Top 20 WTF Eurovision Songs

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Top 20 WTF Eurovision Songs

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: David Foster
Well, that was different. For this list, we'll be looking at musical performances at the Eurovision Song Contest that made us all stop and ask what the fortissimo is going on here. Our countdown includes "My Słowianie - We Are Slavic", "Yodel It!", “Hard Rock Hallelujah”, "Sameach", and more!
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Top 20 WTF Eurovision Songs


Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 20 WTF Eurovision songs.

For this list, we’ll be looking at musical performances at the Eurovision Song Contest that made us all stop and ask what the fortissimo is going on here…

Do you have any songs that made you blurt out WTF? Sing them out in the comments.

#20: “Baila el Chiki-Chiki” (2008) (bye-luh el cheeky cheeky)

Rodolfo Chikilicuatre (Spain) (cheeky-lee-QUAW-tray)
Let’s be honest for a moment. For many viewers, watching Eurovision is an opportunity for a few chuckles. While the majority of them don’t intend to elicit such a response, getting a laugh from the audience was definitely on the agenda for comedian David Fernández Ortiz. Or rather, his comic character Rodolfo Chikilicuatre, who garnered plenty of laughs with his reggaeton-inspired, tongue-in-cheek number “Baila el Chiki-Chiki.” With lyrics full of (allegedly diluted) political parody, the song was definitely counter to the competition’s standard pomp. Spain’s 2008 entry may have placed a forgettable 16th after the laughter calmed down, but the self-deprecating humor will be forever remembered.

#19: "My Słowianie - We Are Slavic" (2014) (swhoa-VYAN-yuh / swoh-VYAW-nyuh)

Donatan & Cleo (Poland) (doh-nah-TAN and clee-oh)
Apparently, comedy within the Eurovision Song Contest runs quite deep. Poland took a satirical approach in 2014 with “My Slowianie - We Are Slavic.” The music video released in 2013 was a hit and has racked up over 81 million views. But juries weren’t quite as enthusiastic. The suggestive performance of dancers undertaking menial tasks seems to have rubbed them the wrong way, as the song only reached 14th place overall. However, it was popular with TV audiences in Ireland and the UK, who placed it at number one!

#18: "Dschinghis Khan" (1979)

Dschinghis Khan (West Germany)
You’d be forgiven for thinking this entry was another comical song from a novelty band. After all, with a name like Dschinghis Khan, why wouldn’t you? The song starts out lightheartedly enough, seeming to promise listeners a fun treat. But when the vocals begin, it becomes apparent that they’re actually serious. Or at least, it seems so. The song celebrates the Mongol warlord Genghis Khan, vividly describing his violent battles and sexual prowess … all to a disco jive. Seems like songwriters Ralph Siegel and Bernd Meinunger (barint MY-noong-ur) were big fans!

#17: “Vampires Are Alive” (2007)

DJ BoBo (Switzerland)
When Vampires rise up and take over the world, Eurovision watchers can’t say they weren’t warned. Because they very explicitly were in 2007, specifically during the semifinal of the Eurovision Song Contest. Representing Switzerland, DJ BoBo’s cautionary track passes on the message that, well, vampires are alive - and DJ BoBo is one of them. So too are his fellow performers. Together, they showcase a Gothic number that urges listeners to sell their souls and become vampires too. But wait, if everyone becomes a vampire, who will the vampires feed on? We guess it’s just lucky this song didn’t take the world by storm.

#16: "Say Na Na Na" (2019)

Serhat (San Marino) (sar-HAWT sare-hawt)
After failing to qualify for the 2016 final, Turkish singer and TV presenter Serhat tried again three years later. He poured all of his lyrical skills into “Say Na Na Na.” Now this may look and sound like Eurovision’s usual fare, and for the most part it is – but here are a couple of interesting statistics. There are 350 words in this song, and 125 of them are simply ‘na.’ That means that almost 36% of the song's lyrics are the same two letters. We can’t help but feel that maybe the imagination was a little lackluster that year. Yet they received their best result of 19th.

#15: “Wolves of the Sea” (2008)

Pirates of the Sea (Latvia)
When you think of Latvia, pirates might not be what first comes to mind. Which is why the nation's 2008 entry “Wolves of the Sea” from the group Pirates of the Sea might have made a few people scratch their heads. Clad from head to toe in costumes that seem to have been hired from a local fancy dress store, the members waved rubber pistols, bendy swords and flags. To be fair, the song is exactly what makes the show so special sometimes. It’s fun, bouncy, and leaves people smiling but also wondering what on Earth they just watched. Latvia may not be renowned for its nautical prowess, but it certainly has awesome pirates.

