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|GENERACIJA '42 (song) Yugoslav entry, Brighton 1974: 12th place (6 pts)|
|David Vine, the
BBC commentator in 1974 has a very odd sense of humour.
During the postcard to that year's Yugoslav entry, Mr Vine was at pains to inform his audience just how hilarious this song was, as its English lyrics would effortlessly prove. It ultimately transpired the Korni group who performed the song in white suits and an assortment of disco-tastic Harry Hill shirts sang in Serbo-Croat (or "Yugoslavian" as David put it) leaving the largely monolingual British viewers none the wiser as to what the Generation of '42 were forced to either enjoy or endure. Rib-tickling stuff, I'm sure you'll agree.
One footnote for historical purposes though. Korni join Ireen Sheer as the most unfortunate Eurovision performers of all time, as it was the Slavs who preceded ABBA in the '74 running order, whilst Ms Sheer had the misfortune of following them. What a bummer, eh?
|GENESIS (song) Cypriot entry, Birmingham 1998: 11th place (37 pts)|
|The Cypriot entry
in 1998 was in tribute to that 'great' rock band with the little
Michael Hadji... Hagi... Hachee... oh, some bloke in a leather
jacket, it was actually quite stirring, and Michael should be
congratulated for perfecting the 'dramatic point at the camera
with the red light on' just in time for the anoraks across the
continent to tick it off in their 'Find 50 at the Eurovision Song
|GENTE DI MARE (song) Italian entry, Brussels 1987: 3rd place (103 pts)|
now, scientists will be able to take a copy of the 1987
Eurovision, cut it in two and count the rings revealed to see how
old it is.
They could save themselves a lot of bother though, by just watching it, as it is definitely an event which betrays its era. When else would you have a proliferation of pastel pink, greys and laser beams? Then of course, there is Umberto Tozzi and Raf (not the air force), singing for Italy with mullets conditioned to the point of no return and the obligatory suit sleeves pushed up to the elbows - something Scott Fitzgerald would copy the following year.
The song, Gente Di Mare, is considered a contest
perennial, and it certainly racked up the points, but 20 years or
more later it just sounds like a lot of quickly garbled verses
with a half-hearted chorus. However, the fate of the singers of
this third-placed song is not pleasant. After walking past a San Remo
acrylic jumper warehouse, so much static was created within the
duo's hair, it produced enough magnetic energy to send a pair of
Vespas flying across the street towards them.
|GERMANY (nation) First entry: Lugano 1956. 1 4 5|
|A large record company founded and maintained by Ralph Seigel since some point in the Middle Ages. Following a disastrous financial year in 1995, bailiffs took Allemagne plc into receivership in '96. A merger with the Meinunger group in 1997 brought it back from the brink and rumours persist that much of the backing for said merger is from undisclosed Turkish sources.|
| GIGLIOLA (singer)|
Italian entry, Copenhagen 1964: 1st place (49 pts) , Brighton 1974: 2nd place (18 pts)
| ||The original
teenage jailbait winner, striking gold in the most convincing
fashion ever for Italy in 1964 with Non Ho L'Eta. This
of course translates as 'I'm Far Too Young To Have Hoo-dee-hoo,
Thank You Very Much'.
Gigliola returned in 1974 to finish second to ABBA dresssed as an aquamarine wedding cake, and how many of us can say we've done that?
Her last ESC appearance to date was as 1991 co-host, where she very kindly allowed Toto Cutugno to fondle her bottom throughout the entire proceedings, but she's nice like that. Nowadays, Gigliola is far too old to have hoo-dee-hoo with anyone, and she much prefers to stay at home and make models of the Trevi Fountain from raw pasta.
|GIORGIO (song) Swiss entry, Hilversum 1958: 2nd place (24 pts)|
|The only singer
Switzerland had until 1959, every single record in the national
Top 40 until the end of 1958 was recorded by Lys Assia.
This explains perfectly why Miss Lys was the perfomer of Switzerland's first four Eurovision entries. One of her two 1956 songs won, 1957 isn't worth talking about, and in 1958 she almost did it again with second-placed Giorgio.
The song tells of a small child Lys encountered on the streets of Berne. The boy was a whizz with a needle and cotton, and was soon churning out suits and posh frocks for everybody who wanted one. By the time he was three, he had his own Emporio, but refused to let Lys wear one of his own creations as she sang about him in Hilversum, as she couldn't afford to pay for it. The swine - wonder what became of him?
|GO (song) British entry, Dublin 1988: 2nd place (136 pts)|
|Written by Brucie
(Forsyth)'s daughter and performed by a Brucie (Springsteen)
wannabe, this was the song which very nearly distracted the 1988
juries from that mutant offspring of an adult nappy and a tutu
which was Celine Dion's skirt.|
Its performer, Scott Fitzgerald, did at least have a hairdo to rival the eventual winner, but unfortunately, the arms of his jacket just weren't long enough to make the grade. This was because his wrists had had a big row with his cuffs the day before: the day before they walked away from sleeves.
|GOODBYE (song) Bosnian entry, Dublin 1997: =18th place (22 pts)|
|Alma Car-sick is a
star at its most radiant, but we won't mention her hair.
