Worst Eurovision Winners Ever

  Worst Eurovision Winners Ever – Hundreds of people have voted for their personal Top 5 of the Worst Eurovision winners ever. The 5th place of each voter got one point, the 4th place 2 points and so on, the first place thus getting 5 points. The result is a ranking of all 60 Eurovision winners. Here you can see the Top 15 of the voting:

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#15: Ruslana – Wild Dances

It was only Ukraine’s second participation in the Eurovision Song Contest, but it was already crowned with a Eurovision victory. Popular singer Ruslana Stepanivna Lyzhychko, or short: Ruslana represented her country in Istanbul. She performed her pop folk dance song “Wild Dances” with an elaborate stage show. Ruslana and her dancers wore leather outfits and fur coats, played trembitas (Ukrainian alpine horns) and there were lots of “heys”. The performance and outfits were, according to Ruslana, inspired by traditional music from the Carparthian Mountains.

Here is her Eurovision winning performance:


#14: Toto Cutugno – Insieme (1992)

Toto Cutugno represented Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest 1990 in Zagreb. He had won the San Remo festival in 1980 and had come second six times in subsequent years. His Eurovision entry in 1990 was “Insieme (1992)”, a song about the unification of Europe. The year 1992 refers to the birth of the European Union. Cutugno sings “Insieme, Unite Unite Europe” in the chorus and was supported by the Slovenian band Pepel in Kri, who represented Yugoslavia in 1975. After the song became a moderate hit in several European countries. His 14th place in our voting may have to do with his performance as host of the 1991 contest, which is still seen as possibly being the worst ever.

Here is the winning performance of 1990:


#13: André Claveau – Dors, mon amour

It was France’s first victory: The Grande Nation sent André Claveau to the third Eurovision Song Contest in 1958. He performed a lullaby-chanson. “Dors,mon amour” (“Sleep, my love”) is a lullaby for Claveau’s lover. He tells her that they have “all the time to love, tonight” and that she is “protected by his arms” that surround her. (Although, judging from his thank you speech and his way of performing that may not have been a mademoiselle…) While many of today’s Eurovision fans may say that the lullaby did its job for them, the jurors in 1958 liked it a lot and awarded it 27 points. However, the song is one of the least popular and known Eurovision winners.

Here is the winner of 1958:


#12: Dana International – Diva

Israel was represented by Dana International in 1998. She had discovered her transexuality at a very early age and underwent a sex-change surgery in 1993 in London. Shortly after she released her debut album “Dana International”. She had already tried to fulfill her childhood dream to perform at Eurovision in 1995 but only came second in the Israeli national final. After her selection in 1998, orhodox Jews and Conservatives tried to prevent her from participating as they deemed unfit that a transsexual was to represent Israel. Her song “Diva” names powerful women in human history such as Cleopatra. The song won the contest with 172 points ahead of the UK and Malta. Dana performed in a silver dress during the contest. For the reprise she changed into a more extravagant dress with parrot-fashion feathers. The song became a moderate success in Europe, Dana has become one of the most popular transsexuals worldwide.

Here is her winning performance:


#11: Helena Paparizou – My Number One

In 2005 Greece sent Helena Paparizou, born in Sweden as a child of Greek immigrants, to Kiev. As a member of the laiko and Eurodance band Antique, she rose to fame and represented Greece in Eurovision 2001 coming third. Antique disbanded in 2003 and Paparizou embarked on a solo career. She was internally selected in 2005 and presented three songs to the Greek public. “My Number One” was chosen as the entry. It is a dance song featuring traditional Greek music elements. The song’s arrangement includes bouzoukis and a solo featuring a Cretan lyra. The lyrics are about the singers lover who is praised as being her “number one” and the “only treasure” she’ll ever have.

Here is the winning performance:


#10: Sandra Kim – J’aime la vie

Sandra Kim represented Belgium in 1986. After their last place finish the year before, Belgium could completely turn its chances around and won the competition. The song “J’aime la vie” (“I love life”) is life-affirming and positive. Kim sings of the pleasures life holds in store. She also sings that she is 15 years old. After her win, it was actually revealed that she was only 13 years old at the time, which lead Switzerland to ask for a disqualification as she was deemed too young (Switzerland had come second by the way). Kim is still (and as the rules have changed – now performers have to be at least 16 – will probably always be) the youngest Eurovision winner ever.

