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(P): from Para Llenarme De Ti to Putnici

KEY: Winner Runner-up Third-place Top 5 Debut Entry Host Entry Last Place Nul Points

PARA LLENARME DE TI (song) Spanish entry, Istanbul 2004: 10th place (87 pts)
Operacion Triunfo is surely the most un-aptly named TV show in all creation. In 2004, on its third attempt, it sent the squashed-nose features of Ramon to Istanbul with the rather dull 'Para Llenarme De Ti'.

It's difficult to remember very much about it, other than the fact it sounds like it should be about a paratrooper inviting a llama called Len around for tea.

PAS DE DEUX (song) Belgian entry, Munich 1983: 18th place (13 pts)
One of the truly original ESC entries, it's quite hard to rip the pee out of this one.

What am I saying? It is a crackingly good song, but the girls of Pas De Deux had some mettle to strut on stage in their pyjamas using the same stride Baby Doll's backing dancers would repeat more energetically eight years later. Even more guts are required to blatantly mime playing the flute halfway through the song.

The song was Rendezvous and the intro is daringly long for an ESC entry (then again a song which is mostly intro would win the whole thing 12 years after this). This may explain why it did so badly (13 points and 18th place) as the juries got so fed up waiting for the first verse to start, they took a bathroom break.

Still, the crowd liked it.
Note: "Rendezvous" is Flemish for "Kung Fu Fighting".

PAS POUR MOI (song) Swiss entry, Bergen 1986: RUNNER UP (140 pts)
Big haired and seated, Daniela Simons was the surprise runner-up in Bergen in 1986 with the really-quite-dull Pas Pour Moi.

Written by the same pair who would come up trumps for Celine Dion two years later with something far more sparkly, Daniela was nevertheless determined to give the song her all and it paid off, finishing second only to teeny-tiny Sandra Kim.

Ms Simons of course rose from behind her piano for the last part of her song, as a vicious rumour had begun circulating backstage at the Grieghallen that someone had stolen her legs at rehearsals and Swiss TV had anxiously stuffed pillows up her trouser legs to conceal the crime.

In silencing her critics, Daniela was proud, and celebrated by applying an extra can of lacquer to her hairdo before the voting started.

PAT (presenter)
One of the presenters of Dublin '88 was a former Miss Ireland. This one wasn't.

Pat Kenny has a rapier wit, capable of tearing paper at fifty paces. Just sit back and wet your pants at all his hilarious quips from the big night:

On the shot of the Icelandic strongman giving someone a fireman's lift:
"I've heard of people getting carried home after a night out in Dublin, but that's ridiculous!!!!!"

In the intro to the UK entry, following a mention of Bucks Fizz's skirtless antics:
"Don't worry, Scott's assured us he's going to keep all of his clothes on!!!!!"

At the mention of Kirstin Hoteye's impending event, and Michelle's entirely spontaneous remark that Pat could assist in an emergency:
"Oh! (adjust spectacles) I believe plenty of hot water and towels are what's required!!!!!"

He also said something a bit deep about clowns during the intro to the Greek entry. Hilarious.

Note: Pat is now available for stag nights, weddings and Bah Mitzvahs. His number appears in phone booths throughout Dublin city centre.

PAUL (composer/lyricist/judge botherer)
Where-oh-where has Paul Curtis gone?

The prolific UK songwriter who previously couldn't break wind without producing the British Song for Europe hasn't been seen or heard of for almost 10 years now. There are several theories for his absence:

a) He ran out of Burt Bacharach/Hal David lyrics to plagarise.

b) Jonathan King had him shot.

c) He is trapped under his piano following a rope/pulley/Frank Spencer house-moving incident.

d) All of his pencils are all broke and that.

e) Samantha Janus had him shot.

Please Paul, think of those words you put in Emma thingy's mouth:

"We should be proud of all the great things ha-weaver cheeved..."

Don't stay away. That would just be a-paul-ing curtis-y..

