Over the years there have been so many Eurovision entries have been somewhat overshadowed by the choice of outfit on the night. Compiling a short list of Eurovision fashion 'disasters' has not been an easy task for several reasons. Firstly, there are so many dodgy costumes! More importantly, styles change. It’s difficult enough to look back on old photographs of family gatherings, let alone international song contests! What might have been the height of fashion at one point might not necessarily be so at another time. It’s too easy to mock the 80s or any other decade. The outfits listed here are arguably ugly in any decade...
12) Portugal 2006 – Nonstop
Nonstop are the Portuguese version of Girls Aloud. Apart from the dodgy vocals, there are little similarities between these girls and our British beauties! Their choice of costume for Athens appeared to be modelled on a Playboy version of a keep fit class. They even sang “everything waits when you’re dancing in style”. This implies either something about their dancing or their style. In this case it was a failure on both parts. As UK commentator Paddy O’Connell said “They had one frock and they fought over it”.
11) Belgium 1993 – Barbara Dex
Belgium’s Barbara Dex came last in 1993. However all was not lost, she went on to have an international award named after her! The Barbara Dex Award is presented to the worst dressed performer(s) in the Eurovision Song Contest and is voted for by the fans. Twenty years on from her contest, Barbara Dex remembers Eurovision fondly and even seems honoured that there is an award bearing her name. She made her dress herself you know…
10) FYR Macedonia 2005 - Martin Vučić
I thought you were meant to put in a bit of effort when performing in front of hundreds of millions? Martin seems like a nice enough bloke but certainly wasn’t dressed for success in 2005! The ill-fitting jacket, jeans and t-shirt really didn’t allow him to present himself at his best; he looked more like he was heading off to the cinema for the evening. Even the backing singers looked like they weren’t that bothered about being there.
9) Switzerland 1988 – Celine Dion
One of the most famous winners of Eurovision ever, Celine Dion deserves recognition not only for her outfit but also her perm! Her performance was vocally flawless although it would take a long time before she would become the highly stylised chanteuse that she is today. Celine might be forgiven since it was 1988 but she deserves to be here because surely at some point she looked in the mirror and yet still took to the stage! She’s got guts if nothing else!
8) Hungary 2009 – Zoli Adok
If you’ve got it, flaunt it! Hungary’s Zoli gave a somewhat flamboyant performance of his song in Eurovision in Moscow. Aided by some very tight trousers he managed to reach those high notes, just a shame that he missed most of the others! I’ve been to many strange clubs and have never seen anything quite like this. He does get points for the dance moves though!
7) Finland 1994 – CatCat
The Finns don’t do themselves any favours do they? In 1994 they had quite a catchy little number which was well-performed. They appear to have forgotten to put clothes on though. As Terry Wogan said, they were “wearing their mother’s underwear”. That’s a lovely thought! These girls actually look younger now than they did back then. Some people really can turn back time!
6) Iceland 2009 – Yohanna
Iceland came second in 2009 with a lovely ballad and not such a lovely dress. Resembling something that might have been made in a sewing class at school, this was neither flattering nor stylish. Someone more savage might suggest that the dress made her look like one of those dolls that were used to cover up toilet rolls in the bathroom. I couldn’t possibly comment...
5) Romania 2004 - Sanda Ladoși
They say less is more and that was certainly the case with Sanda’s clothes in 2004. The hair, makeup and interesting choice of outfit made her catchy pop song seem like something a little sordid. Could the outfit explain the lack of votes on the night?
4) UK 2005 – Katie Price
This isn’t strictly Eurovision since Katie Price lost out to Javine in the UK selection that year, however this outfit deserves recognition, if only for Katie’s balls! 5 months pregnant and prancing around in a pink leather cat suit. Now was she trying to be Tinky Winky or La La? What if she had actually made it to Ukraine? She might have had the ultimate Eurovision gimmick!
3) Romania 1998 – Mălina Olinescu
Poor Mălina, her song and strong vocal performance were overshadowed by her decision to wear a pair of curtains from the local stately home. The choice of jewelry, resembling something from a dressing up box didn’t help improve the look either. Mălina sadly passed away in 2011 although her song remains a firm favourite with many Eurovision fans.
2) Spain 1999 – Lydia
Spain’s song in 1999 was called “No quiero escuchar” which translates as “I don’t want to listen” and clearly the singer, Lydia, didn’t when opted to wear this dress on stage. Perhaps the use of the rainbow flag, the international symbol of gay pride, was a show of solidarity with the contests many gay fans? Lydia’s Spain finished last with just one point in 1999. Perhaps this ill-fitting dress hypnotized the viewers?
1) Netherlands 1977 – Heddy Lester
The Dutch entry in 1977 showed that having a nice colour meant nothing if the frock was downright freaky. Whilst it was original, it resembled something akin to an internal examination or a skin complaint on Embarrassing Bodies.