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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 - although 2020's Contest was cancelled to the coronavirus pandemic - 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.


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.

The definition of Europe in "Eurovision" has been extended in recent years. Israel have participated since 1973, while the Caucasian nations of Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan joined in 2006, 2007 and 2008 respectively. Australia was also invited to participatefor the sixtieth anniversary of the contest in 2015, becoming a regular participant from then onwards.

In March 2020, it was announced that the planned 65th edition of the contest, which was set to happen in Rotterdam, Netherlands, had been canceled due to concerns about the growing COVID-19 pandemic sweeping Europe and the rest of the world. This marked the first-ever instance of the competition not happening since it began in 1956. As of that same month, preliminary discussions for the 65th edition to remain in Rotterdam for 2021 begannote , while some of the participating nations have confirmed their intention to keep the same artists selected to represent them prior to its cancelation. The EBU later anounced that while countries could send the same artists the songs selected for 2020 would be ineligible for the 2021 contest. note 

There have been a handful of Eurovision spinoffs over the years, including Junior Eurovision, which runs every autumn, the short-lived Eurovision Dance Contest, and an Asian version of the contest that was set to debut in 2018, but didn't end up happening quite then, and currently appears to be stuck in Development Hell. During the 2019 edition in Tel Aviv, the EBU announced they had begun developing an American version —tentatively titled the American Song Contest— for a planned 2021 debut. Eurovision was first broadcast in the United States from 2016 to 2018 on the LGBT-focused cable network LOGO, before Netflix acquired the US streaming rights for the 2019 and 2020 editions, with an extended arrangement possible beyond that. note 

In March 2019, it was announced that Will Ferrell's proposed Eurovision film was officially moving forward at Netflix note , with David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers) tapped to direct. The plot of the film will involve Icelandic duo Fire Saga (Ferrell and Rachel McAdams) who aspire to compete in the competition, with Pierce Brosnan, Dan Stevens, and Demi Lovato also appearing in supporting roles. Ferrell himself has been quite a fan of Eurovision for a while, claiming to have to watched every edition since 1999 when his (Swedish) wife introduced him to it, and he even attended the 2018 competition in Lisbon as preparation for the film. Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga was eventually given a June 2020 release date, following the (canceled) 2020 edition of the contest.

    Notable Winners of the Eurovision Song Contest 

    Other notable competitors 

See also the Wikipedia article.

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     Eurovision tropes 
  • Artifact Title: The participation of non-really-European nations Israel, Australia, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan made the title arguably inaccurate, although "Eurovision" technically refers to nations in which Eurovision television broadcasting is shown, which includes all of the nations in the competition except the UKnote .
    • 1980 saw an African country - Morocco - take part for the first (and only) time.
  • Bad Hosts: It must be tradition for the hosts to fill the competition with bad, bad jokes and lame puns, poor acting and worthless delivery. Not helped that they are speaking in English, not their first tongue (unless Ireland have won ... again).
    • Infamously shown through the 1991 contest: it was entirely in Italian, as Toto and Gigliola could only speak in that language. The former was especially egregious, as he mispronounced multiple song names and need help with the voting.
    • First played horribly straight in the semifinals of 2009, and then completely averted in the final. It was a good year.
    • Averted in 2013 and 2016, when Sweden hosted the contest, featuring nationally-renowned comedian Petra Mede, herself an experienced host, as well as, in 2016, Måns Zelmerlöw, the outgoing winner from 2015 and himself also having some experience with Swedish music festivals and the 2010 edition of Melodifestivalen, Sweden's national selection show for Eurovision.
    • Played horrifically, horrifically straight in 2017 with Ukraine. Timur, Volodymyr and Oleksandr were clearly not particularly comfortable with speaking English, and it showed throughout the competition.
  • 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 Italy 2011 among recent examples, with Salvador Sobral's 'Amar Pelos Dois' seemingly winning the 2017 contest with the help of its simplicity.
      • Sobral's victory carried over to the whole show in 2018 when Portugal hosted, deciding that giant LED screens had gone too far and used stage lights and practical effects, pretty much telling everyone "if you want elaborate stuff bring it yourselves". The show still looked great, of course.
  • 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.
    • 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.
    • 2017 saw a left field electronic folk act, a bizarre song from Ruslana, and a Jamala performance (accidentally featuring a notorious local streaker brandishing an Aussie flag and mooning her).
    • Madonna performed in 2019, in spite of the controversies that have abounded since she was first rumored for the gig (aside from the flak acts can receive from performing in Israel in general, also controversies about the content of her songs, and that the broadcaster was not paying for it, as well as the size of her entourage, and the claims it would be unfair on the competing acts, though the most famous of them, Finland's Darude (who ended up placing last in his heat), defended her expected performance, saying it boosts the brand). Also, it had a magician, a TV spot with Gal Gadot, and Conchita, Foureira, Mans, and, despite the Ukraine's controversial withdrawal, Verka Serduchka, swapping each other's songs.
      • Madonna's actual performance in the interval act, though ... let's just say, even the national commentators struggled to mince their words. Her performance of her classic song "Like a Prayer" was widely seen as (although YMMV) kinda cringeworthy.
  • 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 able to vote for each other.note 
      • Became a Crowning Moment of Funny in 2019 - both when Greece as well as when Cyprus were about to announce which country would get their maximum points, the audience in Tel Aviv already audibly yelled "Cyprus!" and "Greece!" respectively in the background. And they were right both times.
    • The Scandinavian and Eastern European blocs all vote for their fellow bloc 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."
      • The Nordic countries have a tendency to either play this very straight or go in the complete opposite direction. At least a handful of Nordic winners received top scores from all the other Nordic countries (both of Sweden's most recent winners and Finland's Lordi received top scores from every other Nordic country), but the most recent contest saw them mostly avert it. Jury-wise, while Sweden, as ever, was the grand overlap (Finland, Denmark, and Iceland all gave it 12 points, while Norway gave it 10), the other three qualified Nordics received mixed scores. Sweden and Denmark voted for Norway while the other two ignored it, Denmark only received points from Norway, and Iceland didn't get any points at all from the other Nordic nations. Non-Nordic countries were actually kinder to the latter three, with Italy going so far as to give Denmark 12 points!
    • 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.
    • 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. In spite of this, there have only been two instances in which Ireland has awarded the UK maximum points: in 1966 (they finished ninth; the Celtic connection of the British singer wearing a kilt may have helped) and in 1997 (which helped the UK win; in turn, they awarded Ireland their only 12 points of the evening, allowing them to finish second). Nations with large diasporas in Ireland (Scandinavians or Baltic states) receive the 12 instead.
      • The 2013 Eurovision averted this trope. Ireland gave the UK 7 points, while they gave Ireland 1 point. The Irish were not even slightly happy.
      • Another notable exception: in 1996, Ireland earned their seventh victory. They awarded the UK three points, but in an unusual move (especially considering how well-received the Irish entry was), the UK gave Ireland no points at all. It's especially odd when you see that they awarded Ireland 12 points in the pre-qualifying round. (Odder still, the actual recipient of the UK's 12 points in the final - Cyprus - only received two points from them in the pre-qualifying round. Eurovision is an odd beast).
