to shatter Azerbaijan's perspex box, while Sister Denmark gleefully says, "Lookit all them losers!" as she revels in her victory.
    • In the 2014 contest, Denmark, as the host, was a creep to all the contestants and commentators, giving them surprises and gave Sister England a childhood memory of hers as a gift (apparently, it's a Take That to Danes almost always having roles of villains in media according to Word of God). At the end he presents Austria as winner, as he tells the audience to worship her or he will come after you. Note that he keeps on smiling creepily in every panel of the comic strip.
    • 2015's comic saw Austria throw a giant hissy fit over himself and Germany getting no points, Norway being depressed cause he didn't get a single douze points (not even from his friends), Australia mesmerized by Sweden's light bending (and Sweden struggling to keep it under control cause he just won), and Denmark resolving to start saving for the 2017 Eurovision since the last couple times Sweden hosted, he won.
    • Shortly before the first semi-final in 2016, a card game was presented for people to play while watching. The actual comic has Ukraine (the winner) using a distinctive stage effect to shove Australia and Russia (second and third place) out of the way, while Sweden and King EU rock out. Meanwhile, the rest of the Nordics lament their failure to qualify for the final, and America (watching for the first time) fanboys over Justin Timberlake's appearance.
  • The BBC's The Culture Show once got Neil Hannon to lightly take the piss out of the contest by breaking down the formula for a successful entry and then write his own mock-entry, "Trafalgar" — which was pretty good, actually. For the record, the key four elements he identified as being important were: (1) A good beat; (2) Frequent key changes; (3) Generally incomprehensible gibberish or random selections of words for lyrics; and finally, in light of Ireland's frequent victories in the contest, (4) A generous helping of Celtic-inspired schmaltz.
    Neil Hannon: By the nineties, we were so successful that rivals were unashamedly nicking our patented Irish mysticism... It is now rendered mysterious, like a mountain stream flowing across an ancient Irish bog.
    • This was not Hannon's first attempt at a Eurovision song. He wrote the music for the aforementioned Father Ted episode, not just the "catchy" version of "My Lovely Horse", but also their arch-rival's overblown point-magnet. He appears in the background of said act's choir (in the centre of the back row) and also sings the nonsense "Norwegian" lyrics of the 1976 original. His band, The Divine Comedy, later released it as a B-Side.
  • In the days before the internet most Americans knowledge of Eurovision was Benny Hill's parodies of it.
  • There are a lot of Axis Powers Hetalia fanfics focusing on ESC 2010 on fanfiction.net.
  • It's Only TV But I Like It, one of The BBC's less well known comedy Panel Games, had a round where the panel was shown three countries' Eurovision entries from the past and had to guess which one got 'nul points'. The round was titled "Let's All Laugh At Foreigners".
  • The Red Dwarf novel Better Than Life has the planets' governments voting on which planet will become Garbage World, using a system clearly based on the Eurovision Song Contest. Earth gets nul points.
  • The High Life, the episode "Dug" has the two air stewards entering with a song called "Piff Paff Poff" and the lyrics "Piff paff poff/I want to have it off". Unsurprisingly, they lose.
    Sebastian: Nul points. Nul points.
    Steve: Sebastian, you're no still going on about that, are you?
    Sebastian: Even Lynsey de Paul and Mike Moran in 1977 with "Rock Bottom" did better than that, and they were shite!
  • The Big Finish Doctor Who episode "Bang-Bang-a-Boom!", starring the Seventh Doctor and companion Mel, is a Eurovision Song Contest-themed Star Trek pastiche In the Style of... a panto whodunnit. No, really.
  • The Now Show had a song by Pippa Evans, the day before the 2014 contest, which combined classic Eurovision tropes with shameless sucking up and explaining that the UK didn't really hate being in Europe, honest.
  • Much less sucking up in Mitch Benn's "A Song for Europe" (not broadcast on The Now Show, possibly because of BBC rules regarding a Cluster F-Bomb that slags off every national stereotype in Europe, Britain included.)
