From Flo Rida to Greta Thunberg: These are the Eurovision moments that altered my brain chemistry

With Liverpool hosting this year, now is the chance to prepare yourself for the chaos of the contest

It’s 2023, which means that it is officially Liverpool’s year to host the Eurovision Song Contest. Later this year we will see Europe’s greatest entertainment show in Merseyside for the first time. For students in Liverpool, it’s bound to be the biggest party on our calendar.

To celebrate the occasion, I’ve decided to share some of the wildest, most unpredictable and downright crazy moments in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest to get you ready for May. To put it simply, here are some Eurovision moments that altered my brain chemistry.

Jedward. That’s it.

A decade ago, Ireland’s most lovable twins had their eyes set on Eurovision success in both 2011 and 2012 — yes, this happened not once, but twice. Proving to be one of the X-Factor’s most surprising exports, Jedward brought bops to the Eurovision stage. Their 2011 offering ‘Lipstick’ is a camp rollercoaster of fun, even if the glittery shoulder pads should be trialled in The Hague for crimes against fashion.

To be fair, Jedward did pretty well, finishing in 8th place. In fact, the United Kingdom gave them the coveted douze points in 2011. To add to the intrigue, they became rather famous in Sweden off the back of their Eurovision performances. I’m not kidding, they actually performed on Sweden’s biggest TV show.

Oops, my finger slipped.

Flo Rida performed for San Marino

San Marino is a Eurovision icon — they never fail to surprise the Eurovision audience. In 2021, however, the unthinkable happened: they sent Flo Rida to Eurovision. Yes, landlocked micronation San Marino sent American pop artist Flo Rider to the Eurovision Song Contest.

The whole situation cooked up quite the Eurovision storm, and rightly so. To make it more mysterious, it was unknown whether Flo Rida would be there in person to perform until the week of the contest. Nevertheless, Flo Rida flew across the pond and lit up the Eurovision stage with his song ‘Adrenalina’, spitting legendary bars such as “gasoline, kerosine — stop, drop, roll”.

Despite Mr Rida’s best efforts, Europe wasn’t feeling the heat. Instead, San Marino flopped and finished in 22nd place in the final. This proves that throwing a world-class pop star on the stage doesn’t necessarily guarantee success, even if it proved to be a meme goldmine.

Also, if you’re looking for a costume for a Eurovision-themed house party, look no further than Flo Rida.

Belgium sang in an imaginary language and almost won

Eurovision was going through its flop era in the early 2000s. During this time, the Eurovision ‘joke act shtick’ was just getting started. However, in 2003, Belgium was a little too convincing.

Despite having 3 official languages, Belgium’s song ‘Sanomi’ was entirely performed in an imaginary language. To be fair, ‘Sanomi’ slaps. It sounds like the lowest common denominator European folk song, but the fake language and on-stage choreography make this eccentric yet loveable.

To make things even more chaotic, this song almost won — it lost by only 1 point. However, Belgium got a little too carried away with the fake language thing because they sent another song in gibberish in 2008. That time, they did not come close to winning.

Greta Thunberg’s mum sang opera for Sweden

I’m sure you’re aware of Greta Thunberg, the former schoolgirl who inspired climate change protests across the globe as well as doxing influencer Andrew Tate. Well, did you know that her mother is a classically trained opera singer?

Greta’s mum, Malena Ernman, put her skills to good use in Eurovision 2009 to serve up the ‘popera’ song ‘La Voix’ on behalf of Sweden. Malena gave it her all, but she finished in a disappointing 21st place (behind the United Kingdom, may I add). However, she did chart a number 1 hit in her native Sweden — I’m sure Greta’s proud of that. Nevertheless, the idea of a young Greta Thunberg in the Eurovision audience watching her mum perform on stage is bananas.

Belarus wanted to perform naked with wolves

Eurovision is often about the flamboyant, over-the-top, and down-right ridiculous wardrobe choices on the night. However, in 2016, this was flipped on its head by Ivan from Belarus and his song ‘Help to Fly’.

Once photos were released of Ivan in the nude at rehearsals a month before the contest, it was revealed that Ivan wanted to perform on the Eurovision stage completely naked with real-life wolves. When explaining the choice, his team said, “we want everybody to feel the thin line between humans and nature”. Answers on a postcard, please.

When it came to the contest, we were left on tenterhooks wondering whether Ivan would be au naturel or not. However, the Eurovision organisers did some digging in the rule book and found some clauses prohibiting both full-frontal nudity and the usage of live animals on stage. What we were left with, though, was a hologram of Ivan’s naked side profile alongside an animated wolf. How sweet?!


What does 2023 have in store?

With the contest on its way to Liverpool, the ball is already rolling. Some countries have already chosen their acts, whilst some nations are still choosing. Strangely enough, Sex Pistols star Johnny Rotten is scheduled to compete in Ireland’s selection show to decide their entry. This was not on my Eurovision 2023 bingo card.

With only a couple of months to go until the contest touches down in Liverpool, there are plenty more bat-shit crazy stories from the world of Eurovision ready to unfold right here this May. Who knows, maybe a Liverpool student will be in the eye of the storm of one of them…