Since its inception in 1956 The Eurovision Song Contest has been as much about (let’s face it) terrible music as it has the terrible outfits. In fact, the ‘singing’ is generally overshadowed by what can only be described as some true fashion disasters ranging from zombie and monster outfits to sequinned bodysuits and some very dubious national dress. So, to celebrate 60 years of unforgettable style and because we’re super excited to finally be a part of it this year, we’ve rounded up 20 of the absolute craziest, most wonderful outfits ever to grace the Eurovision stage.
…tune in to the Eurovision Song Contest, drawn to the allure of increasingly spectacular costumes and outlandish performances. However it hasn’t always been about gimmicky outfits and outrageous looks, Eurovision was actually responsible for launching the careers of many much loved musicians such as Celine Dion, Michael Flatley and most famously, ABBA. Yet, with increasing competition in the past 20 years, the outfits have become more and more wacky in a bid to avoid the dreaded ‘nul points’. In fact, in 1997 fansite ‘House of Eurovision’ created the ‘Barbara Dex Awards’: a prize to celebrate the worst look from each year. The award is unfortunately named after Belgian singer Barbara Dex who famously wore an unflattering handmade dress in the 1993 contest.
From sequins to feathers who could forget some of the quite brilliant kitsch looks from previous years. Our top 20 round up includes some absolute shockers such as Lithuania’s gloriously camp 2010 entry InCulto featuring an all male group in sequined hot pants. Or Gipsy, the Czech Republic’s 2009 entry in a all-in-one superhero suit complete with dodgy moustache and cape. And let’s not forget our home grown talent Scooch who successfully made flight attendant outfits look even worse than they usually do. Most notably the Ukraine seem to be mega fans of attention grabbing looks, appearing three times in our overview with eye popping entries such as their 2007 contestant drag queen Verka Serduchka who resembled a shimmering glitter ball from head to toe. Our personal favourite? Finland’s 2006 entry Lordi who underwent the most gruesome make-under ever to look like flesh eating zombies.
…in the actual competition, in fact only 3 out of 20 of the contestants listed here actually went on to win Eurovision (Lordi, ABBA and of course Austria’s much loved Conchita Wurst). Generally those with the more outlandish performance finish without even making it to the top 10 and many fail to get past the semi-finals. Winners, in contrast, have a more subtle performance style focusing on the music rather than glitzy distractions.
But where’s the fun in that?! We love Eurovision for it’s quirky performances and fashion disasters and can’t wait to see what this year has to offer.