Music

10 Eurovision Moments That Celebrate The Weird & Wonderful Camp Extravaganza

From ABBA’s debut to Conchita Wurst's emotional victory.

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Since its inception in 1956 the Eurovision Song Contest has hosted some of the greatest (and gaudiest) spectacles of all. The result? Some truly iconic moments. From ABBA to Lordi, and Conchita Wurst, here’s your chance to relive some of those absolute gems.

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When Swedish pop group ABBA took to the stage in 1974 they did so as underdogs. Their song (“Waterloo”) went on to win them the Eurovision crown, and then took the world by storm.
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The UK’s Bucks Fizz came top of the Eurovision leaderboard in 1981 with their No. 1 single “Making Your Mind Up.” Their performance notably featured a velcro skirt tear-away which, although shocking at the time, didn’t hinder their chances among voters.
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Long before her Titanic theme tune, Celine Dion was a Eurovision star, winning 1988’s competition for Switzerland by a single point with “Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi.”
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In 1998, Israel’s Dana International made history with a knock-out performance of “Diva” at Birmingham’s National Indoor Arena, becoming the first-ever transgender winner of Eurovision.
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Heavy-metal group Lordi became Finland’s only Eurovision winner to date back in 2006. More memorable than their high-energy performance of “Hard Rock Hallelujah” are those Viking-zombie-inspired costumes.
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Ukraine’s Verka Serduchka are embedded in the memories of Eurovision fans everywhere thanks to their utterly bizarre performance of “Dancing Lasha Tumbai” in 2007. It went on to land them a cameo in Melissa McCarthy’s 2015 comedy Spy.
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Despite finishing in 22nd place, Scooch’s unashamedly cheesy track “Flying The Flag (For You)” at the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest lives on thanks to the band’s camp cabin crew-themed performance. Aviation-inspired choreo and all.
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Alexander Rybak paid homage to his homeland of Norway with an energetic violin routine to the track “Fairytale” on the Eurovision stage in 2009 - the likes of which hadn’t been seen before and secured him the title.
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Elderly Russian ladies singing folk covers of iconic pop songs? Buranovskiye Babushki was an unexpected highlight of 2012’s Eurovision Song Contest. In a sea of glittery over-the-top performances, these talented grannies certainly stood among the crowd.
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Representing Austria in 2014, Conchita Wurst’s rendition of “Rise Like a Phoenix” made her the first Austrian champ since 1996. With a bold bearded look and the song’s powerful message of LGBTQ+ defiance, Conchita rightly remains a fan-favourite.