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Revisiting the Best and Most Controversial Moments for a Eurovision House Party

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In March, Eurovision 2020 was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  This is the first time that the Eurovision song contest has ever been cancelled in its 64 year history and hordes of Eurovision fanatics from across the globe are understandably sad to be missing out on a night of fun costumes, drinking games, and the chance to listen to some of the craziest music that Europe has to offer.
If you usually attend a Eurovision party – or even host one yourself – we’re here to tell you that there’s no reason you can’t still do this.  Ok, so it won’t be a Eurovision 2020 party, and you might not actually be able to have anyone visit your house (depending on social distancing guidelines in your country), but you can still set up a party chat on Zoom, get out the old VHS tapes and reminisce over some of the best and most controversial moments with your friends. We’ve listed some of the best to remember to get you started.

1. Cliff Richard’s Voting Scandal – 1968

The UK has been able to rely on one thing over the past few years and that’s that they’ll pretty much get nil points from every country in the Eurovision except for Ireland.  However, while countries giving 12 points to their neighbours is pretty much guaranteed these days, it wasn’t always this way.  One of the biggest Eurovision scandals happened in 1968 when Cliff Richard lost out to Spain’s Massiel.  Rumours at the time suggested that General Franco had bribed other countries to vote for Spain.  We’re not sure why the Spanish general would go to this much effort for a song contest, but if you want to reminisce this moment with your friends, simply put ‘Congratulations’ on repeat.  Or, if you’re not a fan of good old Cliff, you can listen to the 1968 winner sing La, La, La.

2. Abba’s Famous Chart Topper: Waterloo – 1974

If you ask anyone to name one Eurovision hit, the majority would say Abba’s Waterloo.  Okay, so the odd few may mention Katrina and the Waves or Gina G, but Abba is assuredly a whole lot more popular.  The 1974 Eurovision was held in Brighton, England and Abba knocked the socks off everyone who attended.  They won the contest by a mile, beating out the UK’s Olivia Newton John in second and Spain’s Peret in third.  Abba went on to enjoy worldwide fame, and Waterloo was voted the best Eurovision song ever in a poll in 2005.  Dressing up as one of the awesome foursome should be a must during your Covid-19 Eurovision party, but simply blasting out Waterloo would be good as well.

3. Dana International – 1998

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Nobody expected Israel’s Dana International to win the Eurovision Song Contest in 1998, but win they did.  And, since then, they have gone on to be seen as one of the Eurovision’s biggest icons.  Born male, Dana International’s triumph led to greater acceptance of transsexuals both in Europe and outside.  Dana was quoted as saying that “while winning was great for me and my country, it was also great for the gay and transsexual community all over Europe.  I became a big gay icon [following the Eurovision]”.  Whether you’re watching the Eurovision with friends you’ve met on gay dating sites, or purely with fans of the contest, Diva should definitely be a song you reminisce over.

4. TATU’s Frost Reception – 2003

Even the worst songs at the Eurovision Song Contest tend to get heaps of applause from the rather drunk audience crowding around the stage, but one band that didn’t get this in 2003 was Russia’s TATU.  Not only did they fail to turn up to rehearsals, but they also insulted a number of the other contestants.  Yes, TATU called Lou from Germany a witch.  Shocking.  So, when the duo did finally turn up, they were met with boos and silence from the audience.  Surprisingly, although they only ended up finishing 11th in the 2003 contest, they did become quite popular across Europe with another song: All The Things She Said.

5. Finland’s Shock Win – 2006

I mean, to be honest, there’s much to love about a band of orcs playing heavy metal music, isn’t there?  So, although the critics didn’t expect Finland’s Lordi to score very high in 2006’s Eurovision, we as fans of the show knew they would go far.  Hard Rock Hallelujah was a cracker of a hit and one of the stand-out gems in Eurovision history.  What’s more, Lordi is the only band to have ever won the contest for Finland, and they did so by racking up a massive 292 points – that total has never been seen since.
There are plenty of other great Eurovision moments to remember too, but the above five should definitely be included in your Covid-19 Eurovision party.  Just because it’s been cancelled, that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate!


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