  • In Derek Jarman's Jubilee, future England's current Eurovision entry is Amyl Nitrate singing a highly militaristic rendition of "Rule Britannia" that includes samples from one of Adolf Hitler's speeches. This is meant to demonstrate just how much of a Crapsack World future England is.
  • In You're The Worst, Jimmy's boorish family comes all the way from England to Los Angeles to watch the "Eurotune" Song Contest rather than partake in what Los Angeles has to offer.

Notable Eurovision Entries:

  • The first "gimmicky" entry goes all the way back to the second contest in 1957. The Danish entry, "Skibet Skal Sejle I Nat" ended with performers Birthe Wilke and Gustav Winckler engaging in a Big Damn Kiss which lasted 11 seconds and caused an outcry in some countries.
  • The most famous export of Eurovision is Abba - who according to That Other Wiki were peculiarly credited as "The Abba" in preview specials - with "Waterloo" in 1974.
  • "E Depois do Adeus", the Portuguese entry for 1974, was famously used as a secret signal for the start of the Carnation Revolution, a coup d'etat that overthrew Portugal's fascist regime in 1974. The song tied for last with Norway, Germany and Switzerland at the contest. Nowadays, it can be heard on a television program by the RTP television channel, also called Depois do Adeus.
    • Portugal's next entry, "Madrugada" by Duarte Mendes, was notably a celebration of the revolution. According to the book The Eurovision Song Contest - The Official History by John Kennedy O'Connor, the performer was going to appear in army uniform and carry a gun onstage(!), but had to be talked out of doing so.
  • In 1977, for reasons unknown to history, Austria selected Schmetterlinge, a left-leaning folk-rock band who hated Eurovision and all it stood for, as their entrants. Their song was "Boom Boom Boomerang," an acerbic parody of the sort of inane "Schlager" entries with nonsense lyrics that were popular at the time. The more coherent lyrics of the song suggested that such songs were only written to increase record company profit margins. The performance was rather unforgettable, too.
    • The jurors of 1977 must have been rather perplexed by 1977 at the beginning. Austria were fourth in performance order and their crazed performance came right after the Netherlands Heddy Lester, singing her tune while wearing the most outlandish pink satin dress, which appeared to be made from Venetian blinds and wedding cake frosting.
  • Norway in 1978 received zero points with "Mil etter mil" by Jahn Teigen, who sabotaged his own entry with affected vocals and stage antics because he disliked the song's brassy arrangement. His squawk at 1:30 sounds like a climaxing Muppet. Despite its utter failure at the contest, "Mil etter mil" wound up dominating Norway's charts and Teigen released it in an album titled This Year's Loser.
  • Dschinghis Khan, "Dschinghis Khan". 1979 West German entry (with Jerusalem as the host city). Imagine a German lovechild of ABBA and the Village People. That pretty much describes them. They went on to become a supergroup. See the video here. Their other hits include:
    • "Moskau." The unofficial song of the 1980 Olympics at Moscow. This subject of Memetic Mutation thanks to YTMND and one very, very unique dance - based on traditional Russian folk dancing, believe it or not. Please enjoy.
    • "Rocking Son of Dschinghis Khan." The dance and lyrics of this song must be seen and heard to believed. Watch this here.
    • Dschinghis Khan song changed Jewish weddings forever when an Israeli songwriter added Hebrew lyrics and the song become known as "Yidden." It has since became a standard for Jewish weddings.
    • Interestingly enough, some thought the song to be inappropriate. Think about it: Germans singing about Jenghis Khan in Jerusalem... And somehow, they got away with it.
  • Sophie & Magaly, "Le Papa Pingouin". Luxembourg's 1980 entry. It's a song in French about a penguin with wanderlust and features a grown man and backup signers in penguin suits.
