Follow TV Tropes

Following

YMMV / Eurovision Song Contest

Go To

  • Americans Hate Tingle: Despite being pretty much recognized across much of the globe, the contest has completely eluded the Americas. In the US, the only place it's ever been broadcast is the obscure Viacom-owned LOGO channel, which has fallen into Network Decay as of late.
  • Anvilicious: While France 2019 entry "Roi" wasn't hated by any means (it finished 14th) there were a respectable amount of viewers who found the song and performance too preachy with its message about tolerance and non-prejudice against people with different gender identity, body shape or race. Especially since Israel's hosting of the contest was already brimming with it.
  • Advertisement:
  • Award Snub: The world's biggest singing competition is bound to have some divides on winners, not just from nationalism but also regional preferences and obviously personal preferences, but there are certain notable moments like when the feeds of voting announcements of countries bordering Russia got cut off before being restored and awarding douze points to Russia.
  • Awesome Music: A requirement to win. Heck, just count the whole thing. There's a national selection in most of the countries, which means that the best can only precede. What you're seeing is usually the best of the country.
  • Badass Decay:
    • Azerbaijan post-2013. They scored six consecutive top 10 finishes (including their 2011 win) since debuting in 2008, but they failed to make the top 10 for four years after Dilara Kazimova's 22nd place finish in 2014. In 2018 they failed to qualify for the final for the first time. Then again, this could be because it was around the time the decline began that it was discovered the country was bribing people for votes, and since has had to tone that down. They seem to have finally snapped out of the slump after Chingiz finished eighth in 2019, but time will tell if this is the exception or the rule.
    • Advertisement:
    • Ireland still is the country that has won Eurovision the most times, but you wouldn't tell from their recent track record. The last of their seven victories was in 1996, but since 1999 they haven't ever managed to crack the top 10 two straight years. In fact, their last top 10 placement is from 2011, and since then, they have only managed to make it past the semi-finals in three out of eight attempts (and in one of those times they came in dead last in the final anyway).
    • Belgium. They scored three consecutive top 10 finishes (winning fourth place twice) in 2015 - 2017. In 2018 they surprisingly failed to qualify, arguably because of the weak staging. They failed to qualify again in 2019
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Conchita Wurst, despite her win in 2014. Some feel that she was a brave person for preaching tolerance and being herself through her out-of-the-closet drag act, while others thought that she was completely misplaced in Eurovision SONG contest and claims she wouldn't have won hadn't it been for the dress and beard. Not enough proof? Well, she won, but her YouTube video has mountains of dislikes.
    • Advertisement:
    • The band PKN, who won Finland's NF in 2015. Either they're a bold choice since they're all intellectually disabled, and an interesting decision in the face to make in the face of Eurovision generally more polished atmosphere (a choice in the vein of Lordi, in 2006, who won), or they're an upset pick over other, stronger entries. That they won with a Punk Rock songnote  doesn't help matters.
    • Salvador Sobral won the 2017 edition with a song and performance which all but go against the pop and camp norm of the recent years. As a result, while it did garner a lot of praise and in spite of winning both the jury and public votes, "Amar Pelos Dois" divided opinion in the base, most evidently online, between those welcoming it as a timeless song and a change from the glitz-and-glamour, and those dismissing it as a boring, unenergetic and forgettable ditty. Similar to the case of "Rise Like a Phoenix", "Amar Pelos Dois" received a not-insignificant amount of dislikes. It was worsened by his open criticism of his elect successor, and the standard of entries in 2018 (fans of the elect runner up also interpreted it as an attack on them, and the champ elect's response was a picture of the pair who would end up as top 2 celebrating heat 1 together). Indeed, his remarks after winning in 2017 saying music shouldn't just be about "fast food and fireworks" angered his Swedish counterpart, who placed 5th, with the Croatian entry that year hitting out at his attack on the following year's protagonists.
      • The remark was specifically about Netta, as he implied he hadn't heard other entries, but Eleni fans interpreted it as a broad on their heroine. Netta's response (saying "sending my love to Salvador and everyone in all genres) included a picture of her and Eleni celebrating qualifying together with a shared heart gesture.
    • Netta has fallen into this, particularly after her win in 2018 (though the song polarised as much as its nation from the point of release). Several fans find her an interesting singer with a catchingly good song, while others dismiss it for its strange chicken impression beatboxing and dance, have accused Netta of cultural appropriation of Japanese and Chinese culture and winning over other favourites such as Alexander Rybak, Eleni Foureira, Mélovin and Rasmussen. That she's also Israeli brought out the Antisemites and anti-Israel persons too, particularly as it was a febrile time in Israeli politics with the USA's Jerusalem embassy a few days later. note  28% dislikes doesn't seem like a lot but is quite high for a viral video with over 100 million views - the most viewed music video of a winner by a long way.
    • This goes back a-ways: 1994 saw the third victory in a row for Ireland and sixth overall, with Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan's "Rock 'n' Roll Kids." The song was more melancholy and introspective than most Eurovision songs, and it didn't feature the orchestra at all (the musicians accompanied themselves on guitar and piano). It also scored 226 points, the first Eurovision song to surpass 200 points. Many fans, however, aren't fond of it, considering it too slow and boring (several have even suggested it was submitted specifically so that Ireland lost and wouldn't have to host in '95). Not helping matters is that it came ahead of a bigger fan favorite and more traditional Eurovision song, Poland's Edyta Gorniak with "To nie ja!" (which, taking second place, made it one of the most successful debuts in contest history).
      • Of course, a more convincing thought would be that the next year's entry, Eddie Friel's "Dreamin'," was the deliberate tanker: it performed second (a spot no entry has won from), was even slower, had plagiarism accusations leveled at it, and ultimately finished fourteenth, leaving the victorious Norway to host the contest in Oslo the next year...which Ireland promptly won again.
  • Broken Base:
    • The 2015 announcement of Australia's participation was met with cheers and jeers. Some felt that their participation is a huge advantage for a country that loves Eurovision almost as much as Europe itself, and definitely in keeping with the 2015 contest's Tag Line (Building Bridges) promoting a sense of global unity, while others feel that Eurovision should be Europe-only, and Australia's participation will possibly open up doors for participation from non-European countries such as Brazil and Canada. In fact, Australia was invited back to the contest the following year in 2016.