    • Malta normally gives twelve to the UK, and in 2007 admitted they fixed their results as a protest against bloc voting.
      • Yes and no: Malta can sometimes be very generous, but they can also be very fickle. A failure to award the UK any points in 1993 cost them victory, and in the victorious year of 1997 they only gave the UK one point (their lowest mark of the evening). On the other hand, their twelve jury points in 2016 was the first time any country had given the UK top marks since 2011.
    • 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 the late 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 got them right most of the time). People enjoyed it especially when he failed. 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.)
      • German winner Nicole was actually quite moved that one of the 12 points that led her to victory came from Israel, given their history (Germany, in turn, rewarded their representative Avi Toledano with 12 points as well).
    • 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/Azerbaijannote  (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.
      • Since the '90s this has been the case for the UK with nearly everywhere else, rarely getting many points from most other countries, usually put down to both the physical and cultural distance (votes for Ireland are presumably given because it's explicitly not the UK). It's a good game to see how long the UK can spend on the left side of the board (if it even gets there). After 2016... well, it's not like the UK hasn't suffered getting nil points before — Brits are satisfied as long as they place higher than Germany. (A country that also, notably, gets very few votes. Likely for that as well as being perceived as the greatest power in Europe somewhat alienating the rest of the continent).
    • Averted quite a bit in 2017, with many countries giving their twelve points to Portugal when they would otherwise have given them to Russia or their neighbours.
  • 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 an ad break as filler for countries where it is shown on commercial-free channels, like the BBC) 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.
    • Notable for Misplaced Nationalism - he blamed the failure of the United Kingdom's Hollywood Tone-Deaf entry in the 2003 contest on backlash from the Iraq War, in spite of the fact many nations that were seen as being on its side in the intervention fared better, including winners Turkey.
  • 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, only two winners were not sung in English: 2007's "Molitva" from Serbia and 2017's "Amar Pelos Dois" from Portugal.
    • 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 Sašenko'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.
      • Even the French entry, Amaury Vassili's "Sognu," was in Corsican rather than French.
    • 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.
    • For 2017: France (with English parts in the chorus), Italy (which mentions phrases in English such as "sex appeal" and "singing in the rain", as well as some in Sanskrit, but is otherwise in Italian), Spain (with an English chorus), Hungary, Portugal, and, in a break with tradition, Belarus (leaving Azerbaijan the sole nation to have never used a national language, briefly touched upon in a multilingual Bulgarian entry when ESC was in Baku in 2012). Croatia sang in English and Italian in a duet for one. All 7 songs were in the final. Indeed, Portugal won in style, an ace achievement for a nation whose loyalty to its language and styles had hitherto been its undoing, but now made it a winner.
    • In 2018, more nations sang in own languages, including Georgia and Armenia singing entirely in their languages for the first time ever (previously only used very little, if at all, in English language songs), Serbia, Albania, Greece, Hungary, Slovenia and Montenegro, as well as the usual French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian suspects. In the semi-finals, Armenia, Greece, Georgia and Montenegro crashed but Albania, Hungary, Serbia and Slovenia (and the well liked Italian language Estonian song) did not.
    • 2019 saw Iceland, Georgia, Albania, Hungary, Poland, Serbia, Slovenia, Portugal, Spain, France, and Italy sing own language entries, whilst Arabic, Turkish, Danish (alongside German, the first serious entry to use it since 2007, and French) and even Northern Sami and Abkhaz were be used in songs of Italy, San Marino, Denmark, Norway and Georgia respectively. Of these, Albania, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Slovenia and Serbia made it to the final (as well as automatic qualifiers France, Italy and Spain).
    • In 2020, as well as the usual suspects of Francenote , Italy, Spain and Portugal, Belarus, Croatia, Slovenia and Ukraine would have performed in their own language, whilst Spanish appeared in Georgia's, Russia's, and Serbia's entries (Georgia's entry would also use French, German and Italian, and Serbia's would use English, but was mostly in Serbian). Israel's entry appeared in Amharic, Arabic, English and Hebrew. The oddest one, though, would be Azerbaijan's entry, which would have had Japanese alongside English.
  • 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 comes from Sweden’s entry in 2011, which rhymed "impossible" with "possible". Not to be outdone, Serbia’s entry in 2017 contained three lines, which rhymed "deep" with itself. Twice.note 
  • Intentional Costume Malfunction: Ever since Bucks Fizz won the contest in 1981 with a dance routine involving the boys ripping off the girls' skirts to reveal that their blouses were in fact really short dresses, 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 (first) 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 with a different singer into Melodifestivalen, the Swedish national final, but was turned down for obvious reasons. In 2009 he got into Melodifestivalen as a wild card with "Kärlekssång från mig", a ballad with a performance parodying those of Dima Bilan (it involved a man emerging from the piano, who tries to ice skate, almost gets hit in the face by a violinist's elbow, and then gets set on fire by the pyrotechnics).
    • Sweden seem to be making a habit of this— one of the interval acts from 2016 was "Love Love Peace Peace", a Troperrific exploration of the most common themes from past Eurovision hits. And then there was "The Nerd Nation", a Mockumentary poking fun at Sweden itself for its obsession with Eurovision. There's also 2013's En Riktig Jävla Schlager, once again playing on the Schlager trope, featuring amongst others Tommy Körberg of Chess fame.
  • 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.
    • To list all the barely-implicitly political songs would be nearly impossible — they go from the extreme: in 2016 the winning song was written by a Crimean from Ukraine, called "1944" (the year the Soviets deported the Crimean Tatars), being overtly political in itself, before adding the context that the 2016 contest was held around the time of the Russian-Ukrainian Crimean conflict and both countries perceived voting as politically motivated. In the future everything became worse, as Ukraine openly interpreted its victory as "recognition of its rightness in a political dispute with Russia," and their dispute over a Russian participant next year turned into a major diplomatic scandal. Worse still, in 2019, during the Ukrainian selection, Jamala openly asked national final favourite MARUV, who regularly performs in Russia, "Crimea is Ukraine?" (Sic). The broadcaster then presented MARUV with a contract that included a clause barring her from performing in Russia for several months, which she after some deliberation chose not to sign, and the other participants followed suit in order not be dragged into the whole mess, resulting in no Ukrainian ESC entry in 2019.
    • the mild and positive: the UK's 2017 entry was "Never Give Up On You", which is definitely not implying that, even in the wake of Brexit and reaffirming the Special Relationship with Drumpf's America, the UK populous wants to maintain a relationship with Europe. Furthermore, the song is written, not just by an EU writer, but by Denmark's 2013 winner Emmelie De Forrest.
      • Songs in the U.K. Selection that January, the same day as the White House meeting of the UK PM Theresa May and Donald Drumpf (by coindicence), included a song called "I wish I loved You More" written by a Swede, and a song by a singer with Italian lineage called "I don't wanna fight". There was also the somewhat apologetic "we're on the same side, we're 'freedom hearts'", written by the Swede who wrote "A Million Voices" 2 years earlier.
