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|CAN'T WAIT UNTIL TONIGHT (song) German entry, Istanbul 2004: 8th place (93 pts)|
|Germany took it the max when it came to making an effort for the 2004 shebang in Istanbul. Or rather, Max took the effort to Istanbul on behalf of his Teutonic chums.|
The gentle jazz-ballad was inspired by the time Max went to the pub with his mates and they had a really big drinking competition. Max drank the following: Seven pints of lager, nine pints of bitter, three Bacardi Breezers (the watermelon ones), nine glasses of Crusha raspberry milkshake, a port and lemon, 16 cans of Tizer, a cup of tea, three bottles of water (still), and half-a-litre of Domestos.
By this point, he was clearly in need of a trip to the lavatory, so he ran over to the gents. To his horror, he found the pub manager taping a barrier to the door as Guildo had been in there a few minutes earlier and caused a blockage. The Gents would not be open until much later on that day.
"But..." Max protested, "I can't wait until tonight..."
You know the rest.
|CARITA (performer) Finnish entry, Brighton 1974: 13th place (4 pts)|
|Unwittingly unleashing the most double-entendre laden Euro lyrics ever with her 1974 Finnish entry Keep Me Warm, Carita was forced to go into hiding under her piano after she was plagued by men turning up on her doorstep carrying a large bucket and a leery smile, asking her to keep that promise of 'providing fragrances from nature's well'.|
| CAROLA (performer)
Swedish entry, Luxembourg 1983: 3rd place (126 pts) Rome 1991: 1st place (146 pts) Athens 2006: 5th place (170 pts)
| ||I'm sure the
Haggkvist clan were very touched that the family-minded Carola
chose to sing about 'Grandad and his Warm Wind' for Sweden in
1991, but surely it's a subject she should keep to herself? |
Carola brought home the meatballs that same year, eight years after finishing 3rd. She, of course, had to wait for Mista Naef! Mista Naef! (as Toto said) to decide who had scored the most of the right type of points before she could jump off her sofa and stand in front of that wind machine again.
refused to leave the house for six months afterwards, in case
people pointed at him and laughed at his hot botty burps.
|CASANOVA (song) Norwegian entry, London 1977: 15th place (18 pts)|
|Anita Skorgan has
never really met Casanova, as he is from the olden days, and if
she had known him, she'd be dead.
This inescapable logic would have prevented her from representing Norway in the 1977 Eurovision Song Contest with a perky wee song all about the infamous lover.
Don't worry if you can't decipher the Norwegian lyrics to the song - it literally translates as Anita's relief she had never met the lothario.
She reassured her listeners that if they had crossed paths, history's most famous lover would surely have fallen for her and demanded to do all sorts of mucky things with her.
However, his wick had been dipped so many times, the sensible girl would have refused him entry to her bed, in case she ended up with syphillis, gonorrhea, or Jahn Teigen.
|CAT CAT (duo) Finnish entry, Dublin 1994: 22nd place (11 pts)|
|Hoo-hoo! Look at
the ladies in rudie underwear!
Applying our sensible heads for a moment, the Finnish entrants of '94 proved effortlessly to the watching millions and their dog that it if a song contains the line 'Bye Bye Baby', the next line will always be 'Baby, bye, bye' (see back catalogue of both Bay City Rollers and Madonna for further evidence).
And that's that. If you're expecting any jokes about pussies go and stand in the corner, you rude little monkey.
|CELIA (performer) Portuguese entry, Dublin 1997: 24th/last place (0 pts)|
|An influential and
highly respected mad scientist in her Portuguese homeland, Celia
Lawson saved her national TV station a fortune in 1997 by using
all her genetic know-how to create a line of backing singers by
crossing five household flies with five men who can't click their
fingers in time with each other.
Such is the air of clinical detachment Celia has developed over the years, she spent many hours after her return from Dublin trying to find a mathematical formula which accurately reflected the number of points she received from the juries in proportion to the amount of effort she put into her performance. She's still working on it.
|CELINE (performer) Swiss entry, Dublin 1988: 1st place (136 pts)|
|A woman who
wrapped half-a-mile of net curtain round her waist, and had her
perm set in chip fat, to take the ESC title in 1988.
She will now only sing songs which let her voice go up seven octaves in the final chorus.
She's Swiss-Canadian, you know.
|C'EST LA DERNIER QUI A PARLE (song) French entry, Rome 1991: 2nd place (146 pts)|
|It is ironic that
the Great Euro Stand-Off of 1991 should take place at the
Cinecitta film studios, scene of quite a few epics of the
cinematic variety in its time (Cleopatra, War and
Peace et al). This song, sung by the equine-looking beauty
Amina was locked in a 146 point deadlock with poppy-bopster
Carola after the last jury had voted, and it was down to wise old
Frank Naef to get the microscope to the results before awarding
Sweden its (perhaps undeserved) victory.