    • The choice of Guy Sebastian as Australia's entrant has managed to divide Australian Eurovision fans too, with some labelling him as too safe and boring a choice, even though the entry was neither and placed 5th.
    • This also happened with that year's entries for the UK and Finland, which many declaring that neither song had a chance of winning over the other countries' robust lineup of Pep Talk Songs and/or Power Ballads.
    • Political controversies and attempts by some countries to settle accounts with their political opponents with the help of the competition often becomes this for many viewers. In particular, since the second half of The New '10s, practically every participation of Armenia and Azerbaijan, Russia and Ukraine has been overshadowed by scandals, mutual accusations and even diplomatic crises.
  • Critical Dissonance: Since the introduction of the 50/50 voting format in 2009, it has been essential for contenders to avoid this if they wish to win. Several acts that have fallen into this trap include:
    • 2011 UK representatives Blue were considered to be one of the favorites to win and even received a credible 5th place in the televoting. However, they were ranked 22nd by the juries, leading to an overall 11th place result, barely missing the top ten. In the same year, the inverse happened to Slovenia's Maja Keuc and Austria's Nadine Beiler, who placed 4th and 5th among the juries respectively, but only placed 22nd and 24th (out of 25 finalists) in the televoting. They finished 13th and 18th respectively in the final event.
    • Robin Stjernberg of Sweden in 2013 was ranked 3rd by the juries, but came in 18th in the televotes, ending up with a 14th place result.
    • Poland’s Male Gaze-friendly entry in 2014 "My Słowianie - We Are Slavic", came in 5th in the public voting with 162 points. The juries on the other hand wanted nothing to do with the gimmicks, only placing it 23rd with 23 points, leading to a 62 point overall total and a 14th place result.
      • Poland are this in general. In 2014,2015, 2016 and 2017, the Polish entry wouldn't have qualified if Jury votes were the only votes. In 2018, the jury vote prevented them from qualifying, and is very likely to (though unconfirmed) have cost them in 2019, as they had a polarizing song. In contrast, every Malta entry this decade (going into 2019) has been in the top 10 with the jury alone, but only 4 of the 9 have earned the public votes to qualify.
    • Italy's 2015 entry came first in the televoting, but due to the 5th place given by the juries, Il Volo ended up in 3rd place. This was the first time that the winner of the televoting did not win the contest.
    • 2016 was the first time neither the winner of the jury vote (won by Australia) nor the winner of the televote (won by Russia) would end up winning the contest. Because of the opposing views from both voting parties (Australia 4th with public, Russia 5th with jury), they ended up cancelling each other out leaving with Ukraine (2nd in jury and public) the winner overall. The split voting system introduced that year made the Critical Dissonance particularly obvious. Most notable was Poland's Michał Szpak, who ranked second to last in the jury votes, with only 7 points, but ended third in the public vote with 222 points, finishing eighth in the overall rank.
    • Australia's 2017 contestant, Isaiah Firebrace received a respectable 4th place by the juries with 171 points, but received a disappointing 25th place from the televoting with just 2 points from Denmark. Surprisingly enough, they managed to stay on the top 10 overall with a 9th place result.
    • Austria, seen by not even the biggest fans of former Bulgaria backing vocalist Cesar Sampson as a contender in 2018, held off the Mediterranean title rivals of Israel and Cyprus, as did Sweden, in the jury, but Sweden got only 21 televotes, and Austria only 71, and Israel and Cyprus thundered ahead. Denmark and Italy had very poor jury scores but stormed into the top 10 once the points of the televotes were added, with Italy close to the Cypriot-Israeli title race.
    • In 2019, Norway in terms of those favoured by the public (they were only 15th with the jury, but got more televotes than any other song), and Sweden and unfancied North (formerly FYR) Macedonia with the tastemakers.
  • Dancing Bear: Lots of examples, whenever an act is most remembered for the gimmick than for the song or singer. Just to mention a couple, if you ask anyone, the Russian act for 2006 was about a ghost girl coming out of a piano, Ukraine 2011 was about a woman doing sand drawings and Azerbaijan 2013 was about a guy dancing inside a glass box. In all three cases, the person remembered didn't sing a note.
    • Moldova does this nearly every year. It's gotten to the point that anybody outside of Europe will only remember one of Moldova's performances, the one from 2010. It's not even its proper name, but everyone knows it as "that Epic Sax Guy song".note  The "Epic Sax Guy", in fact, made a triumphant comeback in 2017 as SunStroke Project reemerged with "Hey Mamma" to claim third place — Moldova's all-time high. Acts like Zdob Zi Zdub and DoReDos have done bizzare visual shows for the tiny exclave between Ukraine and Romania, too.
    • The hosts of 2016 made fun of this trope and presented us with this. A collection of some of the most famous gimmicks featured in Eurovision.
    • Stephen Colbert chose to represent the USA after Eurovision began broadcasting there in 2016 and gave yet another parody. Enjoy The Living Life; who knows if it was influenced by "Love Love Peace Peace", but it does feature a lot of the same repeated quirks.
  • Dork Age:
    • The 2005-2009 period is often regarded this way for Spain. After the highly successful first Operación Triunfo era (2002-2004), with all three entrants picked out of said show notching top 10 finishes, Spain suffered a massive slump with low-quality entries selected in chaotic national finals. 2008 is particularly divisive within the fanbase, as a joke entry endorsed by a comedy TV show was sent. Also, the second Operación Triunfo era (2018-2019), while not that terrible in terms of song quality, has failed to match the success of the first, with both Amaia & Alfred and Miki ending up in the bottom five.
    • Sweden had a period from 2005-2010 consisting of entries being mediocre at best. With the exception of 2006, none of them finished in the top 10, finally culminating in Sweden not qualifying for the final at all in 2010, so far the one and only time. This prompted the national contest to change the voting system in 2011, wherein the number of points would correspond to the number of televotes more accurately, and since then, Sweden has fared much better, even winning the whole contest twice.
