Nobody is perfect! And that also goes for the Eurovision Song Contest. There are hundreds of people involved in putting together the show and there are multiple rehearsals to minimize the risk of mishaps. Yet, there is always something that goes wrong. Sometimes it’s the artist, the spokesperson, the host or just technical issues. But don’t we all secretly (or openly) enjoy those little moments?

The German word “Schadenfreude” describes it the best. It’s basically means taking pleasure out of the misfortune of others. We so need a word in English for that. We all have it, don’t deny it.
So here are the ten Biggest Eurovision Blunders. Please let us know if you agree or if we’re missing something by posting your comments below.


1. Gurl, you’re so old

Some say that host Ulrika Jonsson had a little “foot in your mouth” moment during the voting process in 1998. But I think she totally meant it.  Conny Vandenbos was about to announce the Dutch votes and was reminiscing about her participation. That’s when Jonsson attacked and said: “A long time ago, was it?” The reaction of the audience was DELICIOUS!!! Ulrika Jonsson was thirty years old and Vandenbos was twice her age. To be fair, I truly believe that Conny would have said the same thing if she was talking to a 120-year old person.



2. Have a nice “Trip”, Dana

Sweden has just won the 1999 contest and Charlotte Nilsson was getting ready to do her”Take me to your heaven” reprise. Dana International, who won the contest the year prior, was grabbing the winning trophy with the intent to hand it to the composer. Apparently the two Pound trophy was to heavy for her to lift. She totally lost her balance and fell (and not graciously).  She clearly thought “Screw this, if I’m going down then I’m taking someone with me”. So she grabbed the Swedish composer who was supposed to receive that prestigious award. While he was able to recover, Dana landed on her badonkadonk. Dana was clearly embarrassed and ran around for a few seconds like a chicken with its head cut off and then quickly left the stage. I’m pretty sure that she is now banned from entering Sweden.




3.  Daniel vs Jimmy 

Daniel Diges from Spain was about to impress Europe with his circus-inspired “Algo pequeñito”. He was surrounded by his acrobats when a guy, who wasn’t really dressed for the occasion, appeared on the Stage. It took most of us a few seconds to realize hat he wasn’t supposed to be there. As it turns out, it was a Spanish streaker who goes by the name of Jimmy Jump. Apparently he is  known for interfering in several major entertainment and sporting events. Now he can scratch off Eurovision of his list. Let me put on my conspiracy hat for a second and say that I am convinced it was all staged and pre-planned. Daniel was unhappy with the really bad draw (he was No 2 in the running order) and now he was allowed to perform again at the end of the show. If you ask me, the Jimmy Jump was the most entertaining aspect of the performance anyway.


daniel diges spain 2010





4. Off to a bad start

Spain was the first country to perform in 1990. The band Azucar Moreno was ready to woo the audience and that’s when things didn’t go according to plan. The backing tracks started in a later position than expected so the two ladies missed their cue and were completely lost. Clearly annoyed with the situation, they left the stage. Of course, nobody in the audience or those watching on TV knew what was going on which made the whole situation even more awkward (and entertaining). The music continued to play for a little while and the ladies came back a couple of minutes later and were able to perform the song without any issues. Since the juries already voted the night before, this didn’t affect the results in any shape or form but provided the rest of us with a little bit of unexpected Schadenfreude and I appreciate that.



 5. That’s why they don’t allow Children in Eurovision anymore

In 1989, Israel was represented by the Duo Gili & Galit although most of the attention went to Gili, a young kid who tried his best to make his country proud. The pressure was on and during the second verse he clearly had a memory lapse aka brain fart and forgot the words to the song. Fortunately Galit covered well and Gili recovered shortly after. But the look of panic on his face was priceless. Interestingly enough, the minimum age was raised to sixteen shortly after so I wonder if this was a coincidence or if Gili actually ruined it for all children? I’m sure it’s the latter……right?




6. Go to Sleep United Kingdom 

Hosting the contest is not an easy task and Josiane Chen can probably vouch for that. She did a wonderful job and was almost done but was clearly exhausted by the end of the voting cause when it was time to call the British Spokesperson, Chen accidentally greeted him by saying “Good night, United Kingdom”. Even though she immediately realized that it wasn’t quite time to go to bed and corrected herself by saying “Good evening”, spokesperson Michael Aspel responded “Good morning, Luxembourg”. That was enough to crack up the host and it took her a few seconds to collect herself. While this probably wouldn’t be as hilarious today, back then everything was a bit more “proper” so it was definitely a very funny moment.



7. The Irish are cheaters

Now we know why the Irish have won the contest more than any other country. That’s because they’re cheating. Don’t believe me? Well, here is proof. Ireland was hosting the contest in 1981 (Thanks Johnny Logan) and as you can see below, after four set of votes, Ireland was in the lead with 326 points!!!!!! Some say it was a system glitch but we all know that was totally intentional and they almost got away with it. Somebody please check the scoreboards from the 90s when Ireland won four times within a five year span. I call Shenanigans!!!!

scoreboard 1981




8. Ireland still busy cheatin’

If the 1981 incident wasn’t proof enough, here is more evidence of my crazy conspiracy theory of the Irish trying to trick the rest of Europe to ensure they’ll end up on top every year. The very talented and loveable Fionnuala Sweeney hosted the 1993 contest as Ireland won the year prior with Linda Martin’s “Why Me”. So the voting was a nail biter and the United Kingdom and Ireland were fighting for victory. When the Dutch gave 10 points to Ireland, the host outrageously changed it to Douze Point cause that’s how they roll. The spokesperson was brave enough to call her out  (someone give him a medal already) and she begrudgingly obliged. How much more proof do you need, people?



 9. Physical Assault on the Eurovision stage

Somebody call the cops! In 2009, Jade Ewen from the United Kingdom was gracefully walking down the stairs while singing the beautiful ballad “My time” penned by West End and Broadway legend Andrew Lloyd Webber. And that’s when it happened: A violin play with anger management issues came out of nowhere elbowing the future Sugarbabe which caused her to punch herself in the face with a microphone. It was a very strategical attack as evidenced in the GIF below. Maybe he thought it was “His time” and Jade was stealing his spotlight. Whatever the reason may be, I’ve been staying away from violin players ever since.



10. In Bosnia & Herzegovina they don’t have Six.

In 2003, Bosnia & Herzegovina picked a spokesperson who was either illiterate or drunk. Or maybe they just don’t have the number six in her country. She was given a piece of paper that had the votes on it. All she had to do is read it out loud and then go back to her Gin & tonic. But something went terribly wrong. The five points went to Croatia and seven to Romania. Then she said Austria received five points as well? WTF?


The views expressed in this editorial are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of ESC United, its editorial board, its readers, or any other person, entity, or organization. And in case you don’t get it, we’re kidding!!!!!

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