Why undeserved? Well, there's nothing spectacularly original to Faangad av en Stormvind, but Cest La Dernier had something ethnically special about it which The Voice, Nocturne and Aava can't come close to no matter how much they may have tried.
All was not lost however. Amina confronted Carola in the car park later on and they had a big girlie fight. Such was the obvious worldly wisdom of the French singer she easily defeated her rival by shouting "Mon Dieu! Look behind you! Eet iz le big pink heeperpertamus!" and pulling on the naive Swede's hair as she excitedly whirled round to take a look. The hippopotamus, of course, wasn't really there.
|CHAMAR A MUSICA (song) Portuguese entry, Dublin 1994: 8th place (73 pts)|
Ruffelle sang the praises of the 1994 Portuguese entry whilst
rehearsals were underway at The Point, but since this was one of
the few songs she bothered to listen to before the night itself,
she was hardly the John McCirrick of that year's Eurovision.
Perhaps Sara Tavares was just missing an angel to bring her luck as Chamar A Musica is a very un-Portuguesey song which could have finished higher if entered in a year where the juries weren't hell-bent on voting for Ireland regardless.
Don't worry about Sara Tavares though, whose eighth place made her the bestest Portuguese ESC entrant until Lucia Moniz two years later; she has since been employed by Rui Bandeira to ensure his hair remains a constant length of 63cms at the back and is a slave to the calipers and Stanley knife.
|CHANTEUR DE CHARME (song) French entry, Dublin 1988: 10th place (64 pts)|
|With a lovely
mullet which so appealed to the Yugoslavs and, therefore, pissed
on Scott Fitzgerald's chips, Gerard Lenorman was the dark horse
of Eurovision 1988.
To be honest, there's nothing very interesting to be written about him, except it can be exclusively revealed, Gerard did indeed invent fabric conditioner.
He is so obsessed with his invention, he even washes his hair with it, but doesn't it leave a lovely shine? Smells fresh too.
|CHARLOTTE (performer) Swedish entry, Jerusalem 1999: 1st place (163 pts)|
|Using both her
assets to the utmost on stage at Jerusalem '99 (her voice and her
natural rhythm), Charlotte Nilsson carried the plaudits back to
Stockholm once the counting had stopped, eternally famous as
the woman whod just won and was left standing there
when Dana International fell over. When questioned about
her performance, Charlotte is rumoured to have said, I was
a bit worried that the left valve might pop during the second
chorus. Her narrowly-defeated rival, Selma from Iceland,
was asked if there was anything she could have done to have
gained those all-important final votes. Yes, she
allegedly said, I could have had bigger tits.
If she didnt
say it, then she should have done.
|CHARLY (performer) Hungarian entry, Birmingham 1998: 23rd place (4 pts)|
|Hungary's representative in 1998 was by far the most nervous person on the Birmingham stage, as he clearly needed to go for a big wee during his entire performance.|
|CHARMED (not witches) Norwegian entry, Stockholm 2000: 11th place (57 pts)|
|As you may or may
not be aware, one third of Norway's sisterly trio for 2000 is a
stuntwoman. One day, this particular sister was just out, falling
out of burning buildings and things, when Jeremy Beadle
approached her. She didn't recognise him, as he was cunningly
disguised as a policeman and had a false beard on. The cheeky
trickster told her that there would be an audition for the new Flintstones
film at Stockholm's Globe Arena and that the producers were
looking for three sisters who could sing sixties type songs and
lie about their real ages. The Charmed stuntgirl raced home
delightedly to tell her sisters. Then Jeremy somehow did a
voiceover, saying, "What the stuntwoman doesn't know..."
and canned laughter could be heard behind him.
To cut a long story short, the Charmed sisters turned up at the Globe in their caveman outfits (especially to impress the producer) and sang My Heart Goes Boom (inspired by the time the duped sister performed a stunt as a cardiac arrest patient) for all they were worth. They then thought that the audition was over and would be offered the part, but were disappointed with the Olsen Brothers' success, coming, as they did, from the prehistoric era anyway. Jeremy Beadle met them outside the Arena sans false beard to reveal his crazy prank, and the Charmed sisters were so annoyed, they caused the bleep box to overheat.
|CHIPS (duo) Swedish entry, Harrogate 1982: 8th place (67 pts)|
Patrol were not the Swedish entrants of 1982, even though they
share the same name. Instead, the good folk of Gothenburg et al
sent what Terry Wogan described as "two strapping
Scandinavian lassies." to Harrogate accompanied by four
blokes auditioning for the 'I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do' video
seven years too late.