      • The UK hosted 20 acts partaking in ESC 2017 (including some from non-EU countries, but a majority from the union), the weekend after A50 was triggered (again this was a coincidence). Lucie duetted with Spain's singer in that gig - earlier that day, a former U.K. Opposition leader made a controversial remark about the Gibraltar dispute. Spain however was the only non-anglophonic nation to give UK televote points, although EU duo Malta and Ireland also gave Lucie a consistent level of televoting points little changed from recent contests (though not jury points - she made a lighthearted and apolitical joke attack about it on Twitter, saying "ooh Ireland - it burns!", and was mocked by Irish fans for it, but she still got 99 jury points, throughout the EU (including Germany, France, and Poland) and beyond, and placed 15th). The televoting points for UK still cleared those of 6 other nations, including Germany, Spain, Israel and Austria, as well as Australia and Denmark.
      • One government councillor didn't take the lack of Irish jury vote as well as Lucie did,and tweeted something much more offensive and was suspended by the Tory party.
      • The UK's 2016 submission, when the Brexit referendum was on the horizon, had the hook "As long as I'm with you" and started the chorus with "we're all in this together" (a catchphrase of then Prime Minister David Cameron).
      • The next year, they were more of an outsider, but told us "Storms don't last forever" in a period where the referendum was underpinned by an indecisive election and unprecedented political paralysis.
      • The next U.K. Song was called "Bigger than Us" and selected ahead of one called "Sweet Lies". "Bigger than Us" made history as the first ever entry whose writer represented another country as a singer in the same year, Swedish entry John Lundvik (UK born). Furthermore, 2015 winner Mans Zelmerlow has made several jokes mocking the political crisis when presenting UK's selections in 2018 and 2019. However, only Ireland gave the song any televotes in the final despite the fact that, whilst no one (or very few) was expecting him to prevent the UK from ending the decade without a top 10 entry, he was given praise by former winner Mans Zelmerlow, who presented his selection, and his fellow contestants (many of which he befriended on Insta Q&As) including champion elect Duncan Lawrence from the Netherlands, though he later gave the song constructive criticism after it placed last, based on the manner of its selection (pairs of acts singing different versions of a song, which was scrapped the following year) which likely meant it lacked the authenticity of Arcade, part of a top 10 of mostly self-written songs. (The hypothesis of the Brexit debacle and impasse causing the last place was undermined by the fact that Ireland had almost the exact same fortunes in their heat, with no televoting points outside UK, and, in the final, Germany got none at all, when surely those who mock the political debacle sympathise with Ireland and Germany note )
    • Verka Serduchka's "Dancing Lasha Tumbai". Verka claimed lasha tumbai is a Mongolian phrase meaning 'churned butter' or 'whipped cream', but it's actually gibberish. Gibberish that may just sound suspiciously similar to "Russia, goodbye!"...
    • Interpreting "Next Year in Jerusalem" as said by Netta when celebrating her win, and on instas of singers and celebs congratulating her win, as a claim on Jerusalem (host in 1979 and 1999) as the capital, which risked causing outrage and made it all-but-untenable as a host venue, though Netta herself didn't care about this, and had no qualms about Tel Aviv hosting instead, which was seen as a more appropriate venue by fans, for harnessing ESC's LGBT aspect rather than being febrile, and preventing a diplomatic boycott that had been risked in some northern countries such as Iceland (1999's runners up) and Ireland.
      • The divisions regarding the Icelandic act for this iteration Hatari's anti capitalist message and wrestling match jokes. On the live broadcast, during voting, they went so far as to hold up the Palestinian flag.
  • And Now For Something Completely Different: The vast majority of Eurovision entries are some combination of peppy, upbeat, and cheesy Euroschlock, pop, EDM and schlager music plugged into the campiness wall outlet and performed by (mostly) attractive young singers dressed in outrageously colorful costumes. Then came 2006, where monster costume-wearing heavy metal Lordi from perennial Eurovision loser Finland not only won but destroyed the competition with what was (at that time) the biggest victory margin in the history of the contest. They are, to this day, the only heavy metal/hard rock band ever to win.
  • Ambiguous Gender:
    • Serbia's entries in 2007 and 2010, Ukraine's Verka Serduchka for Helsinki 2007, and Austria's Conchita Wurst for Copenhagen 2014, France in 2019.
    • Montenegro's Slavko Kalezic in 2017 with the homoerotic Space. Kalezic wears a skirt and a see through mesh top.
  • Arch-Enemy: Despite the EBU's best efforts to keep politics out of Eurovision, conflicts between participating countries end up bleeding into the contest more often than not.
    • Armenia failed to make the finals in 2011 while rivals Azerbaijan won the contest. The next year, Armenia pulled out of the contest in Baku, 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.
    • After making their Eurovision debut in 1974, Greece sat out the 1975 contest, in which Turkey competed for the first time, in protest over the Turkish invasion of Cyprus on July 1974. Cyprus started competing in Eurovision in 1988, and Turkey and them would never give each other a single point until 2004.
    • A country that doesn't make it to the finals will usually feel better about it if their rival doesn't make it either.
    • 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.
    • The UK and Germany, who from the mid-2000s rarely saw the left side of the board, are usually happy with their position as long as they beat the other nation. Most commonly, the UK does beat Germany (not always, though).
  • Ascended Fanboy: 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.
  • Award-Bait Song: Occasionally you get a power ballad that sounds like it could easily play over the intro of a James Bond movie.
  • Awesome McCoolname: Australia's entrant from 2017 was called Isaiah Firebrace, while Austria has confirmed Cesár Sampson as its 2018 entrant.
  • 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 and 2019.
  • 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.
      • Wales took part in the ESC for choirs of its own with the S4C Welsh broadcaster - the bizarre EBU event taking place in Latvia in the summer was advertised in the ESC 2017 - and finished second. The Welsh later partook in the junior contest in 2018, but placed last, having got no points from jurors, although with a passable public score. The EBU says they partake alone or the UK partakes, but both cannot occur at once. Wales would later return to choir contest in 2019, with Scotland joining them.
  • Ban on Politics: Political content on the songs' lyrics is forbidden. In 2009, when the contest was set to be held in Moscow, Georgia was caught attempting to get crap past the radar with a song titled "We Don't Wanna Put In" in the wake of the Russo-Georgian armed conflict, and was promptly disqualified.
  • 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.
    • Netta Barzilai, Israel's 2018 representative.
  • Blatant Lies: In 1978, several Middle Eastern countries broadcast the Contest live. When it became clear Israel were going to win, the broadcast was ended early, with Jordanian television stating that Belgium (which finished 32 points behind Israel) had won.
  • Breakaway Pop Hit: Music/ABBA’s 1974’s winning entry for Sweden “Waterloo,” and the UK’s 1996 entry “Ooh Ah Just A Little Bit,” by Gina G are probably the best known examples of this from the Eurovision. If you include the Interval acts then “Riverdance,” from Ireland 1994 probably also counts since the music was a worldwide hit, and it spawned off a musical as well.
