As all of you know, each country competing at Eurovision awards 58 points to ten other countries, with the winner receiving 12, the runner-up receiving 10, and the rest receiving 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1. Despite all those points, there are still acts so atrocious that they don’t receive any points at all. The Eurovision Song Contest has produced many zero pointers. Let’s review eight members of the infamous “Nul Points” club….
Thomas Forstner – Venedig im Regen (Austria 1991)
Expectations were high for Thomas: he had previously represented Austria in 1989 with the song “Nur ein Lied” and placed fifth. This song isn’t so bad, and I suspect the final result has more to do with the outfit than the performer. The “Bundesliga” haircut and the blue toddler PJ didn’t suit the song at all. Of course, this was the 90s, when fashion was truly unpredictable.
Ovidijus Vyšniauskas – Lopšine mylimai (Lithuania 1994)
Europe had to wait another three years to welcome a new member to the club. In 1994 the honour went to Ovidijus Vyšniauskas from Lithuania. Unfortunately his bagel coincided with Lithuania’s debut performance. We may never find out what happened to Ovidijus that night, but we can be sure about one thing. No one voted for his song. Even Lithuania’s neighbouring countries forgot about him. So sad.
Tor Endresen – San Francisco (Norway 1997)
It’s clear that The King of Rock and Roll inspired this one. It’s nice entertainment, but that’s it. A sad reality is that their jackets were probably the most interesting things on stage. Bless the person who loaned them to them. Apparently Tor participated in the Norwegian pre-selection several times before earning the right to represent his country on the Eurovision stage. It’s unfortunate that this was the result.
Celia Lawson – Antes do adeus (Portugal 1997)
The 1997 contest gave us not one, but two new members of the club! This song is probably the most undeserved zero pointer in the entire history of Eurovision. Granted, I’m a ballad lover, but I really don’t understand how this finished last. I suspect that those weird looking security guard/priests behind Célia didn’t help.
Gunvor – Lass’ ihn (Switzerland 1998)
What were those backing vocalists thinking when they decided to start dancing? No idea, but I do know that the performance would be a lot better with only Gunvor and the violin guy on stage. Or at least with the backing vocalists hidden somewhere in the back of the stage, and not visible at all. One piece of advice for all backing vocals for future acts: leave the dancing to the professionals.
Jemini – Cry Baby (United Kingdom 2003)
Without a doubt the most deserved members of the club. Jemini claimed that they couldn’t hear themselves during their performance and that this was the reason why they sang completely out of tune. The other excuse is that Europe didn’t vote for them because of the UK’s involvement in the Iraq war. This on-stage disaster marked the first time the United Kingdom left the contest with nul points.
Piero & The MusicStars – Celebrate (Switzerland 2004)
I didn’t realise that Pauly D sang at Eurovision before he joined Jersey Shore! What a discovery! If I were Piero, I would fire my hairstylist, because that amount of hair gel is a crime. And also, what’s with the outfits? The backing vocalists were way too loud and more than a little bit out of tune. I liked the song back in 2004, but that was a time when I didn’t have musical taste. When I’m looking at this performance now, I just ask myself: why, Switzerland, why? He was so bad that even the microphone wanted him to shut up.
Gypsy.cz – Aven Romale (Czech Republic 2009)
The people from Czech national television obviously sat down and thought they could send a strong message to send a gypsy band to Eurovision (at least I assume that happened). I have nothing against the Roma community, nor their music. I was once at a wedding where they had a gypsy band and let me tell you, that was the best party in the world! From a fabulous wedding….to this. The main singer wore a Superman costume, but he was definitely not on the side of good with that voice. And the mixture of hip hop and gypsy music just grates. Glad to know that the Slovenian attempt in 2010 wasn’t the worst mix of two totally different musical genres after all. Now pass the aspirin…
Deserved or undeserved, these acts (and many others, not included in this article) will forever be known as “The worst Eurovision songs of all time”. May the eternal glory of zero be forever with you.