Dag efter Dag was the name of the song, seven years before Tommy Nillsson sang En Dag for the same country. Does time pass inexorably slowly in Scandinavia? Perhaps it does, as one half of Chips became 50% of Norway's victorious duo three years later, with a song about pendulums.
|CHOREOGRAPHY (often desperate, usually ill advised)|
| Ever since the
Kessler Twins half-heartedly swung their arms from side-to-side
in the 1959 German entry, Tonight
We're Going Rock'n'Roll Dancing (but in German), television companies
across the continent have tried desperately to detract from weak
songs with a shimmy here and a sashay there in the hope the more
impressive twirls could be converted into the occasional point.
The shoe-shuffling exploits of Brotherhood of Man and Bucks Fizz are well-documented, but lest us forget the remarkably non-Samba moves of Baby Doll and Co in the '91 Yugoslav entry Brazil, Mekado's Profile! Profile! Profile! Face the camera as one! routine in Wir Geben N' Party and Mess's ...well, mess, in 1982.
Not all planned choreography reaches the screen though. In 1994, Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan wanted to rock a baby in its crib and roll a toddler down a makeshift hill at appropriate moments in their entry, but RTE refused to let this happen, as it might make the song seem interesting.
|Since Rome was a rush replacement for San Remo in the build-up to ESC '91, there wasn't time to take down the set for Playschool: The Movie in Studio 15 of Cinecitta before the contest started. Much of the props were shifted into the Green Room, and if one looks closely enough, it is possible to make out Humpty and Hambel's Italian equivalents providing hours of excitement for a bored Samantha Janus during the voting. Or is that one of her backing singers and a bigwig from the BBC Delegation? Perhaps I need glasses.|
|CLAES-GORAN (performer) Swedish entry, London 1968: 5th place (15 pts)|
Singing Agent Claes-Goran Hederstrom was in the Stockholm-a-Go-Go
on April 6 1968 surrounded, as per usual, by a gang of scantily
clad Scandinavian lovelies who all had small revolvers concealed
in their bikini bottoms.
Whilst flirtily recounting the tale of how he and Lill Lindfors once tied Tommy Korberg's shoelaces together and sneaked off without telling him, a mysterious stranger appeared from nowhere and told him that he must leave for London immediately on national singing duty of the utmost importance. Claes instantly bid his drinking companions goodbye, jumped into his Volvo convertible (with go-faster stripes) and headed for the Albert Hall and the Eurovision Song Contest. Whilst there, he sang a vaguely contemporary song in a suit with a dodgy collar and came 5th. And that's it, really.
|CLIFF (performer) British entry, London 1968: 2nd place (28 pts) ; Luxembourg 1973: 3rd place (123 pts)|
| ||Quite old and
simper-y, Cliff Richard saw Eurovision as the perfect vehicle to
make an entire continent cringe for three minutes (as opposed to
just the UK whenever hes on Top of the Pops). This
was achieved via his natural ability for self-choreography. The
dance steps for his two Euro-classics can be easily recreated in
your home, garden, church, or even loft:
Power To All Our Friends
|CLIFFORD (grumpy scrutineer)|
Clifford (or Meester Brown as hes known in
Madrid) was desperate for Talbot Rothwell to write a film all
about his hilarious antics at the Eurovision Song Contest
entitled Carry on Scrutineering. Sid James was pencilled
in to play Brown himself, with Joan Sims as the assistant (who
just seems to sit there ordering pizzas over the phone for the
entire voting sequence) and Barbara Windsor is Katie Boyle. The
only known surviving piece of dialogue from the aborted project
was found beneath Terry Wogans wig in 1984:
The film never saw
the light of day. Rumours persist that Windsor was concerned
about Sid James getting all the best lines.
|CLODAGH (performer) British entry, Dublin 1971: 4th place (98 pts)|
|The UK had
completed its four-year round trip of the partner nations by 1971.
England's Cliff in '68, Scotland's Lulu in '69, Wales' Mary in '70
and, err... Southern Ireland's Clodagh in the aforementioned '71.
Still, let's not let the facts get in the way of a good piece of
Big band, big bass drum, and tiny, tiny hot pants. That's Clodagh and her song in tribute to the big car-levering equipment she once got delivered to her house in a big parcel (Jack in the Box). Clodagh is a keen mechanic, and promoted women's lib further by wearing her performance outfit from Dublin '71 when fixing cars live on stage.
|COCO (group) British entry, Paris 1978: 11th place (61 pts)|
|They produced an
unforgettable piece of lyrical splendour:
'Remember who (cue angelic howling)/ walked into my life and put their foot beside my shoe.'
