Halloween has come and gone, with all its terrifying and haunting creatures coming out for a play. This included plenty of Eurovision acts, masquerading as ghouls, goblins and scantily-clad superheroes (see the Instagram evidence). But All Howls Eve isn’t the only night of the year when it’s acceptable for adults to dress up as all kinds of horrifying creatures and slutty whatevers. There’s also Eurovision!
The contest is known for crazy costumes and glitter and glam. But gothic and haunting are also words you could use to describe past Eurovision acts and let’s be honest — plenty of them are scary (though not always deliberately so).
As we wipe up our fake blood and take off our latex masks from last night’s party, we’ve come up with a list of the spookiest, most horror-filled acts — one for each year since 2006 — to keep the holiday haunting us as we move into November.
2006: Finland – Hard Rock Hallelujah – Lordi
Having competed in the contest since 1961 without a win — a frighteningly bad record — Finland came to Athens in 2006 with a group of scary looking monsters singing about the divinity of hard rock. Before the contest few predicted the Finnish win. But after an exciting night the monster band Lordi won the contest, breaking the record for highest score while they were at it.
2007: Switzerland – Vampires Are Alive – DJ Bobo
Vampires are perhaps the most popular Halloween creature. But until 2007 they hadn’t been visible on the Eurovision stage. DJ BoBo changed that when he arrived in Helsinki with the Eurodance inspired tune “Vampires Are Alive”. Unfortunately Lordi had sucked up all the enthusiasm for monsters the year before, which resulted in Switzerland placing 20th place in the semi-finals with 40 points.
2008: Azerbaijan – Day After Day – Elnur & Samir
Angels and demons rule the Halloween space and their battles are a recurrent theme in the world of literature and cinema. Azerbaijan is definitely not the first country to tackle the idea in a Eurovision song, but they are probably the ones that had the biggest visual allusion. Samir, who worked as a full-time dentist at the time, portrayed the devil, while Elnur took on the angel. In the end the Elnur’s goodness won the day, resulting in the devilish Samir ripping his black clothes off to reveal a crisp white ensemble. Elnur then came back to Eurovision in 2015 with another haunting act, which makes us think he is a big fan of Halloween.
2009: Albania – Carry me in your dreams – Kejsi Tola
The Albanian song might not have had that many connections to Halloween, but the performance from 2009 sure did give us some haunting visuals. The Albanian act delivered both clowns and a masked ‘gimp-like onsie-wearing’ man, both of whom looked rather scary and could contend for the most haunting costumes of that year’s Eurovision Song Contest. People dressed as clowns and harassing people has been in the news a lot lately, imbuing the Albanian clowns with an extra terrifying quality this Halloween. Two clowns and the onesie-man surely make this Albanian dream more of a nightmare.
2010: Poland – Legenda – Marcin Mrozinski
The Polish act in 2010 referenced several themes of Halloween and terror. First of all the dancers and backing singers were dressed in costumes that, although inspired by Polish traditions, were costumes nonetheless. The second reference is the apple. Apples are popular as decorations during Halloween (hello floating apples) plus you get the haunting vibe of the story of Snow White when the backing singer that looks fairly similar to the animated heroine actually bites the apple. The third allusion is debatable, since nobody’s really sure about the actual purpose. It’s the choking of the dancer. It might have some deep meaning that got lost in translation, but to be honest it just looks like Marcin is trying to choke the girl, which is terrifying. Maybe Maleficent came back as a Polish male singer, got lost and ended up in Norway during Eurovision week?
2011: Portugal – A Luta é algria – Homens Da Luta
Every member of Homens da luta wore some kind of costume. The Portuguese band’s costumes had a Village People feel — you could see a labourer, a soldier and a teacher/librarian, amongst others, looking like participants in a demonstration from the early 70’s (they were, of course, protesting austerity). There’s always someone dressed up as a member of the Village People at every Halloween party, so dressing up as one of the members of Homens Da Luta might be a good idea for the next Eurovision party.
2012: San Marino – The Social Network Song (Oh oh-uh-oh oh) – Valentina Monetta
There are so many reasons this entry qualifies for this list, but we are going to use the backing singers’ costumes as the official reason for its inclusion. San Marino showed up with a doctor, a pilot, a cheerleader, someone that might have been a journalist or a paparazzi, and a slutty bass-player, all household names when it comes to the perfect Halloween party. Valentina herself was dressed up in something that the year 2003 had rejected, so that could technically be called a costume as well. At least they had fun on stage even though San Marino didn’t qualify.
2013: Romania – It’s my life – Cezar
It’s not quite certain whether it was the falsetto king’s intention to perform looking like Count Dracula’s distant cousin, but in the end the murderous count from Transylvania is what comes to mind. He is the second vampire-related act on this list and he really didn’t have to search far for inspiration, coming from the homeland of the legendary Dracula. To magnify the horror, Cezar’s dancers were painted red from head to toe and used a deep red fabric as a prop, making the stage look like a good afterparty at Dracula’s castle.
2014: Moldova – Wild Soul – Cristina Scarlat
Moldova’s entry in 2014 had an eerie feel to it, dark and mystic graphics, Game of Thrones inspired costumes and a touch of vamp that amped that up. Even though Moldova didn’t manage to qualify that year, this act will always be a classic. Plus the murder of the hair extension is always a reason to watch this performance again. RIP wig.
2015: Moldova – I want your love – Eduard Romanyuta
Moldova is back again…now with everyone’s favourite Halloween costume, “The slutty cop”. The video for Moldova’s entry in 2015 gave us a hint that Eduard would bring some aspects of the law enforcement on stage with him. What we didn’t know, but sure should have predicted, was that he decided to drag the slutty cops from last year’s Halloween party with him to Vienna. He might have found the guys at a Bachelorette party next door though.
2016: Germany – Ghost – Jamie-Lee
There’s no better way to end this list than with the most haunting Halloween theme of them all: Ghosts. Although we didn’t see any ghosts on stage with Jamie-Lee, the staging was gothic and a bit haunting with moonlight, smoke and naked trees. Jamie-Lee’s song about relationship drama isn’t all that scary, though. What was scary was Germany’s last place finish for a second year in a row. At least Jamie-Lee got some points.
What song do you think is the most Halloween-ish of them all? And what songs are missing from this list? Tell us in the comments below.