#14: "Yodel It!" (2017)

Ilinca feat. Alex Florea (Romania) (ee-LINK-kah featuring alex FLORAY-ah / FLORA)
Move over Dolly Parton, here’s a real slice of the working life courtesy of Ilinca and Alex Florea of Romania. After Florea raps for a moment about letting the light inside of you out, the lyrics turn into a decidedly philosophical affair about how one gets through a work day. That’s not the reason viewers were perplexed at home, though the dichotomy is strange enough. The WTF moments are twofold here – shared between the choice to fuse Ilinca’s yodeling into the track, and the really uncomfortable looking kiss at the song's closing. Office romance? You’re fooling no one…

#13: "Under The Ladder" (2018)

Mélovin (Ukraine) (mellow-vin/veen)
Ukraine’s 2018 entry into the Eurovision Song Contest is here for a different reason to the rest. Frankly, Mélovin’s pop rock track isn’t bad, nor is it particularly wild. In fact, it’s largely in keeping with the Eurovision spirit - with a stage show that screams melodrama as the performer rises from a piano coffin, then plays it atop a burning staircase. The song qualified for the final, but somehow finished 17th, having placed last with the juries. It might not have been a magnum opus, but it certainly wasn’t that bad, surely?

#12: "Flying the Flag" (2007)

Scooch (United Kingdom)
Every year in the United Kingdom, a debate fires up as to whether they should even bother sending an act that year. Since winning in 1997 with Katrina and the Waves’ "Love Shine a Light," they have only placed in the top five twice. In 2007, the UK tried to jump on the cheese bandwagon, electing pop quartet Scooch to represent them at the ESC in Helsinki. The innuendo laden song "Flying the Flag" was all about being air crew… we think. As the band paraded around on stage in their uniforms, it was perhaps a little bit too on the nose for the audience, as it had the subtlety of a jet-engine.

#11: "Alcohol Is Free" (2013)

Koza Mostra feat. Agathon Iakovidis (Greece) (koh-zah most-rrah featuring agga-THAwn yakko-VEE-THDEECE)
In the early 2010s, Greece was still reeling from the impact of the global financial crisis, and its government was in a significant amount of debt. Yet at Eurovision, Koza Mostra and Agathonas Iakovidis were able to sing about it in a way that put smiles on everyone’s faces. The ska-punk-folk song was one of the highlights of the competition, with Koza Mostra’s band inspiring viewers to get up and dance. Sure, many listeners would only have understood the chorus, “alcohol is free”, which probably raised a few eyebrows. But the melody and energy was enough to make people want to dance.

#10: "It's My Life" (2013)

Cezar (Romania)
What would it look like if you put Count Dracula in a volcano and asked him to sing about love in a falsetto? We’re glad you asked. The answer is Romania’s 2013 entry into Eurovision, “It’s My Life” by Cezar. The song is as dramatic and self-serious as it gets. It starts off as predictably enough, but takes a turn about 40 seconds in, when Cezar scales up the vocals. Seeing this dark figure in what looks like a sea of lava or blood singing the cheesiest lyrics imaginable is enough to get anyone wondering, WTF? And that’s before the dubstep-inspired bridge …

#9: “Euro Neuro” (2012) (ay-yoo-roh / airo nairo)

Rambo Amadeus (Montenegro)
If you’ve never seen one man troll an entire continent, then you need to look up Rambo Amadeus. Representing Montenegro, the self professed “musician, poet and media-manipulator” took to the semi-final stage to deliver “Euro Neuro.” The song basically was a monologue with a bit of melody, a jazz-funk backing, and break dancing. Montenegro didn’t progress to the final but for Rambo Amadeus–and yes he is named after that Rambo and that Mozart–it was a victory. He said he was honored to have written the worst song in ESC’s history. Did he really mean for it to be bad? Well, with lines like “always stay cool / Like a swimming pool”, we gotta hope so!

#8: “Hard Rock Hallelujah” (2006)

Lordi (Finland)
Who said that the Eurovision Song Contest is all pomp and cheese? Well, we did earlier, but that statement is completely undermined by Finland’s Lordi, the winning act of 2006. Everything about this band and their performance is a breath of fresh air … while also still deserving a very loud exclamation of WTF. The song itself is straightforward, inspired by the likes of Motorhead and Pantera. But their demonic costumes? Now that makes them really stand out. Talk about dedication to your art!

