A Definitive List Of Eurovision’s Most Iconic Performances

From the camp to the chaotic, these are the 13 acts we think deserve a spot in the Eurovision hall of fame.s

by Aoife Hanna
Originally Published: 
Dancing Lasha Tumbai, Verka Serduchka, is considered one of the most iconic Eurovision performances ...
Johannes Simon/Getty

It's more camp than an actual camping site, cringe in the best way possible, and a must-see every year (well, except last year when it was cancelled, of course). Across the planet, groups of (six) people (or two households) will be sitting down to watch the world's ultimate talent show return for 2021. Maybe you have a COVID-safe party planned? Maybe you want to dress up as your favourite ever performer? I mean, there have been too many incredibly acts to pick from, but some performances manage to find the perfect combination of whacky costumes, catchy tunes, chaotic dance moves, and OTT pyrotechnics to make for a performance that’s worthy of the Eurovision hall of fame.

Yeah, yeah, yeah — get off your high horse music snobs. Eurovision is not for everyone, I know. But it's Christmas come early for lovers of camp classics and trash Euro pop so just leave us to our fun, OK?

Below is a list of 13 of the most iconic Eurovision acts of all time, gathered together in chronological order. Eagled-eyed fans will spot that ABBA doesn’t make an appearance on this because, let’s face it, they’ve transcended Eurovision stardom at this point. It’s time to make way for some lesser-known, but no less legendary, acts.

Among the list below, you may find a few familiar faces – I mean, who can forget Lordi and their legendary Hard Rock Hallulujah performance? Or Conchita and her ground-breaking win in 2014? – but also some acts that I believe have flown under the radar for far too long. There really is an option in here for every Eurovision lover so sit back and turn up the volume (... or, on second thoughts, maybe don’t).


All Kinds Of Everything, Dana – Ireland

Well guys, did you know that Ireland has won the Eurovision more than any other country ever? Yes, don't be jel.

Anyhow, our babe Dana won with this twee AF song in 1970. This is truly naff, but in a cute way. Dana went on to become a politician and host her own show. You go gal!


Making Your Mind Up, Bucks Fizz – The UK

OK where in the name of gawd do we start. Firstly, hello original mullets. This song was/is so effing catchy. As are the moves in this routine from this UK's 1981 entrants, Bucks Fizz. Guys, this performance culminated with THE tear away of all tear aways, when the lads ripped off the gals skirts to reveal a whole new look (see minute 1.50). This song actually won the Eurovision for the UK.


Riverdance – Ireland

OK so technically this was an interval show and not an act but guys, it all started back in 1994 in Dublin's RDS. Since then it has become the biggest dance show in the world and has afforded Michael Flatley a very nice house.


Hard Rock Hallelujah, Lordi – Finland

Lordi hail from Finland, a country that has a bit of a hectic history with death metal. So what more would you expect than some hard rock? Or should I say, Hard Rock Hallelujah? Lordi were both completely not Eurovision but also completely and utterly Eurovision. Perfection.


We Are The Winners Of Eurovision, LT United – Lithuania

The cojones on these guys. I guess this is a bit of manifestation? They came sixth overall in 2006 so, in fairness — not too shabby.


Flying the Flag, Scooch – The UK

This United Kingdom’s 2007 entry was nothing but bubblegum-pop perfection, complete with a flight-attendant themed performance by the one and only Scooch. The entry landed in a disappointing 22nd place. However, those of us with taste know that Scooch’s airplane choreography was the real winner that year.


Dancing Lasha Tumbai, Verka Serduchka – Ukraine

This camp AF anthem from 2007 is catchy, fun, spacey, bizarre, and kind of grotesque. One of those ones that you are singing for ages after and don't really understand why.


Party For Everybody, Buranovskiye Babushki – Russia

Fusing traditional Russian singing with a little Euro pop edge and loads of lit AF grannies wilding out on stage? Yes, this entirely why Eurovision was invented and we need more of this immediately.


Euphoria, Loreen – Sweden

Winning in 2012, this little tune is effing iconique. The dance moves, the tune itself, how hot Loreen is. It's all too much.

Real talk, I still play this tune to get my ass up steep hills when I'm out walking.


Woki Mit Deim Popo, Trackshittaz – Austria

This song translates to "Shake Your Bum" and there was a lot of that on stage. However, what gets me is that fact that the it band name. This one got a lot of attention. Also, it's a low-key banger.


Be My Guest, Gaitana – Ukraine

I flipping dare you to blast this and not dance. This tune incorporates sick moves, floral crowns, and a woman whose voice is the lovechild of Ronan Keating and Celine Dion.


My Słowianie, Donatan & Cleo – Poland

Potentially one of the raciest performances in Eurovision history, Poland really went for "sex sells" with this risqué show. However, with lyrics like "vodka is better than whiskey and gin," the song is actually also great.


Rise Like A Phoenix, Conchita Wurst – Austria

A bearded woman with the voice of an effing angel winning the Eurovision in 2014? Thank you Austria, thank you Eurovision: this is a slice of heaven. I wish Conchita would do make up tutorials. Oh wait, she does.

Contributions from Sam Ramsden.

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