Eurovision 2016: The most controversial acts of all-time from Conchita Wurst to those Polish milkmaids

Rarely a Eurovision goes by without eyebrows being raised to the roof

Conchita Wurst won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2014 but Dana International was the first transgender act in 1998
Conchita Wurst won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2014 but Dana International was the first transgender act in 1998

Eurovision is known for its cheesy, often camp performances, but the annual song contest has played host to more than its fair share of controversies over the decades.

Catch up with our Eurovision coverage here

Israel has sparked plenty of outrage for various religious and political reasons while last year’s winner Conchita Wurst stole many a headline around the world with her attention-grabbing beard and triumphant, diva style performance.

Heres our pick of some of the most controversial acts:

Ping Pong, Israel (2000)

Conchita Wurst, Austria (2014)


Russia’s anti-gay president Vladimir Putin memorably branded Eurovision a ‘Europe-wide gay parade’ in 2014. Shortly afterwards, Austrian drag singer Tom Neuwirth more than got his own back. Neuwirths bearded lady alter-ego Conchita Wurst triumphed with the Bond-style “Rise Like a Phoenix”, shooting down homophobes who had sent her abuse in the run-up to the contest.

Stephane and 3G, Georgia (2009)


“We Don’t Wanna Put In” was understandably read as a massive dig at Putin, just one year after Georgia’s war with Russia. The European Broadcast Union deemed it “too political” for Eurovision and Georgia was asked to either change the lyrics or submit a different song. They refused and withdrew from the competition.

Paul Oscar, Iceland (1997)


This gay pop singer sparked outrage when he performed “My Final Dance” backed by four latex-clad women provocatively frolicking on a white leather sofa. To this day it remains one of the most risque and overtly sexual Eurovision moments ever.

Dana International, Israel (1998)

Daniel Diges, Spain (2010)

Donatan and Cleo, Poland (2014)

Teapacks, Israel (2007)

Jean-Claude Pascal, Luxembourg (1961)

Whether or not any acts from the 2016 song contest will rival the above in the eyebrow-raising stakes remains to be seen. Meet them all here and watch this space...

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