Quite. The irony was, this song was about how the Bad Old Days were over. If someone walked into my life and plopped a severed foot down in front of me, I don't think I'd be full of the joys of the spring. Would you?
|COLGADO DE UN SUENO (song) Spanish entry, Stockholm 2000: =18th place (18 pts)|
|Y Viva Espana.
Now, I struggled a bit in writing about their '98 entry (See QUE
VOY HACER SIN TI), so I'm going to make more of an effort with
this one, which I'm sure some people found extremely entertaining.
I can't think of any such people off the top of my head, but hope
So, Spain 2000. The visually impaired Serafin Zubiri represented the Costa Del Song for the second time (the first was in 1992). He sat at a piano, and there was some backing singers standing alongside him for the chorus. Err, err, err...
Sorry Spain. I tried.
|COME BACK (song) British entry, Tallinn 2002: =3rd place (111 pts)|
|And what a come
back it was.
After three years in the Euro-doldrums, Blighty finally got its act together (despite dealt the ESC voodoo draw of 'being song number two') and got back to the wall-of-sound gutsy number with equally gutsy vocalist which did them so well in 1997.
In an effort to cover all the bases in 2002, the Beeb even chose former Popeye Doll contestant Jessica Garlick to enter Song for Europe with the song, in the hope her surname would attract those elusive French points (all one of them, as it transpired).
There were still problems in Tallinn, however. The extremely patriotic Jessica wanted to show off her Welsh roots to the full by dressing as a big red dragon for her performance of Come Back before going back into the dressing room area and breathing fire over the costumes of all the entries the bookies favoured over her.
Unfortunately, the Estonian production crew would not allow this to happen, but once Jessica secured equal third place with Estonia, the BBC did allow her to go up to Afro-Dite, point at them, and laugh.
Jessica is now looking forward to a new career appearing on nostalgia programmes 'I Love Pop Idol', 'I Love Being Vaguely Associated with Will and Gareth', 'I Love Wales' and 'I Love Music Competitions Organised In Former Soviet States' where she will give suitably enthusiastic comments about her experiences in front of a lava-lamp effect backdrop.
|COME BACK TO STAY (song) Irish entry, Luxembourg 1966: =4th place (14 pts)|
|Irish telly may
say it was Dickie Rock (ffnarr) who sang the '66 entry for them,
but anyone watching footage from that year can clearly see it is
Henry Kelly behind the mike.
What makes it even more obvious is, prior to the rendition of Come Back to Stay, he runs jauntily down the stairs from the back of the auditorium to the stage, announcing proudly he has been: "Watching you, watching us, watching us watching you," before sitting down next to Sarah Kennedy, as the voting starts.
To compound the
fact, he can clearly be seen going over to the Swedish delegation
halfway through the scoring, reassuringly informing Lill Lindfors
and the beardy bloke they are 'playing catch up.'
|COME COMEDIE (song) French entry, Edinburgh 1972: 11th place (81 pts)|
|Note to French Television: It was a lovely idea to try
and recreate the days of Piaf and the pre-war cabaret scene for
France's 1972 Eurovision entry.
However, after much consideration, we have to admit that dressing Betty Mars as a human meringue is not the best way to seek victory.
Sincerely yours: Everyone who watched Eurovision '72.
PS: Actually, thinking about it, she could have picked bits off her dress if she'd felt a bit peckish during the voting.
|CORINNA (performer) German entry, Tallinn 2002: 21st place (17 pts)|
attempts to reach the coveted ESC stage pale in comparison next
to the likes of Ira Losco, but her determination has to be
In a collaboration surely on a par with Robbie Fowler co-managing an under-11s squad with Gerard Houllier, Corinna finally relaised her dream by taking I Can't Live Without Music to Tallinn, a song co-written by Ralph 'I Really Must Get that Woman Disqualified from the 1999 Eurovision' Siegel, who moved heaven and earth to ensure the visually impaired chanteuse did not keep hold of the first place she acheived in the German national final of that same year because he'd written the song which came in second.
Anyway, back to 2002. A big favourite with the bookies, but obviously not very many other people, Corinna's preposterously uptempo homage to her CD Player being a virtual pacemaker/dialysis machine/aqualung had shades of Australian hit Absolutely Everybody to it on the single, with shades of an Australian hit going through a rusty bacon slicer on the big night itself.
Ralph Seigel was last seen heading for the hills. Corinna May is now considering alternative life-giving practices, including reading, tap-dancing and composer-baiting.