    • Germany has this in waves. After a run of solid results in the '80s and early '90s, they received a single point in '95, were relegated in '96 (their only absence), and placed poorly in '97. Then Guildo came along, brought them back to the top ten, and led to a few years of top ten results (two of them even in the top five!). Then they fell off again around 2005, finishing low for several years (including two last places) before roaring back with their second victory in 2010, which led to two more years of top ten results. Then 2013 came, and for four years (with the exception of 2014) they consistently finished in the bottom five, twice in last place and once with the dreaded nul points. They turned it around majorly with a fourth-place finish in 2018, but it was short-lived: 2019 saw them fail to get any televoting points, but they still finished ahead of the United Kingdom thanks to the jury points.
    • The UK has been stuck in a dork age since around 1999. Before 1999, they had only finished outside the top ten twice. Since 1999, they've only finished in the top ten twice (in 2002 and 2009), with four last places (one with nul points, one tied, one with a song that was critically derided and disowned, and one in spite of its singer being a fave of fans and other contestants).
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • ABBA and Celine Dion (although French Canadian, she performed for Switzerland) are the most successful entrants career-wise. Ireland hold the record for most wins (seven), most consecutive wins (three, and the year that run ended it was won by an Irishwoman competing for Norway, the following year Ireland won it officially once again, so if you felt like bending the rules you could say they won it five times in a row), and Irishman Johnny Logan has most wins for a single person (one for singing, one for writing, one for singing and writing).
    • 2010 saw a full-fledged meme: the rise of Moldova's "Epic Sax Guy"
    • And of course, Terry Wogan.
    • 2016 hosts Petra Mede and Måns Zelmerlöw have been considered the best part of the show, especially their "Love Love Peace Peace" sketch.
    • Not to mention Miss "Dancing Lasha Tumbai" herself, Verka Serduchka!
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Iceland's first entry in 1986 is "Gleðibankinn", which means "The Bank of Fun". 22 years later in 2008, economic crisis strikes.
    • The 1993 postcards had the competitors exploring Ireland. For Denmark's Tommy Seebach, he led his band through a beer factory, followed by them all enjoying drinks. Ten years later, Seebach would die from a heart attack, which many ascribed to longtime alcoholism (exacerbated by the fact that his entry in '93 finished near the bottom and relegated Denmark from the following year's contest).
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff
    • The show is quite popular in Australia, where SBS shows it on tape delay for primetime (complete with their own commentators in recent years; they used to carry the BBC's feed). Also the subject of a Cutaway Gag during the Opening Monologue of the 2013 edition, which showed an Australian family staying up to watch it live. They fell asleep on the couch. It reached its apex when the EBU, in honor of the ESC's 60th anniversary, invited Australia to participate as a one-off Guest Fighter in 2015. The song was very well-received, and placed 5th in the final event; Australia has stuck around ever since, even nearly winning in 2016.
    • There's a small but growing group of people in the US who wish that BBC America would air the contest. Some want to watch it because they truly are fans of European music and would like the opportunity to find more potential artists to listen to, others just hear all the snark that Europe throws at it and are interested due to Bile Fascination. In 2016, the event was picked up by an American broadcaster: however, it ended up being Logo.
  • Ham and Cheese: Some of the most memorable acts are those who decide to simply have fun and ham it up knowing that their chances of winning are terribly slim. Acts of this kind are pretty much Moldova's specialty (for evidence, just take a look at Zdob şi Zdub or DoReDos), but this trope is also one of the reasons why Spain has failed to get over Baila el Chiki-Chiki.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Or hilarious, depending on your sense of humor: while presenting the votes in 1996, host Ingvild Bryn noted that none of the countries had nul points, remarking that host country Norway were notorious for it. One year later, Tor Endressen's "San Francisco" became the fourth Norwegian entry to receive nul points, a dishonor it shared with Portugal that year.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Following Ireland's run of three wins between 1992 and 1994, British commentator Terry Wogan remarked before the Irish entry from '95 that, "They say they don't want to win, but believe me, they do!" Ireland ended its streak and then some that night, plummeting to fourteenth place. One year later, though...
    • Pretty much every joke referencing Finland's lack of success prior to 2006 (a popular joke compared different Finnish temperatures to Finnish occurrences - "-300 degrees" is comparable to "Finland winning Eurovision"). In particular, the 2005 Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song Contest special had an extended riff on the subject. Host Katrina Leskanich mentioned that Finland had been the country with the longest participation to never win the contest, "and they're angry!" This prompted a performance of "Waterloo" by famed Finnish shouting choir Mieskuoro Huutajat. Literally one year later, a band with a similarly loud sound cued the flying pigs and earned Finland the biggest victory in the history of the contest at the time.
    • The same year Finland won, the representative of what was then Serbia and Montenegro, while broadcasting their votes from Belgrade, remarked that "we didn't have a song for you this year.note  But next year, we'll have the best song." They were as good as their word: the next year, newly-independent Serbia won the whole contest, with Belgrade hosting in 2008.
    • In one of the interval sketches of Sweden's hosting of Eurovision 2013, an EBU "reporter" called Lynda Woodruff mistakes Copenhagen for Malmö when she's going to introduce the Swedish culture to the audience, which she does by counting several of Denmark's specialties instead (geographically, Malmö is really close to Denmark, and practically seen as Danish by both countries, so it was sort of a common mistake). Guess which country won the contest and which city got to host it the next year?
    • One interval act that got cut after the dress rehearsal offered a look into the future, where every country in the world participated in Eurovision. Alongside typical Eurovision contestants like Norway and Russia, other countries taking part include South Africa, Brazil, and Australia. The first two are still waiting on their invitation, but one year later, guess who was invited for the first time?
