Most Eurovision acts perform under their own names, from something as simple as Lena to more complex names like Måns Zelmerlöw. But others adopt a stage name or perform under a group name. And some of those chosen names are just plain weird. We look at 13 Eurovision acts who made an impact by choosing super weird band names or stage names.
1. O’G3NE (Netherlands 2017)
Sisters Lisa, Amy and Shelley packed a lot into the name of their singing trio. ‘Gene’ represents the genetic bond they share as sisters and it’s spelled with a ‘3’ because there are three of them. But then it gets weird. The O comes from their mother’s blood type, which gives them something in common with the legendary gothic metal band Type O Negative. The apostrophe was sometimes dropped for their Eurovision appearance, probably to avoid confusing Irish viewers.
2. Vanilla Ninja (Switzerland 2005)
Despite not being actual ninjas, Estonian rock band Vanilla Ninja impressed Switzerland enough to be internally selected as their act in 2005. The band are most popular in their home country, though, with their name inspiring both a flavour of ice cream and a curd snack – vanilla, we assume.
3. Engelbert Humperdinck (UK 2012)
The Hump was born Arnold Dorsey, and after struggling to establish a career under his birth name, he borrowed the name of the 19th-century German composer and suddenly his pop life took off. Though it didn’t offer much of an advantage at Eurovision 2012, where he placed second to last.
4. Trackshittaz (Austria 2012)
The name of this Austrian duo proved a challenge for English-speaking commentators, who went to great pains to pronounce the name in as much of an Austrian accent as they could manage. But as you can probably guess, the name comes from an English phrase meaning one who poops out lots of tracks.
5. Pirates of the Sea (Latvia 2008)
Pirates of the Sea were a group formed especially for Eurovision, and their name took inspiration from their song, “Wolves of the Sea”. The rollicking electro sea shanty told the story of modern-day pirates – that’s the type of pirate that plunders booty rather the sort that downloads TV shows.
6. SunStroke Project (Moldova 2010, 2017)
While all eyes were on Epic Sax Guy, his group name twice brought the outdoors into the Eurovision arena. Sunstroke Project’s name came from violinist Anton, who suffered sunstroke while working outdoors on army duty. Both times, Epic Sax Guy wisely came protected with sunglasses.
7. Teapacks (Israel 2007)
The Israeli band had originally named themselves Tipp-Ex, after the brand of correction fluid. In order to not infringe on Tipp-Ex’s trademark, they changed their name to the semi-soundalike Teapacks, conjuring up images of boxes of Lipton and Twinings instead of stationery products.
8. Conchita Wurst (Austria 2014)
So what was the elegant diva Conchita doing with such a meaty surname as Wurst? Thomas Neuwirth explained that it came from the German expression “Das ist mir doch alles Wurst”, which means “It’s all sausage to me”, essentially “It’s all the same to me”. But of course, Wurst also has a certain slang meaning in German…
9. Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät (Finland 2015)
The Finnish punk band’s name means “Pertti Kurikka’s name day”, which is celebrated by the band’s founding member and lead guitarist Pertti Kurikka. In case you’re wondering, the Finnish name day for all people named Pertti is April 24.
10. Gipsy.cz (Czech Republic 2009)
Gipsy.cz weren’t the first Eurovision act to use a web address as their name, but they were the first to score nil points in their semi-final. But that didn’t get them down. Both the website and the band are still up and running.
11. Aram MP3 (Armenia 2014)
Born Aram Sargsyan, the Armenian comedian earned the nickname Aram MP3 from his humorous versions of popular songs. He kept his comedy name while performing the earnest and emotional electro ballad “Not Alone” in Copenhagen. Moving with the times, Aram MP3 now has a Spotify profile.
12. Rambo Amadeus (Montenegro 2012)
Known to his mum as Antonije Pusic, the “musician, poet, and media manipulator” Rambo Amadeus took his stage name from the cinematic character John Rambo (the troubled Vietnam veteran as played by Sylvester Stallone) and the famed composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Best of both worlds!
13. Nika Kocharov & Young Georgian Lolitaz (Georgia 2016)
They’re neither young nor lolitas, but they are Georgian. Nika Kocharov’s band came up with their unusual name as a joke before a gig, only to become slightly famous and getting being stuck with the name. While it may have had ironic X-rated origins, anyone expecting what the name described would be sorely disappointed.
What do you think? What is your favourite weird name of a Eurovision act? Does having a weird name help a performer? Share your thoughts below!