  • Telex's "Euro-Vision", Belgium's 1980 entry. Telex - a quirky synthpop band known for not taking themselves seriously - they obviously didn't take the contest seriously either: "We had hoped to finish last, but Portugal decided otherwisenote ". They finished 3rd last. Not that that prevents them from having towels around their necks and singer Michel Moers from throwing confetti on himself. Moers also snaps a tourist photo of the audience at the end. It's probably the first song in the final where Eurovision itself is the subject. And definitely the first song to be performed on synthesizers.
  • In 1985, The Bobbysocks gave Norway its first victory with "Let it Swing", a rocking tune with throwbacks to both 80's and 50's music, that is one of Norway's most recognizable songs, even to this day. It's also one of many songs (at least in the Nordic countries) during that era to be performed in this style; Sweden and Denmark had similar entries.
  • The 1989 contest got a bit of flak because the Israeli and French entrants were 12 and 11 respectively. This led to an age restriction being implemented starting with the 1990 contest in Zagreb, and indirectly led to the creation of the Junior Eurovision in 2003.
  • 1990 is the year that started another, broader trend in ESC. The French and Spanish entries were straightforward pop songs with heavy hints of calypso and flamenco respectively. Joelle Ursull's "White and Black Blues" and Azucar Moreno's "Bandido" placed 2nd and 5th respectively and both became big hits. While there were a few ethnically-flavored entries in the previous 35 years, it wasn't until these songs came out that they became popular, and to this day national music elements are quite common in the contest.
    • A third ethnic entry, "Gözlerinin Hapsindeyim" by Kayahan, represented Turkey that year as well. Unlike France and Spain, it didn't fare too well, and finished 17th.
    • France followed up "White and Black" with "Le dernier qui a parle", which was considered one of the favorites to win the 1991 contest. However, by the time the last jury voted, they were tied with Sweden - the first tie since the four-way win in 1969. This resulted in a "count back". It turned out that both received the same amount of 12-point scores, but Sweden got 5 10-point scores as opposed to France's two, giving Sweden its 3rd victory. This was the closest France came to winning since 1977.
  • Norway in 1995 won with "Nocturne" by Secret Garden, a slow Celtic-flavored piece with only thirty seconds of song. The rest is a lengthy, gorgeous violin intermezzo that has little in common with Eurovision's usual pop ballads and dances.
    • In a similar spirit, Croatia's entry "Nostalija".
    • That same year, the UK sent the contest's first ever rap song. This being Europe in The '90s, it's fairly cheesy and just barely cracked the top 10.
  • Dana International, so far the first and only openly transsexual person to enter the competition, triumphed in 1998 amid strong competition from the UK, Malta, Netherlands and Croatia. In fact, up until the last moments, Malta was expected to get the last douze and win with a margin of 4 points, but the douze instead went to Croatia. Video here.
  • The 1998 German entry was performed by a keet named Guildo Horn. His spectacular performance climaxed with him climbing the scaffolding on the side of stage. Though initially criticized for lack of seriousness by the press, he became hugely popular in the weeks leading up to the contest, and placed 7th.
  • Germany in 1999 sent "Journey to Jerusalem", a rousing anthem with lines in German, Turkish, English and Hebrew (this was the first contest held after the "native language only" policy was dropped), and placed 3rd.
  • In 2000, Nightwish entered the contest with "Sleepwalker" (which is fairly atypical of their style, but worth a mention regardless). They won the public vote, but the jury eventually decided on Nina Åström.
  • Two years after Guido, that song's composer represented Germany in 2000 with the song "Wadde Hadde Dudde Da". The mere fact that it finished 5th is either proof of Stefan Raab's absolute awesomeness or the joke value of the entire show. To make it short: he competed with what was virtually a Voice Clip Song about a woman asking her dog in baby speech "what have you there" with full-on Narm Charm and made it work.
  • "Sanomi", Belgium's 2003 entry, was the first Eurovision song to be sung in a fictional language.
  • "Boonika Bate Doba"/"Grandma Beats The Drum" from 2005. With grandmother on stage.