    • During the 60th anniversary show, Eurovision’s Greatest Hits, after the performance of 1973 winning song "Tu te reconnaîtras" (Wonderful Dream), co-host Graham Norton remarked that "Of course I too had a wonderful dream, yeah that Greece and Cyprus gave someone else 12 points", noting the infamous voting block between the two nations. Ironically in that year’s Eurovision (2015), Greece and Cyprus would both give their respective 12 points to Italy.note 
      • Whilst that year saw both nations give their 12's to Italy, Cyprus gave 6 points to Israel and Greece gave none. Why was this ironic? Greek rnb singer Eleni Foureira was so taken aback by the Israeli entry Golden Boy, penned by Doron Medalie, she did an own language cover version of it. This led to her attempting to represent Greece with a song produced by Doron. It wasn't selected, but 2 years later, she represented Cyprus after Greek Swedish super producer Alex P's wanted artists were unable to enter, became a sensation, and placed 2nd. Who wrote the song that beat hers? Medalie! Furthermore, they collaborated again with her new-found status and his elevated further.
    • In the interval act of the 2016 contest finale, "Love Love Peace Peace", the then incumbent winner and host Måns Zelmerlöw jokingly advises against winning Eurovision with a song about war, as Abba did with "Waterloo" back in 1974. Come the end of the show, Jamala wins with "1944", a song about the Soviet deportation of Crimean Tatars.
      • That same year, in the "Story of ESC" song, Mans and Petra sing that Eurovision "[will] take over the world and then conquer Mars!" In 2018, science-fiction writer and Obie Award winner Catherynne M. Valente released Space Opera, which is about humanity having to send a representative to an intergalactic song contest in order to not be obliterated. So, in a sense, Eurovision does take over Mars (and, if the parody isn't obvious enough, the names of each chapter come from different Eurovision songs, and the beginnings to each section contain quotes from thematically relevant Eurovision songs).
      • Later, in the same song, they jokingly sing "When Sweden gets twelve points from Norway/It's clearly just good taste" as a way to poke fun at how Sweden benefits from Nordic bloc voting. Then, when the jury vote comes around, Norway gave Sweden...nothing. And the televote only gave them 7.
    • Austria and Germany in 2015 both got nul points. In 2018 they were in 3rd and 4th place with 342 and 340 points, respectively
  • Hype Backlash: Many winners of their respective years usually get thoroughly bashed once it gets popular; usually by those who didn't find the song very appealing in the first place. The biggest example must be 2014's winner, Conchita Wurst. Seriously, just look at the amount of dislikes!
  • I Liked It Better When It Sucked: The hilariously bad acts are often more enjoyable than the half-decent ones.
    • A joke that's often made in the Netherlands (and probably in other countries too) when the contestant of this year is revealed: 'I thought it was impossible, but true, they found a worse singer than last year. Why can't we just send a band like {decent dutch band)?' 'I think it's against the rules to send someone who can actually sing.' Stopped applying in Netherlands circa 2014, even less so when winning 5 years later.
  • LGBT Fanbase: Goodness gracious, yes. The entire program is campier than a chorus line of drag queens, not to mention that a huge number of performers are themselves members of the LGBT community (of which Conchita Wurst is only the most recent and well-known example.) There's a reason why the contest is often referred to in the media as the "Gay Olympics".
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Verka Serduchka and "Dancing Lasha Tumbai". It comes as no surprise.
    • The "Epic Sax Guy" from the 2010 Moldova entry "Run Away" by SunStroke Project & Olia. They're all quite aware of this; in fact, the band actually managed to return for the 2017 edition, resulting in much rejoicing.
      • It helped Moldova, a nation with very limited resources, THIRD when it returned in 2017. Previously, their best was in 2005, their debut and also in nearby Kiev, with meme friendly Zdob Zi Zdub, who were even odder in 2011!
    • Sweden's 2012 entry Loreen and her "crab walk" seem to be getting there.
    • The smallest of the sweet little old Russian ladies from 2012 developed a fandom on Tumblr due to her dance moves.
    • 2013: "Alcohol is free" became a punchline for jokes about the Greek economic crisis
    • Tumblr users developed a fondness for the 2013 Romanian entry, whom they described as the "gay opera dubstep vampire".
    • 2016 was generally full of this, with gems such as Poland's entry being called anything from Sirius Black to Jesus, Croatia's outfit looking like something a boss from Dark Souls or Final Fantasy would wear, Germany's entry being a blatant otaku, the fact that Australia almost won that year, and many more.
    • In 2017, Croatia's Jacques Houdek became a meme thanks to his visuals and how his song was a duet... with himself.
    • Israel's 2018 entrant and winner Netta has been referred as the "chicken lady" due to the clucking sounds in her song "Toy".
    • Cyprus' 2018 entrant Eleni Foureira drew comparisons to Shakira and Beyoncé. The former because of her wavy long hair, the latter because of her dance moves, and also because the designer of her infamous costume, Vretakos Vrettas, has LITERALLY designed Beyoncé costumes. Also, her joking about the simple fact Fuego means fire, when promoting her song during the final week, made her a meme even more.
    • Ukraine opened the show in 2018 with the country's participant, Mélovin, rising out of a piano like a vampire from his coffin, only to then have the stairs leading to said piano light up with fire. Eurovision fans, and in particular Tumblr, rejoiced upon setting eyes upon what has now been deemed the love child of the Romanian 2013 gay opera vampire and Austria's 2015 "burning fake piano", as immortalised by Sweden's 2016 interval act "Love Love Peace Peace". Ukrainian Dracula indeed.
    • People having fun at the titles of 2019 songs:
    Denmark: Love is Forever
    Sweden: Is it too late for love
    Iceland: Hatrið mun sigra (Hatred will prevail)
    • Users posting a "corrected" version of Duncan Laurence's performance where his piano is on fire
    • Iceland 2018 vs Iceland 2019
  • Moe: While she came last place in 2016, Germany's Jamie-Lee Kriewitz was still seen as The Cutie for being young, dressing in a lolita fashion and apparently having a tendency for adorable head-gear.
  • Mondegreen:
    • Hungary's entry in 2013 probably got 12 points from Germany, because Kedvesem sounds like "Geldwäsche" (money laundering).
