Saturday 24 March 2018

Take a look at some of the weird and wacky acts to grace the Eurovision stage

From Jedward to Finnish heavy metal rockers Lordi.

By Joe Nerssessian

The Eurovision Song Contest is well known for its weird and wonderful acts who keep audiences tuning in each year.

Ahead of this year’s Grand Final in Kiev, we take a look back at some of the wackiest performers to grace the Eurovision stage.


The heavy metal rockers from Finland won the contest in 2006 with Hard Rock Hallelujah, mesmerising viewers with their unusual outfits.

Performing in latex horror masks and wielding blood-spurting chainsaws, the band who hail from Lapland were some distance from the usual Eurovision entrants.

Lordi remain the only death metal act and the only Finnish competitors ever to have been victorious at the event.

Buranovskiye Babushki

Translating as Buranovo Grannies, the group were a collection of pensioners from the village of Buranovo in Russia.

Usually an eight-piece act, only six of the grannies were allowed to compete under Eurovision rules in 2012 when they came in second place with Party For Everybody at the Azerbaijan-hosted final.

The grannies had previously tried and failed to be chosen to represent their country in 2010 with a song that translated as “Very long birch bark and how to turn it into a turban”.

Dustin The Turkey

In 2008, the often-successful Ireland picked a real turkey of a contestant when puppet Dustin was chosen to represent at the competition.

He was planning to squawk out Ireland Douze Pointe at the Grand Final, but unsurprisingly was plucked out of the contest at the semi-final stage.

The Dublin bird has enjoyed success in his native land with number one singles, a greatest hits album, and collaborations with stars including Bob Geldof, Boyzone, and Chris De Burgh who sang with him on his 2005 hit Patricia The Stripper.

Verka Serduchka

Ukrainian comedian and drag artist Serduchka performed in 2007 wearing a silver foil hood and coat with a large star balanced on his head.

He had been a controversial selection even in his home country where some members of parliament had labelled him grotesque and vulgar, but his song Dancing Lasha Tumbai went on to chart in France and the UK, the first time a non-domestic, non-winning track had entered the charts since 1974.

Serduchka automatically qualified for the Eurovision final in 2011, but decided to withdraw some months before it was staged.

Pirates Of The Sea

Latvian act Pirates Of The Sea took to the stage in full pirate regalia in 2008 with their song Wolves Of The Sea.

Sadly, lyrics such as “We are robbing you blind I hope you don’t mind/We are taking it all tonight” did not prove to be predictors of success on the night.

Despite being popular with voters in the UK and Ireland, they only managed to reach 12th position in the final results.


Another of Ireland’s more unusual choices was the decision to go with X Factor tall-haired twins Jedward as the faces of the nation in 2011.

However, it was a risk that paid off as Lipstick saw them into eighth place, Ireland’s best result in 11 years, and the duo then made history as the first act from the country to be sent two years in a row when they were shipped out again in 2012.

However, not only did Waterline fail to bring the trophy home, it saw them do significantly worse in the final rankings when they finished 19th.

Donatan and Cleo

The name may not be so memorable, but describe this act as “the Polish milkmaids” and viewers of the 2014 competition will know exactly who you mean.

Performing My Slowianie, or We Are Slavs, the act including backing dancers turned up as scantily clad milkmaids and presented an oddly suggestive farm-themed routine where they churned butter and washed clothes.

Donatan and Cleo did not end up winning that year – in fact, they only came 14th – but after winner Conchita Wurst they were probably the most talked-about entrants of 2014.

Guildo Horn

Germany’s Guildo Horn gave the audience a performance to remember in 1998 with Guildo Hat Euch Lieb! (Guildo Loves You!) where he showed his affection to the crowd.

The singer jumped down off the stage to serenade various guests in the front row and stroke their faces, before getting back up with his band Die Orthopadischen Strümpfe (The Orthopaedic Stockings) to display his skill playing cowbells.

Press Association

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