PAUL (singer) Icelandic entry, Dublin 1997: 20th place (18 pts)
After winning the Icelandic Stars In Their Eyes as Gary Numan in the autumn of '96, Paul Oscar just couldn't wait to sit on a sofa and have lots of leather-clad lovelies writhe provocatively about him.

That's all well and good, but you'd think he'd have written a decent enough song to sing whilst he was doing it. Paul now hovers about bars in the remotest corners of Iceland, telling anyone who cares to listen how he could have been a contender. They then tell him that he was, but he finished 20th, so stop whittering on.

PAUL & CHARLIE (duo) Irish entry, Dublin 1994: WINNER (226 pts)
This was one Paul who didn't writhe about on a sofa during the performance, but if he had, perhaps the song would be remembered by more people today than it was after the winning reprise in '94. He and his partner (but not that sort) Charlie took Rock n'Roll Kids to victory that year, upholding the axiom that any ESC winner which starts with the word 'Rock' is always a bit dodgy.

Rumour has it that unhappy RTE technicians, who wanted to send their employers bankrupt, cunningly made a loop of this performance, which was then shown 25 times on the monitors of the ESC juries, instead of the other 24 entrants.

Well, there must be some reason why they won....

PE-O MARGINE DE LUME (song) Romanian entry, Belgrade 2008: 20th place (45 pts)
They should really have sent Doctor Frankenstein, but a bout of national pride stopped the Romanians sending a song which did not originate on their own soil, so they sent this one instead.

A mix of uptempo moments and ballady stuff, it did rather well in the first semi final, but then was landed with the opening slot on the big night which somewhat wet their powder.

Since Eurovision, Nico and Vlad have been approached to draw the raffle at their local fete, but not much else.

PEACE WILL COME (song) Georgian entry, Belgrade 2008: 12th place (83 pts)
Now used as an advertising jingle to convince the doubters that Georgia's best selling diauretic really does work, Diana Gurtskaya's great big anthem about peace (in all its forms) was tantalisingly close to finsihing in the Top 10 in Belgrade.

What people may not realise is that the song was inspired by Diana's time as a struggling waitress.

Diana was simply superb at waiting tables, despite her visual impairments, but the eaterie she worked in was saddled with possibly the slowest vegetable chef in all of Georgia.

Many was the time she would spend anxious minutes telling disgruntled customers whose steaks were getting cold not to worry, but eventually, peas will come.

PEARL & TEDDY (duo) British entry, Cannes 1959: RUNNER UP (16 pts)
For a short time in the early 60s, the word 'robbed' in the Concise Oxford Dictionary carried a picture of this pair and Domenico Mudugno alongside its definition.

Although Sing Little Birdie can still be sung and remembered by people over a certain age to this day, what they may not be aware is that Pearl and Teddy were both arrested outside the Palais de Festivals shortly after the 1959 ESC, the former by the Paris fashion police, and the latter by the RSPCA for blatantly sticking his finger up a chicken's bottom on live pan-continental television.

And before the watershed too, tsk, tsk...

PEPE LEINHARD BAND (band) Swiss entry, London 1977: 6th place (71 pts)
A moment please to celebrate Pepe Leinhard and his band of Lionhearts.

Whilst everyone else at the Wembley Conference Centre were content to put on a glittery posh frock (including Mike Moran) and sing something chanson-y, these Swiss tricksters actually played homage to their roots and sang a bouncy wee number that must be the only ESC song ever to feature an Alpenhorn (unless you include the time Fredi broke wind during Pump-pump).

Unfortunately, the Swiss flag never flashed for Swiss Lady during the voting, but the fellas didn't seem to mind. One question remains though - what was Pat Kenny doing on piano?

PIASEK (singer) Polish entry, Copenhagen 2001: 20th place (11 pts)
"Piasek-ake!" Poland's 2001 performer told himself when he took on the job of representing his nation with his extremely naff song that's just 2 awful by half, his extremelier naff hair and his extremliest naff fur coat.

Piasek-ake, eh?

