Hey there Europe and beyond and welcome back to the ‘Top 10’ series! After our first countdown was such a hit, we weren’t sure what to follow it up with, BUT after much deliberation, we have decided that this next countdown would be the top 10 joke entries that the ESC has produced over these last 58 years! Now of course, Eurovision is renowned for all the crap songs that get sent, but I’m going to sail through the sea of joke entries and help you all decide who should be given the trophy of “Ultimate Joke Entry in Eurovision History”!
Pre-Eurovision 1977, there was very few joke entries that ever graced the stage of Eurovision (although it’s fair to say the definition of the phrase “joke entry” varies from fan to fan). but many consider that “Boom Boom Boomerang” was one of the earliest, if not, the first joke entry that was performed at Eurovision. So all of the songs that are featured are actually after 1977, just to let you all know there!
So to dive into this top 10, we’ll start off with a little joke entry and then once you get to #1, you may wish the EBU didn’t even allow them to take part! If you thought it was hard to pick your favourite joke entry before, do spare a thought for me having to pick my top 10 of them all!
10 – Pave Maijanen – Yamma Yamma (Finland 1992)
For me, this was the standout song from 1992, although Linda Martin was of course another recognisable song from that year. That being said, among all the other songs that were performed, it was easily forgettable. The song itself, wasn’t at all that bad and was actually really catchy! However, when one reads the lyrics, it becomes a song about none other than Pave remembering what was on the radio. It seems that all sorts of topics can be covered at Eurovision! No wonder the song finished last, scraping a mere 4 points, surprisingly, from Yugoslavia and Turkey! Who’da thought that?
9 – Valentina Monetta – The Social Network Song (San Marino 2012)
Now we all know that ValMon was the joke entry of Baku, but sure, at least she got San Marino’s best placing of that date, 14th! Well, until she re-represented them this year and came 11th. There were major points in this song where you just wanna do the biggest ‘cringe’ face ever (e.g. ‘Do you wanna play cyber-sex again?’, ‘So you wanna make love with me, am I really your cup of tea?’ and ‘Are you really a sex machine, or just a beauty queen?’), but it did show that she was a talented singer (to be properly shown to us à la Crisalide)! But now, there’s a new DO NOT added to the list: DO NOT sing about social networks!
8 – Severina – Moja Štikla (Croatia 2006)
Leading on from ValMon’s no-no subject, it seems we had the topic of sex come up before 2012! Yes, Severina’s song was about the constant pick-up lines from men to try and hook up with her. However, the performance on the night in Athens was anything but sexual; just Severina running around tapping her high heel (her štikla) and even doing the odd spot of traditional dancing along the way, which hardly even matched the song! So what we saw on stage was just a huge pile of nonsense, but a great song to wave the flag about! And it seemed that Europe also kinda liked the song too; putting it in 12th place! Not bad for a joke song! *ahem* Verka Serduchka *ahem*
7 – Pirates of the Sea – Wolves of the Sea (Latvia 2008)
It’s fair to say that 2008 was a fairly weak year with the huge load of rubbish entries and this is one of the many. It’s like as if Latvia particularly didn’t want to win in Belgrade! Who would send a pirate act to the biggest music competition in the entire world?! And do you see the lead male singer? Did you recognise him?? That man is Roberto Meloni, and he represented Latvia the previous year in “Bonaparti.lv”. He then was the Latvian spokesperson for the 2009 Contest in Moscow where he shouted “URA!”. What perplexes me is that when Meloni was in Bonaparti.lv, he finished in 16th place and now, when he’s a pirate, he finishes in 12th! What the hell happened there, Roberto?! Either way, that song was just not for Eurovision!
6 – Sebastien Tellier – Divine (France 2008)
From Marie Myriam, a beautiful singer with such a beautiful song, to this; France has it all! Another weak song from 2008, this was where France hit rock bottom and luckily, found solace with Patricia Kaas the following year. But Sebastien’s performance… well, can I even call it a performance? He drove onto the stage in a dune buggy, with a helium-filled blow-up globe, with five backing singers dressed as him. Then, halfway through the performance, he pops open the globe and sings with the helium in it; how low can one go?! Luckily though, there were positives to the song! The fact it was in English was helpful as you could actually tell what he was singing and the song was catchy, but it just wasn’t the song that was going to do well at Eurovision, finishing in 19th place.
5 – Alf Poier – Weil der Mensch zählt (Austria 2003)
One of Austria’s lapses of sanity, Alf definitely got the crowd going in Riga! This was a total mess on stage, but at the same time, it was kind of addicting to watch (I don’t know know if you agree with me, let me know if you do below!) and once I rediscovered this on Youtube, I just had to replay it so much! Alf really wasn’t going for anything serious, though, was he? But, wow, how much did it come across that he was gonna do his thing in style care-free! But sadly, like t.a.T.u, he just couldn’t sing. That being said, Alf surprisingly did very well; coming in a very respectable 6th place! All I can say to that is HOLLA AT ME, ALF! WOOP WOOP!