  • 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.
    • Downplayed with the "Big 5" countries note  who are the highest financial contributors to the EBU: them and the host country (the one spending a boatload of money to make the contest possible) 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. A few hiccups would happen in the years afterwards - they failed to qualify in 2015 and could only make 18th in 2018 - before winning the Contest in 2019.
    • 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. Poland made 4 finals on the trot afterwards, despite none of their entries in that period being amongst the jury top 10 in their heat, likely due to their large expatriate communities in the EU and common Market after they joined (most egregiously in 2016 when, after being 2nd last with the jury, they were 3rd with the public, placing in the top 3 in many countries with large Polish communities, and getting only a 3rd ever top 10 place in the final), but a failure to qualify in both 2018 and 2019 proved that it only had so much effect (although they finished 10th in the public vote in 2018 and were two points short of qualifying in 2019).
    • 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 (in fact, they've only appeared on the left-hand side on the scoreboard once, in 2014).
    • 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! 2018 got them into the final, although they had nearly had to withdraw as the singer was taken to hospital after doing a backflip in the rehearsal, although he recovered in time for the next set of rehearsals, and went on to progress.
    • Portugal is one of the countries that have competed the longest (since 1964) and has never finished in the top 5. Between 2010 and 2015, they had never qualified to the grand final. With those marginals, it's one of the biggest Butt Monkeys in the contest.
      • Portugal qualified for the first time in 7 years in 2017 with a minimalistic own language ballad that might be a major contender...
      • ...and ended up winning, with both the jury vote and televote putting them first!
      • when they hosted, they did a skit mocking how long it took them to win.
      • 2019 saw them back in the semifinals, where they returned to previous form: finishing 15th of 17.
    • 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 didn't qualify again until 2019.
    • Germany looks like they might be after this status - they finished last with 0 points in 2015note , last (but with points) in 2016 and second-last in 2017. They did manage to turn it around in 2018; a new selection process led to a strong pick in Michael Schulte's Tear Jerker "You Let Me Walk Alone," bringing them to a proud fourth place (and, beyond that, it was the first time Germany got douze points from anyone - four times, in fact - since their 2010 win). However, 2019 saw them return to previous form: they finished second-bottom and got nil points from the public vote.
  • Camp: Several dozens of acts. Likely at least a dozen of them every year. There's a reason that the whole contest is frequently nicknamed "The Gay Olympics". note 
  • Catchphrase: 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!
  • Covered Up: The Olsen Brothers won for Denmark in 2000 with song called “Fly On The Wings Of Love.” Not many people remember that version. What they do remember is the cover version by XTC in 2003, which was a huge dance and club hit, especially in the UK and Ireland.
  • 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.
    • Portugal in 2017, with a gap of almost 300 points between it and third, and a massive 143 point difference between them and second (Bulgaria).
  • 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 receiving a lot of points in 2012) The Greek finance minister has just died a little inside.
    • 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.
  • Determinator:
    • Claudia Faniello was selected to represent Malta in 2017 — on her ninth attempt. Unfortunately, she was eliminated after finishing third-to-last in the semi-finals with no televote points, while being 8th in the jury vote.
    • Samanta Tina would also finally get to perform in the Contest on her ninth attempt - having tried to represent Lithuania twice and Latvia six times before getting her chance in 2021. She was due to compete for Latvia in 2020 until the Covid-19 pandemic caused it to be cancelled; LTV would later announce that they would send her in 2021.
  • Discretion Shot: 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, referred to as a "postcard". Usually it shows montages of either the artists or sights from the host country. Recent examples have included;
    • Belgrade 2008: Performers dancing in the colours of the country's flag, whilst a short letter is written in the country's language - except for Belgium (written in the same constructed language as its song) and Serbia (which was "Welcome to Belgrade" or "Welcome to Serbia" in various languages).
    • 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. It finished with a word or phrase in Russian - transliterated into the Latin alphabet - and its English meaning.
    • 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 in 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: A close-up of the artist/s, followed with a montage of him/her/them engaging in various activities along with family, friends and/or each other (if in groups) as stylized names of their countries are displayed and dandelions in their national colours fly.
    • Kiev 2017: Starts with the acts doing the Mannequin Challenge in a tunnel followed by “flashbacks” of the singers being themselves and preparing for the contest in their host country[[note]]Except for Francesco Gabbani from Italy. His postcard was quite bizarre., ending with the artists proceeding to walk on stage.
    • Lisbon 2018: The artist/s crossing through a Portal Door into various locales across Portugal and engaging in various local activities, ending with him/her/them posting a selfie with the edition's official hashtag "#allaboard" displayed onscreen, followed with a display of the name of the country, song and other data amidst a background of underwater plants displaying the colours of the competing nation.
    • Tel Aviv 2019: The artist/s, walking around various locales in Israel, pressing an imaginary play button (a wireframe triangle made of light), leading him/her/them into a dance-off with local dancers, before casting another triangle onto the screen and into the arena, where it joins an array of triangles hovering over the stage forming the flag of the participating nation. Many acts posted from their postcard filming when recording.
    • Rotterdam 2020: Would have followed the same theme as the previous 2, but based around the ordinary people that the contestants mingle with. Spain, whose act - selected as far back as the previous October - would get immediate first refusal following the show's annulment, had filmed a postcard, but other acts cancelling their shoots due to the escalating crisis, and laws their nations sometimes imposed as regards this, made it untenable.
  • 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.
      • Ironically, this is the only time ever that Armenia voted for Azerbaijan, gifting them a single point in the final. As far as people know, no interrogations were made.
    • 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 (those were repealed in 2000 but violent homophobia has remained in society). 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.
      • Their 2020 entry opened with the lyrics “Cleopatra was a queen like me/straight, gay and everything in between”, and was a major fan favourite. Samira Effendi, who will represent them anew in 2021, indeed has said it is an LGBT celebrating anthem.
    • The conflicts between Russia and Ukraine over Crimea (which Russia annexed in 2014) brought political heat to the 2017 contest, especially given that Ukraine had won the 2016 contest with a song alluding to an event in Crimean history. Right after Russia unveiled their performer Yulia Samoilova, the Ukrainian government declared her Persona Non Grata for having travelled directly from Russia to Crimea to perform. The EBU offered to allow her to perform remotely from a venue in Russia instead, but the Russian broadcaster has insisted that Samoilova be able to perform in Kiev like everyone else. Prior to this conflict, Ukraine also affirmed that it would not exempt Eurovision from its recent policy of banning artists who supported the annexation of Crimea from the country. Much like Armenia before, Russia ultimately dropped out.
  • Does Not Like Shoes:
    • Combined with 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.
    • The lead singer of AWS (Hungary 2018) decided to perform barefoot.
      • The two time entrant for the Magyars either side, Joci Papai, went barefoot in the second occasion, in 2019, but didn't qualify.
    • Perhaps most famously of all was Sandie Shaw who won all the way back in 1967 for the U.K with Puppet on a String.
  • 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 pointnote . 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).