    • A rather... unfortunate (and hilarious) one from Austria: "FUCK HIM IN DE POO-POO!". For the record, the closet English translation of the line (and in turn, the title of the song itself) "Woki mit deim Popo" is "Shake Your Ass", but the Austrian dialect is hard to understand even for non-Austrian German native speakers.
    • A controversial one was Verka Serduchka's "Dancing Lasha Tumbai," which some Russian authorities objected to because the phrase 'Lasha Tumbai' sounded similar to 'Russia Goodbye.' Serduchka claimed that the phrase was Mongolian for "whipped cream," but this was later disproven on a Russian talk show. Serduchka later admitted that the phrase was meaningless gibberish that fit a rhyme; given that this is Verka Serduchka... The mondegreen caused Serduchka to be banned from performing in the Russian Federation for one year. Lampshaded at the end of this video.
  • Narm / Narm Charm: A good few acts know that the show doesn't take itself seriously anyway so they try to have as much fun entertaining the crowd as possible and making their acts memorable.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Kaveret (known internationally as Poogy) are considered the Israeli equivalent of The Beatles, since the band released several famous albums and was made up almost entirely of famous Israeli musicians. They competed in 1974 with "Natati la chaiyai," which is nowadays only remembered by Eurovisionistas for: a) losing to ABBA (a fate that's befallen pretty much every performer from that year other than ABBA themselves) and b) their relatively ridiculous outfits. They placed sixth, which isn't bad, but none of the members returned for another go (although a quick scan of their Wikipedia page shows that they've all done more than fine at home).
    • British duo Jemini are ONLY known for their 2003 entry "Cry Baby" getting 0, which has variously been put down to Iraq backlash, and according to Gemma Abbey, sabotage.note 
    • He released new music after Eurovision, but Manel Navarro (Spain 2017) is still mostly remembered for that one note...
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: The decision for Austria to send in drag queen Conchita Wurst in 2014 was rather controversial for conservative viewers and nations, with some even going as far as saying that she would turn the contest into "a hotbed of sodomy". Ironically, the reason why Wurst’s persona even exists is due to her advocacy towards tolerance, and if anything, the controversy caused even more people to look into and adore her and her song. Especially considering that she won, it’s safe to assume her message of tolerance was heard loud and clear.
    • The entire nature of Netta and Toy is about this, even with its positive message, at a time of increased agitation about Israel, particularly with domestic political problems, and its government's relationship with nationalists, such as Donald. The uninhibited nature of the song meant that it went viral instantly, including in Africa, and even some Arab League countries, and picked up over 20 million views before the contest began, with a further 7 million the day after its win, enabled by nations with a variety of opinions on, and trust in, Israel.
  • Overshadowed by Controversy:
    • It's a matter of debate on whether the UK’s Nul Points in 2003 was more because of anti-British sentiment from the Iraq War, or Jemini's horrifying off key singing, but obviously having both factors going against the UK clearly didn’t help.
    • Russia's Tolmachevy Sisters in 2014 received a lot of boos from the audience when they made it to the final and when they received high votes, not because of their song (they came in 7th), but because of anti-Russian sentiment due to the Crimean conflict and its stance on gay rights.
      • The same thing happened in 2015 with Russia's Polina Gagarina who came in second. She was in tears in green room during the first part of the voting when she was in the lead, allegedly because of how loud the crowds were booing whenever she received high scores, prompting one of the hosts to chastise the audience for making it about politics above music. Once Sweden took the lead people were loudly chanting for Sweden to win just so that Russia would not.
      • Russia was accused of choosing Julia Samoulova for 2017 because they knew the audience would never boo someone in a wheelchair. However, Julia was controversial for different reasons: she had previously traveled to Crimea via Russia to perform, which led to Ukraine banning her from entering the country for three years, preventing her from performing in Kiev that year. She was given the chance to perform via satellite link (which would have made her the first participant ever to do so), but Russia declined and withdrew a month before the contest. Julia did perform in Portugal 2018, and while she wasn't booed (and received 3 televoting points from Ukraine), she didn't advance to the Grand Final either.
  • Padding: Many entries have lyrics that's just filler to help a song reach the required time limit.
    • Lampshaded in a Swedish song parodying the contest called "Värsta Schlagern" (loosely translating into "The Worst Hit Song"; Schlager is a term referring to a particular style of pop music that is prevalent among Nordic Eurovision entries and hopefuls), where the lyrics for the verse between the first and second chorus go note : "Now it gets tricky to figure out// something new to say, but so what?// This is merely padding, anyway// and people will soon forget it."
  • Painful Rhyme: With the exceptions of the songs and voting, everything in 2001 was done in rhyming couplets.
  • Sacred Cow:
    • ABBA, who got Sweden's first win ever in 1974. May the heavens protect you if you bad-mouth them in the slightest.
    • Then there's of course Céline Dion, winner for Switzerland in 1988, who has become one of the most famous international singers of all time since then.
    • In later years, we have Norway's Alexander Rybak (Winner 2009) and Sweden's Loreen (Winner 2012), who scored 387 points and 372 points, respectively, holding the point records in ESC history. When people criticize them, they often get called out on by at least a handful of people. Loreen is especially a Sacred Cow in Sweden. When she performed in one of the interval acts in Melodifestivalen 2015 (Sweden's national selection for ESC), she was showered with love and adoration from every direction, and everyone practically begged her to send her to ESC again, and her Shocking Elimination in the 2017 Melodiefestivalen was met with outrage. Let's just say that her win in 2012 will stay in the Swedes' hearts for a long, long time.
    • Serbia in 2007 (Marija Serifovic with "Molitva") counts as well; it's still fondly remembered despite being roughly 10 years ago she won. In fact, when there was a poll counting the best Eurovision entries of all time in early 2010's, she was ranked second. (ABBA was in first).
    • The (in)famous Johnny Logan, the only three-time winner (once as a singer, once as singer/songwriter, and once as songwriter). The two songs he performed, particularly his second, "Hold Me Now," are still considered high watermarks for the contest. "Hold Me Now" was even voted the third-greatest ESC song in 2005, coming behind only "Volare" and "Waterloo."