Ten years earlier, Goodbye would have been a textbook ESC-entry too, were it not performed in the entrails of the ethnic years. Mind you, it did make 1997 a lot more fun, and it does of course have a complex dance routine, explained for the first time ever right here in Encyclopaedia Eurovisica:
|GRACIA (modern singer) German entry, Kiev 2005: 24th/last place (4 pts)|
|In early 2005, German potholers discovered a singer who had gone looking for one of Nena's stray red balloons in 1984 down a vast cavern and had been stuck there ever since.|
She had been living on stalagmites and water from the subterranean pools, but had kept her sanity by singing power ballads to herself and writing new tunes which would excite contemporary record buyers.
The potholing team took pity on the ravaged singer, whom they christened Gracia. German telly, on the other hand, realised they could save a bundle of cash by sending the none-the-wiser rock chick to Kiev with a song in the style she loved so much and only paying her the 1984 rate. The bastards.
|GREECE (nation) First entry: Brighton 1974. 1 0 2|
|The land of
mousakka, gods (and goddesses) held their Euro remit upside down
in 1974, and so never quite got the hang of what the contest was
all about. They came relatively close in 1977 however, with a
song which sort of goes 'Avanti, yah-ha-ha-hah!' (Mathema
Solfege), performed by a group whose moves inspired Alsou's
backing dancers in 2000, but this was the sad exception as
opposed to the rule. The real Greek highlight though has to be
their 1979 entry Socrates. Here, men in beards and
contemporary Athens haute couture prounced about the
Holy Land stage chanting 'Sock-a-ra-a-teez Soo-per-star!!'. |
Ach, Eurovision, ye jist cannae top it...
Note: The Greek God of Eurovision (Tedeumus) declared it was imperative for all Greek entries to contain at least a bouzouki or a set of hand cymbals from the early eighties onwards. Otherwise, the island would feel his wrath via the constant playing of Nana Mouskouri album tracks on national radio.
|GREEN ROOM (scene of chewed nails and cold sweats)|
|Ever since 1964 (with
some exceptions), the events of the Green Room have kept a
continent agog as the vision mixers of the host broadcasting
company flick between it and the scoreboard. It is also
surprising the Green Room has never yet been the scene of
fisticuffs considering some of the dodgier decisions the
international juries have made over the years.
However, there are always those memorable green room moments - Johnny Logan holding up three fingers to the camera to indicate how many points he needed to secure victory in 1980 whilst holding a glass of beer (good job he didn't need two points), Guildo Horn's infamous puppy crawl around the '98 nightclub, a lovely assortment of national flag scatter cushions in 2002, used either to wave with euphoria or cry into after the voting was half completed.
These moments are in marked comparison to 1977, when there was so much cigarette smoke about, it looked as if Lynsey De Paul had set fire to the place in a fit of pique once she realised Marie Myriam had it in the bag.
Funny how they're hardly ever green as well.
|GREENJOLLY (group) Ukrianian entry, Kiev 2005: 19th place (30 pts)|
|Greenjolly had to ask the Ukraine's largest manufacturers of tinned sweetcorn if it was OK to use their name as the host entry of the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest. They said it was OK, as long as their music didn't bring the company into disrepute.|
Greenjolly gratefully complied, and went on to pen a rap about the Orange Revolution. After the transmission of Eurovision 2005, pencil-thin fashion nazis Trinny and Susannah were on the next flight to Kiev, to tell the group that green and orange should never be seen together.
|GRETHE (singing wife) Danish entry, London 1963: 1st place (42 pts)|
|(Not to mention Jorgen) One half of the 1963 duo who brought home the Danish bacon, Ms Ingmann and hubby almost didn't reach the butcher's counter. Norway very conveniently changed their minds once all the scores were in and jiggled their votes about, thus giving Scandinavia its first ever win and making Switzerland wait a further 25 years until its second. The Swiss singer, Ester Ofarim, didn't mind too much, although when she topped the charts with Cinderella Rockefeller .five years later she added a chorus of 'You're Not Singing, You're Not Singing...You're Not Singing Anymore..!' especially for Danish television. Grethe and Jorgen recorded a Danish version in protest, but Cinderhurdy Rockergurdy never quite had the same ring, and disappeared without trace.|
|GUILDO (person) German entry, Birmingham 1998: 7th place (86 pts)|
|This man can now be found on the Hamburg dockside, doing unspeakable things with cowbells.|
|GUNVOR (singer) Swiss entry, Birmingham 1998: 25th/last place (0 pts)|
|This Swiss miss
unfortunately thought the 1998 Eurovision Song Contest was a pan-continental
audition for The Sound of Music and so arrived in Brum
in her best fraulein smock, plus a hairdo which dates back to the
1930s as well.
At the Friday dress rehearsal, a terrible dandruff affliction struck the Swiss backing singers. Therefore, a dance had to be devised which would discreetly shake off any offending white flakes before the televoters of Europe noticed and avoided Lass Ihn in their droves. The Swiss Shoulder Shuffle did its job on the night, so it must have been the bloke with the beard which earned it zippo. Gunvor now bell-kicks her way around mountain tops, reassuring herself that she has confidence in confidence alone.