    • The Melodifestivalen-inspired voting system in place from 2016 – each jury announces in turn, then total televote points are added in ascending order – is deliberately designed to prevent runaway winners and heighten the drama of the results portion of the show (working incredibly well all 3 times). In 2019, it was adjusted to be done in ascending jury vote order, ie, Spain and the Israeli hosts, the jury's bottom 2, would get televotes first, and Netherlands, North Macedonia (a nation who had never before made the top 10) and Sweden, would be the last to be read out. It was even more effective, and the title was won by just 26 points - in fact, the top 3 had less than 20 televotes between them.
  • Dreadful Musician
    • Though thorougly averted with the vast majority of victors, some musicians still stand out. Jemini, legendary for their nul points in 2003, fit this, as does Pietro and the Music Stars of 2004, where they were unceremoniously kicked out of the semi finals with a whopping none points.
  • 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.", which a draw in March that year revealed would be hosts Sweden. He did the same in 2017 (for seeming favourites Italy) 2018 (for the UK's entry - before it was ruined), and 2019 (Sweden again) .
  • 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
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: During the results portion of the show the spokesperson for each country is shown in front of a projection of a location in their country which often includes a famous landmark. France's backdrop is usually the Eiffel Tower.
  • Eliminated from the Race: Every year since the introduction of the semi-finals in 2004, the countries in the lowest places won't make the final.
  • Epic Fail: Nul Points, an event where a nation ends with 0 points in the scoreboard (in modern terms, failing to reach the top 10 ranking from every voiting country) is seen as this by the Eurovision community.
  • 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 - Germany's 2009 entry had sparkling trousers, Lithuania's 2010 entry that features sparkle shorts and Belgium's 2016 entry had a sparkly jacket. Ukraine's 2007 entry (Verka Serduchka) cranks this Up to Eleven.
  • 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, boosted by a large online contingent... 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 — and who knows if either of them would have even made it past the semi-finals if Spain wasn't in the "Big Five". In 2017, Manel Navarro came dead last, with only 5 points from the televote (all from Portugal) and none from the juries, despite performing the song in other countries' selection shows, duetting with Lucie, and with a singer from a neighbouring country whose fortunes were rather different to his, as well as covering his fave ESC 2017 songs and covers of chart songs, such as one of Ed Sheeran endorsed by Ed himself. In 2018, this was even worse, as Operación Triunfo, responsible for their relatively successful 2002-04 entries, was brought back, and Catalan singer Alfred and Navarrese Amaia were the most followed singers on Instagram, each with more followers than any other act at the start of selection, and were dating in real life to boot, but performed 2nd and placed 23rd. In 2019, despite having a popular entry, its poor jury vote led to a 5th placing below 20th in a row. It doesn't help that the 2008 entrant, Rodolfo Chikilicuatre, was a "joke" entry that nobody in Spain actually expected to win, yet he still got a better ranking than many of the "serious" entries sent during the last 15 years.
  • Failure Hero:
    • The country that has participated the longest without any win is Portugal, which made its debut in 1964 and never finished in the top five... until 2017, when it finally won for the first time ever - the same day Francisco and Jacinta Marto, the two little shepherds from Fátima were canonized (the Pope even came to Portugal) and Benfica won their first tetra (i.e. four consecutive national football championships). It's like the stars just lined up!
    • While Portugal still holds this record (53 years between debut and first win), now Malta is the country which has debuted the longest time ago without ever winning: 50 years ago (1971), when the Contest returns in 2021.
    • If we consider effective contest appearances without a win, Cyprus has participated the highest number of times (37) without ever taking home the trophy, though they rose from an 80-1 outsider to narrowly lose to near-neighbour Israel in 2018. Portugal still holds the record in this category, too (48 participations resulting in failure before their first win).
  • Fanservice: Even in the least successful songs, performances with strip teasing and wardrobe malfunctions tend to be quite well remembered.
  • Foreign Remake:
    • 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.
    • The Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union has held its own ABU Song Festivals, with both a version delegated by television broadcasters, and a separate event delegated by radio broadcasters. Unlike Eurovision, these were more of an exhibition rather than an actual competition. However, expanding upon the involvement of Australia's SBS in the actual Eurovision, it was announced in 2017 that there would be a Eurovision Asia Song Contest beginning in 2018.
  • Foreshadowing: In 2006, despite a scandal in their National Finalnote , Serbia and Montenegro were still allowed to vote. When announcing their votes, their spokesperson said that they would return the following year with the best song. In 2007, they returned as just Serbia and won the Contest.
  • Forgotten Theme Tune Lyrics: The 1968 winning song used to have lyrics, but they were censored. note  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. Daniel Diges had to sing his song again. Hilarity Ensues when the second guy came in for the duet and people watching thought it was Jimmy Jump again.
    • The dancer in pink that keeps purposely doing the wrong moves and falls down towards the middle of the song.
    • Jamala had a Ukrainian streaker in her performance during the interval of 2017's contest.
    • Su Rie from United Kingdom in the 2018 Contest had a streaker who grabbed her microphone and shouted ”All of the Nazis of the UK media. We demand freedom. War is not peace !” in her performance. There was fears that Israel in all its divisiveness hosting 2019 ESC would lead to more of this happening. It did (briefly) when Netta performed in the French selection, and a couple of boycott activists with banners ran onto the stage but they were removed, and no other incidents like this occurred, even though most selections, and the show itself from within TA, had controlled protests outside from such activists.
  • 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"
  • Gentle Giant: Denmark's 2018 contestants may have looked big and tough... only their entry song was about viking pacifism and during the green room segment with one of the hosts, they angrily yelled in Danish... which she translated as "We love cuddling little kittens".
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: While adult themes are allowed in songs, no cursing is allowed. Naturally, the occasional one slips out (one of the hosts in 2001 had a notable one when it looked like he broke the trophy), but it's usually avoided. Most recently, one of the backing dancers for the Dutch entry in 2018 seemed to be clearly screaming "Fuck yeah!" to the camera when they finally qualified.
  • 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 (save for three or so, which still only used minimal English) has only been presented in Portuguese.
    • Israel lasted a long time before sending an entry entirely in English. While several entries only included minimal Hebrew, there were at least a few English phrases in most of the Israeli songs from about 1992 onward. Their first entry entirely in English was "Golden Boy" in 2015, which compensated for the lack of Hebrew by referencing the city of Tel Aviv and performing with a very Middle Eastern sound. This ultimately worked - Israel finished 9th, their entries in 2016 and 2017 both qualified, and 2018 (which included exactly one line in Hebrew) brought them their fourth victory.
    • On the flip side, Belarus have only sent one entry in their native language (which still was presented with an English title, "Story of My Life"), and Azerbaijan have sent zero. In fact, when the Bulgarian act in 2012 included a few phrases in Azerbaijani in her multi-lingual song, it was the first and only time the language appeared at Eurovision. And the contest was in Azerbaijan that year! (For what it's worth, Bulgaria didn't qualify and the English-language Azeri song finished in fourth place).
  • Guest Fighter / Fake Nationality / Turn Coat: As 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 send 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.
