The good, the bad and the hilarious: It’s the best Eurovision songs of all time

We've been making our minds up


by Kayleigh Dray |
Updated on

With the new Will Farrell film, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga landing on Netflix this month in place of the 65th annual song contest that was cancelled due to coronavirus, we thought it would be the perfect time to look back over the most memorable songs from Eurovision history.

And though old Blighty hasn't won the comp since 1981 when the mighty Bucks Fizz whipped off their skirts, we haven't taken it personally because everyone knows it's just a popularity contest anyway - in the words of Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga villain Alexander Lemtov, "everyone hates the UK".

Party For Everybody - Buranovskiye Babushki (2012)

Remember the Russian grannies? Their dance moves were just incredible...

A LOT of choreography work went into that!

Waterloo - ABBA (1974)

It was almost cheating of Sweden to have ABBA as their Eurovision contestants, but… y'know, it's ABBA. So we forgive everything.


Dancing Lasha Tumbai - Verka Serduchka (2007)

We're guessing these guys were inspired by the Rocky Horror Show. Or just sequins in general…

"Speak English? Nicht verstehen? Speak English? Don't understand?"

Making Your Mind Up - Bucks Fizz (1981)

We guess you better speed it up, and then you better slow it down… ah, the days when the UK didn't get a grand total of 'nil points'.

That thing they did with their skirts? That was considered the height of risqué in those days...

Irelande Douze Points - Dustin The Turkey (2008)

When in doubt, have a turkey do all the hard work for you. Yes, a turkey…

That was just so gloriously mad, wasn't it?

Flying The Flag - Scooch (2007)

A song themed around air hostessing? What could go wrong, eh UK?

Any nuts, sir?

CHECK OUT 'joke' X Factor contestants - where are they now?


The X Factor joke acts - where are they now? - slider

X Factor joke acts1 of 20

Wagner then

You need to cast your mind back to 2010 to remember Wagner, the Brazilian pocket rocket who had us in stitches with his theatrical performances, while simultaneously covering our ears to block out the noise he was making with his mouth.

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CREDIT: Instagram

Wagner now

Wagner's comic appeal saw him finish sixth in the seventh series – a placing which irked top judge Simon no end. In 2012 he caused controversy when he had a baby with his then 20-year-old girlfriend Lydia – who's 36 years his junior.

X Factor joke acts3 of 20

Stevi Ritchie then

Resident joke act in 2014 was Stevi (he dropped the 'e' - pure edge) Ritchie, a fan of big songs and big vocals that verged on shouting a lot of the time. He went on to have a relationship with fellow 2014 contestant, Chloe Jasmine but definitely not for publicity or anything like that.

X Factor joke acts4 of 20
CREDIT: Instagram

Stevi Ritchie now

Stevi has been busy showing off his killer new bod on Instagram after dropping over three stone in just eight weeks with a grueling diet and exercise regime. Sadly, his romance with Chloe wasn't to last, but he did pop up in a selfie of hers on Insta earlier this year.

X Factor joke acts5 of 20

Diva Fever then

Also from series seven and one of the only novelty acts to be mentored by Simon Cowell, Diva Fever were a camp-as-they-come party act made up of Craig and Josef. They made it to week two of the live shows before they were booted off.

X Factor joke acts6 of 20
CREDIT: Facebook

Diva Fever now

Though it looks as though Diva Fever have officially disbanded, we're pleased to report that Josef and Craig are still pals and were out in force this year to celebrate Pride with their squad.

X Factor joke acts7 of 20

Johnny Robinson then

Series eight saw one of our all time FAVOURITE contestants take to the stage and blow away the judges - this time with Gary Barlow in the top spot – with his mega voice. Johnny Robinson was mentored by Louis Walsh in his over 25s category, and lasted until week five in the live shows.

X Factor joke acts8 of 20
CREDIT: Johnny Robinson

Johnny Robinson now

Prior to his stint on The X Factor, Johnny performed as his drag alter ego, Sarah Lee, and in 2016 he reprised the role and released two singles, Eaten Alive and Deliver Me. Last year he gave an interview for The Sun's Back To Reality series, where he said he'd "rather bake a quiche" than find love.

X Factor joke acts9 of 20

Chico then

The original joke act, Chico was mentored by Sharon Osbourne way back in 2005 for the second series of The X Factor, which was won by Shane Ward and was the first series anyone really paid attention to, anyway. His performances were crazy high energy, and one time he poured a glass of water over himself mid song.

X Factor joke acts10 of 20
CREDIT: Twitter

Chico now

Chico went onto have some success with his single, It's Chico Time (erotic, hypnotic, exotic, that's for sure) and since then has launched his own fitness program and classes, Block 1. Last year he suffered a stroke following a blood clot on the brain, but quickly made a full recovery.

X Factor joke acts11 of 20

Jedward then

Another of Louis Walsh's bright ideas, Jedward were bound to win over the X Factor mainstay hailing from his native Ireland. They delivered consistently cringe-worthy productions with backing vocals – but still made it to week seven, because, as we've seen – the public love a novelty act.*sarcasm

X Factor joke acts12 of 20

Jedward now

This photo is from 2017, but let's be honest, Jedward haven't changed a bit, leading us to suspect they are in fact alien bots from the future sent to Earth for reasons so evil we couldn't possibly comprehend them. So far they're not doing a bad job of that, so we'll leave it there.

