Top 10: Most memorable outfits in ESC history

Hey everyone and welcome to another countdown of the finest things that has ever come out of Eurovision! Today, we’re going to take a look at the most memorable outfits that ever graced the Eurovision stage. Now, we’re no professional fashionistas, but we can definitely tell our swan dress from our sexy, stylish, swank suit! So who has provided us and indeed, the world, with the best outfit Eurovision has ever seen? Keep reading to find out!

Who will take the top spot for the most memorable outfit?
Who will take the top spot for the most memorable outfit?

There have been many performers that have worn some pretty… interesting… outfits to say the least (a la Lordi, Verka Serduchka, Guri Schanke to name a few), but few of those outfits have been as memorable as the ones listed below. We possibly could be adding more of these by the time we get to Copenhagen next year, given that any secrets spill early on (let’s for the best on that front, eh?). Some may shock you, but enjoy the top 10 anyway! Shall we get started then?

10 – Zdob și Zdub – So Lucky (Moldova 2011)

So to kick off, we’ll start with Moldova 2011; a simple, yet intriguing performance. Not only because of the song, but because of their one metre long (probably) hats! How the hell did they keep them on?! The song wasn’t particularly much to go by, but throw in all those hats and a woman riding a unicycle and BAM, it’s stuck in your mind! The visual side to the song would have probably helped them get as many points as they did, as well as the song. But I’d say that if someone said to you: “Hey do you remember Zdob și Zdub?”, you’d think of those hats. It’s definitely one way of making yourself memorable anyway!

9 – Riki Sorsa – Reggae OK (Finland 1981)

Right, so we have a reggae song sung by a guy who looks like he’s had to give up a round of golf just to sing at Eurovision; a good combination? The answer is no. Not at all. Is it just me or does Riki look a little bit like a piece of cheesecake with banana, strawberry and chocolate diamonds for legs? The song itself isn’t that bad, although the man playing the accordion is questionable as to why he’s playing the instrument in the middle of a normally accordion-free genre. I think though, for the sheer fact a man became a piece of food, that outfit would be memorable; especially in that era where you normally wouldn’t wear something that fluorescent!

8 – – Aven Romale (Czech Republic 2009)

This was definitely a first for nearly everything imaginable. I think gave Eurovision one of, if not, its first ever superhero act… and it seems Europe didn’t like it. And how did everyone show their dislike towards the song? They gave it no points of course! Oh Europe, you shouldn’t have! The song wasn’t that good, but it was also the first time that method was ever used at Eurovision, but I guess it’s always good to try things once! In all seriousness, though, the outfit was a memorable one as we had the first ever SuperGypsy! If only the song or the performance, or even the singing, was as good as the outfits themselves!

7 – Cezar – It’s My Life (Romania 2013)

OK, it’s fair to say this outfit, and Cezar himself, got slated a lot. And by a lot, I mean A LOT. One of the two dresses this year that was elevated (the other being old-time-buddy Aliona Moon from Moldova), the outfit would be the most memorable from this year by a long shot! What confuses me is why was there men dancing around is nothing more than some tight shorts (not that I’m complaining, it just confuses me is all!) and a woman worshiping the man on a pole. Not weird at all! The song itself is quite 50/50, but I think the outfits got the song more points the actual performance… like our friends at #10!

6 – Barbara Dex – Iemand als jij (Belgium 1993)

No most memorable outfit top 10 would be complete without Barbara Dex; the mother of the award named especially after her! And we can definitely see that she’s the worthy winner of the first year of the ceremony. That dress is quite an… interesting one! I’m not really sure whether it’s a good dress or a bad one… well, can I even call it a dress? Is it just a stringtop-dress thing underneath a transparent fabric? I’m not sure, so do comment below what you think of it! Anyway, the song itself is a nice ballad in Dutch, but that dress… at least she’s now known internationally because of that award, so we can’t say she hasn’t faded out of the picture!

5 – Bobbysocks – La det swinge (Norway 1985)

Oh Bobbysocks! How can we forget them?! Those jackets are just FABULOUS! That performance is just.. woah. James and I unanimously decided this deserved a spot, because their performance was so really, really good and because of those amazing pink sparkling jackets. How else could we describe them? They’re just….. FANTABULOUS! The song is quite suited to the outfits because the song is all about dancing and rock and roll etc, but the jackets are the the things we definitely loved most about the performance. It’s fair to say as soon as Riki (aka Cheesecake Man) took to the Eurovision stage, singers have gotten more glam!  Although in 1985, nothing could beat those jackets (well, apart from Lils’ “malfunction”….we’re obsessed with those jackets, aren’t we?)