  • Scrappy Mechanic: There is nothing in the ESC rules saying that the national entrants have to be selected among numerous artists and/or songs by the wider public and for various reasons, some countries sometimes decide to just have their TV bosses pick a song and an act - which usually goes just about as well as you'd expect. The reasons for that unpopular measure being taken are usually lack of suitable candidates, something about the last performance having gone wrong and the public vote being blamed or attempts to cut costs. It's not uncommon that a country goes from national preselection to network bosses picking an act to not showing up at all before giving it a go again years later
    • Yes and no: while internal selection has a mixed track record at Eurovision, it's paid off handsomely for several countries. Two of the top three countries in 2018 (Austria and Cyprus) internally selected their songs and performers, while victorious Israel picked their singer through a national final and the song was chosen by the Israeli broadcaster. Several winning acts have also been completely chosen internally (most recently, Conchita Wurst and Duncan Lawrence). In fact, the Netherlands have not used a single public selection since 2012, the final year of their infamous run of not qualifying, and have only missed one final since, with a song that was unveiled prematurely and a singer whose dress was widely derided.
  • Singer Shipping: Eurovision is not completely free from this trope, oddly enough.
    • There was slight shipping between Alexander Rybak/Lena Meyer Landrut (winners of 2009 for Norway and 2010 for Germany, respectively), when Rybak playfully tricked Lena into kissing him, when she was recieving the 2010 ESC trophy from him. There was a few misunderstandings between them too that could come off as Adorkable.
    • In 2012, this trope sparked between Kaliopi/Can Bonomo (Contenders for F.Y.R. Macedonia and Turkey, respectively), when he was complimenting her and vice versa, claiming they're going to work together and sharing a few friendly cheek-kisses. The comments on YouTube is what makes this trope qualify.
    • In 2015, the Lithuanian contenders, Monika and Vaidas, showed a lot of chemistry while singing their happy song about love. They even included a kiss, which was longer and more passionate every time they performed the song. The shipping was imminent.
    • Also in 2015, Elnur Hüseynov from Azerbaijan and Loïc Nottet from Belgium appeared in a video together, talking about the "bridges" they had with each other's country (due to the 2015 slogan Building Bridges). The interactions between them and the suggestive lyrics of the Belgian song created a proper shipping moment, as some comments on YouTube pointed.
    Elnur Hüseynov: Rapapap, rapapap...
    Loïc Nottet: ...Tonight?
    Elnur Hüseynov: Tonight!
    Both: *laugh*
    • In 2017, the Belarus and Romania acts both included kissing between the duets.note  Meanwhile, several joint appearances of UK's Lucie Jones and Spain's Manel Navarro — most notably a duet cover of Martin Garrix's "In the Name of Love" — also sparked some minor shipping (and loads of unconfirmed relationship rumors that made it to the press over in Spain). Needless to say, this ship sank completely when Lucie married her long-time boyfriend later in the year.
    • The first neighbourly top 2 since 2009, Netta and Eleni of Israel and Cyprus respectively. Their so-called rivalry had a unique twist due to the latter's regular work with the former's songwriter. They shared a heart gesture when celebrating qualifying, Netta used the picture to clap back at Salvador Sobral's critique of her song, and re-did the gesture, as well as passionately embracing in front of fans and the media, when Eleni gigged at an Israeli rnb festival alongside their 2015 contestant whose song she had previously covered, amongst others, and at the birthday party of the songwriter in question, Doron Medalie. Furthermore, Netta later made a post which was defending Israel's home entry (ironically called "Home", by Kobi Marimi, whose insta was largely a travel blog until winning the Israeli selection), a gravelly, classical religious ballad - and still used that post to reaffirm how much she liked Foureira (mentioning the fact that "Fuego" had long odds prior to rehearsals, just like "Home" has). Marimi DID do his own version of Fuego during the Rising Star selection process.
  • Snark Bait: The contest itself is considered as this to some, who see it more as a camp pop and political affair rather than a place to find credible artists.
    • The British retrospective comedy Panel Game It's Only TV But I Like It included a round entitled "Let's All Laugh At Foreigners" where the teams were shown three embarrassingly bad Eurovision performances from across the years and had to guess which one got 'nul points'.
    • In the wake of the 2014 contest, the U.S. panel game @midnight did a similar round called "Europe Be Crazy", where the panelists had to guess, based on descriptions alone, what was an actual Eurovision performance.
  • So Bad, It's Good: So many it's hard to list them all, but a few notable examples are:
    • Ukraine's 2007 entry Dancing Lasha Tumbai performing silly dances in silver costumes with quite a weird but catchy melody. They ended up in second place.
    • Russia's 2012 entry Party For Everybody of old grannies in traditional Russian attire with a very charming and heartwarming spirit. They ended up in second place, and were absolutely adored by everyone, including the winner.
    • Stefan Raab is responsible for two of those Guildo Horn and himself with a ridiculous campy getup and nonsense lyrics. Four years later he was at it again, this time with a more serious entry and another six years later the winner of a casting show he organized won it all. As of 2016 Raab is retired from both television and music, though. So neither his extreme campy acts nor his honestly decent acts will grace Eurovision any time soon.
  • So OK, It's Average: There have been a number of times where songs will place poorly not for actually being bad, but for simply slipping into the background compared to the more noticeable acts. Switzerland's 2011 act and Portugal's home entry in 2018 were both well-received by fans, but both finished last due to not standing out enough. Portugal's act, in particular, was generally well-regarded and finished with a (for their meager position) respectable 39 points (higher than most songs that place last - compare it to Spain's 5 points when they bottomed out the scoreboard the year before).
  • Suspiciously Similar Song:
    • The songwriter of Sonia's "Better the Devil You Know," the United Kingdom's 1993 entry, said it was basically his attempt to re-write Wham's "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go." It worked pretty well: the song took second place.
      • The more obvious George Michael lift would probably be the Turkish entry that year, "Esmer Yarim," which sounds remarkably similar to "Faith" (possibly by virtue of also using the Bo Diddley Beat).
