Hearty congratulations to Jamala, the winner of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, which was held in Stockholm on Saturday night. The Ukrainian entrant’s song, a sultry electropop number whose political lyrics criticise the Russian government for its annexation of Crimea, was a worthy winner and she put in a performance that can only be described as “epic”.
Yet the 2016 competition itself is worthy of a prize, too – that of The Weirdest Eurovision In Recent Memory. Not since masked Finnish hard-rockers Lordi entered our nightmares in 2006 has the weirdest talent show in TV been quite so weird – British commentator Graham Norton needn’t do much to satirise the shenanigans. Here are the most bonkers bits.
Australia nearly won it even though that is geographically problematic
Eagle-eyed viewers will have noticed that Australia is not, in fact, in Europe, which is generally considered basic criteria for competing in the Eurovision Song Contest. The country was invited to take part last year because it was the competition’s 60th anniversary and it was feeling generous, and this year they were invited back. Dami Im’s heartfelt ballad ‘Sound of Silence’ was a bookies’ favourite, with Sports Bet Australia placing her as second likeliest to win – which proved correct, as Dami garnered 511 points, just behind Jamala’s 534.
“If there’s room in the heart, there’s room in the butt”
So delicious, isn’t it, the way this Swedish presenter set herself up for a fall by smirking that Sweden can afford two stadiums, before she fumbles her words to claim: ‘If there’s room in the heart, there’s room in the butt.” In front of millions of people (200 million tuned in globally last year). To be fair, the more you think about it, these are words to live and love by. It seems like she was trying to say, “If there’s room for the heart, there’s room for the butt”. Now there’s a sentiment we can all get behind.
Ukraine returned their points dressed like this
The Statue of Liberty’s let herself go.
Eurovision satirised itself
Graham Norton must be looking over his shoulder. Presenters Måns Zelmerlöw and Petra Mede broke into the song ‘Love Love Peace Peace’, which purported to share the perfect recipe for a winning Eurovision song, including a key change – obvs – and fake snow. Also included: gimmicks from previous Eurovisions, including Poland’s milk-churning ladies from 2014 and Ukraine’s man in a giant hamster wheel from the same year. Never change, Eurovision.
Georgia looked and acted like a Kasabian tribute band
Which, to be fair, sounds pretty amazing on paper, though indie band Nika Kocharov and Young Georgian Lolitaz were less amazing on stage. Props for mining 2005 fashion trends so slavishly – the hair was big and the singer’s fedora was wide – but their song, ‘Midnight Gold’, was a weird combination of glamorous indie rock’n’roll and cheesy euro dance. Again, amazing on paper, but they clocked in at Number 20, just six places ahead of overall losers Germany. Can’t wait to see Georgia’s new rave/tropical house mash-up next year.