Tonight the 2016 Summer Olympics come to a close in Rio de Janeiro. As countries around the world celebrate their haul of gold medals, we can’t help but think of all those glorious golden showers that take place at Eurovision every year. Often coming during the bridge, these fireworks displays give acts life as they take it home and, depending on the song, can take it to another level. As we review ten of our favourites, grab your sunglasses and pull out that umbrella. It’s raining gold!

Azerbaijan 2011

They may have sung “Running Scared”, but Ell & Nikki glided like angels en route to Azerbaijan’s first and only win. Dressed in white and looking oh-so-serene, they could have been filming a Greek yogurt commercial. From the spotlights to the LED wall to Nikki’s luscious locks, everything had a golden hue — most especially the pyro waterfall two minutes and thirty seconds into their performance. Over-the-top and yet somehow restrained, this is among the most tasteful golden showers ever.

 

Israel 2016

Singing “Made of Stars”, Hovi Star started his stage performance with plenty of blue and black, but within 240 seconds everything went golden. Thanks to flashing lights on both the LED floor and wall, his pyro waterfall seemed to engulf him as he brought his power ballad home. We weren’t exactly surprised. Ahead of the contest it emerged that the Israeli delegation was bringing 16,000 euros worth of pyro with them to Stockholm! Money well spent.

 

Bulgaria 2012

Sofi Marinova — the face that launched a thousand GIFs — brought her Turbo-folk realness to the stage in Baku. Proving that you don’t need a massive budget to make a lasting impression, she worked a thigh-skimming skirt, knee-high boots and little else as she belted out “Love Unlimited”. Rather than deploying the standard waterfall of fireworks, she released four spiralling pyro pinwheels that proved as dizzying as her song. At a time Bulgaria struggled to make an impact on the scoreboard, she managed to tie for tenth — losing out on a spot in the final by the narrowest of margins.

Switzerland 2014

Lawyer-turned-singer Sebalter arrived in Copenhagen with the feel-good folk number “Hunter of Stars”. As he whistled and bobbed and fingered his violin, a pyro waterfall fell from two sides of the diamond-shaped stage. Timed with the lyrics “it’s raining outside”, it brought even more energy to the energetic song and could be seen reflecting off of the shiny LED floor thanks to a lovely aerial shot. Owing to the strong visuals and the infectious ditty, Sebalter took Switzerland back to the final following a two-year absence.

Georgia 2013

With each passing chorus of “Waterfall” Nodi and Sophie sought to shout louder than before. And just when you thought they couldn’t turn it up any more, they unleashed a pyro shower that could have rivaled Chernobyl in its intensity and heat. Smoke and dry ice clouds helped give this even more golden shower realness. Bonus: The song finishes with a sprinkle after the storm via some vertical geyser-like bursts.

Denmark 2013

Nothing says Eurovision winner like a golden shower and confetti. So it was only natural that pre-contest favourite Emmelie de Forest unleashed both leading into the final verse of her song. The cascading pyro had a slight divide in the middle, giving us two streams to admire, and they worked well with the gold-and-red LED screen that flashed fiery rain throughout.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4fhtxv0gIY

Romania 2005

Less of a shower and more of sprinkling of sparks, Romania’s Eurovision 2005 act saw Luminita Anghel dance her way through an urban cityscape as workers turned up the heat with welding equipment and saws. Sparks literally flew as they banged it out STOMP-style on a construction site. Proving size doesn’t matter, she still burned the competition with her more modest pyro, ultimately finishing third.

Azerbaijan 2016

Variety is the spice of life — and Samra brought the whole spice rack! Her golden-tinted performance didn’t just include a pyro rain shower. It included shooting flames, shooting sparks and pyro starbursts. When her shower fell to the floor it sent up further sparks, creating delicious pyro puddles. The theme of going for gold also came through via her golden microphone, her sparkling, skin-tight catsuit and her dancer’s gold-accented shoulder pads.

United Kingdom 2014

Molly Smitten-Downes didn’t just skin a lion for her stage performance — she also shipped in quite the supply of fireworks for her stunning double-sided pyro waterfall. She makes it rain from about 2:30 and keeps the showers coming for the final thirty seconds of the song — one of the longest rainstorms on record. The camera pans into, above and behind the cascading sparks, helping give the act dynamism and lift. Splashing pyro puddles add to the drama of this stunning display.