  • Germany 2006, with the heavily old-country influenced "No No Never" by Texas Lightning.
  • In 2006, Lithuania entered "We Are The Winners", a cheesy sports chant which basically just consisted of 6 middle-aged Lithuanian men (most of whom were not even musicians, but newsreaders and TV presenters) bellowing "We are the winners of Eurovision!" into a megaphone. Although it was only the fourth Eurovision entry ever to be booed while performing, it managed to come 6th with 162 points, and the president of Lithuania is reported to be a fan, inviting the band to his offices for a private performance.
  • Lordi, "Hard Rock Hallelujah" in 2006. Imagine a Finnish version of GWAR. And they won... with the highest point total ever at the time. Plus, that got Finland's first win at Eurovision.
    • Extra notable because the band never actually took off their costumes, or at least, not where anyone could see. They were even seen lounging by the pool in full monster regalia.
    • Part of Lordi's success could be attributed to Moral Guardians mounting a campaign to get them banned from entering the contest. It backfired spectacularly.
  • Iceland's 2006 entry, "Congratulations". The performer (a fictional character, no less) was, for lack of a better word, a troll, and the whole act was one big joke at the expense of the competition. The song is hella catchy, though.
  • Germany's entry in 2007, "Frauen Regier'n Die Welt". A swing song featuring a big band, real instruments, and Roger Cicero, a singer with a genuinely good voice. It even had a Switch Into English!! Naturally, due to it not being cheesy Europop, it went down like a lead balloon, finishing a lowly 19th.
    • Remember that the previous year they sent Texas Lightning (see above), so for a while it seemed like the German public had suddenly developed an odd obsession with American music styles.
  • The 2007 Serbian entry, "Molitva". Ignoring the factor of political voting, it won the competition despite featuring a homely lead singer, no revealing costumes, no dancers, no pyrotechnics and no gimmicks of any variety.
    • Although viewed in another light, many people inferred a tale of lesboromanticism from the performance.
  • Verka Serduchka "Dancing Lasha Tumbai", runner-up of the 2007 contest. Must be seen to be believed.
  • Britain resurrected camp pop collective Scooch for the 2007 contest (the one Terry Wogan famously didn't announce had been chosen as Britain's entry). The bridge of the song is a sexualised aircraft safety briefing. And it was one (male) group-member's exclusive task to stand at the side of the stage making smutty, airline-related innuendos such as "would you like to suck on something before landing?" and "salted nuts, sir?"
    • The commentator in the Finnish broadcast made a Freudian Slip which may or may not have been intentional:
    And next we have Britain performing their song "Flying the Fa"- I mean "Flag".
    • Croatia 2008's "Romanca" isn't eccentric Europop in English but a nostalgic ballad in Croatian. The old man's narration (not rap) is a bridge.
  • Belgium tried the fictional language again 5 years after the above-mentioned "Sanomi", but the song sadly didn't get to the final. What the entry "O Julissi" did accomplish was dressing the lead singer of Ishtar in a swirly dress that evoked Campino sweets.
  • The 2008 Bosnia & Herzegovina entry, Elvir Lakoviæ Laka - "Pokusaj". Knitting brides and lyrics that translate like "We wasted many years lying on our backs eating bananas."
  • The 2008 Spanish entry, "Baila el Chiki Chiki" is a parody of the reggaeton music genre, sung by an actor in an Elvis wig whose character started as a sketch in a comedy TV program, and with a toy guitar providing musical highlights. After not having won Eurovision since 1969, the Spaniards just can't take the contest seriously (it doesn't help they actually got their best place since 2004).
    • The chorus, "Perrea! Perrea!" is a parodying a frequent exclamation in reggaeton. In Caribbean (where most reggaeton originates) Spanish, it refers to a type of sexually explicit dance. In European Spanish, however, it translates, roughly, to "Be lazy! Be lazy!"
    • By the way, the dancer that falls over and in general messes up the choreography? Don't worry about her, it's all part of the show.
