Eurovision 2017: The worst acts ever to win the song contest

The worst acts who still managed to scoop up the big prize - and, yes, we're talking about the worst by Eurovision's standards here

There's a very thin line between what's considered "good", and what's considered "bad", at the Eurovision Song Contest.

It's like the competition exists in some sort of alternate parallel universe in which the standard regulations of musical taste no long apply. The thing is, in the normal world, Lordi's "Hard Rock Hallelujah" would be almost universally considered a stupid, weird, and confusing song.

But in Eurovision land? Well, it's essentially the best thing to ever happen to Finland. So, in that light, here's an attempt to carve that thin line between Eurovision's absolute worst, and the rest of its delightfully bizarre offerings.

"Merci Cherie" by Udo Jürgens, Austria (1966)


Probably the most controversial entry right off the bat here, but we can't just give the entire '60s a pass for merely being intrinsically classier. Jürgens was a big name in the likes of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland; but "Merci Cherie"? Surely, there's a point in which the earnest ballad becomes a little too earnest and turns into an overwrought pain. We get it - you're very thankful for this woman's companionship.

"La, La, La" by Massiel, Spain (1968)


"Wait? You're only telling me now, half an hour before Eurovision starts, that you forgot to write the chorus to this song?"
"Just wing it, you'll be fine."

"What's Another Year" by Johnny Logan, Ireland (1980)


Logan's other Eurovision win, "Hold Me Now", is actually a pretty decent power ballad. The same, unfortunately, can't be said for "What's Another Year?"; a song whose vibe weirdly screams, "first dance at the wedding of a Texas oil baron and his sad, pageant queen bride".

"Making Your Mind Up" by Bucks Fizz, United Kingdom (1981)


Yes, yes; the tearaway skirts were the most revolutionary thing to ever hit Eurovision, but that doesn't take away from the fact this song is plain annoying. No one should be allowed to be this perky.

"Diggi-Loo Diggi-Ley" by Herrey's, Sweden (1984)


Eurovision's pretty infamous for nonsense titles ("Boom Bang-a-Bang"? "Ding-A-Dong"?), because nonsense presumably transcends all borders and languages. This kind of takes the cake, though; plus you've got to ask yourself why this song's being performed by 3 matching Ken dolls.

"Rock Me" by Riva, Yugoslavia (1989)


You know how, in the '80s, every single Hollywood film was inexplicably set in the '50s? Well, this is that, except not good.

"Insieme: 1992" by Toto Cutugno, Italy (1990)


For a song supposedly meant to inspire hope for peaceful futures and a united Europe, it was seemingly performed by the most bored man ever to hit Eurovision. Behold, for no one has ever before so unwillingly clicked their fingers.

"I Wanna" by Marie N, Latvia (2002)


The one track that made everyone momentarily resent Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias for making Latin pop internationally popular in the early '00s. Also, whoever made white suits a thing.

"Believe" by Dima Bilan, Russia (2008)


Speaking of things that belong in the early '00s...

"Running Scared" by Ell/Nikki, Azerbaijan (2011)


Combine an instantly forgettable song and a pretty tone flat performance, with fireworks simply not big enough to distract from the first two things, and you've got one of the most widely detested Eurovision winners so far. Let's just hope whoever nabs the title this year is less this, more people dressed in monster costumes playing heavy metal.

Join us for the Eurovision final on Saturday 13 May.

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