With the Eurovision Song Contest swiftly approaching, it’s time to get ready for some of the more outrageous and damn-right obscure acts that the continent has to offer.
The Eurovision has often cooked-up political storms and provided many talking points and controversies, and it’s intriguing to see what the 2019 edition has in store.
The vast majority of acts and performers have been decided by their respective countries, with the remaining being decided over the coming weeks. Whoever makes it through to the live finals, it’s almost guaranteed something scandalous will happen.
To get you in the mood, we take a look back through some of the Eurovision’s biggest scandals. But before we do, be sure to check out the latest markets via Betfair.
Verka Serduchka – Ukraine, 2007
Back in 2007, the Ukraine opted for drag queen act Verka Serduchka to represent the Eastern European nation.
The move back-fired somewhat, after a local radio station launched a campaign in protest against the decision. Even members of the Ukrainian parliament waded in with their displeasure at the choice.
Ilanit – Israel, 1973
There wasn’t anything unusual as such about Israel’s debut entrant in 1973, but Ilanit was the first competitor to perform after the 1972 Munich massacre.
She performed her song ‘Somewhere’ under heavy security, and ended up finishing fourth from 17 acts.
Silvia Night – Iceland, 2006
Back in 2006, Iceland opted for comedy actress Silvia Night and she certainly caused a stir. Silvia was renowned for playing a charismatic diva and she managed to upset the host nation (Greece) with her on-camera expletives.
Silvia’s song was called ‘Congratulations’ , which was meant to signify her happiness that she was selected to perform on her countries behalf. The audience weren’t impressed, and she scored a measly 62 points.
Stephane and 3G – Georgia, 2009
As earlier mentioned, the Eurovision can and often does entail some kind of political backlash from one nation or another.
In 2009, Georgia took the honours when their song ‘We Don’t Wanna Put In’ by Stephane and 3G caused quite the stir with neighbours Russia.
In fact, the contest was held in Moscow in 2009 but the Georgians were told to alter the lyrics or choose a new song. Oddly enough, they refused and withdrew from the finals.
Cliff Richard vs Spain, 1968
Even to this day, much debate still surrounds the decision to award Spain the honours in 1968 when it appeared the United Kingdom’s entry had done more than enough to win.
Cliff Richard’s ‘Congratulations’ was a sure-fire winner but the public vote saw Spain claim the win, but a 1998 documentary revealed that then-fascist dictator Francisco Franco rigged the vote to improve Spain’s international image.
Stage invasion during Spain’s performance in the final, 2010
Staying with the Spanish, more controversy surrounded their 2010 performance when the stage was invaded by serial streaker/general annoyance Jimmy Jump.
He made it on to the main stage and began dancing and making a general nuisance of himself before security escorted him off!
Jimmy even knelt down before singer Daniel Diges and mimicked the lyrics. Oh dear.