    • In 2010, Ukrainian entry Alyosha had to change her song after her entry "To Be Free" was judged to be a copy of the Linda Perry and Grace Slick song "Knock Me Out" (and because it was allegedly made available publicly in 2008, which is also a no-no in the Eurovision rules). As if Ukraine hadn't gone through enough ESC 2010 finalists to begin with; they had already scrubbed Vasyl Lazarovych's "I Love You" after fans complained about the singer that the Ukrainian broadcaster had selected for them. Vasyl participated against 19 other performers in a more "open" selection competition; he finished 7th.
    • In 2013, Cascada's song for Germany, "Glorious", was accused of plagiarizing last year's winner "Euphoria" (and yes, the chorus does sound similar); however, its producer challenged the claims by saying that while they had a right to investigate, "if you look at the composition in a waveform, you will see that 10,000 pop songs have similar courses." They were later cleared of plagiarism charges, but some people still think they may have stolen from a clan of mobsters from Sweden instead.
    • By 2015 pretty much every unique song composition seems to have been exhausted, but the Cypriot entry is especially similar to a mash-up of "Taking Chances" and "She's Always a Woman". The 2015 winner, Sweden's "Heroes", is also accused of being too similar to David Guetta's "Lovers on the Sun". While released in 2015, "Heroes" was actually written in 2013 - a year before the Guetta song. Some people have also felt that the song, particularly during the chorus, has shades of "Love Me Again"
    • While many favoured Sergey Lazarev to win for Russia in 2016, many also criticized Russia for seemingly copying what Sweden did in 2015. This based on Lazarev being similar looking to Måns Zelmerlöw and the stage show for his song using the same basic concept as with Zelmerlöv's Heroes. Zelmerlöw himself, who hosted the show that year, did not seem to see the similarities (or care if he did).
    • Some viewers noticed the opening part of the Germany entrant Levina's song "Perfect Life" in the 2017 contest was similar to "Titanium" by David Guetta featuring Sia.
    • Some viewers felt Austria's song for the 2017 contest, "Running on Air" by Nathan Trent had a similar arrangement as Take That's "Never Forget".
    • Also in 2017, the thudding and earthy beat at the start of Cyprus' tune "Gravity" by Hovig was widely seen as resembling the beat of Rag n' Bone Man's recent worldwide hit, "Human."
    • When Netta won for Israel in 2018, her song "Toy", whilst already long-viral, would gain extensive publicity in USA. However, it meant that, during the summer, Universal Music attempted a lawsuit against the song for parts of its chorus sounding like the "Seven Nation Army" chant. It meant that, 7 months later, Jack White (The White Stripes' vocalist) was handed royalties for the song's success out-of-court to prevent a copyright dispute, after Doron held regular meetings with Universal over the summer.
      • Czech Republic's most successful act Mikolas Josef ringing in "Worth it" by Fifth Harmony with his self made song "Lie to Me", and the Ori Kaplan-style hook.
    • As it had the same songwriter as its predecessor, it was easy to call Cyprus' 2019 bid a "Replay" of "Fuego".
  • Tear Jerker: On the first viewing, you may be moved by Rona Nishliu's semi-final performance of "Suus" for Albania in 2012. However, watching it again after you find out about the horrible bus accident in Albania that happened the day before and after you find out that she dedicated her performance to the victims of the accident makes you realize that she's not visibly holding back tears just because of the mood of the song...
    • 2017 victor Salvador Sobral scored Portugal their first win in their over fifty years of contest participation, and with a record score of over 700 points. Unfortunately, his health issues were well-known even before the contest, to the point where his sister Luisa had to step in for one of the rehearsals. A few months after winning, Sobral announced he would be taking a break from music to get heart surgery and recover. He marked this with a tearful concert, capped off by a sing-along of his winning "Amar pelos dois" that left him sobbing. Fortunately he recovered after the surgery and he's set to go touring again.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: Long after Western Europe stopped taking it seriously, the fall of the Soviet Union and the breakup of Yugoslavia led to a number of new countries seeing appearing in it as a serious mark of independence, a show of national pride, and even as an advert for tourism. Then of course there's the Misplaced Nationalism between bitter rivals.
    • This reaches Serious Business levels in Russia, where state TV channels and officials are so serious about the contest that almost any loss or dispute is immediately assessed as deliberate anti-Russian antics and attempts to use the contest as a weapon of geopolitics. There is no need to say how narmy it looks.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion:
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?:
    • The famous "Insieme" ("Together") by Toto Cutugno, also known by its chorus "Unite, unite Europe", won the contest just as the last details were being completed for the forming of EU.
    • To an extent, about half the entries in 1990 definitely count, seeing as this was the first contest held since The Great Politics Mess-Up - as demonstrated with Austria and Norway's entries.
    • Austria's 2014 entry "Rise Like a Phoenix" sounds like a Bond theme song... Only problem: It was song by a guy/girl with a beard in a dress under the name Conchita Wurst. Just a short while after Russia passed a homophobic law. As Eurovision has quite a big LGBT fanbase, allegations of it all having been political are kind of easy to make.
    • Armenia's 2015 entry "Don't Deny" had Turks and Azeris up in arms claiming it had to do with the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and trying to get it disqualified for being political, even before the lyrics to the song were made public and all that was known about the song was the title. At Vienna, the song was renamed "Face the Shadow" to dispel any more of those accusations. They also accused France's entry "N'oubliez pas" (Don't Forget) of being about the genocide, though it's supposed to commemorate World War I.
    • In 2015 the competition was held a few weeks after the seventieth anniversary of VE day - when Germany and Austria surrendered their efforts in WW2. The only two countries to score nil points were Germany and the host country Austria (both with admittedly forgettable songs). These two facts are probably connected, as is the English title of the French song - "Don't Forget". The lyrics of the Israeli song were interpreted by some to be about overcoming genocide; it was one of the oddest performances but still scored well.
    • Also in 2015, the Austrian hosts chose to ask the audience not to boo Russia that year, even though they did have one of the best songs. It's also definitely not political that nobody wants to vote for the UK, after giving one of their best performances of recent years by actually sticking to the unwritten conditions of Eurovision songs, when the newly reinstated Conservative government are closing borders, cutting support, and considering leaving the EU (though after Graham Norton's appearance in 2014 most other countries do understand that the UK will really only start to care if they win now).