Slovakia 2011

They may not have made the final, but Slovakia’s Daniella and Veronica Nizlova certainly made an impression. When viewers closed their eyes they could still see the women’s endlessly lithe legs — and their 12 pyro geysers, which erupted around the edge of the circular stage. Surely the ladies felt the heat as the stage lit up in gold. No wonder they were singing “I’m Still Alive”!

Finland 2006

Lordi didn’t just launch the Rock-pocalypse. They also launched sparks and firework squirts to enhance the beat and drama of their entry “Hard Rock Hallelujah”. Rather than waiting for the climax of the song, they let rip throughout their three-minutes of cray. The group of latex-clad monsters were among the first to utilise sparkling pinwheel bursts, paving the way for Sofi Marinova and Samra years later. Monsters lead the pack!

Which is your favourite? And which did we leave off? Let us know in the comments box below.

Read more of our Eurovision lists

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PP
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PP

Thank to that Azerbaijan won in 2011

Briekimchi
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Briekimchi

Wow. I dislike almost all of these.
I guess golden showers are not for me….

karminowe.usta
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karminowe.usta

My favourite is Georgia 2013 and Azerbaijan 2016:)

aussie
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aussie

iceland’s 2006 ‘golden shower’ tho 😉

Polegend Godgarina
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Polegend Godgarina

#Justice4SofiMarinova

Ell & Nikki and Hovi put the golden shower to good use – it improved their performances a lot.

Luke
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Luke

What about UK 2012 with Englbert

Niki
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Niki

Oh, and I liked the fire during ManuElla’s performance. ???

In my opinoin, Moldova should have had a golden shower!!!!!

Niki
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Niki

In my opinion Israel 2015 and Czech Repbulic 2008 would also have deserved to be on that list. 😉

Paul D.
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Paul D.

Azerbaijan’s 2011 firework was crucial for their win I would say, though I’m not an hater and I actually like the song

Charles
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Charles

The “golden shower” reference sounds … odd … As far as props and pyrotechnics used to enhance a performance for the sake of visual delight and enjoyment …. pure distraction when one needs to listen more even if it does help when a song is pure rubbish …nevertheless it still is a music contest and a great song is always a great song and a crappy song shall remains crappy no matter how desperately it tries to convince one visually to think otherwise … but at this stage the obsession with how a performance is visually presented is out of… Read more »

Maru from Sergeyland Lol
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Maru from Sergeyland Lol

Sebalter and Freddie look like brothers! 😀 And Sebalter is more handsome! 🙂

(J)ESC Fanatic
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(J)ESC Fanatic

@DenizNL

I agree about Switzerland, Rykka was so underrated 🙁

@Laburnum

I agree with your first comment 🙂

Laburnum
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Laburnum

@(J)ESC Fanatic, you’re right! I do disagree with everything you said about 2011.

Laburnum
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Laburnum

A pyro waterfall would have worked best for Moldova in 2016 rather than Azerbaijan.

DenizNL
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DenizNL

Azerbaijan 2011 and 2016 had the perfect fireworks. I liked the this years Switzerland fireworks though.

(J)ESC Fanatic
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(J)ESC Fanatic

Azerbaijan 2011: Very good song, so romantic and atmospheric. I think it deserved to win because 2011 was a year full of weak songs but I’m sure many people disagree. Israel 2016: I like it but I think it builds too slowly. Bulgaria 2012: Love it, it should have qualified. Switzerland 2014: Love it too, glad Switzerland defied everyone and did well. Georgia 2013: Very good song and great voices. Denmark 2013: Great song but a little overrated. Romania 2005: I like it. Azerbaijan 2016: I love the studio version but live it was a disaster. United Kingdom 2014: Love… Read more »

Gene Paolo Gumagay
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Gene Paolo Gumagay

Babes, in 2013 they band pixels in the arena, so it wasn’t an LED screen. Instead, it was actually a multi-faceted projection screen, and they had 23 big projectors in a line making those images.