Are there songs worse than these? Which of the songs above deserved to do better? Let us know in the comments box below!
@Colm: Malta gave Scooch 12, Ireland gave them 7. Malta didn’t qualify for the final (U.K. gave them 2 in the semi) and the U.K. didn’t give Ireland anything (IRE got only 5, all from Albania).
Jemini may have been the worst “nul points” song ever, but it was not the worst UK entry. I think that award should go to Scooch’s quite awful “Flying The Flag” in 2007. Amazing to think it received 19 points in the final. Scooch made Jemini look decent. And that is very difficult to do!
OMG, the costumes! The haircuts! The chronic singing! Thank you, Kaja, for this fabulous montage of unadulterated Eurovision awfulness! Isn’t this what we all really adore about ESC? I just love the way poor old Piero couldn’t even pronounce “th” (“I know one fing”), and then hits himself in the face with his mike! Bless ’em all!
@Marcelo N: I wonder if Jemini suffered the worst from the disgrace of ‘nul points’, especially due to the fact that they were from the U.K. They recorded enough material for an album to be released after the 2003 ESC. When they went home broke, they were dropped from their label and the album was shelved (not released).
For the Czechs, it’s a different story. They came to the conclusion that they could never place decently high in this contest, let alone qualify for the final or win. They haven’t been back since.
Hej, det ar jag Ingvar Gustavsson. Svenska hjalpreda ti Deven O’Kearney. Jag anvander Deven gamla e-post-konto. INGVAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Vad??? What are you doing???? Jag ar pa Wiwibloggs. Varfor? Get off of my computer you. ok, ok. Don’t mind Ingvar. He is basically a 6 year old in his 6 foot tall body. I made a big mistake cloning myself. I have tried to disown him but anyway. I’m DEVEN O’KEARNEY, not Ingvar there. So yeah, If anyone deserved Nil pointe, it was Romania in 2013. Cezar is like an opera singing version of Rylan Clark from X Factor UK. 🙂 Sorry… Read more »
I loved Aven Romale!
Celia Lawson song didnt deserved such a bad end, I really like that song, a top 5 of that year.
For me Portugal 1997 and Switzerland deserved to be for me in TOP 10 .United Kindgom 2003 deserved to be in TOP 15 from 11 to 15 place. Lithuania deserved maybe place from 16 to 20 place in 1994.
Austria 1991, Norway 1997, Switzerland 2004, and Czech Republic 2009 for me deserved to be on last place in contest.
I’m sorry I have to disagree here, but I think Celia Lawson was one of the most deserving Nilpointers in Eurovision history. The song is deadly boring and totally depressing as it is, and its delieverance lets me believe they put Celia, her more than irritating four grave diggers and the whole orchestra under the influence of some coma-inducing drugs. I cannot remember having watched one single Eurovision performance in the history of the contest that was sucking the life out of anything around it with such power as this one, including anything that was on in the Fifties and… Read more »
What a sad story for Lithuania! debuting in the contest with a zero pointer! No wonder why they withdrew after that for a few years.
Also sorry for Tor, trying to represent his country for a few times until finally getting the opportunity, just to don’t receive a single point at the end, sounds like a Sanna Nielsen story gone wrong.
My favorites were UK 2003, Switzerland 2004, and Czech Republic 2009.
Even with the good ballads it is sink or swim in Eurovision. The order of performance, staging and the singer looks may kill what could have been a successful song otherwise.
Well, Jemini simply had it coming. Sing out of key throughout (and get overexcited to top it all) and that’s what you get.
GIPSY.CZ on the other hand were, IMHO, totally misunderstood and wronged.
I’d forgotten about the total butchness of Ovidijus. He’d definitely get more votes these days.
i don’t get why switzerland got 0 points in 1998! I think it was a good and catchy song and there were much worse songs that year!