The Eurovision Song Contest has played host to some of the most iconic songs of all time. For example, research by Betway casino has shown that the UK’s “Save Your Kisses For Me”, performed by Brotherhood of Man in 1976, is the most statistically successful Eurovision song of all time, and it’s pretty well-liked among music lovers too (although that last part isn’t Betway’s line, we admit). This list does not celebrate songs like that. Instead, we’re looking today at the worst songs to grace this venerated competition.
Here are the 10 worst Eurovision songs of all time.
1. Jemini – “Cry Baby” (UK, 2002)
This was the beginning of the end for the UK. While Great Britain had performed relatively well at the Eurovision Song Contest up until this point, Jemini’s horrendously out-of-tune wailing during “Cry Baby” solidified the UK’s reputation as a Eurovision dud. Supposedly, there was some technical fault that meant the duo couldn’t properly hear each other or the backing track, but honestly, even if the song had been performed impeccably, it wouldn’t have been worth anything.
2. Dustin The Turkey – “Irelande Douze Pointe” (Ireland, 2008)
In 2008, the Irish Eurovision committee apparently decided that it should appoint Dustin the Turkey to represent it at the competition. This will go down as one of the country’s worst decisions in history. Dustin the Turkey is a travesty, and the judge-baiting “Irelande Douze Pointe” is a complete mess of a novelty song. This track exemplifies the worst aspects of Eurovision; it’s campy, cheesy, and cheap, without any of the redeeming features that often characterise winning songs of this nature.
3. Scooch – “Flying the Flag” (UK, 2007)
There are going to be quite a few UK entries on this list, because the wilderness years between 2001 and 2022 are significant (and painful) for the United Kingdom. Somehow, “Flying the Flag” reached a position of number 5 when it entered the UK singles charts, and it managed to scrape by without scoring nul points as well, although we have absolutely no idea how. Tuneless, vapid, and completely boring, not to mention its extreme Euro-pandering, “Flying the Flag” really is awful.
4. LT United – “We Are The Winners” (Lithuania, 2006)
How far can you get on just a single note? If you want a masterclass on how not to answer that question, then pose it to LT United, the Lithuanian entry in Eurovision for 2006. Despite exhorting the juries to “vote for the winners” (and hastily reminding them in the song’s title that this referred to them and not some more deserving act), “We Are the Winners” did not make a dent in the competition, and rightly so. It’s cheese of the worst kind.
5. Krassimir Aramov – “Illusion” (2009)
Really, there’s nothing inherently wrong with Krassimir Aramov’s “Illusion”, or at least nothing overtly offensive. It’s a wispy, inconsequential dance number, and that’s probably the issue; Eurovision 2009 could have coasted by, completely ignorant of Aramov, and absolutely nothing would have changed. If Conchita Wurst set the competition on fire in 2014, then Krassimir Aramov’s Bulgarian entry was the wet flannel that put that fire out (preemptively, of course).
6. Josh Dubovie – “That Sounds Good To Me” (UK, 2010)
Another day, another horrifyingly poor UK Eurovision entry. Since 2009 paired up legendary songwriter Andrew Lloyd Webber with talented singer Jade Ewen, the UK clearly believed it could make lightning strike twice, recruiting 80s songsmith Pete Waterman to pen “That Sounds Good to Me”. Unfortunately, Waterman has never moved on from the 1980s, and neither did “That Sounds Good”, landing Dubovie comfortably in last place during the 2010 show. Dubovie has spoken negatively about this performance, too.
7. James Newman – “Embers” (UK, 2021)
For the Eurovision Song Contest’s first year back after the COVID-19 pandemic called it off in 2020, everyone was not expecting very much. All we wanted was to be entertained; the songs didn’t have to be the best the competition had to offer. Still, James Newman somehow found a way to disappoint us even with that low bar. “Embers” featured the stock indie delivery of breathy vocals that somehow feel both underperformed and overworked, and the song was just…not very good as a whole.
8. Daz Sampson – “Teenage Life” (UK, 2006)
Alright, this will be the UK’s final entry on this list, we promise. Daz Sampson was 36 at the time of this performance, which makes his decision to stage the whole song as a pseudo-titillating “schoolgirl” fantasy all the more depressing and baffling. “Teenage Life” is also a rap song, which…well, you can likely see how all of the elements came together here to create something truly horrifying. Sampson’s effort may not be the UK’s worst ever song, but it’s up there (or down there).
9. Piero and the Music Stars – “Celebrate” (Switzerland, 2004)
It might seem a little harsh, but Piero and the Music Stars’ “Celebrate” makes us viscerally angry. Its central message is simple and positive – be happy, celebrate, have a good time – but somehow, that makes it even worse, and it throws excellent offerings like Jamala’s 2016 triumph “1944” into sharper relief. “Celebrate” is an idiotic pop nightmare, with sharp synth horns and a maddening earworm of a chorus that will burrow its way into your brain and stay long past its bedtime.
10. No Angels – “Disappear” (Germany, 2008)
We end on perhaps something of an unfair note. Germany’s No Angels were the country’s most successful and popular girl band at the time, so naturally, they were recruited to provide the Eurovision entry for the country in 2008. Their performance was an absolute disaster, full of nerves, bum notes, and a general lack of professionalism. Bulgaria’s 12-point anomaly aside, No Angels received no points from anyone except Switzerland, who took pity on them and gave them two whole points to call their very own.