PIERA (singer/construction worker) Swiss entry, Brighton 1974: =14th/last place (3 pts)
Switzerland's answer to Bob the Builder, Piera Martell was at first unwilling to travel to Brighton for the 1974 Eurovision as there was a big job on at the site, and anyone working the weekend was going to get double-time.

She relented however, put down her hod, and changed into a green dress to take Mein Ruf Nach Dir all the way to equal last place at The Dome.

Thankfully, her trip was not in vain, as Bjorn from ABBA asked her for a quote on a new porch for his and Agnetha's house in Sweden, and Gigliola Cinquetti asked if Piera could possibly build a small, windowless cell, complete with impenetrable steel roof, around Toto Cutugno while he was sleeping.

PINAR & THE SOS (group) Turkish entry, Stockholm 2000: 10th place (59 pts)
Umm... Turkey. Err... 2000.

Lots of suntanned people playing ethnic instruments, France and Germany gave them 12 points.

Sorry, I just don't remember any more. Did they invent the Pina Colada?

PING PONG (group) Israeli entry, Stockholm 2000: 22nd place (7 pts)
One stormy night in Stockholm, The Mystery Machine broke down outside the old Globarena place, so Fred, Daphne, Shaggy and Velma ventured inside to see if they could find a phone, leaving Scoobs and Scrappy in the van with a large bowl of Scooby Snacks.

When they got inside, the four humans discovered a complex series of trap doors, revolving bookcases and zombies who chased them down long hallways which carried the same suit of armour at every ten paces. Their only means of escape was to run into this really big room (like, zoinks!!) and pretend to represent the country of Israel with a song they made up on the spot.

After the song, they escaped back to the van, but not before pulling an unconvincing rubber mask from the zombie's face to reveal a man they'd barely glanced at fifteen minutes earlier, and producing an entirely plausible explanation as to why it must have been him all the time.

POLAND (nation) First entry: Dublin 1994. 0 1 0
The Eurovision satellite couldn't find the home of the little red Tellytubby until 1994, when the Polish king (Mr Sheen), stood on top of a really tall building and caught it in a big net.

The EBU were so impressed with this action that they allowed the Poles to finish second in Dublin. They would have achieved 'pole-position', but Johnny Logan had the EBU President's fingers in thumbscrews, rendering the latter powerless to let them go that one place higher.

POOGY (group) Israeli entry, Brighton 1974: =7th place (11 pts)
It takes a special kind of group to get away with wearing tank tops on stage and Poogy, unfortunately, were not one of these groups.

Only the second act to represent Israel before the nation suddenly realised which type of song did well in this competition, coming to Brighton must have been a fantastic cultural eye-opener for six lads from Jerusalem.

They certainly enjoyed their time in the seaside town; tasting candyfloss for the first time, having their palm read on the pier, playing beachball, and of course, going into a local club called Zipper and being told which were the best colour handkerchiefs to wear in your back trouser pocket on a Saturday night.

PORTUGAL (nation) First entry: Copenhagen 1964. 0 0 0
Pity the poor Portuguese. As they sat out for the 2000 event, they witnessed debutantes Latvia finish three places higher than they've ever managed in a Euro career stretching back to 1964. Portugal have brought many styles of song to the ESC arena over the years, including the fado, the... the... the...

Oh, just go straight on to Precious, I'm sure I'll think of another type eventually.

PRECIOUS (group) British entry, Jerusalem 1999: =12th place (38 pts)
They knew they'd heard it right, they'd been lying awake at night: wondering how the hell they could make the world forget they'd once sung at the ESC.

Although, 'sung' is a fairly loose description of how they drummed Say It Again into the ears of a continent. Each member of Precious has a unique talent which distinguishes them from the other girls in the group: one is good at carrying luggage, one always has a nice shade of lippy in her handbag, one looks old enough to get served at the bar, one has a boyfriend who's got a car, and one can sing.

PRIMA BALLERINA (song) German entry, Madrid 1969: =9th place (8 pts)
The Swede Siw Malmqvist performed this for Germany in 1969, but was among the 75% of the 16 entrants which did not have to declare a winner's medal at customs.

