Year in, year out, Eurovision never fails to deliver those entries that just go the extra mile to stand out from the pack. Sometimes it totally pays off, and they end up taking home the crown… but other times they were just... odd.
This is our pick of the best of the very best of the bizarre!
Lordi - 'Hard Rock Hallelujah' – Finland 2006
Clearly an example of when keeping it weird has very much paid off! Under the helm of their front man and chief costume-maker Mr Lordi (wearing the Finland hat), these monster-masked, death-metal rockers impressed the crowd so much with their gumption for standing out from the pack, that they finished as the winners of 2006.
Zdob și Zdub – 'So Lucky' - Moldova 2011
A Gypsy punk band singing what sounds like a hard rock cover of madness, while wearing tall pointy garden-gnome style hats while a fairy cycles around on a unicycle. What’s not to love? They came in at 12th place – hard to tell if that’s disappointingly low or surprisingly high!
Zdob și Zdub – 'Boonika bate dob' – Moldova 2005
Yep, the Moldovan favourites made it through to the grand finals twice. Still sounding uncannily similar to British 80s band Madness, this time the front man looks like a shirtless, body-painted, mulleted Anthony-Kiedis-Iggy-Pop hybrid, wearing a rug around his waist. The best part of the act by far though is the "Boonika bate doba" of the song’s title – which roughly translates as "Grandma beats the drum". Indeed she does… on stage… in a rocking chair.
Rodolfo Chikilicuatre - 'Baila el Chiki-Chiki' - Spain 2008
A fictional comedic character in his home country of Spain, Mr Chiki Chiki looks like something of an exaggerated Elvis caricature as he bops along on his toy guitar.
Cezar – 'It's My Life' – Romania 2013
Possibly one of the most batshit crazy Eurovision entries of all time. Clearly Romania just got fed up of everyone making vampire jokes at their expense and decided to embrace it. A Dracula-inspired coat, semi-nude dancers, giant used condoms hanging from the ceiling, unexplained sudden levitation and oh my, that operatic falsetto!
Elnur & Samir - 'Day After Day' – Azerbaijan 2008
Another brilliant example of male falsetto at it’s finest and most unexpected (or is that just screeching?). An angel and the devil battle it out for vocal supremacy as their back-up demons writhe around splattered in blood, before uniting at the end to yowl it out together, not unlike alley cats.
Verka Serdyuchka - 'Dancing Lasha Tumbai' - Ukraine 2007
The Guardian called this song the "best non-winning song in Eurovision history". Drag queen Verka Serduchka, is known as famous comedian Andriy Danylko in his home country of the Ukraine. Accompanied by a high-speed disco-accordion soundtrack some hot-pant wearing dancing Nazis and a whole lot of silver lame, Verka and her space-age act came in at second place.
Genghis Khan - 'Dschinghis Khan' - West Germany 1979
Actually a pretty great disco-tune - it’s quite surprising this didn’t go down as the song of the decade. It’s got everything: metallic satin fabric, knickerbockers, disco dance-moves, and a giant twirling shirtless man performing some truly inspired, very vigorous dance moves… while dressed as a famously terrifying 12th century Mongol warlord.
Dustin the Turkey - 'Irelande Douze Pointe' – Ireland 2008
A giant rubber puppet turkey, singing off-key lyrics poking fun at Eurovision while rolling around in some kind of bizarre vehicle while surrounded by dancers dressed as sexy dancing turkeys. Apparently this all totally makes sense if you’re from Ireland, where Dustin is actually a popular TV personality!
Michalis Rakintzis - 'S.A.G.A.P.O.' – Greece 2002
A futuristic riot police mini-army concentrating very hard on a getting a very small number of stomping-style dance steps correct. They also seem very concerned that you protect your internet password (presumably lest it lead to their doomed dystopic future) while apparently repeatedly declaring theirs and even spelling it out for you.
Buranovskiye Babushki - 'Party For Everybody' – Russia 2012
A bunch of out-of-tune grannies from a tiny village in Russia baking bread and wearing traditional costumes, apparently singing a folk tune…until the pace suddenly changes and it becomes THE GREATEST DANCE TUNE YOU’VE EVER HEARD. No wonder they made it all the way through to the finals to take out second place!
Paul Oscar - 'Minn hinsti dans' – Iceland 1997
Hmmm…A latex clad (American Psycho inspired?) corporate serial killer type, surrounded by the corpses of (sexy) latex-clad dead women. Yep, everything about this is totally normal and fine.
Winny Puhh - 'Meiecundimees üks Korsakov läks eile Lätti' – Estonia 2013
This group didn’t actually make it to Eurovision but they probably represent the most spectacular attempt to get there. Werewolves singing falsetto punk-rock in wrestling costumes while their drummer spins in circles from the ceiling. Estonia should regret not sending these guys as they definitely would have won!