      • On the other side, the guy that jumped the stage in the 2010 contest was definitely not part of the show. When we don't send a joke entry on purpose, the joke jumps at us. The guy is called "Jimmy Jump" and apparently was already famous for jumping sports events around Europe.
  • Leto Svet, 2008. Estonian comedians parody the contest with a deliberately So Bad, It's Good entry, complete with Special Effects Failures and Word Salad Lyrics in three languages.invoked
  • Finland in 2008 with Teräsbetoni, a Power Metal band.
  • As already mentioned, Alexander Rybak's Fairytale from 2009. On the national charts it went on to cause a large portion of Norway to absolutely loathe it on account of over-exposure.
  • For ESC 2009 in Moscow, Georgia sent a song titled We Don't Wanna Put In. The entry was disqualified.
  • France's entry in 2009, Et s'il fallait le faire by leading chanson singer Patricia Kaas. Three minutes of one woman in a black dress singing, with barely any light or stage show (watch until the end for a bit of dancing, though) and no other people on stage. Only finished eighth, in what might have been a case of Too Good For Eurovision.
  • On a slightly different take of Take That from a former Soviet Republic, Lithuania's 2010 entry , "Eastern European Funk", once you get past the catchy tune and sparkle shorts uses lyrics that calls out Europe on its views of Eastern Europe.
  • Black Metal band Keep of Kalessin tried out to represent Norway in 2010 (though again the song they entered, "The Dragontower", was not typical of their style). They came in third place, and Didrik Solli-Tangen was selected to represent Norway.
  • Serbia in 2010: What's interesting to note are people's reactions to Marija Serfovic's (2007 entrant) gender (female), and three years later they sent an even more gender bamboozling entry by Milan Stankovic. Despite that incredibly effeminate appearance, yes, that's a man.
  • The Moldovan entry for the 2010 contest Run Away experienced Memetic Mutation with its hip thrusting saxophone player's choreography and gaining internet celebrity status as the Epic Sax Guy as a result.invoked
    • The 2011 contest, from the makers of Grandma Beats The Drum: a tale of dunce caps and unicycles, titled So Lucky.
  • The French entry in 2011, Sognu, a very beautiful Groban-esque piece sung by Amaury Vassili, a young opera singer. Finished in 15th place.
  • Italy's 2011 entry, Raphael Gualazzi's "Madness of Love", is in a similar musical style to the 2007 German entry (if quite a bit more uptempo). Counter to expectations, it finished second and actually won the jury vote.
  • Sweden's "Euphoria" by Loreen swept Baku 2012 with 372 points, the second-highest score in the contest's history as well as the song with the most douze points (18), through an epic dance track and subtle visual effects.
  • For the 2012 edition, San Marino tried to send 37-year old Valentina Monetta with the song "Facebook Uh, Oh, Oh". However, they ran into two little problems: Firstly, everyone thought it was awful or reminded them too much of Rebecca Black. Then, they got in trouble for daring to mention a brand name. They did edit it to be in compliance though, resulting in "The Social Network Song (Oh-Oh, Uh, Uh, Oh)"
    • Many of those who think it's awful never realized that the song is very, very satirical.
    • She returned in 2013 with "Crisalide", a power ballad that was widely more apreciated. And she failed again to qualify.
    • She returned again in 2014 with "Maybe (Forse)" and managed to qualify for the Grand Final - third time's the charm it seems once again. She finished 24th.
  • Austria in 2012 has "Woki Mit Deim Popo", whose original performance in the national final (where they beat a certain lady by the name of Conchita Wurst) featured women in bodysuits with glow in the dark booty, and people commenting on YouTube producing disturbing mondegreens involving "poo-poo." Their performance got toned down for the first semi-final (but now also had LED lighting on the backup dancers and singers). Yet somehow, their song managed to leave the audience speechless, and they failed to advance.