    • In 1995, Norway won with Secret Garden - whose violinist, Fionnuala Sherry came from Ireland.
    • 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 artists — 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.
    • As well as Celine Dion, Switzerland had performers from other countries representing them in the mid-2000s - Estonian girl group Vanilla Ninja in 2005, and All4One in 2006, which had members from Sweden, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Malta, Germany and Israel (as well as Switzerland).
    • 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. The top 4: Norway (born in Belarus), Iceland (born in Denmark), Azerbaijan (one of the singers was Swedish), and Turkey (born and broke through in Belgium). That year we also saw an American for Germany and an Ukrainian for Russia, whilst an Israeli native from its Arab community (1/5 of the population) partook for the first time.
    • 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.
    • San Marino, being a micro-nation, is forced to rely on guest fighters. Perennial Eurovision songwriter Ralph Siegel from Germany has written and composed 5 out of 6 of San Marino's entries between 2012 through 2017. Serial performer Valentina Monetta, whom if she won, would make history in its sleep, recruited an American in 2017. The only time San Marino did not recruit Siegel within that period (2016), the singer was from Turkey with Turkish and Greek writers. For 2018, their selection process involved applications from everywhere, almost literally (including Argentina, Philippines and Zimbabwe), with a single local musician from a pool of 7 as well leading to a final of 12 acts singing songs written by Austria's francophone 2016 act, but usually in English or Italian. Malta and Germany were the home countries of the 2 winners. Their 2016 entrant returns for 2019 with a self written tune.
    • 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. The same happened in 2017 with Lindita Halimi. Neither Azerbaijan - despite the common cultural Muslim religion - or Ukraine recognises Kosovo, and Ukraine's football team hosted Kosovo in Poland rather than Ukraine itself the previous autumn, although both have normal and strong relations with Albania.
    • 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).
    • The major trend of the 2010s have seen a proliferation of various national broadcasters outsourcing song composition to Swedish songwriters (e.g. every Azerbaijani entry since 2009).
    • Monaco's tiny population - about 38,400 in 2016 - means that most of their performers came from neighbouring France.
    • The majority of Luxembourg's participants (all but nine) come from outside Luxembourg itself. This includes their five winners (four from France, one from Greece), and a great deal of them weren't even from French-speaking countries (competitors have hailed from Germany, the UK, the USA, Spain, the Netherlands, and Ireland, among other places, as well as partially-French Belgium).
    • The 2018 contest saw a handful of artists representing countries other than their place of birth: the aforementioned Jessika and Jenifer (respectively Maltese and German) for San Marino; two-fifths of the Bulgarian act coming from the US; Albanian emigrants for both Italy and Cyprus (to top it off, Eleni Foureira lives in Greece and has Greek, not Cypriot, citizenship); a Brazilian singer of Latvian and Italian descent for Latvia; Swedish Lukas Meijer lending vocals to Poland's act; the Belarus-born Alexander Rybak again for Norway and Alekseev (Ukrainian) for Belarus.
    • Canadian singers represented Greece and Romania in 2019. The latter beat an American and a Filipino in a controversial selection process.
    • 2020 would have seen a Greek of Armenian descent for Armenia, a Dutch woman of Greek descent for Greece, and a Suriname born Dutch singer, in a unique chain, as well as singers of Filipino lineage from Austria and Australia, amongst many others in what would have been one of the most diverse song contests ever. Many of the acts are to return in 2021.
  • Guest Fighter: 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. Since then, they have been invited to compete ever since, including a respectable 2nd place in 2016.

  • Handicapped Badass:
    • Blind singer and pianist Serafín Zubiri represented Spain twice (1992 and 2000).
    • 2015 gave us both Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät, a Finnish punk rock band made up of men with intellectual disabilitiesnote  and Monika Kuszyńska from Poland, who performed a wonderfully moving and heartwarming song, in a wheelchair.
    • Julia Samoylova from Russia, finally allowed to compete in 2018.
    • In the 2019 selection process, the host nation had an act called Shalva consisting of 8 members from a Jewish disability charity, who were expected to win and represent Israel, but dropped out before the final, due to their religious devotion (whilst the Shabbat finishes in Israel before the ESC starts, rehearsals take place on the Friday night and Saturday morning, when the holy day occurs), and the fact they are larger than the limit for people on stage (6 members). However, they decided to perform as an interval act in the heats instead, which are in a midweek and don't limit the number of people on stage at any time.
  • Impossibly Tacky Clothes: An award for the funniest costume, the Dex prize, has ran since 1997. It's named after Belgian singer Barbara Dex, who sewed her own dress for the 1993 contest.
  • Inopportune Voice Cracking: Manel Navarro's performance for Spain in 2017 is best remembered for his squawk towards the end of the song. Combined with the fact that he wasn't a heavy favorite thanks to a somewhat bland song and a massively controversial national selection, it didn't really come as a surprise when he finished last.
  • Long-Runners
    • The contest itself celebrated its 64th edition in 2019.
    • German composer Ralph Siegel wrote a whopping 22 songs, ranging from "Ein bißchen Frieden", West Germany's winning song for Harrogate 1982, to San Marino's entries in 2012-15 and 2017, 4 of which were sang by Valentina Monetta (2017 in a duet with an American singer).
    • After taking place every year since 1956, in 2020 the Song Contest had to be cancelled for the first time in 65 years amidst growing concerns (and quarantines) in regards to the spread of COVID-19. It is however planned to return in 2021 for the 65th edition; in Rotterdam as had been originally planned for 2020.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: Most notably Waterloo, an upbeat song comparing the narrator's relationship to the Battle of Waterloo, and Mercy, a happy-sounding song about the children who die crossing the Mediterranean while fleeing with their families (but it might be justified in that it is from the perspective of a newborn baby).
    Je suis tous ces enfants
    Que la mer a pris
    • Fairytale is about being in love with an unacheivable person. Cheerfully so, with hallingdans dance moves.
      I'm in love with a fairy tale
      Even though it hurts
      'Cause I don't care if I lose my mind
      I'm already cursed
    • Viszlát Nyár also fall in this category, the song has a pretty intense and energetic Post-Hardcore sound despite the lyrics being the last words of the singer's deceased father.
      Játsszunk nyílt lapokkal végre
      A hajómnak mennie kell
      És itt fog hagyni téged
  • 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.
  • Minor Flaw, Major Breakup: The 2014 Belarus entry was about a guy who dumped his girlfriend... because she affectionately called him "sweet cheesecake".
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: While most entries are either levels 1-3, there are some entries that are above those levels:
  • 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.
    • A round of The selection for Hungary's ESC song in 2017 was rearranged because of a bus crash in Italy which claimed the life of Hungarian students.
    • At the finals in 2019, when Icelands act got the results of the televote and the camera showed them ...the band members swung pro-palestine banners. At the final in Tel Aviv in Israel. The mood in the live audience quickly changed from excitement for the voting to loud booing.