4 – Kreisiraadio – Leto Svet (Estonia 2008)
And as soon as we’re out of that dreadful year of 2008, we’re back in it again! I think nearly every country had either gone demented or just didn’t want to win. Estonia especially didn’t want to win if Kreisiraadio is anything to go by! Let me summarise it for you; three men singing about summer lights in three languages, none of which are their native languages. Also featured was an exploding accordion, three skimpily-clad women hopping around the stage and a piano that wouldn’t open. If you wanna see the thing, watch the video, but I personally shall thank Europe for not putting this into the final! It came in penultimate position in the semi-final and didn’t qualify (universal “HOORAY!” is in order here).
3 – PingPong – Sameyakh (Be Happy) (Israel 2000)
Whether you’re a Eurovision fan or not, this performance would probably stay in your mind for a very long time after watching it. Not because of the simply AMAYZIN singing that was performed on the night in Stockholm; oh no, it’s the complete opposite! I would personally like to ask IBA why they sent that song after hosting such a great show the year (and millennium) before. Such horror was watched by so many people! The kiss by the two guys was a bite cute, but apart from that, it was just absolutely horrible. What a way to open up a show like Eurovision! The lyrics, however, were really quite serious and it just did not match the song at all. That whole ‘light-hearted political statement’ song has also been replicated by Homens de Luta, Krista Siegfrids and Rambo Amadeus (although, Rambo was off his head for most of the time!). PingPong thankfully came 22nd, only getting 7 points; 6 of which came from France and other came from FYR Macedonia. The French really love the joke entry!
2 – Guildo Horn – Guildo hat euch lieb (Germany 1998)
OK Germany, we know you’ve given us such hits like ‘Dschingis Khan’, ‘Ein Bisschen Frieden’ and ‘Satellite’, but this is a step too far! Stefan, why did you create this?! I was happy with ‘Wadde hadde dudde da?’, ‘Satellite’ and even ‘Can’t Wait Until Tonight’, but not this, NOT THIS! Guildo looks like a piece of shit, his singing is anything but great and the fact he’s running around the place going crazy doesn’t really help his image. When you look at English translation of the lyrics, the song is about him wanting to return to an era of tenderness, that makes the song even more senseless! At least Europe kinda got the whole ‘Let’s go crazy for Europe’ thing and he finished in a very respectable, yet unsurprising 7th place. Good for you Europe, voting for a parody song! Just don’t give him 12 points again or he’ll go on all fours and go crazy… nothing new there then!
So you’ve seen 9 of the biggest jokes of an entry that has ever been seen at Eurovision and for your #1, it is a universal winner from fans across the board (more will be explained below). And our #1 joke entry is…….
1 – Verka Serduchka – Dancing Lasha Tumbai (Ukraine 2007)
While I was trawling around the many great Facebook groups trying to get your views, nearly every Eurovision replied ‘Ukraine 2007’, so it seems I’m not alone on this! The list of things that was wrong with Verka’s performance actually grows everytime I see the performance. I’ll write the main points down for you:
- The number 69 on his coat. The dirty boy!
- He was wearing a skirt, heels, tights!
- ‘Lasha Tumbai’ – say it. What does it sound like?
- There were hardly any lyrics, just loads of overrated terminology (e.g. ‘Ich lieben’, ‘Ein, Zwei, Drei’)
The kitsch factor this is so off the scale, I’d have to stack multiple scales on top of each other until I’d reach the top of the Eiffel Tower. It’s the fact that it’s insanely catchy and dance-alongable that it did so well. How well you ask? Second. Second place. Verka finished in second place. Dear God, help me now!
When I was getting your views as the best joke entry, so many of you voted for Verka! So for this article, I’ve changed the question: What would you say is the best joke entry in the history of the ESC apart from Verka Serduchka? Or if I missed one, which would you put into the top 10?
Claus Michael Fasting from Norway: For me, it’s Sweden 1984.
Magnus Dandanell Jensen from Denmark: Euro Neuro!!!
Jacob Moritz Olsen from Denmark: Israel 1987 or Ukraine 2007 (I think I’ve missed many more!)
Roman Frank from Germany: A good joke entry for me would be Spain 2008 for example.
Claus voted for Sweden 1984 – Herrey’s “Diggi-Loo Diggi-Ley”. Saying that a winning song was a joke entry can be controversial, but like I said at the beginning of the article, the definition of ‘joke entry’ varies from fan to fan. Other popular suggestions were Israel 1987 – Shir Habatlanim and France 2007 – L’amour à la française. There were obviously SO many other songs to choose from, but hopefully I will have sorted it all out for you! But what do you think of the top 10? Does it match up to what your top 10 is? Or, if you think I missed an entry you think should have been in the top 10, be sure to let me know by telling me below!