X Factor joke acts13 of 20

2Shoes then

In 2011, Essex- based duo 2Shoes won over Tulisa and took their place in the groups for series eight - but were pipped to the post by another girl group now known as Little Mix. Their infectious girly pop - and fondness of referring to each other as 'Shoe' – was cute, but got old quickly and they were eliminated in week one.

X Factor joke acts14 of 20
CREDIT: 2Shoes

2Shoes now

SHUT UP! Far from having their confidence knocked from their time on X Factor, Charley and Lucy have continued to perform as 2Shoes, and earlier this year released a fab cover of Ariana Grande's Thank U, Next on YouTube. Meanwhile, Charley is now a mum of two after announcing her first pregnancy during the live show rehearsals.

X Factor joke acts15 of 20

Rylan Clark then

Rylan had already starred on Signed By Katie Price when he auditioned for X Factor with long, platinum blonde hair and a bizarre dance version of Des 'Ree's Kissing You in 2012. But he really cemented his future sleb status with his LEGENDARY breakdown at Nicole Scherzinger's house, after she told him he was going through to the live shows.

X Factor joke acts16 of 20

Rylan Clark-Neal now

It can be easy to forget about Rylan's humble beginnings, what with being a bona fide national treasure these days. He's worked on everything from Big Brother's Bit on the Side to the Eurovision spin off, You Decide. He's got a regular slot onThis Morning, stole the show on Celebrity Gogglebox alongside his mum Sandra and is currently filling the iconic shoes of Dale Winton in the reboot of Supermarket Sweep. In his personal life, he married policeman and Big Brother 14 housemate Dan Neal. Oh also, we love him.

X Factor joke acts17 of 20

Same Difference then

Same Difference was made up of brother and sister Sean and Sarah Smith, and their brand of pop-meets-musical-theatre saw them sail through to third place under the mentorship of Simon Cowell – without falling into the bottom two ONCE during the live shows.

X Factor joke acts18 of 20
CREDIT: Twitter

Same Difference now

Sean is still singing, most recently performing at the Weston-Super-Mare Pride event in August 2019, and he's still got Same Difference in his Twitter bio so he's clearly not even embarrassed about it. Meanwhile little sis Sarah has been popping out kids, and is now mum to two boys, Bertie and Barney. Cute.

X Factor joke acts19 of 20

Honey G then

It's unclear whether Honey G - real name Anna Georgette Gilford – was a parody character or just one of the most dedicated acts in X Factor history, but either way, the public certainly warmed to her polite rap persona and she placed fifth in 2016 under Sharon Osbourne, who returned to the show for that series.

X Factor joke acts20 of 20
CREDIT: Channel 5

Honey G now

Honey did actually sign to SyCo, Simon Cowell's record label, before Christmas of that year but was dropped after just four months when her single charted at no. 149 in the UK charts – one of the lowest performing X Factor singles of all time. In 2017, she went on to star on Channel 5 make-under series 100% Hotter (dubbed "the most judgemental show on TV" by critics) where she was stripped of her hat and sunglasses.

Cry, Baby - Jemini (2003)

And how we did cry…

Hard Rock Hallelujah - Lordi (2006)

Finland brought the arockalypse to Eurovision when their contestants dressed up as monsters and rocked out on stage. No, really. That really happened.

The little hats make it for us, if we're honest.

I Can - Blue (2011)

Oh bless them, they tried. But Duncan James, Lee Ryan and the gang just didn't get enough points to even make it HALFWAY up the Eurovision board…


Lipstick - Jedward (2011)

The shoulder pads. The hair. The dance moves. It was all… it was all so inexplicable, wasn't it?

The crowd loved it though!

Waterline - Jedward (2012)

Different hair, different shoulder pads, different… well, we were going to say dance moves, but the robot went out of fashion YEARS ago.

Weird they didn't win, huh?

Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi - Céline Dion (1988)

YES, SHE'S CANADIAN - but that didn't stop Céline entering the competition for Switzerland back in the 80s.

The voice of an angel.

Genghis Khan - Dschinghis Khan (1979)

Ever wondered what a disco tribute song to Genghis Khan would sound like? Wonder no longer…

It's just so much like Boney M's Rasputin it hurts…

Wolves Of The Sea - Pirates Of The Sea (2008)

A song about pirates. By people dressed as pirates. 'Nuff said.

With a heigh-heigh-ho and a heigh-heigh-hey...

Euphoria - Loreen (2012)

Say what you will, 2012's winner (who looked an awful lot like Sweden's version of Claudia Winkleman) had a gosh-darn catchy song.


I'm In Love With A Fairytale - Alexander Rybak (2009)

Norway's answer to Enrique Iglesias?

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The best part of the film is undoubtedly the performances, which, having revisited the above entries, manage to hit the spirit of Eurovision on the head.

And real life Eurovision fans will love the "songathon" sequence where actual irl winners including Austria's 2014 entry Conchita and 2018's winner, Israel's Netta Barzilai, made their cameos.

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