  • The Movie: Will Ferrell's Eurovision, which he will co-write and star in after being a fan of the competition for decades. Junior Eurovision also had documentary made about it, titled 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. In 2019, he was regularly implored by Scott Mills and Assi Azar to take his shirt off prior to a slowed down cover of "Fuego", which is a very raunchy tune. He kept it on, however.
    • Estonia and France in the lost 2020 contest, also Croatia in the eyes of many fans in that year.
  • 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.
    • It was Nothing on what would have been their 2020 entry, Greek born Athena Manoukian. She was known for having auditioned for The X Factor once by doing the 50 shades version of Crazy in Love and led to this hip-hop and R&B inspired, distincively produced song "Chains on You", where diamonds and chains are talked about as a symbol of empowerment and sexual self determination. Their rivals Azerbaijan, and Serbia, also went heavily for fanservice women in this lost year, and, like Armenia, had a strong feminist message of self determination in their songs.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: Díma Bilán finished second to Finland's Lordi in 2006. Two years later, he went one better and gave Russia its first Eurovision victory.
  • 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 - as many commentators only half-jokingly noted, it's not like Dustin was significantly worse than a lot of actual Eurovision performances.
  • Really 17 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.
    • Iceland's Pollapönk, from 2014, is a group made of middle-aged men who always dress in bright-coloured suits: blue, yellow, red and pinknote .
  • 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.
  • The Runner-Up Takes It All: Since the change in the voting procedure in 2016 - which saw each country get two sets of points to award, one by a panel of judges, the other by the public - this has happened twice:
    • The first occurrence was the first time this was used (2016): the jury vote was won by Australia and the public vote by Russia, which finished 4th and 5th in the other vote. By finishing second in both sets of votes, Ukraine were able to win.
    • The second occurance was in 2019: North Macedonia won the jury votenote , with Norway winning the public vote. Both songs scored lowly in the other set of votes (12th and 18th respectively), whilst the Netherlands scored well enough in both sets (3rd in the jury vote, 2nd in the public vote) to win.
  • 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 (although the following 3 entries also got bad jury scores once in the final, notably 2016). 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. It was not marketed as a selection show for ESC when it was held as such when Portugal returned for 2017, but this idea had an unexpected effect...
  • 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".
  • 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..
  • Solo Duet: Jacques Houdek (Croatia 2017) did two different voices in his song: an operatic tenor voice in Italian and a more high-pitched, poppy voice.
  • Spin-Off: There have been several major spin-offs of the competition.
    • Since 1982, the EBU has organized the biennial Eurovision Young Musicians competition, inspired by the BBC's Young Musician of the Year, which features classical performers under the age of 18 playing pieces for a jury.
    • A more direct spin-off is the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. It was patterned off a junior spin-off of Denmark's Dansk Melodi Grand Prix, which itself gained a pan-Nordic version 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, and have competed since becoming a senior ESC contender!). invoked The winner has talked to the presenters of the adult contest in all of its interval acts since 2014.
    • There was also the short-lived Eurovision Dance Contest, which was essentially a pan-European version of Dancing with the Stars/Strictly Come Dancing (especially in the 2008 edition, which switched to celebrity/professional pairings, much like said franchise). It did not fare well at all; only two editions occurred (2007 and 2008, both hosted by the BBC in London and Glasgow, Scotland) 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. A 2009 edition in Azerbaijan was planned, but the entire idea got canned due to a "serious lack of interest." Azerbaijan eventually won the right to host the real thing.
    • 2017 saw the debut of the biennial Eurovision Choir of the Year competition
    • Also in the works is the Eurovision Asia Song Contest; in the grand ESC tradition, actually being from Asia is not a requirement, as it is targeting the larger Asia-Pacific region (which includes Australia and New Zealand — the inaugural edition is being hosted by Gold Coast, Australia). Rumors have also begun circling about finally bringing Eurovision to the United States of America, with the proposed idea being that all 50 states would duke it out. note 
  • 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.
    • This also happened in 1974. Luxembourg, having won both the 1972 and 1973 contests, declined to go to the expense of hosting it two years in a row, resulting in that year's Eurovision taking place in Brighton, England.
    • 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.
    • In real life, Ireland's entry for 2008 was the infamous "Dustin the Turkey", a hideous turkey puppet singing in a deliberately off-key voice about how much Eurovision sucks and generally taking a lot of shots at the other entries, their nations of origin, Eurovision's perceived decay in quality over the years, and the nation of Ireland. Naturally, he made it to the semi-finals.
    • Sweden and Portugal have won in recent years after choosing to prioritise their selection show for domestic music rather than ESC.
  • Stealing the Credit: If the COVID-19 outbreak hadn’t put the kibosh on it, and providing it had made it through the semi final, and then probably finished higher than the U.K. in the Grand Final, then The BBC was all ready to claim that the 2020 Norway entry would have been a success for the Brits, despite the fact that the song was an entirely Nordic affair because one of the Norwegian co-writers of the song used to be in British boyband A1.
  • Stripperiffic: Many acts. Of both genders.
  • Stylistic Suck: The one and only "Dustin the Turkey", Ireland's attempt in 2008 at riling up all the other countries with what was surely an attempt at making the absolute worst Eurovision competitor of all time: an ugly puppet turkey with an incredibly obnoxious nasally voice singing a bland and derivative song making fun of everyone else there. Dustin didn't make it very far, though, when a lot of viewers took his act at face value rather than as a parody, since he wasn't really that extreme by the standards of Eurovision.
  • Take That!: Not one but two during the 2018 voting sequence: Latvia’s spokesperson initially announced that their twelve points went to Kanye West (possibly a reference to his tendency to take the stage in indignation at awards shows if his preferred artist gets snubbed, most notably at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards), while Greece’s awarded twelve points to La La Land before saying that “...we aren’t at the Oscars!” note 
  • Took a Level in Badass: Bulgaria debuted in Eurovision in 2005, only making it to the final once in their first nine participations. When they returned from a two-year hiatus in 2016, they finally established themselves as solid contenders, with Poli Genova scoring a then-record fourth placenote , and Kristian Kostov topping it the next year with an impressive second-place finish.
  • 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, "Irelande Douze Pointe" (sic). Do we even need to say anything here? Just look at it!
  • Ugly Slavic Women: During the 2012 Contest, the Russian entry included a group of older Genre Savvy women dressed up as grandmothers, pushing the stereotype Up to Eleven. In 2014, Poland defied the trope with a somewhat fanservicey staging of a song extolling the charming beauty of Slavic girls.
  • Waistcoat of Style: Alexander Rybak, the winner of 2009, so much that sometimes it seems he doesn't own any other clothes. He returned with a similar fashion and style 9 years later.
  • Watch It Stoned: For some viewers, drinking games are a big part of their Eurovision viewing experience.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?:
  • Widget Series: The commentary in the UK and Ireland is very British.
  • A Wild Rapper Appears!:
    • One of the first instances is the 2008 Croatia entry, which is otherwise a normal ballad sung by Kraljevi Ulice, until 75 Cents comes up.
