What do The Colosseum, the Acropolis, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Eurovision Song Contest have in common? You got it, they’re all treasured European landmarks of culture not to be missed.
Once a year, the singing competition summons eccentrics and talented hopefuls across the continent to a battlefield marked by lavish costumes, stilt-wearing dancers, and absurdly-themed performances. Yes, occasionally geopolitical voting plays a part, and neighboring countries band together when it comes to awarding points, but mostly this is just a good, fun romp that can be taken very seriously.
Since its inception in 1956, The Eurovision Song Contest has birthed celebrated stars, — Celine Dion, Abba — but the real fascination with the competition lies in the wonderfully wacky entries that truly have to be seen to be believed. So without further ado, EW presents the 10 most memorable contestants of all time. Andiamo!
Verka Serduchka — “Dancing Lasha Tumbai,” Ukrainian entry , 2007
It’s quite remarkable that twins can be so out of sync, but 90 percent of the guys’ moves are charmingly out of time with one another — the high five at the 1:58-mark is particularly painful. Between the costumes, the hair, the almost-synchronized head choreography, and the show-stopping cartwheels, there’s so much movement that at times it’s easy to forget there’s even a song to hear. But, that watery ending. Wow. Give the boys their trophy. Or, you know, 19th place.