In 2006 Kim told website 12points.be that she does not always perform the song with pleasure: “It’s a little girl’s song, with little girl’s lyrics, with a young adolescent’s atmosphere. Nowadays, singing “J’aime la vie”…do you like life every day? Me neither.” In 1986, little Sandra was obviously still very enthusiastic about the song as she performed it with fervency, dancing throughout the entire performance. These, possibly distracting dance moves and the pink trousers may be one of the reasons you voted this performance into 10th place of the Worst Eurovision Winners ever.

Here is the winning performance:


#9: Bucks Fizz – Making Your Mind Up

In 1981, the UK sent the band Bucks Fizz, which had been formed exclusively for the contest, to the Eurovision in Dublin. Their performed their happy pop song “Making Your Mind Up” in colorful clothes and are still remembered for the dance routine (sometimes compared to ski gymnastics). At one point, when they sing “if you wanna see some more”, the two male singers of the group rip off the skirts of the female members, revealing shorter skirts underneath. The performance was criticized for being off-key, which the band explained with a microphone mix-up. Member Cheryl Baker has since commented on their poor performance stating that she sang the song in a higher key to the rest of the group due to nerves. The song became a major hit in several European countries and Bucks Fizz went on to become one of the most successful UK groups of the 80s.

Here is their winning performance:

#8: Paul Harrington & Charlie McGettigan – Rock’n’Roll Kids

It was 1994, it was Dublin and Ireland won for the third time in a row. Seemingly (and some think consciously) Ireland did everything not to win again (Before the contest RTÉ had made it loud and clear that they would not host for a third time – they did anyways). Never before had a male duo won the contest, Paul and Charlie were much older than most of the previous winners and performed a rather static and very calm song, in which they lamented their lost youths. Combine that with the longest artist name of a winner and the fact that they sang on position 3 on the night, you would usually have a recepie for not winning Eurovision. At the beginning it looked well, Hungary got the first three top marks of the evening, but Ireland soon caught up and eventually won with a big margin.

The song is a sentimental, nostalgic ballad in which the singers lament their lost youth. They remember listening to the popular music of the time and being the titular “Rock’n’Roll Kids”. The song then moves to the present, where the two barely have time to stay in contact with each other and even their children don’t want to be around them. The Irish victory may also have to do with the amazing interval act of that year: Riverdance enchanted Europe and became a worldwide success.

Here is their winning performance:


#7: Lordi – Hard Rock Hallelujah

  After 40 unsuccessful attempts to claim the Eurovision crown and even 8 last place finishes, Finland finally won the Eurovision Song Contest 2006. The performance and song that won could not have been more spectacular and at the same time more controversial. Heavy metal band Lordi performed their “Hard Rock Hallelujah” in monster costumes and with lots of pyrotechnics. The lead singer Mr. Lordi wore a hat in the Finnish colors and at one point during the performance, bat-like wings unfurled at his back. The 292 points were the highest score ever at the time and the song became a hit in several European countries. Back at home, they were greeted by the Finnish president and 80.000 enthusiastic fans in Helsinki.

Here is their winning performance:


#6: Riva – Rock Me

The band Riva was founded in 1988 and went on to represent Yugoslavia in the 1989 Eurovision Song Contest. They achieved the first win for Yugoslavia and, as the country disbanded and last participated in Eurovision in 1992, they will always remain the only winners. Their song “Rock me” is performed in Serbo-Croatian, with the English line “Rock me baby” in the chorus. The song is directed at a piano player who plays classical music. The singer tells him that “Cause classical music is for listening and peace for the soul, and this song is played for dancing!”

Here is their winning performance:


#5: The Herrey’s – Diggi Loo, Diggi Ley

In 1984, the first entry of the evening would also turn out to be the winner. Sweden sent “The Herrey’s”, three brothers living in the US with Swedish citizenship. The three belong to the Mormon Church which created a minor scandal in Sweden. Their happy 80s pop song “Diggi-Loo Diggi-Ley” is about the lead singer discovering a pair of golden shoes that he puts on and immediately feels like dancing. Naturally, the three wore golden shoes and added a slick dance routine to the visual image. Swedish Eurovision participant Tommy Körberg called them “the dancing deodorants” in the Swedish press due to their very clean cut hair. The name stuck with them for the rest of their career. Many countries voted for the song that had not been a favorite before the contest. 10 years after ABBA Sweden won again- incidentally for the first time in Swedish.