4 – Sabina Babayeva – When the Music Dies (Azerbaijan 2012)

Sabina is probably the first singer to ever to play the “projection dress” card, and now it seems that it’s going to become the normal thing now (thanks a lot Aliona!). When we saw in this Baku, this was quite a surprise, as we’d never seen this before, so did it pay off? Yes. It did. A lot. She came 4th for God’s sake! The song was perfect for her and the visual side to the song also told such a bold story, compared to.. oh I don’t know, Rambo Amadeus? For me, I loved that dress because it just looked so good on her and that projection bit would definitely be the most memorable dress that year… well, apart from Loreen (although that was more an all-in-one minus arms and a huge V to show that she’s quite skinny!).

3 – Linda – No Goodbyes (Netherlands 2000)

Oh no, it’s raining! Everybody get under Linda’s huge raincoat! Just kidding, but that coat thing was huge! Thank god she shed not too far into the song to reveal… a shiny skinny dress?! Well it was memorable, to say the least! It looked like a huge wind machine was being blown up Linda’s skirt when she had that coat on, but it was all her backing dancers, so no worries! The song wasn’t that bad and her singing was actually quite good, but it only scored 13th place.. REALLY EUROPE?! That song was great! Anyway, the outfit itself was like the most memorable in 2000, but it isn’t as memorable as our top 2! But well done Linda, you got this far!

2 – Ruslana – Wild Dances (Ukraine 2004)

Oh Ruslana, weren’t you standing out from the crowd! Ruslana was the first artist that included the whole package in her performance; horns, leather and all! Her outfit was completely suited to the performance and the song, and it’s obvious that Europe also got what she was going for, seeming as she won! Her song was energetic and bouncy and definitely got the crowd going and I’m sure if you had the time, energy and, indeed, the hair, you’d be dancing along with her. I know I was! Also, this was the first time proper leather was used on stage. Well it’s now safe to say that Ruslana, you are definitely a trendsetter!

So we’ve gone through the 9 most memorable outfits that have been worn at Eurovision, but our #1 is probably the most memorable outfit, or should I say outfits, of all time, let alone Eurovision!

1 – Bucks Fizz – Making Your Mind Up (United Kingdom 1981)

This group has probably given us the first ever dress change in the history of Eurovision… well it was just the skirts, but Doris Dragović removed the top part of her dress so that also counts as a half change! Anyway, there would be a slim chance that anyone wouldn’t know who  Bucks Fizz are. The song itself if OK and the actual choreography was quite cheesy, but the outfits were one of the most memorable parts of the song. It is now officially our #1 and they’re the holders of the title of Most Memorable Outfit in ESC history. Well done Bucks Fizz!

Your views:

So what’s your most memorable outfit of all time?

Does our top 10 reflect your own one?
Does our top 10 reflect your own one?

Nick van Lith from the Netherlands: The elegance of Danijela in 1998. An elegant dress change.

Jacob Mouritz Olsen from Denmark: ABBA, Bobbysocks, Sandra Kim, Celine Dion… mostly 80s outfits!

Ervin Juhász from Hungary: Ani Lorak!!

Metter Stenersen from Norway: Hard to forget Verka Serduchka…

The fans favourite outfits cover nearly every decade, ranging from ABBA in the 70s to Ani Lorak in the 00s, which shows the huge amount of outfits that people remember. But what’s your most memorable outfit? Is your most memorable outfit in the top 10  and which ones would you put in/take out? Let us know by commenting below!

Dissecting today’s announcement – Host city and slogan revealed!

Well guys it’s now official: we have ourselves not only a host city, but a slogan and a venue (albeit an unfinished one, but we’ll overlook that for now shall we…) Next May, we will all be jetting off to Copenhagen, Denmark, to witness the 59th Eurovision Song Contest, which will be staged at the B&W Hallerne under the slogan “Join Us”!

The B&W Hallerne, Refshaleøen, which will host next year's contest.
The B&W Hallerne, Refshaleøen, which will host next year’s contest.

Whilst the announcement that the Eurovision Song Contest is to be held in the hosting country’s capital city would usually be a “well duh” announcement (à la Baku, Oslo, Moscow, Belgrade, Helsinki, Athens etc etc) this year’s bidding phase has been more interesting than most; with a number of left-field proposals being seriously considered, and at some points being seen as frontrunners. Indeed, the eventual concept which has been announced by DR and the EBU today is still not what we all would have predicted (cough – Parken) but they have at least maintained the realistic approach that only their capital city has sufficient accommodation for all the delegations, press and fans who will be vying to attend.