Surprisingly, the song is about someone who is dead good at ballet, but Siw did not have the nouse to enhance her chances of winning by wearing a tutu and propping one leg up on a training bar while she sang.

She said later this was because she did not want to set a precedent for future ESC entrants with songs whose titles could be re-interpreted costume-wise on stage, such as Spot Welder, O Spot Welder; Pest Exterminator and the possibly controversial Artist's Live Model. Siw's wisdom has echoed through the Euro echelons, so well done her.

PRIMA DONNA (group) British entry, The Hague 1980: 3rd place (106 pts)
Perms, pumps, multi-coloured jeans and one minimizer bra. Yes, it can only be an early 80s UK Eurovision entry. Prima Donna only narrowly got through to The Hague in 1980 with Love Enough for Two when that year's ASFE ended in a tie with Maggie 'Name That Tune' Moone's Happy Everything. The regional juries were recalled one by one until the stalemate was broken and the entire UK populace were on the edge of their seat - because the over-running of the national final meant that Dallas started late.

However, the merry sixsome eventually finished third at the proper singing final, and, inevitably disbanded. Kate Robbins (one of the Prima Donnas) now does the voiceovers on Eurotrash. One wonders which events in her life she looks back on for inspiration...
Note: The other members of the group now run their own kebab shop called 'Prime Doners' on the King's Road, where Maggie Moone regularly appears from nowhere to moon at them.

PRIME MINISTER (group) Russian entry, Tallinn 2002: 10th place (55 pts)
The less repetitious Russian answer to ONE came in the form of Prime Minister, the only boy band in history to have been selected by a manager who had inadvertently been landed with five white suits of vastly varying sizes and so just picked the performers to fit the clothes.

Bringing a touch of the Liza Minnellium to Tallinn, the Minister's Northern Girl wouldn't have sounded out of place on yer average teeny-bopper MTV show, but the song's authors are woefully misguided.

Anyone who has ever travelled on the tunnel bus linking Liverpool to Birkenhead at 3am on a Sunday morning knows that Northern Girls hunt in packs of six, wear orange make-up and micro-micro-mini skirts (even if the temperature outside could make Walt Disney's head shiver) and utter such fine prose as "Worra yoo f***in' lookin' at?" every time a male under the age of forty walks within fifty yards of them.

Prime Minister must be admired for their desires of wishing to melt such maidens, but one can only assume the blowtorch hot enough has yet to be invented.

PROFIL (group) French entry, The Hague 1980: 11th place (45 pts)
Occasionally, France goes poppy, and 1980 was such an occasion.

Profil took Hello, Hello Men & Women to The Hague and used up the entire choreography allowance they'd been saving in a biscuit tin since the contest started.

The group had the super wheeze of each having a different section of a rainbow printed on their T-shirts, meaning every time they stood in the right order an entire arc of colour and loveliness was emblazoned across the entire length of the Francophonic popsters. Aaah.

And let's not forget they topped off this concept by having Zippy conduct the orchestra.

PUTNICI (song) Bosnia Herzegovinan entry, Jerusalem 1999: 7th place (86 pts)
Elton John once said that you should deny the passengers who want to get off. His words had a profound effect on those responsible for selecting Bosnia's ESC entry in '99 as Putnici (Passengers) originally finished second in their national final to an extremely dull song about an old bloke in a lighthouse (or something). The performers, Dino & Beatrice, were devastated by this - so they got one of their backing singers to eat the man who came first, enabling them to go to Jerusalem by default.

Once there, the extremely well-behaved dignitaries in the Jerusalem Conference Centre were kind enough not to laugh at Dino's dancing - but the sadistic televoters of (mainly Eastern) Europe were keen to see him do it again, as the song picked up a fair few votes. Unfortunately, even seventh place wasn't enough to keep Bosnia out of the Yo-Yo League. You see, we even deny the passengers who want to get on.

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