Dutch entry, Lugano 1956: (place unknown), Frankfurt 1957: 1st place (31 pts) Hilversum 1958: =9th/last place (1 pt)
| ||A combination of
The Singing Detective and Perry Mason on oestrogen supplements,
Corry Brokken is the only warbling lawyer so far to have taken
the Euro silverware.
She achieved this for the Netherlands in 1957 with the help of her pet pigmy, who very kindly offered to play the violin in the musical break whilst jamming his head in her armpit. She returned the following year to defend her title, minus the titchy violinist, and paid the ultimate price.
Corry next dipped her toe in Eurovisiony pools to host the 76 contest, wearing a pair of glasses she stole from Deirdre Barlow. She is currently legal advisor to Linda Wagonwheelmakers costume designer.
|COSMOS (song) Latvian entry, Athens 2006: 17th place (30 pts)|
|.The Latvian entrant of 2006 was the acapella group Cosmos, with the stethoscope-friendly ditty I Hear Your Heart.|
Readers of jazz mags and fans of Latvian pop were delighted at the time, as it looked like Team Riga were doing their damnedest to bring a real sense of diversity to the Eurovision running order.
What these people fail to realise, is that because they were still paying for the staging of the 2003 Contest, Latvian telly simply couldn't afford to produce a backing tape.
We won't mention the robot.
|COULD IT BE (song) Maltese entry, Rome 1991: 6th place (106 pts)|
after they last appeared in the great big musical boxing ring
that is Eurovision, how else could Malta have made a more fitting
re-impact than by asking The Captain and Tenille to sing for
Of course, it wasn't really those two famous people, but Paul Geordimania (so called because of his love for people from Newcastle) and Georgina were certainly a more subdued offering than Renato and his crap rhyming couplets had been back in 1975.
Other than that, it's a very earnest offering. Or at least, it looks as if - the expression on Paul's face could also be explained by the fact the nerves have really got to him and he hadn't brought any spare underwear to Cinecitta with him. This didn't stop them coming sixth with 106 points, however, and rumours abound that, on their return to Valletta, a mysterious bearded stranger with overly tassled sleeves started throwing bricks at them in a fit of jealousy from the observation balcony of Malta International Airport.
Could it Be..? No, surely not...
|CROATIA (nation) First entry: Millstreet 1993. 0 0 0|
|Croatia is barely
20 years old, and already it hasn't won Eurovision.
It took Portugal several hundred years to achieve that distinction, so these young pretenders are the ones to watch out for.
It is a widely known fact that the womenfolk of this nation traverse the public footways in black capes, which they allow to fall to their feet at sunrise in order to kneel and worship Davor, the man in the nicely pressed suit who hovers in a box over Zagreb.
|CROIRE (song) Luxembourg entry, Dublin 1988: 4th place (90 pts)|
|Lara Fabian (what
a tempting spoonerism...) was guaranteed to make the fans' palms
sweaty in 1988 because she sang a dramatic ballad in French. And
do you know, she did just that.
Croire finished fourth, behind Hot Thighs, Scott Fitzgerald (lucky Gerald) and Caline Solution, getting the full twelve from Ireland - but I bet none of their jury could find Luxembourg on a map.
Can you tell I struggled a bit writing that one? Ballads that do well are a bugger to be sarky about.
|CROSS YOUR HEART (song) Irish entry, Brighton 1974: =7th place (11 pts)|
|It is ironic that
at the 1974 ESC, where Katie Boyle made such a fuss about not
wearing any underwear, there should be a song making blatant
references to a range of Playtex lingerie.
Legend has it that Tina Reynolds (who sang the song for Ireland) was suffering from post-car accident memory loss on the big night and so had the lyrics written on the back of her hand just in case.
They don't show up on screen - perhaps she had them tucked in her bra instead.
|CYPRUS (nation) First entry: Dublin 1981. 0 0 0|
|A market leader in
the European placard industry, turning out at least five per year.
The most popular slogan is 'Eurosong (next year's date) in
Cyprus' and is waved furiously by the Chief Executive of Cyplacard
PLC in the audience of the ESC every year in an attempt to
boost pan-continental trade. Cyprus also has its fair share of
singers too, ranging from a shotgun wedding couple (1989), a
group of travel reps who perfected the art of dancing in a row (1997),
and a splinter group from the Cypriot Freemasons (2000).|
Note: A points famine struck Cyprus in 1980. An emergency aid package of 350 points from neighbouring Greece helped solve the problem, which the ever grateful Cypriots swore to repay, and do so in regular 12 point instalments.