In the run-up to this announcement, Rory put together profiles on each of the candidate cities which applied to host the contest:


So: having already given you a summary of the city and it’s amenities, all that is really left to do is to dissect this decision.

With three articles dedicated to the announcement, the EBU and DR have clearly been anticipating a big reaction. Indeed, with the final article being an interview with Executive Producer Pernille Gaardbo basically justifying why they’ve picked this venue, it would seem that the whole thing is a bit panicked and rushed. Which is ironic considering we’ve been waiting for this for four months already. But still. Maybe I’m being overly sceptical here.

It is in this interview where the mechanics of the decision are really explained – with the other two articles being very generic “look at how amazing this is going to be” displays of typical EBU political correctness. Pernille Gaardbo however, presents the proposal for 2014 to us in a way which highlights its less obvious benefits and justifies the decision better than any piece of toe-the-line journalism could.

“Right from the beginning we have had an ambition to modernise the Eurovision Song Contest whilst of course still respecting its traditions. Refshaleøen gives us the opportunity to create a totally new and unique show, because we ourselves can decide how it looks both inside and out. We can tailor the halls to our requirements and give the show its own distinct character.”

It is clear, therefore – from the stated mantra of “new” and “unique” – that DR are looking to leave their mark on the ever-evolving institution or Eurovision, just as SVT did this year. This somewhat unorthodox idea for a venue will certainly be just that! However, as Ms Gaardbo highlights, it should allow for a show tailored completely in every respect to what DR and the EBU wish to present to Europe. But have they got enough time for that?

“It is clear that when we are presented with a completely raw factory hall as a venue, we will really put a lot of effort into making sure that it will be usable in terms of sound. As part of the bidding process we partnered up with the best acousticians and engineers and they guarantee that the sound will be suitable for a professional TV production.”

Well. They have indeed decided on a “raw factory hall”, forming part of a former shipyard. There are always going to be doubts about the nature of the venue in terms of the sound quality. However, we can’t overlook the fact that for the last four months DR will have been weighing up the pros and cons of every single proposal they received, and if they have decided that the sound will be sufficient for a show like Eurovision, then that should be good enough for us too!

It’s no understatement to say that Parken Stadium, which hosted the 2001 contest was considered by many to be the obvious choice for 2014. The biggest stadium in the country – with a capacity of 50,000 – was already occupied by the local football team, who were unwilling to alter their plans to accommodate the contest as Dusseldorf did in 2011. However, the EBU’s 2012 announcement that they would aim to downsize the contest to potentially aid any financially weaker broadcasters would not have been in line with Parken 2014. In a way, I believe that even if it was free, they would have been reluctant to return, even if only to save face. The 10,000 capacity (apparently) of the B&W Hallerne is a far cry from the arenas of 2011 and 2012, and is even smaller than the 11,000 who eventually filled the Malmö Arena this year. Now in my view, the only way this is a problem is the fact that less people will be able to go and experience it live. As far as a television broadcast goes, it makes very little difference having the show in a massive arena, or a more modest hall. It will just be a shame for those fans who want to go and simply can’t get tickets. *sigh*

And, before I sign off… a word on the slogan.

It’s no better or worse than any of the other recent monstrosities. In my humble opinion, the cheese-infused taglines of recent years – “feel your heart beat” “light your fire” “we are one” – are not only cringeworthy but also completely unnecessary. Moscow 2009 functioned perfectly well without one, thanks!


Emmelie is going to have to put in a whole lot of practice into staging enthusiasm for the cameras.

Your Views:

What is your reaction to today's host city announcement?
What is your reaction to today’s host city announcement?

Hans Leenders from the Netherlands: I think it’s far too early to judge about the accomodation. I am sure the Danish will do everything they can to make it look magical. 😉

Michael Romano from Australia: It’s perfect. They can customise the venue to however they see fit for the show. They can make it as suitable as they need it to be  for the show, while creating a unique atmosphere for everyone. It will be a nice intimate setting and DR seems to have put a lot of thought into everything.

Svetlana Andriyenko from Ukraine: I liked the idea of Herning, but I think it will still be very interesting competition in Copenhagen with this venue. Join Us Europe!

Katja Marie Lund from Slovenia: This is such a fabulous news full-stop! Cph will be a kick-ass host and to be honest – Malmo and D-dorf were great hosts as well, but hosting in a capital somehow always adds an extra prestige to the contest (and a Eurovision-trademark), so – all is fine here.

So, as expected, views are somewhat divided, but in general, the decision has been met with an evaluative positivity from the fan community. At the end of the day, there is nothing anyone could do to reverse the decision, even if they wanted to, so for now all that is left to say is se jer alle i København!