#7: "Party For Everybody" (2012)

Buranovskiye Babushki (Russia) (boo-RAW-NOV-SKEE / boo-RANNOV-ski BAW-BOOSH-kee)
Grandma hobbies tend to include things like playing bridge, knitting, bingo, and other things of that nature. That’s not a knock on any granny either–they’re entitled to peace and quiet. Clearly, the elderly women that make up Buranovskiye Babushki (the Buranovo Grannies) don’t feel the same way. They rocked up to Eurovision 2012 ready to blow everyone’s socks off. Initially, their song starts quietly, as they bake cookies on stage. Then the bass drops, and they seamlessly burst into a pop song and dance routine. It’s unexpected, to say the least. But they’re clearly having fun, and so is the audience.

#6: "Irelande Douze Pointe" (2008)

Dustin the Turkey (Ireland)
The rules of entering the European Song Contest don’t specifically state that the performer has to be European. In fact, they don’t even have to be human, as Ireland’s 2008 entry, Dustin the Turkey exemplifies. Sadly, Dustin’s song “Irelande Douze Pointe” didn’t get Ireland past the first semi final. It was a controversial choice from the start, with Irish composer ​​Frank McNamara saying it gave "giving two fingers" to Irish songwriters. The Eurovision juries don’t seem to have been impressed either. We guess they just weren’t amazed by a singing turkey.

#5: "Guildo hat euch lieb!" (1998) (guildo hat oy-chhh leeb)

Guildo Horn (Germany) (GUILD-doh)
Long before it was cool to self-parody, there was Guildo Horn from Germany. Clad in a green velvet suit, he performed "Guildo hat euch lieb!", or “Guildo Loves You”, for Eurovision in 1998. The song is in a typical schlager style, with sickly sweet lyrics. Despite the fact Guildo is well known as a schlager singer, the song is a satire of the style, which Horn leans into, climbing the stage rigs, playing cowbells–and even jumping off the stage to interact with the audience. Remember guys, Guildo loves you…

#4: "Sameach" (2000) (sah-MAYAChhhhhhh)

PingPong (Israel)
Burdened with the responsibility of opening the first Eurovision for the new millennium, the Israeli pop group PingPong sought to make a statement about the growing tensions of their home region. With Israel and Syrian flags in their back pocket, the foursome launched into their song, aiming to build to a big–and politically sensitive–finish. But before then, they had to earn the attention of the audience. It may have been nerves, or due to a technical breakdown, but one thing's for certain–the bouncy PingPong were horribly off pitch. This somehow emphasized the banality of the chorus, with the band telling listeners to “be happy”. Yeah, we don’t think anyone was really happy with this one …

#3: "Toy" (2018)

Netta (Israel)
Israel scores another entry on our list with “Toy”. Netta Barzilai’s (net-TAH bar-zee-LYE) song opens with some playful vocalizations that leave you … unsure of what to expect. What follows is at times bizarre, with lyrical references to Pikachu and Donald Trump, but also catchy as hell. Netta’s performance may have been a complete surprise, but by the time she was done it was no surprise at all that she’d be a winner. Despite the alleged similarities between “Toy” and “Seven Nation Army”, Netta has been Eurovision royalty ever since.

#2: "We Are the Winners" (2006)

LT United (Lithuania)
Well, the title of this song was certainly optimistic. With similarities to Queen’s “We Are the Champions”, “We Are the Winners” tried to wrangle votes by convincing everyone that they’d already won the contest. This was instantly controversial, and the Lithuanian group LT United were booed before they even began. There’s just so much to try to make sense of here. The vocals are provided by suited men who look like they just left the office. Meanwhile, the face-melting violin solo plays second fiddle to a man who looks like he’s having a fit. Imagine just tuning into this halfway, not knowing what you’d gotten yourself into … Actually, that’s pretty much how it felt from the start anyway.

#1: “Dancing Lasha Tumbai” (2007)

Verka Serduchka (Ukraine)
In the far future, when archeologists try to understand what the Eurovision Song Contest was, Verka Serduchka’s “Dancing Lasha Tumbai” will be their best example. Serduchka took to the stage wrapped in silver with a giant star on her head and the number 69 on her back. Her song was typical eurodance fare, but mixed in four languages - German, English, Russian, and Ukrainian. The words “lasha tumbai” in the title are actually complete nonsense, although Serduchka attempted to claim that it was Mongolian for "whipped cream." The song is extravagant nonsense, but also ridiculously fun for the same reason.
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