The mainstream pop world is at war! Katy v Taylor v Nicki v Miley… the list goes on. But they’re not the only ones capable of whipping up a storm. Just look at some of the Eurovision stars from the past. Don’t be fooled by their songs of peace and harmony. These guys can throw shade with the best of them! Here’s five of the fiercest Eurovision feuds.
Waylon v Axel Hirsoux, Basim and Ilse De Lange (2014)
Eurovision is all about building bridges. But in 2014, the Dutch singer Waylon, aka one half of the Common Linnets, had other ideas. Mere days before the first semi-final, he turned on a handful of his competitors. Speaking to Dutch media, he labelled Belgium’s Axel Hirsoux “a second-hand Paul Potts” and referred to Denmark’s Basim as a “copy of Bruno Mars”. His remarks sparked much consternation, particularly in the Netherlands with fans fearing that he was losing the country points before the contest had even begun. The country singer quickly issued a sorry-not sorry apology and retracted his comments.
However, that wasn’t the end of the drama. Shortly after helping the Netherlands secure their best position for years, the bold Waylon went AWOL. He subsequently reappeared, but just to say that he was leaving the Common Linnets. Even though the exact reasons behind his departure remain unclear, signs point towards a strained relationship between himself and Ilse De Lange, the band’s front woman. Looking back on the time, Ilse called it “the darkest period of her career”.
Kathy Kirby v France Gall (1965)
The 1965 Eurovision Song Contest was marked by several controversies, most of which involved the Luxembourg entry. Firstly, the orchestra interrupted the country’s rehearsals due to a disagreement with the delegation, or to be to be precise – Serge Gainsbourg. The songwriter was infamous for his provocative comments and behaviour, and threatened to withdraw “Poupee De Cire, Poupee De Son” unless the orchestra cooperated. Thankfully, an agreement was reached, allowing France Gall to storm to victory. However, the drama didn’t end there.
The UK’s Kathy Kirby had actually been the hot favourite to win. None too impressed at being beaten by a 17 year old, she decided to give Gall a slap… as you do. According to France:
“The British candidate was very disappointed because she should have won, according to her and everybody… And finally, it was me. Me, who didn’t care at all. I recall a slap: Did she enter my dressing-room only to insult me? I don’t know. Anyway, the memory that I have of it is a slap.”
And y’all thought the olden days were all about strict dress codes and polite applause!
Johnny Logan v Jedward (2011)
Jedward’s “Lipstick” is definitely Ireland’s best effort in years Naturally, fans went nuts when the duo were chosen to represent the country back in 2011. But their joy was not shared by everyone. Most notably, a certain Johnny Logan. The King of Eurovision didn’t like the idea one little bit! Speaking after the Romanian selection he said:
“It’s a song contest; it’s not an X Factor. The people in RTÉ, that’s their problem. They can’t get this simple fact into their heads that they need a song first. They have destroyed any credibility by using people like Dustin, by using people like this (Jedward) in the Eurovision Song Contest.”
Jedward took the criticism in their stride, “Johnny Logan, okay, he’s cool, okay, but he’s like “I wish I could do it this year”… He’s not as young as us, and I think he wishes he could be as young as Jedward”. The pair ultimately finished eight, giving Ireland it’s best result since 2000. In fact, the Irish public were so enamoured by the twins that they decided to send them again in 2012. Nevertheless, Logan couldn’t resist dissing them again last February:
“I think that the songs Jedward had were great, it’s just that I don’t think Jedward were good enough, that’s the reality. I don’t think they were good enough singers.”
At this stage, we doubt the brothers care.
Ruth Lorenzo v Paula and Ovi (2014)
After a stormy national final, Ruth Lorenzo was chosen to represent Spain with “Dancing In The Rain”. Unsurprisingly, the music video showed dancers dancing in the rain, you can’t beat a bit of literalism.
Then Romania’s Paula and Ovi released their video for “Miracle”, which bared more than a passing resemblance to Ruth’s. In fact, the majority of the clip showed two dancers dancing in the rain. What are the odds?
The Spaniards were quick to call them out. Ruth’s dance partner, Giuseppe Di Bella, sent a shady tweet pointing out that Romania “had the same idea”. As the allegations mounted, Paula took to Facebook insisting that it was all a coincidence: “Sometimes it happens, when you are invited to a party, to come dressed as another guest.” Lorenzo wasn’t buying it, and responded by saying that she was shocked when she saw Romania’s clip and “saw little intelligence and inspiration”. However, in the end, this little feud didn’t cause any lasting harm, with both countries swapping points in the final.
Michele Perniola v Måns Zelmerlöw (2015)
Accusations of plagiarism are common-place at Eurovision. In 2015, it was Måns Zelmerlöw’s turn to face such allegations. Numerous fans claimed that he had copied David Guetta’s “Lovers on the Sun”. And the comparisons didn’t go unnoticed by San Marino’s Michele Perniola. During the second semi (which Sweden won), he tweeted the following:
Cue the drama. Michele quickly sent another tweet, laughing off the matter as a “joke”. But the damage was done. During the press conference, a reporter asked the “Heroes” singer to react to the tweet:
“I don’t think so, no. We’ve had this discussion earlier and I don’t think that they are alike. Maybe the build-ups are alike, but I think when it comes to… if you analyse the tones, I don’t think there are two tones following each other that are the same actually, so I can’t see how it could be plagiarism then. But I’m sorry he feels that way”
Speaking to wiwibloggs the next day, Michele repeated his belief that the song was a copy. Nonetheless, the Swede romped home to victory in the grand final.
What do y’all think? What quarrels have we left out? Who would make even Kathy Kirby quiver in her heels? Let us know below, and their could be a sequel!