    • Ukraine returned to the 2016 contest after a one-year hiatus with the entry "1944," ostensibly about singer Jamala's great-grandmother's life but has been accused of a deliberate attempt to rile the Russians (1944 being the year that the Crimean Tatars, were forcibly deported from Crimea into Central Asia after being accused of Nazi-collaboration by the Soviets, one of whom was Jamala's great-grandmother) because of the ongoing Crimean crisis and the War in Donbass.
      • Ukraine's 2016 win was seen as a Double Standard by many Armenians, as the year before they were forced to change the name of their song because it sounded like it was about the Armenian genocide and was thus "too political" (as noted above), and in 2016 got in trouble for bringing politics into the contest when singer Iveta Mukuchyan brandished a Nagorno-Karabakh flag. Moreover, despite the concealment of this during the contest itself, Ukrainian officials seem to have not even tried to hide the politicized nature of the song and the political context of its victory afterwards, which only provoked further controversy.
      • This selection has set off another international incident: apparently, Samoylova performed in Crimea after Russia annexed it and this is reason for a three-year ban from Ukraine, so now fans are divided between those who think Ukraine is being insensitive by banning a wheelchair-bound singer who hardly can be considered a threat to their country, and those who think Russia was aware that Samoylova had broken the Ukrainian law and picked her specifically to make Ukraine look bad. This becomes even more controversial if you know that the Bulgarian entrant Kristian Kostov also acted as a Russian citizen in Crimea, but this only surfaced when he already was in Ukraine, and wasn't banned on the grounds that he was a 14-year-old kid when it happened and therefore presumed incapable of making such decisions on his own accord.
      • Fortunately, it's all water under the bridge for the 2018 contest: Channel One is as good as their word and is sending Samoylova to Lisbon, and the Ukrainian TV station has said there are no issues preventing them from broadcasting her performance. Ukrainian fans gave her 3 points. However, their jury didn't, and she failed to make the total top 10 with either public or jury and crashed out. Russia gave Ukraine many points due to Mélovin's insta fan army.
      • However, it was revived for 2019, as Ukraine's selection was won by the singer MARUV (Anna Korshun), a former strip club performer. However, the fact that she based most of her work in Russia meant that Jamala openly asked her to explain her opinions on Crimea. When she won, she was given a draconian clause to sign to take part, and sign it within a day. The clause told her to not gig in Russia until after ESC, and have her media appearances very tightly controlled by the broadcaster, and pay 2 million Hryivna (65,000 euros) if she didn't oblige. She refused to sign it, citing it made her "a slave and political tool" for a country which was holding an election at around about the time of ESC, meaning that Ukraine had to choose another act. As all the other acts in the selection final also rejected the offer, Ukraine gave up and quit for the second time in 5 years. Worse still, Russia bought back their 2016 entry Sergey Lazarev, and he is the favourite again!
    • Some interpreted Netta (and many other Israeli celebs celebrating her victory on their insta pages) saying "Next year in Jerusalem" (a common song at the end of prayers in the Jewish festival of Passover and fast of Yom Kippur)as a political statement in the wake of Donald Trump(and some Latin countries) moving the US embassy to Jerusalem a couple of days later, and with the nation's PM trying to persuade other (central-east European, latin or African nations) to do so, which led to a day of agitation, violence and profiling in Israel and Gaza, and made Jerusalem, host of the previous 2 times hosted by Israel proper, all-but-toxic to many, with petitions against partaking going viral in places such as Ireland and Iceland (1999's runners up). This was worsened by a nationalist government member insisting the event being held in Jerusalem was a red line despite a high profile pre-world-cup game slated to take place there involving the hosts welcoming Leo Messi's Argentina, being canned due to the agitation, but the normally nationalist PM overruled her and decided to no longer interfere with the hosting process, with Jerusalem also a divisive choice amongst devout religious groups in the government, as ESC takes place a short time after the Shabbat ends (Israeli time). As a result, 4 venues across the country made bids to host (including Eilat and Haifa). Netta herself openly admitted that she did not actually care about where the event was held and was fine with Tel-Aviv, subject of their famous 2015 entry, and a renowned LGBT heartland, being the venue, in an interview where she also admitted she doesn't want to talk about complex issues, and indeed it would be (1998 winner, transgender Dana International, would later admit it was fine that ESC was in TA as there was no reason why it shouldn't be). Many interpreted it as a decision to defuse the political situation (and indeed, many nations, such as Iceland, confirmed their involvement at this point), but the EBU head merely insisted that it was because TA had better facilities
      • The Icelanders chose anti-capitalist bondage punk act Hatari, who have joked about wrestling matches with the PM,as their entry for this iteration, and it instantly became a meme. They also have open and frank left wing stances, and went to the Palestinian Authority during their 2.5 weeks in Israel for the contest, and were deadpan when announced as qualifiers, and waved a pro-Palestinian scarf when told they got 160 televoting points, to climb into the top 10, the first in a decade.
  • The Woobie: Poor Ari Olafsson. The Adorkable singer was chosen as Iceland's singer in 2018, performing the song "Our Choice." Besides having a great voice, his cheerful demeanor (he was the youngest contestant that year) and openness with his emotions (he was openly crying both when he was selected and immediately after finishing his Eurovision performance) earned him a number of fans and - partially by virtue of showing up to virtually every international pre-party that year - became a great friend of the other entrants. He became particularly close with Germany's Michael Schulte, the Czech Republic's Mikolas Josef, Spain's Amaia and Alfred (who went so far as to call him the best friend they made during the competition), and fellow Scandinavian Rasmussen from Denmark. Sadly, while he was well-liked, "Our Choice" was regarded by Eurofans as one of the weakest songs in the competition that year, and finished last in its semi-final with only 15 points, all from the juries. Many of his fans (in a similar reaction to another well-liked entrant with a poorly-regarded song, SuRie from the United Kingdom) have suggested he return next year with a song that better suits his talents.

Top

Example of:

/
/

Feedback