    • Jala's contribution to the 2016 Bosnia & Herzegovina entry can be summed up as this: comes out of nowhere, drops a rap verse in Bosnian with very dark or plain bizarre lyrics such as "as soon as we're sober I know we won't start a family" sounding rather angry, disappears again.
    • Hungary in 2017, when Joci Papai puts a morbid rap verse into his own religious ballad Origo.
    • German Jenifer Brening ("it's me Jenny B/what you get is what you see" and "if they dissing you on twitter/ don't give up/don't be a quitter") in her duet with Maltese Jessica Muscat for San Marino in 2018.
    • Though only 3 lines long, and with a clear message, Samanta Tina's in "Still Breathing" was incredibly random.
  • 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 first hosted it in 2005, and the most internationally famous locals they could dredge up were the Klitschko brothers (a pair of very good boxers).
    • Everything in 2001 - except the songs and voting - was done in 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.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: Mentioning trademarks in the songs is forbidden in the contest rules, so San Marino had to rewrite and retitle their planned entry for 2012, "Facebook Uh, Oh, Oh", into "The Social Network Song (Oh-Oh, Uh, Uh, Oh)" to avoid getting disqualified. Belarus also had to drop a Google Maps allusion in 2014, and in 2017, Italy had to cut down the length of their song and they killed two birds with one stone by axing the second verse, which contained a mention of Chanel.
    • This was inverted in 2016 after several countries complained that Australia's entry broke this rule by mentioning FaceTime, the Apple telephony product. The EBU rejected the complaint, saying that the lyrics presented it as two words - i.e. "face time" - rather than one.

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

     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 one of two secret signals 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.
  • The UK's 1996 entry "Ooh Aah... Just a Little Bit" by Australian guest singer Gina G only finished 8th, but later that year it became a very rare example of a Eurovision song catching on in the United States. The song reached the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100, was nominated for a Grammy and remains a pop radio staple in North America.
  • 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 Finland's national final 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.
  • In 2002, Greece brought their first ever English-language entry, "S.A.G.A.P.O.", a Depeche Mode-esque number about getting your lover to say your "password" (spoiler: it's "I love you" in Greek). Of course, it also involves robotic choreography and the band members dressed in body armor for some reason.
  • "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. Late 90's boyband A1 placed 2nd.
  • 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.
    • In 2017, the Sunstroke Project and their sax guy returned again, with the song centred more around him, and staged around a slapstick Wedding - and placed 3rd!
    • In 2018, mixed-gender trio Do Re Dos took things to new levels for Moldova. With each member wearing a costume in a colour of the national flag, they had a comic love story with body doubles behind opening and closing doors.
  • 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 relatively better-received power ballad. Once again, she did not qualify for the final.
    • 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" by Trackshittaz, a dance-rap song that narrowly beat a certain singer by the name of Conchita Wurst at the national final. The song's national final performance notably featured female dancers (sometimes on poles too!) in body suits with glow-in-the-dark clevage and booty, and the YouTube comment sections featured users producing disturbing mondegreens that often involved "poo-poo." They finished dead last in the first semi-final.
  • 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, a barrage of forced rhymes pulled straight out of a dictionary and lyrics making 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.
  • 2018 included Israeli Netta Barzilai, a multiinstrumentalist whose feminist song "Toy" includes chicken noises, and references to Wonder Woman and Pikachu, and Czech Republic's Mikolas Josef, whose Worth It style groove Lie to Me has some rather Getting Crap Past the Radar lyrics, all of which he wrote himself, as well as Albanian-born Greek representing Cyprus Eleni Foureira becoming perhaps the most iconic runner up since Dancing Lasha Tumbai with her tight outfits and high-octane and energetic approach, where Greek music is influenced by latin and Israeli styles, and getting compared to Jennifer Lopez, Shakira and Beyoncé.
  • In 2019, Australia sent Kate Miller-Heidke (trained Opera singer) with "Zero Gravity", a pop-song incorporating opera elements, and Kate wore an outfit that can fittingly be described as "statue of liberty covered in silver glitter". Both she and her back-up singers were suspended on sticks a few feet in the air, swinging around during the performance, with an animated earth superimposed below them (sadly, only in the TV broadcast)... it has to be seen to be fully appreciated.
  • Norway's 2019 entry was "Spirit in the Sky" by KEiiNO, an upbeat, pro-equality song that is notable for being the second Eurovision entry ever to incorporate the Sami (Native Scandinavian) language in their song. They ended up winning the televote, but a poor showing in the jury vote meant they only finished sixth.
  • Iceland's 2019 entry....well...they sent Hatari, a "anti-capitalist BDSM techno performance art group" (their words, not ours) who sang "Hatrið mun sigra", which literally translates to "Hatred will prevail".
  • It was nothing on their lost 2020 entry from singer songwriter Daði Freyr (6ft 9 tall), and his band including his long term wife, sister and 3 friends, all wearing jumpers with 8 bit depictions of themselves, with "Think About Things" - a catchy synth-pop song about Daði and his wife’s baby daughter sung in a distinct monotone. The song had a bizzare music video which was shared by many renowned anglophone celebrities and journalists, and was seen as the would-be winner.
  • The Ex-Soviet Bloc countries all would have brought rather interesting entries for 2020:
    • Armenia: "Chains on You" by Athena Manoukian, a racy female r&b and rap-inspired effort reminiscent of when many renowned female musicians such as Little Mix, Selena Gomez, Normani, Ariana Grande and Beyoncé amongst others rap - and whose song said to be self written in half an hour, with Norton saying it was unlike a standard ESC song, something Athena herself had stated prior to the song's selection as the winner of its process - she stated she submitted the song to it to take a risk;
    • Estonia: "What Love is" by Uku Suviste, a power vocalist who had been known to impersonate Robbie Williams;
    • Ukraine: "Solovei" by Go_A, a psychedelic, leftfield act whose own language music blends screamy white noise with folk music and EDM;
    • Latvia: "Still Breathing" by Samanta Tina, an electro singer whose song has a strange intensity, bizzarre video and short middle 8 rap;
    • Georgia: "Take me as I am" by Tornike Kipiani, a rock singer whose electro ballad attacks stereotypes associated with big nations and then has him singing “I Love You” in their languages;
    • Belarus: "Da Vidna" by VAL, a Clean Bandit-esque act that sings in Belarusian;
    • Lithuania: "On Fire" by The Roop, an electro/deep house trio whose song is an ode to individuality with bizzarre gesticulating;
    • Azerbaijan: "Cleopatra" by Samira Efendi, who brought a Shakira-like ode to Cleopatra with traditional Azeri instrumentation, a Japanese mantra and crazy lyrics including a joke about Marc Anthony, and an unexpected celebration of fluid sexual orientation in a conservative nation;
    • Russia: "Uno" by Little Big, a Die Antwoord-esque internet sensation who blend rave and bubblegum, who get hundreds of millions of views for their videos; their entry is an over-the-top banger about picking up chicks at a nightclub with a chorus sang in Spanish and was regarded as the edition's potential dark horse. As of May 20, the song's music video on the ESC's official Youtube channel reached 100 million views, the second to pull off such a feat after Israel 2018.

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