  • Russia in 2012 sent Buranovskiye Babushki, six grandmothers from Udmurtia (near the Urals) in traditional dress, who pantomimed baking buns onstage and then sang "Party for Everybody". Amazingly, they came second.
  • The Russia entry in 2012 was not the only memorable one. Turkey's won't be easily forgotten, especially by those that love shipping characters.
  • Montenegro in 2012 with Euro Neuro, sung by Rambo Amadeus, a self-confessed 'media manipulator'. It didn't make it to the final. The performance features evil villain laughter, rhymes taken from a dictionary and it makes fun of the poor economical situation within the EU.
  • Romania in 2013, with the song It's My Life by Cezar, a performance which can only be described with the phrase "Vampire Dubstep Opera."
  • Finland's 2013 song "Marry Me" gave us the first girl/girl kiss on Eurovision. Sweden would later up the ante and give a male/male version in the interval performance.
  • Austria's 2014 performance of "Rise Like A Phoenix" by Conchita Wurst, a heartfelt Gender Bender act done in a completely gorgeous dress and a full beard. In a move that surprised no one, it ended up winning the competition that year.
  • Ukraine's 2014 entry had Mariya Yaremchuck sing her song "Tick Tock", while a guy runs and does tricks on a lifesize hamster wheel behind her. She ended up in sixth place.
  • Poland's 2014 entry ''My Slowianie - We Are Slavic'' got instantly famous for their hot Slavic girls hoping to achieve a Male Gaze from the audience out of their choreography accompanied with cameos from the official music video played on the screens behind. The song was not made for Eurovision in the first place and was making fun of Polish stereotypes who were portrayed as out-going and wearing Polish traditional dresses while performing Polish dancing. Some people must have gotten the joke, because it was qualified for the final. Unfortunately, their gimmicks didn't take them far and they ended up in 14th place that year. The split vote results revealed quite a difference between the public and the jury, with the low placing attributed to the latter. Countries like the UK and Ireland had the televote place it in first place while the jury placed it in last place, thus cancelling each other out and taking away any possible points given.
  • 2014 is also a year where there were no less than 3 country songs, the most prominent from the Netherlands. After the success of Anouk the previous year, ending an 8-year non-qualification streak, the Netherlands sent the duo The Common Linnets with the song "Calm After the Storm," a mature, low-key ballad that nearly won the contest and gave the Netherlands its best result since 1975. It was the only song from the year's contest to chart internationally on iTunes and even managed to win the Composer Award and the Artistic Award.
  • From the 2015 contest, "Heroes" by Måns Zelmerlöw of Sweden, an energetic pop-rock hybrid whose creative visuals (where he interacts with an animated background) proved strong enough to clinch his country's sixth win.
  • Belgium 2015 sent the song "Rhythm Inside," which featured modern choreography, monochrome visuals, and an austere backing track reminiscent of Lorde or Sia. It brought Belgium to 4th place.
  • Latvia 2015 sent the minimalist R&B song "Love Injected" by Aminata Savadogo, of Latvian-Russian-Burkinabe descent, which featured a striking red and white light show to complement the sultry vocals in the verse and the bridge and the vocal blast in the chorus. It placed 6th, their best result since 2005 (5th).
  • In 2015, Finland sent Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät, a punk band composed of four men with intellectual disabilities, with the song "Aina mun pitää," (English: I Always Have To), also notable for being the shortest song to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest at 1 minute and 27 seconds. Unfortunately, they placed last in their semifinal and did not qualify.
  • Belarus's 2016 entry was "Help You Fly" performed by IVAN. While the 2016 contest was notable for little to no gimmicky, campy acts, "Help You Fly" stands out. Pre-contest rumors of IVAN wishing to perform naked with a live wolf on the stage (nudity and live animals are both expressly prohibited by the EBU on the stage) were proven half-true when the act opens with a screen projection of IVAN singing to a wolf about helping it learn to fly.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Series/EurovisionSongContest?from=Main.EurovisionSongContest