Here is their winning performance:

#4: Tanel Padar, Dave Benton & 2XL

Estonia’s win in 2001 was a big surprise to many. They were not considered even minor favorites. The hip-hop band 2XL provided backing vocals, while the lead vocals were sung by a male duo (the third in Eurovision history and the second in a row to win Eurovision). Tanel Padar is an Estonian rock singer, who rose to fame in a Tv singing contest. Dave Benton was born on the Caribean island of Aruba. He then moved to the US and worked as a backing singer for known artists such as Tom Jones. He later met his Estonian wife on a cruise ship and setteled in Estonia. The unusual duo presented a fun song, without much lyrical (and some say musical) depth, that apparently charmed the televoters (Some see this win as a negative turning point for quality in Eurovision). Benton is the oldest person and to date the only Black person to win the contest.

Here is their winning performance:

#3: Ell&Nikki – Running Scared

It’s the oldest story in the world: young boy meets old lady, they fall in love and sing a ballad while shooting stars fall around them… Well, maybe it’s an old story. Ell, a young music student and Nikki a slightly older singer represented Azerbaijan with the Swedish penned entry “Running Scared”. The song is an R’n’B ballad with an “oh oh uh oh oh” hook. In a year without a clear favourite the duo could achieve the first (and much desired) Azeri first win. Unlike the two winners before and the one after, Running scared failed to make an impression on European charts. Nikki’s vocal performance on the night is regareded by some to be the worst of any Eurovision winner. This may be one of the reasons Azerbaijan got the bronze medal.

Here is their winning performance:


#2: Marie N. – I Wanna

2002 was Latvia’s year. Marie N., a young singer from Riga performed a Salsa-style song, in which she tells her lover numerous things she would like to be for him. The song is most notable for its performance on the night. Marie N. wears a white suite and black shirt at the beginning, which is being ripped off of her during the performance (first jacket, then shirt, then trousers) to reveal a pink short dress. In the last moments of the song, two the backing dancers pull the hem of the dress down and reaveal it to be a long dress. I wanna did not have any impact on the European charts and remains one of the least successful Eurovision winners ever.

Here is the winning performance:

#1: Dima Bilan – Believe

Russia did everything it had to do to bring the Eurovision Song Contest to Moscow. Take the runner-up of 2006, Dima Bilan, add a world-renowned team of producers (Timbaland productions) and add an Olympic gold medalist and three time world champion in figure skating (Evgeni Plushenko) and a renowned violinist (Edvin Marton) with a real Stradivarius and you claim the Eurovision crown. This systematic plan may be one of the reasons Russia is your worst Eurovision winner ever. The German commentator said: “Russia almost wants too much”. Bilan also felt the need to rip open his shirt and show his bare chest. Bilan claimed the Eurovision crown with 272 points and was congratulated by Russia’s new president Dimitri Medvedev right away.

Here is the winning performance:


See Our Other Rankings!

By the way:

Our ranking has come to an end and has found a winner in Dima Bilan – Believe. There are still some infos we would like to disclose about the voting. Who did not get a single vote and could thus be considered the best (or most forgettable?) Eurovision entry of all time. Which entries almost made the Top 15?

The three songs that did not get a single vote (The Top 5 of each voter got 5,4,3,2 and 1 point) are Italy 1964, Luxembourg 1973 and Switzerland 1988.
What do you think? Why didn’t anyone vote for these three?

The songs that completed the Top 20 were:

16. Germany 2010

17. Norway 2009

18. Spain 1968

19. Sweden 1991

20. Netherlands 1969

Sweden is thus the only country with 2 songs in the “Top” 20. The voting was very close at the very top with Russia, Latvia and Azerbaijan being within a margin of only 5 points at the end. The least popular decades in the Top 15 were the 00s (6 winners) and the 80s (4 winners).

