Nul Points… The Eurovision Song Contest Is Back

by Joshua Thompson

With a number of famous names competing over the years including Celine Dion, ABBA and Cliff Richard, we don’t find it hard to believe that the Eurovision Song Contest started way back in 1956. Since then, 27 countries out of the annual competitors have taken the winner’s spot and subsequently hosted the following year. 

Last year, we saw the 2020 Eurovision final cancelled for the very first time in its 64-year history; after the Netherlands won in 2019 and were due to host the closing night. This year, they’re able to pick up where they left off after a fallow year and continue with the performances.

Year after year we usually get to see the good, the bad and the downright crazy and after the past year we’ve all had, we’re sure that this year will not disappoint. Whether you’ll be watching this weekend or not, here are some past performances that have stuck in our mind – for lots of different reasons!

Who gets your top score and who are you giving the nul points to? 

ABBA – Waterloo, 1974

ABBA and Eurovision seemingly go hand-in-hand. That’s probably why they’re the most successful act to ever originate from the song contest stemming from their win.
The now iconic song ‘Waterloo’ took the top spot in the 1974 final hosted in Brighton, UK. 

Katrina And The Waves – Shine A Light, 1997

Although ‘Walking On Sunshine’ is probably their most well-known song to date, Katrina And The Waves took the most recent winners spot for the UK at the 1997 final in Norway.
Other winners for the UK include Sandy Shaw (1967), Lulu (1969), Brotherhood Of Man (1976) and Bucks Fizz (1981).

Domenico Modugno – Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare), 1958

Despite only coming third back in 1958, Domenico Modugno’s song ‘Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu’ was Italy’s contribution for the final of the competition in the Netherlands.
The song title is more familiarly known as ‘Volare’ and has been covered by numerous artists since. These include Dean Martin, Louis Armstrong and even David Bowie.

t.A.T.u – Ne Ver’, Ne Bojsia, 2003

Pretty much anyone outside of Russia at the start of 2003 would have had no clue who t.A.T.u were until we heard their entry at the Eurovision final in Latvia.
Their headline-grabbing antics shot their song ‘All The Things She Said’ to global success, despite only finishing third in the competition the year before. 

The Olsen Brothers – Fly On The Wings Of Love, 2000

Maybe more recognisable by the 2003 club remix, the original ‘Fly On The Wings Of Love’ was actually performed by The Olsen Brothers.
The song (before being remixed and becoming a club classic) was Denmark’s entry at the 2000 Eurovision final in Sweden.

Johnny Logan – What’s Another Year, 1980

Johnny Logan entered the Eurovision song contest on behalf of Ireland in 1980 and won first place in the Netherlands’ final with his song ‘What’s Another Year’.
He then went on to compete again in 1987 with the song ‘Hold Me Now’. Johnny is the only person in history to have won the competition twice, with Ireland holding the title of the most winners with 7 acts.

Verka Serduchka – Dancing Lasha Tumbai, 2007

One of the crazier performances we’ve seen on Eurovision is Verka Serduchka with ‘Dancing Lasha Tumbai’ for Denmark in the 2007 final hosted by Kiev.
Despite coming third, the song has since been featured in the Hollywood movie ‘Spy’ starring Melissa McCarthy and also appeared in an episode of BBC’s ‘Killing Eve’.

Loreen – Euphoria, 2012

Loreen took the top spot for Sweden back in 2012 at the Eurovision final in Azerbaijan by a landslide, with a total of 372 points. Her song ‘Euphoria’ has since become a club classic that’s been heard all over the world since its debut. 
Loreen even had a cameo in the 2020 Netflix movie ‘Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga.’

Catch the final of this year’s Eurovision on BBC One and BBC iPlayer at 8pm on Saturday 22nd May.

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