Worst ever Eurovision Song Contest Winners
— StandWithUs (@StandWithUs) February 23, 2019
There’s not long to go now until the 64th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv, with the participating nations all finalising their plans ahead of the competition. The 2019 version promises to contain all the shocks and surprises the Eurovision frequently produces, and fans will be intrigued to see what’s in store.
Typically, most talking points are generated from an act’s choice of clothing, song and/or political message, but what about unworthy winners? You’d be forgiven for thinking that only the very best performers win, as the competition has certainly seen some questionable songs take the glory. Let’s take a peek at ten of the best, (or worst.)
Sandra Kim – J’aime la vie
Sandra Kim was just 13-years-old when she won the 1986 contest for Belgium, although her song claimed her to be 15. J’aime la vie was the winning choice and Switzerland pushed for a disqualification (they finished second) but to no avail. Kim later admitted she is embarrassed by the song now, and probably the pink trousers she was wearing as well!
Dana International – Diva
Dana was the first transgender winner of the Eurovision in 1998 with the hit Diva, bringing her much popularity in the following years. Dana was representing Israel when she won and faced a backlash from orthodox Jews and conservatives, but she won over the majority of viewers with her performance.
Bucks Fizz – Making Your Mind Up
The UK’s entry in 1981 will always be remembered for the cringe-inducing dancing and questionable performance, but it did enough to win. Bucks Fizz, who sang Making Your Mind Up, came up trumps to claim the win and even went on to enjoy success throughout the 1980’s.
Lordi – Hard Rock Hallelujah
Finland’s one-and-only win back in 2006 will always be remembered. Heavy metal rock band Lordi romped to victory but their choice of garment and performance will always remain a talking point. It was certainly the most unique winning performance in the show’s history and somewhat controversial.
This day in 2006 the 51st Eurovision took place in Athens 🇬🇷.
After a 45 year wait Finland 🇫🇮 won their 1st contest with " Hard rock hallelujah " sung by Lordi .
— Today In Eurovision (@InEurovision) May 20, 2018
Riva – Rock Me
The 1989 contest saw Yugoslavia take the honours, which is also their only ever win. Pop band Riva were the representatives, winning with the song Rock Me which featured an English chorus. The song itself has some dubious lyrics but the viewers appeared not to mind.
The Herreys – Diggi Loo, Diggi Ley
After ABBA’s success ten years previous, Sweden were the victors again in 1984. The Herreys, a trio of clean-cut Swedish Mormon brothers, won with the song Diggi Loo, Diggi Ley but it was their routine that was slightly baffling. The band members opted to wear gold shoes and don some strange dance techniques, pinning them the name ‘the dancing deodorants’.
Tanel Padar, Dave Benton & 2XL – Everybody
Estonia’s win in 2001 was arguably one of the biggest upsets in the competition’s history, with Tanel Padar and Dave Benton winning it for the Eastern European country. The song of choice was uplifting and catchy enough, but it didn’t appear to have enough about it to go on and win. Perhaps it was the duo’s light-hearted approach that convinced voters.
Ell & Nikki – Running Scared
In 2011, Azerbaijan won with Ell & Nikki’s performance of Running Scared. Female singer Nigar Jamal was pretty damn hopeless on the vocals, but they still won over the voters to take first place. The song failed to make much success after the competition and Ell & Nikki are inactive currently, but they did become the faces of an Azerbaijani mobile communications provider.
Marie N. – I Wanna
Latvia’s entry in 2002 drew all the talking points for Marie N.’s I Wanna. It was a borderline strip-tease which involved a series of new costumes being unveiled as the song progressed, but perhaps it was the salsa-style approach that topped it off. It was certainly one of the worst winners of the Eurovision, and the song didn’t gather much success after.
Dima Bilan – Believe
The worst winner of the Eurovision has to be Russia’s entry from 2008, simply owing to the fact it was seemingly desperate and way over the top. To be fair, the Russian’s put a heck of a lot into making the performance as strong as possible, and Dima Bilan didn’t disappoint. In a way, it epitomised what the competition is all about but the shirt ripping open just wasn’t needed. Russia are the early favourites for the 2019 edition (7/2) and you can check out all the other markets here: https://www.betfair.com/exchange/plus/special-bets/market/1.150883218.