Here is the complete ranking:

1.    2008
2.    2002
3.    2011
4.    2001
5.    1984
6.    1989
7.    2006
8.    1994
9.    1981
10.    1986
11.    2005
12.    1998
13.    1958
14.    1990
15.    2004
16.    2010
17.    2009
18.    1968
19.    1991
20.    1969
21.    2003
22.    2000
23.    1993
24.    1999
25.    1992
26.    1966
27.    1978
28.    1983
29.    2007
30.    1957
31.    1976
32.    1996
33.    2012
34.    1979
35.    1982
36.    1969
37.    1995
38.    1969
39.    1975
40.    1961
41.    1969
42.    1985
43.    1970
44.    1962
45.    1967
46.    1959
47.    1956
48.    1977
49.    1974
50.    1972
51.    1997
52.    1960
53.    1971
54.    1980
55.    1965
56.    1987
57.    1963
58.    1964
59.    1973
60.    1988

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11 thoughts on “Worst Eurovision Winners Ever

  1. At least five songs in your top 20 worst Eurovision Winners List are in the top 25 of your Best Eurovision Songs Ever list. It doesn’t make sense. How can they be in both!?

    • That’s easy. It’s not the same people who voted the songs into the two lists. And the more people who know a given song, the more people will also have an opinion about it, positive or negative.

  2. Except for trying to show his bare chest, Dima Bilan made a great performance and the song was so beautiful with great lyrics. I think it deserved the 1st place no matter what.

    • I agree. Russia was a good win. I didn’t like the Azerbaijan song back in 2011 or whenever it was they won. To be fair, none of the songs I ever like win, but Eurovision is not about good songs, performances or lyrics anymore, it’s about who has the most neighbors. That’s why the UK, Spain, Portugal and Ireland will probably never win again.

  3. I have to disagree about the song “Everybody”. It’s a great song. Also, I think the downfall happened the year after with the Latvia winner (which I said before I found out she was on the list). If anything, that one should’ve been #1.

  4. 15. i like the song, dancdeably, catchy, euphorious, it’s my style, definitely. :)
    14. not bad, i like it, to be honest. :)
    13. interesting, not a bad song, it’s not much my style but it’s good, i like it.
    12. for me it’s a classic and it’s without any doubts one of my all-time favorite ESC Winners!
    11. Love This Song, it’s all my style, definitily, Helena Paparizou! <3
    10. i like this song but i understand her point, indeed, it's very weird to sing this song in the age group of 30's or 40's.
    09. Funny song, catchy, i like it. :)
    08. Not the most memorable winner but not a bad song actually, but poland was better in that year, without any doubts, for me.
    07. Now, you can shoot me but for this is one of the best if not the definitely best song to ever win an ESC, perhaps only behind 'Waterloo' & 'Nocturne' but one thing i will surely say about 'Hard Rock Hallelujah', it is without any doubts, for me, the most fresh song to win an ESC ever! and it was without any doubts a very big breathe of fresh air, in a contest where sometimes, innovation is not very welcome.
    06. It's so catchy, so funny, so cute, i love this song, i gotta tell ya! <3
    05. ok, i have to agree wih this one, despite me liking the song, but i agree, the lyrics are stupid, but they're stupidly fun, i can't help but just sing along with song, eheh. :P
    04. For me, this song is amazing! it gives sich a good feeling, good vibes, i always feel like a kid listening to this song, i didn't know it wasn't on the favorites to win, well, personally, i prefered Greece in that year, Die 4 U is my all-time favorite ESC song ever!!!!! nevertheless, i love this song, definitily! <3
    03. ok, now we are coming to a point of agreement, well, i kinda like this song, but yeah, it's way too cheesy and too blah, indeed, well, there were way better songs in that year to win ESC but well, not the worst winner fortunately, but yeah, kinda like: ok, next!
    02. oh, dear, one of my personal favorite winners, what can i say? tastes are different indeed, i personally enjoyed everything about this song and the performance, it was funny, catchy, sexy, and a little bit naughty, too, but oh, well, tastes are subjective and cant's be discussed, isn't it?
    01. well, for me only worse than this is the hyper-mega-ultra-super overrated 'Fairytale' from 2009, gee, now that's the meaning of overrated for me, definitily, i can't stand anything about that song, the lyrics are stupidly cheesy, his voice ives me headache and well, i better not go much further about it, it's better for me and everyone here who likes that song, which is definitily not my case, as for 'Believe', pffft, what a stupid overrated bland song, i can't believe this won in 2008, Portugal on the other hand had only 69 points and 13th place, despite being one of fan's favorites in that year, oh, well, the magic of the bloc voting in that era, what can i say?

  5. U.K./ Ireland won’t win again because they have no neighbours! That’s not true.Block voting…that’s not true. I wish people would stop saying this. The reason why uk or Ireland won’t win again is their songs are rubbish but mainly because any country can sing in English….that’s the main reason.

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